Sunday 3 January 2016

It's grim (weather) up north

I'm the type of person who wants to go places and see things. If there's a travel programme, or a documentary or a film set somewhere I haven't visited, I point at the screen and say, 'I want to go there'. It doesn't need to be glamorous or exotic, although those characteristics please me immensely, but interesting and new to me will do just as well if that is what is on offer.
That's the Transporter Bridge in Middlesbrough. There are only six working examples in the world. Your car drives onto a platform and then is swung across the river, dangling from that top structure. Sadly it was shut or we could have tried it. 
I like to paraphrase Holly Golightly, so I usually follow 'I want to go there' with 'Besides, I've never been to .... before'. In her case it was Brazil, which for the record, I want to go to.
So, anyway, when we were up north at Christmas and the prospect of a Boxing Day walk loomed, I had a plan. I mean there's nothing wrong with Redcar; they filmed that long scene from Atonement there, which lends it interest, and at Saltburn, there's always some yarn-bombing and a marvellous smell of fish and chips, but I've been to both of them before.
The grade II listed art deco clock tower at Seaton Carew, with ladies and gents' lavatories conveniently located at the base
So this year I suggested Hartlepool via Seaton Carew, based on a recommendation from my friend Gina.
It was 'orrible weather. It rained all day on Christmas day and Boxing day, in fact a lot of the north of the country have suffered terrible floods as a consequence, and some of the roads were rather waterlogged, but it got us out of the house and despite general amusement at our destination, it proved a pleasing adventure.
Toilet chic. If that hasn't been submitted for the Turner prize, someone's missed a trick
Since I was driving, inevitably we took a wrong turn, but that turned out well, because we were able to see the imposing industrial landscape at close quarters.
Some views had me pretending we were on a road trip across America, maybe in oil producing country like Texas or somewhere with heavy industry like Detroit. Other times looking through the mist and marshlands to the towers on the horizon I felt as though we were in the Wizard of Oz. It wasn't glamorous, but it did have a kind of bleak beauty, which I found rather exciting.
I know what you're thinking. Uncanny, huh?
Unfortunately we didn't get to see the tall ships at Hartlepool, because the Maritime experience was shut, but we did witness a lot of seagulls enjoying puddles, so the trip wasn't entirely wasted.
Have you heard the story which gives Hartlepudlians their nickname?
Other than that it's mainly been eating, drinking and watching films.

The Butler: oh my goodness, what an amazing film. Forest Whittaker and Oprah Winfrey put in mesmerising performances.
The Sapphires: really enjoyed the costumes and the singing and was rooting for those girls from the word go.
The Hundred Foot Journey: France, food, romance, comedy. A lovely way to spend an afternoon. At the end I got up and cooked pasta with panache.
Italian for Beginners: sweet, sweet Danish film, with happy endings.
I've still got the Grand Budapest Hotel to look forward to.

So anyway, it's 2016. Better be a good one or I'll want to know why. While we're on the subject, anybody got any interesting travel plans you want to tell me about?


Ivy Black said...

The weather may be terrible but it's never grim up north is it?

Ooh a Transporter Bridge like what we have in Newport. I love'em and my own travel well as the model village one and the British coastline on horseback to visit the others around the world!
I love an industrial landscape-probably to do with growing up on the doorstep of a steelworks.
Seaton Carew needs to be visited just for being called Seaton Carew I think.
I loved The Butler and Grand Budapest Hotel is a treat. Budapest...there's another one for the list.

Fiona said...

What a great post Tania. I think it's been grim everywhere in this country but thankfully no floods down South. That transporter bridge might freak me out, I get a bit unnecessary when I have to cross high bridges. Lovely shots of the lamppost and the loos at Seaton Carew, one can see how Duchamp was inspired eh? Glad to see you wrapped up well in your John Motson coat. Travel plans..? France naturellement! Bonne Année. xxx

Sue said...

So glad some wet weather did not deter you from your adventure. Bad weather never stops me when I am on a mission. I did think America at your industrial photos, but then I can make any place look like somewhere else in my eyes, I am good at it. Seagulls in puddles would make me happy too. We have had a few days of rain so I have been traveling the world via Sky TV!!

Lally said...

I too love an adventure and I love reading about yours. There's something rather wonderful about bleak landscapes in unrelenting rain. Yorkshire certainly was a washout over Christmas. I was a bit sad as I was hoping for snow (we never get any of the white stuff down here in Cornwall!) Adventure wise I'm off to the South of France later this year and hopefully Vienna via Budapest (very cheap to get the train from Hungary to Vienna!) Closer to home I want to visit Cardiff Castle desperately and also Kelmscott Manor. The Grand Budapest hotel is fantastic, I hope you enjoyed it! Happy New Year! XXX

Miss Magpie said...

I was hoping for Cornwall but Himself has already scuppered that plan - bah. We are off to Newcastle but as we've been there often it doesn't really count. I shall just be open for all opportunities!

Anonymous said...

Some beautiful photos. Liked the one of all the birds lined up on the lamppost!
Yes, here's to good times in 2016 and exciting adventures ahead to new places near and far xx

Lynn Holland said...

There have been terrible floods around our area Todmorden, Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd, Rochdale. I've been following them on Facebook it's so sad but then heartwarming when you see how people pull together.
I was chuckling reading your post as I'm like you in wanting to go places but a funny thing happened yesterday, these chaps were working on our lane and I kept laughing at their dialect, it was fabulous, they were from Barnsley. So I said to hubby I want to go and sit in a pub in Barnsley and listen to people talking. The chaps were laughing at my broad Lancashire accent xx

Pull Your Socks Up! said...

I'm utterly thrilled that you don't save up your adventures for summertime when every man and his hairy back is out there on a melanoma-seeking mission. Some of my most memorable trips have been in the winter months, like driving through Wales one January and driving from Brisbane to Melbourne in freezing August. I decided the other night that I want to drive around Ireland for a month. Need to make it happen. xxx

Connie said...

Oh my. Yes you really do have the rain. These photos really are so beautifully bleak. I love this kind of weather. Probably my Northern European genes kicking in. I rarely mention it to my sun loving neighbors here in So Cal. They already think I'm a bit of an odd ball. That would seal the deal. You look absolutely dreamy under an umbrella. Like the Angel Gabrielle. Definitely a girl!! BTW. How hysterical is Desiree??

Curtise said...

Oh I am so late getting here, Tan - but I'm here!
I love these bleakly beautiful photos, some of them almost look like old sepia images. Gorgeous. I think you must look at things with an artist's eye, it gives you a different perspective, and the photos you take have a painterly quality.
Right - I'll lever myself out of pseuds' corner now... Haven't been to that part of the north east for donkey's years but I liked it. And if the petrochemical plants of Teeside can inspire Ridley Scott to direct the opening scenes of Bladerunner, then that's good enough for me.
No travel plans as yet, although the family are angling for a beach holiday. We'll see. But before that, I'm hoping to travel somewhere with a 'Spoons and lots of chazzas to see YOU! xxxx