Lingering in Leeds!

The breathtaking ceiling in the Victoria Quarter

The breathtaking ceiling in the Victoria Quarter

I seldom pay more than a flying visit to the city of Leeds, but recently I had cause to wonder why. Never much of a shopper, I’m happy to let life flow around me as I absorb the architecture. Strolling through the city with my son, I was left far behind when we came upon the Victoria Quarter.  Here is just a glimpse of what I saw before I scurried to catch up.

Click on a photo to open the gallery

How about this for a ceiling?

How about this for a ceiling?

The wrought iron was spectacular too

The wrought iron was spectacular too

Down at ground level wasn't shabby either

Nor was ground level too shabby

All of the top names in the world of designer clothes are here, so if you are a shopper you will undoubtedly be in heaven.  County Arcade, Cross Arcade and Queen Victoria and King Edward streets were linked together to form the Victoria Quarter in the 1900s. Theatre architect Frank Matcham was responsible for the design, which no doubt accounts for its drama,  lavishly using faience and marble.  The Empire Palace Theatre was originally part of the development, since replaced by Harvey Nichols department store.

Nothing stops in the world of design and Victoria Quarter is currently undergoing a new phase. Me, I was swept on past beautiful Kirkstall Market to the newer kids on the block, Trinity Centre.

Looking up in the Trinity Centre

Looking up inside the Trinity Centre

Are you a tennis fan?  Crossing town we came upon on open air big screen, and my son remarked that if Murray makes the final it would be a great place to watch the match.  Given current weather conditions that would seem like an excellent idea, but my husband, whose birthday it is that day, was less than thrilled with the suggestion.

Federer, wilting in the heat?

Federer, wilting in the heat?

Right on his doorstep, brand new First Direct Arena is eagerly awaited.  A hot venue for summer!

But I can’t help hankering after the old.  I looked wistfully up at remnants of the old Leeds.

I'd be happy with a home like this

I do hope it will last!

So what did you make of Leeds?  A thriving modern city these days.  I hope that Dawn will enjoy adding it to her collection at A Lingering Look at windows.  This month she looks at windows that aren’t windows any more!

Wacky windows in Nottingham

Headine news!

Headline news!

Many of you will know that I took a flying visit to Nottingham at the weekend.  But not so swift that I couldn’t have a healthy salad (and a naughty cake) in Hopkinson with my lovely daughter. A Vintage store that spans four floors (yes, 4!), you can sit in the cafe on the ground floor surrounded by the most delightful clutter.  No need to worry about calories!  The 4 floors will soon work them off.

Click on a photo to view the galleries

The external is quite arresting too!

The external is quite arresting too!

Nottingham has shops by the gazillion, but I’ve always loved arcades and Flying Horse Walk is surely an eye pleaser. Let’s go a little more upmarket, shall we?

And inside the arcades

Inside the arcades

And looking up

And looking up

More flying horses!

More flying horses!

I’d like to say thank you for the kind thoughts and good wishes I received at the weekend.  A few prayers won’t go amiss but I’m hopeful that things will get better.  Love is all you need, but sometimes we need a little help too.

And, of course, I’m linking to Dawn’s A Lingering Look at Windows.  Let’s go window shopping!

I’m lingering again!

Newcastle Rail Station gets a makeover

Newcastle Rail Station gets a makeover

I’ve not done too much lingering by windows lately, but a railway station is often a place for hanging about.  Usually I arrive at Newcastle-upon-Tyne by bus, so the recent improvements, blocking out those draughty spaces, have crept up on me.  But I like them.  A lot!

It's a piece of artwork, in itself!

It’s a piece of artwork, in itself, don’t you think?

And from inside the impact is even more dramatic.

Like most cities, Newcastle has its share of windows, in all shapes and sizes.  I was meeting a friend for coffee and we stopped to admire The Gate- a cinema and restaurant complex.

Could be my kind of film!

Could be my kind of film!

We rode up the escalator for a look out

We rode up the escalator for a look out on the street

I was very taken with this structure

And I particularly liked this structure

Not exactly a window, but you can definitely see through it.  Then Waterstones upstairs cafe delighted me.  A cafe in a bookshop- perfection!  But I did have to wonder about this window.

Is the bike for sale?

Is the bike for sale?

A little strange, don't you think?

I’d rather have a view with my coffee!

The Danish pastries were very nice though.  Quite a few people have asked about the green glass structure so I’m belatedly including a link with information on the sculptures in Newcastle.

Got to see which windows Dawn has been lingering by this week.  Click this link and come too?

Thursday : Lingering look at Windows- week 49


Central Arcade in Newcastle-on-Tyne

When it comes to shopping, I’m a bit of an old-fashioned girl.  I like nice surroundings.  I can be totally seduced by a beautiful arcade, especially when it’s prettied up for Christmas.


Like this!

And this!

And this!

In fact, I might as well admit it, I’m a hopeless shopper!  I much prefer to admire the buildings.  As I put this post together, I’m watching the TV series on Libertys of London.  Many years ago, when I was finding my feet in the city, I did some temp work in the store.  It’s really beautiful and I’ve had a soft spot for it ever since.

