A Lingering look at Windows : week 8

Leo the lion looks out hopefully

Leo the lion looks out hopefully

Remember I was in York last week for Lisa and Leo’s wedding anniversary? This window would have fit quite nicely in the Valentine’s collection, wouldn’t it?  Missed the boat, again!  It wasn’t really the weather for window shopping, but everything looked so tempting.

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And when the rain finally drove me inside, I looked through the pretty stained glass windows of The York Tap at the vaulted station roof.

IMG_3485It’s been a bit drier here this week.  Did you linger outside any windows?  I know Dawn did.  Pop over and take a look.

A rainy day in York

A rose on Lendal Bridge

A white rose of York on Lendal Bridge

It was a rainy day in York and the River Ouse was swamp brown and near to bursting its banks. Was I downhearted?  Not at all!  I was on my way to a cosy rendezvous with my daughter and her partner, in Betty’s famous tea shop.

I don’t drink tea and the smell of it has been known to make me wrinkle my nose in disgust, but I soon had a small pot of coffee wafting soothing vapours at me.

Cafe a la Betty's!

Coffee a la Betty’s!

Lisa and Leo had been spending a few days in York to celebrate their 1st wedding anniversary and were homeward bound.  Just time for me to catch up with them for a breakfast brunch to send them on their way.  I know that some of you are interested in such things so here’s the evidence.

Complete with Swiss rosti!

Complete with Swiss rosti!

While Lisa was studying the menu I couldn’t help but point the camera in her direction.  “Oh, Mother!”  I can’t help exasperating my offspring.  Or of being very proud of them.

Contemplating food!

Contemplating food!

Remember that “selfie” challenge last week?  The above was almost an entry.  Only fair that Leo (who hates having his photo taken) should appear alongside his lovely wife.  I got the photo shoot out of the way before they settled down to eat.

The happy couple

The happy couple

A close up of the wedding and engagement rings, made by her friend Kay

A close up of the wedding and engagement rings, made by their friend Kay

Refined, resplendent and reserved- that's us!

Refined, resplendent and reserved- that’s us!

We sat and talked about what they’d seen and done for a couple of hours.  Fairfax House got full marks.  The Quilt Museum was pronounced a little expensive unless you were a real enthusiast, but Lisa enjoyed it.  Places they’d eaten and highly recommended included the Hairy Fig and La Vecchia Scuola, whilst the House of the Trembling Madness sounded right up their street!  By this time they agreed that they had just enough space to share one of Betty’s delectable cakes.

This was Lisa's choice

This was Lisa’s choice and it looked delicious!

All too soon it was time to walk them back to their hotel, Elmbank Mount.  Undergoing renovation, it still retains much of its original splendour, and Lisa was very happy that they’d been allocated a four poster bed.  One last smile and a hug and they were on their way.  I wandered disconsolately through the damp York streets, taking a photo or two.

Not a day for sitting by the riverside!

Not a day for sitting by the riverside!

The riverboats huddled together for comfort

The riverboats were going nowhere

Huddled together for comfort and warmth

Huddled together for comfort and warmth

A dank day but the lions remained cheerful

A dank day for the lions, too

I made my way back to the railway station with time to spare.  Feeling distinctly damp, I ventured into “The York Tap”, adjoining the station, and was delighted to find a warm fire.  I stripped off my soggy gloves and settled in for half hour to enjoy my surrounds.

Nothing like a coal fire to dispel the blues!

Nothing like a coal fire to dispel the blues!

And the ceilings provided another colourful touch

And the ceilings provided a wonderful burst of colour.

My gloomy spirits lifting, I stepped out onto the platform to discover that the sun had finally made an appearance.  It was time to head for home.

Thursday- Lingering look at Windows- week 22

Where might I linger this week?  I’ll be getting myself talked about!  I believe I promised you some English windows.  Now, how to present them?

The glass-panelled arched ceiling of Malt Cross Cafe in Nottingham

The glass-panelled arched ceiling of Malt Cross Cafe in Nottingham

You know I spent the weekend in Nottingham?  The above was the venue for the book launch of “Steampunk Apothecary”.  If you want to see some of the antics, have a look at An extraordinary, but delicious, affair.

The Malt Cross Cafe is an historic grade 2 listed building and we were fortunate to have the use of the upper gallery.  Below, there’s a bar which sells delicious savouries.

Nottingham isn’t short on interesting venues, and windows.

Don't you love the light through this window in Nottingham's Newstead Abbey

Don’t you love the light through this window in Nottingham’s exquisite Newstead Abbey?

