Past meets present in Hartlepool

It’s all a matter of perspective, isn’t it?  Once Hartlepool had thriving docklands where we’re standing now.  In 1913 alone over 1 million tons of timber and iron-ore were imported, and 2.5 million tons of coal and coke from the Durham pits left these docks.  World War II brought change, as well as bombardment, but the town picked itself up and looked for new industries to replace the old.

In the 1990s a marina brought a new lease of life to the town.  Old shipbuilding skills had not been lost and HMS Trincomalee was restored locally, soon to be joined by the paddlesteamer PSS Wingfield Castle.  Both now form part of Hartlepool’s Maritime Experience museum.  But what of the surrounds?  There we have an issue or two with our local council.  Jackson’s Landing was an attractive looking shopping complex, whose cafe enjoyed some of the best views in Hartlepool. Today it has been razed to the ground, after standing empty for countless years.  The seagulls now enjoy the forlorn open space.

But it’s not all bad, as you can see.  Great skies!  And Thursday’s Special has me back in our marina again, thanks to Paula.

Still waters

Run deep, don’t they say?  Last Thursday I had you standing by the lock gates, in Hartlepool marina.  I was playing along with Paula, which I like to do.  By one of those strange serendipities of life, three days later found me back at the harbourside.  As you can see, it was an altogether different sort of day.  I sauntered around the marina, camera doing all the work.

As I approached the lock gates the alarm began to sound.  One gate was closing and the outer gate opening, to admit incoming vessels.  It’s always a captivating sight to me, and I walked out to a good vantage point.  As I watched, a procession of boats lined up before me.

Isn’t the sky a magnificent canvas?  As the boats passed beneath me, I could almost reach down and ‘high five’ them.  Well, almost!

How do you decide what to post next?  Are you driven by the numerous challenges?  I try not to be.  I would far rather post what’s in my heart.  All the better if it’s something uplifting.  There are plenty of sad days, aren’t there?  I’m not joining Thursday’s Special this week, but it still is.

Along the Quayside

Funny what you can find when you dig about a bit.  Trying to reduce my oceans of photo files, I opened up a folder downloaded from my phone. Many of the photos have been retained out of sentiment.  I remember wandering in our marina one late afternoon, as the light lingered on the water.  No other camera to hand, I took the first group.

The lock gates often have their admirers, especially if there’s a huddle of canoeists passing through.  Yet again I must have been caught napping, without camera.  It’s a while since I went down to the Quayside.  I think these are custom made for this week’s Thursday’s Special.


A window on Shropshire

Windows are delightful things and I have to confess to collecting more than my fair share on my travels.  Looking out or looking in, I’m equally happy.  You never know what you might find, do you?

On my visit to Shropshire this week I stayed in a wonderful old Arts and Crafts property, Arden House, in Church Stretton.  Looking out of the windows I could hardly wait to get started on another adventure.

It has the nicest of country pubs, even if a malevolent wasp might be hiding beneath the plate, ready to pounce.  What’s this chap doing up there, you might wonder? Trimming back the wisteria, I believe, in rather precarious fashion.

I don’t mind scaling the heights now and again myself, in search of a good view. Stokesay Castle was a prime example.

There will be more, of course, but for now let me reassure you that the swelling from the sting has stopped.  I hope to have matching hands again in the near future.  Meantime you are free to go and look at Paula’s unusual Windows, because Thursday’s Special.  And maybe spare a thought for Dawn?  I haven’t lingered at her monthly challenge in the longest time.


I spy, with my eye,

A goldfinch, sweetly gilded.

Pure labour of love

Hand-painted, on my daughter’s living room wall.  He seems to be looking Over his shoulder, rather wisely, I think.  Join Paula in this week’s Thursday’s Special for a totally incredible look at the moon.

Vision of loveliness

Where better to have a vision than in a church?  But this is no ordinary church.  The Pitcher and Piano in Nottingham is a deconsecrated Unitarian church, saved from dereliction in a rather spectacular fashion.

Meeting me from my bus journey on a balmy afternoon, my daughter proposed a refreshing drink.  To me, she was a vision of loveliness.  You could say that for our surroundings too.

Last week I was too excited at meeting my daughter to settle to a Thursday’s Special.  This week I’m home again, and able to share some of the magic.  The little girl in Paula’s Vision is beautiful too.

Looking east in the Algarve

Branching wistfully

eastwards.  Tortured by the breeze.

Always in motion

I did say I was leaving my Algarve behind, but you can probably see why it’s hard to do so.  For Paula’s Pick a word in June  I am illustrating Branching and Continual.  For Gilly, a little haiku, because I miss her.  Thursday’s Special, isn’t it?