lens-artists

Playing with patterns

Water is the most fascinating thing.  The gentle drizzle didn’t even matter too much.  Being in Alnwick Water Gardens was still a very nice way to spend an anniversary.  Just look at the fun you can have if you’re wearing wellies!

Watching the liquid patterns, an idea came to me.  I have no patience with selfies, but a little distortion might be fun?  Thanks, Debs, for constantly providing inspiration.  I love the quote in this post.

Ann-Christine’s Patterns are very different, and very beautiful.  I hope you’re following the Lens-Artists.  I will be returning to the Alnwick Garden in a future post.  See you soon!

Feeling blue

Everybody feels a little blue sometimes, don’t they?  This summerhouse is enough to make your heart sink.  It sits forlornly in the corner of a large and overgrown garden at Loughbrow House in Hexham.  It wasn’t always like this but the owner is now aged 92, a proud, upright lady who loves and manages her garden to the best of her ability.  It was opened for charity at the weekend and I’m sure lots of money was made.  A highlight of the garden is the Lutyens inspired rill with grass topped bridges.  Here’s a peep.

This week Patti is sharing a surreal shade of beautiful Blue in the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge.

Jo’s Monday walk : Sunrise on the Salt Pans

I sometimes do daft things!  When I saw a sunrise walk featured in Tavira, in Todos a Caminhar, I just knew I had to do it.  I’ve always wanted to live beside a beach, so that I could slip outside into that beguiling early morning light.  My reality is far from that, but a 20 minute stroll will bring me to the riverside, and beyond, a world of salt marshes and oyster catchers.

Trying not to disturb a certain person, I tiptoed down the stairs at 5.45, gulped a few mouthfuls of coffee, and out into the mild, morning air.  I thought I had made good time down to the Praca, but when I got there the place was deserted.  I hadn’t been sure how many other enthusiasts to expect, but the streets of Tavira were Sunday morning sleepy.  Just as I was deciding what to do, a lady in joggers sprinted into the square, threw off her jacket and made off at speed.  It was 6.18am!   I had missed the start by three minutes.  And sure enough, the sun was just starting to rise.

I had no intention of hot footing it after them.  I had all this to myself!  In lazy pursuit, I ambled out along the river.  The soft light pearled the water, the stillness unbroken.  Even the birds were enjoying a Sunday snooze.

As I reached the edge of the salt pans I smiled to myself.  There in the distance, lycra clad figures sped towards me.  All of this seemed wasted on them.  I continued to stroll and snap.  As they straggled past me, in twos and threes, I smiled ‘Bom dia!’ but most were focused on home.

Across the salt pans there was just enough light to reflect Tavira in the water.  Ahead, the small marina and boatyard of Quatro Aguas.  It’s a place that I love, but I had never seen it in such opalescent light.

Enjoying the early morning mellow.  Gently I retraced my steps, in the ever increasing light.  Mauve crept into the heather and bronze lit the sandbanks.  I played at being a birder for a while, an obliging chap posing for me.  The wrecked mill drew closer.

And then I was back in town, and crossing the flyover.  A fisherman, releasing his boat to catch the tide.  Passing the common, a strange sight caught my eye.  An inverted Minnie Mouse, remnant of last night’s festival revelry, perhaps?

An elderly gentleman with a nice smile had also observed the balloon.  As I stopped to take the shot, an agitated shrieking filled the air.  Body taut and wings beating rapidly, it flew overhead again and again.  I supposed it must have had young close by.  Feeling like an intruder, I wearily returned home, where all was still silent.  Time to put the kettle on and start the day.

I hope you enjoyed watching the sun rise with me.  I’d like to add it to Cathy’s Photographic challenge at Wander.essence.  She’s doing some fine work over there.  I tried to bring the salt marshes alive for you.  I’m half-tempted to add this to Tina’s Soft too.  I hope she won’t mind.  The light on the water was so very soft that morning.  Are you following the Lens Artists?

Many thanks to all of you who accompany me each week.  My wanderings would be nothing without you.  Join me here any time.

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Let’s start with Lady Lee and an outing to the park :

Skywatch – our day out

Alice invites you to ‘smell the flowers’.  It’s that time of year, isn’t it?

