Saturday, 31 May 2014

Common Hawthorn

This year has been one of the best I remember for tree blossom.
This is a close up of Common Hawthorn.
Birds like wood pigeons love to eat the flowers off hawthorn trees.

Ravenglass (Lakes Visit)

The village of Ravenglass is worth a visit and there is a
roman bath house in the woods nearby, which may have had a sauna, steam room, but definitely had underfloor heating,also maybe a plunge pool and everything which you would expect to get in a modern spa.

Lakes Trip (Grizedale Forest)

A visit to
Grizedale Forest
provided an opportunity to meet some interesting woodland forms.

The iconic red telephone boxes are now rarely seen in the UK, and tend to be restricted to certain areas of the National Parks, maybe because they are tourist attractions in their own right. In most other areas they were replaced since the 1980s by vandal-proof call boxes, or telephone boxes are not available at all.

Friday, 30 May 2014

Barrow and Roa Island

I was very happy to visit Roa Island and the area around Barrow in Furness.
What an incredible place.
Maybe when people visit Newcastle and North Tyneside from Barrow they feel the same way.
I got the feeling this is a place where you can go back in time, to the land that time forgot. But in a good way. I absolutely loved Roa Island even though it has a pleasantly melancholy air.

You can get a ferry to Piel Island.

Lots of old houses and fishing folk's cottages typical of the area, and seaside moisture-loving plants like this opportunistic wall fern.

Woodland near our holiday caravan

This is a woodland scene near where we were staying.
You can tell the woods are quite old and well established. Is there something about the month of May that brings out that special light in woodlands?

Caravan near Coniston

This is the caravan where Jeff and I spent a week recently.
When we first arrived I was not very impressed.
It did not smell fresh and there was a combined smell of mould, mildew and damp.
However once we unpacked our belongings and I found my comfortable place to sit. I felt ok.
I imagined a person who had been in prison then let out, and if they had a place like this to stay, they would be very pleased with it. Or a person who had been living in one room in a hostel.
Here is a place to sit and meditate, a place to watch TV, eat caravan food, and generally chill out.
One tiny double bedroom, one even smaller twin room, a shower/toilet room, and this kitchen/lounge room. Very nice.

Glenridding, Cumbria

We stopped at Glenridding on our way to our destination near the shores of Lake Coniston.

Going West

Jeff and I went to the Lakes recently. We stopped at Alston on the way there.

This steam train was calling at the station as we ate our lunch.

Friday, 16 May 2014

Leazes Court, Barrack Road and social housing provision on Barrack Road

This is a historic plaque above one of the entrances to Leazes Court.
Leazes Court is tenement style housing owned by Newcastle City Council. It comprises small flats which are mainly for rent through the councils arms-length management organisation Your Homes Newcastle
Some people bought their homes from the council after the law was changed in the 1980s and sold them on or rent them privately to tenants.
This has also happened in Queen's Court, although not as much, as far as I know.

Queen's Court, Sutton Dwellings (now owned by housing association Affinity Sutton), and Leazes Court are the main groups of social housing on Barrack Road, in fact these 3 are where most Barrack Road residents live. These dwellings are all on the West side of the road, on the East side are Castle Leazes student halls, and Fenham Barracks.

Queen's Court, Sutton Dwellings, and Leazes Court, all have modern facilities and regular maintenance.

Old Benwell Cricket Club then and now

View of Nun's Moor from Walter Terrace, before completion of fencing work.

The work on fencing off the Nun's Moor between Studley/Walter Terrace and Barrack Road has been completed for a while now and I think it is better because vehicles can no longer drive on it.
The Freemen of the City have a newsletter with details of exactly what was done
which you can download or read here

Next to Leazes Court (Barrack Road) there was an old building which was demolished a few years ago, after having being derelict for years. You can still see the pipe where the water mains was connected, near the entrance to the Moor.
On the site of that old house there now grows the most beautiful lilac bush, and behind is a stand of mature trees. In the distance is a grassy area where lads play cricket and football, then west of that is Walter Terrace.
Its also one of the most popular dog walking spaces.

Here's that Green space now

Lilac bush from Barrack Road side

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Maritime Heritage (Old Buoy Recycling)

Situated on the North Groyne at North Shields.

A view of Tynemouth Castle from Collingwood's Monument

Jeff says"It is the trees I like in this photo with the castle taking a minor role."

Knotts Flats and North Groyne at North Shields

Jeff went out with his old film camera, and has this to say:
"I couldn't take a good photo if my life depended on it...!"

Friday, 9 May 2014

Pitt Street Flats

This is a link to pages about the flats on Pitt Street which have been demolished.

Pink Blossom on Tree in Leazes Park

This year has been fantastic for the tree blossom.
We have had the apple, cherry and plum blossoms, which are mostly finished now, and we are just starting to get the magnificent "May Blossom", otherwise known as Hawthorn. The green fluffy blossoms such as willow and alder, which people call catkins, are also lovely when looked at up close. Some people get hayfever from this sort of flower.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Pelmet Valance

At least the pelmet valance project is finished.
I employed a local joiner to put up a plywood box pelmet, then we went on a shopping trip to South Shields' charity shops in the hope of getting some textiles to cover the pelmet. The PDSA shop had the best choice and I got a set of lined red velor curtains for £4.99 with which to make the cover for the pelmet.

Here's a funny video about South Shields

And here are a couple of photos of the finished pelmet valance.

There are lots of guides online about how to do this project, however eventually I decided to use craft glue to glue the fabric on to the box, so it would be possible to remove it in future if I decided on a different colour scheme. Thanks to Saima, Shamila and Jeff for all the help with the project.

Macro Lens

Some mosses on a wall in Leazes Park.

Visit to Middlesborough

We went to Middlesborough at the end of March, to the Middlesborough institute of Modern Art (MIMA).
We liked the fountains outside best. Please visit there for latest news from Herbwormwood