August Adventures.

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Books ~ Its 125 years since the birth of English crime writer Agatha Christie and this year the BBC are adapting one of her most iconic novels And then there were none for the small screen. Hurrah for us that Poldark heart throb Aiden Turner is one of its cast.:) But back to the book! This is a creepy and compelling who done it….Ten strangers are invited to the rocky and remote ‘Soldier island’ off the Devon coast.Once there they find their mysterious host strangely absent and stormy weather prevents them leaving.Over dinner it is revealed that each of the guests have been responsible for various deaths over the years.And one by one they too seem to be dropping like flies. Who is doing them in and is the murderer one of them? Suspicion and paranoia heighten the tension in this gripping yarn.

So on to something a little more lighthearted? I’m afraid not! I also read the frighteningly futuristic tale Only ever Yours set in a world where women ( known as Eves) are created to be men’s companions or concubines and even have use by dates. The Eves spend their young lives in preparation for ‘the Ceremony’ and are constantly judged and graded on their appearance. We follow their troubling journey to this life changing point. Its the ‘Stepford Wives’ for the reality tv generation.

Lunch and Afternoon Tea Treats :). I was one lucky lady in August as my work paid for not one but two lovely meals out with friends ( I reached a long service milestone at the end of July) at Hotel Gotham  in Manchester and The Glass House  in Ribchester.Click on the links for my posts.:) I also realised I have indulged in Afternoon tea 8 times already this year…….including this lovely one  in Leeds. What can i say! There have been a lot of celebrations. ;)
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Camper Van Adventures. Some friends have started a cool camper hire company.So we tried out this VW T5 called Starline one thundery August night.See how we got on Here.

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A Summer Staycation. The other half and I found ourselves having an unexpected and unplanned week off together.So we decided to enjoy a few impromptu days out.:) Here are some pics from our week.

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Classic cars at Malham Show in the Yorkshire Dales.
We caught up with family there. Here are Wil and I with my nephew Roman.
We caught up with family there. Here are Wil and I with my nephew Roman.
We hired a beach hut for the day at St Annes.
We hired a beach hut for the day at St Annes.
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The inside of our hut. Very cozy.:)
The beach at St.Annes.
The beach at St.Annes.
Rydal Water in the Lake District.
Hugo bagged another lake. Rydal water in the Lake District.
We bought gingerbread from the world famous gingerbread shop in Grasmere.
We bought gingerbread from the world famous gingerbread shop in Grasmere.
And visited Arnside on the Cumbrian coast for more seaside walks. :)
And visited Arnside on the Cumbrian coast for more seaside walks. :)

Well basically August has been pretty wonderful. What did you like about August? Go anywhere good?

August Photo Scavenger Hunt.

Hi this months  Photo Scavenger Hunt  organized by Jill at Made With Love was pretty challenging once again. But Hey I love a challenge! These pics were taken on various days out through the month including the seaside and Malham show. :)
staycation 056Walk ~  An unusual picture of Wil and I walking our dog on St Anne’s beach. Hugo is the real thing and we are shadows. It was a really blustery day. That can only explain my strange shape! My skirt and cardigan are billowing in the breeze. Thats my excuse anyway.Ha!

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Horizontal ~ Picture of the blue sky and cotton wool clouds taken by me lead down at the front of the beach hut that we hired for the day. Cue a few funny looks! 

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Square ~ Open up the beach hut and you have the perfect ( and square shaped ) view of the sand and glistening sea.

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Diversity ~ Someone’s beautiful cottage garden near where I live. A dazzling diversity of flowers.

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Rough ~ The rough and rocky face of Malham cove in the Yorkshire Dales.

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Bow ~ My brother and our niece Imogen. She is wearing a bow in that tumble of curls. :)

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Joy ~ My two Goddaughters enjoying a ride at the funfair.

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Forgotten ~ Old fishing boats ,quite forgotten until they are needed to go out to Sea.

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Crowd ~  The crowds are out at Malham show watching the bonniest dog competition.

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Colourless ~ The transparency  of this reservoir mirrors Pendle Hill in its colourless and calm waters.

 

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Friendly ~ Donkeys on St Anne’s beach.

Gorgeous blue scabious.
Gorgeous blue scabious.

Whatever you want ~ Beautiful blue scabious flower in Pendle Hill country.

Thanks for taking a look. :)

Kirkby Lonsdale in a camper van.

