Six word Saturday

The 3 Day Quote Challenge #3

 “Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.”― Jack Kerouac

It’s the last day of my 3 Day Quote challenge, but it’s also Saturday, and we all know what that means.  I’m sure lovely Annika won’t mind sharing me, just this once.  I’ve found her some beautiful photographs of the Dunajec Gorge in Poland to say thank you.

The rules of the challenge :

  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Post a quote on 3 consecutive days.
  • Share why this quote appeals so much to you.
  • Nominate 3 different bloggers for each day.

I always loved the image of Jack Kerouac.  The spontaneity of his writing, the freedom of life on the open road.  I was desperate to be a part of it, to escape the everyday.  Mostly it was in my imagination.  I spent many, long years in an office.  So today, whenever I get the chance, I’m out there.  Never truly ‘On the Road’, but always aspiring.

My final nominees.  Take part if you’d like, or if you have the time :

Lovely Gilly at Lucid Gypsy

Brian at Bushboy’s World

And Patti of Pilotfish

If you’ve not been nominated and are itching to give this a go, please do.  Not all of the nominees are able to take part.  And please don’t forget your Six Words for Debbie.

The 3 Day Quote Challenge #2

“Our happiest moments as tourists always seem to come when we stumble upon one thing while in pursuit of something else.” -crime fiction writer, Lawrence Block

Arbeia Roman Fort

Following on from yesterday’s post, this is my second response to Annika’s kind invitation to take part in The 3 Day Quote challenge.  Thanks, hon!

Now for the rules :

  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Post a quote on 3 consecutive days.
  • Share why this quote appeals so much to you.
  • Nominate 3 different bloggers for each day.

This quote is tailor made for me.  Anyone who follows my Monday walks will know that I’m the best ‘stumbler upon’ ever!  It’s not every day that you come across a reconstructed Roman Fort in the middle of a housing estate, now is it?  Whether I’m up the north east coast in South Shields, or poking about in the back streets of Jerez, I seem to have a penchant for stumbling.  Where next, I wonder.

My nominees?  Please join in, if you can.  No hurry to take part if you’re busy.

My lovely Greek friend, EfiSoul63 

Amanda at Something to Ponder About

And Nanette, The Grey Divorcee

See you tomorrow, with number 3.


The 3 Day Quote Challenge #1

“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm, and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” – Jawaharial Nehru

I’m not a great one for quotes, nor indeed for challenges and rules, but when a very lovely lady plucks at my heartstrings… well, I can’t help but respond.  If it’s good enough for Annika Perry, who am I to quibble?  I’ve long admired her writing, which seems to flow effortlessly.

The rules :

  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Post a quote on 3 consecutive days.
  • Share why this quote appeals so much to you.
  • Nominate 3 different bloggers for each day.

Why this quote, from India’s first Prime Minister?  I’m always straining at the leash, to be somewhere else.  It’s a gentle reminder to self.  The world IS a beautiful place and I don’t always need to go beyond my garden to experience the wonder.  It’s all there, waiting for me.  A rhododendron, after the rain, my source of today’s delight.  Tomorrow?  Maybe a little further.

My nominees?  No hurry, ladies!  Join in if you’d like :

Tish, my Writer on the Edge

Sue, at Words Visual

And Pauline, who’s Living in Paradise

See you all tomorrow!


Jo’s Monday walk : Bede’s World

It was last Summer when I first came upon Bede’s Heritage Trail, quite by accident, in the sleepy hamlet of Whitburn, on the north east coast.   A 12 mile walk, it links the church of St. Paul’s in Jarrow with St. Peter’s, down the coast at Wearmouth.  I had inadvertently arrived, right in the middle.

Benedict Biscop, a Northumbrian nobleman, had travelled to Rome 6 times and was inspired by the Christian life he found there.  In 674 he approached King Ecgrifth of Northumbria and was given a large estate on which to found the monastery of St. Peter’s, in Wearmouth.  It’s twin, St. Paul’s, was begun 8 years later, further north at Jarrow.  They were among the first stone buildings in Anglo-Saxon Northumbria, and St. Paul’s contains the oldest church dedication stone in England.  Part of the Anglo-Saxon monastery survives today as the chancel of St. Paul’s.  A good place to start, I think.

