March Moments.

So March has passed at the speed of a pair of Mad March Hares frolicking in a field. A nice spring image for you there! Here is my quick round up post of what I’ve been up to in the merry month of March.

Reading ~  Each month I am trying to read at least one book. And I have managed two. Hurrah! The first was the Ira Levin thriller ‘A Kiss Before Dying’ which is the story of an all American golden boy, who will stop at nothing not even murder, to get what he wants. Written in the 1950’s this cautionary tale preluded Levin’s more well known works such as ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ and ‘The Stepford Wives’. The second book I read is a brand newbie. ‘The Girl On The Train’ by Paula Hawkins might appeal to those of you who enjoyed ‘Gone Girl’. Have you ever looked out of the window on a train and wondered about the lives of the people in the houses you pass? Have you ever spotted something a bit strange near the tracks? This is a creepy thriller with complex characters and a gripping storyline. Great for commutes on the train hey. ;)

On the Box ~ ~ Well need I say more! The luscious Aiden Turner as Ross Poldark makes my Sunday nights. Poldark 9pm BBC1.

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A Tale Of Two Cities. ~ I had two days out with the girls in two Northern cities. :) For my friend’s 40th , Manchester was our destination. A Gentleman’s Afternoon tea at Opus One , Cocktails in a subterranean  drinking den ( The Gas Lamp ) nr Spinningfields and shopping in Pepperberry were included in our day.

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Also myself and my friend Arwen met up with our mate Gill in Leeds on Saturday. There is more to explore but we were impressed with the brand spanking new Trinity Shopping Centre and Gill booked us into Browns for lunch. Always happy to go somewhere that serves my fave Mr Fitzpatricks Rhubarb Cordial. :) I didn’t buy much but I did come away with a golden egg bath bomb from Lush.

Teacup Trolley ~

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This month I bought a tea trolley to display my teacup candles in my friends shop Chillimoon. She spruced it up with some duck egg blue paint and I added some Cath Kidston style bunting. I quite like it. :)

Blog Love ~
Been enjoying discovering a few new blogs recently. Have a gander at these. :)

Life and Wanderlust recreates a popular Icelandic Seafood dish.

I would love to try Llama trekking in the Lakes like That Ideas Girl.

Dear Ms Leigh kicks the butt of any misconceptions you may have about Detroit. Such a fascinating….and beautiful city.

Daft Dog ~

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Hugo is looking sorry for himself here as he decided to eat a pheasant! The tale feathers got stuck in his stomach resulting in an operation to retrieve a Sitting Bull’s headress worth from his belly.Luckilly he is doing fine now.But I keep spying him eyeing up birds. :( Have any of your pets eaten anything they shouldn’t?

What have you been up to this month?

Nautical but Nice.

As I love the colour blue, stripes and of course the sea….I thought I would do a short post on a few pretty items I have my ‘ eye eye captain ;)’ on, now that spring has arrived.

Firstly on a recent trip to Manchester with friends I discovered the Bravissimo shop. Well of course I knew all about how Bravissimo makes perfectly fitting bras….but I never realised they design some beautifully stylish clothes too. Some of the  dresses in the Pepperberry collection there caught my eye. These two are perfect for wearing to lunch at a harbour side restaurant.

Pepperberry Holly stripe dress £59.
Pepperberry Holly stripe dress £59.
Pepperberry  Charlotte dress £65.
Pepperberry Charlotte dress £65.

Pepperberry design clothing for the more ample bust. I only hope I am curvy enough( in the right places) to fit into their lovely clothes. I will be sure to try a few things on next time I visit a store.

Seasalt are a cornish company whose clothes and accessories really make me want to breathe in a whole gulp of fresh sea air. I already own a cute scarf with sailboats on it that I bought a couple of years ago. I really love their jute bags. :)

Seasalt Jute Shopper £5.
Seasalt Jute Shopper £5.

Joules always give good value in stripes. I have this long sleeved blue and white striped top in my wardrobe. Its great for strolls on the beach. :)

Joules Harbour Striped top £24.95.
Joules Harbour Striped top £24.95.

And I’ve only just discovered the American company Modcloth who do a wonderful range of nautical inspired clothing and home accessories. Wow wouldn’t I just love to snuggle under that Maritime and Tide duvet with a book about mermaids.

