Six word Saturday

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To be, or not to be?

'The Globe' theatre, in miniature

‘The Globe’ theatre, in miniature

This weekend finds me in London, on a blogging event with the Mercure hotel chain.  They are launching a major competition based on the 6 Friends Theory.  More of that to follow!

Just so that you know I haven’t been wasting my time, I popped into The Globe theatre at Bankside and did the tour.  It’s a reconstruction of Shakespeare’s original Globe, and I’ve wanted to visit for years. (another tick in box!)  Now I want to go back and see a play there. Maybe next trip?  The exhibition space was very interesting too, though I didn’t have nearly enough time. Here’s just a glimpse!

You could even be a model for a Shakespearean gown!

You could even be a model for a Shakespearean gown!

Fortunately, I didn’t have time before the bell rang for the tour, but the lady seemed to be enjoying herself.  I was disappointed with my photos of The Globe itself.  With dazzling bright skies (yes, I was lucky again!) and deep shade, I struggled to get clear images, but my memories are intact.  If I had longer I would love to visit the new indoor Jacobean Theatre in the complex. (one off the list, and two back on!)  Sam Wanamaker’s vision and tireless energy in driving the project has finally come to fruition.

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That’s it for now!  It’s time for breakfast and some more sight seeing.  Have a great weekend, and don’t forget to visit Cate at Show My Face to share your six words.  Apologies if I don’t respond to you for a while.  Home this evening!

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Three things I love about Porto

Porto, seen from the water

Porto, seen from the water

A great sight, whichever way you look!

A great sight, whichever way you look!

Challenged recently to come up with three things I love about my favourite city, I barely hesitated before my thoughts turned to Porto, in Northern Portugal.

Accor Hotels are inviting bloggers to create a post (or a video) illustrating their three favourite things about any city they love.  In return, you can win a three-night stay for two, in London, Paris or Amsterdam.  Something nice to look forward to at this dreary time of year?  But you’d better get your skates on- last date for entries is Monday, 26th January at 12.01pm.  Sorry I couldn’t give you more notice.

The quayside at Peso da Regua

The quayside at Peso da Regua

So, why Porto, you might be asking yourself.  If you were around when I came back from my trip two years ago, you might remember that I was totally besotted.

1.  The city lies at the mouth of the River Douro.  Step into a boat (or catch a train if you’re a landlubber) and you have before you one of the most beguiling landscapes you could ever imagine.  As you depart the city, the hills ripple away on either shore, swathed in vines that change hue with the seasons.  Utterly tranquil, yet with the frisson of a huge lock or two to navigate, and ruggedly wild beauty as you penetrate further along the river.

2.  Porto has a beach!  Crucial for someone who could never envisage life away from the sea. Nothing could be more delightful than hopping on the tram and rattling out to Foz do Douro.  Or perhaps you would stroll it, but save some energy for when you get there.  There’s a long promenade after the last tram stop.  An old fort sits on the headland and there’s Seaworld if you prefer your fishes in a tank.  Bars and restaurants abound for a lazy toasted end to the day.

A restaurant with a view, at Foz do Douro

A restaurant with a view, at Foz do Douro

3.  It’s all in the name!  The home of port wine, there is no better setting for sampling a glass or two.  Three if you’re going to try Ruby, Tawny and White port.  No need to rush it!  There are numerous wine lodges, beside the river or up on the hill with magnificent views, if you can handle the climb.  You will amble home with a smile on your face. That’s for sure!

Barcos rabelas at ease in their moorings

Barcos rabelas at ease in their moorings

If you’d like to spend a little more time in Porto with me, try Simply beautiful blue and white.  It’s a feast of azulejos! But then you should decide which is your favourite city, and visit A tale of three cities for details of how to enter the competition.

Jo’s Monday walk : Dodging golf balls!

Crossing the railway lines

The bridge crossing the railway lines

I was a little conflicted over which walk to share with you today.  Logically, it should be the one which culminates with Penshaw Monument, which intrigued many of you last week.  But I’m often not a logical creature, and I’m always susceptible to the pull of the sea.

Hartlepool has three golf courses.  I’ve never especially felt the need to wallop a golf ball, though I did once demonstrate a mild talent for pitch and put.  All 3 courses have sea views, but by far the most scenic is very close to the sea.  I would never be able to concentrate on the ball, so it’s a good job I’m a walker.  Our start point is on the Hart to Haswell walkway, just north of Hartlepool Headland.  Are you ready?  We’ll need to step out briskly to keep warm!

