Have coffee at Central Perk in the Manchester Primark.
Meet Felix the Huddersfield Railway Cat.
Go for a cream tea at the home of the Yorkshire Shepherdess. ( Did go to a very interesting talk by her).
So this is how I’m doing with my 30 Before 50 Bucket List. But don’t worry I still have a few years to go before I complete it! In 2019 I crossed five items off the list and made progress with a couple more. And I still have a few gaps, incase I think of a few more things I’d like to do. What’s on your Bucket List? x
The weather in my hometown of Clitheroe in Northern England today was foggy, wet and grey so we decided to pop over the Lancashire border to Skipton in the drizzly Yorkshire Dales. A planned walk up Pendle Hill has been postponed ( I admit I was a teeny bit relieved! ) until a less misty day.
My other half hadn’t seen the newish ( 12 months old) willow sculptures in Skipton Castle Woods ,so I suggested we blow off the cobwebs with a walk there. I have blogged about the Sculptures previously, but it’s nice to share their beauty with you all again. It was Hugo’s first sight of them too. 😁
After our walk and a nosy round some shops we were ready for lunch. I thought we could treat Hugo ( and ourselves! ) to dinner at The Kibble Bakery on Sheep Street. When we arrived it was completely empty of customers so I quickly took a few photos, it was busy with both hounds and humans by the time we left.
The Kibble Bakery & Coffee House is a bright and cosy ( and very dog friendly) cafe. It is run by a mother and daughter team who as well as making and baking delicious food for humans, make and bake for our four legged friends too. Hugo sampled a cheesy pup biscuit, I wish I could tell you he tasted the flavour but being a greedy Labrador , he wolfed it down in seconds…..
On our way home from Skipton we had a bit of a walk down the canal side at East Marten, but the weather had changed for the worst , so no more pictures. Six miles done though so making a good start to the #walk1000miles challenge I’m joining in with again this year. 2019 I managed just over 1900 miles so a big improvement on 2018s 1600 + miles. Although I’m very happy with the mileage done, I know I’m still terribly unfit. Put a hill in front of me and I nearly die. The only remedy to that though is of course practice! And more fells, hills and mountains. So my aim for this year is not to improve my mileage, but to improve my chances of getting up a hill. Wish me luck! 😅
So here’s a brief update of what I’ve read lately. Happily I have rediscovered my local library…..and am determined not to forget it exists, like I have before. We are lucky to still have one! Plus one book was passed on by a friend and one I couldn’t resist buying, because of its lovely cover. 🙂
I ended 2020 having read 31 books of the 40 I had challenged myself to , so not bad going. 🙂
A Story Lately Told ~ Angelica Huston ( 2013). Apart from seeing Ms Huston in The Adams Family films, I didn’t know much about her, I didn’t know she grew up as part of Hollywood Royalty, abeit in Ireland. Her Dad was the film director John Huston and her Mother a former prima ballerina and model, many years his junior. Anjelica’s childhood was privileged but complicated, with her mother,nanny and brother living in the ‘Little House’ and her father living in the ‘ Big House’ nearby. Anjelica writes in a chaotic but amusing way, this is definitely a fascinating account of her coming of age in an eccentric family. ⭐⭐⭐
The Guernsey Literary And PotatoPeel Pie Society ~ Mary Ann Shaffer And Annie Burrows ( 2008). For some reason it took me a while to get started on this book, I ended up really enjoying it! Written in letters form, this is a lovely homage to enjoying books and reading and how books can bring you together. It centres round the German occupation of Guernsey during the second world war and is both funny and heartbreaking. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Losing It ~ Emma Rathbone ( 2016). I thought this would be a short light hearted read when I glanced at the book cover. Well it is short but it’s basically about having your life completely taken over by something , to the point of being so absorbed in yourself , that you make a mess of most things in your life. Hmm. Not very light hearted! Plus the main character Julia isn’t very likeable and quite uncharismatic, she says “Oh Okay” and “Yeh Okay” an awful lot. Nevertheless I found myself wanting to read until the end, so maybe it does have something! ⭐⭐⭐
The Hidden World Of The Fox ~ Adele Brand ( 2019). 🦊 Whatever you think of foxes ( I personally have a healthy respect for them) it looks as though they are here to stay. And hurrah to that! Fox afficianado ‘ Adele Brand’ has studied foxes for over twenty years, and this compact guide( with some nice photographs too) explains alot about fox behaviour, fox facts and myths and how foxes have adapted to live almost any place on earth. A great little read. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Twelve Birds Of Christmas ~ Stephen Moss ( 2019). So this is the book with the gorgeous cover. I love birds and have of course heard the popular carol ‘ The Twelve Days Of Christmas ‘ numerous times. With so many of the lines in the song mentioning actual birds , swans, geese, turtle doves, a partridge in a pear tree etc, it’s maybe natural to assume that the drummers drumming are woodpeckers and the pipers piping are sandpipers. Wildlife writer Stephen Moss takes an in-depth look at all the birds who may have inspired the carol. ⭐⭐⭐⭐ The Corset ~ Laura Purcell ( 2018). If you love your gothic chillers set in the Victorian age, I can certainly recommend ‘ The Corset’ . Prison visitor and would be reformer , the young, rich and beautiful Dorothea Truelove spends her days playing lady at home. Her only excitement is visiting female inmates and one in particular, Ruth Butterham, who is young, poor and awaiting trial for murder. Dorothea finds herself drawn in by Ruth’s case. But all is not as it seems. A real page turner! ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Collector ~ John Fowles ( 1963). Lastly a vintage read from the sixties, a creepy tale about a socially inept young man who comes into money and decides to kidnap the object of his fascination, a beautiful student called Miranda. He also happens to collect butterflies and whilst Miranda spends her captivity trying everything in her power to persuade him to set her free, she finds he probably just wants to ‘ collect’ her too….⭐⭐⭐
As is now a December tradition, I am sharing my year in photos. It’s been a pretty fab one. Life is looking good!
