I left London this morning to return to Gateshead. On arriving back home I caught the weather forecast. Not good news tomorrow. Rain, rain and more rain. I had planned to go to local woodland to pick wild hazel in the morning. The wild food foragers amongst you will know that hazel is something of a wonder food - high in protein, essential oils and vitamins. Picking them in heavy rain however is not something that greatly appeals to me.
So having dropped off my camera equipment back home, I headed off to Lotties Wood and spend an hour picking hazel. I got about 2kg before I had to return home to get ready to go to the Sunniside History Society meeting. Next September I am the person doing the talk to the Society. I'll be speaking on wartime rationing and recipes. I'm doing some work on this at the moment. I now know I have 11 months to complete the research and write the script. Hazel nuts will make an appearance in this talk!
Tonight's talk was about shipbuilding on the Tyne in the First World War. This was of some interest to me. For my PhD I wrote the biography of Walter Runciman who was President of the Board of Trade during the first two years of the First World War. That meant he was responsible for shipping. He also came from a family of shipping owners from Tyneside. So tonight was clearly of interest to me.