You can already see and smell the sea as you cross the bridge

You can see, and almost smell, the sea as you cross the bridge

The path leads down towards the sea

Through the gate, the path leads down towards the sea

And then, a glimpse of beach

And then, a glimpse of beach

The gorse is beginning to flower- always an encouraging sign.  Depending on how high the tide, you will probably find a ribbon of water, wriggling its way towards the sea.

The curve of an errant strip of water

The curve of an errant strip of water

With the sun so low, the water glimmers electric blue

With the sun so low, the water glimmers an electric blue

You have a choice at this point.  You can stay down at beach level or ascend a gentle gradient to the golf course. There is a public right of way, but you venture there at your own risk.

In other words, keep your head down!

In other words, keep your head down!

Just a little windswept!

Just a little windswept?

Probably not 'sitting on a bench' weather!

Certainly not ‘sitting on a bench’ weather!

The advantage of being up on the tops is that you can remain in the sun for a little longer.  Below, on the beach, the shadows rapidly lengthen and you need to increase your pace.

The shadows have swept the beach bare

The shadows have swept the beach almost bare

Retreating out to sea

As the sun retreats, out to sea

We’re not too far from the Headland now, and you may recognise a landmark ahead.  The pier that once belonged to Steetley Magnesite, and betrays our industrial past, has featured in several of my posts.  I find it a compelling sight.

Steetley pier in the distance

Steetley pier in the distance

And in close up

And in close up

It’s a little like a magnet to me, and I have to admit that I probably overdid it on this walk.  You can about face and retrace your steps at any point, but having reached the pier I had determined to continue to the Headland.  It’s the only place nearby where you can obtain refreshments.

I confess that I did not walk all the way back.  There is a bus from the Headland which would take me home.  I was rather lucky on this occasion, and met some friends, who’d been having scones with jam and cream in Mary Rowntree’s.  They kindly offered me a lift.  You just never know what might happen when you go out for a walk!  I hope you enjoyed this one.

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Time to thank all my lovely contributors again this week.  They will take you to some ravishing places!  Pop the kettle on and settle down for a good read.  If you happen to have a walk you’d like to share, I’d be delighted.  My Jo’s Monday walk page tells you how.

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No-one can tell a story like Tish Farrell!  I know that you will enjoy…

To the Isle of Dwynwen, Welsh Saint of lovers

Another shot full of drama from Cardinal!  Anyone been to Oslo?

Winter Sunset

Debbie takes us to Ljubljana.  That girl gets to the loveliest places!

A Short Plecnik Walk 

No need to venture beyond this garden, in South Africa!  Let Sonel show you around  :

In our Garden

Amy’s educating us about the Banyan tree next.  Who knew?

Which Way?

And there’s a beautiful sequel to Paula’s walk from last week.  Don’t miss it!

A Walk among the Menhirs- Sequel

You knew that Drake would be here again, didn’t you?  Indoors, this time!

Indoor walking!

Use Feng shui and prayer flags to boost your energy?  Like Elena  :

Wind Horse in the Mountains

For complete contrast, a luxurious stroll, with beetroot tart and salad- with Rosemay  :

On the Heritage Trail, South Perth

And while we’re down that way, let’s finish the day deliciously, in Canberra with Jude.

R G Menzies Evening Walk

What’s better than a walk?  A walk and a steam train ride, of course!  Many thanks to Lisa  :

Kawakawa-Opua Cycle Trail

Absolutely fantastic walks!  I really hope you can find time to read them.  I’ll be back with you next Monday, but after that there’ll be a short break.  Happy walking in the meantime!

Six word Saturday

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To be at peace with myself.

Like those clouds, i'm going to let it all drift away

Like those clouds, I’d like to let it all just drift away

How quickly a week passes!  After last week’s funk and all your kind wishes, I’m resolved to stop skittering about and simply enjoy what comes my way.

I love clouds!  Except, of course, when I’m bumping down through them on an aircraft, but that’s a different story. I’m only two weeks away from my next visit to the Algarve, and the tingle of excitement is there already.  Before that I have a couple of days in London, so peace will not come so easily.  The buzz of the city will surround me.

I have lots of cloud photos! These were snatched from the car

I have so many cloud photos!  These were snatched from the car

These too!

These too!

So many times I’ve watched the sun come up through my front window and set again in the evening, behind my home.  The peace and wonder of it all envelopes me, and I love it.

That first glimmer of sunlight

That first glimmer of sunlight

And the last curtain fall

Till the last curtain fall

And set behind the house

Just beautiful, isn’t it?

