Hartlepool Headland

Here’s lookin’ at you, kid!

What is it about something that makes you just stop and have to take the photo?  I’m not sure, but this little guy and his crab friend have it.  I was heading into our railway station when the mural caught my eye.  I’ve created a small square to fit Becky’s challenge, In the Pink.  It’s such a very nice representation of Hartlepool Headland, with its pastel houses.  Below you can see the whole.  Am I pushing my luck to say Small is Beautiful?

Watching skies

In the lull between Christmas and New Year I find myself becalmed.  Part of me looks back in wonder at the year that’s gone (was it really only this year that my Florence dream came true?  It seems so distant, yet the images so clear)  The other part squirms with excitement at what might lay ahead.  I still have carefully nurtured memories of Portugal to share with you, but I’ll stay in the moment, for now.

There have been so many lovely skies this month, especially if you’ve been following Becky.  I feel like I’ve put my series to bed now.

Jo’s Monday walk : Back on the beach


Whenever we go walking on our north east England coastline, we keep an idle eye open for sea glass.  Usually it’s in milky soft hues, but bottle green and turquoise are not unknown . The little chap above had us well fooled.  He’d obviously swum out of a child’s bucket, to twinkle up at us from the beach.

I won’t be walking with you next week, so I’m determined to leave you with some sunny images.  Last week was a little glum, wasn’t it?


The other half wanders through the shot, distracting me from getting a level horizon.  The one below is better. (and minus my shadow!)


The tide was advancing rapidly that day, and I had to do my famous teetering on rocks act, camera stowed safely in my pocket.  Why is it that he has so much better a sense of balance?  He kindly came back to hold my hand, or we might never have got there.


It’s a coastline with an industrial past, so the rocks are always interestingly speckled and battered.  And there’s the sea glass to enjoy.



Not forgetting the occasional sea monster!  There’s one structure that always draws the eye.  Rotting timbers and frayed stumps simply add to the appeal of the magnificent remnants of Steetley Magnesite’s pier.





I never tire of shooting it, from all angles.  The last shot is a good example of convergence, isn’t it?  Sonel pointed one out to me the other day.  If you’re looking for photographic skill combined with creativity, hers is a great place to visit.

At this point you have a choice.  So long as the tide cooperates you can carry on along the craggy coastline, towards Crimdon Dene.

Sometimes the wind whips up, swirling the sands around you.  Click on the last photo in the gallery above and you’ll be able to make out the pier, in the far distance.  We’ve walked quite a way.  You can continue through the Dene, catching a bus back down the coast road, or you can retrace your steps along the beach.

Eventually you come back to Hartlepool Headland, with it’s proudly standing town walls. It’s been a safe haven for me for many a long year.  Look beyond the harbour, and on the horizon you can just make out the industry along Seal Sands Road, where we went seal spotting last week.


On the Headland, Mary Rowntree’s tearooms have a lovely view across the harbour.  But I feel I know you well enough to invite you back to mine.  I’ll just pop the kettle on.  See you soon!

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My posting will be haphazard, to say the least, for the next month.  I’m deserting this safe haven for my familiar Algarve one, where I usually switch off from the world and its worries.  I hope to have another walk for you on Monday, 25th April, but just a few days after that I will be accompanying Dad to Poland for 2 weeks.  Another family visit and lots of smiles.

If, in the meantime, you’d like to share a walk, please feel free to do so, but be aware that I might not be able to share it for a while. Many thanks for your continuing support.  As usual, the logo above will take you to my Jo’s Monday walk page.


SO excited to kick off this week with a walk by Lucile!  If you don’t know her, you’re in for a treat (and if you do, you’ll expect the best, and not be disappointed).  AND she’s in Portugal!