The Venerable Bede was educated in the monastery from the age of seven, and became the most important European scholar of his era. (born 673- died 735)  The founder of medieval historical writing, his works give a unique insight into life in the monastery.  The two buildings were regarded by Bede as ‘one monastery in two places’ and ‘bound together by the one spirit of peace and harmony’.    Monks would have traveled between them on foot, or by boat, using the small tributary of the River Don, which links to the Tyne.

I had scribbled details of the first part of the Heritage Trail on a slip of paper, intending to follow the route of the monks for at least a little way before returning to explore the museum dedicated to Bede.  As so often happens, a signpost created confusion.  Perhaps I should have ignored the cyclist.  In any event, Bede wouldn’t have had to tackle flyovers and underpasses.  And certainly not graffiti!

It was something of a relief to return to Jarrow Bridge, spanning the Don, alongside of St. Paul’s.  Gyrwe, the Anglo-Saxon name for Jarrow, means ‘place of the marsh dwellers’.  Arrows pointed me in the direction of Bede’s World, and from there I couldn’t go wrong.  A wealth of information, pleasingly displayed, I found the museum imaginative and entertaining.

Benedict Biscop was keen to build in the ‘Roman manner’ and spared no expense, importing skilled masons and glaziers from abroad, to accomplish this.  Over 1,000 fragments of coloured glass were discovered during excavation of the site of the monastery.  The Jarrow Figure was reconstructed using glass found under a collapsed wall.

The community of monks was very industrious during Bede’s lifetime.  One of their most notable achievements was the Codex Amiatinus, a complete Bible in a single volume.  It weighed over 34 kilograms (75 lbs), being made with 2060 pages of vellum – calf skins washed in a bath of lime, stretched on a frame and treated with pumice.

Bede Museum shares the grounds with Jarrow Hall, and the lovely old building provides light refreshments in its cafeteria. (and cake, naturally!)  With the sun shining brightly, it was time to take a stroll through the Anglo-Saxon farm.  Curly-coated pigs, Dexter bullocks, goats, ducks and chickens share the 11 acre site with reproduction thatched farm buildings.

A gentle green path, fringed with primroses and blossom, leads to a mound topped by a cross, and a viewing point over the industrial River Tyne.

It’s a nice green space in an urban setting.  I hope you enjoyed it with me.  I’ll take you to St. Peter’s another time.  Meanwhile, this leaflet contains details of the whole trail, and here is a link to Bede Museum.

Great to have so many of you sharing walks with me again this week.  I really appreciate it.  Please find time to visit each other.  I know it’s a struggle sometimes but it really is worthwhile.  Join me any time here on Jo’s Monday walk.


Starting with a fabulous hike in Japan, with Celia.  The vistas are wonderful :

Spring Hiking at South Takao

Much flatter, but still full of interest, join Anabel in Holland :

A walk round Utrecht

Coffee and Leonard Cohen – I find both irresistible.  And where there’s Jackie, there’s always food!

Turkish Coffee

Where would you expect to find an English garden?  In Munich, of course!  Thanks, Lady Lee :

A morning in English garden

Standing stones are always fascinating, aren’t they?  Suzanne has found some most unusual ones :

A Mystical Destination – AVEBURY

Drake finds me an idyllic piece of Greenland to share this week :

Covenant with nature

And Gunta has immense Redwoods and Trilliums!

Hike to Trillium Falls

A city I’m to visit soon, but just in passing.  I wish I could take this tour with Meg :

Warsaw street art

Emma is tireless when it comes to the Welsh coastal footpath.  Her love for it shows in her paintings :

Pennard Cliffs & Three Cliffs Bay

Something I’d really love to do.  I wonder if Susan would like company?

Walking the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

From one iconic sight to another!  Hit the heights with Rosemay :

Hong Kong – A Walk Down The Peak (The Morning Trail)

That’s it for this week!  Distinctly cool here, but in England there’s another Bank Holiday coming up.  I’ll be taking you to some wide, open spaces next Monday.  Take care till then!

Six word Saturday

The star of our Spring garden

She’s a beauty, isn’t she?  I can’t think of a better compliment to a blue sky.  It’s turned rather chilly now, but I’ve sat beneath our Amelanchier on every possible occasion this Spring.  Join Debbie with a smile and Six Words this Saturday.

Lines that make me happy

I love the surprises that a garden springs.  How could I forget these fritillaries, and yet every year they surprise me anew.  I thought the beetle was very cute, but I’m told to keep him away from my lilies.

Lines are everywhere, aren’t they?  Cheri’s Daily Post Photo is beautiful this week.

