Sunday, November 16, 2014

Our Lifestyle Adventures: Seeing a Slice of the Newly-Weds' Life


Newcastle Train Station
view from my bedroom
Clint and April have quite a darling two-bedroom townhome in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK which was home to me for five weeks, July to August of 2014. My bedroom overlooked a wall with interesting graffiti beyond their backyard’s vine of purple and white flowers. I was so glad the room also had an elliptical that helped me shed the pounds I had amassed over the course of our long trip through Scandinavia and the UK. The small backyard below my window was the scene of many barbeques the couple hosted. Their CFC (Couples for Christ) household sometimes met at their cozy home.
my room
the CFC Household meets at the couple's home
Most of the time, however, they would meet at Krizette Lucas’s home which had a large deck for entertaining. Their friends included Krizette’s husband Den, Cheryl and Jason, household heads, Nicolay and Anthony, Charrie and Nat and Ana and Brian. They comprised the couple’s UK family who has adopted them as their own. I joined their household meetings and welcomed the chance to renew the bible studies I had started in the Bureau of Internal Revenue with a CFC Philippines’ elder, Liway Chato, who had taken me as her Deputy Commissioner.
at the Lucas Deck
Since April and Clint both work, most of the time I would be left alone in the apartment. I made it a point to prepare dinner for the couple to come home to: Korean beef stew, steamed fish Hongkong style, Hainanese chicken, etc. I also used the “alone” time to try to finish my edit of the book manuscript after the editorial evaluation in June 014.Sometimes, their friends would coax me into joining their outings.

Once we went to the High Force Waterfalls on the River Tees, near Middleton-in-Teesdale, Teesdale, County Durham, England. The waterfall is within the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Despite popular belief that it is the highest waterfall in England, at 71 feet (22 m), : Cautley Spout, in Cumbria's Howgill Fells, is almost 590 feet (180 m) high.

High Force WAterfalls
the whole group that went to see the Falls
The whole of the River Tees plunges over a precipice (cliff edge which is almost vertical) in two stages, creating two separate falls in former times. After the completion of Cow Green Reservoir in upper Teesdale, this seldom happens now. In harsh winters the falls would freeze, creating cathedral-like ice formations. That would be beautiful to see but it would be too cold for me! We all had a grand time negotiating photo-ops and were so disappointed the access to the falls from the top of the cliff was closed.

picking large, luscious, and 'licious strawberries
Since we all still had time to spare before the afternoon sun turned into an evening glow, we stopped by to do some strawberry picking at a strawberry farm. You cannot imagine my joy at seeing such HUGE strawberries growing straight out of the earth-clinging vines. What a great adventure to experience! We ate as many fresh strawberries as our stomachs could carry while combing the farm. Of course, I brought home a basket for Clint and April.

at the outdoor play
April in front of  her office
HP in Newcastle, UK
One afternoon, the couple also took me to an outdoor play near their offices. It would have been more fun had it not been so windy, making the afternoon colder than it was meant to be. But the Indian food available at the kiosk was so good it was definitely worth the trip. We all wished inexpensive quality entertainment like that was as available in other cities, most especially Metro Manila. 

Another time, we went to a Western Cowboys and Cowgirls Birthday party for the little boy of the Talagas. And guess what the piece de resistance was? You got it right…lechon…oh how I have missed this Filipino delicacy! Clint, April, and I had so much fun at the photo booth, too. The Filipino community sure knows how to celebrate events and keep the Filipino fire in Newcastle burning well!
English Cowboy and  Cowgirls

I saw how my daughter April and her new husband Clint live in the UK. Judging by the cozy home, the fun-loving and spiritual friends they have, and the awesome sight-seeing around northeastern United Kingdom, they are living a simple, charmed, and happy life. What a way to start a marriage. I am so glad I got to see a slice of their life. I hope it continues long and well through the march of babies..