Leaving Durham

It’s been a couple of weeks since I left, but in August and September, I was living and working in Durham. On the first weekend I arrived, the weather was, shall we say, typical British weather – quite wet. In fact, for the first few days the weather wasn’t great. But things gradually improved, as you can see, and the following weekend was lovely, with warm, sunny weather, so I decided to take a walk along the river a little way, and go and explore. The two main attractions in Durham are the cathedral and the castle. As a member of staff, I could go on the castle tour free of charge, which I did on the week after my training week, before we started teaching or had even met the students. The cathedral, I’d been into the previous Sunday, when I had arrived in the city. You were not allowed to take photos inside the castle, but the outside is pretty impressive, all the same.

Durham University is a collegiate university, where the colleges organise social activities for students. The college all my students were attached to, was no different and offered many trips to different places, like York, Edinburgh and so on. The penultimate weekend in Durham, and the last trip of the course (I think), the students went to Beamish museum. This is probably about a half hour bus ride from the university. Teaching staff were welcome to go on the trip if they wished, which I did, and so I spent the day at Beamish, wandering around. The museum is a living history museum, with re-enactors in various places and locations on the site. There are different time periods to explore as well. Perhaps it will be reminiscent of what the country will be like after Brexit! Who knows?!

The weather was pretty warm, although it clouded over later. I took some sandwiches with me and although I saw some of my students there, I mostly wandered around by myself.

The final week went by pretty quickly. We had marking to do of the students’ essays, but on the Wednesday and Thursday we were watching and grading students’ presentations. The Thursday night – the penultimate night – the bar was open and most of the teachers socialised with each other for one last time (some were leaving Friday afternoon so there was no other time to do it). On Friday, as discussed previously, we had classes in the morning and then we were free. Popping into the supermarket after the protest, I spotted the display below under ‘Special Offers’. Remember this was in September! Somewhat early perhaps?!

I went to pack, and then had a drink with my co-teacher. I took the train early Saturday morning. Leaving the accommodation and walking to the station, the mist had descended and it was quite thick! I hadn’t experienced this in a while. Something eerie about it. Even from the train you could see the mist!

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