Alice in Wonderland

Six word Saturday

The eccentricity of an English summer

Last Sunday we attended a charity event in the magnificent grounds of Aske Hall, in North Yorkshire.  Situated in beautiful countryside, near the village of West Gilling, we had no idea of the high jinks in store.  Meet the cast!

The view down to the lake.  It’s quite a place, and incidentally, was open for the Heritage Open Days this week.  One of many, isn’t it, Becky?  Just three pink squares this week.  Did you spot them?  I’m worn out with climbing all the stairs, but Debbie’s having great fun.  Hope you’ve got your Six Words ready?  Have a happy Saturday, everyone!

Jo’s Monday walk : Lovely Llandudno

The Great Orme, from Llandudno pier

The last expedition that my Dad made was to Llandudno.  He loved his little mini-breaks with National Coaches, where the driver did all the work, bringing bite-sized chunks of our island within his reach.   He did his share of gallivanting, but as the years wore on he was more focused on a bit of company and a pint.  ‘Did you go up the Great Orme?’ I asked him, on his return.  Turns out he spent most of his time in the British Legion Club.

On our way back from Anglesey earlier this year, the coast road through North Wales took us past Llandudno.  I knew I’d have to take a look, for sentimental reasons.  Did I manage a trip up the Orme? Come with me and see.

Being truthful, I had little idea what to expect of Llandudno, and I was very pleasantly surprised.  In March it was without the throng of seaside crowds, and the chill in the air didn’t matter too much when faced with a long promenade and an empty beach.  And look- a pier!

A flat calm sea, and not a boat trip in sight!  It’ll have to be the pier then.  That’s Little Orme, far out across the bay.

There’s something about a pier, don’t you think?  That sensation of water all around and below. It’s like being out at sea but with a foothold on dry land.  Built in 1878, this one is a Grade II listed building, and is 700 metres long.

There’s lots to learn about Llandudno if you have the time, but I was simply passing through.

Marine Drive stretches for 4 miles around the foot of the Great Orme, and there’s a former lighthouse, now a hotel, part way round.  I was itching to set off, my husband not so keen.  You can drive around the toll road, but what I did want to do was reach the summit of the Orme.  I had read that the flora and fauna are unique up there, and just imagine the view!

Up above my husband had spotted the cable car.  The chances of it running were slim, but naturally we had to go and check.  Up the hill we went.

Of course, it wasn’t running, but the views as we climbed higher were magnificent.  I was also to discover the Alice in Wonderland connection.

Alice Pleasance Hargreaves (born Liddell) inspired the children’s classic by Lewis Carroll (the pen name of Charles Dodgson) when she asked him to tell her a story, on a boating trip in Oxford.  She and her family regularly spent holidays in Llandudno at ‘Penmorfa’, later to become the Gogarth Abbey Hotel.  Had I called at the Tourist Information office, I could no doubt have picked up a leaflet for the Alice in Wonderland Town Trail.   “Oh, my ears and whiskers!”  55 bronze White Rabbit footprints!

Nevertheless I was happy with the sweeping views of both bays as I climbed the hill from the Happy Valley Gardens.

Still optimistic for the tram ride up the Great Orme, I had an anxious eye on the weather as the clouds rolled in.  It had been raining lightly when we left Anglesey and I was sure it was on it’s way.  In the nick of time I spotted the tram station, with tram no. 5  waiting at the platform.

But it wasn’t to be.  The ticket office was firmly closed and, as I watched in dismay, the tram pulled away, with only the maintenance crew on board.

It seemed such a waste!  I really wouldn’t have taken up much space.  Nothing to do but seek consolation in food and drink.

Llandudno has been dubbed ‘Queen of the Welsh resorts’ and there’s an aura to the place that I loved.  Byegone elegance in the architecture, I could conjure the twirl of parasols and the cool sweep of a crinoline just by half closing my eyes.  Perhaps Dad and me were never meant to climb the Great Orme.  I’ll have to leave that to the imagination, too.

The Llandudno website offers a wide variety of things to see and do.  I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

I’ve scheduled this walk because I was spending the weekend with my daughter, in Nottingham. Apologies if you’ve sent me a walk and it’s not included below.  You’ll find it here next week. Many thanks to all my lovely contributors.  It’s always a pleasure to share your walks.  Details of how to join in are on my Jo’s Monday walk page.  Pop that kettle on now?


