Thursday, 26 September 2013

Great North Run

Autumn- season of mists and mellow fruitfulness- crab apples

The beech is yellowing; chestnuts, always the first to bud, are also the first to die off: they are drifted gold and crackling crisp already; conkers spike between the withering fingers. In a matter of days the trees have decided winter is coming and leaves are falling.

Berries on the holly - a sign of a bad winter to come?

We had a few cold days; it rained during the Great North Run; since then we are experiencing a glorious, Indian summer of blue skies and warm sun.

Standing at the 11 mile point, our hands got hot, voices hoarse and arms ached- but it was worth it to see the lift our applause gave to runners.

D3 had previously done the Great North Run twice and The Marathon of the North so this year decided to do a Northumbrian Run of 10K at Matfen; We sipped a cappuchino  at the old School tearooms while waiting before heading for the finish to welcome runners in; then we used the day to backtrack along the route and found the tiny church at Ryal; I wonder what height the benchmark records?

The view from the entrance was a vista over the Tyne valley... breathe deep, see pistachio coloured fields drying khaki or ploughed umber and ochre....recognise the change of season.... and smile in welcome....

We also went to London and wandered along the South Bank;

we gazed up at the London Eye,

sipped Pimms in the sun while the Thames moved majestically under Big Ben's stare before sliding off downstream under bridges we country cousins cannot name.

We located ourselves near the 'Lying in Hospital' near County Hall- Florence Nightingale had been there before us.

We added to the day's excitement by having a late night Turkish meal while D3 glimpsed a shadow which hardened up into a mouse!

Though not back to rough ground/distance walking yet we went to meet ' the gang' at Frenchies' tearoom in Wylam- a delightful, catch-up rendezvous.I carefully indulged in just a cuppa as we had arranged to go for an Indian meal with a friend later.

Once again Windows 8 has thrown me- I cannot download my photos from my camera so must seek help. Agh! It used to be so easy. With advice later I shall fill in the blanks!
A suggestion- do not get Windows 8- it has not speeded anything up which was the reason we saved to buy a new hard drive; it takes much longer to go through all the click processes to get to the folders you want for pictures- and though they are loaded from my camera and stored up right- some of them import to my blog or emails on their sides- aaaaagh!

I am going to calm down with Downton.

Monday, 9 September 2013

A local trip


Although I am a Novocastrian or Geordie ie a Newcastle upon Tyne native ( well actually I am a Geordie Northumbrian! but I'll not get too pedantic!) and know lots about my city, I have never been on the Hop On Hop Off bus till today; £6 for an allround one hour trip- unless you hop off at different tourist attractions; to get back on just make sure you hang on to your ticket to show the drive as you reboard the bus; it was interesting and gave enough information to satisfy (without inundating passengers or boring us).

mock orange with a beautiful perfume

We wound our way round Newcastle and Gateshead, only hopping off for a lunch break on the Quayside; the day's solitary downpour missed us as we were dining in the Pitcher and Piano.

Rose of Sharon- hypericum

If you want to see the Millennium Bridge go up, check out the times on the noticeboard inside the glass buildings above the hydraulic rams on the side of the 'Blinking Eye'.


I have finished reading 'Wolf Hall' at last; since I have been unable to do much in the way of work for the last few weeks I have taken a lighter break and read ' Call the Midwife' by Jennifer Worth but now I am ready for my next tome....
Perpetual sweet pea

Now where is Nelson Mandela? On 'A long walk to freedom'..... here goes..... this may take me some time....

The Alnwick Rose
Our Alnwick Rose was bought for us for a Silver wedding present by a friend. I an going to be honest and say it is not my favourite rose because it is so densely petalled (which a lot of expensive David Austin roses are) that the bees cannot get into it.

Japanese anemone and a rose

Another Silver wedding rose in the foreground! We went to an old friend's 70th birthday (secret) party at Blaydon Rugby Club recently- we bought A. a rose to plant; the beautiful, fragrant, peachy-orange, tea rose  was called 'Warm Wishes'. I hope she enjoys the rose as much as I enjoyed the party!

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Why is it?

Why is it that parents with their children monopolise the whole pavement (often with scooters and bikes & prams) and do not think to tell their children to move over to allow the passage of pedestrians coming the other way? Manners no longer being taught?

Why do cyclists think red traffic lights do not apply to them as they do not stop but weave their way through/alongside stationary vehicles (who are obeying the law) and once at the front of the traffic queue, continue through the red light while the law abiders sit and watch.

Why do cyclists on the pavement no longer have bells to ring to warn pedestrians that they are cycling up silently behind them?! (I have a bell on my handlebars AND I use it.)

Why do some drivers not know the Highway Code? Why do some not realise that if they are turning right at a junction that the Highway Code says they can move forward and go into the yellow box while signalling right. H1 breathes fire at the Haymarket /Claremont Road junction as he sits behind drivers who won't move forward and then only 1 or 2 cars get turned before the lights  change.

Monday, 2 September 2013

Summer has passed

While I have been so busy the sun has been beating down and summer 2013 has finished; it seems to have been like the summers of my childhood;

Junes were hot: walking across the Town Moor to mosey through the Hoppings in hot, dusty Race Week- guaranteed my sister would not come as it used to aggravate her hay fever- and thus it was I used to take her son every year and spare her the agony of streaming eyes and sore nose.

We have always drifted our way across the litter, stubbles of grass, bright lights, screams and smell of chips, hot dogs and candy floss. He and I always ended up for some reason at the freak show- to everyone else's perplexed looks.

July saw chalk marks on the tar to play hopscotch; Montakitty piled us on 'wild horses' against a wall; 'Knocky nine doors' caused temper in the adults along the street; Cannon was my favourite- I could hit that tin in the middle of the street and knock the ten sticks off neatly for easy getting back on; we were even allowed to stay out at dusk on non-school nights to play 'Jackie shine your light'.

We had hulas hoops, roller skates, -my dad made me stilts- and a sledge for winter snow. Outdoor games were many and fun though they often ended up with skinned knees or smashed front teeth! I wonder my parents didn't get fed up of the constant thud of my tennis ball racqueted like a Wimbledon champion on their gable end wall.

We had quiet pastimes too; we sat in porches swopping beads or stickers; jacks skinned your knuckles (but I was good at it); marbles disappeared down drains (sounds like 'Wor Geordie's lost his penker').

August was always balmy and close; we waited for the thunder to roll and the lightning to crack through a yellowed sky.

Tomorrow children are back to school; summer holidays 2013 have passed.

Unfortunately after loads of attempts I cannot upload my photos now so I am giving up.

Sunday, 1 September 2013


I am still trying to sort out Windows 8. I find attaching photos vexing as almost as slow as the old hard drive. However maybe tomorrow I will have more time so I shall postpone blogging much more till then.

'A nip and a punch for the first of the month'

Officially I think the BBC said summer is over.... certainly the Equinox is approaching and D3 and I saw piles of leaves this afternoon so autumn is on its way.