There’s something special about coastlines and flying over islands. Landmarks you knew as a child and those you didn’t know personally but saw in images growing up. The first time I flew over the Statue of Liberty or the New York skyline we all know through books and films I felt the privilege of arriving in a country pledged to its Declaration of Independence. Flying in over Ireland and then on to Manchester and my home town of Stockport. I had the unusual flight path that took me over the hospital where I was born and the house where I lived from birth until I was in my early twenties, the cobbled streets I walked delivering newspapers and the viaduct arches under which I worked with my dad in his second job where we bailed cardboard for recycling. Funny really, being greeted by my daughter, Eleanor and driving with my grandchildren to their home six miles from the airport. All lovely memories that fill our hearts with joy.
As I drove the last leg before alighting from the conveyor belt I saw the Penrhyn Castle rising from the woodlands and I thought of next month when we host school children for some extra-curricula activity around my workbench to pass on the skills that built the castle and talk about working wood through the education program run by Resi Tomat who heads up these programs for the National Trust.