We set off from North Shields, over the river Tyne to South Shields, to walk in the park and play on the beach.
It was a cold, blustery day - enough to freeze your socks off! So we dressed up warm and cosy to keep the cold out and set the roses in our cheeks to 'bloom' setting.
On Littlehaven beach, there are dozens of statues, made from leather sacking and fired in a kiln. They're all shapes and sizes and they all have faces with all sorts of expressions on them. They're fun and inviting but they're sort of eerie too. If you ever get a chance to visit, you really should go. It's a sight (site!) worth seeing - and so entertaining.
They're situated right on the beach and the waves were almost crashing about our heads - noisily.
The seagulls and pigeons were out in force too, skidding onto the waves, dive-bombing the waters - and scavenging for crumbs and left-over pizzas or Mac-burgers.
We walked in the park - a lovely, landscaped park - and came upon the duck-pond before long. The lake was frozen - a veritable ice-rink (Torville and Dean could have done their 'Bolero' here, no problem) and the ducks, geese and swans skated on their rink in ungainly fashion. We just had to laugh at their antics. Seagulls, pigeons and magpies joined in with gusto - and we laughed at them too.
Clapping our hands together, rolling them up in a fist inside our gloves, wiggling our toes for good measure we fought a losing battle against the freezing temperatures. And then we spotted a little tea-shop/cafe on the edge of the pond.
"Let's get a cup of tea," I said, hopefully.
"Yep!" was the rejoinder and in we went.
It's a grand little cafe selling all sorts of goodies. We plumped for hot chocolate and a couple of slices of death-by-chocolate cake among the four of us.
We stayed there until we warmed up a little, then wended our way back to the car, Dawn collecting driftwood on the way home (to add to her creative collection - she's an artist, is Dawn)
At home once more, the preparations began for our New Year's Day gourmet dinner. Dawn made delicious laksa and a summer fruit pudding: Dave made chilli-and-ginger tuna steaks with noodles - and I laid the table. Steve stirred the soup a couple of times and played his guitar as his contribution.
It was a great meal, with great company - and we had a ball.