Postcard from Northumberland, No 2

Viciousbutfair, Going Postal

The Northumberland coast is rather wild and windy with relatively few trainers or widescreen TVs to loot. I made a mental note to consider the area a safe space when World’s End begins.


Small children are considerably more interested in sheep shit and bubblegum ice cream than they are in ruined castles and freshly smoked kippers.
They will also swim in sub zero temperatures in the sea whilst adults huddle in alcoves wearing Puffa jackets.

Barter Books in Alnwick is a glorious place, thousands of square feet of books of all shapes and sizes. Books are things that people used to read, they would be a source of great amusement to the Martians in the old Smash adverts.
Picked up a mint copy of George Mikes ‘How to be an alien’ for a couple of quid, still fresh and funny in its observations about Britain despite its original publication being in 1946
I missed CC by one day but sensed a GPer had been there, there was still a trace of wankpuffin in the air, it’s an unmistakeable aura.

No mobile signal or broadband in rural areas is good, it is very 60s, a retro feel, it makes people talk to each other, life in the slow lane. I commend it to the House.

We saved a terrapin from certain death, it was at the Northumberland Country Park, an Alan Partridge creation, I think, judging by the number of “Exhibit coming soon” signs over areas of roped off piles of dried cement.
It had trapped a flipper in a filter pipe but we made the authorities aware and it was saved.
Like Hancock in ‘The Blood Donor’ I expect no credit but I do hope for a badge, nothing fancy, a simple ‘I gave so a terrapin might live’, it’s the very least they can do and perhaps just a card at Christmas from Terry Terrapin.
“Thank you Uncle Vicious, I’m doing well thanks to you, I’m in year five now, I wouldn’t be here if it was not for you.”
As I said, nothing fancy, just some acknowledgement.

The Country Park is also ‘The Home of Beef Jerky’, as I said there is a strange Alan Partridge feel to the place although the staff are lovely. Beef jerky, if you have not experienced it, tastes like repackaged, regurgitated Pepperami, it should be avoided if possible.
It is staple fare in South Africa and to be honest after one mouthful I was up for carjacking someone, that’s how quickly it works.

Avoid allowing hormonal women to drive in uncharted areas, the constant banshee wailing and the foul mouthed rhetoric is staggering when one is appointed as the navigator.
“Didn’t I tell to watch for fucking road signs, you really are not fucking helping.”
I honestly don’t think they should be in positions of power, sorry but someone has to say it.

Bamburgh Castle (my picture above) is an inspiring sight as you come into the town. It is what the Ralph Fiennes character in the film ‘In Bruges’ would call a fucking fairytale fucking castle.
If you have not seen Bamburgh Castle or In Bruges please do both, you will not be disappointed.
If you are a small child forced to walk around Bamburgh Castle you would probably prefer to look at sheep shit or bubblegum ice cream.

The sea, on a wild and rugged night, is a powerful thing. 12 foot waves crashing into the harbour walls just across the road whilst you try to sleep.
It is an awe-inspiring, mighty force of nature that no man, not even Simon Cowell, can control, it will remain, in its magnificence, long after our puny civilization has gone.

We even found secret beaches, to get to Embleton Bay we walked down a winding, sandy path across a golf links course, no signs really and just a beguiling stretch of sand and sea when you get there.
Beadnell, a few miles up the coast, is way more sophisticated, it actually has a small car park, a mobile coffee trailer and an ice cream van but again a delightful stretch of shoreline with relatively few people. It amazes me that in this day and age there are still such hidden delights, quick, go and fuck it up and take a boom box with some rap music on it.

Craster, where we stayed, has a smoke house for fresh kippers and other seafood plus a fabulous restaurant attached that serves glorious fresh local food. You can walk it off after by visiting the ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle along a coastal path. On the way, there are many sheep and also sheep shit for the kiddies to look at, bring your own bubblegum ice cream though.

As a one time world weary traveler I was delighted to find such an idyllic place a few hours up the road from me, I will revisit soon. I would recommend you to also, the Geordie folk are charming and helpful, the sights are wonderful and the whole area needs tourism and the trade it brings, it’s truly a part of Old England.

© Viciousbutfair 2017

More from Viciousbutfair here.