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Photograph by Alistair Pryde of Words & Pictures,

Ask not for whom the hound roos; she roos for thee.
(From: "Send not to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee." John Donne, 1624)


See the travel blog in the Adventures section for full details.

We are delighted to announce the engagement of our daughter, Hannah, to Ben Steele.
They are planning their wedding for October, near Newcastle.
Invitations are out!

Further details to follow as they emerge!

Ben is a teacher and Special Constable, originally from Newcastle and now living and teaching in County Durham. Hannah and Ben met at Edinburgh Napier University and have been together for a few years now. We're genuinely delighted and very excited to have Ben join the family.





Prof Ian Neal, DL, advising school students as they use a flight simulator to land a light aircraft, overseen by Deborah Menear. (See below)


April 2024


Is April the first month of Spring?  The weather was awful – cold and raining.  But the hour changed and it was, between the rain, bright and beautiful.  Nature is restarting and we can understand why all beliefs celebrate this time of year.


We had a short break in a fantastic lodge near a canal marine between Nantwich and Audlem, in Cheshire early in the month.  It rained more or less solidly and the roads round about were flooded quite badly , but that didn’t stop us having a great time.  The proposed visit to Lois’ sister was postponed because she wasn’t well, but we did go and see Ian’s mate, Mike.  Ian and Mike were close friends when they were at school and if his name is familiar from this website, it’s because he supplied the photos of Ian and friends while they were at school (see Our Vehicles from the menu on the left and navigate to Series 1).  It was terrific to rebuild the connection.


Ian (as Deputy Lieutenant) attended the Joint Cadet Forces presentation at North Durham Academy in Stanley.  This was a wonderful event, drawing together representatives of many of the cadet organisations in the region, including the RAF Cadets, Army Cadets, Police Cadets and Fire Service Cadets with the intention of raising the employability skills, self-confidence and self esteem of students through the activities they offer.  As a bonus, there has been shown to be a marked decrease in Antisocial Behaviour by young people engaged with effective groups like this.  The Cadet groups, some of whom included students of the Academy themselves, gave demonstrations and presentations to the whole of North Durham Academy’s Year 8 students (all 250 of them!)  Most of the presentations got students involved directly with practical activities and dignitaries enjoyed some virtual flying of aircraft, seeing how the Police deal with civil disruption and helped roll up fire hoses.  Ian even examined rations carried by soldiers on manoeuvres (but, perhaps thankfully, didn’t have to sample them).  Despite continuous drizzle, the students were in very good spirits indeed, engaging fully with the activities on offer. 


We spent a good deal of our time this month watching the app that monitors our electricity use now that we’ve had the batteries fitted and transferred to Octopus Energy’s Flux Tariff.  See zero draw from the grid because we’re using solar power from our roof and batteries as we cook dinner is a great experience.  (To get £50 off if you transfer use  We get £50 too!)



Site last updated:

April 30th, 2024


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