warm jackets

That last snippet of Autumn

Through a fence, lengthening shadows and a last hint of colour

Through a fence, lengthening shadows and the last hint of colour

The jacket and me went walking again today.  Goodness it was cold, but glorious, once I was striding along.  The village of West Auckland in County Durham is one I have often driven through but never before stopped in.  Our walk leader was born and bred there so this bright, late Autumn day seemed a good time to take a closer look.

The village green, with its claim to footballing fame

The village green, with its claim to footballing fame

How strange that this quiet village should be a part of footballing history!  In 1909 West Auckland FC represented Great Britain in the inaugural World Cup competition in Torino, Italy.  A team largely made up of coal miners, they struggled to raise the finance for the trip.  Despite this they went on to beat Swiss team FC Winterthur 2-0 in the final, and even retained their title in 1911, beating Juventus 6-1!  Those were the days!

Me, I’m relishing any dry, bright days when I can get out and about.  Me and the warm jacket, that is!

A Bishop’s Stroll


Oh dear!  It’s that “reach for a warm jacket” time of year again.  Spoiled as I am by my sunny sojourn in Barcelona, I always knew that I was set to meet the British Winter head on when I returned.  I could hibernate, I suppose, but that doesn’t sound much fun.  Nothing for it but to wrap up warm and put the best foot forward. Where better than a medieval hunting lodge to start?

Auckland Castle, in Bishop Auckland, has been the official residence of the Bishop of Durham since 1832, and the surrounding park was originally used by the Bishops for hunting.  These days it’s the start point for a very pleasant stroll.  It never ceases to amaze me how many of these lordly residences still survive in England today.  This one is a veritable treasure trove.  The castle’s long dining room was specifically created to contain 12 of the 13 portraits of Jacob and his 12 sons painted by Francisco de Zurbaran in the 17th century.  Their last valuation was 20 million pounds!  In order to maintain them in their existing home an ambitious project is underway to tell the story of religion in Britain within the castle.  Currently the Castle is closed until next Spring, but it’s still a good base for a walk.

The skies were as grey as my jacket, but still, it’s good to get out!  Wrap up warm and join me.  Follow the links for more information.

Everyone needs a waterproof jacket in this weather!

Everyone needs a waterproof jacket in this weather!