Six word Saturday


A few random images of Poland

The spires of the Mariacki Church will always say Krakow to me

The spires of the Mariacki Church will always spell Krakow to me

Sunflower heads on the market

Sunflower heads on the market

A gallery from Ogrod Botanyczny (the Botanic Gardens) for Jude– click any photo for a close-up

An adorable ball of fluff!

An adorable ball of fluff!

And a few more wedding memories

Ending with cake, of course!

Ending with cake, of course!

I expect you can see, we had a good time in Poland!  If you missed The joy of a wedding you might want to take a closer look at the celebrations.  I will be rounding off my Polish excitement with a monastery in my Monday walks.  Till then, have a great weekend, and don’t forget to pop in on Cate with your six words.


The joy of a wedding!

King-sized confetti!

King-sized confetti explodes over Magda and Przemek!

Just how to convey a little of the joy I’ve shared in so many Polish weddings? (this was no. 5!) Each a little different, as times change and individuals make their choices, but essentially the same.  All full of laughter, smiles and a just little mischief.

On Saturday I was in Chorzów, a city in Poland’s industrial heartland.  This link to Wikipedia will satisfy those of you who might be curious.  For the others, it’s enough to mention a ‘Royal’ coal mine and iron works, and the adjoining city of Katowice.

Of course, we start at the church.  I failed dismally to get any good photos of the ceremony. I was even thwarted at the end when, instead of walking back up the aisle towards us, the happy couple departed via a side aisle.  But I have my memories, of the tinkling of bells, and the sun filtering through stained glass windows, bathing the altar and choristers in an amber glow.

My cousin Adam’s car had been spruced up for the occasion, and his son, Łukasz, became chauffeur for the day.  I love the Polish way of decorating wedding cars.

Isn't this pretty?

Isn’t this pretty?


After the ceremony and the confetti, a cascade of coins pelted the ‘lucky’ couple, a symbol of future wealth.  That’s Łukasz, the chauffeur, standing by the wall with a box to collect up the cards of those not going to the reception.

Every last zloty has to be gathered up

Every last zloty has to be gathered up

We pile onto a bus and are driven to the reception.  The venue is a total surprise- Park Sląski, a 13 hectare reclamation project which has transformed the former slag heaps into an outdoor playground on a huge scale.  My jaw probably dropped at the sight of the cable cars gliding across the lake.  A friend of the groom later explained to me that the cars had just recently started operating, and that it was the intention to extend them to link the far corners of the park.  I would have loved the opportunity to explore a little further, but the day was all about a wedding, and we were deposited at the Marysin Dwor Park hotel to await Przemek and Magda.


This is probably a good time to explain that the groom, Przemek, is the only child of my cousin Basia, sister to Adam, with whom many of you will be familiar.  Adam and Basia are the children of my beloved Aunt Anna, there with us in spirit only.  Above, left to right- Adam and his wonderful wife, Marta; the bride and groom; Basia and husband Zygmunt; Łukasz again and his younger sister, Ula. Weronika, his older sister, you may remember got married last May.  She and Wojtek were at home looking after their newborn.

Meet Barteusz, peacefully at home

Meet Barteusz, sleeping peacefully at home

On to the toasts, and then the newly weds threw the swiftly drained glasses over their shoulders and reached for brush and pan to sweep up the mess.  A nice domestic beginning to married life.



A little eating, a romantic first dance, a chorus of ‘Sto lat'(100 years)and noisy demands for the couple to kiss, then it’s time for the d-jay to get folks to mingle.  And they don’t need much encouragement!  Before long we are all hop-skip-stomping gleefully to a combination of Polish and English pop songs.  Till the cake makes it’s flaming entry.

Here's your piece!

Here’s your piece!

The bride and groom set about their task of dancing with every single guest, after we’ve consumed vast quantities of food, toasted the whole world ‘Na zdrowia!’ (good health), and watched a humorous video of the couple’s respective childhoods and meeting.

The night passes in a whirl of dancing, and even Dad manages a little soft shoe shuffle with his stick.  When we finally leave to return to our hotel, it’s to discover another wedding reception still in full swing there.  A wall of joyful sound hits us.

Dad, with Uncle Wlodek and his lovely lady Weronika

Dad, with my Uncle Wlodek and his lovely lady Weronika

If you’re not familiar with Dad’s story you can read about it here.


Lingering in Leeds!

