Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Polar Express Journey Was Just the Ticket!

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Polar Express Journey Was Just the Ticket!

Article excerpt

Byline: Lindsay Bruce

SNOW. None. Not a drop. Not even a frost.

The closest I got to a wintery smattering of glistening white stuff was wee Bruce's 400 renditions of In The Bleak Midwinter and my brother dropping the icing sugar for the mince pies all over the kitchen floor.

When the weather app on my phone sent a notification to say it would be 15 scorching degrees on Christmas Day, I almost cried.

Snow, for me, is the necessary ingredient required to make Christmas feel Christmassy.

Which is probably the reason, and definitely the justification, for me spending a substantial chunk of the Christmas budget creating memories in an array of places where fake snow played a part in the festivities.

Definitely a new favourite, which will require me to annually borrow my niece or my friends' children, is the Polar Express at Weardale.

Having caught my neighbours returning home in their onesies last year and hearing tales of dancing chefs, hot chocolate in pyjamas and sing-alongs on a moving train, I was sold.

Filing away that info, after an allnighter to save cash via the wonder of a Black Friday sale, I had enough money to take me, mine, my mum and my niece on the movie-inspired train ride. It didn't disappoint.

We arrived to sparkling lights and lines of people wrapped in robes, carol singers and festive tunes.

The night before we had watched the Tom Hanks-led movie, so every detail that matched the film caused squeals of glee.

And that was just from me and Mr B. Without boring you too much, I was left exhausted from the experience and yes, feeling a warm glow of festive cheer. I also left needing matchsticks to keep my eyes open, which wasn't the ideal scenario for an hour-long drive over moors and hills. The warm fuzzies were replaced by ice cold wind as I rolled down the window to stave off sleep.

The rest of the Christmas build-up actually went surprisingly hitchfree. Well, until the annual food shop. Sweet mince pies you would think people were batch-buying for the apocalypse.

By 8.20am we had to queue for a trolley. Queueing for a trolley? I'm not ashamed to tell you I was ever so slightly cheeky and skulked about inside the store until the bribe of PS2 and a trolley dolly persuaded a pair of pensioners to lug their bags to the car by hand without the aid of wheels. …

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