Author: restlessjo

Hi! I’m Jo! Johanna when I’m feeling posh, Jan to my Dad, and Joasiu to my Polish family. A bit of a mix-up, that’s me. The one constant, however, is my restless nature. I love to travel and to explore our world. It doesn’t have to be the big wide world. I can be ridiculously happy not too far from home, so long as I’m seeking new horizons. Of course I have a wish list, and it was to help me fulfil my dreams that I started to write travel guides for a venture called Simonseeks. I’d always kept a travel diary, and it was hugely satisfying to share my experiences and to make new friends who shared my passion for travel. Alas, Simonseeks hit a few troubles, but I still find myself writing about my travels. I’ve become addicted. I’d love to share them, and to make more friends. So, it has to be a blog- right? Or do I mean- write?

Six word Saturday

Do you have a cartoon hero?

I was passing our local art gallery the other day and chanced to look inside.  An exhibition of cartoon illustrations lured me in and took me all the way back to my childhood.  There’s something so captivating about cartoons, whatever your age.

Rupert was my absolute favourite as a child and the highlight of my Christmas was a Rupert annual.  I was so pleased to find this video to share.

Wishing you a happy Saturday.  Don’t forget to share six words with Debbie.

Windows on my world

If you’ve ever flown in there, you’ll recognise this approach to Pisa airport.  It was my gateway to Florence, a city I’d always wanted to visit.  Once in a while I get a nice shot from a plane window.  The city was so much more than I expected and I went around with jaw dangling.  I wrote about Florence on my return until I could feel my readers dosing off, and simply had to stop.  It all came bubbling back when my lovely friend Gilly posted Santa Maria Novella.

I stayed just around the corner and walked past it numerous times, as did Gilly.  I had read of cloisters and frescoes and knew that I simply had to squeeze a visit in.  The interior entirely belied first impressions, and I wish I could have lingered.

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The shots in the cloisters are understandably faded but maybe you can get an impression of their glory.  I scaled the heights and did everything I conceivably could in the short time I had in Florence.  And still there was more to see.

It’s all there!  Old, new and ever pleasing to the eyes.  Each and every window revealed more splendour.

The camera came home dying of exhaustion but I have never felt more alive.  The old mercado had been similarly reinvigorated, with a top floor full of exciting dining options.  I hardly knew which way to look.

I have to thank both Gilly and Michelle at the Daily Post for giving me this opportunity to look back through some wonderful windows.

Jo’s Monday walk : Coverham Abbey

Coverham Abbey lies on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales in a serene and beautiful spot.  This 13th century former monastery was home to the Norbertines, but was badly damaged in an attack by the Scots in 1331.  Despite this monks remained in residence until 1536, when the abbey was dissolved and converted to a private residence.   In the 18oos Coverham Abbey House was constructed, incorporating some of the monastic features.  The original gatehouse partially survives, along with church ruins around which the garden has been sympathetically designed.

The drive swerves around to a grand entrance, and there you are, looking through the ruins of the church.

The charming knot garden was designed in 2003, but based on a  simple knot drawing in a locally discovered book dating back to 1484.

Not sure what more to expect, you round the corner to be confronted with a pair of carved stone effigies.  The knights are thought to be likenesses of the sons of Helewisia, the foundress of the abbey.

Beyond these, a sequence of delightful garden rooms, with a backdrop of sheep and fields.  A ‘faux’ wall divides opinion.  I quite like it, but my designer husband shakes his head in disapproval.

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Guarding the front of the house, two slender, alert hounds, nose deep in a thrilling concoction of cosmos and tobacco plants.

And around the corner, dining ‘al fresco’, with a colourful touch, and the most perfect of views.

Did you spot the old gatehouse, over the fence, or were you too bedazzled by the sunflowers? They were the most spectacular shades!

I’m going to finish with a flourish, because I like to.  Beyond that ‘faux’ wall lies a vegetable garden with an old conservatory.  Remember my dahlias from Six word Saturday?  I found a few more!

Not too much walking involved this week because it’s a garden visit, but there are ample opportunities in the surrounding hills and vales.  My visit was through the Open Gardens scheme, and there you’ll find all the details you need.

I don’t know if you’ve been counting squares lately?  I needed another 9 to take me to the end of September, and I believe I’ve exceeded that.  Go and have fun with Becky!  She’s loving Square in September.

Just got time to thank you all for your wonderful contributions and support.  Please do find time to read these if you can!  You may make some new friends.  I’m going to pop the kettle on now.  Join me next week?  Details are on my Jo’s Monday walk page.

