April Adventures!

BOOKS ~ Two books were on my reading list in April. The raucous reinvention of a socially awkward Wolverhampton school girl into the Top hat wearing sex mad rock chick music critic ‘Dolly Wilde’ is the subject of Caitlin Moran’s brilliantly funny  coming of age novel ‘How To Build A Girl.’


I must admit I have bizarrely only just heard of Moran after watching ‘Raised by Wolves’ on the telly,which she co- penned with her sister.Why Why Why had I not heard of her before?? I shall now be hunting out all her other novels pronto! I also enjoyed historical romance Spare Brides by Adele Parks.Set a couple of years after the First World War , this story centres around the lives of four upper class women, looking for love/their places in the world after the Great War took away the lives they might have had. Luxury and glamour is tinged with sadness and expectancy in this Downtonesque drama.

Movies~ I bought Paddington on dvd and really loved the magical tale of this polite Peruvian bear’s search for a home in London ~ and now a marmalade sandwich tucked under ones hat does seem pretty essential.Enjoyed Nicole Kidman’s performance as a terrifying taxidermist!


Easter Fun ~ It was good to have a few days off over Easter ( even if the car did break down!) and it was fun to meet up with pals and kids and Bertie and Walter ( two mischevious  Bichons 🙂 ) for an impromptu Easter egg hunt. Heres a piccie of us all putting on our best ‘Say Cheeses’ for the camera.


Food and Drink ~ Theres been a couple of new places opened in my hometown this month , so of course I had to have a nosy! See my post about the great new coffee & cocktail bar Escape Coffee & Cocktails. Right next door is The Ale House , a rough and ready Micro pub with a beer fest atmosphere, selling a selection of cask ale, cider and craft beers. There are retro board games, old Beano annuals and even a vintage Bunty upstairs. I’m sure I will do a post about it soon! April was also my sisters birthday and we went out for a delicious afternoon tea at Mitton Hall near Whalley.Check out my blog here.

Guilty Pleasures ~ Shhhhhhh for the past eight weeks or so I have been hooked on a reality tv show.Ok Siberia not a real reality tv show but a mockumentry about 12 contestants abandoned in a Siberian forest to fend for themselves and win $500000 prize money. Theres some creepy stuff going on though including gruesome killings and the film crew abandons them ( except the odd conveniently placed camera man!) so now they are working as a team to get the hell outta there.One more episode to be aired.I think only the first season was ever made.Does anyone else out there watch it?? Sundays 9pm Pick Tv.

Spring Blossom~ April does have to be all about the Spring blossom doesn’t it.Apple, Cherry, Blackthorn and Magnolia.Its wonderful and should be around for a little while yet. 🙂

What have you been up to this April?

Spring River Walk.

Its been a while since I’ve taken my camera down the river side. Its a bit difficult taking photos when I have Hugo with me , as all my time is taken up with ….making sure he doesn’t eat sheep poo, making sure he doesn’t chase ducks, making sure he doesn’t steal picnics and er making sure he doesn’t eat any dead pheasants. He is not really the ideal photography companion. Ha ha ha 🙂

River Ribble.
River Ribble.

Today I tired the doogal out with a morning river walk and an afternoon park walk, so i could escape on my own for a wander along  the banks of the Ribble. It was quite breezy and the sun was shining. I wondered what I would see……

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The delicate drooping flowers of the Wood anemone.
The delicate drooping flowers of the Wood anemone.
Tortoiseshell Butterfly.
Tortoiseshell Butterfly.
Black headed gull.
Black headed gull.
Blackthorn blossom.
Blackthorn blossom.
Orange tipped White butterfly. Gorgeous.:)
Orange tipped White butterfly. Gorgeous.:)
Pied wagtail.
Pied wagtail.
Spring blossom confetti. :)
Spring blossom confetti. 🙂

I was so happy to get my first piccies of an Orange tipped white butterfly. I have tried chasing them round in the past ( without a huge butterfly net! ) and not had any success. Shortly after I spied that little beauty I looked up and saw something hovering in the sky above me…..