Modcloth 'Show me the way flats' $29.
Modcloth ‘Show me the way flats’ $29.
Maritime and Tide duvet $89.99.
Maritime and Tide duvet $89.99.
Mermaids Myth and Lore book $16.99.
Mermaids Myth and Lore book $16.99.

Any plans for seaside holidays this year? Do you like the nautical look?

Photo an hour ~ March.

I think it may be twelve months since I first joined in with the #photoanhour challenge on Instagram. Its still going strong and Janey and Louisa do a good job of organizing everyone so if you fancy having a go in April you can follow both girls on Twitter. Anyway the Saturday just gone was the day Louisa chose for March. Here in the North West it turned out to be a sunny spring day. Perfect for popping through the park to the shops and taking the dooog to a beer garden. :0).

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8AM ~ Browsing through a magazine in bed. Slinky seems to be giving me dirty looks here. Think she wants the bed to herself.

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9AM ~ Wil had already been to the shops, walked Hugo, and done a load of washing before I got up. He had even bought croissants. He really is a star. :)

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10AM ~ The daffodils are blooming in the park. I’m off to do some errands in town.

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11AM ~ Admiring the Easter display in the supermarket. How lovely do they look!

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12PM ~ Heres Hugo being a big softy. He is a real cuddle monster. :)

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1PM ~ Back in the park and taking pictures for my Park Life post. Spring is really here as blossom is starting to bloom.

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2PM ~ Met up with friends and kids to watch a circus clown performance in st Marys Church Hall. Friends with kids are always handy for accompanying you to on outings like this. :)

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3PM ~ Still clowning around…

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4PM ~ Found Wil and Hugo enjoying a pint in the sunshine. It was Beer Garden weather.

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5PM ~ A piccie of the cockeyed pink flamingo necklace I have been wearing today.

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6PM ~ Tea by the telly.Thats Paloma Faith on the box by the way.

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7PM ~ My last photo of the day.Myself and two friends.We were out to celebrate Fi’s 40th Bday. Fi, Jo and I have known each other since we lived on the same street in our twenties.How time flies!

So there you have it.Maybe you would like to join in in April? X

Park Life ~ March.

March is here and everywhere in the Castle grounds is literally springing into life. Blossom is appearing on the trees, hardy wild flowers such as daisies,celandines and primroses are basking in sunshine and the birds are busy practising their best bursts 0f birdsong. The whole park is celebrating the arrival of spring. :)

Daffodils are trumpeting.
Daffodils are trumpeting.
Grape Hyacinth.
Grape Hyacinth. An incredible blue.
Catkins and the Castle.
Catkins and the Castle.
Collared dove.
Collared dove.
Crocuses.
Crocuses.
The castle through the blossom.
The castle through the blossom.
Pale blue primula.
Pale blue primula.
Acrobatic grey squirrels love the park.
Acrobatic grey squirrels love the park.
Peeking celandines. Soon the ground will be carpeted with them. :)
Peeking celandines. Soon the ground will be carpeted with them. :)
Bluebells.
Bluebells.
Feeding time. A chaffinch and a bluetit at the breakfast buffet.
Feeding time. A chaffinch and a bluetit at the breakfast buffet.
Its a busy spot!
Its a busy spot!

What are your favourite signs of spring?

Afternoon tea and Underground cocktails ~Manchester.

My friend Fi decided to mark her approaching ‘Big 40′, with a fabulous day out in Manchester. In true celebratory style, we headed into the city for a day of  shopping, cocktails and afternoon tea. :)

Fi had booked us a table at the marvellously plush Opus One on Peter Street ( just off Deansgate) for afternoon tea. Giant chess pieces and bold red and black decor give the restaurant a theatrical feel.

Opus One.
Opus One.

Four of us opted for the Gentlemen’s Afternoon Tea because it sounded pretty darn delicious. And it was! This menu leans toward the savoury with gentleman size rustic sandwiches on the bottom tier. The top tier includes fish and chips, pork pies and mini beef yorkshire puddings. There is of course still a sweet treat if you can manage it,the obligatory home baked scone with jam and clotted cream. :) All these goodies come with a pot of tea or any hot drink of your choice and as many free refills as you desire. The price is £18.95 per person.

