Durham Surprises


Durham City at night

Durham surprises. Even though it’s now ‘my’ city, there is always something new to discover. The above view – on a chilly December evening – is from the path which leads down from the station; you can look out over the city and the cathedral seems almost to hover in the wintry air.

An early post in this blog told of the ‘Antiques Roadshow’  filmed in the cathedral in September. Well, it was broadcast on Sunday 28 December and if you look very carefully on bbc iplayer at about 26 minutes in – and are maybe prepared to rewind a little – you might just catch a glance of me behind the owner of the Indian carved sideboard. Sadly, of my newly-designed ‘Quilter’s Bag’ (see ‘Quilt Patterns’) there was almost no sign!

On Christmas Day, we were once again inside the cathedral, this time for the 11.30 service. The building was decked with lighted Christmas trees (which you can just see in the photo), the nave was full of people and the music was glorious.

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After the service we strolled through the streets to ‘Cafe Rouge’ for Christmas dinner by the river. Wonderfully relaxing (no preparation required!), friendly service and very nice food.  (And yes, I did have turkey for my main course, for the sake of tradition, but enjoyed sorbet for dessert!)

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The day before (on Christmas Eve), we made a visit to this unusual shoe shop (Scorpio), which is on Saddler Street, just up from the market square. It was shoes for young men that we were after, but just have a look at these fabulous creations!

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And then there’s this really great hairdresser’s (Salon 32) which is hidden just next to (and to the left of) the Post Office. You really need to know it’s there – I’ve been going for ages and I still walk straight past sometimes, when I’m due for a hair-cut with the wonderful Pauline. It looks like this (and I’m going to regret telling you if I find I can’t get an appointment next time!)

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And then, just to remind you that it isn’t always winter, take a look at this scene on a Durham street that I photographed last summer, which included musicians and a most lithe, fluid and acrobatic dancer from Rajastan, all of them clad in the vibrant colours and textured embroidery typical of textiles from their part of India – extraordinary!

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