Friday 5 July 2024

Holiday in Lanzarote

After weeks of cold and rain in the UK, it was a pleasure to feel the warmth of the sunshine of the Canary Islands.

The two previous visits to Lanzarote have been in December, both times to the same hotel, Beatriz, in Puerto del Carmen, but this time we stayed in a hotel in Playa Blanca.

The hotel had everything we wanted for our visit with three generations. We made good use of the pool, tennis courts, chess and naturally the restaurant and bars.

The sparrows were quick to clear any crumbs from the pavement and even a heron and hedgehog appeared while were sipping our coffee.

The promenade leading one way to the port, the other to the marina plus beaches and shops were a stone’s throw away. We saw lots of big, red crabs resting on the rocks.

We saw many cat refuges with food and water

It was my birthday during the trip and we hired a car to visit the spa at Hotel Beatriz. It may have been a long journey for a spa but, as well as the sauna, jacuzzi and Turkish bath (Hamam) there is a fabulous hydrothermal circuit which massages different parts of the body with warm aquatic jets, a variety of waterfalls and micro-bubble beds leaving us feeling refreshed and invigorated. We then had lunch at a cafe by the sea.

On our return to the hotel, the management had delivered a bottle of champagne and chocolates to our room

A large market twice a week at the marina

Some of the area retained its old world charm

Time passed much too quickly, but we have our memories.

Thursday 30 May 2024

“The sea is their grave but this Memorial sculpture is, in many ways, a headstone for the lost trawlermen”

I have always been impressed by the architecture in the centre of the maritime city of Hull, especially the old buildings with their carvings and statues.

On a wet and windy day, unable to visit the Ferens Art Gallery or the Princes Quay shopping mall with our dog, we took a short walk by the Humber Estuary and revisited St Andrews memorial for lost trawlermen.

The Humber Bridge is clearly seen from here (photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Installed around a paved circle, information can be found  about the history of the fishing industry of Hull and its workers

Beautiful swathes of wild flowers have been sown around the site

Some interesting information about the work of a Bobber and three trawler tragedies can be found here:

The Life of a Bobber – St. Andrews Dock Heritage Park Action Group (

Triple trawler tragedy: The Hull fishermen who never came home - BBC News

Saturday 4 May 2024

The Georgian Bath House

We are frequent visitors to the small market town of Wetherby, West Yorkshire, where we often take a route which crosses over the bridge and then walk along the River Wharfe. 

 On the other side of the river, we noticed some benches and on this trip we decided to find this spot. This is how we discovered the Jubilee Gardens and, what's more, within the gardens we found a Georgian Bath House. In the 18th century bathing for cleanliness was not a thing. The Bath House was a popular remedy supposedly to help with anything from headaches to impotence. The pool was fed from a spring and was surrounded by a walkway with areas for changing clothes and taking a break from the cold water. The building is no longer used as bath house, but the park is beautifully planted with, at the time of our visit, spring flowers and the benches are a splendid place to watch the river.

Thursday 4 April 2024

Easter break

It wasn’t to be.

To get away from the crowds on Easter Sunday, we embarked on the Hutton circular walk which I found on the Facebook page Summat to do.

Sadly, the heavy rain of the previous night had turned some of the route into a quagmire making it impossible to continue after the first gate. Did I mention we had our little dog Freddie with us, who doesn’t like his paws cleaned at the best of times.

We had our coffee break on the huge village green at Hutton Cranwsick

The walk will have to wait until the ground has hardened up a bit.

After lunch, we set out to Danes Dyke Danes Dyke ( and made our way through the woodlands to the beach. The sea was coming in so we couldn’t stay there long.

Next stop Flamborough South Landing.  We have often taken the grandchildren along the Sculpture Trail there which has fallen into disrepair. We made for our favourite bench which gives a spectacular view of the area. A landslip meant that the usual route was blocked off, but we managed to find a diversion to reach the spot.

The land slip

On Monday, some family joined us for lunch and we visited Hornsea

Tuesday turned out to be the very best of the weather. Warm and sunny, we walked along the Bridlington promenade from North Beach to the Spa and returned via Bridlington’s working harbour. Here we met a man preparing and selling jet which he had found along the coast. The untreated stones looked like lumps of coal.

Although we spend many hours in this area, we always find new things to see and visit.

Sunday 17 March 2024

Prisons and prisoners


Fortunately I’ve never been in prison and furthermore hope I never will. However, I have recently seen and read about this topic and it has made me think about the the whole institution

Firstly, I watched Prisoner, a danish production of 6 episodes on BBC4 and iPlayer. This follows the stories of four prison officers and their interactions with the inmates while they are striving to keep the prison from shutting down to keep their jobs. At the start of a shift, the prison officers greet each other with “Have a boring day” wishing for calm in an environment like a pressure cooker where anything could cause an explosion. Sometimes brutal, often thought-provoking and always compelling.

Next, I read a book by Andy West entitled The Life Inside A Memoir of Prison Family and Learning. This gives a different take on prison life. The author comes from a family with members who have done time. Andy teaches philosophy in various prisons and uses ideas from philosophers to initiate discussion with the prisoners about their lives inside and and listens to their emotions. In parts sad, in parts funny, it makes you consider the demise of prisoners and prison officers and even empathise with them.

I do enjoy reading about topics that broaden my outlook and written from the point of view of others and outside my experience. How about you?

Thursday 15 February 2024

Winter Break 2


Our second winter break took us to Cumbria.

En route we stopped at Kirkby Lonsdale

The roads to our final destination of Millom were winding and went up hill and down dale allowing us vistas of the beautiful countryside. We didn’t know until after our visit that this is the birthplace of the poet Norman Cornthwaite Nicholson OBE (8 January 1914 – 30 May 1987) whose writing career spanned from the 1930s until his death in 1987. Nicholson is best remebered for his poetry but he also wrote novels and plays. He wrote in his attic of his home, a Victorian terraced house and tailoring shop at 14 St George's Terrace in Millom and is known for the straightforward language and his content which reflects the local industries and culture of his area mining, quarrying, and ironworks—the dominant industries in Millom at the time.

This abandoned house was opposite our guest house

Also in Millom is the Hodbarrow RSPB Nature Reserve situated on a coastal lagoon which is located on the site of a former iron mine but the approach was too muddy.

Just down from Millom is the village of Haverigg, which lies on the Duddon. The small seaside fishing village with its dunes and waterpark has a restored lighthouse.

We took a picnic Lake Coniston where we spent a day

On our way home we stopped at Morecambe

and Clapham

and at a retro tearoom at Gargrave

We were lucky with the weather in North West UK in February.  The rain mostly held off and, from time to time, the sun even peeped through!

Holiday in Lanzarote

After weeks of cold and rain in the UK, it was a pleasure to feel the warmth of the sunshine of the Canary Islands. The two previous visit...