Wishing you all peace this weekend.  I may post for Six Word Saturday next week, but I’ll be in transit so my response will be slow.  In any case, the world will keep on turning.  I hadn’t seen the Daily Post challenge when I posted this, but really- what could be more serene?

Please don’t forget to share your week with Cate at Show My Face, and maybe join me for a walk on Monday?  I’ll look forward to it.

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Inspire

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When I’m not blowing about on windy clifftops this Winter, I’m often to be found in a museum.  It was pure chance that took me into my local art gallery in Hartlepool this week.  So unprepared was I that I didn’t even have my camera with me!  It’s no longer a catastrophe when I have my phone handy, but I do have to apologise for the quality of the photos.

Inspire is an exhibition comprised of wire mesh sculptures and photographs of local athletes, or aspiring ones.  It was the efforts of the disabled nephew of a friend of mine, competing in a local triathlon with his Dad, that brought the venture to my attention.  As often happens, I was delighted with what I found.

Suspended beneath the timbered ceiling

Suspended beneath the timbered ceiling

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Diving gracefully floorwards

And into the light

And into the light

Michelle Castles is the lady responsible for the life-sized mesh sculptures.  She graduated from the University of Sunderland and it’s always good to see local talent so beautifully showcased.

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Hartlepool Art Gallery lives in what was formerly Christ Church, and is a lovely venue in itself. You may remember Follow the Herring, an extraordinary exhibition of knitting I showed you last year? It’s always worth looking in on a museum.  You never know what you might find.

I’m linking to Paula’s Thursday Special again today.  Her theme is multi-coloured and I’m thinking that I’ve just got enough colour here to get away with it.

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Shadowed

Not so much shadowed as dwarfed!

Not so much shadowed as dwarfed!

Lost him!

Lost him!

I had little intention of clambering to the heights of Penshaw Monument when I set out for my walk on Monday.  It was blowing a gale, for one thing!  But blue sky and the temptation to ‘see for miles’ got the better of me.

You can even climb to the top, in Summer!

You can even climb to the very top, by a hidden staircase, in Summer

It didn’t last long before the rain gusted in, but it was good while it lasted.  And how else would I meet the weekly challenge?

Jo’s Monday walk : Roker pier

Roker lighthouse

Roker lighthouse

There’s nothing I like better than standing at the foot of a lighthouse and looking up!  Especially when, as in this case at Roker, Sunderland, the pier has been newly restored and it’s possible to walk right out there.

Newly restored Roker Pier

Newly restored Roker Pier

Last week I mentioned that I might have to repeat some of my walks.  This is a variation on one I’ve previously done but with the addition of the newly accessible pier.  Mind you- it was bitter cold out there, but it didn’t seem to deter whole families of hardy northerners. Toddlers skippetty-hopped along, tugging parents hands, or racing ahead on ‘Christmas-new’ bikes and scooters.

600 metres long, Roker Pier is 111 years old and grade II listed.  Enormous seas had rendered it unsafe for the public, and a restoration programme began last June.  It reopened in November. Further work is planned to both pier and lighthouse, but I really should start at the beginning of the walk, so grab your warmest coat and woollies.  It’s time to go.

This was my start point- note the frost!

This was my start point- note the frost!

The sun was fighting hard  to melt the frost

The sun was fighting hard to melt the frost

A last remnant of 'The Red House'

One last remnant of chimney pot

Part of the Riverside Sculpture Trail, the group above are entitled ‘The Red House’, and are just beyond the National Glass Centre, where you can park for free.  The trail continues towards the marina which, because of its situation, is probably the warmest spot on our walk today.  In fact, I distinctly remember an elderly couple sitting on a bench, backs to the wall and faces lifted reverently to the sun.  Overcoats on, of course!

The first sighting of the pier

The first sighting of the pier- note the hard frost on the ramp!

Just beyond the marina and the boatyard, a vista of beach and pier opens up before you.  The concrete bowls on the beach are filled to different levels, representing different phases of the moon.  A promenade leads past a children’s playground to the final item on the Sculpture Trail. This highly polished granite monolith, designed by Andrew Small, has a circular cutout which makes a fine frame for Roker Lighthouse.

The children's playground

The children’s playground

The marble monolith and the pier

The marble monolith and the pier

Roker as described by Wikipedia is a seaside resort.  I doubt that many would lay that claim in these days of exotic holidays, but it still retains a certain charm.  It was news to me that the Roker story goes back to 1587, when the Abbs family were granted land on the north shore of the River Wear.  It was a condition that they provide six soldiers to defend the mouth of the river.

