April, 2012

Back In Oregon

Bill Macdonald
A Felling lad, now in Portland, Oregon, USA
My wife, Evelyn and I just returned from almost three weeks along the banks of the Tyne. A wonderful visit. The main reason for our trip to England was to celebrate my Mother’s 99th birthday. (pictured right) She continues to thrive and care for herself at her home in Felling, very close to where she was born in 1901, during the reign of Queen Victoria.

Evelyn and I landed at Manchester Airport after an overnight flight from Portland, Oregon. Rather than risk falling asleep at the wheel of a hired car, we took the train from Manchester to Newcastle Central with a change at York. The train was filthy and the scene alongside the tracks was one of dismal disrepair of railway equipment and facilities. The result of years of neglect by British Rail I am told. Afterwards, traveling all over the Northeast, we were pleased with the care and cleanliness to be seen almost everywhere else.

Among the many places we visited, it was interesting to drive through Ryton just as school was coming out. Kids, neatly dressed, scurrying home for tea, they sure are taller than in my childhood. Something to do with better nutrition than ever we had during the great depression and years of war-time rationing. Apples and bananas were like manna from heaven.

I took my laptop along and was able to keep up with the Geordie Discussion Group untill about half way through our holiday when somebody sent us a bunch of emails with massive attachments that wreaked havoc and cut me off. So, I have been out of circulation for a couple of weeks. Just now, I logged on to Newcastle Community News to review your most recent messages and bring myself up to date.

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