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.

A Sunday silhouette

What to do when a good friend becomes so obsessed with squares that she wants to turn the sky square?  Humour her, of course.  This photo was taken in Cascais.  All you need is a Square Sky photo and you can join in, any day in December.




Capturing fading light seems to have been one of my preoccupations on my recent trip to the Algarve.  I always have difficulty keeping these things to myself, so I was happy when Paula requested Backlit images on Thursday’s Special.

Fronds of palm, backlit

Shadows creeping silently

Whispering of night


A strong subject in the foreground is what’s required, so I’ve included the one above, which I don’t like so much, and a couple of fishermen, taken much earlier in the day.  I rather like the fishermen.  They were much too busy to notice me.


As always, Paula does it with style and a very special Thursday photo.  My lovely friend Gilly is always here on a Thursday, too- her Lazy Poet’s haiku is simply too good to miss.

I really shouldn’t be loitering here because I’ve still much to do. See you!

Musings at sunset


Ponte Romana, Tavira

How many times have you seen this image, or one very like it, on my site?  I make no apologies.  It holds for me many happy memories and I hope to return to Tavira later this month to make a few more.  Today’s photo was prompted by Sylvain who asks for something classic and simple- a sunset- for this week’s challenge.  He has some beauties, so do go and look.


It was a beautiful evening

This month is very busy for me.  Today I’m heading to the Lake District.  I thought I might capture a little window of sunshine but the forecast is wet! wet! wet!  So, that waterfall I planned to see will be full! full! full!

Next week Lumiere comes to Durham.  The last show in 2013 was fabulous.  This year I’m excited to see where Stuart’s sea glass wave fits in.

And then Tavira!  No matter what the weather throws at me, I’m determined to enjoy November.  I hope you do too.

Six word Saturday


To be at peace with myself.

Like those clouds, i'm going to let it all drift away

Like those clouds, I’d like to let it all just drift away

How quickly a week passes!  After last week’s funk and all your kind wishes, I’m resolved to stop skittering about and simply enjoy what comes my way.

I love clouds!  Except, of course, when I’m bumping down through them on an aircraft, but that’s a different story. I’m only two weeks away from my next visit to the Algarve, and the tingle of excitement is there already.  Before that I have a couple of days in London, so peace will not come so easily.  The buzz of the city will surround me.

I have lots of cloud photos! These were snatched from the car

I have so many cloud photos!  These were snatched from the car

These too!

These too!

So many times I’ve watched the sun come up through my front window and set again in the evening, behind my home.  The peace and wonder of it all envelopes me, and I love it.

That first glimmer of sunlight

That first glimmer of sunlight

And the last curtain fall

Till the last curtain fall

And set behind the house

Just beautiful, isn’t it?

Wishing you all peace this weekend.  I may post for Six Word Saturday next week, but I’ll be in transit so my response will be slow.  In any case, the world will keep on turning.  I hadn’t seen the Daily Post challenge when I posted this, but really- what could be more serene?

Please don’t forget to share your week with Cate at Show My Face, and maybe join me for a walk on Monday?  I’ll look forward to it.


A festive Sunset

I love a bit of drama in the sky

I love a bit of drama in the sky

Walking home after a lovely lunchtime with a good friend, I was full of Christmas cheer. The sky was a blaze of fire but the chill was nipping at my toes.  As the Christmas lights came on in our town centre, I just had to stand a little while and admire.

It only needed a few minutes

It only needed a few minutes


For the colours to fade

Paula has chosen a spectacular way to say ‘farewell’ to the Thursday Special until the New Year. If you like a bit of drama too, that’s the place to be.



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.

1Day 1World Project: 9.00-10.00pm


Approaching Hart Village as night falls

I’ve followed this project almost from it’s beginnings and every week I mean to join in.  We’ve had a couple of lovely sunsets this week but I was bored with my usual ‘back bedroom window’ scenario.  Trouble is, most of my days are pretty busy and I can rarely summon the energy for an evening stroll.

It seems such a waste when those Summer nights will be shortening soon.  So, I grabbed my jacket and off I went, up the hill in search of a sunset.

The sun's last rays were just gilding this statue, at the Golf Club

The sun’s last rays were just gilding this statue, at the Golf Club

I scurried up the hill, which is quite steep (another reason I don’t do evening strolls), desperate to reach the top before the light faded.  Cars swept past me, racing for home, or the pub.

That glow on the horizon lured me on

That glow on the horizon urged me on

I was on the edge of the village- almost there!

I was on the edge of the village- almost there!

But still I couldn’t find the vantage point I really wanted, and those sweeping views I had in mind. I raced up through the village, nodding to the occasional dog walker.  Past St. Mary Magdalene’s lovely church and into Butts Lane, I started to look at my watch. Time in the allotted slot was ticking away.  I’ve never been very good with deadlines!

But then I thought to myself, ‘does it really matter?’  Here I am, out in the world with my camera, doing what I love best.  Lucky to be alive.

And the sheep seemed to concur!

And the sheep seemed to concur!

You’ve seen these sheep already today, on Paula’s Thursday’s Special.  They were very interested in what I was up to, lurking on the outskirts of Hart Village.

I peeped in through the farmyard gates

I peeped in through the farmyard gates

And admired the sign

And admired the sign

And then it was time to head for home, tired but happy.  I had already walked to Hart earlier in the day for a t’ai chi class, and retraced my walk for Christine on the return journey.  Thankfully, my days are not always so hectic.

I glanced in at the village pub, half tempted

I glanced in at the village pub, half tempted

But I didn’t fancy the walk back to town in the dark.  A quiet glass of wine at home would be my reward, and it was all downhill on the return journey.

Admiring the fish-shaped clouds

Admiring the fish-shaped clouds

I cannot claim that this was a typical evening, but I enjoyed it very much.  I hope that you did too. The photos were all taken between 9.00 and 10.00pm.

Lisa’s 1 Day 1 World Project is an interesting one.  Why not follow the links and join in?