A place I love to visit is the nearby village of Downham. Situated at the foot of Pendle Hill it has a picture postcard feel and holds many happy memories for me. :-D
Downham was where myself and my sister and two of our cousins went to school. Its tiny village primary was where I listened in awe to our teacher Mrs Hall reading us ‘The Lion, the witch & the wardrobe’ , enjoyed countless games of rounders & cricket on the school field and became tangled up in the brightly coloured ribbons of the maypole .I to this day have no coordination !
Downham today still has that unspoilt olde world charm. Although my old school is now a nursery and the village shop has sadly closed , visitors still flock here to admire the quaint cottages & picnic by the stream. There is a lovely pub, ‘The Assheton Arms’ and a friend of mine has recently opened the ice cream shop/cafe on the green.
Michelle and her hubby Dave took on the shops leese at the beginning of summer and added their own charming little touches to the decor. They sell hot & cold drinks, sandwiches, delicious home made cakes ( baked by Dave’s sister) and a multitude of flavours of ice cream. Wil and I tried the pistachio and orange & chocolate chip flavours, which we found to be truly divine. :) Also proving popular with ice cream loving visitors is the ‘Downham Delight‘ , three scoops of whatever flavours of ice cream you desire , smothered with every conceivable tempting topping you can imagine. I will try it one day!
Our time in Downham was spent wandering round the village and of course eating our delicious ice creams. Then we went for a drive over Pendle which was covered in vibrant purple heather bloom. A perfect afternoon. :)
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve had to wear my wellies this month. And now its getting a wee bit chilly too! Quite a few bloggers have been posting about how Autumnal they feel. With that in mind I donned my wellie bobs and jacket and set off for a walk down the fields. It is true there are sure signs that Autumn is taking hold. Nuts and berries are already in abundance. However Summer still clings on. Flowers, Butterflies and Sunshine. Yes Sunshine! By the time I was half way back from my walk I had stripped off my jacket and put on my sunglasses. :)
After a work collegue suggested I bob into Liz ‘N’ Lil’s , the next time I was in Blackburn, I couldn’t wait to check it out. This quirky and homely cafe/bar is housed in what used to be the Grapes pub in Blackburn town centre.
Located at 108 Northgate , not far from King Georges Hall, Liz ‘N’ Lil’s is a stones throw from the shops, so its the perfect place to hang out after a spot of retail therapy.
Spacious yet cozy the homely decor includes comfy sofas and a bar selling wine & beer. Your eyes are constantly drawn to all the interesting retro nic nacs & pretty vintage touches dotted around the place.
I opted for a tasty home cooked ham sandwich which was served with a lovely salad and I also had a refreshing mixed berry smoothie which was delicious. A popular choice is the Blackburn Bake made from black pudding, bacon and sausages in a mustard sauce ! The vintage china came out too. Always a treat. :-D The homemade cakes looked very inviting also. And theres a great selection of coffees and teas.
The relaxed and quirky vibe in Liz ‘N’ Lils means it is the perfect venue for a monthly makers & craft fair which takes place every first Thursday of the month 4-8pm apparently. I shall have to go for a nosy sometime!
I found the staff to be friendly and the tearooms charming so please visit next time your in Blackburn. Liz ‘N’ Lil’s is just what the town needs. Click Here to follow them on Twitter.
I have long coveted the seaside tradition of hiring a beautiful beach hut for the day. :) When my friend Jo did just that, for a girly get together by the sea, I was a very happy bunny indeed. <3
The newly built huts are proving very popular at lovely St Annes on the Lancashire coast. Jo booked through their website St Annes Beach Huts ~ and between four of us it cost around £20 each for the day. The day starts at 10am and you can stay until Midnight.
Each hut is decorated in a pretty nautical style and the space inside is very practical too. Most have electricity and facilities include the all important fridge, kettle & microwave. There is a bench inside which can be brought out onto the front decking area on a sunny day and all huts are equipped with crockery & cutlery.
