December Photo Scavenger Hunt

winter wonderland 020Joy ~ My two God daughters on a ride at Winter Wonderland earlier in the month. It was a bit of a horrible day to be totally honest, which involved getting lost,losing money,kids being sick and horrendous journey home in torrential rain and floods! However I think the girls did enjoy themselves.

Together ~ This was on Christmas Day morning and some of us got Together for a walk with the dogs in the park. We came across the deer statues looking all festive. The happy hounds here include two Bedlingtons,three labradors, a deer hound cross and a scottie. 🙂


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Tree ~ Love how the young fir trees on our walk today were so fresh and green.

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Ornament ~ Vintage ornaments on my Mum’s Christmas tree. 

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Light ~ After days of rain and local flooding it was lovely to see sunlight today on a walk up Longridge Fell.

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Christmas ~ Our Christmas morning included watching Hugo open his own presents and Slinky get ready to pounce on Hugo’s tail. 🙂

Sparkle ~  This otter in Brungerley Park got a bit of  sparkle. 🙂

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Giving ~ I participated in a Christmas Gift Swap and I have lost the picture of what i was giving  so here is a picture of some lovely homemade gingerbread heart cookies I received instead.



Food ~ Food  on Boxing Day night meant cheese and biscuits. 🙂

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Red ~ Robin Red breast on our walk today.

Kitchen  ~ Hanging up in the Kitchen, labrador oven gloves which I got for Christmas.

Whatever you want ~ Hugo in a Santa hat…..for about ten seconds!

Thanks for dropping by. These pictures are for the December Photo Scavenger Hunt organized by Green Thumb over at Made With Love. 🙂

All I Want For Christmas Book Tag.

I saw this fun Christmas Tag over at The Little Contemporary Corner  and thought I would have a go. I tag anyone who wants to join in with the fun.:)

Which fictional character would you like Santa to leave under your Christmas Tree?  The Mad Hatter from Alice In Wonderland.He knows how to throw a good Tea Party. 🙂

Which character would you like to kiss under the mistletoe?  The viking vampire Eric Northman from the Southern Vampire mysteries by Charlaine Harris. 😉


What are the top five books on your Christmas list for Santa?  A few books I would like to find in my stocking include the Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, Almost famous women stories by Megan Mayhew Bergman,Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt,  The Cat by Colette and Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights.

It’s Secret Santa at Hogworts, what would you most like to receive?  The Invisibility Cloak of course.

You get to spend the day with the characters and movie adaptation actors from one fandom, what do you pick?  I would choose the stars of Bridget Jones diary ( I fancied myself as a Ms Jones in my single days and loved the book) , we could have the blue soup dinner party at Bridgets flat. 🙂

What fictional animal would you like to replace Rudolph and be able to meet on the roof?   Aslan from ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’.



You invite 10 fictional characters to your new year eve party, who do you pick? 

. Holly Golightly ( Breakfast at Tiffany’s).

.Dorian Grey ( The Picture of Dorian Grey).

.Cheshire Cat ( Alice in Wonderland).

.Ebeneezer Scrooge ( A Christmas Carol) after he finds he does actually love everyone.

.Miss Havisham ( Great Expectations).

.Mr Darcy ( Pride and Prejudice).

.Bridget Jones ( Bridget Jones Diary).

.Edward Cullen ( twilight).

.Hermione Granger ( Harry Potter books).

.Mary Poppins.

What character would make a good Santa ?  Ebeneezer Scrooge!

Merry Christmas!

A Festive Drink and Draw.

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Drink  &  Draw  is Blackburn’s first alternative drawing class , held every month in various locations in the town.  I heard about it through a work mate and thought it would be a fun evening out!  December’s class promised to be packed full of  festive fun so four of us headed over to the lovely Liz N Lil’s  cafe bar on Northgate with our sketch books for this month’s decorative doodles. 🙂

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If you are  admiring our rather dodgy jumpers and cardis, the theme was ‘Terrible Knitwear’, although I think we all look quite fetching actually. 😉

We all wondered who or what we would be drawing!  Each month a different dancer/performer/act models for the class. Previous models include a fire eater, a pole dancer and a burlesque dancer. It turned out we would be immortalising this lovely glitzy angel onto paper…..

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Isn’t he stunning!  A cross between an Abba Angel and Disco Jesus? Our model struck many a pose throughout the session. Sometimes we were given one minute to draw him and other times ten.Things were mixed up a bit with fun competitions and attempts to sketch  left handed instead of right handed or vice versa. As you can see , some of us were better at this arty stuff than others. 😉

You don’t need any drawing experience to enjoy the evening ( Yup i’m talking about myself! ) and I think it would be something I would try again. Liz N lil’s is only one of the fab venues around Blackburn that have been used by Drink and Draw. Old churches, museums and even a barge have hosted the evening in the past. If you want to check out future events here is their facebook page.

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Happy doodling!

Sea Air ~ Staithes.

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Staithes with its hotchpotch of higgeldy-piggledy cottages, colourful roofscapes and quaint fishing harbor is one of the most charming settlements on the Yorkshire coast. Even on a cold blustery day in November the village has a magical aura about it.