For a while now Wil and I have wanted to get our ‘Scooby Dooby Doo!’ on by taking a trip in a Mystery Machine , and stay overnight somewhere cool in a camper van. Well I guess we already have our Scooby ( Hugo the black labrador) so all we needed was our transportation and a corking campsite. Lucky for us a rather good camper van hire company has started up, right here in the Ribble Valley. Star Campers UK are situated on the way over Waddington Fell, just outside Clitheroe. They are a brand new business run by husband and wife team Paul and Kathy Rosthorn, with just a little help from their cute French Bulldog Louis of course!  At present they have two beautifully renovated vans ready to rent out…..and two more are being lovingly restored. We were able to choose from Sunny ,a cheery sunshine yellow original 1972 1.6 litre Left hand drive Tin top westfalia campmobile ( Hope I got that right! ) and Starline , a more modern 2009 VW T5 TDI. Due to Wil being the only driver he got to pick. The T5 came out tops as Paul told us it was the easiest to drive. And Wil agreed,  it was as “simple as driving any car, just higher up”. :)

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Starline.

We had booked a campsite near the pretty town of Kirkby Lonsdale, about an hours drive away. So it was great to set up camp when we got there and explore our home away from home for the night. Starline has been done up to the highest spec with leather and suede upholstery, LED lighting and all mod cons , such as a waeco fridge freezer and smev appliances. I loved the colourful camper van crockery and the fact that Kathy had put milk,eggs and butter in the fridge for us , was a welcoming touch.

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The campsite we stayed at was the very well organized Woodclose Park , about half an hours walk along the rocky river Lune into Kirkby. It is mainly a statics holiday park but is also wonderfully equipped for tourers and campers. Facilities include a site shop, indoor washing up area with information point, children’s play area and a designated dog walk. The site teams with wildlife and also has a resident herd of Alpacas. :)

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Kirkby Lonsdale itself is a picturesque market town with lots of dog friendly pubs ( many serving delicious food), tons of very browse worthy shops ( Parma Violet gift shop is my fave), pretty tea rooms and cafes and its surrounded by gorgeous South Lakes countryside. Here are a few Pics…..

Canoeing on the river Lune.
Canoeing on the river Lune ~ taken from Devils Bridge.
The steep Radical steps ( there are 86 of them! )
The steep Radical steps ( there are 86 of them! )
Ruskin's view from st Mary's churchyard.
Ruskin’s view from st Mary’s churchyard.
St Marys Church.
St Marys Church.
Street View, Kirkby Lonsdale.
Street View, Kirkby Lonsdale.
two for one cocktails at Plato's.
two for one cocktails at Plato’s.

After a fun few hours in town we headed back to the site for a barbecue and as the evening wore on we found ourselves in the middle of a thunderstorm! Luckily we were safe and warm inside Starline, watching the impressive lightning from the heavens. The pop up top bedroom gave us a great view of the storm.

There is plenty of room in the pop up top for two people to sleep.
There is plenty of room in the pop up top for two people to sleep. 

After a comfortable night we woke up to the sunshine cracking the flags. :) Enjoyed some bacon and blueberry scotch pancakes with maple syrup for breakfast and took Hugo for a walk before dropping the van off and heading home.

Breakfast Ready!
Breakfast Ready!
Poppy view.
Poppy view.

Our night away in a Star camper Van was a great success. Can’t wait to see how Paul and Kathy’s other vans Buster and Terry turn out. They will be on the road soon!

Its just grand at Just Grand !!

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On Saturday the girls were in Leeds doing some serious shopping!  After hitting the end of Summer Sales we needed a well earned break and some of that famous Yorkshire hospitality. What better place to go than an eclectic Vintage tea room. The interior of Just Grand in the Grand Arcade is the perfect mish mash of decor from different decades and quirky touches, there are pretty teacup light fittings and menus on retro record sleeves. The  staff wear clothing from other eras. Pretty 1950s style dresses, colourful Hawaiian shirts and Rockabilly pin up frocks.:)

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When we arrived it was very busy ( Its a popular place! ) so we were seated out front in the arcade.  My friend Arwen ordered a very marshmallowy Hot Chocolate that came served in a pretty vintage teacup. She also chose a ham sandwich and a rocky road cake. As for myself and Gill, we decided that yes , everything does start with tea, Afternoon tea. :)

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Gill's photo of our Afternoon tea. :)
Gill’s photo of our Afternoon tea. :)

The Just Grand Afternoon Tea arrived on a vintage cake stand and on the bottom tier there were four delightful finger sandwiches each, on brown and white bread. The fillings were egg, cucumber and cream cheese, cheese and ham. On the middle tier was a generous slab of homemade cake each of our choice. This was instead of the usually served  fruit cake and Wensleydale cheese. Its up to you which you would prefer. And the top tier  held our scrumptious scones which came in two varieties. Gill chose a fruit scone and I went for the apricot and ginger . It was pretty darn good!  The scones came with strawberry jam and clotted cream. All were washed down with either Yorkshire tea ( of course ;) ) or filter coffee.

