Thursday Lingering look at Windows

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 47

Who lives in a house like this?

I guess it’s about time to post my last sequence of windows from Barcelona. Life is moving forward at quite a pace.  At this rate I’ll soon be looking back at 2013! Anyone for a last wander in those Barcelona streets? Just click on a photo.

I can’t leave without one last salute to Gaudi.  He gave me so much pleasure with his beautiful houses, Casa Batllo and Casa Mila.

The stairwell at Casa Batllo- a vision in blue

The stairwell at Casa Batllo- a vision in blue

The romance of stained glass

The romance of stained glass

And in Casa Mila, the romance of a curtained window

And in Casa Mila, curtains rustle romantically at the window

I’m joining Dawn again this week in her Lingering look at Windows.  Why not come and play?  Soon it will be Christmas windows!  Just click on the link.

Thursday : Lingering look at Windows- week 46

Did you ever see such radiance?

Rather in the same way that I left visiting the Sagrada Familia till my last day in Barcelona, I’ve resisted posting about it.  I hoped against hope that I wouldn’t find it disappointing.  My hotel, of the same name, was just around the corner, so I had walked past on numerous occasions.  Not that it’s possible to just casually pass by the Sagrada Familia.  Each time, I would stop and stare, fascinated.  The stonemasons, seemingly oblivious to passers by, scaled the heights in flimsy cradles. But what would it feel like, inside?  Would it be a venerable space, or simply a crazily imaginative work of art?  I’ll let you decide.

The light cascades down over you

Light cascades through the windows, from the ceiling down.

I don't know if I was ever in a more beautiful space

I don’t know if I was ever in a more beautiful space.

From the almost traditional

From the almost traditional

to the surreal

to the surreal.

Strong colour

From strong blues

and rainbow hues

through rainbow hues

or rose pale

to soft and rosy pale.

Sunlit stains radiating off the pillars

Sunlight shimmers off the pillars

and hiding in corners

and hides in corners.

Even now, just looking at the photos and writing about it, I feel quite emotional. Hard to explain the impact of this place.  The altar, like nothing I had ever seen before.  I was feeling reverence, while down below, in the parishioners church, a service was taking place.


A simple Christ

Then there was the tower to climb.  Fortunately, the lift did most of the work.

But following the stairwell was a slightly surreal experience

But following the stairwell was a slightly surreal experience.

Looking out past the trussed up new features

Looking out past the trussed up newer features

Were windows ever so strangely adorned?

Were windows ever so strangely adorned?

And then the exterior, worked upon for so long. (Gaudi began in 1883!)

A window, barely visible for sculpture

A window, barely visible for sculpture

And one exquisitely surrounded

And one exquisitely surrounded

What is one to make of it all?

What do they make of it all?

I hope I have managed to convey some of the beauty and artistry of the Basilica of the Sagrada Familia.  It’s fair to say, there is nowhere else like it. What an incredible man was Antoni Gaudi, “God’s Architect”.  The current projection for completion is 2033.

This is my contribution to Dawn’s Lingering look at Windows this week.  I wasn’t disappointed.  I hope you weren’t either?  Meantime, Debbie, over at Travel with Intent has asked if I would like to link this post to her challenge, Look up, Look down.  So that’s a lot more folks to visit, isn’t it?  Happy Thanksgiving, all!

Thursday : Lingering look at Windows- week 39

A blurred view of the Tyne bridge!

A blurred view of the Tyne Bridge, through the bus window!

Not a promising start, as we drove across the Tyne Bridge into Newcastle-on-Tyne.  Only minutes before, the sky was bright blue.  I was meeting my lovely friend, Pam, for coffee so I didn’t really mind.   As usual, we had a good catch up, then strolled through the shopping centre.  Looking up, I observed that blue had been restored.

"Windows" in the ceiling reveal the blue beyond

Ceiling windows reveal the blue sky beyond

Pam was wonderfully tolerant of me happy-snapping random things. (I won’t tell you what she said about the glass in the ceiling!)  This phone store window display caught my eye.

iPhones?  Yes, please!

iPhones? Yes, please!

