Not as expected, Sunday.

Have you ever planned a day out and it hasn’t turned out how you expected?  Today was a bit like that, well a lot like that to be honest !  Happily in the end things panned out ok. We started off by heading over to Hardcastle Crags in Yorkshire.

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Gibson Mill.

We parked on the National Trust Car Park  and walked to Gibson  Mill  , a beautiful 19th century textile Mill which is now a completely self sufficient museum,visitor centre and cafe.

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There were stepping stones over the river. As I gingerly hopped from stone to stone, Hugo sped by and nearly sent me a cropper!



The Weaving Shed Cafe opened at 11am ,  we were just in time for coffee and cake. It was quite chilly , so we were happy that we could sit inside with Hugo. 🙂

So far, so good. Our next planned stop was the quirky town of Hebden Bridge. Its great for independent shops,pubs and cafes. Theres something for everyone there, the town has a hippy,artisan,eclectic vibe. Unfortunately our history of actually getting to Hebden is not good. Like a modern day Brigadoon, our sat nav has previously either got us there eventually, or not at all.

Today we bizarrely managed to totally bypass it altogether and ended up in nearby Todmorden before we realised what was happening. We had actually  been congratulating ourselves that we were not in the ‘ millipede of cars’ going the opposite way,when it dawned on us that, that was the way we should have been going. Doh!

So change of plan!  I suggested we head to Gawthorpe Hall in Padiham ,  which is another NT property in our home county of Lancashire. We got there ok but at 12.30pm on a Sunday in July, the quite frankly too tiny carpark was full to bursting. 😦 Feeling frustrated we gave up and pointed the car in the direction of home.

This weekend is actually the anniversary of when Wil and I got together 11 years ago!  So instead of a celebratory day out like we had planned , we accepted that we should just hang out in our home town. Things immediately got better from then on. 🙂

Clitheroe Castle

We enjoyed a gorgeous lunch at The Atrium at Clitheroe Castle.

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Hot Chocolate 🙂

Then headed for a pint at our fave local , The New Inn.

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And after had cocktails…….and a giant pink meringue in Escape Coffee & Cocktails in the town centre. 🙂

One should always devour a meringue with one’s cocktail. 😉

So Sunday didn’t turn out quite as we planned. But it wasn’t bad in the end!  Where is your Brigadoon?? Or do you have more luck than us!

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Photo An Hour Sat July 23rd.

Well its been a while since I joined in with Janey’s

  and Louisa’s

#photoanhour challenge. This Saturday just gone was their chosen day.I posted a photo of what I was doing  on the hour every hour ,along with a few other folk on Instagram. Fancy seeing 12 or so random pics of my day………

8am. Breakfast today was a black coffee and a  yogurt.

9am.Out with Hugo.We are in the grounds of Clitheroe Castle. Amazingly we had the keep to ourselves for a bit. Then bumped into a personal trainer working her client really hard.Although she (the client) begged us to rescue her,think she was joking.I hope.;)

10am. Looking for a Birthday present for my soon to be 6 year old niece.Finally decided on this butterfly dress,a book of childrens classics ( she is an amazing reader!) and another butterfly inspired gift.

11am. No shopping trip is complete without tea and cake ,especially from my home towns Alice inspired Vintage Tea Room ‘Callooh! Callay’. I like to come here for a Raspberry Almond slice and a pot  of ‘Were All Mad Here’ fruit tea. All served in mismatched vintage china.:)

Noon. Checking the jungle of nasturtiums in my back yard for flowers. Found one! 🙂

1pm.  I’m out with Hugo again,this time down the fields. My other half is working until five,but a few games of ‘chasing stones’ in the brook ,stops Hugo missing him.:)

2pm. Oh heck I’m at ‘Bowland Beer Hall in Holmes Mill ‘ yet again! Met a couple of friends for a quick lunch.This place is to handy as it is incredibly local to where I live. Here’s my fish finger butty.

3pm. Spending more time in the back yard with the pets ,before I go babysittin g for a friend.

4pm. Walking up to said friends house. I’m stopping over so packed a bag.

5pm.Took my charges up the Castle. We are checking out the view from the Keep. Clitheroe Castle is said to be the second smallest castle keep in England. We still get a good view from the top though.:)

6pm. Wil joined us up the Castle, then we took the boys to the park. Much fun was had on the swings,slide and roundabout.:)

7pm.Pizza in oven and train track built!