The previous weekend I was in Newcastle-on-Tyne and found myself very taken with these windows.  I think the building is currently being used just for office space, but at least it’s still there in all its glory.


England’s towns and cities have some of the loveliest windows you’ll ever see.

Did you stroll through my galleries?  We really must stop meeting like this.  It’s getting to be a habit.

So, what do you think?  Can England take on Poland and Portugal in the windows challenge?  Thanks Dawn for providing me with a little more fun this rain-soaked English day.

Don’t forget to check out the other Lingering Windows entries, and maybe participate?

Jakesprinter’s Sunday Post : Entrance


I would love to be able to make an Entrance, but I’m more the kind of person who’s prone to falling up the step and making a fool of herself.  I do know someone who can make a superb entrance though.

Lisa and Leo make the perfect entrance to married life

Lisa and Leo make the perfect entrance to married life

And she’s well equipped to make a neat exit too!

As ever, her hand sewing is exquisite.

As ever, her hand sewing is exquisite.

When I first saw the big-eyed girl, looking around the door on Jake’s post this week, I thought of the other meaning of “entrance”- to fill with intense delight”.  Lisa is well capable of this, too.

But neither of these photos are mine, so not really eligible for Jake’s challenge.  My kind of entrance goes more like this:

As usual, click any photo to start the gallery rolling.

I’m very late with this post, and Jake will already be working on entrancing us with next week’s theme, so I’d better hit that Publish button.  No accidents this time!

Come and meet Jake via the links or the lucky snake logo.  His graphics are amazing and all visitors are made truly welcome.


I have a valuable lesson to share.  Ice is “see through”!  I expect you thought that was “transparently” obvious, didn’t you?  I simply found it quite difficult to obtain effective photographs of ice sculptures, out in the street.  Excuses over, I did thoroughly enjoy myself trying, at York’s Festival of Angels.

An innocent bystander peeps through the angel wings

An innocent bystander peeps through the angel wings

The city of York was as festive as anywhere I’ve ever been at Christmas time, and the Festival of Angels added its own charming dimension.  Local businesses sponsor the ice sculptures, most of which are traditional Christmas images of angels and snowflakes.  The large handsome slug produced an exclamation or two, however.  The sponsor?  A certain restaurant chain that accompanies its food with “green stuff”.

A slippery slug!

A slippery slug!

Mr. Slug illustrates the fact that I should have waited a while to let the frosting on the ice sculptures melt a little.  I’ll know better next time but I was keen to see them all before too big a crowd gathered.

A rather frosty angel

A rather frosty angel

Rudolph was almost defrosted

Rudolph was almost defrosted

And the penguin was halfway there!

And the penguin was halfway there!

The angel won hands down

But the angel won, hands down, quite rightly

The crowd were mostly in good spirits as they wove in and out of the narrow streets.  The presence of an “Ice Bar”, selling delectables such as Baileys in a frozen chocolate cup, undoubtedly helped.  Mulled wine flowed sweetly too.  And there was always Earl Grey in the tea shop.

It speaks for itself

It speaks for itself

Naturally Santa was there

Naturally Santa was there

And an Ice King, who must have had chilly nether regions

And an Ice King, who must have had chilly nether regions

Even the barrel organ was feeling festive

Even the barrel organ was feeling festive

Never tell me the British don't have a sense of humour

Never tell me the British don’t have a sense of humour

York’s a good looking city, and there’s always something to see.  I was also checking out Vintage shops, and in passing couldn’t resist a few more shots.

A former cinema

A former cinema, turned furniture store!

The Merchants Hall is quite special

The Merchants Hall is quite special

St. Martin's Church hovers in the background

St. Martin’s Church makes a lovely backdrop

I would have liked a few more ice sculpture photographs, but they do say “life is for learning”, don’t they?

Ice Christmas trees?

Ice Christmas trees?

An ice Charter of York

An ice Charter of York

An ice polar bear

An ice polar bear

And finally, a snowflake

And finally, a snowflake

My apologies for not doing full justice to the amount of work that must have gone into these incredible pieces of artwork.  I hope you managed to gain just a flavour of the event, and my thanks to York for being gracious hostess to the Festival of Angels.

Six word Saturday


Freezing fog







And Ice Sculptures

Ice Sculptures?  What?  Where?  Sorry, but this is a bit of a tease.

