Go back seven years and my brother and I (along with my parents) all lived with in a couple of miles of each other.
We were first to disband the family unit, moving to Hove. Then, around a year later, my parents moved to the Isle of Wight and finally my brother and his family moved to Tynemouth. That must have been around five years ago now, but I still can't quite get my head around the distance: how spread out we all are. I so wish we were all nearer, especially since children have entered our lives. But in the modern world it doesn't work quite like that does it.
But there is a flip side: when we do get together it's for a decent chunk of quality time and we always have a really great time. It's also pretty fortunate that we all live in lovely places: places that are consistently a pleasure to visit.
Until my brother moved to Tynemouth, there wasn't really anywhere in the north of England that I felt a particular fondness for. Don't get me wrong, I've visited some lovely places, but circumstances made them one-off visits meaning the bond couldn't be built. My recent trip to Tynemouth seemed to affirm that I've found my northern town. Tynemouth is truly lovely: very pretty, full of history and its coastline is just breathtaking. If you get the chance to visit, jump at it. You'll be glad that you did.