Delaware Park- Buffalo NY

Some people say I have too many of these, but Jackie’s a lady who knows all about food :

Tea Break

A world far removed from my experience.  Let Janet take you there :

Monday walk…. sites and sights of Sheridan

Nothing I like better than going adventuring with Drake :

Bay of Kiel

Geoff rediscovers the delights of the Kent coast :

Thanet, a Walk on the Not so Wild Side #walking#kent

And Eunice shares some local history and a pleasant walk :

A local walk to Hall i’ th’ Wood

The heat has been getting to them in Norfolk, I think, but Janaline makes the most of this garden tour :

A walk through West Acre Garden in Norfolk

Fancy walking a race circuit?  Let Jaspa take you to Monaco!

Walking the Epic Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix Racetrack

I always love Aarti’s style :

Walk in a Monasterio

A very different monastery experience from Banactee, dipping back into memory :

Climbing on Mt. Sinai

And finally, another enthralling outing with Cathy.  The scenery is superb!

Strolling along Park Avenue at Arches

That’s all folks!  Wishing you a wonderful week.  Hope you can get out and about a bit.  See you next week!

Six word Saturday

Taking time to relax in Tavira.

You knew I couldn’t resist it, didn’t you?  I feel relaxed just looking at these.  Warm summer evenings in Tavira.  Magical moments.

I can just squeeze this in before the next Lens Artists Photo Challenge.  Thanks, Amy!  I wonder what’s coming next?  I couldn’t possibly disagree with Debbie this week.  Got your Six Words ready?  Wishing you a happy Saturday, and rain for those who need it.

Relaxing in Nottingham

Behold, Alan Sillitoe!

Tempting though it is to share relaxing, riverside images of Tavira, I thought I’d indulge in a little tram spotting in Nottingham instead.  Now, I know tram spotting isn’t everybody’s idea of relaxation, but I’m reluctant to let go of time spent with my daughter.  And the wine bar that was our first port of call (That gives a terrible impression, doesn’t it?  But probably the correct one 🙂 ) was conveniently located, right beside the tramlines.

We had already debated the ‘Pitcher and Piano’, a favourite venue, inside that church that you’re looking at, but opted instead for a sunny corner to catch up on life.  I’ve always loved trams and Lisa humoured me, as I bobbed up and down to read the names.  The trams are named after local heroes of past or present.  Robin Hood, of course.  Brian Clough and Rebecca Adlington from the sports world.  Lord Byron and his daughter Ada Lovelace.  D.H. Lawrence and Alan Sillitoe.  All spotted, and more besides.  My one regret, I didn’t see Torvill and Dean!

Nottingham is never short of quirky in any respect, and as we ambled the streets towards home I recorded a few random impressions.  Mosaic seemed to be big news in Sherwood, a very crafty area.

And just for those people who think I exist on cake, we did manage some nourishment, along with the wine.

I had a lovely, relaxing time in Nottingham.  No cooking, no cleaning, wonderful company!  The Sunday morning of my return home, I suggested brunch as a treat on the way into town.  The food was great, but we did wonder why the place was so busy.

It’s Amy’s turn to host the Lens Artists Photo Challenge this week.  I hope she won’t mind my rather frivolous version of Time to Relax.

Jo’s Monday walk : A Tall Ships Treat

A visit from the Tall Ships is always a special occasion, but when it coincides with a significant birthday there is an opportunity to make it very special indeed.  When Thursday dawned cool and grey, I thought I might’ve made a mistake with my husband’s birthday surprise.  But, the tickets were bought, and I’d even purchased train tickets to Sunderland.  He could drink without driving, and not worry over parking.  The pattern of the week had been overcast skies till about 3pm, when magically the clouds rolled back.  Here’s hoping!

To host the start of a Tall Ships Race is a great coup, and Sunderland has made the most of the opportunity.  Leaving the station it’s only about 10 minutes walk to the riverside, and from there you have a choice whether or not to cross over the River Wear.  The ships were berthed on both sides of the river and are nothing short of majestic.  As ticket holders we stayed on the near shore and followed the trickle of people heading down to the quay.  The East End of Sunderland is still undergoing changes to bring this historic area into the 21st century.