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First this week, I’d like to introduce you to a lady called Candy.  Please do say hello :

A circular walk around Le Quillio

You know I love a marina!  Come and join Violet for a lovely little stroll :

Following the PE&NS RR!

Big, beautiful Wyoming skies from Janet!  How’s this for a sunset?

End of day

Liesbet continues to explore the neighbourhood.  This week it’s down New Mexico way :

Day Trips around Santa Fe, NM – Los Alamos

Jackie’s always ‘full of beans’, it seems :

Cowboy beans

Poor Ann Christine!  Loaded with cold and now the computer crashes.  She needs a soft landing place :

Can I please come in for a crash landing…

Kathrin takes us 2,000ft up to look down on sunny California :

Mission Peak Hike

Have you met the Rambling Wombat?

Bangalley Head Walk

Denzil’s spoiling us this week.  Choice of ten!

10 Woodland Walks

Here’s a lady you all know and love- it’s Jude, of course!

Yorkshire Sculpture Park : Part One

A favourite lady in a favourite city- Becky with some superb views :

Discovering Porto’s panoramic views

And let’s not forget one of my favourite gents.  I’m pretty sure Drake is not a vertigo sufferer :

High line

Surf’s up over at Woolly’s and he’s captured some great shots :

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I’ve always had a soft spot for the Italian Lakes.  Find a little peace and sanctuary there with Mari :

Lake Orta’s Walk of Silence & Meditation

Just made it this week!  So many flowers!  Hope you enjoyed it, and have a great week everybody.

 

Six word Saturday

Out on the wiley, windy moors…

We’d roll and fall in green

I couldn’t resist one more romp on the moors before the heather lost it’s glow.  It was a day of low cloud and mist as we clambered up the hillside, startling sheep.  A long pause on the tops, to get our breath back, and on past the boulders.

Then plunging back down… and up again!  Alarm bells sounded when I saw the ford sign. Would the water be high?  But I needn’t have worried.

The last slog back up the hill, though, was almost a step too far.  Good thing I was surrounded by beauty, somewhere along the Esk Valley Way.

Hope you fill your Saturday with beauty.  Debbie usually does!  Why not go and join her with six words? 

Past meets present in Hartlepool

It’s all a matter of perspective, isn’t it?  Once Hartlepool had thriving docklands where we’re standing now.  In 1913 alone over 1 million tons of timber and iron-ore were imported, and 2.5 million tons of coal and coke from the Durham pits left these docks.  World War II brought change, as well as bombardment, but the town picked itself up and looked for new industries to replace the old.

In the 1990s a marina brought a new lease of life to the town.  Old shipbuilding skills had not been lost and HMS Trincomalee was restored locally, soon to be joined by the paddlesteamer PSS Wingfield Castle.  Both now form part of Hartlepool’s Maritime Experience museum.  But what of the surrounds?  There we have an issue or two with our local council.  Jackson’s Landing was an attractive looking shopping complex, whose cafe enjoyed some of the best views in Hartlepool. Today it has been razed to the ground, after standing empty for countless years.  The seagulls now enjoy the forlorn open space.

But it’s not all bad, as you can see.  Great skies!  And Thursday’s Special has me back in our marina again, thanks to Paula.

Jo’s Monday walk : Yarn bombing in Yorkshire

I do love a bit of enthusiasm, don’t you?  Last year, when the Tour de Yorkshire came to Thirsk, the celebrations included a colorful yarn bombing of the market square.  Flushed with success, they did it all over again this year, for Yorkshire Day, on August 1st.

In all honesty, I’d quite forgotten about it.  I was merely entertaining myself with a bit of a walk, my husband being hard at work in nearby South Kilvington.  With a little more foresight I could have chosen one of a number of walks, available through Thirsk Tourist Information.  But, as often happens, I opted to follow my nose, in the rough direction of the town centre.

At a mini roundabout I chose Stammergate over Long Street, and the gentle curve of St. James Green.  A sign in the window, “If you want the best seat in the house- move the dog”, made me smile.  I followed the dog walker down a narrow path and found myself on the banks of Cod Beck.  The name derives from Cold Beck, a beck being smaller than a river, and it runs deep between the banks of the stream, so is always fairly cool.  It flows from Cod Beck Reservoir at Osmotherley, on the edge of the North York Moors, for 22 miles, passing through the centre of Thirsk and finally joining with the River Swale.

It’s unusual to find a young woman, fishing on her own.  Not so unusual to find a small girl entranced by the tumbling waters of the weir.  A signboard tells me that this area is known as The Holmes, where a grove of straight stemmed willows were once used for basket making.  I turned back at the weir, heading for 15th century St. Mary’s Church, opposite The Marage, the site of a former fishpond and recreational area.

