Jakesprinter Sunday Post

A musical interlude

Pearlescent beauty

Pearlescent beauty

Sometimes this blogging world leads me down paths I don’t really want to take.  What place does an Ibanez guitar have in a travel blog?  But it is an instrument of great beauty, and though he rarely plays it these days, a treasured possession of my son’s.

You’re used to seeing my daughter sashay through my pages, with her inimitable flair and style. James, though, would not appreciate an appearance here, though he’s happy enough to perform in another venue.

He’s a left hander who started his musical journey as an Iron Maiden fan.  A proud moment when he was in sixth form college was having Janick Gers (a local lad made very good) from Maiden come to their new recording studio.  The photo still lives on my study wall, and I won’t embarrass James by showing it here.

His real love is recording, though he loves to play too.  Down the years I have followed his musical tastes, sometimes with real pleasure, sometimes with horror.  Instruments have come and gone, but these days it’s not so much the instruments that occupy every available space in his bedroom (and beyond!)  It’s the array of sound pedals and gadgetry which I totally fail to appreciate. There’s little beauty to them.

Many have graced his pedalboard, and I do remember a pretty yellow one.  A little like photography, nothing comes ‘untampered with’ these days, and James will spend many happy hours on his laptop, composing and mixing the sounds.

For me there is nothing quite so fine as listening to my son strum his guitar and sing.

So, many thanks to Jake for reminding me.  Have you joined in with this week’s Sunday Post challenge?  You’re running out of time!

A place to relax

I 'heart' this view!

I ‘heart’ this view!

My habitual perch

My perch in the sun!

This week, Jake was wondering if I have a place to relax.  Well, for me that can only mean one thing.  My roof terrace in the Algarve.  I’m always in the mood for a swing.

There's simple Shell Beach

And if I get tired of swinging, there’s laid back Shell Beach
Nestle down by the anchors at Barril

Or I can laze by the anchors at Barril

Or chill at the beach bar

Or maybe chill in the shade of the beach bar.

Or you can fight for beach space on Armona

I could even fight for beach space on Armona!

Abandon your kite

I’d abandon the kite

But I do get better as we approach the lovely village of Santa Luzia

And take to the water

Then it's back to the terrace for sunset

Till it’s time for sunset on the terrace

Step forward a pace and you get a "free" umbrella

Evening’s are nice and easy on the river bank.
How restful is this?

Truly, what could be more relaxing than this?

I only have to look through the albums and it’s calling me back again.  But for now I’m sharing my memories with you and Jake.

Do you have a place you go to when you need to relax, even if it’s only in your mind?


Six word Saturday



A moonlight wander.

fills the night


with romance.

And romance

I’m cheating just a little because I have too many challenges and not enough week.  So I’m linking my Six word Saturday to Jakesprinter’s Sunday Post, but at least I’m keeping it brief!  If you’ve never met him, Jake is a lovely guy who produces amazing animation.  The theme this week is Moonshine. Go and say ‘hi’ but then don’t forget to visit Cate at 6WS, or she’ll be upset.


Oh, Christmas tree!

Oh, Christmas tree, how lovely are your branches!

Oh, Christmas tree, how lovely are your branches!

I tend to be an early riser, even on these dark days before Christmas.  I love to watch the morning sky flush with colour at daybreak.  But sometimes I pull the cover up and think I’ll just snuggle a little while longer.

Until my Christmas tree goes up!  Then it doesn’t matter if I’m still half asleep. The second I plug my tree lights in, the magic of Christmas is there.  The warm scent of pine needles tickles my nose.  I make my morning coffee, and settle down beside the Christmas tree, to start my day.

Beneath the tree, the Nativity Scene; above, the angel smiles fondly down.

Unto us a child is born, king of all creation.

Unto us a child is born, king of all creation.

More of Lisa's handicrafts.

More of Lisa’s handiwork!

I had no intention to write this post today, but when an old friend comes calling, what can you do but respond?  As if by magic, Jake’s Sunday Post appeared in my Reader, bearing a beautiful Christmas Tree.  I’ll supply the carols.  Coming round for mince pies, anybody?


Urban Design

View from Christ Church tower over Hartlepool

View from Christ Church tower over Hartlepool

I walked into town today, thinking about Jakesprinter’s theme for this week’s Sunday Post, Urban Design.  I live on a green and leafy estate, with a variety of housing styles.   Some of the older properties are full of character, but, as you approach the centre, many of them are rundown in appearance.

I was randomly taking photographs, and writing the captions in my head.  As often happens, the shopping I had set out to do was on the back burner.  We have a state of the art college of further education and I was thinking what a fine photo it would make, with the multi-national flags flying outside.  Alas, the flags weren’t flying today, but the sky was a beautiful shade of blue.  It struck me that it was the perfect day for something I had meant to do for quite a while- climbing Christ Church tower.

As a girl, I attended Sunday School at this church.  Over time it fell into disuse, but then was given a brilliant new lease of life as an art gallery.  A new stairwell has been constructed for safe access to the tower, from which the views were said to be wonderful.  I was warned that the church bells would chime noisily every 15 minutes, and off I went.

Looking down on the bells and hoping they won't chime just yet.

Looking down on the bells and hoping they won’t chime just yet.

Almost there!

Almost there!

Wonderful to look through the old walls to newer Hartlepool.

Wonderful to look through the old walls to newer Hartlepool.

Looking down Church St. to what used to be docks.

Looking down Church Street to what used to be the docks.

The railway station, and beyond, the Historic Quay and marina

The railway station, and beyond, the Historic Quay and marina.

That shiny new college of further ed I told you about.

