Soul Cakes.

I made Soul Cakes! Ok actually myself and Wil made them. And the more perfect ones are those that Wil made. Not to worry! Find the recipe here.

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Soul cakes were traditionally made on ‘Hallows Eve’, ‘All saints Day’ and ‘All Souls Day’ and apparently children went ‘Souling’, asking for Soul cakes from house to house. The slight hint of mixed spice make them a subtly sweet treat for Halloween.

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Happy Halloween!

October Stuff.

October must have been the fastest month ever! Changing colours but not overly cool weather….just yet. This month I have been lucky enough to meet up with a few friends.:) Two Mummy friends and I have decided that sneaking out for a couple of cocktails once a month is going to be a thing! But for now here is some more of what I have enjoyed about October….

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Attention! This is a good Book!

Books ~ At the beginning of the year I challenged myself to read at least one book a month…..and I am doing ok with that! On my GoodReads bookshelf in October I have completed Meg Rosoff’s Dystopian novel How I Live Now about a   prickly fifteen year old who travels from NY to stay with her bohemian English Aunt and Countryside cousins. When War breaks out and the Aunt( a peace envoy) is stranded abroad ,the children are left to their own devices. A strange combination of the Famous Five meets I Am Legend ( without the Vampires !) this is a powerfully emotive coming of age tale.

I’m currently enjoying Attention All Shipping: A Journey Round The Shipping Forecast by Charlie Connelly which is basically one man’s attempt to visit all those bizarrely familiar names mentioned in Radio Four’s now iconic Shipping Forecast. To be honest I haven’t heard it since my childhood but somewhere in my distant memory I recall Dogger and Fitzroy and German Bite. Connelly proves to be an amusing guide digging up tons of quirky facts on his travels.

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Elementary My Dear Watson.

On the Box and Box Sets ~  Current faves this month. 🙂

Homes by the Sea. Channel 4. Lusting after beautiful homes on our stunning coastline.

The Big Bang Theory.E4.Our fave nerds are back after their mid season break.

River.BBC One.John River is a brilliant detective.He sees dead people.

Alexander Armstrong in the Land of the Midnight Sun.ITV. My fave game show presenter journeys halfway around the Arctic Circle and meets some extraordinary people along the way. And he gets to see the Northern Lights.Twice! Jealous much..

Downton Abbey.ITV. Hoping for so many Happy Endings in this last series. Hope there is still a Christmas Special.

Jekyll and Hyde.ITV.Only seen the first episode but already looking forward to how Robert Jekyll ( descendant of the original Dr Jekyll) manages the horrifying family curse.

Elementary. Season Two. I adore our Sherlock of course but the US version is a great show in its own right. I love that the characters are turned on their heads.A female Dr.Watson for example.

True Detective. Season One. Living up to expectations…though a little scary to watch for people like me, who cower behind cushions.

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Goodies from Scotland.

Foodie Penpals.  This month I sent some goodies to Anne in France.You can read her lovely post about what she got here. .Meanwhile I recieved the above asortment from Aimee in Scotland.:) She sent me some local delicacies including tablet ( fudge) and Selkirk Bannock ( fruit bread) as well as refreshing Tetley tropical flavoured green teabags, a very handy chicken curry mix and a box of yummy cheese biscuits. If you fancy joining in with the Foodie Fun next month head on over to thisisrocksalt.com  and sign up.:)

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Tweet Tweet.

Whalley Craft Fair. I haven’t quite got my teacup candle making mojo back yet but I do enjoy sharing a stall occasionally with the ever so talented Jo ofJo jangles bizzare bazaar .This lady has an eye for finding vintage treasures and she’s great at creating pretty bags and aprons from upcycled fabrics.Her sweet knitted robin looks perfect resting on an Ivy teacup candle don’t you think.:)

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The grounds of Brougham Hall.

Door Knockers and Afternoon Tea. Last weekend our friend B booked Afternoon tea at The inn On The Lake in Glenridding. True to its name this attractive hotel has stunning vistas of Ullswater, the Lake District’s second largest lake. Before that though we dropped in at Brougham Hall near Penrith. This restoration project is free to enter but donations are appreciated. The Hall is famous for its rather magnificent bronze  Door Knocker and its grounds are supposedly haunted by fighting soldiers. Beatrix Potter was a frequent visitor to Brougham ( her brother in law was rector here) and she gave a member of the Brougham family a signed copy of The Tale of Peter Rabbit.

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Knock Knock.

