Thursday, 20 November 2008

Skywatch Friday - 21 November 2008

These pictures were taken last December and the sky was every bit as blue as the photographs show. Looks more like a sky in the Mediterranean than the North East of England! Not a cloud in sight!

The foreground is Herrington Country Park. Until about four years ago this was the site of a huge coal heap, the remnants of the mining heritage of the industrial North East. Reclamation has created a park for everyone to use with no worries about running on the grass, that's what it's for!

The site is now a great venue for leisure activities such as charity fun races, nature watches and other environmental activities. The Race for Life takes place here every year. It's also a great place to walk as there are lots of trails which are suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs.

There are lots of wild birds there including swans on the lake and the ponds.

There's a play area too!

Even in the middle of winter lots of people go there to walk or just to sit and eat their lunch. If it's raining they just sit in their cars and take in the peace and quiet.

The historic building in the background of the first picture is Penshaw Monument. Here's another view of it taken from the bottom of the hill. It's quite a steep climb but lots of people climb it with children as it's always open to the public.

On Good Friday children keep up the old tradition of rolling their boiled (paste) eggs down the hill. On Easter Sunday morning there's a service at sunrise. I have to admit I've never made it!

Penshaw Monument
The monument was built in 1844 and is dedicated to John George Lambton, first Earl of Durham and the first Governor of the Province of Canada. It was built as a half-sized replica of the Temple of Hephaestus, Athens and is 100 feet long, 53 feet wide and 70 feet high. The Monument is a listed building and the best preserved model of a Doric Hexastyle temple in Britain.

The Monument dominates the landscape and can be seen from miles away as it is 136 feet above sea level. You can just see it in the background of a photo, a View from the Bridge that I put in an earlier blog. My husband originally came from Northumberland but he says when he's driving he knows he's home when he sees the Monument.

It's certainly a beautiful sight in the evening when it is illuminated but sadly vandals have destroyed the lights on a number of occasions. My photographic skills don't run to getting a good picture of it at night.

Why not join us at Skywatch Friday and post your photos? We'd love to see them.


I don't know what's going on here with the photos, they suddenly have lines across the skies!
They were fine until I made the posting live. The originals are fine and I've reinserted them but they still have those strange lines across them.

I'm not going to worry too much as I can see them on other people's posts too. Must be my PC. Weird!

Friday, 14 November 2008

Skywatch Friday - 14 November 2008

Evening Skies Over Washington

It's amazing the difference in the sky from one window in your house to the next.

The first view is one taken tonight at about 5.00pm from the back bedroom window looking South out over the little wood at the back of the house. Looks like there's a fire but it was just the sun going down. The contrast with the really dark clouds and the trees was striking.

This one was taken about 10 minutes later from the front bedroom window, looking North. It doesn't do the colours justice, those lovely soft pinks, greys and blues. What a contrast with the colours at the back of the house.

I have no idea what the light in the sky was. I didn't see anything when I took the photo so maybe it was a reflection. It could have been a plane heading for Newcastle airport, it's on the flightpath.

Have to hurry, off to watch my favourite TV evening of the year, Children in Need. My favourite spot is always when the BBC newscasters and presenters strut their stuff. Last year it was the Rocky Horror Show, this year it's an Abba tribute. Looking forward to seeing Sir Tel dancing with Flavia and Tess Daly dancing with Anton Du Beke doing their own Strictly Come Dancing and a Royle Family sketch.

Hope they do a podcast!

Had a good laugh this afternoon on the Steve Wright Show Radio 2 when he said that it was mad in London today all the activities going on and the collections. He said the tourists just hadn't a clue what was happening and were looking totally flummoxed. The people involved with the fundraising were in stitches laughing at the tourists' expressions.

My Singer 338!

Well here it is my very first sewing machine, the one I got for my 21st birthday in 1966! I know it cost my Mam  a lot to buy it for me...