Down memories lanes to 80….part two, England

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Down memories lanes to 80….part two, England

The meeting at Stoke on Trent was an update for regional gastroenterologists doing ERCP procedures, well organized by Shrisha Hebbar, who I first met and admired when teaching with him in Capetown. We were joined in Stoke for the next part of the trip by Linda Wier, a special friend from Augusta, Georgia.

Shrisha kindly invited us to dinner at home with his family, and also arranged a lunch with several of my prior trainees, including Tony Axon, who first worked with me at St Thomas’s hospital in London in the early 1970s.

While in Stoke we went to visit Ruth, my niece, now living in Derbyshire. And then on to York, a lovely old town, and a special dinner with Mark and Katie Blacklock, friends of Nicky and Jules,  who came to Dewees last year.

From York we drove to the Lake District, staying at Ravenstone Lodge in Bassenthwaite, where we were happily joined by Janice Crean, and Andy. Janice’s Gerry Crean was a giant of gastroenterology, a warm fiddle and golf-playing fun Irishman and a friend to many. Janice reminded me about Gerry’s relative, Tom Crean, who was an Antarctic hero (more about him later),

We toured the area (somewhat slowly behind gyspsy caravans), including Coniston Water, where Malcolm Campbell, and later his son, gained world water speed records on the Bluebird.

And of course we had to visit Beatrix Potter’s house at hilltop, and Mr McGregor’s garden. I didn’t know that I was named after a rabbit until I moved to USA, where Peter Cottontail hops everywhere, especially at Easter. Potter actually wrote about Peter Rabbit, Flopsy, Mopsy, Benjamin Bunny and Cottontail, but not Peter Cottontail. (Benjamin happens to be my middle name)

Then driving even further north to Northumberland, via Hadrian’s wall, built to keep the Scots out of Roman England a long time ago. Destination Alnmouth, a lovely seaside village where we had a holiday home many years ago (but post-Roman). The area has clearly become popular, with some good restaurants. We stayed at a working farmhouse at Bilton Barns that I can recommend strongly. Dorothy looked after us perfectly. We toured the coast with its many castles, and played golf on the 9hole village course celebrating its 150th anniversary. It is where golfing son Andy learned his formidable skills.

Then, a short drive to Newcastle for a flight to Dublin, to start phase three of this odyssey. Hope you can join us there.

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