Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Thankful for Normality ...and Lots of Food!

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Thankful for Normality ...and Lots of Food!

Article excerpt

I DON'T know if any of you have ever come through a period of illness, or a season where life just knocked the stuffing out of you, before slowly clawing your way back to the happy bliss of normality.

That would pretty much sum up me and my path for the last few months.

I hadn't realised normal had come home to roost again, though, until I arrived back in Newcastle train station on Sunday evening after a whistle-stop tour down memory lane in Scotland over the weekend.

Having been asked to speak at a ladies' breakfast in a little church near where my grandparents used to live, I was only too pleased to be able to book a train and take 30 hours away from the day-to-day. Unusually, the timing of me booking my tickets must have been just as the planets and my lucky stars aligned because for the first time ever I didn't end up choosing a bargain basement method of travel and actually ended up getting first class tickets.

Ask any mum juggling marriage, work, kids, a house and life in general about how absolutely euphoric it is to park your bum on a larger than usual, comfier than standard, glorious, eastcoast-facing, SINGLE seat where a plethora of free food and drinks are offered on tap. Actually they won't speak, they'll just smile and exhale contentedly.

On arrival north of the border, I was picked up by car, taken to the breakfast appointment, fed - the start of many opportunities to be fattened up as Scotland collectively met and decided I was in need of nourishment - watered, and then I spoke for an hour, was then taken to another town where I managed to catch up with my aunt, in a coffee shop. Round two of food and drink commenced. I doubt I will be slimmer of the week this week.

From there I got a bus to my home village where my mum, brother and niece were coated up and sitting waiting to whisk me away to a restaurant for a rare opportunity to have just the four of us round the one table.

By the time we got back to my mum's and I bedded down in what used to be my old room, I had just about time to read over my notes for what lay ahead on Sunday morning before my mum came to say goodnight with a milky drink and a plate of homemade biscuits. …

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