Tuesday 29 October 2013

End of season at the East Yorkshire Coast

After a late start which turned into a wonderfully warm summer, the season has come to end.

We always seem to finish on a lovely day and this year was no exception .  As ever, it coincides with half term.

 Happy Days at Happy Daze

Looking forward to and already dreaming of next season!

Sunday 13 October 2013

Annual Autumn Trip to Northumberland

 Sunrise over Seahouses Harbour from our window

Instead of the wet and windy weather we frequently encounter on our visits, it was very mild and the sea was calm.

As well as stopping off at our usual haunts along the coastal route, we revisited areas we haven’t seen for a while.


 Low Newton with Dunstanburgh Castle in  the background

We stayed at the Gun Rock B&B at Seahouses which was a good, central base and offered quality accommodation with a good view of the harbour.

We enjoyed eating at the Elan Pizzeria, which has a variety of Italian dishes on its menu.   The staff was helpful in adapting the ingredients to suit our needs and the venue is a good place for a coffee and cake or glass of wine, rather than a noisy pub.  I can’t believe I just made that last remark which really shows my age!  

I can see for miles and miles.  Sea for miles and miles
Walking round Holy Island (Lindisfarne), we found that an observatory had been built which gave us an amazing 360 degree view of Bamburgh, the Farne Islands and the Scottish border.  A bagpiper busking at the entrance to the castle added to the ambience.  We were conscious of the time as we completed our walk as the tide would prevent us from leaving after 2.40 pm, when the causeway would be submerged until 9 pm.  We returned to the car park with time to spare for a cup of tea but on switching on the engine, the dashboard displayed a message that the car was overheating.  We tentatively drove to the mainland and managed to reach a garage on the A1 where a bottle of coolant solved the problem.

 Lindisfarne Castle, where there is a Gertrude Jekyll garden
 Navigation aid; the pyramid, not me!

Bamburgh to Budle

A favourite route of ours is to walk along the shore from Bamburgh castle and over the golf course to Budle Point.  The landscape is stunning.  At one spot on a fern lined, downward, twisting path, you come across a wooden bench.  Apart from it offering a welcome rest, there is a great view.  The bench is dedicated to the memory of Audrey, who loved to visit the area.  Last time we were there, we met Audrey’s husband, who also told us about Budle pier from where regular shipments of stone were delivered to Kings Lynn, Boston and Whitstable in 1913. Loading was carried out by a steam crane on the pier.  There used to be a railway line down to the pier from the quarry, so they could transport stone onto trade ships.

 Rock pools left when the tide goes out

Harkess Rocks also known locally as Stag Rocks because of the mysterious stag painted on them

Has anyone a theory of the origin of the stag?   I have heard that it was painted by an artist c1914, or it was painted in memory of a stag which drowned in the sea trying to escape its hunter or that it was painted by the Argyll and Southern Highlanders who were stationed on the golf course in WW1 who had a stag as part of their insignia.  

Bamburgh Castle


Thursday 10 October 2013

Goodbye to a very special lady.

My auntie Edith passed away last week.  She was a very special lady for all sorts of reasons but I would like to share with you a story about her early years.  I wrote the story from the facts I gleaned from her over the years.

Flight from Nazi Germany

At the time I felt forsaken by my parents, yet excited at the prospect of seeing the sea and travelling by boat for the first time at 11 years old.  How could I have known what would come to pass although, with hindsight, all the clues were there?

Life as we knew it changed from the time my uncle from Frankfurt came to live with us after losing his job for being Jewish.  Home was a farm in a small village where we ran a little shop selling sugar, flour and suchlike, which supported my extended family.  From the radio we learnt what was happening further afield and so did the other villagers, who no longer frequented our shop.  The harvest workers, who had previously enjoyed hearty meals in our kitchen, failed to turn up that year.  The other handful of Jewish families moved away from the village after Kristallnacht when the contents of our synagogue were brought out and set on fire.  My younger sister and I were no longer allowed to attend the local school, so we would amuse ourselves on the farm or playing hide and seek among the gravestones in the Jewish and Christian cemeteries which are side by side.

After my father and uncle were taken in for questioning by the Gestapo, the future looked bleak.  The elderly relatives who lived with us could not be moved so my mother contacted the Jewish refugee association to find a family in England to take in my sister and me. 

Two families who lived next door to each other in Leeds agreed to takes us.  Arrangements were made; we were allowed to take a small suitcase between us.  Our mother told us to hide our rings and necklaces from view during the journey and that we should behave ourselves and be helpful to our host families.  We promised her faithfully that we would be good.

At the railway station, we were put in the charge of a couple of older girls.  Our anxiety increased when the relatives on the platform began to wail and sob.  We were too small to look out of the crowded window to wave goodbye, but we never thought it would be forever.  Just as the train started to move, a lady opened the door of the compartment and pushed in a carrycot which contained a baby girl.     

The journey began.  The Gestapo entered the train before it crossed the border but, apart from confiscating a few bracelets and rings from the older girls, left us alone.  At a station in Holland, some women gave us food and drink and then we crossed by boat to England.  It was cold and dark and my first experience of the sea wasn’t a good one.

It has been 74 years since the Kindertransport brought me to England.  My parents were transported to the Camp de Gurs in 1940 and then to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where according to the carefully kept records, they were exterminated in 1942.   I have been fortunate; a wonderful foster family, a long marriage, children and grandchildren.  I felt it was my duty to embrace life and I am sure it was what my parents would have wanted for me.

Very rarely do I fall asleep without thinking about playing with my sister among the gravestones in my village of Teschenmoschel then being welcomed home with open arms by my parents.  I also wonder about the fate of that baby girl whose mother gave her the gift of life.  

Jewish Burial Ground at Teschenmoschel

 Auntie Edith and Uncle Jack




Wednesday 2 October 2013

Baby naming, beetroot fritters and breakers

Spent a lovely weekend in London where we attended the baby naming of my latest great niece.  We were treated to Salmon Coulibiac with fennel for Friday night dinner, tasty salads on Saturday and for brunch. 
 Esther Bracha with Great Auntie Linda

 Some family members putting the world to rights
On Sunday I had beetroot fritters at the Belsize Kitchen 68 Belsize Lane London NW3


On the way we passed this statue.

Talking of food, here is another recipe from Patsy Collins, writer and blogger, to use up those apples.   She says: Whisky apple cake is good. Put sliced apples sprinkled with whisky and brown sugar in the bottom of a dish, then cover with sponge mix and bake. Serve with cream or custard. Ginger cordial works well as an alternative to the whisky if you prefer. 
Sounds yummy.

The beginning of the week saw high seas at the East Yorkshire coast.

 ....but the weather was fine, although windy, and we managed to do a bit of walking.
The rough tides throw up all manner of things and I found some additions for my collection.


Shells, stones, wood and bone

“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 carving...