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Its a kestrel !
Its a kestrel !

Thats the first time I have seen one in the wild up so close. You just never know what you might spot on a walk by the river. 🙂

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Thanks for dropping by. 🙂

Escape for Coffee…..and cocktails……..and cake!

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Today I had a rare week day off. The other half was away biking and Hugo was snoozing after a walk down the river. It was time for some Me time!  I met up with a friend who had the afternoon off too and we escaped for an hour to a new ‘Coffee and Cocktail ‘ bar in Clitheroe.

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Escape Coffee & Cocktails is situated at number ten Market Place in the centre of town. As you can see from the pictures it is done out in quite a rustic style, bricked walls and original beams. It has a different look from other bars in Clitheroe. We sat in the back room and ordered tea, coffee, cocktails and cake. 🙂

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For now the only food available is cake….which was fine by us. We sampled generous portions of Victoria Sponge and Red Velvet cake. Jo had a fruit tea and a glass of wine. I had an americano coffee and a cloudy apple gin cocktail. This came served in a teapot which was a quirky touch. Deliciously refreshing :).And seemingly never ending….so good value for money!

There is a very varied cocktail menu ( so i need to return soon! ) with cocktails costing from £7 each.  A two for One Happy Hour Mon-Wed , 5-7pm  sounds the ideal time. Coffees roasted by a company on the Yorkshire moors, tea from China, soft drinks, bottled beers and ciders and a good wine menu completes the selection of drinks on offer.

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Did I mention ‘Escape’ is a dog friendly bar. We met this very cute Border Terrier called Stan who was a very well behaved old gentleman. 🙂

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For a relaxing coffee or drink in the afternoon , we found it to be the perfect venue to while away a couple of hours. I can imagine it gets very busy at weekends ,so should have a pretty buzzing vibe in the evenings. And ladies there are the all important hair dryer and ghds in the powder room. Just in case!

A great addition to Clitheroe. 🙂

Park Life ~ April.

April in Clitheroe Castle’s grounds might just be my favourite time of year. So many planted flowers and shrubs are bursting with colour right now as well as luxurious carpets of celandines and forget me nots. You cannot fail to meet a squirrel on your stroll around the park. And melodic bird song accompanies you wherever you go. Enjoy the piccies.

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Celandines and dandelions.
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The Castle Keep.
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Beautiful blue skies and spring blossom.
This Coal tit looks like he is drowning in food.
This Coal tit looks like he is drowning in food.
Tulips and forget me nots.
Tulips and forget me nots.
The obligatory squirrel.
The obligatory squirrel.
Flowering Magnolia.
Flowering Magnolia.
Pied wagtail on the bowling green.
Pied wagtail on the bowling green.
A thrush with her breakfast.
A thrush with her breakfast.
Vivid blue forget me nots.
Vivid blue forget me nots.

I thought I would post these before the expected ‘April Showers’. Happy Friday. :0)

April ~ Photo an Hour.

On Sunday I took part in Photo an Hour on Instagram. Its a challenge Janey and Louisa organize every month and its a great chance to nosy at the everyday lives of others. I usually end up posting my pics on here too. Sunday happened to be a fresh but sunny spring day….and I spent quite a lot of it doing a stall at a craft fair with my friend Jo Jangles. 🙂


8am ~ Time for coffee and toast. Ignore the time on the coffee machine. It felt early…but it wasn’t that early!


9am ~ Here’s what I was wearing to the craft fair. I love my ‘Fun’ brooch which I bought from a very talented photographer who transforms her piccies into jewellery. The Fun is from a Fun Fair sign in Morecambe.


10am ~ All set up for the Craft Fair. Be prepared for more craft fair piccies.


11am ~ Here’s the view from our stall. Ballooon creatures!