A walk with Debbie is always a treat, even if there’s no icecream on offer :

A Magnum walk

A great-looking bridge and other interesting architecture, from Eunice :

Roaming round Rivington

Indra brings us more tales from the Indo-Chinese border :

Sikkim Odyssey 2- Nathu La… the pass that wasn’t there

That lucky Drake is down on the Mediterranean coast this week :

Azur and gold

French temptations

Jackie’s back home in Toronto but reliving a few memories :


I do love a Tall Ship!  Lady Lee takes us to Portsmouth :

HMS Victory

While Woolly makes a sad trip in France :


And Hanna a poetic one, in beautiful Denmark :

A Poem is a walk

Just use your eyes, and you can enter Meg’s world :

Wordless walk : Swamp Trail

I’m traveling home this afternoon so I’ll probably be slow with my responses, but I’ll get there. Thank you for your patience and continued support. Have a great week!

Six word Saturday


Alice in…  Saltburn-by-the-Sea

Hanging about on Saltburn pier

Just hanging about on Saltburn pier!

I could have chosen a better day to visit Saltburn, but the sun was shining when I left home.  At least I didn’t have to elbow my way through the crowds, but the wind had Alice and her friends bobbing about a bit!  Still good fun, though.  See how many characters you can recognise?

Of course, there was tea!

Of course, there was tea!

Even a slice of Battenberg!

Even a slice of Battenberg!

It's by invitation only

By invitation only

But at least there's plenty of time!

But at least there’s plenty of time!

Not the Ugly Bug Ball

Not the Ugly Bug Ball!

Don’t forget to click on the smaller photos for details!

Surely not?

Surely not?

Are you talking to me?

Are you talking to me?

I might be!

I’m feeling just a little cross!

It'll end in tears!

It’ll end in tears!

I had such fun playing with these guys!  Each year Saltburn comes up trumps with its yarn bombing, whatever the weather.  I hope you enjoyed it too.  Thanks to Elaine for reminding me, because I almost forgot.

Have a happy weekend, won’t you, and don’t forget to pop in on Cate at Show My Face with your ‘six’ words.  See you Monday!


Six word Saturday


If you wanted to see Alice?

If you saw my posts about Castle Howard at Christmas this week, you’ll know I’m quite fond of Chatsworth House in Derbyshire too.  I noticed that they’ve extended their opening hours into the New Year.  Here’s a peek at their video if you think you might be tempted?

It looks fun, don’t you think?

This was my second shot at Six word Saturday this week.  I was Nordic walking on the beach on Thursday, playing with my phone camera (the others were not amused- it was way too cold to linger!)  A big black cloud swept in, showering us with hail and sleet, and the camera point blank refused to work.  Remember my ‘let it snow’ post last week?

Be careful what you wish for!

Still, I quite liked the photos the camera took.  Here’s just a sample (with WordPress snow!) :

Here comes that cloud!

Beware  that cloud!

However you plan to spend the run up to Christmas, I hope you won’t get too stressed.  Have a great weekend, and don’t forget to visit Cate at Show My Face to share your six words.


Young at heart


I’m fa-a–ll-ing!

One of the highlights of my December is always a visit to the windows of Fenwick’s department store in Newcastle-on-Tyne.  Doesn’t it just bring out the child?  This year’s theme is Alice.

It’s not always easy to get your nose pressed up against the windows, but I did what I could. After all, you’ve got to leave space for the children!

You're a very fine looking caterpillar!

You’re a very fine looking caterpillar!

Who’s your favourite character?  I was always a little in love with the White Rabbit.  The husband says it’s because I’m always late!  Well, maybe just a little…

Croquet, your Majesty? I don't believe I do.

Croquet, your Majesty? I don’t believe I do.

Oh, not off with his head!

Oh, not ‘off with his head!’

He IS such a handsome rabbit!

He IS such a handsome rabbit!

But thank goodness, it was all a dream!

But thank goodness, it was all a dream!

All’s well that ends well for another year, and many children, both young and old, will be royally entertained.  You won’t be surprised to know that this is my Christmas entry for Dawn’s Lingering Look at Windows.