8pm. Goosebumps dvd presently being watched. The boys have conned me into getting some sweeties out of the cupboard. 😉

10pm.Two Hours later and kids in bed.Time to relax,put my feet up and enjoy a glass of wine.This babysitting lark is sooo exhausting!

Blog Birthday Giveaway……Revealed. :)

It’s time to pick the winner of my Blog Birthday Giveaway!  

Up for grabs is a delightful ceramic seahorse tag made by the lovely Lisa at Tile Productions

  and my recently read copy of a book I enjoyed called ‘A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding’ , set  in Japan before and after World War 2.

Thank you so much for all your lovely blog birthday greetings and comments. I really appreciate them.♡♡

I wrote down the names of everyone who commented and placed them in a teacup. I gave it a good shake and looked round for someone to do the honors. Yep I had to ask the other half!

And the winner is………….

It is you Julie W. I will be in touch!!

Thanks again everybody. I have enjoyed reading all your blogging comments. :))

Sunday Sevens 24th July.

Sunday Sevens is here once again. I’m joining in with Natalie at Threads & Bobbins whose fab idea of posting 7 piccies of her personal week, has really caught on in the blogging world. 🙂

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I’ve made a little bit of progress with my 25 Before 45 Bucket List this past week. Finally used my picnic basket and went on a ‘proper Picnic’,with it, a ton of yummy food ( sadly not homemade though) and a copy of Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee. Unfortunately it was last Tuesday that we decided on a picnic tea….and it was scorching hot, even at 6pm. It was to uncomfortable to read plus Hugo got his paws on the Sainsbury’s lemon cake I bought !  Plenty more time for picnics this summer though, hopefully. 🙂

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Another activity I’ve crossed off my Bucket List this week is Llama Trekking in the Lakes. Last Sunday myself and some of my family met up at Brougham, near Penrith in Cumbria, and took a herd of llamas out on a countryside trail. It was a lovely experience. No Llama Dramas! You can read my Llama Trekking in the Lakes. 🙂 post here. 🙂

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How do you like my new bag?? I got it in the Orla Kiely Sale. I think it says ‘Crazy Cat Lady’ ,in a subtle way…….

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Hugo is officially a magazine star ! A couple of months ago we went camping in the Yorkshire Dales and I happened to take this photo of Hugo curled up on the camp bed with his  my favourite magazine. I put it on Twitter , and here he is, looking all nonchalant in the August edition.

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Babysitting these two cheeky chappies happened this weekend. Happily all went well. The sunshine, Castle park and the Goosebumps movie on dvd proved suitable entertainment. 🙂

And today Wil and I met up with my sister and family again in the nearby village of Downham. My sister and I went to the village school here, many moons ago 😉 Downham Hall was holding an Open Gardens day for charity. So it was nice to look round the grounds as they are rarely open to the public. Oh and I bought a Bob’s Knoblets Lancashire Cheese!

Thanks for dropping by…..x

 

 

 

 

 

Llama Trekking in the Lakes. :)

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llama Trekkers. Photo Y Allison.

Llamas are very sociable animals. Llamas can live until their early thirties. Llamas hum when they are happy. 🙂 These are a few of the things we learned about these very interesting, gentle ( and friendly) creatures on a Llama Trek in The Lake District. Lakeland Llama Treks near Penrith in the scenic Eden Valley is a family business, with our hosts Mary and Graham running the trekking side, and other family members looking after the colourful and quirky Llama Karma Kafe. As Llama trekking has been on my Bucket List for a while now, I decided to commandeer the rest of my family in joining me for a’ countryside trail’ in the glorious sunshine on Sunday. 🙂

Seven of us ( 5 adults,2 kids) assembled at the Llama Karma Kafe at 11am.  We were joined by another family of three, so there would be ten of us on the trek altogether. Five llamas were loaded into a specially adapted horsebox and we followed Mary and Graham a few minutes down the A66 , parking on a small carpark just off a country lane, where we would start our trek. We were then given a little talk about the llamas and put into pairs. Each pair was then introduced to their llama companion for the walk.

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I paired up with my five year old niece imogen and our llama was this little chap called ‘Cuba’. As you can see we are leading Cuba with a double lead, one of us at either side of him.

Llamas come in all shapes and sizes. Cuba was definitely the shortest of our llama friends that day. He suited Imogen and I , being that we are shorties ourselves. 🙂 The funny thing was, he really liked to lower himself down to our level. When I asked Wil to have a hold for a minute, Cuba stretched himself up as tall as he could!

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We walked through the fields and along the river, stopping to admire a secluded 17th century church. There were plenty of photo opportunities.

