Museum of Hartlepool

Six word Saturday


What else we did at Easter


Phone a friend, of course!  One of the lovely aspects of this Easter was that Lisa was able to renew a friendship from her very earliest years.

This exquisitely folded book, made by Joanne, is a lasting memento of their meeting.  It fits so well in Lisa’s beautiful, artistic home, with her hand-painted flowers and birds.  There’s always a project at Lisa’s, and after our visit to Butterfly World, she asked for some photos to begin another. That evening we dragged out old photo albums from school days and giggled over the pigtails and pinafore frocks.

The weekend weather was a little unpredictable, and Sunday brought a good soaking in the park, complete with hail stones.  On Monday we opted to spend time in the Museum of Hartlepool, safe from the elements, before a swift stride along the seafront.

Tuesday saw the lovely lady heading home, and me bereft, for a while.  But I have so much joy to look back on.  How about you?

You can join me at Six Word Saturday, if you like.  If not, I’ll see you on Monday, for a rather unusual, industrial walk.


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!


Six word Saturday



a blessing or a curse?

The Museum of Hartlepool, reflected in the Mecca bingo hall

The Museum of Hartlepool, reflected in the Mecca bingo hall

Some of you may remember a photo of the Museum of Hartlepool in my Sunday Post : New Year 2013?  After I’d taken that shot and was walking towards the marina, I looked across to the Mecca Bingo hall, and guess what I saw, reflected in the windows, but the Museum?

The marina and me

The PSS Wingfield Castle, and me

My first shot wasn’t quite so successful, because I forgot that I would be reflected in the photo too!  But perversely, I quite liked it.  Earlier that morning I’d been exchanging New Year greetings online, and reading the latest posts of many of my favourites.  It just so happened that the topic for the month on East of Malaga’s CBBH photo challenge was Reflection.

Not just in the photographic sense, but in the sense of looking back at the year that has been.  And so you see that my six words this week refer not just to me forgetting that glass reflects whatever you put in front of it.  Like every other year, 2012 had its share of good memories, and bad, to reflect upon.

Sunset on my favourite bridge in Tavira

Sunset on my favourite bridge in Tavira, reflecting in the river

I thought it might be fun to bring together these two challenges, and I hope that Cate of Show My Face, and Marianne at East of Malaga will forgive me taking liberties.  It is a tradition with Marianne’s to share details of two blogs that you have commented on in the past month.  I think this is a lovely idea so I’m delighted to introduce you to Barbara at JustaSmidgen.  If you love food and good conversation, you can’t fail to be impressed with Smidge’s blog.  And keeping relations truly international, meet Sam at Two Black Dogs.  Warm hearted Sam celebrated her 5th wedding anniversary on New Year’s Eve, so pop down to Australia and say “hi”?

Meantime Cate has celebrated her 1000th post!  Congratulations, and thanks for letting me share my six words (and photos), Cate.  Follow the links for an interesting Saturday, folks?  Catch you next week.


G is for Grażyna

Grażyna is the daughter of Dad’s oldest living brother, my Uncle Włodek.  He lives in Zgorzelec, and this post just seemed to follow on naturally from that one.  Grażyna was born in Zgorzelec, but when she contacted me, one of the first of my 26 Polish cousins to do so, I was astounded to find that she was living here in England, in Norfolk, with her husband and 3 sons.  Jarek is a boat builder by trade, and has built his own beautiful little sailing boat, so whenever they can, they go sailing on the Broads.

Mariusz, learning boating skills from an early age

And having fun with younger brother, Arek!

Norfolk isn’t exactly on our doorstep, but it’s much closer than Poland, so we’ve had the opportunity to get together a few times.  They came to the North East for Dad’s 80th birthday, soon after he was reunited with his Polish family.  We went exploring Norfolk with them the following year.  And their visit when the Tall Ships were here in 2010 was a fabulous occasion never to be forgotten.

Alexander von Humbolt by Tony Dowson

Last night fireworks by Tony Dowson

We met up again in Zakopane, in Poland, for the occasion of Adam and Marta’s Silver Wedding.  That was my first opportunity to properly meet Grażyna’s brother Wojtek and his family, who live in Wrocław.  We had great fun entertaining the six youngsters in the hotel gardens in Poronin.

They don’t have too many opportunities to get together, but last year Wojtek and son Mateusz came to Norfolk to celebrate Grażyna’s two youngest boys First Communion.  We arranged then that my niece Basia, Wojtek’s oldest daughter, would come and stay with me here in Hartlepool this summer.  Of course, I got to stay with them in Wrocław first.  More than a fair exchange!

After the First Communion, Grazyna, Rafal, Mateusz, Jarek, Arek and Mariusz

Dad, the priest, and Grazyna’s family

So that’s how we came to be together again with Grażyna, just briefly, this August.  She came to collect Basia for her first visit to Norfolk, and return home to Poland. Our get togethers are always very emotional, but we have a lot of fun too.  We all love the sea and boats, and we have an excellent free museum, perfect for those not so sunny days.  The Museum of Harlepool was the source of lots of mirth, as well as painlessly imparted knowledge.

We went to the beach first, but rain stopped play

Not before we’d created the SS Polska gunboat though

So, the Museum of Hartlepool it was :

Father Mariusz and Father Arek search for suitable gowns for their mission

A nautical look might be better for Arek, affectionately known as “Blondie”

We weren’t sure if this was a good look, but Mariusz liked it.

And there was no way to keep Arek out of the act!

They were more themselves in a boat, of course

Grażyna is a loving and wonderful mother, and she makes the most delicious cakes.  She brought a huge carob cake with her this trip and it was gone in a blink.  She is also the most affectionate of cousins.

It has been a privilege and a pleasure to watch this new family of mine growing up.  If you’re not familiar with Dad’s story it’s told in more detail here.

This post is part of my personal A-Z of Poland.  The idea was Julie Dawn Fox’s and I am indebted to her for the opportunity to share my Polish story with you.  If you would like to join in, you can find the details on this link, or the banner below.