In January I started the #walk1000miles challenge again, determined to beat the 1600 plus miles I did in 2018. Had great fun doing the RSPB Big Bird Watch with my sister’s family, including Chloe the cat. And spent a weekend in Edinburgh. for Wils birthday.
February was pretty quiet , we changed the colour of the bedroom. I’m glad my other half is a dab hand with a paint brush. 😁
There was a weekend away in March with some walking in the fells near Coniston.
May felt strange, as I left my job of twenty nine years. I took my redundancy and have basically spent the rest of the year spending it! Highlights in May included Badger Watching at RSPB Haweswater and my friend Gills wedding. Wil and I scrubbed up ok.:)
June was the only time we managed to get a camping trip in. This is my fave photo from our weekend in Ingleton with friends. Our dogs on a date 😁~ Hugo & Bel the Bedlington terrier. Later this month I bought a static caravan in the Eden Valley in Cumbria!
In July we spent a tranquil four nights in a Tree Dome in Shropshire ( booked before my impromptu caravan purchase), got the caravan kitted out and I found work in a local cafe. I’m still there but it’s not the most stable of jobs. Who knows what the new year will bring..
August was mainly about exploring the area local to our van. Much of the rest of 2019 was devoted to this pursuit. 😁
I visited Amsterdam for the first time in September and the girls and I spent a chilled weekend at the caravan.
November is my birthday month and Wil treated us to a night away at the Haweswater Hotel. 🙂
And now it’s December and we are away yet again, this time in a cottage in Keswick, also booked before we bought the caravan. Despite losing my job this year, it seems I have taken more trips than any other! I know I have so so much to be thankful for and this little blog is definitely one of those things…..
I’d like to wish you all the best for 2020. Here’s to a healthy & happy New Year. Xx
For me 2019 has been very much about experiencing wildlife with others. It’s the first year I have watched badgers go about their business from a guided RSPB badger hide and the first time I have been on a bat walk run by the Rivers Trust. I’ve also looked for ring ouzels in the Slaidburn fells with the RSPB and done this year’s bird and butterfly counts with my nephew, niece and sister. Family has joined me in all the above and it has been a joy watching wildlife with them. 🙂
Sometimes I can be out and about with Wil and the dog and we will spy something special. Recently we saw a red squirrel at NT Acorn Bank, I have been hoping to see one since buying our caravan in Cumbria this year.
There have been a few rare moments when I’ve been completely alone and immersed myself in nature. Just spending three hours in the woodland near my Mum’s in Askham back in May was such a treat, I saw jays, woodpeckers, buzzards, a weasel and wildflowers galore.
In 2019 I witnessed my first badgers ( I’m definitely not counting the squashed ones I’ve seen on the roadside), my first humming bird hawk moth, my first Crossbill, my first ring ouzels and my first slow worm!
I am not always able to get photos though, so it was very special when I managed to snap the barn owl that visits my sister’s croft, be it through a pane of glass. Below are some of the wildlife I have captured on camera..
What have been your own favourite wildlife moments of 2019?
Starlings are noisy bossy birds, I know when they descend upon the bird feeder there will be little left, empty coconut shells knocked to the ground and fat balls depleted in the blink of an eye. I can’t help admiring their starry plumage and their cheeky chatter though and would love to witness a murmuration , where flocks of starlings sky dance the heavens . Instead I will make do with this poem by Mary Oliver who perfectly captures the spirit of these characterful birds.
Photos were taken in Melmerby over the wintery wknd , where several starlings gathered & chattered.
Dog friendly hikes and exploring, mostly around New England. Our Adventures includes: waterfalls, the beach, conservation land, lighthouses, state parks, the woods, the mountains, statues, and castles.