Hey there, curious one! Welcome to the FIRST EVER post in the Weekly Wonders series! Every Sunday, I will be posting a new blog post full of the things that sparked my curiosity that week. My hope is that by sharing the places (mainly in the North East), podcasts, TV shows, books, apps, people, ideas and events that have made me wonder or think ‘WOW” you will follow your own curiosity! Think of yourself as Alice and this weekly blog as your very own white rabbit, leading you to wonderland. So grab yourself a drink, get cosy and get ready to be inspired for your week ahead!
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Out & About in the North East
This week we visited the seaside town of Whitley Bay, North Tyneside. We got the Metro in from Newcastle and walked along the coast to the picturesque St. Mary’s Lighthouse and island which is also a nature reserve. There is just something charming about lighthouses, isnt there? I can’t wait to go back when it’s open to visit the museum and climb to the top! As well as learning a little about the island, I was really interested in Spanish City, the iconic domed building from 1910. As well as learning how it got its name, I also discovered it’s unofficial theme tune is Dire Straits’ ‘Love Tunnel’ and that it was only recently restored after years of being left derelict. You can check out a short video below and if you haven’t before, I highly recommend checking out some of the old photos of the area online – Even with the North East weather like it is, I have no idea how people wore all those layers to the beach in the 1900s!
Last Sunday, we headed out to the Causey arch near Stanley, in Durham. As well as being a great area for a walk and a picnic, it is full of history. Designed and built for transporting coal across the North East, construction of the bridge was completed in 1726. 900 horse-drawn carriages would have crossed the bridge – DAILY. Can you imagine?! It is now the oldest surviving single-arch railway bridge in the world and a listed building. You can check out the ‘NE Walks’ highlight on Instagram to see more.
Yesterday (Saturday) we headed to Derwent Waterside Park for a walk. You can walk for miles and there are various car parks around the reservoir. It was pretty busy with families and anglers but with such huge open spaces, it wasn’t a problem. The reservoir itself is a key part of the supply of water to the North East and the whole area acts as a nature reserve. We spotted several different bird species, including a lot of ducks and geese, as well as butterflies and even a rabbit. You can see cows and sheep grazing in the surrounding areas and there are endless plant species, wildflowers and insects to spot – so don’t forget your Seek app! If you want to find out more or plan your next visit, click here!
Down to Earth
I’m sure you’ve already seen some of the hype around Zac Efron’s Netflix documentary ‘Down to Earth’. You’ve probably seen the comparisons of him now Vs. his High School Musical days and other appearance-related posts BUT there is a little more to it than that. Critics have pointed out that it isn’t up to the same standards as Attenborough (Duh) or Leonardo DiCaprio’s hard-hitting and educational documentaries around climate change. However, I still think there is huge value in influential people showing themselves learning and changing. Each episode takes you to a different location around the world and highlights some of the ways the locals have been living sustainably or dealing with climate change. It isn’t Before the Flood standard, but its an easy and interesting watch. If someone tunes in simply to drool over Zac Efron, and walks away considering their impact on the planet, I’d say that’s a win! At the very least, it will fuel your wanderlust!
Naturally, it sparked my curiosity and in my googling and Wikipedia reading I also came across Down to Earth – The film. This has nothing to do with the series but I’m looking forward to watching it. In short, it shows one family’s travels around the world. The website describes it as: ‘a mirror to humanity, a poignant and timely reflection on our civilised world. The movie invites us to see the world through the eyes of the Earth Keepers. It takes us on an inner journey, connecting us with the source and the mutual path we are walking. DOWN to EARTH is both a wake-up call and a resurgence of hope for our world to come.’ Curious? You can check it out here.
This powerful documentary by the incredible Laverne Cox is a must-see. It shows the impact of the media on the transgender community and the effect Hollywood has on how they are viewed. If this doesn’t seem like the kind of thing you would usually watch, I’d say that is more reason to do so. Thought-provoking and emotional, I’ll let the trailer speak for itself.
You may already be familiar with Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love? I have to admit, I still haven’t read or watched it! Big Magic, is all about creativity and inspiration. How it comes to us, where it comes from and how we can be treating it (and ourselves) better, in order to find it more often! It is easy to read but may seem a little ‘out there’ if you are not familiar with mindset/power of the universe type subjects. The way Elizabeth talks about ideas and inspiration is truly magical and is a refreshing read if you are creative, particularly if you create for a living or plan to.
Jacquelin de Leon
Jacquelin isn’t new to me, I have been in love with her work for years. However, this week I have been working on some time-lapses of my artwork (watch this space) and in my search for inspiration, I found myself back on her Youtube channel for the first time in a long time. I think most people would agree that there is just something therapeutic about watching these videos and seeing how someone’s ideas come to life on the paper. Jacquelin is incredibly talented and I love her tips and commentary which have been really useful in creating my own designs for Curiosity Creates.
So that’s it for now! I hope you found something to spark your curiosity! I’d love to know what you think of the Weekly Wonders series! Let me know whats sparked your curiosity this week and where it has taken you! Head over to Instagram or Facebook and let’s connect! Use the tag #findmycurious on Instagram to show where your curiosity has taken you and inspire others! Have you discovered a new nature walk? Read a book on a hot topic or discovered a fascinating new idea, story or person? The curiosity frees community wants to hear from you!