Hartlepool marina

Six word Saturday

Spinning and spinning and spinning around…

There’s always Liquid to be found when you live on the coast, but it’s not every day you find a jet ski showing off inside the lock gates.

This view is a constant, though… so long as the sky is blue!  Wishing you a happy day, whether you spend it watching Harry and Meg, outstanding tennis, the FA Cup final or none of those.  The one thing you must do is share Six Words with Debbie.

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.

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.

Still waters

Run deep, don’t they say?  Last Thursday I had you standing by the lock gates, in Hartlepool marina.  I was playing along with Paula, which I like to do.  By one of those strange serendipities of life, three days later found me back at the harbourside.  As you can see, it was an altogether different sort of day.  I sauntered around the marina, camera doing all the work.

As I approached the lock gates the alarm began to sound.  One gate was closing and the outer gate opening, to admit incoming vessels.  It’s always a captivating sight to me, and I walked out to a good vantage point.  As I watched, a procession of boats lined up before me.

Isn’t the sky a magnificent canvas?  As the boats passed beneath me, I could almost reach down and ‘high five’ them.  Well, almost!

How do you decide what to post next?  Are you driven by the numerous challenges?  I try not to be.  I would far rather post what’s in my heart.  All the better if it’s something uplifting.  There are plenty of sad days, aren’t there?  I’m not joining Thursday’s Special this week, but it still is.

Along the Quayside

Funny what you can find when you dig about a bit.  Trying to reduce my oceans of photo files, I opened up a folder downloaded from my phone. Many of the photos have been retained out of sentiment.  I remember wandering in our marina one late afternoon, as the light lingered on the water.  No other camera to hand, I took the first group.

The lock gates often have their admirers, especially if there’s a huddle of canoeists passing through.  Yet again I must have been caught napping, without camera.  It’s a while since I went down to the Quayside.  I think these are custom made for this week’s Thursday’s Special.


Six word Saturday


I went looking for reflections, but…

I didn't find many

I didn’t find many

I did find lots of boats

But I did find lots of boats

And you know I like a boat or two

And you know I like a boat or two

This wasn't quite the reflection I had in mind

This wasn’t quite the reflection I had in mind

Isn't it looking pretty today?

Isn’t it looking pretty today?

Just a whisper of reflection

Found a whisper of a reflection

Light patterns play in the water

And the sun playing in the water

The Black Diamond training ship

And around the Black Diamond training ship

Hooray!  A cloud reflected in the window

Hooray! A cloud reflected in the window

The inner harbour is flat calm

Flat calm- fluffy clouds in the inner harbour

At last!  A full on reflection

At last! A full on reflection

Next week’s Thursday’s Special has the theme ‘reflections’.  On a clear bright day this week I thought I’d get ahead of the game.  But there was just enough wind to ripple the water and make my task that little bit harder.  No matter!  I enjoyed playing anyway.

I won’t be going anywhere near Hartlepool marina this weekend.  It’s grey and wet!   Maybe we’re saving the sunshine for next weekend’s long Easter Break.  Wherever you are I hope you have a happy weekend.   And don’t forget to visit Cate at Show My Face to play Six word Saturday.


Jo’s Monday walk : the marina

Shadows lengthen in Hartlepool marina

Shadows lengthen in Hartlepool marina

I’ve been scrolling back through my Monday walks, trying to decide where to take you next.  I still have a few, unshared, Algarve memories, but I think today we’ll just have a peaceful stroll around our marina.  I’m continuing my hassle free mood.  The Christmas rush will arrive soon enough.

Though the last few days here have been damp and dreary, last weekend the sunsets were liquid and beautiful.   Perfect for a stroll!  Dusk comes early at this time of year and, with the sun so low in the sky, the light and shade has a magic all its own.

The view from Jackson's Landing

The view from Jackson’s Landing

Looking down towards the marina

Looking down towards the marina

The colours reflect so well in the still water

The colours reflect so well in the calm water

The sun bounces from the flats to the water

The sun bounces off the apartments

And then fades!

And then fades!

You’ve probably noticed, I can always loiter by boats.  And with the sun descending into a liquid pool, the temptation is even greater.  I succumb every time!

The sun, lending highlights to the boats

The sun paints highlights on the boats

Caressing the red  lovingly

Lovingly caressing the red

And lighting up the water

Then sinking gently towards the water

Isn't it magical?

Magical, isn’t it?

I linger till the light's almost gone

I struggle to tear myself away!

Light is a deceptive thing because, as I look back, the boats appear still well lit.  I look towards the sea, and wonder if I might make it to the sea wall in the time remaining before sunset.

Looking back across the marina

Looking back across the marina

Beyond the lock gates, two overgrown, ramshackle piers reach out to meet their mate across the water.  There is a poignancy to them, with their neglected grassy tufts.  The new sea defense walls make them look very shabby, but it’s atmospheric out there, with the evening shadows.

Can you see the fishermen, huddled against the rocks?

Can you see the fishermen, huddled against the rocks?

The sun has almost set

A last dazzle of sunlight

A cycle path leads around the back of the apartment blocks, and back to Jackson’s landing, where we started out.  A smokey haze rests on the water as the final clouds drift up and away.