Walking through Sights and colours of Lisbon

Introducing a blog called MyScribblez next.  All scribblers amongst you, please pop over and say ‘hi’ :

Quebec on Foot

Drake likes the ladies, especially in an artful pose :

Blooming nudity

The scenery around Greenock is a nice surprise.  Take a look with Anabel :

The Greenock Cut

You won’t be surprised to find that Jackie likes shopping :

St. Lawrence Market

Or that Ellen has a badly behaved dinghy?  Maybe it’s been reformed since this post :

Going for a Walk : Coromandel Town (or Coro pies are best)

Smidge has some nice romantic looking photos from the Scottish Borders :

Dryburgh Abbey & The River Tweed

And Susan… how about close encounters with a good-looking cow or two?

Sadie’s Walk

Denzil got up at the crack of dawn for this walk, so he deserves your appreciation :

GR571 Stage 4 : Trois-Ponts to Vielsam 

And getting me nicely in the mood for the Algarve- thanks a lot, Becky!   Your place or mine?

Exploring the Grande Rota do Guadiana

That’s it folks!  Thanks again for all the shares and for the pleasure you give me.  Take care of yourselves.




Six word Saturday


High seas and a happy family!





Something that I seem to have in common with my Polish family is a love for the sea.  My cousin Grażyna and husband, Jarek, have their own boat on the Norfolk Broads.  Remember Tilting at Windmills?  Mostly smooth sailing, but when my uncle Włodek came to England for the first time, with his lovely lady, Weronika, they were keen to stroll beside the bracing North Sea.  The fact that it was a cool, heavily overcast day did not deter them, so long as the rain kept off.

You could be forgiven for thinking that the above photos were taken in black and white.  Not so!  With whoops of delight we watched the sea pitch and twirl, as it put on a grand display, just for us.  It was spellbinding!

The statue in the square seemed to be vainly imploring the waves.  Somewhere warm and dry was called for and the Museum of Hartlepool, with its maritime theme, fitted the bill perfectly.  An exhibition dedicated to the bombardment of Hartlepool in 1914, and featuring the iconic poppies, was a welcome bonus, as was the gaslit cafe on the paddle steamer PSS Wingfield Castle.


Three German warships attacked our town on the morning of December 16th, 1914.  The attack left 130 people dead and more than 500 injured.


It was almost closing time so, after kawa and herbata, we trooped happily back to ours for food.

That was my week.  How about yours?  Have you got six words to share with Cate at Show My Face?  I’ll be back on Monday, with a different kind of watery walk.  Hope to see you then.  Have a good weekend!


Jo’s Monday walk : Dodging golf balls!

Crossing the railway lines

The bridge crossing the railway lines

I was a little conflicted over which walk to share with you today.  Logically, it should be the one which culminates with Penshaw Monument, which intrigued many of you last week.  But I’m often not a logical creature, and I’m always susceptible to the pull of the sea.

Hartlepool has three golf courses.  I’ve never especially felt the need to wallop a golf ball, though I did once demonstrate a mild talent for pitch and put.  All 3 courses have sea views, but by far the most scenic is very close to the sea.  I would never be able to concentrate on the ball, so it’s a good job I’m a walker.  Our start point is on the Hart to Haswell walkway, just north of Hartlepool Headland.  Are you ready?  We’ll need to step out briskly to keep warm!

You can already see and smell the sea as you cross the bridge

You can see, and almost smell, the sea as you cross the bridge

The path leads down towards the sea

Through the gate, the path leads down towards the sea

And then, a glimpse of beach

And then, a glimpse of beach

The gorse is beginning to flower- always an encouraging sign.  Depending on how high the tide, you will probably find a ribbon of water, wriggling its way towards the sea.

The curve of an errant strip of water

The curve of an errant strip of water

With the sun so low, the water glimmers electric blue

With the sun so low, the water glimmers an electric blue

You have a choice at this point.  You can stay down at beach level or ascend a gentle gradient to the golf course. There is a public right of way, but you venture there at your own risk.

In other words, keep your head down!

In other words, keep your head down!

Just a little windswept!

Just a little windswept?

