The Rock

When I was young one of the more popular attractions of the stretch of coastline where I lived was a place called Marsden Grotto. It combined two elements; a beachside pub and restaurant called The Grotto built into a former smuggler's cave for the adults, and an outcrop of rock with a natural archway that … Continue reading The Rock


Return to Mulberry*

Down the beaches Hand in hand Twelfth of never On the sand Then war took her away Europa and The Pirate Twins  I must apologise for bringing Thomas Dolby back to these pages with such indecent haste, but his showing/performance of The Invisible Lighthouse at the Tyneside Cinema resonated so strongly that I could not … Continue reading Return to Mulberry*

Are you experienced?*

When your eldest daughter (who is a Classics undergraduate) mentions something about being excited to be going to an amphitheatre and seeing Arbeia, your first thoughts are that she is planning to do some field work at the end of term in Roman South Shields. I say first thoughts, because that word "excited" should really … Continue reading Are you experienced?*

New settings

I've been following a blog called experiments in experience for a little while now, as it's author, Verena Fischer captures street imagery in Berlin.  She shoots exclusively in black and white, and whilst I wouldn't shoot everything that she captures (I'm sure she'd feel the same about my photographs) the medium does work well in conveying … Continue reading New settings

Incongruously Appropriate

Hanging near the "entrance" to Whitburn Village (actually the traffic island by the Jolly Sailor pub) there used to a painted village sign, depicting a fish rising from the waves.  I say fish, but it was one of those heraldic fishes that could just as easily represent a dolphin to the untrained eye.  I can't … Continue reading Incongruously Appropriate

In Them Thar Hills

A little inland from Whitburn lies another village on Sunderland's northern fringes; the village of Cleadon, whose name, like the Buckinghamshire mansion Cliveden, points to its location amongst cliffs.  In Bucks those cliffs have been cut by the nearby Thames, in South Tyneside the name refers to Cleadon Hills, a limestone ridge dividing Wearside and … Continue reading In Them Thar Hills

Home At Last*

I know this super highway This bright familiar sun I guess that I'm the lucky one Who wrote that tired sea song Set on this peaceful shore You think you've heard this one before My work in Northamptonshire done, it was time to head north once more, and I arrived home just in time to … Continue reading Home At Last*