12 Noon ~ A gorgeous vintage tea pot of Jo’s. I love the colour and the shape. I heart the mouse too. 🙂


1pm ~ I’m hanging out at my friends Chilli stall where I bought a chipotle chilli mix and there’s a pressie for Hugo too from the pet accessories stall. 🙂


2pm ~ Cake!!!!!!!


3pm ~ Already packed up and home. We were pleased with our sales and booked again for July. Plenty more time for making. Heres Hugo playing with his new toy.


4pm ~ Wil and I are out for a walk with Hugo. I love the fact that Spring is here and when the sun is shining, our English countryside is the best!


5pm ~ On the way home we spy a friend at his allotment and he gave us some rhubarb. I honestly did think about making a crumble……I will make it this week. 😉


6pm ~ Hugo is pooped from his walk.


7pm ~ Watching a dvd ( for the next two hours ) so no pic for 8pm. Tracks is the true story of a woman who crossed Australia on foot with four camels and a dog called Diggoty in the seventies. Great film but there was a bit of blubbing going on….by me. 😦 SPOILER ALerT ~ Never watch movies where the hero/heroine travels with a cute doggy, if you’re prone to cry babydom like me.


9pm ~ Watching Poldark. I love this new series but this episode was particularly depressing. I am also now worrying about Demelza’s cute dog…..


10pm ~ My last pic is my other fur baby Slinky who as you can see is looking very chilled here.

So there you have it! How was your Sunday??

I’m Home

This is a lovely blog to follow if anyone would like to add it to their reader feed. Kitty is a vintage loving, bicycle riding ( usually in a dress!) owner of a Cornish holiday park with a difference. Think showmans waggons and cute cabins. She’s new back on WordPress so give her a follow lovely people. 🙂

The Eagle and Other Things

Pink Flamingo

Hello there it’s been a while I know but I have decided to come home to this blog. I tried moving away and starting a new one but I missed you all and it felt a bit lonely over there.

I also found it quite stressful if the truth be told, I found myself worrying about the content far more than ever before. For some reason I started feeling stressed about the statistics and wether my posts were good enough. So I decided enough was enough, this blog was never meant to make me worried. In the past I have always enjoyed it and so I am back for the foreseeable future.

I don’t know why I did it I started to think my blog needed to do more and be more professional it doesn’t really does it it’s nice and friendly over here in the world of wordpress.com, I like…

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Mitton Hall Afternoon Tea.

It was my sisters birthday at the weekend , which made Sunday the perfect day to go out for Afternoon Tea. Our mutual friend Becky booked us a table at Mitton Hall , a beautiful 15th century country house hotel near Whalley in Lancashire. We are  so lucky to have such lovely places right on our doorstep. 🙂

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Our table was reserved in the restaurant area and as Spring had decided to take a holiday for the day, we were happy to be seated  near to a roaring  fire and the Birthday girl and Becky sank into a cozy sofa.

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The Afternoon Tea at Mitton Hall comes served on a grey slate three tiered cake stand, laden with goodies.  There were a variety of assorted finger sandwiches, four types of cake and cherry scones served with a delicious cherry preserve and clotted cream. We chose to drink tea and of course you are allowed to ask for refills. Don’t be shy.

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We couldn’t really find fault with our food, except the Lancashire cheese and pickle sandwich filling was more pickle than cheese. Overall though it was very tasty and great value for money at £15.50 per person. You can also order Champagne Afternoon tea which is £21 per person. However we decided to indulge in refreshing mocktails for a change. Becky enjoyed her ‘elderflower mojito’ and Yvonne and I chose to drink ‘pussyfoots’ made from pineapple,citrus and grenadine.

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Mitton Hall provided an elegant and relaxed setting and friendly unobtrusive service. We found it to be the perfect place for a birthday celebration. 🙂

The Bedtime TAG.

I’ve seen this tag on a couple of blogs recently so I thought I would give it a go. 🙂 I would say my favourite room in our little house is absolutely the bedroom.I love the colour scheme. Blues and whites are so relaxing.The cat thinks so too.:) Anyway here are the questions!

