Leaving so soon?

Part of the field campsite at Budle Farm

Not quite 48 hours by the sea, and now it’s time to return home. This mini-break was really only conceived as a test run, in relative safety and proximity to home. There are pets to feed, garden to tend, and all manner of things. Of all the fish that live in the sea, the herrin’ is the one for me. ‘The Herrrin’s Heed,’ and ‘Dance to your Daddy,’ are two classic fishing songs of the north-east, that I learned long ago at the folk club sessions held on quiet Friday evenings upstairs in the King’s Head.

It was only during Zane Foster’s funeral, such a long time ago now, that I learned about tickling trout in the North Pennines streams. Someone remarked the other day that his silver trout memorial, carefully placed in the East Allen, had disappeared beneath the stones, somewhere above Allen Mill weir; he’s gone to the ages, but memories live on.

Soon it will be time for the river trout/salmon to return to their spawning territories, and that will mean jumping up the river ladder at the weir. I hope they find a quiet pool or two, on their journey, to rest in between exertions.

That’s what our little seaside excursion was meant to be too, besides testing out old Harry Hymer once again; a quiet rest between slightly more diligent efforts. And then when we’re back home again, it’ll still feel much like a holiday lifestyle as it often does to us, ensconced in our smallholding high on the Sparty Lea fellside, looking out over a vast valley expanse dotted with houses, farms and cottages. A place of quietness, to be sure, but also a place where the joy of work has transformed our lives too.

Eee, it’s been lovely to be beside the seaside, but even lovelier to come home again!


  1. Hi Larry. I agree with your last line in particular. I always think that the best thing about going away anywhere, is coming home again ! ( I know many people would think me a bit sad ! 😀 )

  2. The fish are getting ready to jump up Holms Linn — not sure if many get up the waterfall as I’ve never been there when or if they do; there’s a poignancy about the year turning, the chill in the air, but it’s the circle of life. RIP Zane indeed.

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