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We ambled round the cobbled streets and took in the gorgeous vistas which have attracted numerous artists to the area. Indeed Staithes is sometimes known as ‘The St Ives of the North’ such is its inspiration to various painters and sculpturers. Staithes is steeped in history too. As a lad,farmer’s  son James Cook ( later to become Captain James Cook!) lived and worked here briefly. Staithes must have been his introduction to the sea…

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I was thrilled to discover a really cute little tea room/vintage shop on the High Street. In Dotty’s the tables are adorned with  pretty table cloths,the ceiling is brimming with oversized lampshades and delicious homemade cheese and chutney scones are served on mismatched vintage crockery. A little piece of heaven. Even Hugo was treated to a selection of dog biscuits on a china saucer. 🙂

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The shop is packed full of vintage treasures and curios. Its a lovely place to browse. Dotty’s has even started renting two B&B rooms. Maybe i should hint to the other half for next year’s birthday!

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Most of the gift shops and the gallery were closed on our visit but it was still fun to enjoy the Yorkshire Sea Air and a pint in the Cod and Lobster. Speaking of Lobsters, there’s something about Staithes that makes you want to sing a certain B52’s song. ;0)

See you soon.






Foodie Penpal Parcels ~ November.

Here’s a quick catch up post about my foodie penpal parcels in November. My recipipitant Amy who blogs at Sprouts and Flip Flops   wanted some healthy snack type foods so I sent her the bits and bobs in the above picture. I tried to pick some low fat items such as the seed and nut shots, the wasabi green peas and the naked ginger bread bar. She also enjoys cooking so hopefully the mixed sweet spice ,fruit factory fruit stars and the Mar fish seasoning went down well too.

Meanwhile I too received a parcel from  Claire. She blogs at Clairey fairys cooking blog. I must say opening Claire’s parcel was like a mini Christmas celebration!


I had mentioned my sweet tooth to Claire and all these scrumptious sweet treats tumbled out of the box. What I loved most about what she sent me was  her sense of fun really shines through. 🙂


A chocolate mug brownie cake mix ( soz Claire it kind of deflated, my fault I think), movie popcorn, salted caramel cashew brittle, chocolate dusted truffles,a triangle toblerone,miniature preserves,melt in the mouth shortbread etc etc


There was even Christmasy shaped pasta….which went down very well indeed.

If you fancy joining in ( the next Foodie Parcel Swap is in January) bob along to






Sea Air ~ Robin Hoods Bay.

So continuing my exploration of the Yorkshire Coast.  Robin Hoods Bay is five miles south of Whitby. Houses tumble down the cliffs and the sound of Sea Gulls  punchuate the peace on a Wednesday afternoon in November. We decide on a brisk walk on the beach, a wander round the village and a strong black coffee in a tiny tea room called Tea, Toast and Post.

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This picturesque  fishing village  was once the busiest smuggling community on the Yorkshire Coast. In the Eighteenth Century the Bay’s women folk were apparently known to have thrown  scorching water over excise men from their bedroom windows in the narrow cobbled alleyways. Visitors today are more likely to be donning walking boots than catching smugglers. The ‘Cleveland Way’ and the ‘Coast to Coast’ pass through the village.

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It is not clear about why the settlement is called ‘Robin Hood’s Bay’ as there is no evidence to suggest that Robin and his band of merry men ever resided here. More likely the name came from local legends. An ancient forest sprite was also called Robin hood , so maybe the name does derive from forest folklore.

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We enjoy walking on the beach. Hugo finds a friend!  The coastline here is full of wildlife. It is a wee bit to cold to linger round the rock pools ( should have worn my new winter coat!) or hunt for fossils. We need to return someday and scour the sand for fossilized monkey puzzle tree….or Whitby Jet to you and me.

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Thank goodness for this cute little cafe , Tea, Toast and Post which proves a great little place for a snack. Like its name suggests, hot and cold drinks,toasties and a host of pillar box paraphernalia. Hugo is even given a couple of  biscuits by the friendly owner.

Thanks for joining me on my whistle stop tour of the Yorkshire coast.

What is your favorite seaside destination?




Laundry and Liquor.

On Saturday a merry band of five of us hopped on the train to Manchester , with the intention of braving the Christmas markets and going for a few cheeky drinks. Well it rained.And it rained a lot!  So the markets sort of took a back seat ( apart from a quick mug of warming gluhwein and a hog roast buttie) and the cheeky drinks commenced! Happily we had booked a slot at a secretishhhh Cocktail Bar in the Northern Quarter. Its called The Wash House. And its entrance is disguised as a Laundrette…



The mock laundrette comes complete with washing machines, a tumble dryer full of smalls and an old fashioned rotary dial phone. The phone is there to let the staff know you have arrived ( or want to pick up your service wash 🙂 ), and you are then buzzed through a washing machine door…… into a different world entirely.

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My photos are going to be a wee bit dark but The Wash House  has that rather illicit speekeasy vibe.  We were ushered to our booth by a friendly waitress and presented with menus packed full of cocktail choices. There were so many to choose from, it was hard to decide. But we did ok!

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Top Shelf Sour ~ Mancunian does Marrakech.
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Flump it Up. Rum based with chocolate liquor and marshmallow foam.
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The girls enjoyed their Let Them Eat Cakes complete with mini battenbergs.:)
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Plum Satay.
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Fifty Shades comes complete with a rose and cheeky handcuffs. 😉
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Matsuri Old Fashioned.

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As well as cocktails you can also order bottles of wine,champagne,spirits ,beers and soft drinks. In our allotted hour and a half we managed two cocktails each and the boys enjoyed a beer too. It was great to have table service though this was reflected in the bill! But hey we were out in the Big Smoke. And to us that’s a Special Occasion. 🙂

Remember its advisable to book. I can whisper you the telephone number, if you can’t find it….