Wednesday: train up, settle in cottage, dinner at Magpie, waves and bats at East Pier, champagne to celebrate Clare's new job.
Thursday: up early to enjoy sunshine, sit on East Pier with books, watch and identify turnstones on Tate Hill beach, find fossil ammonites and go for a paddle. Huge breakfast with Clare, David and Heather, then potter round and shopping (books, rocks, new jacket). Walk on beach with Clare with a drowned car, paddling, a harmonica and fulmars. Goth icecream (blackcurrant and liquorice flavour). Bought assorted daft cheap presents for people (starting with a sheep for Heather). Picnic tea in the cottage with Mike and much reading.
Friday: reading and then a potter up to the Spa with Mike in the morning, then craft shopping with Heather and Clare, afternoon tea with Mike at Botham's, dinner at Quayside (good haddock and OK chips, mushy peas were less good), bands at the Spa with much dancing especially early on and some CDs bought.
Saturday: trains! Headed off on the NYMR - though mostly actually on diesels. A brief wander in the woods at Newtondale: stepping stones, no falling in the river, tree climbing and a bit of a run about. Ian joined us on the way back and we did get to go on a steam train! Goth shopping at the spa and bought a cheap and cheerful but excellent corset and talked Heather into a rather nice dress, a potter on the beach the other side of the East Pier with Mike where we picked up several stones with holes in, sandwiches and no icecream for lunch, dinner at the Shambles. More bands at the spa, though I did something to my knee and couldn't dance as much as hoped. Walked back along the beach with Clare and David, and played football with a semi-invisible tennis ball the whole way - great fun.
Sunday: another big breakfast at the caff, followed by milkshakes, then off to watch the football. The lads lost both the match itself (3-1) and the contest to see who could lose the most footballs (3-2), but the lasses won the penalty shoot-out at half time so all was well, and much heckling was had. Stopped for coffee and cake on the way back to the cottage to change, and then out for dinner at the pub - though didn't have much room. Then out to the Laughton's memorial service where a bottle of wine was drunk in the queue, sad words were said, flowers were laid, and a conga-line to the Locomotion discovered how hard it is to conga and sing along up Flowergate. This was followed by roughly 6.5 solid hours of dancing at the Resolution to assorted cheesy 80s pop (with thanks to Landmine and Hamsterboy for the music, and to Clare and Karen for the company on the dancefloor), before we staggered home for 5.5 hours sleep.
Monday: up and off for the 8:52am train and a safe journey home, unsurprisingly sleepy, but happy :) Account is probably full of errors and inaccuracies but gives you the right idea. We didn't see much of anyone other than Clare, Heather, David and later Ian, which was a shame, but we did have a really good time, too much food, and not enough icecream.