I left you in suspense. Would I find the flamingo? I didn't know.
So much art. The art gallery had closed but all this free art on the streets of Sunderland made up for that. Even the most derelict of buildings seemed to have some kind of beauty all of its own.
And this sticker, placed on a private car park sign seemed to have more to it than most stickers placed on private car park signs.
A little further on I found a church. Information on the wall told me much about their ways.
I am guessing their traditional manner varies somewhat from the traditional manner believed so important by the Catholic Society of Saint Pius X. It is a shame that the ordinary people here - without a pastor - are outside of the city of God. I know for sure that this is the case because a sign on the church a few yards up the road proclaimed that to be the City of God. I wonder how traditional the worship is in that city. Tomorrow is a Sunday. I could go and find out. But I am not going to! I wonder whether either of those churches would accept me. For I am someone who obeys the first commandment written on that sticker. I come queer!
Walking on I found something odd. Blue paint. Peeling. And underneath the paint, some rather wonderful tiles. I wondered who it was who thought it a good idea to paint such tiles a single shade of blue. And who it was who wasn't keeping up with the maintenance of the blue so that we can see the tiles once more. I cannot express how tempted I was to start peeling off the blue paint and revealing more of the tiles.
I hadn't found a flamingo. But it was time for me to head off to the post-lunch section of the Liberation Theology event, in the place where I now thought it was. I would have to cross the river - a bridge that I've posted about before. Blob Thing has also posted about it when accompanying me on walks. Along the way, high up on a building was an elephant I first spotted when walking in a Pride parade. I love that things such as this elephant exist in the real world and are not just confined to fantasy worlds.
I crossed the bridge, eager to reach the theology gathering. Hurry, hurry, hurry. Stop hurrying. Get distracted again. By more art and more animals.
I had seen - among all the other enthralling sights - snakes, dogs, penguins, ravens or crows, a gorilla, a giraffe, cats, a bird in flight, a rhinoceros, plenty of fish, starfish, crabs, an octopus, a turtle, butterflies, a bear, a lion, a pig, a horse, an elephant, a fox, a hare, a badger, a mole, an owl and a lobster.
So many animals. But no flamingo. It wasn't fair! And now it was time to do some theology. Except it wasn't. Because I arrived at the place where it was taking place and the door was locked. Oh no! I couldn't get in. Eventually I worked out why:
I was in the wrong place.
And the right place was the place that I had been three hours earlier when I concluded that I was in the wrong place!
Yes. I had completely mucked up the plans for my day. I didn't mind too much though because if I had sat in Sunderland Minster all day then I wouldn't have found all those animals. I walked back across the River Wear into the city centre. No theology. No marble run. And no flamingo.
I decided to cheer myself up with some ice cream from the market at the entrance to the shopping centre. I was doubly cheered when I noticed something marvellous. The liquorice ice cream was in stock. Now that brought smiles to my face. But before buying it I decided to walk round the market. Not for any reason. It was just there.
On my way out of the market I passed a pretty things stall. Not the kind of pretty things I want to have for myself. But they are popular pretty things. I went in to see the sparkly things. And noticed a display case full of animals. Glass animals.
And then I saw it.
Yes. A flamingo. It wasn't pink. But it was a flamingo. And I wasn't about to rush off to the Washington Wetland Centre and try to get there before closing time to see a pink flamingo just because this glass flamingo wasn't pink. See, there is a way to photograph a pink flamingo in the City of Sunderland. It's just in Washington. Not in Sunderland.
My wife came to my rescue. She pointed out that for a flamingo to be pink it has to have a special diet. But a flamingo living in Sunderland wouldn't naturally have that diet so it wouldn't be pink. And since Sunderland is known for glass making - if you get a chance, pay a visit to the glass museum as well as the nearby St. Peter's Church - any flamingo living and feeding in the area would naturally be glass coloured.
I had done it.
I had photographed a flamingo.
And it was the colour that it should be too.
Success number two of the day.
The other challenge given to me this morning was of course totally impossible. Unless I found it's solution in a charity shop. Which I hadn't.
There would be no way that I would be able to photograph a marble run. A pity. I like marble runs. And so does she who has given me the challenges.