Unfortunately there was a service in progress in the church, so I turned into Kirkgate, discovering my first hint of yarn bombing at Thirsk Hall.

Kirkgate is also home to the World of James Herriot.  You may remember the TV series ‘All creatures great and small’, based on the books by James Herriot about the life of a vet in the Yorkshire Dales.  Thomas Lord, founder of Lord’s Cricket Club in London, was born in 1755 in the house on Kirkgate that now houses Thirsk Museum.

Thirsk is built around a large medieval market square, established in 1145, and the market continues to function every Monday and Saturday. Today it’s enhanced by something warm and whimsical.  Sit back and enjoy!

Wonderful, aren’t they?  I expect I’ve missed a few, but traffic and awkward angles didn’t help. The Tourist Information office is in Market Place, but closed on Sundays.  I wandered round into Millgate and found myself surrounded by ducks as I admired the bridge.  Once a corn mill was sited here, fed by a mill race and regulated by sluice gates.  All that remains today is the weir we saw earlier.

But inevitably I’m drawn back to Market Place.  It’s time for a cuppa, don’t you think?

It’s an interesting place and I hope you enjoyed our wander.  Do you have anywhere nearby where the yarn bombers have been busy?  The first place I ever saw it was Hunstanton in Norfolk, but since then I’ve even seen it in the Algarve!  And, of course, my favourite little seaside town, Saltburn, dazzles every year.  Let’s pop the kettle on now!  Time for a read.

Thanks, everybody!  Once again I have some wonderful contributions.  You never let me down. Please try to find time to visit these lovely people. You won’t be disappointed.  And if you can join me next week, that’d be great too.  Details, as always, on my Jo’s Monday walk page.

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Absolutely my kind of walk!  Hell, it certainly isn’t, Jude!

A Walk to Hell’s Mouth

And it’s heaven on the beach, with Meg this week.  Wordlessly!

Wordless walk : Potato Point Beach at sunrise

Who’d have thought inland Australia could look like this?  A truly fabulous post from Miriam!

The Rim of Life : King’s Canyon

Did you know Jesh runs a challenge?  Join in, if you’d like to :

September Changes

Jackie’s off on another jaunt!

Food, Fuel, Lodging, Attractions

I’ve always wanted to visit Yosemite!  Marsha gives us a few tips on the National Parks :

What is One of the Most Popular Destinations in California?

And who hasn’t wanted to walk at least part of the Camino?  Andrew, I hope you’re paying attention?  Good luck to you, Jill!

Day five on the Camino de Santiago : Larrasoana to Cizur Menor

Liesbet gets into some strange places on this one!

Day Trips around Santa Fe, NM- Bandelier National Monument

Some folks are a bit lazy when it comes to walking.  Not you, Becky, of course!

A stroll between Lisbon’s three funiculars

Another post from Northumberland, by David.  And did you find that photo, Sue?

Craster- Dunstanburgh Castle- Embleton Bay & back again

Where’s Drake got to this week?  Take a look!

Down by the corner

Woolly brings us more heartbreak from France :

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And finally, are there any better cities for walking in?  Just ask Carol!

London Walking

That’s it for another week!  I’m off up to Durham with the group this morning.  Take care till next time!

 

 

Six word Saturday

Another Saturday ballroom blitz of beauty!

That first photo has a special significance for me.  It brings back memories of ‘home’ and my mother’s garden.  Mam loved her roses and took great pride in her ‘Blue Moon’ and ‘Picadilly’. They were planted in squares between concrete slabs.  Not the most elegant of arrangements, but husband Joe was a ‘veg’ man.  The bulk of the garden was given over to his onions and king size cabbages, and a small greenhouse that produced more than its share of tomatoes.  One concession Joe did make was to chrysanthemums and dahlias.  I don’t know why they appealed so much.  I haven’t seen a plum and white ‘pom-pom’ dahlia like this one for the longest time! And then those rain-ravaged ones.

My friend Sue has a bit of a penchant for roses of the tattered and torn variety, so I’ve been keeping an eye on these on my hearth.  They’re not quite dejected enough for Sue yet!  The wild ones are lovely too, aren’t they?

That’s my Seven for this week.  Eek- 9 more to go till the end of September!  Blame Becky for starting us off with Square in September.  I’m sure she won’t mind this week’s ‘rebel’.  The Boston Ivy climbing my wall is telling me Autumn’s well on it’s way.

Happy Saturday to you all!  Don’t forget to pop along and share six words with Debbie.