The frost and fog were genuine enough.  Those are some of my Nordic Walking friends, (with reindeer antlers and tinsel, but distant, so as not to embarrass anybody) on the beach on Thursday.  Don’t feel too sorry for them- they scoffed an enormous Christmas lunch afterwards!

The Ice Sculpture photos have yet to be taken.  I’m off to the Festival of Angels in York today, and hope to come back with lots.  Of course, I can’t be certain of this.  I don’t think I’ll be the only one there, so I may end up with lots of photos of the backs of heads.  Wish me luck!

Have a good weekend everybody, and don’t forget to check out the other Six word Saturdays on Cate’s Show My Face.  The links and header will take you there.


Six word Saturday

My week as a tour guide

My weeks are often hectic, but this one has excelled itself- mostly in a good way.  The Polish family from Norfolk are coming soon, so I’ll keep this brief.

If you’re ever in Durham, book the Castle tour- it really is fabulous!

Just one highlight- the carved pews in the Chapel

The University Library is having a makeover. These are the glass entry doors. Pass through to buy your tickets for the Castle tour. The Lindisfarne Gospels are coming soon- awesome!

Replica door knocker at the Cathedral- they won’t turn you away.

A rainy day on the Cathedral roof. Of course, we still went up there!

Newcastle Quayside, celebrating the Olympics

A view from my favourite “Eye” (Gateshead Millenium Bridge) across to the Sage Theatre

And of course, the Millenium Bridge from the Baltic Gallery viewing platform

Welcome to York- the Medieval gatehouse sits nonchalantly beside traffic lights.

The city walls are a great place to start

The gardens at the Treasurer’s House

We used to make brass rubbings here.

I could definitely use a seat in one of the numerous shops.

Or maybe Betty’s Tearooms would be a better choice? (just visible in the corner)

St. Mary’s unique church at Whitby

It was a pleasure talking to the church warden. So many tales to tell.

Whitby Abbey is incomparable

The setting is superb

And the craftsmanship- how did they achieve this?

I have really appreciated seeing my world through my niece’s eyes, and will miss her when she goes to Norfolk tomorrow.  She has one further week in the UK before her return to Poland.  We certainly packed a lot in.  I haven’t included the local stuff, the 1st birthday party, or the one for my 96 year old aunt, Isa!

I’m sharing my world on the invitation of Cath of Show My Face, and am grateful for the opportunity to do so.  If you have six words that would sum up your week, why not join in?  Just follow the links or the header to do so.  More 6WS’s on this pretty button.

Sunday Post : Road

Why is it that whenever I see Jakesprinter’s new challenge, a song comes into my head?  This week’s topic Road had the same effect, and I’ve found myself singing McCartney’s “The Long and Winding Road” at intervals all week.  Surely a hint, and time to put pen to paper.

The road I had in mind was my long and sometimes deviating road through life.  Slightly crazy in my youth, I guess I haven’t really changed as much as I might think.  Mellowed, shall we say?

I imagined taking you on a photographic oddessy through my life, but I’ve settled instead for an illustration of one of it’s many twists.  This week I am escorting my lovely Polish niece, Basia, around England’s north east.  Lively Newcastle-on-Tyne, and Durham’s inspiring Castle tour both scored hits.  Even the spell on the roof of Durham Cathedral, clutching umbrellas damply, didn’t spoil our enthusiasm.  But it was in historic York that I had to marvel at the ability of some of England’s roads to adapt and survive.

York Minster, the Cathedral

Stonegate is at the heart of the walled city of York, which was founded by the Romans in 71AD.  Six feet below its pavement lies the Via Praetoria, which connected the Roman fortress to the civilian settlement of Eboracum (York) across the River Ouse.  The name Stonegate is thought to derive from the quantity of stone transported along it during the building of York Minster.

In the Middle Ages the road fell under the jurisdiction of the Minster, and was home to goldsmiths, printers and glassmakers, trades related to the Cathedral.  Today Stonegate is a pedestrianised hub of tourism.

A touch of whimsy as the “statue” pedals down Stonegate

So many shops to choose from

Some a little strange

Some, not so strange

Some, more traditional

But the antiquity cannot be denied

Fashioning gold and painting glass must have been thirsty work

Such a stylish emporium!

A little fashion?

With a hint of refinement, even at Sale time

I can’t help liking them all.

This road has certainly withstood the test of time.

I am again indebted to Jakesprinter for hosting his Sunday Post.  Follow the links or the dragon logo to see other interpretations of this weeks challenge.  What does the word road conjure for you?  Why not join in, if not now, then next week?