Sometimes it's a mistake to go back to things you remember from childhood. They're often not quite as shiny, not quite as charming and all too often disappointing.
My trip to Northumbria was none of those things however. Maybe to helps that I was there as a small child, and I'm not someone who has vivid memories of many of the places and things I did much below the age of 7. But there was something about the Northumbrian coast, I just knew that I needed to go back there.
I don't have many things that I would try and rescue if I had to leave the house in a hurry, but this is one of them. It's painted by an old family friend who is sadly no longer with us. We have many of his watercolours hanging in the house, this probably isn't one of his better ones, but it's special to me.
The two small figures in the left are my Mum and I. At 5 I probably didn't appreciate the gift of this painting, but at 33 I appreciate more than I can express with words.
Bamburgh Castle wasn't looking at its most magnificent on the day we were visiting, but that didn't really seem to matter. Now when I sit on my sofa at home my painting will remind me not just of childhood kite flying, and running on a beech in a cold winter wind, it will remind me of a slower walk to a headland, of exploring a new town and the magic of a bamboo maze.
We spent the evenings cutting and sewing fabric for a quilt. That age-old evening activity of women, the act of making. The photos I took were lovely, but the handmade things I have to remind me are so much more precious.