Probably not 'sitting on a bench' weather!

Certainly not ‘sitting on a bench’ weather!

The advantage of being up on the tops is that you can remain in the sun for a little longer.  Below, on the beach, the shadows rapidly lengthen and you need to increase your pace.

The shadows have swept the beach bare

The shadows have swept the beach almost bare

Retreating out to sea

As the sun retreats, out to sea

We’re not too far from the Headland now, and you may recognise a landmark ahead.  The pier that once belonged to Steetley Magnesite, and betrays our industrial past, has featured in several of my posts.  I find it a compelling sight.

Steetley pier in the distance

Steetley pier in the distance

And in close up

And in close up

It’s a little like a magnet to me, and I have to admit that I probably overdid it on this walk.  You can about face and retrace your steps at any point, but having reached the pier I had determined to continue to the Headland.  It’s the only place nearby where you can obtain refreshments.

I confess that I did not walk all the way back.  There is a bus from the Headland which would take me home.  I was rather lucky on this occasion, and met some friends, who’d been having scones with jam and cream in Mary Rowntree’s.  They kindly offered me a lift.  You just never know what might happen when you go out for a walk!  I hope you enjoyed this one.

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Time to thank all my lovely contributors again this week.  They will take you to some ravishing places!  Pop the kettle on and settle down for a good read.  If you happen to have a walk you’d like to share, I’d be delighted.  My Jo’s Monday walk page tells you how.


No-one can tell a story like Tish Farrell!  I know that you will enjoy…

To the Isle of Dwynwen, Welsh Saint of lovers

Another shot full of drama from Cardinal!  Anyone been to Oslo?

Winter Sunset

Debbie takes us to Ljubljana.  That girl gets to the loveliest places!

A Short Plecnik Walk 

No need to venture beyond this garden, in South Africa!  Let Sonel show you around  :

In our Garden

Amy’s educating us about the Banyan tree next.  Who knew?

Which Way?

And there’s a beautiful sequel to Paula’s walk from last week.  Don’t miss it!

A Walk among the Menhirs- Sequel

You knew that Drake would be here again, didn’t you?  Indoors, this time!

Indoor walking!

Use Feng shui and prayer flags to boost your energy?  Like Elena  :

Wind Horse in the Mountains

For complete contrast, a luxurious stroll, with beetroot tart and salad- with Rosemay  :

On the Heritage Trail, South Perth

And while we’re down that way, let’s finish the day deliciously, in Canberra with Jude.

R G Menzies Evening Walk

What’s better than a walk?  A walk and a steam train ride, of course!  Many thanks to Lisa  :

Kawakawa-Opua Cycle Trail

Absolutely fantastic walks!  I really hope you can find time to read them.  I’ll be back with you next Monday, but after that there’ll be a short break.  Happy walking in the meantime!

A dusky beauty

The sun descends- is this dusk?

The sun descends- is this dusk?

I wait!

I wait!

That's the one!

Perhaps this is the one?

I’m usually homeward bound by dusk, but Paula’s theme for this week requires that I loiter.  This once, I didn’t mind.  Have a look at Thursday’ Special.  I think you’ll find that it is!


Joy is… so many things!


High tide!

I’m torn this week!  I have several reasons to be joyful.  Is that allowed, do you think?

The first one is that I have finally caught up with returning visits to my blog, after a week’s absence.  That is pure delight, never mind joy!  If I’ve missed anybody, will you give me a gentle nudge, please?

The second?  I can, more or less, operate my new phone.  Doing a dance for joy right now!

The third is the bit I’m going to share with you today.  In a generally gloomy week, we had a little pocket of sunshine in which I popped out to do a few jobs.  They just happened to be in the direction of Hartlepool Headland, and it was high tide.  Pure, unadulterated joy!

Whoosh goes the sea, against the pier!

Whoosh goes the sea, against the pier!

And against the town wall!

And against the sea wall!

