North East Weekend

We were in the north-east of England over the weekend, visiting G's granny and then another friend of ours. My mum lives in Washington (the original one), so on Friday we went for a walk around the Old Hall, the ancestral home of George Washington's family.

They'd long gone by the time George was born, but no matter, the historical connection is maintained. Not just through the hall, available for weddings (such as one that was about to take place when we visited), but also in the American War of Independence-themed names given to various housing developments in the 'new town' bit of Washington. However, with all the roundabouts, I doubt old George would see much of the Concord he knew in Massachusetts in the north-east version.

I've been coming to the area to visit family for years. So long in fact, that on taking G to the Discovery Museum in Newcastle on Saturday, I realised that I'd actually been there as a child myself. These days there's a huge water table at toddler height, demonstrating the bridges and traditional industries of the Tyne. Here's G having a go at a bit of crane operating:

Later, we took her bowling. It had been a while since I've been, and Mrs J was alarmed to discover that technology has moved on in recent years, so you no longer have to use inflated bumpers in the lanes when children are bowling. Bumpers just pop up and down for certain players.

So, inevitably, G ended up beating her mum, although the balls were a little bit heavy for her to manage on her own: