Sunday Post

Six word Saturday



a blessing or a curse?

The Museum of Hartlepool, reflected in the Mecca bingo hall

The Museum of Hartlepool, reflected in the Mecca bingo hall

Some of you may remember a photo of the Museum of Hartlepool in my Sunday Post : New Year 2013?  After I’d taken that shot and was walking towards the marina, I looked across to the Mecca Bingo hall, and guess what I saw, reflected in the windows, but the Museum?

The marina and me

The PSS Wingfield Castle, and me

My first shot wasn’t quite so successful, because I forgot that I would be reflected in the photo too!  But perversely, I quite liked it.  Earlier that morning I’d been exchanging New Year greetings online, and reading the latest posts of many of my favourites.  It just so happened that the topic for the month on East of Malaga’s CBBH photo challenge was Reflection.

Not just in the photographic sense, but in the sense of looking back at the year that has been.  And so you see that my six words this week refer not just to me forgetting that glass reflects whatever you put in front of it.  Like every other year, 2012 had its share of good memories, and bad, to reflect upon.

Sunset on my favourite bridge in Tavira

Sunset on my favourite bridge in Tavira, reflecting in the river

I thought it might be fun to bring together these two challenges, and I hope that Cate of Show My Face, and Marianne at East of Malaga will forgive me taking liberties.  It is a tradition with Marianne’s to share details of two blogs that you have commented on in the past month.  I think this is a lovely idea so I’m delighted to introduce you to Barbara at JustaSmidgen.  If you love food and good conversation, you can’t fail to be impressed with Smidge’s blog.  And keeping relations truly international, meet Sam at Two Black Dogs.  Warm hearted Sam celebrated her 5th wedding anniversary on New Year’s Eve, so pop down to Australia and say “hi”?

Meantime Cate has celebrated her 1000th post!  Congratulations, and thanks for letting me share my six words (and photos), Cate.  Follow the links for an interesting Saturday, folks?  Catch you next week.


Sunday Post- New Year 2013


It’s been a busy writing week for me (always a good thing!) so I’ve saved Jake’s Sunday Post till today.  After all, it’s New Year’s Day, so it fits the subject.  Apart from a few sore heads, I’m hoping it’s going to be a beautiful new year for you all.

What will the New Year hold for me? I’ve barely started to plan yet, but there are a few certainties. The first will be my daughter’s wedding in early February. Oh, the photos of that are going to be so much fun! Steampunk/historical- can you imagine?  And of course, I’ll be back in my beloved Tavira, and have some Polish family to visit.

In the meantime, let’s welcome the New Year.

Our first snowdrop

Our first snowdrop, sparkling in the sunshine

Yesterday was just the weather for a brisk walk in the lengthening shadows

Yesterday was just the weather for a brisk walk in the lengthening shadows

The houses on Seaton Green are still traditionally decorated

The houses on Seaton Green are still traditionally decorated

With interesting details

With interesting details, like the postbox

It was a little "fresh" on the prom

It was a little “fresh” on the prom

But some families still braved the beach

But some families still braved the beach

It was bright and cheerful yesterday, as it is again today, and the camera’s just itching for some more fresh air.  Me too!

The Museum of Hartlepool was peaceful.

The Museum of Hartlepool was peaceful.

Just made it round the marina as the sun started to set

Just made it round the marina as the sun started to set

Don't you love to look at boats?  I can't help myself.

Don’t you love to look at boats? I can’t help myself.

Especially unusual ones!

Especially unusual ones!

This isn’t at all the post I meant to write for Jake, but it’s how I spent the time this New Year when I wasn’t cooking, so I guess it qualifies?  I’d better hurry and post it.  Already in New Zealand it’s another day.

Please come and look at Jakesprinter’s Sunday Post with me.  He puts so much work into them.  Just click on the flying dragon or the link.

Sunday Post : Architecture

Architecture : what a huge subject that is!  It’s Jakesprinter’s theme for this weeks Sunday Post, and already I’m struggling!  I mean, how many of you know a song with “architecture” in the title?  The following will be a silent, contemplative post.

What does architecture do for us?  Shelters us, gives us a place to work, to be educated, to worship, to shop.  It enables us to cross from one shore to another.  It expresses both our practicality and our creativity.  Formidable, constantly moving on.  Old and new, both are capable of amazing me.

The battlements and reconstructed “old town” in Warsaw- both old and new

The prettiest of patios in Cordoba

The rooftops of Porto

Thatched housing in the north of Madeira

How about a nice place to work?

Wonderfully elaborate Town Hall in Wroclaw

Or to study?

University buildings- Wroclaw wins again!

Starting out at the “smiley” local school

Where would you prefer to worship?

The tiniest of Greek Island churches?

The cathedral in Porto

Or Wroclaw’s Ostrow Tumski- stunningly ornate!

Shopping- as important to some as religion.  There’s no lack of choice here either.

Lello’s amazing book store in Porto

A simple shop in the Polish suburbs

Or a trendy new shopping centre in Warsaw

I can’t choose between these bridges.  Tradition or modernity.  Can you?

The beautiful approach to Cordoba and the incomparable Mesquita

The Infinity Bridge, Stockton-on-Tees

It seems we are only limited by our imagination.  That doesn’t seem to be a problem for Jake.  I was sold from the very first time I saw the flying dragon logo.  Click on it, or any of the links to see his interpretation this week, and maybe join in yourself?

I’ve been amazed already by some of the entries this week:

Sunday Post : City

When I was 18, all I wanted was the city.  And what a city it was!  London- fun, fashion and the centre of my universe.  Jakesprinter has reminded me of that, with his theme for the Sunday Post this week, City.

Covent Garden, where the entertainment’s always good

The Fan Museum in Greenwich, such an unexpected treat

The skyline with it’s newest addition, The Shard, climbing upwards

As I grew older, it didn’t seem the place to raise a family.  I returned to my northern roots.  But the city was never too far away, whether I needed culture, or just a place to crane my neck to look up at the sky.

Note Newcastle’s moody northern sky

Still, you couldn’t want a finer cityscape than Gateshead’s Millenium Bridge

A city with more serenity- Durham, clad in its Autumn colours

But not lacking for a spectacular, and cultural event- Lumiere 2011

Life can be quixotic, and for me this came in the form of my Polish family, rising from the embers of the past.  The cities it brought me to explore were survivors, and especially beautiful for that.

Coach and horses in Krakow’s mighty Rynek

All of Krakow’s history is on display on Wawel Hill

Talking of survivors, where better than Warsaw’s Stare Miasto?

Or the Rynek (market square) in Wroclaw

Wroclaw has cultural humour too, with its army of gnomes

I don’t truly consider myself a city person any more, but just sometimes I lose my heart to a city.  (You knew there was a song in there, bursting to get out, didn’t you?  Yes, I always did want to see San Francisco, but I haven’t made it there yet)

I expect you know the city I’m talking about.  I’ve talked about nothing else since I got home.

It’s a city full of colour







Amazing churches

And azulejos, of course

So yes, I have lost my heart to a city by a bay, but it’s not San Francisco.  It’s Portugal’s fine northern city, Porto.  As usual, I have Jake to thank for allowing me to share these memories, old and new.  What does a city mean to you?  Jakesprinter’s bound to have lots of great examples.  Follow the links or click on the flying dragon logo to share.

Sunday Post : Reflection

I love glass, don’t you?  Especially stained glass, with its jewel drop colours.  Maybe it started with my mother’s glass-fronted china cabinet.  You could look, but you’d better not touch.  There was my reflection, looking back as I coveted the Japanese ladies with their elaborate hairstyles, and the Chinese dragons and porcelain. Her husband, Joe, brought back many of the items from his days in the Merchant Navy.  Then there was the collection of bells- china and etched glass, ethereal in their beauty.

Jake’s theme for his Sunday Post this week is Reflection, and here I am, reflecting on my past.  How I longed to sing, like Diana Ross, “Reflections of the way life used to be…”

I realised the reflective qualities of glass from an early age, but I seem to forget when it comes to photography!  A pleasing window display will catch my attention, with disastrous results.

Yes, there I am, on the platform, looking in!

I did a bit better in York, but still managed to capture the odd passer-by.

If only the sun hadn’t been shining on that window.

I’m no quitter! I know how to keep repeating my mistakes.

I was better indoors, at the Greenwich Fan Museum, in London.  No sun there to get in the way.  Still a bit of reflecting going on, but beautiful fans.

Glorious fans, and a little reflection

It’s obvious I’m not good at this, and should turn my attention to other things: the reflective qualities of water, for instance.

A model boat on our park pond, with some pretty Spring blossom.

More recently I was in Whitburn village, on the north east coast, and an unusual building caught my eye.  It was once the village school and the information board recorded that the pond sometimes flooded, causing the pupils to have to sit on their desks and await rescue.  Ah, the good old days!

Reflections in Whitburn village pond

Jake didn’t stipulate that you had to submit good photos for his challenge, but he leads by example and his graphics are outstanding.  Click on the flying dragon or the links to Jakesprinter to see what everybody else made of this week’s challenge.  Me, well I could do with a little advice…

Have a look at the work of these talented bloggers:

Sunday Post : Close – up

Are you impressed?  It’s only Sunday morning and here I am doing Jakesprinter’s Sunday Post challenge already!  Don’t you love his logo?  Every time I include it in a post I have to stop and admire.  It’s amazing!

This week’s subject is Close – up and I know you’re all agog to hear what I’m singing this week.  Ready?  It’s the Carpenters, “Close to You”.  I am SO corny sometimes, but today actually is the wedding anniversary, and a beautiful bouquet of flowers arrived for me yesterday. (I was out zumba-ing but the elderly lady next door was thrilled to look after them for me till I got home)

So unusual, the green carnations.

Zinging orange gerbera! Beautiful!

I’ve always loved the flamboyance of lilies.

The sunflower ruled the display!

Even the orange gerbera was subdued, but only just!

And lastly, that most delicate of blooms, the orchid.

Hope you enjoyed the “close-up” of my bouquet.  I know I don’t do close up well, but they’re still beautiful aren’t they?  I didn’t have time to “fiddle” with them.  He’s waking up so I’m off to share the rest of our day with him.

Thanks Jake for your superb Sunday Posts.  As usual, the links and the dragon will give you the guided tour if you want to join in.

Sunday Post : Valuable

Jakesprinter’s theme for his Sunday Post this week is “Valuable” and I’ve held off posting what came immediately to mind.  It’s still with me and it’s Tuesday already, so I’m going with it.

Michael on the land train at Barril

There absolutely isn’t anything in life more valuable to me than my husband.  Ok, I can hear the groans, but we’re not soppy (well I might be tempted to be, but he most certainly is not).  Please don’t tell him, or let him see this post.  He’s a reserved kind of guy and would be highly embarassed.  Who can blame him?  The blogging wife must be a constant hazard.

I grumble and moan about his deficiencies, but in truth, most of the deficiencies are mine.  He is my rock, and yet, my playmate too.  We’ve weathered many a storm together, and no doubt will have to fend off more.  I picture myself the great world traveller, and he, the anchor, dragging along reluctantly in the sand.  Still, I cannot imagine my world without him.

Michael in “A Taska”, one of our favourite Tavira restaurants.

When set free to roam, I am as happy as that sand boy.  It is in my nature and I cannot change it.  But I would never underestimate the value of the man who welcomes me home.

Thanks Jake, for giving me the opportunity to say this.  I love your challenges.  They make me think, and also appreciate what I have.

To join in with the challenges, click on Jake’s link, or on the flying dragon logo.  It’s superb, isn’t it?