The breathtaking ceiling in the Victoria Quarter

The breathtaking ceiling in the Victoria Quarter

I seldom pay more than a flying visit to the city of Leeds, but recently I had cause to wonder why. Never much of a shopper, I’m happy to let life flow around me as I absorb the architecture. Strolling through the city with my son, I was left far behind when we came upon the Victoria Quarter.  Here is just a glimpse of what I saw before I scurried to catch up.

Click on a photo to open the gallery

How about this for a ceiling?

How about this for a ceiling?

The wrought iron was spectacular too

The wrought iron was spectacular too

Down at ground level wasn't shabby either

Nor was ground level too shabby

All of the top names in the world of designer clothes are here, so if you are a shopper you will undoubtedly be in heaven.  County Arcade, Cross Arcade and Queen Victoria and King Edward streets were linked together to form the Victoria Quarter in the 1900s. Theatre architect Frank Matcham was responsible for the design, which no doubt accounts for its drama,  lavishly using faience and marble.  The Empire Palace Theatre was originally part of the development, since replaced by Harvey Nichols department store.

Nothing stops in the world of design and Victoria Quarter is currently undergoing a new phase. Me, I was swept on past beautiful Kirkstall Market to the newer kids on the block, Trinity Centre.

Looking up in the Trinity Centre

Looking up inside the Trinity Centre

Are you a tennis fan?  Crossing town we came upon on open air big screen, and my son remarked that if Murray makes the final it would be a great place to watch the match.  Given current weather conditions that would seem like an excellent idea, but my husband, whose birthday it is that day, was less than thrilled with the suggestion.

Federer, wilting in the heat?

Federer, wilting in the heat?

Right on his doorstep, brand new First Direct Arena is eagerly awaited.  A hot venue for summer!

But I can’t help hankering after the old.  I looked wistfully up at remnants of the old Leeds.

I'd be happy with a home like this

I do hope it will last!

So what did you make of Leeds?  A thriving modern city these days.  I hope that Dawn will enjoy adding it to her collection at A Lingering Look at windows.  This month she looks at windows that aren’t windows any more!

Jo’s Monday walk : City of Norwich

The headstone at Norwich Castle

A plaque at the entrance to Norwich Castle

Few things in life flow entirely smoothly, do they?  I thought I’d scored a major success when the friendly driver of our National coach proposed an outing to Norwich on the tour’s ‘free’ day.  I’d spent one glorious day boating on the Broads, if you remember, and had arranged to meet with the remainder of the Polish family in Norwich the next day.  Perfect synchronicity!

Arriving in good time, I found a sunny bench on which to deposit Dad, with his newspaper, to await the family, while I hightailed it up to Norwich Castle. (not the best of benches, Jude– Dad complained because the back had broken off.  No pleasing some folk!)  It being Sunday, the castle was closed till 1pm but the views were sure to be good.

As usual, click on a photo to open the galleries

Norwich Castle dates back to the Norman Conquest.  It was noted in the Domesday Book that 98 Saxon homes were demolished to make way for the castle.  Unfortunately I didn’t have time to go inside, but the link will give you an insight.

Back to my story.  Receiving a text from Grażyna to say they’d arrived, I scurried back down to Castle Meadow.  Standing hopefully beside Dad, we watched the approaching cars.  ‘Is that them?’  ‘No, it’s a taxi’…. ‘Is that them?’  ‘No, it’s a taxi’…. ‘Is that…?’  The moral of the story is, don’t wait for someone to collect you on Castle Meadow.  It is reserved for coaches and taxis only!  Fortunately, because Dad’s not so mobile these days, we only had to walk 50 metres down to the next junction to meet the family.

Anyone for a game in the castle grounds?

Anyone for a game, in the castle grounds?

Before leaving the area, don’t miss the beautiful shopping arcades, just opposite the castle.  The Royal Arcade, designed by George Skipper, opened in 1899.

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I thought that Wikipedia’s Great Yarmouth page was big, but the one for Norwich is huge!  An obvious sign of the importance of the city.  The first thing I learnt was that it sits on the River Wensum, and you can travel by boat from Norwich all the way to Great Yarmouth, via the River Yare.  I would like that!

I didn’t know that in the 11th century, Norwich was the largest city in England, after London, nor that in company with Edinburgh, Kraków, and others, it is a UNESCO City of Literature.  But I might have guessed that its origins go back to Roman times.  The city walls, some of which are still visible, were built between 1280 and 1340 and were 4 kilometres long.  One of the things that I did notice is that Norwich has a lot of churches.  Many no longer have a religious function, but the buildings have been preserved. (I even saw one which was a puppet theatre!)

