Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Why the Shock? It's Stunning Up North

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Why the Shock? It's Stunning Up North

Article excerpt

Byline: LINDSAY BRUCE The chaotic life of a working mum

IT'S a summer of love for the Bruce family, it would seem.

With one wedding down, one family reunion in the bag, one forthcoming trip north for my mum's birthday fast approaching and another wedding at the weekend, I've found myself repeating one statement. It goes like this: "yes, it is lovely up north."

Let me explain. Take wedding number one. The groom's side of the proceedings all hail from Teesside, and the bride's from London.

Fast forward through the nuptials and onto the picturesque Potto reception venue. Throw in some Pimms and the incredible beauty of the bride is being eclipsed by surprised southerners marvelling at the fact that "it's really nice here, ain't it?".

"Yes," I replied, "it is lovely up north."

I'm not sure if they all went to the same night class where clips from the back alleys of Billy Elliot, the foundry scenes from The Full Monty and a montage from Brassed Off were shown but there was a distinct lack of belief that anywhere past Kent could be in any way nice.

And speaking as someone who lived in London for three years, they have a bloomin' cheek!

My father-in-law used to remind me constantly that I was privileged to reside in the Garden of England. I accepted the analogy as long as he was willing to concede our little overpriced attic apartment was probably more akin to that bit at the bottom of the garden used for heaping compost.

Just a week after the wedding, and after a few days away at our church conference in the O2 arena in Greenwich, we assemble Mr Bruce's nearest and dearest to surprise his mum for her 65th birthday.

Military operations have taken less organising - and were probably considerably less stressful - but eventually, both parents, all four siblings, the nine nieces and nephews and two dogs were crammed into one place amid the tears of my mother-in-law.

"Glasgow looks nice," pipes up Mr Bruce senior, "I couldn't believe it."

Now, even on a moderate day, this Glasgow girl will fiercely defend the best city in the world.

But on a day that was already 32 degrees by 10. …

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