Gill enjoying her coffee and walnut cake.
Gill enjoying her coffee and walnut cake.

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All in all our dining experience here was Just Grand indeed. A must if you visit Leeds. :)

Pendleside Flowers.

At the weekend we went for a drive over to the Pendleside village of Barley , so of course I took my trusty camera with me. Its been a while since I have documented the various flora and fauna I have seen. So heres a few pics from our walk. :)

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Gorgeous blue scabious.
Gorgeous blue scabious.
Grasses.
Grasses.
Meadow vetchling.
Meadow vetchling.
Rosebay willowherb.
Rosebay willowherb.
Blackberries.
Blackberries.
Pendle Hill reflected in the reservoir.
Pendle Hill reflected in the reservoir.

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Possibly a Tufted duck in the reservoir.
Rosehips with some sort of fuzzy growth.
Rosehips with some sort of fuzzy growth.
Brown Ringlet Butterfly.
Brown Ringlet Butterfly.
Foxglove in Aitken Wood.
Foxglove in Aitken Wood.
Heather.
Heather.
A garden escape. But I will include it , it's a Rose of Sharon. :)
A garden escape. But I will include it , it’s a Rose of Sharon. :)
Water Mint.
Water Mint.
Meadow Sweet.
Meadow Sweet.
Scabious are so beautiful.
Scabious are so beautiful.
Pendle through the rushes.
Pendle through the rushes.
On the way home we stopped off in Downham for an Icecream. :)
On the way home we stopped off in Downham for an Icecream. :)

If you’re ever in the Pendle area the Pendle Sculpture trail is a fun thing to do. My post about it is here. :)

Hope you had a fun weekend. X

Afternoon Tea at the Glass House in Ribchester.

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Just in time to post for Afternoon Tea Week here is a quick review of a gloriously decadent afternoon tea in Ribchester! My sister, our friend Becky and I booked in at the gorgeous Glass House at Stydd gardens last Sunday. It was actually a treat paid for by my work ( Thank you work!) to help celebrate my long service award ( Yikes!) and what a lovely way to celebrate it was. :)

As you can see the restaurant is inside an old Glass House which is home to lots of beautiful tropical plants and eclectic furnishings. We were shown to our table and after choosing our drinks, English Breakfast tea for the girls and a glass of Apple juice for me, we chatted away whilst waiting in anticipation for our Afternoon tea. By the way free drink refills are encouraged. :)

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As you can see the two tiered cake stand that the sandwiches and cakes came served on was HUGE. It was gold coloured and my photo doesn’t really do it justice. You can’t really see but it is topped with a majestic crown!

Sis can't wait to tuck in. ;)
Sis can’t wait to tuck in. ;)

The top tier contained an abundance of tasty finger sandwiches on white and brown bread. There were four choices of fillings ; Smoked salmon and cream cheese, Roast ham, Egg and cress, and Lancashire cheese. All were super substantial. No delicate cucumber sandwiches here!  Although i’m not a smoked salmon fan these ones were proper delish.

And look at the cakes! These beauties on the bottom tier were absolutely sublime. As you can see there are lush lemon cakes, delightful chocolate cakes, magnificent looking fruit scones with jam and clotted cream ( topped with strawberries and blueberries) and the little pots contain a fabulously fruity Eton mess. Yummy!

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All this deliciousness came for only £16.95 each so it was very good value for money indeed. We couldn’t eat it all so the friendly staff boxed up any leftovers for us to take home. Afterwards there was time to wander round the gardens a little bit but unfortunately as it was Sunday the  pretty gift shops in the grounds were closing by this point. If you would like to see more piccies of the outside check out this previous post.

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Clitheroe Food Festival.

At the weekend it was my local towns Food Festival. Clitheroe Food festival is in its fifth year now and has got bigger and better as time has gone on. There were over a hundred local produce stalls and street food vendors all  selling their wares as well as cookery and cocktail making demonstrations. There were other events in Clitheroe too that coincided with the festival including a children’s fun fair and the Last Night Of The Proms in the castle grounds.  Here are a few piccies from the day. :)

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This year we went a bit mad and bought loads!  Morecambe bay potted shrimps,kippers,Ginger cake,Rhubarb cordial,Flapjacks,Cider Sausages,Thai Pies ,Macaroons, Sourdough bread and………Kickass cheddar.

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Thanks for dropping by. :)

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