When Paula announced that her theme for this week was Young– well, what’s a youngster going to do?  You will join me in visiting them both, won’t you?  We can stay young together.



The Booker Award

This has to be the scariest award I have ever received.  There is so much potential here to fall flat on my face.  Not that it’d be the first time, but I only have to look at the other recipients to tremble in my boots.  Madhu, whose work I revere, has nominated me, alongside The Wanderlust Gene and Jo Bryant.  How intimidating is that?  Or maybe I mean inspiring?

Reading the small print, “for those who refuse to live in the real world”- well,  I can certainly relate to that.  Such a cruel and heartless world it can be.  There’s every reason to escape into fantasy.  The nightly news horrifies me.  Why can we not live in peace and harmony?  Our minds are capable of so much that is amazing.  Why then are we so prone to destruction?  Naive I know, but I don’t understand it.

I couldn’t, hand on heart, describe my childhood as a happy one, and books were always my preferred means of escape.  The difficulty I find as I grow older is that my powers of recollection struggle.  Even books that make an enormous impression on me are hazy in the detail just a few weeks after reading.  So this award filled me with both joy and dread.

My solution?  Like Alice, I’m off to a fantasy world. I could so easily be the White Rabbit, scurrying along with never enough time.  I’m sure many of the nuances of Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” were lost on me, but it is the ultimate in escapism.

Croquet on the village green

Oh my ears and whiskers, I’m late!

Growing up, I loved Kenneth Grahame’s “The Wind in the Willows”, of course, and Louisa Alcott’s “Little Women”. Graham Greene and Hemingway found me next.  Loving travel as I do, it’ll come as no surprise to find that I’m drawn to books with exotic backgrounds.  Thus it was that I found myself in Afghanistan with Khaled Hussein’s “The Kite Runner”.  I was swept along with Amir, on his quest for redemption, in a world of which I had no conception.  I guess that what I look for most in a book is an insight into, and hopefully a little understanding of, another world.  It’s not always a happy journey.  I found Dave Boling’s brilliant “Guernica” harrowing, no less so for its being based on real life events.  Escapism doesn’t always work out well.

Markus Zusak, however, held me enthralled with “The Book Thief”.  Making Death a narrator, sympathetic to humankind, was pure genius in my view. It seemed so appropriate in book burning, hatred filled Nazi Germany. The book is a real celebration of both the power of the written word, and the human spirit. I loved it.

“Some like it Hot”, iconic 50 years after her death- Monroe courtesy of Wikipedia

When I discovered Joyce Carol Oates I was stopped in my tracks by her formidable writing talent.  To me a great writer expresses things I would want to say, but don’t have the means.  Joyce Carol Oates has this in abundance.  I cannot conceive of writing a book such as “Blonde”, however drawn I am to the legend that was Marilyn Monroe.  Neither could I envisage penning “The Gravedigger’s Daughter”.

How am I doing?  I had to list my five favourite books for this award.  Not so easy, is it?  I’m going with the ones in bold, and that still leaves me one to choose.  I am an unashamed romantic, and “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin”,  by Louis de Bernieres, gets my last vote.

Rugged Kefallonia

“What is left when the passion is gone” is how Pelagia’s father describes love.  It certainly has a lot to endure in the case of the Captain and his lady.  I saw the film before I ever read the book, and was quite happy to picture Nicolas Cage as my hero.  As always happens with a great book, it was better than the film, and truer to life.

If you followed the link to Madhu, you’ll be aware that I’m about to pass the Booker Award on to five more readers.

Just Add Attitude  As blog names go, this is a nice one, and I’ve enjoyed finding out about B’s love of London, Paris and Dublin (her native city).  Now to find out which books she likes?

Writing between the Lines Naomi is an inspiring writer and photographer whose warmth and affectionate nature shines through between those lines.

Colline’s Blog is “a potpourri of thoughts and experiences”, in her own words.  I’d like to hear more.

Travel with Kat  A true world traveller is Kat, with an interesting past and an absorbing present.  I hope she can find the time to accept this.

Read Me If you look at Patti’s blog it will immediately become obvious that she’s another Alice fan (and I don’t mean Cooper).  We both have two children with a huge gap between them.  I wonder what else we might have in common?

Thank you Madhu, for sharing this with me, though like your friend Rommel, I have my doubts.