I am learning to appreciate holidays, whereas previously I considered them an unnecessary interruption to routine and rarely took a break of more than one week in a year.
Now that part of this household is living in the north-east of England, there is, I suppose, more incentive to get in the car and go. 330 miles, door to door.
My wife and I recently made the journey once again and greatly appreciated the opportunity to renew acquaintance with our son and his family.
We planned our days in and days out very carefully and the weather was good, for the most part.
Durham, for the wonderful Lindisfarne Gospels, described as ‘one amazing book, one incredible journey.’ (Oh that there were the same reverence for these ancient records of the lift and ministry of Christ as there was in the 8th century!)
The picturesque country town of Corbridge, where my wife was born; outings with the youngsters to local parks and play centres. Such a joy to have their company.
Manchester, to meet a cousin I hadn’t seen for five decades, amongst other things to identify relatives, so many of them, in black and white photographs. Lovely train ride on the Trans-Pennine Express.
And Newcastle. Walkabout, visiting theatres and welcoming a marathon runner with a six -kilogramme fridge on his back, raising money for Cancer Research.
Now, we are coming to the point of this article, and the incident that will long remain in my memory. As we entered the city, we of course had to cross the Tyne Bridge. I don’t like bridges; the height unsettles me. Our 7-year old grandson, Ethan, aware of this fact, leaned over to me in the back seat of the car, put his hand on mine, and said, “Don’t worry, Dah. I’ll look after you.”
The little boy’s kind words reminded me so forcibly of several verses in the New Testament ...
Jesus telling his disciples: “I am with you always” (Matthew 28, 20).
Then in Hebrews 13, 5: ‘God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”’
And, too, the challenge of the apostle Peter in a modern translation of his first epistle – ‘You can throw the whole weight of your anxieties upon him, for you are his personal concern’ (5, 7).
A simple tale, nothing controversial, which helped to make this particular holiday unforgettable.
P.S. TWO LOCAL organisations, Chloe’s Fight for Sight and The Matthew 25 Mission, are due to benefit from the Mayor’s Charity Barbecue this year.
Chalk Farm Hotel is the venue and Sunday 15th September, 12 noon to 3 pm is the time.
Musical entertainment, tombola, face painting and dancing will be included in the programme.
Tickets, including BBQ food, are £10 for adults, with substantial reductions for children and families, and can be obtained at Reid Briggs and Co Ltd, 49 South Street, Eastbourne.
Further information: firstname.lastname@example.org or (01323) 415020.