Saturday 31 December 2022

Take your time, enjoy the journey, be grateful for what you have

Here are some of my favourite things this year:


Lessons in Chemistry- Bonnie Garmus

The Whistleblower – Robert Peston

End of Summer – Anders de la Motte



Mrs Harris goes to Paris


Fundamentals of Caring (Netflix)

Plants which have made my heart sing:

Salvia Hot Lips

Lavateria Burgundy Wine

Geranium Rozanne

Places I have enjoyed:

East Yorkshire Coast

Northumberland Coast

Praia de Gale, Portugal

Celebrations with family and friends must also be included. With all the bad stuff that goes on in the world, I sometimes need to remind myself that I am indeed blessed.

I would love to hear yours to top me up for the year ahead.

Wishing you all a happy, healthy and peaceful New Year!

Saturday 17 December 2022

Advent Ghosts Stories 2022

 Welcome to Advent Ghosts 2022, the thirteenth annual shared storytelling event at I Saw Lightning Fall . Hosted by Loren Eaton. a group of us have celebrated that peculiarly British tradition of telling spooky stories right before Christmas.  The challenge is to tell a story in exactly 100 words.

Click on the blog here to find more stories on Loren's blog. You may well be surprised!

The farewell wave

Simon ceased kicking the ball against the wall as he knew it upset Gran who was slowly making her way down the path with her tartan shopping trolley. Dressed for the cold, damp day and looking as though she was fully recovered from a bout of Covid, she shouted goodbye to Simon who returned her cheery wave.

Suddenly a car pulled up. It was his uncle who ran up the path without acknowledging Simon. His mother was at the doorway and beckoned to Simon, hugged him and told him that his Gran had just passed away peacefully in her bed.

Thursday 24 November 2022

Roundhay Park celebrates its 150th birthday

Roundhay Park in Leeds is one of the biggest city parks in Europe, covering more than 700 acres of parkland, lakes, woodland and gardens. When the Lord Mayor of Leeds at that time, John Barran, bought the park for the people of Leeds in 1872, he was ridiculed for buying a 'White Elephant'. The suburb of Roundhay was a long way from the city centre and could only really be reached by one road. What was once regarded as a reckless waste of ratepayers' money, is one of the most popular attractions in Leeds; nearly a million people visit each year.
Barran's Fountain named after the Lord Mayor

Canal Gardens

Everyone has their own tales to tell about Roundhay Park whether it be taking part in or witnessing the annual Children’s Day, the international triathlon or the live concerts of The Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson or Madonna.

A meercat in Tropical World

Tropical World

The approach to the Alhambra Gardens
One of four Chelsea Gold winners by Leeds City Council installed in the park

I am lucky to live within walking distance of this (mostly) free facility and enjoy it in all seasons and have done since I was in a pram.

See Roundhay Park ( for all the park has to offer and do visit if you are in the area.  You won't be disappointed.

Saturday 1 October 2022

Annual trip to Northumberland 2022

After checking the weather forecast, we were tempted to cancel this trip but it would have been a lost opportunity.

On the outward journey, we made a pit stop at Hartlepool, an interesting place where we would like to spend more time to visit the National Museum of the Royal Navy and the headland.  We did take a walk along the England Coast Path, a wide promenade next to the beach which was busy with cyclists and dog walkers.  Our goal was the seaside town of Seaton Carew, but learnt that it was further than we thought.

From the England Coast Path looking towards the headland
We took the coastal route to our base, The Amble Inn at Amble, and the heavens opened as we checked in.  This was the first significant rainfall that we had seen for many months.  Nevertheless we drove up the coast to Alnmouth and, during a lull in the rain, we managed a short stroll on the beach.

The next day dawned bright and dry so, after a comfortable night at the hotel with a large breakfast and even a sausage for the dog, we visited our old haunts:

Boulmer beach

Seahouses - where we ate our packed lunch while looking out to sea where the Farne Islands were clearly visible before buying a couple of items from Farne Gifts, the shop that sells everything from pottery penguins to paintbrushes. 

Bamburgh:  Bamburgh village was busy as usual so we drove up to the Bamburgh Castle Golf Club at the top of the cliff and took the Northumberland Coast Path towards Budle Point, marvelling at the long stretch of golden/white sands.  It is an easy walk giving great views of Bamburgh Castle and Lindisfarne.

The weather stayed fine and we felt we had earned our afternoon tea at Copper Kettle Tea Room in Bamburgh, where we sat in the sunshine on the patio.  I bumped into an ex pupil who remembered me from all those years ago making me believe that I hadn’t aged at all!

The next day, rain threatened so we had an early morning amble in Amble. It has an interesting history displayed on information boards, a working harbour and marina.  We saw a film crew interviewing a man at one of the stalls.  He told us he was just giving advice for young people who were thinking of starting up their own business but then, to be polite, we had to listen to his political views which were not so different from our own.

The rain then started in earnest and, on our homeward journey, persisted the whole day but we were glad we kept to our plans and had an enjoyable trip.

Tuesday 30 August 2022

Puffins Galore

Puffins Galore, or whatever the collective noun is for Puffins, is a project which has installed 42 sculptures of Puffins along the East Yorkshire Coast from Bempton to Spurn Point. 

Every Puffin has been beautifully and creatively decorated by a different artist with their interpretation of one of three themes:

·         Endangered species of the area

·         Global warming and green energy

·         People and stories of the area

Each sculpture has been sponsored by a local business.

Here are a few examples.  I have seen many more, but often so many people were taking selfies that I couldn’t get near!

No.19:  Sea Heroes by Katy Cobb (Hornsea Promenade

No. 18:  Puffin Power by Lynn Hollingsworth (Hornsea Promenade)

No. 05:  Cliff by Kathleen Smith (North Marine Promenade, Bridlington)


Tuesday 9 August 2022

Resuming holidays abroad

After all the worrying about queues, cancellations and Covid documentation, our journey to the Algarve went without a hitch.

The villa in Praia da Galé was just as advertised and my concern over the pool being too cold, as only heated by the sun, was unfounded.  The three generations of us got on without falling out.

So, after all that anxiety, I definitely needed a good holiday and that is exactly what I had!

This branch of the family had been travelling for 15 hours but insisted on trying out the pool which was illuminated at night

The villa was on three floors and accommodated ten.  The front and back terraces always gave much needed shade.  The barbeque and the ping pong table were well used.

It was enjoyable to walk the short distances to the beaches, shops or restaurants and look at the varied styles of houses with bananas, palms, lemon trees and giant cacti in their gardens

There were various small beaches nearby, some rocky coves and others stretches of golden sand.  Being on the Atlantic, there were lots of water sports and good waves for surfing.

Armação de Pêra

Many houses have window frames painted yellow or blue

Typical Portugese pavements made from mosaics  

For night life, Albufeira was 9 km away.  Here lots of bars, shops and restaurants were to be found in the narrow streets.   Two outdoor escalators took you down to The Strip where live bands played.  The Old Town was quieter and we saw England's Lionesses beat Germany in the finals.  

It was all over too quickly but our memories will remain with us.

“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...