Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Dither of the Day - 7 October 2008

A View from the Bridge (Fatfield Bridge)

Well, it’s the first day I've got out of bed before lunchtime since Saturday! Been in bed for most of the past 3 days due to some kind of bug. Thought it was just a cold that was getting better but it turned into something else plus a severe face-ache, headache and feeling sick.

I'm feeling lots better so I ponder to myself, once I've dropped the kiddiwinks off at school and nursery, whether to:

1. Go straight back home to immerse myself in clearing up the devastation of the past 3 days in bed (husband has just ignored it).
2. Enjoy the fact it’s a glorious day, have a bit of a wander and take some nice photos in my 2 hours of freedom before I pick up my granddaughter from nursery.

Dither, dither, dither. On the one hand the house would be there when I wasn’t as my Mam used to say. So why not go and enjoy what might be the last brill’ day before winter really sets in. On the other hand, the house was a real tip, or to quote my Mam again “like Stageybank Fair”, (not that I ever knew where that was but I gather it must have been a real hole).

Well after a traumatic hour breakfasting and getting 2 grandchildren ready, by the time I dropped them off at school and nursery, the choice wasn’t a hard one to make. The fresh air won out.

In theory I should have left the car at home, but it’s quite a bank to walk up on the way back and not feeling particularly perky, I gave in and took the car.

I often think the place we live in isn’t particularly pretty. The town centre is an awful ‘sixties concrete design typical of UK New Towns. Like most towns we complain that the council doesn’t do enough to improve the environment and some of the residents don’t help. We get our fair share of idiots dumping supermarket trolleys, despite all the schemes they put in place to stop it.

However one of the places I really like to walk down to is the Riverside. It’s changed a lot over the years but it’s a fairly pretty place now with some nice views and although there’s not a lot there, it’s quite a nice place for a walk or to go to eat. So once I dropped the little ones off, I went.down to the Riverside.

I start from Fatfield Bridge looking towards Penshaw Monument. That's the view in the first picture at the top, You can just see the Monument, way off in the distance. My husband says when he's travelling and sees the Monument he knows he's home. Funny that because he was born in Northumberland, but he thinks Washington is home now we've lived here so long.

There's a street running along the north side of the river I have always liked. Wouldn't mind living there apart from the worry of flooding. My worry really, I don't think there have been any floods since we've lived in Washington, that's 38 years now.

I was just thinking about that when I noticed this Environmental Agency River Recorder box. Now I've walked down that street a few times but I've never noticed it before. Nice to know they're keeping an eye on things. Wonder if it's automatic or whether someone has to come out to measure it on the board. Maybe one of the residents does it.

Along the street outside one house, there's a nice little touch even though it's not real. It's an imitation George V1 postbox. Shame it's a modern house though.

Turning back and looking up the river the view is just as pretty, such a clear sunny day. To be honest it's much better than most of the summer days we had. Wonder how many of these we'll have left.

As you walk along the bank you pass the first pub, the Biddick. Not as nice as in spring when the place is full of cherry blossom, but still a pretty picture.

The last roses of summer are showing their faces too on the riverbank.

Next there's the little war memorial. One of the smallest but nicest I've seen. Soon be covered in poppy wreaths.Just next to it is a lovely little sunny seat, but it's empty today.

Next is the Italian restaurant and bar. Had a few nice meals in the restaurant as it's very child friendly and reasonably priced. Note the parasols and patio heaters, rain and cold doesn't stop the party! Also needed by the smokers now in the smoke free pubs and restaurants.
I hadn't noticed before but there's a plaque on the wall above the fascia which you can hardly read as they painted over it. Apparently this building was the Fatfield Branch of the Chester- le-street Co-operative/Industrial Society in 1909. Glad they left a few of the old buildings. Amazing what you see when you stand and stare instead of just walking by as I usually do. Felt like a tourist!

Just opposite on the south side is another street overlooking the river. Hard to believe that this whole area was a thriving village. Now it's just a couple of streets and a few pubs. All to make way for the Sir James Steele Park when the New Town was developed.

Next is the Havelock, another watering hole on sunny days. Mmm it's certainly a pink pub. It gets quite lively here at night and on fine sunny summer days. About as rare as a £5 note in a bank!

Well, I've enjoyed the walk, now it's time to go home and face the midden that's posing as my home!


  1. Hi Winifred,
    I enjoyed your post today. I love to see the sites where others live. I have lived here all of my life, so visiting others via internet is very nice for me. I am not much of a traveler.
    Also I am learning so many new words and expressions from you. I will start writing them down so that I can remember them and teach them to my grandbaby someday. Haha. I may have to ask you what they mean though.
    Have a nice evening!

  2. Hi Brenda

    I've always lived here in the North East. When we were younger we didn't want to leave our families. Now our parents aren't here any more we don't want to leave our children and grandchildren so I suppose we're stuck.

    It's OK here but now I've retired I'm grumpy about the weather as I've more time to get out and about now I've a free bus pass! Problem is when the weather's bad you don't feel like going out.

    We go on holiday with my daughter and her family every summer. They love Rhodes so we've been there a few times. Eric and I love Spain especially Barcelona. I'd love to live there a few months of the year. You can see we don't do much long distance travel. Rhodes is quite a long flight for me nearly 5 hours.

    Some of my words and expressions may be Northern ones. People from the South often can't understand us foreigners here. I always think it's amazing that in such a small country we have so many different accents. There must be thousands in the USA.

  3. I'm glad you chose Number 2. to do after you dropped the kids off at school and nursery. That way we all get to view some very lovely photos.

    Yes, the house and what ever needs to be cleaned will be there waiting for you.

    Sounds like you had a bad sinus infection, you probably should have gone to the doctor.

    Week-end is just around the corner, have a good one.

  4. What a lovely walk you had. I think I'll post the walk Jim and I took along the canal. Hope you are feeling better.

    ~hippo hugs~


  5. Thanks everybody for your kind wishes.

    I do feel much better. Didn't bother the doctor as I just couldn't summon the energy to go out. Now I feel much better so hopefully should be OK by next week. If not I'll go and see the doctor. Probably just tell me to take paracetamol and drink coffee! I once saw a doctor on TV who said that was the best treatment.

    I find sniffing olbus oil works best for me. Maybe I should have said inhaling!

    Look forward to seeing the canal walk Pam.

  6. Dear Winifred ~~ Great post with all thos lovely photos. Well done. I do hope you are quite well again, by now.
    Thank you for your comments and I am so glad you enjoyed the story and jokes. Sorry you had to wash the kitchen floor
    though. Take good care of yourself.
    Love, Merle.

  7. Hi! Winifred

    Nice to meet you. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I am glad you decided to go out into the air and take a walk and some photos to post.

    Hubby comes from Low fell and his younger brother bought his first house in Washington.

  8. Lovely tour Winifred and great pictures, it looks very pretty there and a lovely day.

    I am glad you're feeling better, I know how things like this get us down from personal experience!


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