There is a cafe and several craft workshops in the grounds including Gwen Bainbridge Ceramics and I treated myself to a beautiful 1920’s style brooch like the ones below. 🙂

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Marvelous Miniatures.

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The Inn at the Lake.

Afterwards we headed to Glenridding and the banks of Ullswater for our Afternoon Tea.:) A celebration of sorts ( B’s hubby’s Birthday was earlier in the month and mines in November), the supburb selection of sandwiches,pies,dainty cakes and scones with jam and clotted cream came served on a three tier cake stand. There was so much to eat we had to take home doggy bags.Tea and coffee refills were plentiful too. 🙂 Maybe the best thing about this Afternoon Tea though is the gorgeous location. Served inside the Orangery Conservatory with breathtaking views of Ullswater, we spotted buzzards hovering over its calm waters as we ate.

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Tuck in. 🙂

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Evening falls over Ullswater.

Hope you had a great month, whatever you got up to…..:)

October Photo Scavenger Hunt.

It’s time for October’s Photo Scavenger Hunt again!  This month some pictures are from an afternoon out in Cumbria and others were taken a little closer to home. If you fancy looking at everyone else’s takes on the prompts head on over to Made With Love.image

Question ~  Which is the Witch??? Ha ha ha. My friend took this of myself and my charming companion in the pub at the weekend. 🙂

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Cream ~  A rather good Afternoon Tea which some friends and I enjoyed at ‘The Inn on the Lake’ on the shores of Ullswater in the Lake District. It includes the obligatory scone with jam and clotted cream of course. 🙂

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Number ~ A number of beer kegs in the grounds of Brougham Hall which we visited in Cumbria. The Hall near Penrith is currently being restored and the grounds contain several craft shops and the Eden Brewery.

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Lattice ~ The windows in this chapel in Brougham have attractive lattice work.

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Familiar ~  Hugo and I take this familiar route round Clitheroe Castle grounds quite often. 🙂

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Ring ~ I love this fantastic door knocker at Brougham Hall with the knocker ring threaded through the creature’s mouth. It is one of only four in the country.

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Today ~ Leaves carpet the grounds of Clitheroe Castle on Hugo’s walk this afternoon.

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Writing ~ Vintage wall signs outside the cafe at Brougham Hall.

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Down ~ Apples are squashed to a pulp and drop down to be pressed at Dove Syke Farm. Wil and I went there for a Cider Festival at the beginning of the month.

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Many ~ And here are just some of the Apples ready to be pressed and made into cider. 😉

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Broken ~ The ruins of Brougham Hall which are slowly being restored. The building is 700 years old.

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Whatever you want ~ A beautiful Rose still flowering in October.

Thanks for dropping by. You can find out more about Brougham Hall here. X

Cath Kidston does Cozy.

I love getting cozy , now the weather is getting that little bit colder. I also love the sparky bright colours that our lovely Cath Kidston is famous for. I’ve had a quick browse through the website and here are a few of my winter warming faves.

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Bramley sprig pjs £50.

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Robots Hot water Bottle £28.

ric rac lg cup and saucer 16
Wavy Teacup and Saucer £16.

woodland rose sheepskin mules 42
Woodland Rose sheepskin mules £42.

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Sausage Dog Draught Excluder £40.

ckbillie fluffy knitted £75
Billie fluffy knitted jumper £75.

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Penguin Bed Socks £8.

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Billie Gloves £28.

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Cloudy bed linen ~ Check it out in the Autumn Sale.

stripe knitted throw 75
Knitted stripe throw £75.

woodland pattened wellie socks 15
Woodland Wellie Socks £15.

Roll on Payday I say. 🙂

Photo an hour ~ October.

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9am ~ Had a bit of a lie in which was nice.Opened the curtains and this is my view! Love my pretty blue hydrangea.Hope i manage not to kill it!

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10am ~ We are out with the dog.He was a bit naughty this morning and reverted to selective deafness.

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11am ~ Sorting out some vintage crockery to take to Sunday’s craft fair.I have gotten a bit bored of making teacup candles..so thought i would have a bit of a Teacup Sale.

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Noon ~ The obligatory picture of my cat Slinky. No she never moves from our bed!

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1pm ~ Lunch out with Wil. Went to a cafe called Mansell’s in my home town of Clitheroe, which I haven’t been to in years. The food there is really good. I loved my sweet potato with pesto, tomato and mozarella cheese. 🙂

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2pm ~ And well I just had to have pudding! Ravishing raspberry frangipane. Divine.X

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3pm ~ Visited my god daughter and her baby. 🙂

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4pm ~ Crunching Autumn leaves.

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5pm ~ Back home and watching the end of 1950’s romantic comedy ‘Bell, Book and Candle’, which i started the day before. Here is our heroines feline familiar ‘Pyewacket’. Love that name!

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6pm ~ Here’s Hugo all cozy in his bed. 🙂

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7pm  ~ I’m writing a blog post about ‘Bell, Book and Candle’. Great film. I recommend it! Notice my other half washing up in the background. 😉

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8pm ~ My last picture. Sharing this lonesome bottle of cider and watching ‘ True Detectives.’

Photo an Hour is organized by Janey and Louisa every month. :))

Classic Chick Flick ~ Bell, Book and Candle.

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Look into my eyes.

Its that time of year when the nights are drawing in and there’s nothing more comforting than curling up with a hot chocolate ( or one of those spicy pumpkin lattes that I haven’t tried yet!) and a spooky rom com.  Bell, Book and Candle is a witchy tale set in modern day New York ( 1958 ) about a bored witch ( a sultry blonde Kim Novak) , her feline familiar ‘Pyewacket’ and the guy who moves into the flat upstairs.

The film starts with a festive snowy street scene. It’s Christmas Eve and lonesome witch Gillian is working in her African Art shop feeling in a bit of a rut. She spies her neighbor from the flat upstairs ,  Shepherd Henderson ( James Stewart) and ponders to her siamese cat Pyewacket, that he might be a rather nice Christmas present…..

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“Give me him for Christmas Pye.”

A chance meeting ( well, kind of 😉 ) and Gill learns that Shep is a publisher and he’s interested in publishing the next book by the author of a guide in her shop called ‘Magic in Mexico.’ He’s also engaged to be married.  Gill’s batty Aunt Queenie ( Elsa Lancaster) and bongo playing warlock brother Nicky ( Jack Lemmon) think he might be the ideal candidate to test her supernatural  powers on. But Gill doesn’t want to cast a love spell on Shep and bans her interfering relatives from making mischief.” It might be pleasant to be humdrum once in a while” she reflects.

Lightning strikes!
Lightning strikes!

After mentioning to Shep that she and Queenie were going out to a nightclub called the ‘Zodiac Club’ that evening ,he decides to take his fiancee there for a drink. It turns out his bride to be Merle went to boarding school with Gill and used to bully her and get her in trouble for walking around barefoot ( its a witch thing!)   so Gill sees red and beckons Nicky and the orchestra to gatecrash their table. To Merle their playing resembles a crashing thunderstorm. We find out that Merle is terrified of storms and she flees the club followed by a perplexed Shep.

Love the tree. :)
Love the tree. 🙂

Back at the flat Gill and her family exchange presents round the tree. Nicky’s present to Gill is a summoning charm. She decides to use it to lure the author of ‘Magic in Mexico’ to the shop. But it is Shepherd who turns up and witnesses the three gathered round a lurid green flame. Remarking that ,”It seems more like Halloween than Christmas round here” he is easily convinced by Gill that the fireworks were just a party trick. When the others leave Shepherd tells Gill that he and Merle have now planned to get married the following day. It is then that our witch decides to use her magic on him. Humming a tune to Pyewacket she casts a Love Spell that immediately makes the publisher fall in love with her.

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We next cut to the top of the Flatiron building ( in its time the tallest in NY)  where we see Gill and Shepherd locked in an embrace. Shep goes to break it off with a very disgruntled Merle and the two start to enjoy a magical courtship, doing the ordinary humdrum things that Gill has craved such as dinner and dancing, ice skating in Central Park and chilling in her flat. Meanwhile ‘Sidney Rednick’, the author of the Mexican magic book turns up at Shepherds office. He has an idea for a new book….about witches in New York.

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Convinced that New York is a haven for witches Sidney writes the book with the help of Nicky who has decided that he deserves a bit of recognition for being a warlock. Gill has accepted Shep’s marriage proposal even though she knows he is under her spell. But something has happened to our witch. Witches don’t cry. Witches don’t blush. When witches fall in love they lose their powers and their familiars leave them.  Pyewacket scarpers to go and live with Aunt Queenie. Is it possible that Gillian has fallen in love after all??

To see how the story ends….you really should rent the movie. Arnt I mean!  Go on , it’s the purrrfect spellbinding Halloween film. 🙂 .

Whats your favorite magical movie?

Apple Pressing Day.

Now my tipple of choice down the pub is cider. I’m not a lager or real ale fan  so when Dove Syke Cider in nearby West Bradford held their annual Apple Pressing Day , I dragged the other half to the mini Cider Festival they were holding to celebrate the event.

October is the time when all the apples are pressed to make the cider and that day Dove Syke is opened to the public. Everyone can help out by bringing their own apples to be pressed.:)

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Enthusiastic helpers sorting the apples. :)
Enthusiastic helpers sorting the apples. 🙂

Apples about to be squished.
Apple’s about to be squished.

The Apple Pressing Machine.
The Apple Pressing Machine.

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The pulp is pressed into cakes which isn't wasted. It is used as fertilizer and also goes to a nearby farm to feed the pigs.
The pulp is pressed into cakes which isn’t wasted. It is used as fertilizer and also goes to a nearby farm to feed the pigs.

The apple juice ferments until next spring when it is turned into cider.
The apple juice ferments until next spring when it is turned into cider.

Voila! Here's some cider. ;)
Voila! Here’s some cider. 😉

We certainly enjoyed the selection of ciders on offer at Dove Syke Farm . Think we tried them all!  Flavours we sampled included the original Ribble Valley Gold, Elderflower, Cranberry, Strawberry and Rhubarb. The hot mulled cider was delicious too. 😉

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Erm think we may have had one to many here!
Erm think we may have had one to many here!

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Camping was available. Maybe next time.....:)
Camping was available. Maybe next time…..:)

We only stayed through the afternoon. That cider is strong stuff! As we left the festival was getting busier and more local bands were getting ready to entertain folks. Food was being served too. The atmosphere reminded me of a friendly Lancashire hoedown. 🙂

Are you a cider drinker?

September Round up.

Books ~  I have been a bit rubbish in September about keeping to my challenge of reading one book a month. The nearest I have come to a completed read is dipping into Pamela Keogh’s self help guide What Would Audrey Do? Published in 2008, this is a modern day Self help book inspired by non other than the elegant and talented film Icon ‘Audrey Hepburn’ of course. If you want to live your life according to Audrey just peer into this pretty pink guide full of darling illustrations and think ‘Now what would Audrey do?’. According to the book Audrey loved the colour white, took an hour to dress for a date, let her dogs sit on the sofa ( Yay we have similarities ! ) , tried to swim without getting her hair wet,regularly travelled with 52 suitcases  and knew how to rock an LBD. I shall keep on reading. 🙂

On the Box and Box sets ~  I can tell  the evenings are drawing in by the amount of telly that i’m now watching! Thursday nights are becoming a fave as I drool over a-hem George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces. The guy is building a floating Beach Hut! Also I love the Beebs comedy hour on BBC2 on Thursdays 9-10pm.  Cradle to Grave ( the ups and downs of a family in the 70s) and Boy Meets Girl ( the even more ups and downs of an age gap/transgender romance) are both gently and lol funny. Love them both. And of course Sunday nights wouldn’t be the same without a healthy dose of Downton. I will be sad when it finishes forever. Sob.

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Boy Meets Girl.

I even found another box set to get hooked on.Black Sails is a rip roaring Pirates adventure ( with lots of guts, gore and raunch) and is set in the Golden Age of pirating.The show is a prequel to Treasure Island and features a certain John Silver as well as characters based on real life pirates such as Blackbeard and female Pirate Anne Bonney.Can’t wait for Season Three!

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Wellies ~ bolton abbey 003A day out at Bolton Abbey with friends and kids in leaky wellies ( Booo-hoo) made me realise I needed some new Rain boots pronto.I was Inspired to make a Wellie Wish List that helped me decide which ones to buy. So blogging does help with shopping decisions! If your interested I purchased the Sail boat boots from Brakeburn.

The Tour Came to Town ~ Back at the beginning of September ( seems such a long time ago now) the Tour Of britain cycle race sped through my local town…..twice! Just as exciting as spying Sir Wiggins and co was glimpsing white bicycles on Pendle and having the Castle Keep adorned with even more bicycles. 🙂

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All the fun of the Festival ~  And in September I enjoyed the sun , the sea and a Punch and Judy show at Vintage By The Sea in Morecambe and a bit of Yarn bombing at Yarndale wool Festival in the Dales. Here’s a few pictures below.

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Thanks for dropping by. 🙂