A chunk of city wall

A chunk of city wall

With Dad settled at my cousin Wojtek’s home, it was time to take a walk into the city.  Heading for the cathedral, I crossed the river for the first time.  A sign promising ‘One of Norfolk’s hidden secrets’ and the view beyond the garden gate stopped me in my tracks.  I had stumbled upon the Bishop’s House Garden on a day when it was opening for charity!

A first look at the River Wensum

A first look at the River Wensum


This 4 acre garden has belonged to the Bishops of Norwich for over 900 years.  The open day was in full swing, with draughts and snakes and ladders set out on the immaculate lawns, and a cello playing in the background.  The perfect setting for such a lovely day but time, as so often, was my enemy.  For the history and more photos see the link above.

Approaching the Cathedral, the architecture is varied and beautiful.  I enter through the cloisters.

The heraldry is beautiful

The heraldry in the alcoves is delicate and lovely

Norwich Cathedral was begun in 1096 and completed in 1145.  It was constructed from flint and mortar, and faced with cream-coloured Caen limestone.  The building has real presence, and many quiet corners for reflection.  A new refectory provides the main entrance and a space for contemporary art exhibitions.

The architecture in Norfolk is often highly distinctive due to the use of flushwork.  This was popular in Medieval times, in areas without a good local building stone.  Flushwork creates a flat flint wall where the stone is ‘flush’ to the wall.  Decorative patterns and motifs can be used for variety.  The Ethelbert Gate below is a beautiful example.

I saunter around the Market Place, with its fine Guildhall and market stalls, then turn towards the river and ‘home’.  The family are preparing a barbecue and I shouldn’t be too late.

Back to the river and meandering home

Back to the river, meandering home

It must be time to meet the family, don’t you think?  Well, here they are- from left to right, Mateusz, Kasia, Arek and Mariusz (at the back!), Agnieszka, Jarek and Grażyna (the boat owners), cousin Wojtek, Dad and Basia.

No excuses for the lion!

No apologies for the lion- he came with the house!

I hope you enjoyed my walk around Norwich.  There are numerous facts in the links I’ve provided, if you have time or interest.  But you need to save some time to join my happy band of walkers again this week.

Many thanks to everybody!  At least two cups of coffee will be required.

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I have many wonderful shares again this week.  If you’re thinking of joining me, click on the Jo’s Monday walk logo for a few simple facts.  Let’s get going, shall we?


Drake was first past the gate post again this week.  Join him in Alsace… and across the river  :

Hospitality across the river

Jude’s flower images are always a delight.  Did you know she has this second blog?

Garden Portrait: Glendurgan

Anabel has found me some wonderful waterfalls this week  :

Lake District walks: Elterwater circle

A lover’s house on the Mekong!  Sound intriguing?

Vietnam- Marguerite Duras

Amy’s trees in the Canyon are one of the most beautiful things I have seen all week!

Monday Walk: Trees in Grand Canyon 

Back down to earth for a Suffolk walk with Geoff.  Lovely irises!

Bulcamp to Halesworth and back again

You will love this small piece of Tasmanian paradise!  Many thanks, Ruth  :

Bruny Island

And if it didn’t keep hiding in a vale of cloud ….

Playing hide-and-seek in Franz Josef Glacier

Gently does it in northern France, with a little haiku from Viv  :

Happy Haiku Chain

For a sunburst of colour, I defy you to find anywhere better than Valparaiso!

The Hills of Valparaiso, Chile- UNESCO city of colour and steps

I love industrial heritage walks, especially beside water, and this one from Karen is a beauty  :

A walk in Riverside Park, Manhattan

Rub your eyes!  You might not believe that this Causeway is in Australia (but the beach is a bit of a giveaway)

A walk to the Giants Causeway

Richard is another Cornwall fan so he and Jude will get along just great!

History and beachlife on the Porthtowan to Wheal Coates coastal walk

Wherever you end up this week, I hope you enjoy it.  We’ve passed the solstice now.  Hope it’s not all down hill!  See you next Monday?

Tilting at Windmills

A life of ease

A life of ease

Well, if I’d just called it ‘a lot of boats on the Norfolk Broads’ you wouldn’t have read it, would you?  Admit it!  At least I’m giving you something else to look out for.

