Northumberland, the Strawberry Lounge and being super happy.

So I’ve been fortunate to spend a few days with my parents, back at home in the beautiful Northumberland. I’ve lived in Scotland for 6 years now, and it is the most beautiful country in the world- but being back in Northumberland easily makes me feel the happiest and most content. 

I managed to fit in a quick visit to Bamburgh, and I decided to pay a quick visit to the trenches of the Bamburgh Research Project excavation at the castle. It was great to see the site, as I live so close and have never seen it when it has been ongoing. One of the Assistant Supervisors Sam showed me around the trenches, and the Project Director Graeme gave me an overview of the history of the excavations and plans for the future- which sound very exciting!

Today I’ve still been riding the high of my friend David and his (now wife!) Charlotte’s stunning wedding at Newton Hall on Sunday evening. It was a beautiful venue, and I had the most wonderful evening watching an immensely happy couple celebrate with family and friends. They truly spoiled their guests with cocktails on arrival (named after Father Ted quotes!) and an amazing band which played a real mix of music (Toy Story to Paul Simon to ceilidh dances!). 

I spent the morning preparing an early birthday dinner for my dad as I will be away on his actual birthday. I have made a traditional lasagne and tear and share garlic bread ‘thing’. This will be followed by a raspberry and lemon sponge cake, using fresh raspberries. Hopefully it will be a hit!
It has also become a bit of an accidental tradition that my brother and I visit a cafe in Alnwick when I am home on  a Tuesday. Every Tuesday is a week further into the new chapter of my life- and it becomes a great chance for reflection. However, I think soon Tuesdays won’t be a ‘thing’ anymore, as I’m about to make another big step and relocate down south for work and to be closer to my family, which is exciting.

We visit the BEST place in Alnwick: The Strawberry Lounge.

   
 Alnwick is lucky to have many little cafes and restaurants to choose from, but the Strawberry Lounge has amazing fruit smoothies and a choice of fresh scone flavours which change daily. Today I allowed myself some dairy, as it was too good to resist! The choice was made difficult by the amazing selection on offer today- from Oreo, Chocolate and Marshmallow, Crunchie and Lemon Curd to the more traditional fruit and cheese flavours.

 

Amazing berry and dark chocolate scone, and fruit smoothie
 
My brother ordered a berry smoothie and a banana and caramel scone, and I opted for a mixed fruit smoothie and berry and dark chocolate scone. The scones were beautiful, with warm chunks of dark chocolate inside and juicy blueberries- and the fruit smoothies were refreshing and always arrive with slices of fresh fruit. Often if I go for lunch I choose from their range of freshly made fish cakes or quiche which are served with crisps and a lovely salad (with strawberries included, of course!), but they also offer paninis, jacket potatoes and sandwiches.  Our order was less than £4 each and was more than enough to fill us. 

I have a week and a half left of work before the ‘big move’. Which is terrifying but exciting. For the first time, I’m excited about how much influence I have over my life and future, and how I can aim high and try and achieve the things I want. Of course it’s been a difficult few months with some incredibly dark times, and still now I have moments of sadness. However if I look at myself now, I see a much more confident person who is capable of good things and can make myself happy. I am looking after myself because I am important- and eleven weeks ago (goodness that sounds like such a small amount of time, it has definitely felt a lot longer) I genuinely believed I was worthless and could never make myself happy. So that’s something 😊

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