Sunday, 20 November 2016

Tuesday 15th November - Newcastle for Snowdogs

Tuesday had a good forecast and I had been intending to go to Newcastle to see some of the Snowdogs before the show closed and the figures were auctioned off. It was now the final week so I was cutting it fine as usual. I walked up from the station to the Civic Hall and found some stunning sculptures there.

Seahorses Heads - J.R.M. McCheyne 1968 The stylised seahorse’s heads mounted at the top of the tower. The seahorse forms part of Newcastle’s crest. McCheyne was Master of Sculpture at King’s College, University of Newcastle in the 1950s and 60s.

Swans In Flight - David Wynne 1968. Based on the poem The Swans of the North written by Hans Hartvig Seedorff Pederson. The swans represent Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Finland and the strong links between Newcastle and those countries. In September 1997 a commemorative 50p piece was introduced for which Wynne sculpted the image of the nine hands representing the European nations.

River God Tyne - David Wynne 1968. The River God is a giant figure with water pouring from his out stretched hand. Originally patinated a dark black colour, the figure has slowly been turned green and brown by the running water. The idea originates from the representation of eight rivers on Somerset house in London. Wynne developed the bearded head into a figure whose sinuous shape contrasts with the modernist architecture.

There I also found my first Snowdog, Tails of the North by David Maguire.

Next, outside Fenwick's, Hounds Tooth by Damien Jeffrey. Fenwick's windows were a great attraction as every one of them had an animated scene from Beatrix Potter. This is celebrating the 150th Anniversary of Beatrix Potter's birth.

Psychedelic Snowdog by Rebecca Reed

As well as the large Snowdogs there were a number of smaller Snowdogs decorated by local schools. These were all at indoor locations in small packs. Here are some of those in the Central Library.

 Rosa Canina by Sue Guthrie

 Inside Eldon Square Shopping Centre, Roodle by Isy Langhorne

One of the few that was attracting attention Wor Geordie by the students of Newcastle College. In fact the children were from a nursery school and were just passing on their way somewhere else but they did all stop for a little play with the Snowdog.

Tyne Tail Jack by Corinne Lewis-Ward

In one of the most iconic positions, Snowberry by Simon Tozer. Viewed here with the Blinking Eye Bridge and The Sage at Gateshead on the far bank.

Not part of The Snowdogs but catching the autumn light was The Blacksmiths Needle by Members of the British Association of Blacksmith Artists (1996). Made of forged steel, the Needle has six sections. Each section contains objects, mainly with a maritime theme, which relate to one of the senses including ‘the mysterious sixth’. The objects were made in public ‘forge-ins’ by the British Association of Blacksmith Artists.

 Then across the river to The Sage at Gateshead. 

Outside was Ziggy by Marcus Brown.

Inside more of the small Snowdogs including Parrot Pup by the children of Brandling Primary School

 and, one of my favourites, Mr Rufferty by the children of Dunn Street Primary School.
Being at the Sage one of the Snowdogs had a musical ear and was intently listening to the piano being played in the foyer.

Disco Dog by Natalie Guy

The light was now beginning to go and I headed back to the station finding Hadrian's Hound - 'Amicus Optimus' by Catherine J Bell on the way.

I had always wanted to see the bridge raised for a ship to pass and I was quite lucky to be close by when HMS Archer returned to the berth at the Naval Base on the Tyne.

The iconic Tyne Bridge

 Sunset over The Tyne

I was then surprised to find that when I arrived at Newcastle Station I had walked straight past two Snowdogs in the station itself. Snowline by Jim Edwards

and Rocket Dog by Amanda Rabey.

So lots of pictures of Snowdogs but actually I didn't do very well. There were actually 67 large Snowdogs spread across the North East of England. They remain on show until 20th November and are being prepared for sale at an auction to be held at The Sage, Gateshead, on 6th December. This is to raise more money for St.Oswald’s Children’s Hospice. 
So far as the 97 small Snowdogs are concerned these will stay on show until 27th January.
If you want to know more go  to the Great North Snowdogs site:

Monday, 31 October 2016

Friday 28th October - Lastingham

Once a month, on a Friday afternoon, I go walking with my former colleagues. Unfortunately I had not realised that this was half term holiday and the road north to Pickering was packed with holiday traffic.
In Lastingham we noticed the proverb over a cottage door, amd I wondered why I had not seen this before. It looks as though parts of the quotation have been expurgated.

In fact the quotation appears in Poor Richard's Almanack of 1745 and it does appear to have been shortened to save the stone mason's effort, or just to fit it all on the stone. The full version is:
      "The good or ill hap of a good or ill life,
        is the good or ill choice of a good or ill wife."

so it has saved carving "good or ill" three times. At ever so many pence a letter a worthwhile saving!

By the foot of an ash tree a nest of fungus in the fallen leaves. I guess they will all emerge as capped fungus in the next few days like the next photo.

Our walk lead us northwards to Ana's Cross, in the distance to both the east and west we could see plumes of smoke where the heather was being burnt off. These are the grouse moors of the National Park and the heather is burnt in rotation to produce fresh young shoots for the grouse to feed on.

After a brief stop for a drink we turned and headed south back to Lastingham down the ridge. 

As we got nearer to Lastingham we found the sheep and the sun began to break through the clouds giving a fine sunset to the west.