There are not many words that I can bestow upon Holy Island which could do justice to the reality. A place which is separated from the land by a surge of the surrounding ocean each day, cutting you off from the soulless modern world. You can sense the history, which floats in the air like a gentle breeze and is particularly prevalent in the grounds of the Lindisfarne priory which was originally constructed by a band of monks 1400 years ago. The Lindisfarne castle towers high above the island, looking out onto the fierce North sea and the rolling countryside of the mainland. Despite its small size, a walk along the coast and into the sand dunes will see you escape the hoards of tourists who flock to the island when the tides go out. I fear that there must be some form of a spell cast upon this land, for although you are not far from the village it feels like you are in a wild wilderness, amidst stretches of white sand and rough sea.
Greetings readers, I have survived the great winter of our time and spring is finally here. After 2.5 years of dwelling in the oppressive, polar darkness of the office, the Midnight Sun has now risen and light has returned to my world. The feeling of relief once the doors closed behind me for the final time was overwhelming, and waking up on a Monday morning, knowing that I would never return to that horrific silence was beyond mere words. It wasn’t white walkers that I was at war with, but something far worse, an impenetrable darkness of misery and despair which descended the moment you entered the building and attempted to say good morning to a colleague.
My time working in an office is almost at an end and even with that in mind, pieces of my soul are still disappearing into the abyss due to the awful and oppressive nature of the environment. I sit here writing this tale and I can’t remember anyone speaking since I walked in at 9am and it is now 12.30pm. This includes a lack of response to the hearty ‘good morning’ I wished everyone as I entered the building. I have also just witnessed a colleague run to the printer, which is 1 metre away, thinking that it would make a big difference to how quickly her work was completed. Suffice to say, it made absolutely no difference whatsoever and it was a blatant show of self-importance.
There were concerns that society would be overrun by robots and that humans would no longer be required for certain jobs. It was portrayed in the media like something from a sci-fi novel as if an army of hyper-intelligent machines would land on our shores and suddenly take over the entire country. Suffice to say, this hasn’t happened, there was no army of robots landing on our coastline, but instead, they have infiltrated our workplaces quietly, masquerading as humans.
Take heed, for the time has come to explore the diverse realm of Northumberland. I have resided here for two summers and two winters and thus I feel it is my duty to introduce this wild and stunning region. Northumberland is a land steeped in history, from the border wars between Scotland and England, to viking invasions and christian pilgrimage. This is reflected in the numerous castles which tower above the rugged countryside, containing legions of untold stories and mysteries. Beyond the history is a diverse and spectacular landscape of rolling fields, stretches of sandy beaches, lush forest and isolated fells. Northumberland is a true wilderness, but I fear some of our southern counterparts are ruled by stereotypes and thus they fail to venture beyond the midland borders, fearing a grim and dreary existence lies yonder. I ask my readers to strap themselves in (all three of you), for this promises to be a captivating journey.
Every time I log into a social media account there is literally nothing but political drivel. For some reason, people seem to think that continuously posting stuff on Facebook or having debates on twitter is going to make a difference. I can just imagine Theresa May sitting in her office and going through tweets and basing her decisions on what Bill from Newcastle thinks about Brexit. There also seems to be an insurgence of people congregating outside shops in the city centre and holding up homemade signs ‘leave means leave’. What are they hoping to achieve by doing that? It literally makes no difference to anyone. Most people are just walking by and wondering why you are wasting your time.
I have a tale to tell and I ask you not to read on if you are easily disheartened. My story begins in the winter of 2016 when I had returned from a worldwide trip and found lodgings in Alnmouth on the Northumberland Coast. I had experienced freedom for 5 months, exploring stunning landscapes and vibrant cultures but it was time to get back to reality and the career lords circled like crows forcing me to look towards the future. A few months of toil followed but by chance, I discovered an advert for a role which apparently involved travel opportunities. I explored this option further and was enthused by the description. Apparently, I would be working in a vibrant office atmosphere where colleagues often went out for walks and lunch together. This sounded like the perfect opportunity, a job where I could still travel and meet like-minded people. I applied with haste and before I knew it I was offered the role, things were looking up and I saw light ahead but at the acceptance of my application the shadows had already begun to descend and I was unaware of the oppressive world I had just agreed to enter.