This solitary chap was being a bit daring!

This solitary chap was being a bit daring!

But he got away with it!

But he got away with it!

For me there are few things more joyful than watching the sea demonstrate its might on a sunny afternoon.  I crouched beside the sea wall, excited as a child as the pier took hit after hit.  Of course, I should have rested the camera on the wall and stayed put till I got that perfect shot.  But so delighted was I at the great claps of spray flying around me that I totally forgot to stay still. The results are as you see.  But I had such fun!

You have to love it!

You have to love it!

It would have been so easy to get wet!

It would have been so easy to get wet!

But I somehow avoided it

But I somehow avoided it

Gorgeous, isn't it?

Gorgeous, isn’t it?

I had another reason to be joyful, but I’d better save that till next week, don’t you think?  Can I overdose on joy?

If you’d like to share a little more, please visit Kan.  Her Joy is series is just that.  A joy!


Six word Saturday


At last I found number 13!

Just watching the waves

Just watching the waves

Back in April I introduced you to the Hartlepool Story Trail.  It seems a long time ago and I’ve strolled on the Headland many times since then. This has been an unbelievably mild October!  A little wild and windy at times but I really haven’t wanted to be indoors.  So, on Tuesday, when the wind was blowing me inside out but the skies were bright, I battled the Headland again.

It’s always more sheltered beside the Town Wall and so, after a brisk walk beside the sea, I headed for relative calm.   How is it that you can always find something if you’re not looking for it?  There, staring me in the face, was the elusive no. 13!  How many times must I have walked past it, unknowing?  Or has somebody been playing tricks with me and ‘spooked’ it away?  It is Halloween soon, you know.

Would you believe I missed it!

Would you believe I missed it?

It’s not a pretty thing, but it’s titled ‘Lifeboats Gallantry’ and on closer inspection I read that it pays tribute to the many acts of gallantry of our local lifeboat men.  I’m so glad I finally found it.

Happy Six Word Saturday!   I won’t be taking part next week.  With any luck I’ll be at A garden fair at Estoi Palace in the Algarve on Saturday. But I’ll be taking you for another Jo’s Monday walk before I go.  Don’t forget to visit Cate at Show My Face, will you?  And enjoy your weekend!



Joy is… a beach and a blue sky!

Joy is... the wide blue horizon

Joy is… the wide blue horizon

An empty beach

An empty beach

The retreating tide

The retreating tide

The roll of the waves

The roll of the waves

Reflections in the sand

Reflections in the sand

A couple of fishermen

A fisherman or two

Just a puff of cloud

A few puffs of cloud

Patterns in the sand

Patterns in the wet sand

Buried treasure?

Buried treasure?

Even the clouds don't trouble me

Even the gathering clouds can’t dim my joy

For many weeks I’ve been meaning to join Kan on her lovely series Joy is…  This week she charmed me with her preparations for Diwali.  I knew it was time to share with her what joy is for me.  I know that she likes the simple things in life, and I hope that she loves beaches.  This is my local one- the simple life for me.

Please do visit her at Kan Walk Will Travel.  It’s a beautiful and joyous place.  And looking back at this post, I think it might well qualify for Paula’s Thursday’s Special, in which she visits Lake Czorsztyn in Poland.  I’ve been there so I know that it’s pretty special.



Six word Saturday


An old dog, and new tricks!

One of my old shots, given a new look

One of my old shots, given a new look

Superb effect, isn’t it?  I could bore everybody witless with this one but I think it’s SO clever!  You might have seen the photo on my Thursday’s Special, using the same technique?  It’s done by using a free download called Lunapic.  I think it’s absolutely amazing!

And another oldie, brought to life

And another oldie, brought to life!

The forecast is for storms this weekend so if you’re stuck at home, here’s something to play with. If I can find the time, I will too! Both photos are of Hartlepool Headland.

But first I need to visit Cate at Show My Face to play Six word Saturday.  Have a happy weekend!