This is our mooring- a nice place to start

This is our mooring- a nice place to start

And this is our boat

And this is our boat

It’s moored at Stalham, on the River Ant, in Richardson’s marina.  A peaceful setting, away from the hurley-burley of Wroxham.  We glide gently across Barton Broad, and Jarek points out the shallow water where, almost daily in peak season, boats run aground.  When we pause to admire the scenery, a swan raps smartly on the hull.  I’m not sure if this signifies ‘get a move on’ or ‘where’s the bread?’  Short on bread, we move on!

The naughty swans

A naughty swan

Looking ahead I glimpse some houses

Looking ahead I glimpse some houses

And am delighted to find that one has a thatched roof

And am delighted to find that one has a thatched roof

What a location!

What a location!

And the neighbour's none too shabby, either! (and there's a bench for Jude)

The neighbour’s none too shabby, either! (and there’s a bench for Jude)

But here's our first excitement- a windmill!

But here’s our first excitement- a windmill!

There are a seemingly endless supply of them, strewn across the Broads.  Many have been restored and stand there, gracefully pointing the way with their sails.

Here's another, wonderfully elegant example

Here’s another, wonderfully elegant example

It's quite a long way up!

It’s quite a long way up!

We sail on a little way and then execute a fine turn to seek out a mooring place.  Time for hungry sailors to eat, and then stretch their legs.  We are moored alongside How Hill House, and a treat is in store.  Tiny Toad Hole Cottage was an eel-catcher’s home.

Welcome to How Hill, Staithe

Welcome to How Hill, Staithe

Click on any photo to see the gallery

How Hill Trust provides an environmental study centre for the Broads.  The preservation of the incredibly beautiful house is no small part of this, but there are landscaped gardens too and a sweeping lawn for picnics, rolling down to the river.  There’s even a restored grain mill, if you’re looking for somewhere to stay.

The detail around the windows is exquisite

Smell the roses and admire the detail around the windows

And how about this for a view? (can you spot the windmill?)

How about this for a view! (can you spot the windmill?)

And look at the wisteria!

And look at the wisteria!

We’d better get back on board.  Too much playing ‘lady of the manor’ isn’t good for me!  And there’s a coffee stop to make, with homemade Polish rhubarb cake.

We putter along the waterways, using the sail sometimes, or the small motor.  The water lilies drifting at the water’s edge and the dazzling yellow ‘water buttercups’ captivate me, but I’m unable to take a decent shot.  I’ll just have to go back another day!  Maybe you’ll come with me?

Six word Saturday


Living up to my reputation again!

I've worn them out!

I’ve worn them out!

I spent the evening racing around Great Yarmouth, but I can’t download the photos from my camera till I get home so you’ll have to make do with this old one!  I’m going boating with the Norfolk branch of the Polish family today so I won’t be here to chat.

Norwich tomorrow, where I have an appointment with some cloisters and a Jacaranda tree. (Thanks Carol!)

Sound good?  I’ll tell you all about it as soon as I can.

Meantime, enjoy your weekend, and do pop in to see Cate at Show My Face if you can.


Jo’s Monday walk : Canalside in Nottingham

A faithful companion

A faithful companion

Nothing quite gladdens my heart like stepping out along a towpath on a sunny day.  Canalside people seem to me to be some of the friendliest in the world.  I hadn’t planned to walk along the canal at Nottingham, but I had a couple of hours to spare before meeting my daughter for lunch. The canal runs right by her office, and the sparkle of the water had me hooked before I knew it. Added to which, I couldn’t possibly get lost following a towpath! (my sense of direction being notoriously lacking)

There’s something really delightful about being in the heart of the city and yet totally removed from the hurly-burly and the bustle.  Come and walk with me, and we’ll leave our cares behind.

This was the scene that greeted me on the towpath

This was the scene that greeted me on the towpath

It was part of their morning routine to attend to the canal’s wildlife.  The young man was happy to chat while he fed the goslings.  The dog resisted its strong impulse to give chase.

Trams ran overhead

Trams run overhead

But I was more interested in the serenity beneath

But I was more interested in the serenity beneath

Nottingham Canal came into being in the 1790s as a means of carrying coal from the mines, which were scattered around the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire borders, into the city. Previously the coal had been hauled overland, or via the Erewash Canal and River Trent.  The new canal, which ran for a little under 15 miles, would more than halve both journey and cost.  But, with the advent of the railways and the increasing cost of tolls, the canal was no longer viable.