Gentleman's Afternoon Tea.
Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea.
And its not just for Gentlemen. ;)
And its not just for Gentlemen. ;)

The Birthday Girl chose the Traditional Afternoon Tea which is the same price and includes an indulgent selection of finger sandwiches and dainty cakes and home made scone with clotted cream and preserve. We all ordered a glass of celebratory champagne too with our afternoon teas. :)

Traditional Afternoon Tea. Photo by Louise Atkinson.
Traditional Afternoon Tea. Photo by Louise Atkinson.
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A Birthday cake surprise :)

Opus One proved to the perfect venue to kick off a Birthday celebration. After our food we went on the hunt for a lovely cocktail bar. Of course Manchester has plenty….but they were sooo busy! We did however stumble across a quirky basement bar on Bridge Street ( near Spinningfields) which can knock up a luscious lemon sherbert sour or two. :)

The Gas Lamp.
The Gas Lamp.
Lemon Sherbert sours. :)
Lemon Sherbert sours. :)
Mirror Mirror on the Wall.
Mirror Mirror on the Wall.
Turkish delight Martinis.
Turkish delight Martinis.

Now if its glamour youre after The Gas Lamp will not be your kind of place. This quirky ‘subterranean drinking den’ is certainly more victorian convenience than classy cocktail bar. It was in fact once a childrens mission/soup kitchen and the original white tiling gives it a utilitarian look. Yet it still manages to feel cozy and friendly. I loved my Lemon Sherbert sour and the Turkish delight martinis went down well too. The Gas Lamp also specializes in real ales and has a good wine list. Quite a find!

So the highlights of Fi’s celebrations ( so far! ) included a Gentlemen’s Afternoon tea and cocktails underground.

Where do you like to go in Manchester?

Lunch in Keswick.

On the way to see family in the Lake District on Sunday ,we stopped off in Keswick for a spot of lunch and a paddle in the lake. :)

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Derwent water.

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Doggy Paddle. :)

When I say paddle, I mean Hugo had a paddle. It was far to cold for humans! Keswick is a small market town in the North of the Lake District. It is known as one of the countries most dog friendly places, welcoming our four legged friends into a large percentage of its shops, cafes and pubs. Surrounded by lakes and mountains, my photos do not do the towns scenic location any justice.

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Beatrice Potter's creations can be found here.

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Spring shop display.
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Street scene.

We headed to the Dog and Gun on Lake Road for lunch. I was very glad that despite the pubs new owners and recent refurbishment , they are still serving its famously tasty Hungarian Goulash. :)

Inside the Dog and Gun.
Inside the Dog and Gun.
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We got a seat!
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Hearty Goulash.
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Plenty of real ales.

The Dog and Gun has always been a cozy and friendly establishment. Some people seem to think its new look has made it lose its traditional charm. But I think it retains it. The pub still serves yummy pub grub, happily welcomes dogs and the service was great despite it being busy. The decor nods to its long standing tradition of raising money for the local Mountain Rescue team. Collection bottles on the tables double up as table numbers.

Doggy bags are available at the bar.
Doggy bags are available at the bar.

Hugo enjoyed a few dog treats ( you can buy £1 doggy bags at the bar) whilst we wolfed down our goulash which came served with a side helping of garlic bread. Veggie goulash is also available…….as well as other fell walkers favourites. Sticky fig pudding and chocolate fudge cake were on the desserts menu. Maybe next time!

After lunch we had a quick amble round the shops including Podgy Paws pet shop where Hugo refueled for the rest of our journey up to my Mums. :)

At the Dog Bar.
At the Dog Bar.

Have you ever found the perfect dog friendly pub?

10 random things to do in Manchester this spring

shazza:

This English Rose has put together a fab top ten of things to do in Manchester.Half of these I didn’t know existed! From donkey sanctuarys to duck races, escapology to picnic hamper afternoon teas. Have fun reading. :)

Originally posted on English Rose from Manchester's Blog:

1. Say hello to the donkeys

I think donkeys are possibly the loveliest things ever and I’ve been a supporter of The Donkey Sanctuary for about a year now as they do such a great job with donkey welfare worldwide. I was so excited when I realised that they have a centre right here in Manchester – it’s a Donkey Assisted Therapy Centre and is open to the public 7 days a week. I went last Easter and enjoyed meeting and stroking the lovely donkeys there.

Donkey Sanctuary

2. Take part in the duck race

Manchester’s duck race down the river Irwell takes place on Good Friday in Spinningfields. It’s free to attend and enjoy the festivities and entertainment, and just £1 to enter a duck into the race, with proceeds going to local children’s charity, Brainwave.

3. Break out of a locked room in 60 minutes

I’ve now broken out of…

View original 663 more words

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