Jo’s Monday walk : Arbeia Roman Fort

Meeting friends for coffee in South Shields, nothing was further from my mind than a Roman Fort.  Remember Crossing the Tyne when I took you inside the National Centre for the Written Word?  It has a nice little cafe with a view (and strawberry and rhubarb cheesecake), and this particular day there were Monsters in the exhibition space.

It’s a good starting point for an amble south of the river and, once outside, my eyes lit up when I read on a signpost ‘Arbeia Roman Fort – 1 mile’.  Now that’s a destination you won’t find every day!  Farewells were bid.  I was on a mission.

The area was once a hive of industry, rich in pubs for slaking a good thirst.  A well placed mural brings it all back to life.

The Metro now runs across the High Street, a straggle of shops, pubs and restaurants with a few allusions to the past.

I almost missed the clue, but a left turn took me in the direction of the river, and a few minutes later I was staring at the reconstruction of the West Gate of a Roman fort.  Slightly incongruous, but impressive, in the midst of a South Shields housing estate.

Arbeia Roman Fort, standing above the entrance to the River Tyne, guarded the main route by sea to Hadrian’s Wall and was thus of great strategic importance to the Romans.  It was a key garrison and military supply base to other forts along the Wall.  It  surprised me to find that this reconstruction, on the exact site of the original fort of AD160, was recreated 30 years ago.

There are numerous information boards around the site and, within the West Gate, models of how the fort once looked and an Armoury.  You can climb to the turrets of the gate to look down upon the ruins, and north to the Tyne and Wallsend. (Segedunum in Roman times)

In addition to the West Gate there is a Commanding Officer’s house, partially rebuilt using some of the original floor and foundations.  It includes a palisade and summer dining room, with lovely frescoes on the walls.  The Barrack Block was built using traditional Roman techniques from the 3rd century.  Soldiers usually lived here, 8 to an apartment.

I was very lucky to get inside.  It was still pre-season, but a school party were paying a visit.  Excavations have been ongoing at the fort since the 1870s, with significant finds enabling us to piece together the life of a Roman soldier.  The website gives details of opening hours and how to get there.   It was a lovely afternoon as I headed down through the park to the mouth of the Tyne.  On the far shore, Tynemouth Priory and, looking south, far along the coast, distant Souter Lighthouse.  The day had not turned out at all as I expected.  Extraordinary, in fact.

I hope you enjoyed accompanying me along the Tyne.  Our heritage is fascinating, isn’t it?

Lots more walks to share this week, so pop the kettle on and have a good read.  Many thanks to all of you for keeping this going.  Join me any time.  Details are on my Jo’s Monday walk page.


How’s morning where you are?  Come and sit harbourside with me and Drake!

Idyllic maltese mornings

You really wouldn’t want to hurry if you could spend time in Bhutan, like Ann Christine :

Walking Home – Slow Contemplation

My mother always loved lupins and Lisa’s are in a lovely location :

Return to Lupin Hill

Marsha takes some rather odd walks, don’t you think?

What you Should Know about Alligators : Instructions at Gatorland

Kathrin’s post epitomises sunny California.  Spot the ‘hidden’ beach!

Point Lobos State Reserve

Let Dippy-Dotty Girl brighten your day.  I can promise you a smile :

A Day in Lund

Never a dull moment with Jesh, either.  Anyone identify the flowers?

Enjoying The Park

I may be giving away secrets, but I hope Emma won’t mind :

Walking the Gower Coast : Pwll Du and Hunts Bay

You’ll be ready for food after all that walking.  Where else but Jackie’s place?

Luscious Lemons

Save some for the ducks and swans, with Lady Lee :

Swan Lake

Time spent with Pauline and Jack is always interesting.  Check out their sketches :

Time in Tenterfield : Road trip day 3

And day 4 takes us adventuring with boulders :

Into the Mountains : Day 4 of the road trip

When a photographer finds me, I have to reciprocate.  Meet Avirup at Walk of Life :

Photowalk at Territy Bazar – Kolkata

A sad little place?  Take a stroll with Irene :

Never Ending Trail

Now, for something completely different, a walk with my favourite beaver.  And Carol, of course!

Into the Blue

And here’s Carol, all alone (well, not really because Glen will be about too) :

Taking a Break

Still on the beautiful Australian coast, a walk with Karen rounds us off :

La Perouse Headland Walk

No complaints this week.  The amelanchier is blooming beautifully in our garden, and any chance I get, I’m out there.  Wishing you a week full of sunshine and blossom.