A walking retrospective


You probably think you’re seeing double!  This is the opening photo for my most recent walk, Boxing Day Blues.  It’s hard to select favourites but my criteria is often that a photo takes you back to a moment in time. For me this was a clear, bright, quite unparalleled December day.


Would you believe that this one was taken in August, but how could I leave out such a winning smile? Gargrave in the rain was one of the most joyful moments of my past year.  A wedding anniversary weekend!


By contrast, Autumn this year was a riot of colour, and I can still feel that warm November sun on my back as I stood in the churchyard, surveying the magnificent ruins of Flamboyant Autumn at Easby Abbey.


October was a time of great sadness for me.  I never could have guessed that, as I looked up at this church in Alternative Ayamonte, my Dad had only hours to live.  I was abroad in my beautiful Algarve, but my heart really wasn’t in it.


How could it only have been a couple of weeks before that I was so joyfully walking the Water of Leith, excited to meet for the first time with my lovely friend Jude?  A landmark event!


Can’t help but share a moment of north eastern pride with the celebrated Tall Ships Regatta at Blyth in August.  How proud Dad would have been of the Polish ships taking part.  He was always a patriot.


Which transports me back to July, when I met a lady with a fabulous smile in the City of Birmingham.  It was my first time in the city and I loved it. Thanks, Gilly!  I know I made a friend for life.

It was a water lily Summer.  They were everywhere!  I visited many beautiful gardens, such as Newby Hall, in June.  Funny how so many of you were more interested in the cake than the flowers!


I spent two wonderful weeks in Poland to coincide with the May Bank Holiday.  My cousin Adam is a baker but always manages a few days off that weekend for his birthday.  It was Dad’s favourite time to go, and I was so happy that I got to spend this precious time with him.  Naughtily though, I did manage to escape, into the arms of another friend for life- Meeting Meg!


In that early part of the year I was leading a charmed life.  My visit to Poland was sandwiched with trips to the Algarve and many walking excursions. A day at Mertola in the Alentejo was particularly memorable.



April, always the time for lambs, I threw one little chap into total panic as I held a gate open for him. Lambkins and Bikes– a winning combination?


I was delighted to have my lovely daughter home for Easter, in March.  The highlight of that weekend was the Butterfly Trail in nearby Preston Park. They are incredible creatures, and almost as exotic as my daughter.


February in the Algarve is synonymous with Amendoeira– Almond Blossom.  And, of course, Carnival, but that’s an entirely different story.

IMG_2245 And so we find ourselves in January, and Saltburn in Winter.  It’s a lovely seaside town on the North Yorkshire coast, a place I like to stroll at any time of year.

What a year of highs and lows it’s been.  I have Paula to thank for leading me back through the months. Thursday’s Special this week is Retrospective.  Don’t miss it!











  1. Just found your blog. Love the photos and the stories (although very sorry to hear about the loss of your father) and looking forward to living vicariously from the comfort of my writing chair. At least until the snow melts…


  2. Hi Jo, I’ve had this post bookmarked for ages it seems. Sorry I’ve missed so many of your posts, of everyone’s………. but I wanted to pop in and say hello as I’ve been thinking about you 🙂 What a gorgeous year end post with your beautiful photos and bittersweet musings. Always a sad time, that first Christmas missing our dads. I’m so jealous you got to meet Jude! I would love to meet you both…one of these days. Until then, I look forward to sharing in your walks and adventures as another year unfolds. Much love and super big hugs to you lovely lady 🙂 ❤


    1. Sometimes on my phone and then I hit the wrong key and off the message flies into cyberspace! Thanks for staying in touch hon. I know it’s impossible sometimes. Sending hugs your way. Hope the year has started well for you xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ahh…you’re braver than me Jo, I daren’t try WP on my phone, I get in enough of a muddle using it just for FB! Lovely to hear from you, glad you’re enjoying yourself in your beautiful Algarve, and glad we can keep in touch as best we can… xxx

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so sorry to read about your Dad, Jo. I lost mine a few years ago and still miss him, especially at Christmas. I loved cooking for him. But he’s smiling at me from a photo on my piano as I type this and I’m sure your Dad is smiling on you too.

    I hope 2017 is a wonderful year for you and yours.


    1. Hi Kathryn 🙂 Thank you so much for your thoughtful response. I’m in the Algarve right now and just discovered it in my spam. So sorry! Wishing you another healthy and happy year.


  4. A fine gathering in of lovely vistas and of fellow-feeling, Jo. Wishing you all the very best for 2017. You will also need to take us on some very strenuous walks to combat the overload of Christmas cake.


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