These days “the city”, for me, is Newcastle-on-Tyne.  The highlight at Christmas time is Fenwick’s Department Store and its window display.  Click on a photo to see it in more detail.

My kind of shopping!  The window kind.  Which ties in very well with Dawn’s Lingering Look at Windows challenge.  I bet there are some more Christmas windows to see this week.  Click on the link to find out.

Thursday: Lingering look at windows, week 29

Canvas portraits of windows in Casa das Portas

Canvas portraits of windows in Casa das Portas.

I’m focusing on a very particular group of windows this week.  Don’t be fooled by the dilapidated appearance of the wall above.  It’s part of a real and well deserved success story in Tavira, in the Eastern Algarve.  The shop, Casa das Portas (House of Doors), features the work of local artist Jane Gibbin.  Like myself, Jane fell in love with Tavira, spending hours photographing the local doors and windows.

The photos always seem to create a talking point.  As you’ve probably seen from some of my posts, Tavira has a delightfully down at heel look and is a great subject to work with.  Ten years ago, looking for something distinctive, but not too expensive, for the bare walls in our Tavira home, I was much taken with Jane’s doors and windows.  Poster form was the cheapest, so we selected three, had them framed, and today they have pride of place in our living room.

You can barely just see two of the framed posters here

You can barely just see two of the framed posters here

Jane started out with a market stall selling her photographs then, as interest grew, progressed to a shop in the warren of back streets.  As well as the photographs and posters there’s an eclectic mix of objects for the home, and pretty jewellery pieces.  I often stick my nose in and the assistant is unfailingly polite, even though I seldom buy.

In July 2011 success was confirmed when Jane opened a second shop, right beside Ponte Romana; a prime target for tourists.  The ideas continue to flow and at my last visit there were some lovely small canvases with paintings of the doors.  I was very tempted, as was Cathy who was staying with me at the time.  Her luggage was already overflowing, so she dived into a colourful heap of scarves instead.

My photos aren’t the best as I had one or two distractions that night (yes, Cathy!), but I’ve wanted to tell the story of the shops for a while.  For a clearer idea of them you might visit the Casa das Portas Facebook page.

I hope Dawn doesn’t mind a slightly different style of lingering at my windows (and doors) this week.  Please visit her at Lingering Visions to see the other entries, and maybe add one of your own.

Six word Saturday


Christmas joy to each and All

Reflecting on Christmas!

Reflecting on Christmas!

So many lovely decorations in the shops

So many beautiful decorations in the shops

And on my tree.

And a few on my tree.

It's a time for going large!

It’s a time for going “large”

And sparkling for all you're worth!

And for sparkling for all you’re worth!

Wherever you spend it, and whoever you spend it with, I hope that you have a wonderful and peaceful Christmas.  I will be cooking, but only for me, Michael, Dad and James, so nothing too hectic.  I’m looking forward to relaxing afterwards.

I’ve been in festive mode lately, with my Ice Sculptures and Christmas Trees.  I hope you’ve enjoyed spending the time with me as much as I’ve enjoyed the sharing.

Let the New Year be kind to all of us.  God bless!

Merry Christmas to Cate at Show My Face, and humble apologies for my 60+ words.  As usual, follow the link or click on the header to join in.


Sunday Post : Architecture

Architecture : what a huge subject that is!  It’s Jakesprinter’s theme for this weeks Sunday Post, and already I’m struggling!  I mean, how many of you know a song with “architecture” in the title?  The following will be a silent, contemplative post.

What does architecture do for us?  Shelters us, gives us a place to work, to be educated, to worship, to shop.  It enables us to cross from one shore to another.  It expresses both our practicality and our creativity.  Formidable, constantly moving on.  Old and new, both are capable of amazing me.

The battlements and reconstructed “old town” in Warsaw- both old and new

The prettiest of patios in Cordoba

The rooftops of Porto

Thatched housing in the north of Madeira

How about a nice place to work?

Wonderfully elaborate Town Hall in Wroclaw

Or to study?

University buildings- Wroclaw wins again!

Starting out at the “smiley” local school

Where would you prefer to worship?

The tiniest of Greek Island churches?

The cathedral in Porto

Or Wroclaw’s Ostrow Tumski- stunningly ornate!

Shopping- as important to some as religion.  There’s no lack of choice here either.

Lello’s amazing book store in Porto

A simple shop in the Polish suburbs

Or a trendy new shopping centre in Warsaw

I can’t choose between these bridges.  Tradition or modernity.  Can you?

The beautiful approach to Cordoba and the incomparable Mesquita

The Infinity Bridge, Stockton-on-Tees

It seems we are only limited by our imagination.  That doesn’t seem to be a problem for Jake.  I was sold from the very first time I saw the flying dragon logo.  Click on it, or any of the links to see his interpretation this week, and maybe join in yourself?

I’ve been amazed already by some of the entries this week: