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Daily Journal

June 26 – A Day for a Daydream
Alnwick Castle

Another early rising; I only manage to sleep until 5:30 this morning, and write out several more postcards while drinking cup after cup of tea in an attempt to rouse myself from a stupor.

8:00AM and breakfast is served, during which time I make a wonderful discovery that will enable me to bring a bit of Britain to breakfast, which usually consists of no more than a half of a bagel, when I return home.

As I waddle away from the table, after devouring yet another full-cooked breakfast, I make a mental note to search the gourmet food stores in my area for black currant jam. But until then, I'm certain that the gracious hostesses from all of the bed and breakfasts will look down in dismay at their empty jam pots after I've left the table.

The sun is out in full force again this morning and I blink blearily, stifling yawns as we step out into the crisp cool air. We have been so fortunate with the weather. Other than the brief downpour we experienced in York on the evening that we arrived, we haven't seen anything that could be called rain; maybe a little bit of mist every now and then, but no real rain.

Feeling as if the fates are smiling upon us, we shoulder bags and cameras and are away on today's adventures. Heading north on the A1, we pass through the lovely village of Newton on the Moor, with its stone cottages and manicured gardens, which are vibrant with masses of flowers in full bloom. This is a very quiet place. There is no one about and I smile, wondering if they might all be on holiday as I am.

Alnwick is the northernmost town we visit on this journey through Northumberland. Our route takes us right past Alnwick Castle, so we pull up and stop for a few moments to admire it in the bright morning light.

The castle is the main seat of the Duke of Northumberland whose family, the Percys, have lived here since 1309. This border stronghold has survived many battles and now peacefully dominates the surrounding countryside. Statues of soldiers were placed atop the gate house in an attempt to dissuade marauding Scots from attacking.

From a distance I suppose the castle would appear to be well protected and on the ready defense at all times. But at closer proximity, these figures are small, child-sized, and I imagine the approaching Scots saying, "Och but they're wee laddies! We can take 'em!"

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