This is the view of the Tynemouth Priory, UK, from inside what used to be the kitchen’s window of the Gatehouse. It’s all in ruins now (but beautiful ones), with a 2000 years history behind. I enjoyed spending a lovely couple of hours exploring between its remaining walls, its old nearby cemetery, and enjoying the view over the North Sea. The place is loaded with history and if you would like to read more about it, the English Heritage site does a good job at showing you around, even if only virtually: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/tynemouth-priory-and-castle/#Left
From all the pictures I took that day (you can see some here), this is my favorite. It’s hard not to imagine how people a long time ago saw the Priory, then in all its original glory, through the same window as I did. They stirred the soup in the nearby fireplace that still betrays its presence in the room and occasionally looked through that same window. What did they think of when they watched the Priory? Did they hated the always cold rooms? Did they dream of being somewhere else? Or perhaps they wondered who will look through the same window in a hundred years’ time like I was when I took my picture?
One of the unavoidable things I did when I came to Newcastle was to find my way to a good bookshop. Some people would choose to locate the nearest hospital or police station. I need to locate the nearest bookshop. Priorities first, you know…
Once located, I started to slowly make my way through the shelves. I needed an England Lonely Planet guide, a notebook, and an hour or two of undisturbed browsing. And it turned out that the before mentioned hour of browsing had some surprises in store for me (see what I did here? In store? Right? Because I was in a store… OK never mind). Under local literature, other than the local tourist guides and historical books, there was an entire shelf dedicated to paranormal activity around Northumberland. And as you might have guessed, I started to worry. I am ready for whatever this exchange experience has in stock for me except poltergeist activity type of stuff. I mean…they don’t really prepare you for this stuff in the Kick Off meeting at my home university. I probably wasted too much time just browsing through those books. I didn’t buy one because there were seriously too many to choose from… Last Monday I gave up and bought Haunted Newcastle by Darren W. Ritson. I thought it was more than fitting as Halloween was around the corner and all that. So here are my thoughts on this book…. Read the rest of this entry »