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Downham delights.

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

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My old primary school.

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 !

Typical village cottages.
Typical village cottages.

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 in the door way of the cafe with a selection of home made cakes. :)
Michelle in the door way of the cafe with a selection of home made cakes. :)

Yummy cakes & desserts.
Yummy cakes & desserts.

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!

Ice cream!
Ice cream!

The village brook. Popular  for paddling and picnicking.
The village brook. Popular for paddling and picnicking.
Taking a dip. :)
Taking a dip. :)

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. :)

St Leonards Church.
St Leonards Church.
Pendle Hill from the church yard.
Pendle Hill from the church yard.
The village green cafe opens every day except Monday and Thursday ~ 10-5pm.
The village green cafe opens every day except Monday and Thursday ~ 10-5pm.

Thanks for dropping by. :)

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52 Lists : What I can see right now.

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Ok I’m cheating. I actually wrote this post yesterday evening after my walk. I sat out in the back yard , trying to capture the last of the days very welcome sun rays. Here is what I could see…..

~ Two hanging baskets still in bloom. :)

~ My 25p pack of Lidl seeds , turned into lovely blue and yellow flowers.

~ More blue. Blue painted patio furniture that the other half has jazzed up over the summer.

~ A slug! One slug is pretty good going in my back yard. The place is slug central.:(

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~ a mug of black coffee and a flapjack.

~ a copy of The Simple Things magazine.

~ One black cat called Slinky Malinky. :)

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Thanks for dropping by….

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Autumnal August ?

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. :)

Blackberries.
Blackberries.
Water Mint.
Water Mint.
Hawthorn berries.
Hawthorn berries.
Cabbage White.
Cabbage White.
Burdock.
Burdock.
In the woods.
In the woods.
Red berries.
Red berries.
Ribble Way.
Ribble Way.
Indian Balsam.
Indian Balsam.
Peacock butterfly.
Peacock butterfly.
Thistle down.
Thistle down.
By the river.
By the river.
Long tailed tit.Soo cute.:)
Long tailed tit.Soo cute.:)
And in flight.
And in flight.
Knapweed.
Knapweed.
Bunny.
Bunny.
Bindweed.
Bindweed.

Keep on enjoying the summer. :)

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Liz ‘N’ Lil’s ~ Blackburn

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.
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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!

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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.

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Beach Hut Day. :)

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

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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.

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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.

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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. :)

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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.

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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. :))

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This is my August entry for #take12trips organized by Claire over at Need Another Holiday.

52 Lists ~ List the things you wish you had known as a teenager.

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~ 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?

Oscar Wildes tomb.

Pere Lachaise Cemetery.

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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.

I quite liked the headstone of this particular grave.
I quite liked the headstone of this particular grave. A couple with their beloved dog.
There are many elaborate graves and statues.
There are many elaborate tombstones and statues.

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.

The avenues of mausoleums reminded me of actual olde worlde streets.
The avenues of mausoleums reminded me of actual olde worlde streets.

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.

The grave of French singer Edith Piaf. She is interred here with her family.
The grave of French singer Edith Piaf. She is interred here with her family.
Pere Lachaise is full of angels.
Pere Lachaise is full of angels.

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.

Colettes grave is said to be guarded at night by the cemetery cats.
Colettes grave is said to be guarded at night by the cemetery cats.

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.

Jim Morrisons simple headstone with pictures.
Jim Morrisons simple headstone with pictures.
Gum Tree tribute.
Gum Tree tribute.

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

Oscar Wildes tomb.
Oscar Wildes tomb.
Pere lachaise in summer.
Pere lachaise in summer.

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.

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