That shiny new College of Further Ed I told you about.

My husband's beloved football ground- Hartlepool FC.

My husband’s beloved football ground- Hartlepool FC.

But never far away, the sea.

But never far away, a little industry and the sea.

And there you have it- a beautiful use for an unwanted church, and the town planners current version of Hartlepool.

I’m a little late with this challenge, but I always love to support Jake.  Come with me to look at his wonderful graphics, and check out the other entries.  The lucky snake or any of the links will take you there.


Sunday Post : Perspective


Perspective is used by artists to give an illusion of space and distance.  I remember struggling mightily with it at school.  My brain understood the concept but my fingers didn’t.  I don’t know of a better graphic artist than Jakesprinter.  He never would have had my problems.  This week he’s sent us a message in a bottle, and I’m reminded that I haven’t sang to you for a while.  Perhaps you could be distracted that way, or should I just show you a couple of photos that, I think, represent the concept of perspective?  If they don’t, hopefully you’ll enjoy them anyway.

After all, I’m only trying to gain a little perspective on one of my favourite subjects- the lovely city of Krakow.

Perhaps you should look at some other entries to get a little better perspective.  But don’t forget to visit Jake.










You know I can’t resist Jake’s Sunday Post, don’t you, but I really can’t call this a Sunday Post on a Friday!  Hence the title.  My resistance is low today and I’m just going to squeeze in a few of the lovely windows I gazed at, or through, on my recent Algarve trip.

Click on a photo to start the gallery rolling.

Memories!  Memories!  Don’t you love them?  Thanks Jake for brightening this grey English day for me.  Soon be Sunday again.

Jakesprinter’s Sunday Post : Entrance


I would love to be able to make an Entrance, but I’m more the kind of person who’s prone to falling up the step and making a fool of herself.  I do know someone who can make a superb entrance though.

Lisa and Leo make the perfect entrance to married life

Lisa and Leo make the perfect entrance to married life

And she’s well equipped to make a neat exit too!

As ever, her hand sewing is exquisite.

As ever, her hand sewing is exquisite.

When I first saw the big-eyed girl, looking around the door on Jake’s post this week, I thought of the other meaning of “entrance”- to fill with intense delight”.  Lisa is well capable of this, too.

But neither of these photos are mine, so not really eligible for Jake’s challenge.  My kind of entrance goes more like this:

As usual, click any photo to start the gallery rolling.

I’m very late with this post, and Jake will already be working on entrancing us with next week’s theme, so I’d better hit that Publish button.  No accidents this time!

Come and meet Jake via the links or the lucky snake logo.  His graphics are amazing and all visitors are made truly welcome.

Sunday Post : Simplicity


Jake’s back!  And with beautiful Simplicity this week.  No animated graphics, proving that simple can still be very beautiful.  Simplicity is “easy to explain; not complicated”.  Sounds good to me.

When I think of simplicity, my thoughts turn to the good things in life: crusty bread with cheese and tomatoes, stong coffee and, maybe, a glass of wine; strawberries fresh from the market stall, so nice you have to eat them out of the paper bag before you even get home; the smell of barbecueing fish as you stroll along the beach.

Do you agree with my definition in these photos?  Click on any of them to start the slide show.

The simplicity of life in the Algarve is what calls me back, again and again.  Thank you Jake for giving me the opportunity to share so much of what is beautiful in my world.

Please do join in Jakesprinter’s challenge by clicking on the flying dragon logo or the links.  Jake has many friends and I know there will be lots of great entries.

Sunday Post : People

“People.  People who need people, are the luckiest people in the world…”  I love this Barbara Streisand song.  Here I go again.  It’s sing-along-a-Jo Sunday and I’m taking part in Jakesprinter’s Sunday Post, while gently humming People to myself.

The funny thing is that though I consider myself a “people person”, when I saw Jake’s theme for this week I immediately thought “oh,no!” – I don’t have any people photos.  I’m one of those who waits patiently for someone to turn the corner or move out of range before I take my shot.  I don’t photograph well myself.  The smile never looks natural.  And when it comes to capturing someone on camera, I simply don’t have what it takes to draw out the best of them.  A beach or a tree don’t scowl at you, do they?  So I’m quite envious when I see shots full of character and personality.

Well- you didn’t think you were going to get out of it that easily, did you?  I suddenly remembered when it is that I’m more than happy to point my camera at people : the many occasions when people are lost in celebrations and abandon themselves quite happily to the moment.  Here are just a few:

Crowds line the streets, and even the rooftops, for the Festa dos Tabuleiros at Tomar.

Not an empty balcony or window frame in sight.

Impossible to take this shot without people in it! The flower-filled streets of Tomar.

Drummers at the Medieval Fair in Obidos

See what I mean? He was definitely scowling at me!

Come to think of it, they weren’t so happy either.

Lots of smiley faces on this Carnaval float at Paderne, though.

Not sure if these guys at Loule Carnaval come into the category of “people”?

Or these!

But they certainly know how to have a good time at Alte’s Folk Festival

I even slipped over the border into Spain to watch people having fun there.

So maybe I do take a few photographs of people, after all.  Many thanks to Jake for reminding me.

I won’t be able to join in with the challenge for the next couple of weeks because I’ll be pointing the camera at bridges in Porto and vineyards in the Douro valley.  I’m sure you’ll all keep Jake company, and I’ll find time to see what you’ve been up to when I get home.

Wonder what I’ll be singing next Sunday morning?  I won’t have Jake to prompt me.  I’ll leave you with some lovely entries from this week’s challenge.  View the others on the links or the flying dragon logo.