As I write, Kevin is having a coffee in the Costa at South Shields Marine School, waiting to be interviewed for a position as lecturer. We’ve kept it quiet, because most people are expecting us to return in February. After not getting the job at the Nautical Institute, we’d decided there was nothing here to keep us, and we thought that even if Michael didn’t want to leave (he seems to be enjoying working for Greggs, though has failed dismally at the attempt to make sandwiches at the rate of one a minute), Glynis wants to come back and live here for a bit longer, and could keep him company. But purely by chance (having never received any response from electronic applications), Kevin sent an unsolicited application to the College, was invited along for a chat, and has his formal interview today. So watch this space.
We have not had much of a summer, and now autumn is racing in. We had a lovely day in Saltburn a week ago, but it’s been cloudy, cool and damp ever since. Saltburn by the Sea is an hour away south, and has a cliff railway, like the one at Hastings we visited whilst living down south. We arrived quite early in the morning, found an almost empty carpark, and strolled along the pier (quite a swell, and some heavy surf), looked in the sweet shop at the rock and liquorice, chatted with the lifesavers (the surf was closed – not because of the waves but due to “pollution”. We couldn’t find out what kind of pollution, and didn’t see anything floating. We took our trip in the funicular up to the top of the cliff, and the town centre. We followed a fire engine to a house on fire – well, probably the chip pan caught fire, there was just a bit of smoke which the fireman were dispersing with a big fan – and then walked back down the hill to look for the miniature railway. Saltburn has everything! We walked up one side of the inlet, crossed the bridge, and had a look at the trains, which weren’t running yet. Rounding the end of the inlet we were surprised to see a recovery vehicle trying to lift a car which was half in the water. According to the policeman in charge of the operation, someone leaving the festival the night before had got locked in, and tried to get out by following the edge of the inlet, only to run out of road. We watched and waited, until with a roar of applause from the interested observers, the car was finally lifted up and put onto the back of the truck. We then went back to the car park, which was now chokka, and left to find lunch. We decided to drive up the coast, looking for a seaside pub, to no avail. Eventually we were just about to forget about it and go home, when we chanced upon The Dun Cow, twenty minutes from home, fantastic carvery lunch, and the friendliest staff I’ve ever met. What a lovely day!