We started out near Manchester visiting our longtime friends Denise and Chris. We visited a couple of country homes with them one of which has a wonderful collection of Tiffany glassware. (not the lamps). They drove us up to Wallsend to visit my brother. On the Sunday we all went to South Shields to see the end of the Great North run. Starting in Newcastle, running for over 13 miles, 54,000 runners signed up, 38,000 finished. It was great to see especially as they finished near the sea. The Red Arrows did a great airshow to go along with the run. We then spent a week visiting Viv's Dad who seems to be doing really well in his new "home". Much better than anticipated in fact. Quite a relief all round. Viv's brother, John, was on holiday for the week so we managed to see some of the local sights with him. The main highlight being Alnwick Castle which a couple of years ago celebrated its 700 years anniversary. It is owned by the Percy family, the Dukes of Northumberland. There is a very long history here - they have been in and out of favour over the years with various Kings. They still live in the castle and have huge estates throughout England. No money worries here! At one time they could travel from the north east to London, via a circuitous route, and never leave their land. Weather has been pretty good for England but we are looking forward to the warmth and sunshine in Spain.