Glad to know the Berlin temperature is no better than here!

Seems that the Berlin temperature is no better than here!

When it was time to go our separate ways, I planned to do a little shopping.  It was cold outside, but so clear and bright I couldn’t resist having a little more fun with the camera.  Newcastle is a beautiful city.

See what I mean?

See what I mean? Check out the gallery below.

Thought you'd like to see the splendid Angel of the North on the side of the bus

I really like the splendid Angel of the North on the side of the bus!

But my favourite view is still the reflected one.

But my favourite view is still the reflected one.

Thank you for accompanying me on my lingering look at windows this week.  Hope all’s well with you?  Please visit Dawn at Lingering Visions to see the other entries and maybe show us a few windows of your own.  It can be fun!

Thursday : Lingering look at Windows- week 38

Icecream, anyone?

Icecream, anyone?

I think, by now, most people who follow me will have a pretty good idea of how the place where I live looks.  I’ve trekked you north and south of here, showing you some spectacuilar scenery, and a little industrial grunge too.  What you won’t have seen much of, until now, is our neighbouring seaside “resort”, Seaton Carew.

Like such resorts throughout Britain it’s a little tacky, but in the summer months it’s a mecca for young and old alike. (and I’m not just talking bingo!)  It has a decent stretch of beach, a paddling pool and, of course, amusement arcades to part you from your pennies.  There’s really only one street to it, so you can’t exactly be overwhelmed.

Two fish and chip shops scowl at each other across the main street, and you can buy burgers and icecreams from the kiosks.  No candy floss, though.  I used to love that sugary smell and watching it whizz around the drum.  These days I’m rather fond of lemon tops.  I love the sharpness before you get down to the slurpy icecream.  How about you?  What’s your favourite seaside treat?

I don’t know that I’d book a holiday here, but there are a couple of nice hotels and some B & B’s.  The Staincliffe is popular as a wedding venue, and has made a bid for notoriety by naming the Darwin Room after a local character who pretended to have died to get his hands on his insurance.  He paddled off into the sea and was never seen again. (until he was spotted in South America)  Don’t say we don’t have a sense of humour in the north east.

I thought I’d better show you these windows before the last of our hoped-for Indian Summer disappears.  It’ll be too cold to linger soon and we’ll all be clutching our hot chocolates.

There's always Red's when you need to warm up!

There’s always Red’s when you need to warm up!

Hope you enjoyed a saunter through Seaton with me.  I never mind lingering at a few windows.  Visit Dawn at Lingering Visions to spy out a few more.

Thursday : Lingering look at Windows- week 37

Window panel on a cottage door in Whitby

Window panel on a cottage door in Whitby, North Yorkshire

Don’t you think this is lovely?  I’ve been visiting Whitby for many years and I always walk down the main pier for the lovely views back at the town and out across the bay.  Picture postcard pretty though it undoubtedly is, the weather can sometimes be bleak on that North Yorkshire coast.  This little window panel seemed to me to speak volumes of the nature of the place.

Out on the pier itself, in glorious weather, there are more windows to see.

The bluest of skies accentuate the lighthouse.

The bluest of skies accentuate the lighthouse.

From top- to bottom!

From top- to bottom!

The beach is overlooked by a row of holiday cottages.  I’d already walked the clifftop and the pier, so time for a sit down and a bite to eat.  But the cobbled Whitby streets are always full of pirate treasures.

Justin's Chocolatier has a sumptuous window

Justin’s Chocolatier has a sumptuous window

The window in close-up

The window in close-up

And “ye olde tea shoppes”!

Yes, please!

Yes, please!

In the end we found an old favourite.

With it's cosy inside, looking out to the courtyard

With it’s cosy inside, looking out to the courtyard

It was just the ending needed to our day.

It was just the ending needed to our day.

Don't you think?

Don’t you think?  But I’m a coffee person, really!

I have to admit to having a naughty glass of wine, but then, the setting was so nice.  If you’re in Whitby, look out for Sanders Yard.

Meantime it’s thanks to Dawn at Lingering Visions for encouraging me to look through windows.  If you have some you’d like to share, follow the link and meet me there.

