Six word Saturday

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A red Eiffel Tower? How strange!

Look closely- you'll see it's made of chairs!

I have to admit, I was surprised!

If you look closely you can see it's made up of chairs

If you look closely, you can see it’s made up of stacked chairs.  So clever!

It was built to celebrate the Eiffel Tower’s 125th birthday and is made up of 324 garden chairs. Our 25 years seemed almost insignificant by comparison.

It's currently down on Paris Plage

The red tower is currently down on Paris Plage

While the 'real' tower sparkles distantly

While the ‘real’ tower sparkles in the distance

It can still look quite small, depending where you stand

It can still look quite small, depending on where you stand

But my favourite images are watery ones

But my favourite images are watery ones

The fountains playing bring out the child in me

The fountains playing bring out the child in me

And I want to play in all that water

And I want to play with all that water!

Thank you for all the kind and wonderful wishes we received last weekend.  As you can see from the dramatic skies, we had a mix of weather, but Paris sparkled for us.  And on our return home, a huge bouquet arrived from my lovely lady friends.

I hope this weekend brings a little sparkle into your lives.  Please don’t forget to share it with Cate at Show My Face.

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Six word Saturday

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The cards are opened.  Enfin, Paris!

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Apologies for the terrible photographs, but I’m excited, you see!  I haven’t opened the top card, from ‘the girls’- it’s boxed and going with us.  Our anniversary is on Tuesday, when we hope to be at Monet’s Giverny.  Thank you so much for all your support and good wishes.  These are just a sample of the cards.  People have been so very kind.

This is where I shall be staying- in miniature.  No, not me- the photo!

My artist's garret

My artist’s garret

As usual, my six words aren’t!  There I’ll be, in the garret, scribbling away in my diary.  Happy Saturday to you!  Don’t forget to join Cate at Show My Face.  I’ll leave you with a few flowers.

Roses for romance!

Roses for romance!

I won’t be around to answer you till late Thursday.  Take care!

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Thursday’s Special : St. Mary’s Lighthouse

Looking down at the reception area

Looking down into reception

You might have thought I’d gone to Paris, but I couldn’t resist one more Thursday’s Special before I go.  Much earlier in the year I paid an evening visit to St. Mary’s Lighthouse and I’ve been itching to go back ever since.  Saturday afternoon, warm and sunny at home, seemed to present the perfect opportunity.  I could have lingered in the garden, but that lighthouse was beckoning.

All too often my north east coast fools me.  As we turned down the coast road to Whitley Bay, the skies darkened.  The beach was shrouded in mist, and none too warm.  The planned saunter became a scurry up the lighthouse steps, to keep warm!  As I approached the causeway I was rather surprised to see a wedding car coming towards me.  What a spot for wedding photos!  Alas, I was a little late for the photo shoot, but I did get to see the bride.

Hand in hand!  No- this isn't the bride and groom

Hand in hand on the rocks- no, this isn’t the bride and groom!

It looks a little bleak today

It looks a little bleak today

But it's a good-looking lighthouse

But it’s a good-looking lighthouse

With some interesting outbuildings

With some interesting outbuildings

The last time I had been inside was with a school party when my son was about 6 years old.  I was curious to see what, if anything, had changed in those 18 years.

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From the peeling condition of the walls, not a lot has changed!

From the peeling condition of the walls, not a lot has changed!

I wondered for a moment about the safety of climbing the stairs

I wondered for a moment about the safety of climbing those stairs

But there was only one way to find out!

But there was only one way to find out!

And I made it!

And I made it!

 

Got to go! Someone's waiting for me on the stairs

But I’ve got to go.  Someone’s waiting for me on the stairs

There’s something about a lighthouse, isn’t there?  Even though it’s not in the very best condition, I love that it still sits there in its incredible position.  The opening times necessarily vary, according to the tide, but in general it is open every day from May to September, and at weekends and school holidays in the winter.

Various events take place throughout the year.  The Ghost Stories Halloween Special on 31st October sounds like it will be a lot of fun. In addition to weddings, you can have a birthday party at St. Mary’s or even a Stranding Party at high tide!  I don’t know anybody who’s done that.  This link to their Facebook page will keep you up to date.

Let's share a bit of poetry, shall we?

Let’s share a bit of poetry, shall we?

And one last image

And one last warm image!

I hope your Thursday is special, too!  Many thanks to Paula, our lovely hostess.  Come with me and see what she’s been up to this week.  A bientôt!

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Jo’s Monday walk : to Infinity and beyond!

Just a hint of blue sky through the Infinity Bridge

Just a hint of blue sky through the Infinity Bridge

One of the hardest things about my Monday walks is deciding where to take you next.  I have easy access to both coast and countryside where I live in the north east of England.  Add in a healthy dose of curiosity and restlessness and the sky’s the limit!

Last week’s visit to the Glass Centre is a hard act to follow, but I’m going to take you a little way south of me today, to the River Tees. The lovely curves of the Infinity Bridge have added grace and beauty to another quite industrial part of my world.  This weekend the Stockton Riverside Festival was taking place.  I hope a deluge or two didn’t dampen the enthusiasm for the music.

Our start point will be the parking lot behind the White Water Centre.  We’ve walked around the Tees Barrage before but this time we’ll be heading towards Stockton-on-Tees.

The White Water Centre and cafe

The White Water Centre, and cafe

There are usually canoes taking to the water

There are usually canoes taking to the water.  Tees Barrage is in the distance

Walk towards the Infinity Bridge

Walk towards the Infinity Bridge

And underneath!  Don't worry- we'll come back to it.

And underneath! Don’t worry- we’ll come back to it.

It’s a popular cycle track too, so you’ll need to be alert.  Some cyclists sound their bell in warning, but more often they just loom up.  You don’t want to drop your camera!

Stockton is an Anglo-Saxon name, the ending ‘ton’ meaning farm or homestead.  There is little in the way of agriculture to be seen on this stretch of the River Tees.  The town used to have a thriving outdoor market where fresh produce was readily and cheaply available.   The life and character that this brought has sadly vanished.

Stockton’s main claim to fame is tied to the advent of steam travel in 1822.  The first rail of George Stephenson’s Stockton and Darlington Railway was laid locally, on Bridge Rd.  Stephenson drove Locomotion no.1 himself on its first journey, on 27th September 1825.  In recent years the riverside has been developed to make a focal point for the town.

George Stephenson's Locomotion

A tribute to George Stephenson’s Locomotion no.1

The riverside and Teesside Millenium Bridge

The riverside and Teesquay Millenium Footbridge

Have you spotted something beyond the bridge?  Something with tall masts?  My main reason for walking this way, and one of my favourite things.  Wait just a moment.

First we need to pass beneath the bridge

First we need to pass beneath the bridge

And here we have it!

And here we have it!

Isn't she a beauty?

Isn’t she a beauty?

Here's a small clue

Here’s a small clue

I love these tall masted beauties!

I love these tall masted beauties!

James Cook was a local lad and is widely feted in this part of the world.  HM Bark Endeavour took him on the first of three voyages of discovery in the Pacific Ocean.  He sailed thousands of miles of largely uncharted waters, mapping New Zealand, Australia and Hawaii for the British Navy.  He died in Hawaii in 1779, leaving behind a huge legacy of scientific and geographical knowledge.

HMS Bark Endeavour has the company of some smaller craft

HMS Bark Endeavour has the company of some smaller craft

And a whole load of swans!

And a whole load of swans!

So hard to resist boat shots!

So hard to resist boat shots!

Not so sure about the mural

There’s a mural disguising the multi-storey car park

But now it's time to cross over the bridge

But now it’s time to cross over the Millenium bridge

Looking back at the boats and Thornaby railway bridge

Looking back- the Princess river cruiser and Thornaby railway bridge

Those clouds are still lurking!

While the clouds lurk overhead!

We’re heading back towards the Infinity Bridge.  On the far shore of the Tees there are numerous office complexes and we thread our way through them, passing poorly maintained canals.

Under bridges and over bridges

Under bridges and over bridges

And here we are again

Till we burst into the light again!

You could play with the angles all day

You could play with the angles all day

But look behind you.  A storm's a-brewing!

But look behind you. A storm’s a-brewing!

One last look to the heavens

One last look to the heavens

And it's time to quickly cross!

And it’s time to quickly cross!

You know your way back from here, don’t you, and it’s not far.  Maybe a coffee in the White Water Centre, or there’s a pub along at the Tees Barrage.  The easiest access is undoubtedly by car, but you could do the walk from Stockton, which is well served by buses and trains.

I’m not going to be walking with you next week.  I hope to be on a different riverbank- the Seine. I could schedule a walk but I prefer not to.  The joy in my Monday feature comes from sharing, and responding to your lovely comments, and I won’t have time to do that in Paris.  Feel free to explore a little without me, but report back, won’t you?

Two more things before I go.  I noticed that my friend Marianne, from East of Malaga, is featuring Bridges in her CBBH challenge this month.  We’ve been friends for the longest time but I seldom have time to visit.  I’m hoping she won’t mind if I include a link to my walk this week.  It certainly features bridges, doesn’t it?  A condition of the CBBH challenge is to introduce 2 of your friends to Marianne.  I will certainly do that with my links below.

Speaking of friends, and I’ve made so many of you on here, I know that I will be walking in the footsteps of Christine at least some of the time next week.  I couldn’t go without one last tribute.

 

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I hope you’ll find some time to visit my lovely walking friends now.  Put that kettle on!

Jude has found me a mill and a lovely public garden in Gatehouse of Fleet   :

The Gatehouse of Fleet

The Travel Bunny, Suzanne, has gelato on her mind.  It must be the weather!  :

Pisa- Much more than a Leaning Tower

Drake found some long haired cattle to walk with us this week.  He always has fun!  :

On the West  (not the Wild West!)

It will be very tempting to sit down on Amy’s walk this week, but you might need a cushion  :

Spanish tiles

That’s it for now!  See you in two weeks time.  Happy walking!

Six word Saturday

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‘Seaton celebrates’ was a big success!

The sand pies were quite big too (and happy!)

The sand pies were quite big too (and happy!)

A certain lady was hard at work

A certain lady was hard at work on the sand sculpture

And there were a few other crowd pleasers too!

And there were a few other crowd pleasers too!

I loved these ladies so much!  Maybe a new Gravatar?

I loved these ladies so much! Maybe a new Gravatar?

Meanwhile my t'ai chi group 'worked the beach'

Meanwhile my t’ai chi group ‘worked the beach’

And there was all the usual 'fun of the fair'

And there was all the usual ‘fun of the fair’

These were my daughter's favourites when she was small

These were my daughter’s favourites when she was small

There were 'goodies'

There were ‘goodies’

And craft stalls galore!

And craft stalls galore!

And it was great weather for kites!

And it was great weather for kites!

And look what this little girl got to take home on the bus!

Just look what this little girl got to take home on the bus!

All in all, a good day!  The sun shone gently down.  Mike led the t’ai chi group into the water and my ‘crops’ got soaked!  A good time was had by all.  Just one omission!  I forgot to go back for a ‘finished’ photo of the sand sculpture.  It must have been the lure of the icecream.

Have a happy weekend, won’t you, and don’t forget to visit Cate at Show My Face.  You only need six words!

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I’m lingering again!

Newcastle Rail Station gets a makeover

Newcastle Rail Station gets a makeover

I’ve not done too much lingering by windows lately, but a railway station is often a place for hanging about.  Usually I arrive at Newcastle-upon-Tyne by bus, so the recent improvements, blocking out those draughty spaces, have crept up on me.  But I like them.  A lot!

It's a piece of artwork, in itself!

It’s a piece of artwork, in itself, don’t you think?

And from inside the impact is even more dramatic.

Like most cities, Newcastle has its share of windows, in all shapes and sizes.  I was meeting a friend for coffee and we stopped to admire The Gate- a cinema and restaurant complex.

Could be my kind of film!

Could be my kind of film!

We rode up the escalator for a look out

We rode up the escalator for a look out on the street

I was very taken with this structure

And I particularly liked this structure

Not exactly a window, but you can definitely see through it.  Then Waterstones upstairs cafe delighted me.  A cafe in a bookshop- perfection!  But I did have to wonder about this window.

Is the bike for sale?

Is the bike for sale?

A little strange, don't you think?

I’d rather have a view with my coffee!

The Danish pastries were very nice though.  Quite a few people have asked about the green glass structure so I’m belatedly including a link with information on the sculptures in Newcastle.

Got to see which windows Dawn has been lingering by this week.  Click this link and come too?

1 Day 1 World Project : 12.00- 1.00am

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Can you read the time?  It’s just after midnight and I’m feeling a little tired.  Can’t go to bed though, till I’ve found something interesting for Lisa’s 1 Day 1 World Project.

How about this?

How about this?

The cellphone is very old and battered so it needs a little spicing up.  It’s sitting on a postcard Viveka sent me from Istanbul.  I hope she doesn’t mind.

The watch?  Well, I only have skinny wrists so I often wear a child’s watch.  This is my current favourite and it too has an exotic location.  And the time?  Definitely, time for bed!

If you’re a night owl, Lisa would love your company.  She’s taken to late night visits to the icecream parlour!  Me, I just play with Lunapic.

Jo’s Monday walk : City of Sunderland

Looking out at the quay, from the National Glass Centre

Looking out at the quay, from the National Glass Centre

You might remember, before I started my regular Monday walks feature, the post A Promenade to Roker?  It started from the National Glass Centre and followed the River Wear out to the beach at Roker, north of Sunderland.  I always intended to try a walk in the opposite direction, following the river through the city.  Since I promised you a level walk last week, I thought this might be a good one to try.

It’s an industrial area and the National Glass Centre is like a jewel at its centre.  I’m like a kid with a new toy if I get to visit, so we’ll be popping in later, but right now it’s time to start walking.

We'll start on the quayside, outside the Glass Centre

We’ll start on the quayside, outside the Glass Centre

A number of boats are casually moored

A number of boats are casually moored, waiting for an owner

This pretty blue one, a favourite

This gently blue one’s a favourite

But I took my eye off the boats for long enough to look at this

But I took my eye off the boats for long enough to look at this!

We’re walking alongside the University of Sunderland, and in term time the grass is strewn with students.  This morning the sun was glinting prettily on the medieval book, outside the university library.  There’s a wry sense of humour in the placement of giant nuts and bolts on the quay.

And the inevitable graffiti, of course

And the inevitable graffiti, of course!

Compensated for by this willowy creation

Compensated for by this willowy creation

We're walking towards the bridge over the River Wear

We’re walking towards the road and rail bridges over the River Wear

And beneath

And then beneath them

To a short pretty stretch of river

To a short, pretty stretch of the river

Not a ripple disturbing the peace

Where barely a ripple disturbs the surface

There are many reminders of the pitheads and the harsh life that miners and their families lived.

On the far shore, a crane building factory

Today a ‘crane building’ factory decorates the far shore

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Looking back at the wall plaques

Looking back at the wall plaques (and at Sunderland FC )

Soon after this the riverside path runs out, and we have the choice whether to retrace our steps or to see a little more.  Curiosity always takes me onto unfamiliar ground so I followed the curve of the path.  It loops up to join the Coast to Coast cycle route, which runs from the east coast all the way across to Whitehaven in Cumbria.

This results in a closer look at the Stadium of Light

This results in a closer look at the ‘Stadium of Light’

I head towards the bridges, cross at the busy traffic lights by St. Peter’s Metro stop, and drop back down to the river path within sight of my start point.

A couple of tugboats are just completing their business

A couple of tugboats are just completing their business

For you and me, a treat awaits

For you and me, a treat awaits

Inside the Glass Centre

Inside the Glass Centre

A crab sandwich?

A crab sandwich?  Don’t mind if I do

And a bit of a browse

And a bit of a browse

Aren't these gorgeous?

Aren’t these simply gorgeous?

Linger as long as you want.  There’s always something going on.  I noticed on my table a leaflet for ‘Hen Night Heaven!’  Only in the north east!  You can learn to blow a glass bauble followed by a delicious afternoon tea, with champagne.  Details of all events, and how to get here, are on this link to the National Glass Centre.

Before you leave, take a look up!  You’ll probably see people wandering across the roof.

Hello!  Can you see me down here?

Hello! Can you see me down here?

Don't worry!  It's reinforced glass.

Don’t worry! It’s reinforced glass.

And that's the way we walked.

And that’s the way we walked.  Good, wasn’t it?

Phew!  Hope you enjoyed our walk today.  It’s time to look at some more, then click on my Jo’s Monday walk logo to see how you can join in.  You’d better get yourself a cuppa first!

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Jude took me back to Grasmere last week.  I haven’t been for the longest time  :

Circumnavigating Grasmere Lake

I had such fun riding around in the panier on Drake’s bike, but I really should get off and walk!  :

The bike as the stowaways

Bird lovers among you will absolutely delight in this.  Welcome to my walks, Jo!  Please go and say ‘hi’ to Jo everybody  :

I just love birds

Laura’s had back surgery, but has put together a wonderful historical ramble in London  :

Walkabout 2- the Fleet by foot

If I were to find myself in Amy’s Lan Su, I would think I’d died and gone to heaven  :

Lan Su Garden

And finally, Kathryn has brought me the most beautiful light on the Dutch canals  :

Mas en Peel

Please go and give Kathryn a hug.  Things aren’t going so well.  See you all next week, I hope?

Six word Saturday and Summer Lovin’

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A fun day at the beach

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Hartlepool council have organised Seaton Celebrates , to mark the completion of major sea defence work and the extended promenade at Seaton Carew.  Activities are to include sand sculpture workshops.  Well, there’s no shortage of sand on our beach! Which is just as well, because world champion sculptress Nicola Wood will be creating a large scale sculpture.

I’m hoping it will be on a par with the amazing themed sculptures which feature each year at the FIESA festival in the Algarve.  To be fair, they have a whole team working on them.  We are also promised a roller skating display, and street theatre, which will include sea creatures and a mermaid.  There’ll be nautically themed craft stalls and the singing of sea shanties too.

How do I know this?  The White Crane t’ai chi group (I’m a member) will be giving a demonstration.  I expect to be there, camera in hand at least part of the time.  It’s on all Saturday afternoon, between 12 and 5pm.

Sand 3

What do you have planned for Saturday?  Can you describe it in six words?  Pop over to see Cate at Show My Face and see exactly how it should be done.  This post is just so Summer, I really think it could find a home in Summer Lovin‘.  Don’t you?

I must stop playing with Lunapic.  It’s becoming a bad habit!  Have a happy Saturday.

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1 Day 1 World Project : 11.00- 12.00

It's squeaky clean time!

It’s squeaky clean time!

And I've brought a book

And I’ve brought a book

Or three!

Or three!

And a nice glass of red

And a nice glass of red

And LOTS of bubbles!

And LOTS of bubbles!

It’s after 11.00 and time for a bit of a soak.  I’m just about to climb in so you’d better go and see what Lisa is doing at this hour.  After the midnight hour I’ll probably be sleeping.  Even Restlessjo sleeps sometimes!

The 1 Day 1 World Project has been fun.  Follow the link to see more.  Oh, and I’d better say another ‘thank you’ to Lunapic.