Did I mention that further work needs to be done on the pier?

Did I mention that further work needs to be done on the pier?

The railings could definitely use some TLC!

The railings could definitely use some TLC!

But out on the pier it doesn't seem to matter

But out on the pier it doesn’t seem to matter

 

I didn’t have a band of Northumberland Hussars to pipe me off the pier, like the Earl of Durham, but it would have been nice.  As would a hot drink!  But for that we need to return to the National Glass Centre.  You can pass through the tunnel at the end of the promenade, into Roker Park, and complete a circuit back to the front, or simply retrace your steps.

Be sure to leave yourself time to loiter in the Glass Centre.  You’re bound to like something!

 Even if it's an angel in a  bauble!

Even if it’s only an angel in a bauble!  So, that’s another walk completed!  I hope you enjoyed it. I’ll be back next week, and we’ll wander some more.

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If you’d like to join in my Monday walks, it’s very easy to do.  Just click on the logo or my walks page.  Many thanks to this weeks contributors.  Now, let’s put the kettle on and settle back to read!

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Lovely Debbie from Travel with Intent is joining us this week.  I know you’ll enjoy Glasgow through her eyes. Many thanks, Debs!

The Banks of the Clyde

Paula has an on-going love affair with Corsica and it’s not hard to see why  :

A Walk among the Menhirs

You can count on Cardinal to have a unique viewpoint!  :

Oslo- a Village on Steroids

Again, Jude has me wishing I was on the far side of the world!  :

Hills Road walk

Amy’s back with a bang!  Well, maybe that’s not the right expression around a volcano!

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

A Monday walk wouldn’t be a Monday walk without Drake, would it?

Friendly minded castle conquest

Please welcome a very distinguished newcomer, from Australia.  Many thanks for joining us, Elizabeth!

New Year’s walk : a giant stairway and a miniature train

And a lovely lady called Lisa joins us from the Bay of Islands  :

Opua-Pahia Coastal Walkway

Rosemay finishes off her zoo walk.  It’s hot!

Tales from Perth, part 2

And then Yvette comes in with a blockbuster of a post!

Shadows in New York City

If you’re not totally worn out, you can even do an evening walk?  Welcome Bon Minou!

Amsterdam at Night

What a selection!  Brilliant, aren’t they?  Have a great week everyone, and happy walking!

Six word Saturday

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A very frustrating couple of days!

But I'm still smiling!

But I’m still smiling!

I can’t begin to explain the frustrations, nor is it appropriate, but I almost didn’t make Six word Saturday this week. Now that I’m here, I’m simply going to share a few more lovely pieces of glasswork from the National Glass Centre at Sunderland, and make a hasty exit!

I'd love some of these for next year's tree

I’d love some of these for next year’s tree

And how about these?

And how about these?

They're just so sweet!

They’re just so sweet!

Hard to pick a favourite!

Hard to pick a favourite!

January is now well into its stride, so it’s time to put all that behind me.  Join me for next Monday’s walk, won’t you? We can stop off at the National Glass Centre for coffee afterwards.

Hope you all have a good weekend.  Hang on to your hats- it’s wild out there!  I’m off to check out Cate at Show My Face.  She’d love you to play too.

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A dusky beauty

The sun descends- is this dusk?

The sun descends- is this dusk?

I wait!

I wait!

That's the one!

Perhaps this is the one?

I’m usually homeward bound by dusk, but Paula’s theme for this week requires that I loiter.  This once, I didn’t mind.  Have a look at Thursday’ Special.  I think you’ll find that it is!

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A new exhibition

Magdalene Odundo exhibit, National Glass Centre

Magdalene Odundo exhibit,  National Glass Centre, Sunderland

Last week I suggested that it was a great time of year to visit museums.  One of my very favourites in the North East of England is the National Glass Centre at Sunderland.  I’m always excited to see the new creations and exhibitions.

The shot above is of Magdalene Odundo’s Transition II and you can see a video of its creation on the link.  It was captivating seen from any angle.

I love the shadows, rippling across the floor

I love the shadows, rippling across the floor

With the occasional flare of colour

With the occasional flare of colour

Of course, I couldn’t resist the lure of the display cabinets and the new items in there.

Isn't this a lovely piece?

Isn’t this a lovely piece?

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And, naturally. there were owls!

And joyful elephants- why not?

And joyful elephants- why not?

I imagine you can see just why I love going there.  Maybe we’ll pop in again on my Monday walk, next week.

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “New.”