What are your favourite pajamas?

I bought some gorgeous Cath Kidston pj bottoms ( couldn’t afford the top lol ;0 ) in the sales recently. I love them. They match my cushion. See chair. 🙂

Current bedtime reading.

Spare Brides by Adele Parks. Four friends look for romance and/ or purpose in life after the ravages of the First World War.

What is on your bedside table?

A couple of books, a lamp, my mobile phone on charge and a Bodyshop sleepy face mask sample that I keep forgetting to use.

Favourite sleepy scent.

I love Lush Bath Bombs. I try and resist using them all at once and keep a few near the bed. I fall asleep enjoying the aroma of ‘Twilight’ and ‘Space Girl’.

What time is your usual bedtime and wake up time?

Wake up times go something like this. 4am ~ Slinky the cat wants her breakfast.She jumps all over us or if shut out scratches at the bedroom door,head butts it and mows constantly. 4-30am ~ Our black lab Hugo wants to go out for a pee then has breakfast. Animals all fed so try and get back to sleep. 5-30am ~ Hugo decides he wants some company so whines until one of us ( usually Wil) goes downstairs to see him. 6am ~ Give in and get up. Its a good job we love em hey. Bedtimes are getting earlier and earlier!

Top three bedtime products.

I wish I could tell you I make an effort with my before bed moisturising routine. I’m dreadful though and sometimes I even forget to slap any on my face. I do need to try out that Bodyshop face mask. Will sample it tonight!

Your most common sleeping position.

I am usually freezing to begin with…..but then it gets too warm. I try and find the coldest spot and turn my pillows over and over.

Any strange bedtime routines?

Not really. Though Wil and Slinky have a nightly thing where she has to bite his hand and attack his feet.

Are you big spoon or little spoon?

I can be both. 🙂

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I tag anyone who would like to do this post too. Look forward to reading them. 🙂

Rhubarb. :)

At the moment I am quite addicted to……….rhubarb. The tangy pink stalks can be turned into all sorts of captivating creations, including a mouthwatering recipe I found in The Simple Things magazine. Of course I completely cheated and instead of making the luscious looking rhubarb and ginger pavlova, I just made the topping and scooped it into a shop bought meringue nest with a generous dollop of whipped double cream. For the original recipe look Here. 🙂

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The topping involves rhubarb,honey,juice and zest of an orange, vanilla pods and star anise baked on a tray in the oven for 30 minutes. As you can imagine the aroma was gorgeous.

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I loved the tangy tart taste of the rhubarb offset by the added sweetness of honey and vanilla. The aniseed flavour of the star anise seems to go perfectly with it.

I recently came across a book that celebrates Northern food…and I admit that I didn’t even know that rhubarb was ( and still is) grown widely in West Yorkshire. According to the book the heavy clay soils and rainfall contribute to the area being the ideal place to grow the fruit. It thrives in the county , where the land is unsuitable for growing most other crops. The area is known as the Rhubarb Triangle.

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The book is called ‘From Eccles Cake to Hawkshead Wig’. If your interested Hawkshead Wig is a type of bread baked in the Cumbrian village. I can just see myself tucking the book under my arm as I galavant around the countryside trying out all the Northern England delicacies. 🙂

Anyhew, back to rhubarb!

Oooops the wrong rhubarb. ;))

My favourite beverage of the non alcoholic variety is Mr Fitzpatrick’s Rhubarb & Rosehip cordial. Seriously, I cannot get enough of this stuff.Its divine! Mr Fitzpatrick’s Temperance Bar in Rawtenstall, Lancashire is one of a very few Victorian temperance bars left in the whole country, its quirky vintage cordials such as Blood Tonic, Blackcurrant & Liquorice and Rhubarb & Rosehip hark back to a time when the movement sprang up to promote abstinence from the ‘demon drink’. Actually the rhubarb variety is very good with prosecco. 😉


What are your favourite rhubarb recipes?