The Tall Ships will race over a thousand nautical miles in 3 weeks.  The first leg races from Sunderland to Esbjerg in Denmark, then to Stavanger in Norway, and finally to Harlingen in the Netherlands.  You can see the full line up of over 50 ships on the Tall Ships website.

Despite grey skies they were an awesome sight as we made our way along the quayside.  Various entertainments were on offer, and we paused for a few minutes to observe Martin Lewis of the ‘Money Show’, taking questions from the audience.  On the far shore, next to the National Glass Centre, a full scale fairground was in progress, and some of the ships had entertainment on board.

No time to linger at this stage.  We had a destination.  Unbeknownst to my husband I had booked a 2 hour sail on a Tall Ship.  Until we checked in I did not know which.  Enjoying a drink at the bar, we waited for our number to be called.  Half an hour later we were boarding the beautiful  Wylde Swan from the Netherlands.  The largest two-mast topsail schooner in the world, she was built for speed.  The story of our voyage was the subject of this week’s Six Word Saturday so I’ll simply say that it was magnificent.  The crew demonstrated their proficiency, hauling on ropes and tying sails, yet still finding time to engage with their passengers.  The camaraderie as they worked together was a joy to see.  As we returned to port the sun, which had been hovering behind the clouds, finally broke free and we were bathed in golden sunlight.

It was a long walk down the quayside and I had spotted a pub with a bird’s eye view of the festivities.  Naturally this involved a number of steps, but the sun terrace of the Boar’s Head was worth it.  Built in 1724, beside Youlls Passage where press gangs were reputed to work, the pub was later frequented by Laurel and Hardy.  Peggy Potts, a local brandy smuggler, lived just 50 metres away, and her family are said still to be patrons. We basked in warm sunshine and friendly chatter with the locals.

More strolling was required after our lunch, and there was plenty still to see.  Entertainers were either resting or setting up for a performance, and many of the crews were at ease.  Further along the quay the ships grow smaller, the industry of the port an interesting backdrop.

Our feet were tiring by this stage and there was still the walk back to the station.  A convenient icecream van was just what we needed.  The event was rounded off with fireworks each evening, and on Saturday a Parade of Sail, as the ships left harbour to begin the race.  If they didn’t manage to find a Cooling breeze or two, I don’t know who would! (do join Leya for this week’s brilliant Lens-Artists Photo Challenge).  And how could I forget Cathy?  I love what she’s doing over at Wander.essence!

The walks I share are all so very different in style and content.  Please find time to visit as many as you can, especially if it’s a blogger you don’t know.  Many thanks to all of you for sharing and for your wonderful company.  Kettle on?  We’re good to go, here at Jo’s Monday walk!

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Self-realisation is a wonderful thing, especially if you can share it with Elaine :

A quiet walk

When I said to Drake that I always wanted to visit Annecy, he came up with the goods!

Pure idyllic transitions

South Carolina!  There’s another dream for you!  Salt marsh, I’m familiar with from the Algarve :

A walk on the wildlife side

I can’t resist Meg, and her close scrutiny :

Sunday bushwalk

Lichens, fungi, grass, tree bark and herbal cures… you’ll find them all at Meg’s :

Weekend strolls

I’m not a great cook, but Lady Lee could tempt me with her chicken and cashews :

Food, glorious food!

But if all else fails, Jackie has a good idea :

Picnic

Who doesn’t sing along when the Bee Gees are on?  And maybe strut your stuff?  With Carol, of course!

Born to Sing

Or you could try a bit of gold digging?

Gold Fever

Meet Melanie and say hello to Captain Cook, while we’re Down Under :

Melbourne- It’s a Walk in the Park

This sounds a bit like a radio programme, but take a turn with Anabel.  You’ll love it!

Ambles from Ambleside

I don’t know anyone who writes better garden posts.  Another beauty from Jude!

Garden View: Bonython Manor Gardens

Seeing the title I thought Amanda might have a ship or two.  Far from it, but this is a wonderfully lyrical post :

Walking Around in Whitby

And finally, Cathy surprises me with a lovely swathe of bluebells :

Riverbend to Great Falls : the Bluebell Path

That’s it for another sweltering week.  Hope it’s fine where you are, but if you need a drop of rain then I hope it lands.  Take care till next time!