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While the cat's away....


On Tuesday I went up to Sunderland to stay with my eldest brother so that we could celebrate our middle brother’s 70th birthday on Wednesday.

Storm Arwen was still making its presence felt with stormy seas so I took the opportunity to take some pictures.

It was still a couple of hours away from high tide but the waves crashing over made using the lower promenade impossible. This stretch of coast is where I grew up.

The pier you can see in the distance is Roker pier and was the one featured in the newspapers and tv reports. Photo taken from the BBC news.

On Thursday I woke up to a couple of inches of snow and the sea spray had frozen in places. My car said it was -1 C at 10am.

When I got home I found husband had been ‘busy’ doing some tidy up jobs. Not the best time to do them when it snowed the next day. The neighbour said I’d only been gone an hour before he started cutting down the Iris siberica and Astilbe. I usually wait until late Jan or early Feb to do that.

He has also chopped down one of the honeysuckles.

I haven’t been down the side of the house to see what else this big mouse has been up to.

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I hope your middle bro ha a good birthday and enjoyed your company. The sea looks a bit ferocious! I feel for the poor people that are without heat and light still.
As for the husband - well!! I should try and view it as a helping hand....

3 Dec, 2021


I'm pleased you've had a lovely time with your family! Hoping your brother had a very happy birthday too.
Those pics are so dramatic and I just love the one with the lighthouse!!!! Albeit the newscaster.
( love photographs of lighthouses, Eileen)
Your OH has really been busy hasn't he!!! Crikey, I hope he hasn't upset you too much! As Ange says, he probably thought he was giving you a helping hand 😉

3 Dec, 2021


Always an anxious time to go away from home leaving the OH to hus in devices!!
Agree with Kate the lighthouse photo is a terrific one...looks very professional.

3 Dec, 2021


I didn't take the photo of the large wave crashing over the pier, that was a professional one but I don't know who took it which is why I'd said it was from the BBC.
the 2 poorer grey ones are mine :o)).

Mike wasn't aware I was going up so it was a lovely surprise. Eddy and I joined Mike and his wife for a pub meal. Sadly only one of his sons could make it as the other one has Covid. Our other brother couldn't get away from work and he lives near Pickering.

As for the rockery.... I am not angry with him I just wished he'd checked first. He was at a loose end as he hasn't got a garage project at the moment. He used a rake to gather up the debris but managed to pull out quite a bit of the trailing plants that are also in there. I don't think I'd have been as ruthless with the honeysuckle either, but I know it will grow back strongly.

I did a bit of digging around the honeysuckle removing too many wild violets and a bit of grass.

3 Dec, 2021


The sea is wonderful when it's rough, much more dramatic and interesting than on a summer day ... although it can be dangerous.

You must be mortified at the assault on your garden, I hope you don't find any more damage. You'll have to lock it up if you go away again (or lock husband up until you come back)

3 Dec, 2021


Great for you to see some of your family again. Hope you had a great day. Nail one of your hubbys feet to the garage floor!!

3 Dec, 2021


It takes a lot of tact and patience to say the right thing in those circumstances doesn't it. My occasional gardener (NOT OH!) pruned the top off my Mahonia Charity without mentioning it first. I was quite put out about that but didn't say anything - gave myself a gold star for restraint! Your honeysuckle at least will probably bounce back next year anyway. Glad you had a good outing to help your brother with his celebrations.

3 Dec, 2021


I bet your brother was happy to see you for his birthday celebration SBG.
Open oceans as this scare me. So much power.

I am pretty sure that your OH meant well and wanted to help. Mine does not understand why I sometimes refuse his help.

4 Dec, 2021


Sounds like a great day … well, on the whole 🙁.

Wonderful rough-sea photos, so dramatic and mesmerising when you’re actually there …

4 Dec, 2021


Those pictures are amazing Seaburn, especially the huge wave!
It must have been lovely for you to get back to see your family, but was your husband hiding when you got back! lol
That poor honeysuckle! But it will eventually grow back!
Oh Hywel said.. lock your husband up too!

4 Dec, 2021


No hubby wasn't in hiding, that isn't his way. He usually does do the hard pruning, chainsaw etc just doesn't usually look where he is putting his size 9's.

It is always nice to get together with my brothers. We were all very close as children and always looked out for each other. I am in weekly contact with them so know what is going on in their lives.

I love the power of the sea. My maternal grandad was a master mariner and did his training at the back end of the 19th century in sail. I never knew him as he died in April '58 and I wasn't born until the Sept. But my brothers had heard all his tales of sail into steam. He ended up as the captain of a steam collier taking coals from Newcastle all over Europe. As I've said in earlier blogs I grew up 5 mins walk from the beach. In the water if it was high tide ;o)

4 Dec, 2021


I find the sea fascinating when it’s stormy….. could watch it for hours!
So lovely that you keep in touch with your siblings….important I feel as you get older..
Regarding your OH……I asked mine to prune the dead flowers on the variegated 7 ft Fatsia…..the next time I looked out of the window it was two feet high!!……… I must admit I cried……. I was growing it specifically to hide a back fence and the neighbours 🤨😔😣…thank goodness it has grown back…… I now watch him like a hawk…..

6 Dec, 2021


Great to see such waves! I've only ever seen them in magazines, TV, etc. Never been near the sea except when it was totally calm! We may live on an island - but it's a BIG island & unless you live near the coast it's not something you normally think about!

That wave crashing over the lighthouse is really spectacular!!! 😱😱😱 And scary!!! 😱😱😱

6 Dec, 2021


Great photos of the stormy sea. I so wish we lived nearer the coast. I am glad you all had a nice celebration for your brother’s birthday. You were very restrained in your reaction to the helpful gardener, but no harm done really, things usually grow back strongly for us…

8 Dec, 2021


Like Homebird, I love the sea & wish I lived near it. I love seeing it when stormy, great photos in your blog. Interesting hearing what hubbies have been up to in the garden :-). Fortunately, nature is resilient & things bounce back. My Mahonia Charity is just coming into bloom. It's a new plant & still quite small, thank goodness there is to chop it off. Glad you had a nice time with your family. Interesting blog. Tx.

9 Dec, 2021


I now live about 40 mins from the coast and I really do miss the sea in all her majesty. I never took it for granted as a child. It was drummed into my brothers and me how quickly it could turn.

Hubby has spent the last few days sorting out the glass in the greenhouse for me. It still needs a really good clean but at present I cant summon the energy.

9 Dec, 2021


Your lighthouse photo is wonderful SBG. Glad you enjoyed your brother's birthday party. We have missed so many celebrations over the last couple of years.
I met my first grandchild in Sweden for the first time in November when she was one and a half years old.
They have cancelled coming to the UK for Christmas.
Facetime is our favourite time of day. :0)

18 Dec, 2021


That's very kind of you Linda but I cant take the credit for it, as I took it from the feature on the BBC website and I couldn't find how to credit it correctly. Mine are the 2 distance shots of the waves and pier.

It does look as if this blessed virus is going full steam ahead again sadly. I'm not sure if my eldest girl and her fiancé will be able to come.

19 Dec, 2021

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