My International Scarf Exchange scarf is finished and ready to go into the box to Alabama to Laura . I'm pleased with the way it has turned out. The colours in this picture are less subtle and more blue than the real thing, but it's close enough.
It was almost scarf weather this morning as we walked along the sands at North Gare. After a while the sun appeared and the temperature rose to around 21 degrees, meaning I'm never appropriately dressed at the moment. Even my attempts at layering are being defeated.
J and a friend stormed across the sand and mudflats leaving me trailing behind. The sand is deceptively soft and you sink down a long way in places. My bum and thighs feel as though I've done 2 hours on a Stairmaster now. All good work undone by the amount of lattes and date&walnut cake ingested this afternoon.
North Gare, the northern side of the Tees estuary, is a strange landscape; a mix of old industry (steel works), new industry (nuclear power station) and the triumph of nature as witnessed by the presence of a growing seal colony.
J gets some of his best driftwood and driftbits&pieces from the island that separates the mudflats from the river. Some things end up there having come down the river and some are carried in by the tides.
The steelworks produces slag which has been used to provide some protection from tidal erosion in the area.
Mother Nature and the North Sea do their best to cover up and naturalise the lumps of slag, disguising them as natural rock with a thick layer of seaweed and barnacles.
It will take more than a thick layer of anything the sea can throw at it to naturalise this monstrosity - Hartlepool Nuclear Power Station. It's due to close in 2014, but is, unfortunately, one of the plants where it is proposed that they build a second station. When I went back to University to train as a teacher in the 1990s J took a job with a painting & decorating firm to tide us over and guarantee an income while I studied. He ended up subcontracting here for 15 months. A terrible job on many levels. 15 months of worry, loathing and feelings of hypocrisy (I marched against the power station in the 1970s). He really does love his family.