For the second year running I’ve spent Christmas at home in Ireland. It seems a very long time since I last visit my birthplace in the North East of England, which is where I usually went at this time of year. We often went for a spin around the countryside on Boxing Day and over the years I’ve posted a few pictures.

The last visit was in 2019, in fact, not long after my Mam died. Here’s a picture I took on Cresswell Beach, Northumberland on Boxing Day 2019.

The skies looked rather ominous, although I had no inkling at the time that the pandemic would come and put paid to any more yuletide travelling.

Looking at that picture reminded me of a few other Christmas memories of Newcastle and surrounds I’ve posted on here over the years. Here is one from 2012:

It may not look like much but that bit of wall is all that remains of the first house I remember living in, in Benwell, Newcastle upon Tyne. The house itself was demolished a long time ago, and a new estate now stands where it was. The door you can see bricked up used to lead into our back yard in which there was an outside toilet. You can also see two bricked up apertures to the left of the door, which were the coal holes.

This one was taken 10 years ago, and shows Warkworth Castle.

Here’s a closer view of Warkworth Castle from 2013:

This shows a rather busy Boxing Day on the beach at Cullercoats, with St George’s Church in the background, taken in December 2015. This one reminded me a bit of a painting by L.S. Lowry!

I wonder when (if ever) I’ll set foot in Northumberland again?