Following privatisation in 1947, almost any local authority who wanted it could have the land, with the result that much of the canal has been filled in and built over.  I was oblivious to this as I pursued my stroll along the canal.  The downstream section through the city centre, and connecting to the River Trent, remains in use.

Many buildings back onto the canal

Many buildings back onto the canal

While cyclists happily scoot past

Cyclists scoot happily past

The towpath is also part of Nottingham’s Big Track, a 10 mile cycle route which follows the canal from the railway station in Nottingham to Beeston locks, and returns via the Trent riverside path.

Bike track

Bike or walk?  You can choose

Ahead, the excitement of a lock!

Ahead, the excitement of a lock!

Castle Lock beckons

Castle Lock beckons

I don’t walk far before I’m having more encounters with the wildlife.  A coot is a little curious about me, but not sure if he wants to hang around.  Smart apartments line the canal at this point, and I’m rather surprised to come upon a heron, nonchalantly preening himself.  The young man with the dog catches me up and tells me that this is the heron’s regular haunt, seemingly oblivious to observers.

The canal twists and turns through the city.  Around the next bend I find a colourful narrowboat and pause to admire the painted canal ware displayed on deck.  A passerby stops to tell me that the boat sells beautiful things.  He thinks it must be moving on today as there are usually many more goods to see.  The owner pops his head out, and we chat about his next destination.

All manner of boats are tied up along the towpath, or come chugging towards me.  I’m looking out for Castle Meadow marina, where I hope I might find some breakfast.  As I approach a barman is putting umbrellas up to shade the outdoor tables.  When he smiles, I ask if he’s doing coffee.  “Not till 11” he says.  My face falls because it’s only 10.20am.  I hover, looking at the boats, and he takes pity on me.  I don’t push my luck and ask for toast, but it’s very pleasant sitting there, at the ‘Water’s Edge’.

You know that I couldn’t resist a wander among the boats before carrying on along the towpath, don’t you?  They’re all so colourful and individual.  Do you have a favourite?

I carry on, not sure how much further I should go because I have a lunch date.  There are some lovely canalside homes and even a boat builder’s yard.  Hawthorn tumbles from the trees and I take many more photos.

The blossom crowds the towpath

The blossom crowds the towpath

Jill looking beautiful in the boatyard

‘Jill’ looking beautiful in the boatyard

With sparkling Vermuyden for company

With sparkling Vermuyden for company

I turn back reluctantly, not sure how much further I could have followed the canal.  If you are interested in the history, this link will tell you a little more.  I joined the canal at Trent Road.

I’m sure some of you will have glazed eyes.  I just can’t help my fascination with boats, and for me it was a lovely respite from a sometimes stressful world.  Time now to put that kettle on and see what everyone else has to share.

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As always, if you click on my logo it’ll take you to the Jo’s Monday walk page, where I explain how to join me.  Thank you very much to all my contributors for keeping me so well entertained.  Your company is priceless.


First up, it’s a little dainty stepping out in the desert with Drake this week :

Step’ing stone in the sand 

Tobias enjoys looking for the details :

A short walk around Luxemburgplatz

If you like walking, sometimes you just have to ignore the weather :

Lake District walks : Easdale Tarn

Or how about a pretty little village stroll, complete with clogs?

A bit of green 

Going from green to blue, with somewhere rather nice to sit :

A walk in the woods

Does anyone write a better ‘gardens’ post than Jude?  I don’t think so!

Garden Portrait : Trelissick

Let’s travel to Toronto with a newcomer next.  Please say hello!

Monday walks : Toronto Doors Open

A luscious cacti garden in Arizona next, and Amy’s first humming bird!

The Desert Botanical Garden

Geoff made the very most of a Bank Holiday Monday with…

A Blast on the Heath

Not so much a walk as … varoom- varoom!  A ride :

On the Grid at the Indy 500

Rosemay is ‘under the weather’ in Munich, but what a beautiful city!

A stroll in the Englischer Garten

And last, and totally fabulous- Gilly has us flirting with death on the cliff tops!

A Walk at Morte Point

Thank you so much, everyone!  Definitely living up to my name  this month- next weekend sees me in Norfolk, visiting with Polish family.  I hope to schedule a Monday walk, and I’ll be back Monday evening to chat with you.  Till then, have a wonderful week!