The time we spent at St Annes was typically British weather wise ! A spot of drizzle and very windy. Our beach hut was a cozy base from which to enjoy our day by the sea. As it was also our friend Marian’s birthday weekend we celebrated with a little afternoon tea spread, a birthday cake and glasses of prosecco. :)
The kids loved their experience here too. They were able to make sandcastles on the beach, scooter along the prom, ride on the little steam train located behind the huts and play on the various rides and attractions nearby.
We noticed other families and groups here celebrating special occasions or just enjoying the summer holidays. And the huts are also dog friendly . Plenty of bouncy dogs and their owners were enjoying the bracing sea air. We all had such a fabulous time and I think it is one of those memories we will remember for years to come. I for one could go back tommorrow. :))
~ Friends are important.Do not lose touch with them just because you get a boyfriend.
~ Yep you do get a boyfriend. But he should not be your be all and end all. Not that you will listen to that one!
~ When you joke about getting a full time job at the new supermarket in town , don’t joke, it will happen.
~ Try and do better at college ( actually turning up there would be a start) and at least apply for uni. Nope you won’t listen to that one either. Your so stubborn!
~ Thirty sounds old….but it really isn’t!!!
~ Oneday Ghd’s will be invented and your hair won’t look quite as thick and frizzy as it does now. :)
As a teenager I was pretty stubborn and I probably wouldn’t have taken much notice of this list! But actually if I hadn’t taken the path I did ~ life may not be as good as it is now. Who knows hey!
What would you have done differently as a teenager?
Pere Lachaise is one of several cemeteries in Paris and I imagine, the most well known and frequently visited. This was apparently not always the case ! In its early days in the 1800’s the cemetery actually advertised for prospective clients and such famous names as poet La Fontaine and doomed lovers and writers Heloise & Aberlard were reburied here with much publicity to attract potential residents. Soon everyone who was anyone were clamouring to be buried at Pere Lachaise.
You might think it strange that I chose to visit a graveyard on my trip to Paris , but I was intrigued by Pere lachaise’s list of ‘celebrity’ residents. So many distinguished names from the worlds of science,arts and literature reside here. Frederich Chopin, Moliere, Edith Piaf & Jim Morrison , to name but a few. There are maps at the entrances to show you where they can all be found. It is also a beautiful and peaceful space to come if you wish to get away from the hustle & bustle of the French Capital. Elaborate mausoleums and tombstones decorate the graves in this vast cemetery.
The cemetery is also home to a number of monuments and memorials dedicated to victims of war and conflict. I did not photograph any as I guess it felt a little insensitive. But if you visit they are well worth a look, if only to reflect on how cruel and unjust human beings can be to one another.The memorials to the holocaust are particularly moving.
Because Pere Lachaise is so huge and I imagine quite easy to get lost in, I did not find every grave I was looking for. It is possible to buy a site map near the main entrance apparently. We took a photo of a map near the entrance we came in ( opposite the Pere Lachaise metro link) but still got confused. The best thing to do we found was look out for clusters of people ( live ones ;) gathered round certain graves. This usually meant someone of note was buried there. We also noticed a tour guide ( who seemed quite a character ! ) , taking some American tourists round. Sometimes we literally stumbled on interesting tombs….but there was a lot of the cemetery we did not manage to cover.
If you ever visit , watch out for the graveyards other residents. Pere Lachaise is home to several cats who have regularly been sighted weaving in and out of the grave stones. Unfortunately we didn’t catch a glimpse of any ~ not even near the grave of Colette, a French novelist and renowned cat lover.
Maybe the most visited grave is that of the Doors frontman Jim Morrison who died aged 27 from a suspected drug overdose in Paris in 1971. His headstone has been vandalised many times and is usually guarded. Near where he is buried there is a tree covered in chewing gum ~ a bizarre tribute to this rock star legend.
We also came across the tombstone of Irish writer and play write Oscar Wilde who died in Paris. The unusual design is shielded by a glass barrier to protect it from ‘kisses’. Years of admirer’s lipsticked kisses had apparently started to degrade the stone and the glass was added in 2011. X
Our visit was certainly interesting and thought provoking. A hauntingly beautiful place that is full of history, art, nature and atmosphere. A must if you visit Paris.