The clouds drift up and away

Dying light!

I hope you enjoyed my very local stroll this week.  No place like home?  I’ve had the saddest weekend and would like to extend huge thanks to my blogging friends.  They’re always there when I need them.  Spending time on this post helped a little to distract me from the sudden and tragic death of a dear friend and neighbour in the Algarve.

walking logo

If you’d like to join me on a walk, short or long, you’d be more than welcome.  The logo above will take you to my Jo’s Monday walks page.  Meanwhile, many thanks for all these great contributions.  Time to put the kettle on, and enjoy.

Jude’s having a great time in Australia!  Check this out  :

Dee Why Lagoon

Colline’s walk couldn’t be more different!  Brrrh!  🙂

A Walk through the Park

Drake’s a little early with his Christmas walk, but he’s off travelling soon  :

Early Christmas walk

Texan beauty is what we’ve come to expect from Amy.  You won’t be disappointed!

Enchanted Rock

Always nice to welcome someone new, especially on a waterfall walk  :

Handstands and Hiking

And loiter in some mysterious woods in Germany.  Thanks, Tobias!

Home Range II

Or you could go admiring clocks with Elena  :

Where is Solothurn?

You know Yvette’s always fun!  How about a train ride this week?

Triple Crossing Train Tracks

While Jill’s taking us where the trees are green  :

Eastwoodhill- a tree lover’s sanctuary

Have a great week of walking!  I hope your weather’s good.

Remember those clouds?

The heavens descend to Hartlepool marina!

They landed in Hartlepool marina!

So much of photography is being in the right place at the right time, isn’t it?  I’ve done a lot of walking in the past few days because it’s been too nice to be indoors.  I was wearily heading home on Saturday teatime as the sun dipped in the sky.  Looking for the shortest possible route, I headed through Hartlepool marina, and this was my reward.

A handful of clouds had fallen in!

A handful of clouds were swimming

The boats reflected sharply in the sea of clouds.  I simply stood and stared.

An ordinary view, tinged with magic

An ordinary view, blessed with sky magic

A majestic pair

I felt like this majestic pair, totally at peace.

A smile on my face, I carried on towards home.  If you didn’t see it, I was chasing clouds on the horizon earlier in the week.  I seem to have shepherded them to our marina.

I’m linking this post to Paula’s Thursday’s Special.  So is Paula.  Go take a look.


Boats, and more boats!

I always wanted a houseboat!

I always wanted a houseboat!

Do you know, I think I know what it must feel like to have your name up in lights on Broadway!  Or, maybe Shaftesbury Avenue?  Not once, but twice this week I have found my name in a blog!  Fame, notoriety, or just really lovely friends?  I think you know the answer.

First I’m invited to go Split-toning with Sonel.  Now you know, and I know, and even Sonel knows that technique and me are strangers when it comes to photography.  But I have been known to mess about a bit.

Whilst I was thinking how best to approach this, I suddenly found myself a sparkling diamond on Paula’s  beautiful Thursday’s Special.  What’s a girl to do but slap on some powder and paint, add a few spangles, and step onto the landing stage.  Ahoy there!

The marina transformed!

The marina transformed!

Of course, I have no idea what I’m doing.  I’m like a child with a paintbox- a splash of this, a dash of that!  I only know what I like, and am limited to Ulead Photo Express 4.0 to effect the changes.

I like a working boat too, don't you?

I like a working boat too, don’t you?

I could have sketched this myself? Maybe not!

I could have sketched this myself? Maybe not!

I’m not at all sure that this is appropriate but I really like the effect.  I used a variation of “Oilpaint” in Ulead Photo Express.  I think it looks a bit like a negative, or a picture in a child’s colouring book.

I don't mind a boatyard either

I don’t mind a boatyard, now and then

Sonel knows I like sepia. It's kind of my era!

And Sonel knows I like sepia. It’s kind of my era!

Such an exotic name for a tiny boat!

Such an exotic name for a tiny boat!

This is a watercolour effect

This is a watercolour effect- unsure if it’s appropriate, but I really like it.

I like the reflection on this one

I rather like the reflection on this one

This blue effect seems to bring the photo alive to me

But, for me, it comes alive with the blue effect.

Talking of reflections, this one I really like

Talking of reflections, this one I really love

Another one I love

And with a pink tint, too.

This little wooden craft is a favourite of mine too

This little wooden craft is a favourite of mine

Or a blue tint?

Do you like the blue tint?

And in the harbour mighty PSS Wingfield Castle

And finally, in the harbour, mighty paddlesteamer PSS Wingfield Castle

Sepia takes this right back in time

Sepia takes it right back in time, don’t you think?

I have to humbly apologise to Sonel if this wasn’t quite what she intended.  Do, please, visit Sonel’s Corner to see how it really should be done, and maybe try it yourself.  She is an expert in my eyes, and also the loveliest friend.

Meantime, the star of the show is Hartlepool marina.  I have spent many happy hours there taking photographs of boats.  Paula knows I love them.  I’d like to say thank you to her for making my Thursday very special.  Do you have something special you’d like to share?  Thursday’s Special is the place to do it.