Six Words? Twelve Words? All nonsense.

Fish – clutter – drain – banana – starling – umbrella – buttermilk – sky – walking boots – bibulous – carbuncle – brain.

Just look at that.  Twelve words. I have to weave those twelve random words into a single poem.

Our U3A writing group is one of the few things that’s continued throughout lockdown.  It’s a positive activity at a somewhat negative time.  But what CAN you do with a list like that?  This, it turns out.  I’m not too displeased.  And here too are a few photos to illustrate the day.

Colsterdale

Wanting to de-clutter

my brain, I drive to

Colsterdale.

Walking boots? – Check.

Map? – Check.

Sandwich? – Check.

Banana? – Check.

Umbrella?  Don’t be silly.

 

No starlings here, but

curlews, skylarks

crest the sky –

that cobalt sky, patched

with buttermilk clouds.

 

A chattering brook

drains into the reservoir

where fish silently dawdle

and spongy bibulous mosses

make soft mats beneath my feet.

 

Contented now, 

I drive back to town.

I pass that new carbuncle and see

a socially distanced queue 

snake round the recently-opened 

supermarket.

 

Jo’s Monday Walk

Six Word Saturday

Six Circles for a Lockdown Saturday

PFTW#67

Six Word Saturday

Click on any image to see it full size.

One More Walk in the Woods

Greensitt Batts

Heslett Wood

Coal Bank Wood

Piccadilly

Five Ponds Wood

Mickley Barrass

I walk in the woods daily.

Join me just one more time.

Light shafting downwards through the trees.

Loamy paths, wild garlic, bluebells, campion.

Silence: except for birdsong, purling streams.

The tang of sap, earth, flowers.

#Six Word Saturday

Jo’s Monday Walk

Walking Every Single Day During Lockdown

I’ve made discoveries on my doorstep:

Woodland

Greensitt Batts, West Tanfield.

Farmland

North Lees, near Ripon.

River bank

River Ure at Sleningford.

Lakeside

The White Pond, near Musterfield.

Pasture

Hall Farm near Tanfield

Wildlife

A new walk, every single day.

Six Word Saturday

A composite walk for Jo’s Monday Walk

Top Spot on a Tip-top Pot

We were due to walk part of the coastal section of the Cleveland Way this week.  We looked forward to taking over from where we’d left off last year, and to having a windswept, scenic and invigorating walk along the cliffs edging the North Sea.  Covid-19 put a stop to that. So – you can either read here about last year’s walk, or – as we did – admire these herring gulls on their lofty look-out posts in Staithes.  Maybe, just maybe, you’ll be able to read about the postponed walk later this year.

# Squaretops 25

Six Word Saturday


Top Secret! Top Sleuth Needed Now!

The other day we got this postcard in the post.  It’s from a friend, deciding against constant Social Media communication in favour of something a little more personal.  It’s a lovely idea which I plan on copying.  There’s just one problem.  We can’t read the signature, and we don’t recognise the handwriting – who does any more in these days of emails?

Who is our Mystery Friend?*

* Clue.  We don’t think it’s Jonah.  Or the whale.

#Squaretops 18

Six Word Saturday  

What Are You Going To Meet ….?

…. if you turn this corner?

An art installation, ‘Around the Corner’,  in the Culture Mile, City of London, by Karsten Huneck and Bernd Truempler, KHBT .

William needed to explore.

This sentence is a a quotation from Virginia Woolf’s novel Jacob’s Room: ‘What are you going to meet if you turn this corner?’

An entry for Six Word Saturday.

 

 

 

Highlights of a Bird-free Bird Reserve

RSPB Saltholme.

We had to go to Middlesbrough for an appointment the other day, so we thought we’d stay and explore.

Middlesbrough is what’s known as a ‘post-industrial town’.  Once, its steel and other heavy industry and its port brought wealth (to some), employment, and attendant grime and looming industrial architecture.  Now, it’s reliant on newer technologies, engineering and the presence of  the university developed in the 1990s from the older Polytechnic.

But its landscape is still an industrial one, as is that of the surrounding towns: Billingham, Stockton, Redcar.  Could it be true that the RSPB had developed a Nature Reserve here, on its outskirts?

It could.  RSPB Saltholme.  Though it was hard to believe, as we navigated along roads edged by towering chimneys, great metal hangars, clattering unseen machinery.

But in the end, there it was, among the industrial flatlands – wetlands actually, punctuated by shallow lakes and pools.  We’d arrived.

Light-providing pylons stride purposefully across the landscape behind the reserve.

But the birds had left.  How silly of us not to remember.  At our local nature reserve, Nosterfield, the birds regularly knock off at lunchtime, only reappearing towards dusk.  Who knows where they go?

Sunlight plays across the bird-free water. There’s the Tees Transporter Bridge dominating the skyline.

Never mind.  We enjoyed a peaceful walk.  We got a moment of drama when flocks of birds DID appear, swirling and swooping above the lake.  It was quite likely that they were taking evasive action from a resident peregrine falcon hunting for a meal.  Drama over, they disappeared once more.

We enjoyed our time in this peaceful oasis.  We explored trails that ended in well-equipped hides.

Sky-light, lake-light from the hides.

We studied noticeboards with information about what better-informed visitors had spotted that very day.  We passed fields with the inevitable large numbers of greylag  geese. And towards the end, we were rewarded with just a few sightings: some shelducks feeding; a shoveler or two;  a few swans and a very distant heron.

But we enjoyed our afternoon. A near-empty wetland, with its unusual backdrop of an industrial past and present, and the never-out-of-sight Tees Transporter Bridge made for a fine afternoon’s walking … and there was even a café.

Camera-shy shelducks.

This multi-tasking post is for Six Word Saturday, January Light (January Squares), and Jo’s Monday Walk.

Winter Walking on the South Bank

We love a walk along the South Bank in London. It reminds us of happier times, when during the 2012 Olympic Games, London was for a time the capital of the world: inclusive, happy, welcoming, proud. The South Bank was full of festivity, fun, food, friendliness and foreigners – all welcome.

For a bleaker view of the legacy of that time, turn to Stuart Heritage in Boxing Day’s Guardian:‘ … a moment of optimism that destroyed the decade’.

But it’s still Christmas-tide. Let’s stay happy.

We’ll begin our ‘walk’ on the train into town. Now then. Baffled by the window, it’s hard to pick out which are the city-centre monoliths, and which their reflections.

Not far from London Bridge Station.

We arrive at London Bridge. Here’s street art under the bridge by Nathan Bowen.

Union Jack Dripping by London Bridge: Nathan Bowen.

Long-established buildings reflected on new facades.

Borough Market. Is it too early for lunch? Sadly, yes. Just looking, then.

Buying bread at Borough Market.

And all those buildings, new and old juxtaposed, on the opposite side of the Thames.

Ah! This is fun. This is Zoë’s moment. A Bubble Man, providing unalloyed joy to dozens of children. And to Zoë.

Time for a coffee-stop (no cake, Jo).  We dive into a narrow alley, which opens up to this: we’re not so far from Shakespeare’s Globe here.

But just as we’re getting a little tired of walking, the rain starts. The team divides. The younger members head off for a spot of retail therapy at South Bank’s Winter Market. The oldest and the youngest join forces and return to London Bridge on the river bus. For us, our winter walk of sights is at an end.

Not quite. Back at Hither Green, this is what awaited us just outside the station.

For Six Word Saturday, and Jo’s Monday Walk.