Beamish, Merry Olde England
After Craig and I had given up hope of him getting his August vacation, he got last minute notice that it was approved, but he would bookend the trip with site visits in Oman. No worries– Craig is an excellent event planner, so he was more than up to the challenge. In fact, despite only having about two weeks to plan the entire trip, he just about had our schedule full before he headed to site.
I met him in Dubai and we traveled together to Newcastle. He even sat in the cheap seats with me. It must be love. 🙂
The morning after we arrived, we went to Beamish, a variation on the “living museum” theme in which buildings and other artifacts of English history up for demolition are relocated to Beamish town, mill, or farm, and reconstructed piece by piece as funding allows. It really was amazing. The staff was incredibly knowledgeable about the buildings and the history, all the more impressive since one docent told us staff are rotated. I imagine that’s so people don’t kill the train conductor to get his job.
She explained that because she was a bit embarrassed that she didn’t know when a previous monetary system went out of use. I couldn’t even understand the system, despite her (and Craig’s) best efforts to explain it to me. Basically, the money used to be base 240, or something crazy like that. I think. But I digress. She was more embarrassed that she couldn’t remember when the money went out of circulation than I was that I couldn’t even understand the system. All the pricetags in the shops were in the old money, so I spent the rest of the day getting Craig to translate the old price into real money and explain the system to me again. I’m sure it helped the time fly for him.
There was so much to see, we were there for about 5 hours and didn’t even realize it. Well, after the twentieth time Craig explained the monetary systems of yore to me, he may have realized it, but he’s a good man, so he kept it to himself. I had so much fun, I may drag Craig back at Christmas, assuming I get my holidays then.
It was a bit pricey to get in, but one ticket is good for a year. So, it’s a deal for residents, especially ones with kids. There were bajillions of families there, but what’s not to love? There are trams and trains to ride, friendly animals, lots of places to have a picnic, and far too many reconstructed buildings to see in one visit. Maybe by the fourth or fifth visit, I’ll start thinking 240 pence to the pound is completely logical, but only because twelve pence make a shilling.