I have just started to write some memoirs of growing up in 1960’s and being heavily influenced by the home removal business. It’s on my other blog page https://removalmansdaughter.wordpress.com/ if you want to follow it. Hope you find some of the stories as funny as I do!
How beautiful is this carpet of crocuses? This is Backhouse Park in Sunderland and seeing these in full bloom is a poignant reminder that I have pounded this Park for all 4 seasons since I began working remotely almost a year ago. Would never have dreamt this situation. I actually was taken to this Park in the early 1960s when as a tiny girl was told off for picking these crocuses. Naughty I guess. But I used to pick heather too when in remote areas. I guess it was a little girl thing.
We live in a poorer area of Sunderland and our local beach is Hendon. Its heartbreakingly beautiful though on a hopeful spring day. Its also much more tranquil than our better known Seaham, Roker and Seaburn beaches. Especially now as sunny days bring people outside. Just look at this stunning photo taken this afternoon. We were in Singapore for lunar new year in 2018. How life has changed beyond recognition since then. As I walked past the Empire theatre and nearby bars in Sunderland on Thursday my mind slips back to 1978. Fantastic nights out then with local rock bands for entertainment. Every bar was bursting with life. Such a sad contrast now with shuttered bars and shops and our wonderful theatre gathering dust. But we have to keep the faith.
We have a nasty ongoing storm in the UK and the ongoing pandemic becomes more and more of a challenge. Somehow have to keep believing things will get better. Our daughter makes craft see https://craftbyvictoria.wordpress.com/ having uncovered a hidden talent. #strangebuttrue I bought some of her wax melts and the one I tried out was blue. However not only was it green this morning it seems to be smiling at me. Perhaps its a reminder that every day can bring a little cheer:
On a lighter note part 1 of my Christmas cheese gift to my husband from the Fine Cheese Company came today hope he shares.
My brother in law is still unable to return to Singapore. We enter the lunar year of the Ox on 12th February. He will find it quite a different experience in Kent compared to the amazing Chinese New year experiences in Singapore 🇸🇬 mind you a couple of years ago Posh Mum was bitten by a pseudo Chinese dragon(!) in a Singapore food hawker centre! The impertinence indeed….. when I read Chinese year of the Rat horoscopes last year the predictions did hint at challenging times for 2020. Let’s hope hard working year of the ox 🐂 brings some positives. The latest rhetoric doing the rounds is the UK is one of the worst hit by Covid-19 countries in the world because yes we are just too fat ,and we do keep sneaking to see loved ones and have all these raves. A convenient deflection of responsibility for authoritarian decisions gone wrong here. I mean, allowing nearly 100,000 people to enter Britain daily without checking them for the disease, resulting in mass spread and mortality is hardly the fault of someone who comfort ate a cream bun!
Another new week and we hope one week nearer to some kind of normality. Freezing cold weather makes logistics pretty tricky. Luckily I am working remotely still. I do feel for those having to travel for work. The ultra bright sunshine tricked a huge wasp out of hibernation today. Most odd on a zero temperature January day. Life in general extremely odd indeed.
Today’s win? How about urban ice sculpture?
UK Covid-19 cases begin to fall at last and the roll out of the vaccination programme is cranked up….but we brace ourselves for the wrath of storm Christoph. Not what you want to hear on a wet and gloomy January day. No pleasant urban walk between meetings today as I nurse an incredibly painful eye infection. So what are the wins today? My coffee order arrived care of a lovely hard working gentleman. Such deliveries help keep the economy going and brighten otherwise dismal days.
Today’s urban walk began and finished at Seaton in Seaham going down to Dalden area on the way to Seaham Harbour. We came across ruins of Dalden Tower https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1020292. The remains date to 1320 and are linked with the famous Bowes family. The lockdown really forces us to discover our locality. Apparently excavation carried out in 1965 and 20 years later revealed that the Manor House was much older than the tower added later. Would have been wonderful to see it in its former glory.
Only 2nd week in 2021 but the UK continues to lose in excess of 1000 precious lives a day. Hope that the vaccination programme has an impact soon. Mental health issues are immense at the moment here yet sadly very little tangible support is available. My opportunity for improvement today I guess was brought about by my daughter who has had to confront an extremely black phase of depression and anxiety. She beach combed at Seaham in County Durham and found some gorgeous sea glass. A huge reminder that nature will still bring amazing gifts despite the current catastrophe. We all must hang onto that thought. We are lucky to be here and this thing will go. We’re a day nearer already to better times.
Meet Tommy, Seaham campaigned vigorously to keep this stunning tribute to heroism in place at the sea front.
Sadly the dreadful #Covid-19 outbreak has impacted unimaginably on world travel and life itself. The world so needs a shining light as we come to terms with this new existence. I imagine that once local hostelries start to get going I will concentrate on using these and therefore supporting my local economy will be a priority. But the world needs a co-operative spirit so that we can help one another to reach new understandings. Perhaps that is our tomorrow maybe the #starofbethlehem timely visit can guide us all as we move towards a different future.
Travelling wise is to be prepared – I always research locations before venturing into them, to check entry requirements and current government advice etc. Given the pandemic the travel advice changes constantly. I hope to share more insights as the situation constantly evolves. I still take note of review sites although you do sometimes need to remain sceptical, and be aware of rogue reviews or even those that are overly wax-lyrical. I believe that discovering new horizons and learning from different cultures has broadened my life experience in a positive way. I hope that sharing these with you will be entertaining, and perhaps enlightening. I also consider that closer to home places are just as important to visit – there are some beautiful places in the UK and Europe that I have begun to cover – many more pages will follow when time permits. Cornwall at Easter 2019 was stunning, and the weather amazing.
If USA road trips float your boat, I have now written about several of these in the USA section (from American Civil War sites to the Wild West) – as well as an extra special City trip to New York last year. I have also been fortunate enough to venture into several Asian countries, to date I have written about Japan, Singapore, China and Uzbekistan – please click on the Asia section for details.
Above all, if you like the blog please follow it, and maybe share the love of travel experiences with others. Although I have some fabulous images on these pages, they are not staged photos and do not rely on special effects or intricate filters – nor do I make or expect to make any income whatsoever from these pages – (haha although I probably wouldn’t say no!) – please also feel free to follow my Instagram page, and/or twitter page.