Thursday : Lingering look at Windows- week 35

Saltburn cliff lift with its stained glass windows

Saltburn cliff lift with it’s stained glass windows

This is my third post about Saltburn-by-the-Sea in a week!  Something about “if a job’s worth doing” rings a bell. It is a charming town with a strong hint of Victoriana and quirkiness that has always appealed to me.  It’s situation on the North Yorkshire coast, overlooking Huntcliff Nab, is beautiful.  The cliff lift is the star attraction, and extremely useful if you don’t want to make the long haul up to the town from the beach.

If the cliff lift’s not in operation, a stroll through Valley Gardens will bring you back up to the town by a more leisurely (but still steep!) route.  After the recent floods you might need your wellies, but in Summer it’s a beautiful woodland stroll beside the tawny stream.  As a real treat the Prince Charles miniature steam train runs through the woods in the holiday season.  I had just missed it and it was safely stowed in the engine sheds, but I found these rather whimsical windows in the childrens’ wildlife-watching area.

Back on the cliff top, the town is full of grand old Victorian houses and a spattering of shops.  Maybe a little window shopping before you hunt out a cafe with a view?

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If you didn’t see my post about the yarn bombing on the pier, have a look at Six word Saturday.  The sea creatures are delightful and the views of Huntcliff Nab are pretty wonderful too.

Meantime, many thanks to Dawn at Lingering Visions.  I love writing posts about windows.  How about you?  Click on the link to see this week’s entries.


Thursday : Lingering look at Windows- week 34

The view out across the lake

Looking out across the lake, with the Transporter Bridge in the background.

Maybe you remember that I was at Saltholme nature reserve last weekend with some of my Polish family?  The RSPB website describes Saltholme as “big skies, fantastic wildlife and a friendly welcome in the heart of Teesside”.  We certainly had a good time with our Mad Hatter’s tea party.

The landscape is highly industrial with chemical works and Power Station on its doorstep, but the wetlands are a prime site for migrating birds.  At low tide you can also enjoy seals basking on the riverbanks of the estuary.  The state of the art visitor centre and wildlife reserve has breathed new life into a less than desirable area.

I was having so much fun with the family, I missed week 33 of Dawn’s challenge, but I’m back to play this week.  Check out the other entries at Lingering Visions.  I bet you’ve seen some windows you’d like to share?

Thursday : Lingering look at Windows- week 32

Leeds indoor market

Leeds Kirkgate Market

Returning from my daughter’s in Nottingham on Monday, the National Express bus decanted me into Leeds for an hour and a half, before my onward journey home.  It wasn’t the warmest of days and I was happy to escape into Kirkgate Market for a delicious chicken, mushroom and cheese pancake.  As an additional bonus I snapped a few windows in this beautiful building.

If you follow the link it will give you the convoluted history of the building.  For my purposes it’s enough to say that it’s the largest covered market in Europe, with around 800 stalls.  The market dates back to 1822, the first covered sections being added from 1850.  The domed, glazed roof was modelled on Paxton’s Crystal Palace in London’s Hyde Park.  It has enormous appeal.

One last snippet of information- Kirkgate Market was the founding location of Marks and Spencer, which opened initially as a penny bazaar.  A commemorative clock was unveiled to mark the centenary of M & S in 1984.  Today there is still a Marks and Spencer’s stall alongside the clock.

Click on the gallery to wander the market with me.

Thanks Dawn, for reminding me every week how much I like windows.  To join the challenge, visit Lingering Visions.

Thursday : Lingering look at windows- week 31

I’m struggling to fit eveything in tonight because I’m going to my daughter’s in Nottingham for the weekend tomorrow.  But it’s Thursday, and that means a lingering look at windows, right?

I thought I’d simply show you more of the trompe l’oeuil windows that I featured in Sonel’s black and white photo challenge this week, but in colour, of course.  Which is quite amusing because Dawn at Lingering Visions has chosen to use black and white photos for the challenge.  They are really fabulous, so do go and look.

My “windows” are a feature of the Italian restaurant “La Spaghettata” in Durham.  I think you’ll agree, they lend a wonderful atmosphere.