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  1. a merry christmas

    I just want to say a big thank you to everyone who has made 2014 a wonderful year for me. Thank you to all my lovely customers and every one who has taken time to share my work and leave such kind and encouraging comments. You have no idea how important you've all been.
    Wishing you all A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year! 
    Maureen x

  2. Hi, I've just found out that I can put my blog posts into categories making it easier for you to find all blogs of a certain type, so I'm busy updating them - please bear with me :)

    Today I've been beachcombing.  When I set out the weather was sunny (sunglasses on).

    warkworth beach - looking north the strandline (2)

    By the time I had walked to the beach the clouds had started to form.

    warkworth beach - looking south the strandline (1)

    I started walking and looking for sea glass, sadly there wasn't any probably because the tide had just turned.

    warkworth beach - looking west the strandline (3)

    I arrived at the north pier (which is south) and as I looked up I saw this huge cloud and thought I had better make a sharp exit!

    This is at the entrance to the beach which is about a mile back home :(   As it turned out, it didn't rain - could have stayed longer!!



  3. Hellooo from a sunny, but wee bit chilly Northumberland.

    I thought I’d tell you about some wonderful food we have here in Northumberland, the first being…

    Craster Kippers    

    Perhaps the most famous of all north-eastern specialities, Craster kippers herald from the Northumberland fishing village of Craster (just up the coast from The Strandline) and are exported far and wide.

    Oak-smoking herring caught in the North Sea is the traditional way to preserve the fish and the Robson family in Craster has been doing it for four generations and more than 130 years. kippers on rack

    In the days before refrigeration, salting, drying and smoking were methods used to preserve food and smoking herring makes an incredibly tasty fish that is also very good for you.

    First, the herring are split on a machine capable of splitting 500kg per hour, this replaces the numerous "herring girls" that used to split the herring by hand. 

    Then the herring are placed in a brine solution of plain salt and water for a predetermined length of time depending on their size and lastly, they are hung on tenter hooks and placed in the cavernous smokehouses. Fires made of whitewood shaving and oak sawdust are placed under the rows of herring  and these are left to smoulder for up to 16 hours until the kippers are ready.

    We like them lightly fried and served with bread and butter, but they can be  grilled or cooked the traditional way (jugged) fill a large jug with boiling water, and simply place the kipper in head first with the tail just above the surface of the water. Leave for six minutes and your kipper will be cooked to perfection. 

    kipper grilled Grilled kippers

    If you weren’t hungry before, you will be when you smell these kippers!

    Mmmm!  Makes my mouth water ☺

    craster kippers



  4. Last night I was thinking about the supermoon that will occur tonight and thought I would take a few photos as it was looking good.


    Towards Amble - no moon yet

    moon last night

    Moon :)

    towards amble last night

    Towards Amble

    According to astronomers, tonight (Sunday) will see the moon closer to earth than it has been in the last 20 years. At around 18.10 the moon (supermoon) will be at it's full stage for approximately 26 minutes, taking it to within 221,765 mils of earth.

    Here's hoping for some good photos!


  5. Last night The Strandline was announced as one of  @TheoPaphitis weekly Small Business Sunday winners.  #SBS 

           buttons-rectangle sbs 500


    Small Business Sunday, shortened to the hashtag #SBS on Twitter, was created by Theo Paphitis in October 2010. Theo is best known for appearing on Dragons Den on BBC Two. He is Chairman of Ryman Stationery plus Boux Avenue lingerie and Robert Dyas, as well as joint owner of Red Letter Days.

    Theo is also a mentor and investor to many other business acquainted via the Den including MagicWhiteboard,Wedgewelly and Value My Stuff.

    Each week Theo rewards small businesses that tweet him @TheoPaphitis and describe their business in one tweet including the all-important hashtag #SBS. Only tweets made in the time slot between 5.00 PM and 7.30 PM each Sunday count.

    Each week Theo reviews and chooses his favourite lucky six who are then re-tweeted. As he has over 400,000 followers, this provides a massive boost to the chosen lucky businesses.

    The benefits range from increased Twitter followers, to positive media publicity and crucially for many, increased sales! Of course, none of this is guaranteed as it is largely down to perseverance and hard work. A smidgen of luck comes in handy.





  6. Well, I know I shouldn't say it, but what wonderful weather we've had today!  I even

    saw people on Warkworth Beach in swimwear!!  Not very often that happens :) 

    I collected a few smooth and frosty pieces of white sea glass and thought they'd

    make a summery charm bracelet, so when I got back home this is what I made .....

  7. A rather historic walk back from the beach - up the beach road, through the late 14th century Bridge Tower, past the cherry blossom and along the Monks  Walk.

    beach road warkworth blog

    Warkworth Beach Road

    warkworth bridge tower blog

    Late 14th century Bridge Tower - Warkworth Bridge

    cherry blossom blog

    Cherry Blossom

    warkworth footpath sign blog

    Monks Walk

  8. Found this in the Telegraph yesterday - your chance to see the beautiful beaches where I collect my sea glass :)


    Win a seven-night family break in Northumberland

    Discover Northumberland’s abundant wildlife, enchanting gardens and spectacular fortresses on a week-long coastal break - click photo!

    The coast in Northumberland


    Enter the prize draw for the chance to win a wonderful seven-night coastal family holiday in Northumberland, courtesy of Stay Northumbria.

    Based in a beautiful apartment situated in the prestigious Seafield development in Seahouses, you will be close to the sea and local village amenities.

    After a day exploring, tuck in at the Bamburgh Castle Inn – famed for it use of local produce, including shellfish freshly sourced from Seahouses fishermen – where a delicious family meal and sublime harbour views await.

    The lucky winner will also enjoy a superb year-long family pass to every English Heritage property in Northumberland as well as family admission to a National Trust site during your stay.


  9. I've not been to the beach today as it is so windy, but went for a walk along the river instead. It was still very windy, but quite good light so I took a few photos of local birds and one uncommon (and very close) visitor a Slavonian Grebe!
     slavonian grebe on river coquet warkworthSlavonian Grebe, River Coquet, Warkworth
     female mallard river coquet warkworthFemale Mallard, River Coqueth, Warkworth
     male mallard river coquet warkworthMale Mallard, River Coquet, Warkworth
    wigeon on river coquet warkworthWigeon, River Coquet, Warkworth
    rainbow over church of st lawrence warkworthRainbow over Church of St Lawrence, Warkworth
    warkworth castleWarkworth Castle


  10. Had a wonderful 2 1/2 hours beachcombing yesterday, the sun was out and as it was a south wind it wasn't freezing :)


       warkworth beach create blog
     Took a little time out and just sat here staring out to sea - aaaah!    warkworth beach 3 create blog

    I didn't know where to look first - all these bits!


       beachcombing create blog


    A good day!  Lots of sea glass in most colours and even a nice little piece of blue, but even more pottery! Also, in the top right of the photo is a whole shell, not something I find regularly, they are nearly always broken.    beach finds the strandline blog