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Mary and Graham and our other guide ( I totally forgot to ask her name! ) were very knowledgeable about the llamas and the local history of the area too. When I had told friends, that I was going on a llama trek, their reactions ranged from ‘What your riding llamas ?’ to ‘Be careful of them spitting at you!’ but our guides explained these common misconceptions. Firstly, you can’t really ride llamas. Llamas are strong enough to carry all sorts of things. Originally from South America these placid creatures have been domesticated and used as pack animals by native peoples for centuries. They have longer backs than horses , so weight has to be evenly distributed. Overloaded llamas will just sit down on the ground. A human’s weight all in one spot, would not a happy llama make.

And yes llamas do spit. But only when feeling threatened. If they are used to people like these guys then they will rarely spit at a human being. However they may possibly spit at each other . Females will spit at a male who is making advances she doesn’t want and llama’s may spit at each other when in competition over food. For this reason ( and just the excitement of being together) the llamas are usually sent on treks in single sex groups. We had the company of the lads. Happily the only noise they made was a gentle happy humming as we ambled along through the gorgeous Eden Valley scenery. Llamas don’t spook easily either. As we walked back single file through a meadow several young pheasants flew up out of the grass. Apart from an inquisitive glance beforehand , the llamas didn’t bat an eyelid.

 

Our countryside trail trek lasted about an hour and a half and included refreshments at the end in the cafe. Situated at the side of the A66 the Llama Karma Kafe can get quite busy with passers by. We managed to get a seat outside the back where there is a mini menagerie of animals including a giant rabbit, a parrot and a couple of tiny cute marmoset.

The cafe itself is bright and quirky with a peruvian influence. There is also a gift shop so we were sure to buy some souvenirs of our trip. 🙂 We each got a certificate for participating too.

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I would definitely recommend Lakeland Llama Treks as a fun experience for all the family, or as a birthday treat or even for a Hen Party. Our guides were friendly and informative and the llamas were incredibly sweet, inquisitive and and a little bit mischievous. Most of all, I think they liked us as much as we liked them. 🙂

The Countryside Llama Trek is £35 per person and includes an easy walking off road trail, beautiful scenery, interesting knowledgeable guides, refreshments at the kafe ( drinks and cakes) and a fun certificate. Suitable for all ages and walking abilities.

 

 

Happy 4th Blog Birthday Give Away.:)

Well folks its that time of year again.My blog has been out there in the virtual world for yet another year.Thats four years! Pretty impressive hey.  🙂 I guess Sunshine & celandines  is mostly a slice  of my life for me to look back on.But I have to admit it’s nice to know that occasionally somebody somewhere might visit my little corner of the bloggersphere.:) 

What do I love about blogging?  Well I do love telling everyone and their aunty about any new great places I discover. I feel compelled to actually! I  enjoy taking photos too, though in a haphazard point and press type of way. So this blog is really my great indulgence.I’m still finding it to be lots of fun. I don’t think I can quite help….. being a blogger.:)

My Blogging Birthday Tradition is to host a wee giveaway every July to celebrate another happy 12 months of blogging.Yay! As I sit outside in the sunshine (oh so appropriate) sipping fruit tea, watching Slinky the cat prowl about my nasturtiums, I’m thinking,yep it feels great to be wishing myself a very happy blogging birthday.:)

To recieve a read copy of Jackie Copleton’s gripping & beautiful  novel set in war torn Japan ‘A dictionary of Mutual Understanding ‘and a pretty blue ceramic seahorse tag from my friends Etsy Shop please comment below.

What do you like about being a blogger?

And if you are not a blogger ,could you ever be tempted ?

I will put all entries into a teacup and choose one at random on Monday 25th of July.ps I will send abroad so don’t be put off if you are not in the UK. 🙂

Good luck.:)

 

Sunday Sevens 17 July.

So heres a quick round up of my week in the form of a Sunday Sevens post ,which was thought up by Natalie who blogs at Threads & Bobbins

 

1. Last Sunday’s breakfast was a Giant Warbutons Crumpet. It was very filling…and twice the size of a usual crumpet. I was recommended that eating it with an egg is a must…but I’m not an egg fan.So I made do with butter and a black coffee in my Alice mug.

2 & 3. Sunday’s make for great Wedding days.And I was honored to be invited to an ex work collegues evening reception at Mitton Hall with the lovely Amy and Amiee.And the bride and groom looked stunning of course…and very happy.:)

4. Whist the newly weds were enjoying the ceremony,Wil and I were  tent shopping.Our last camping trip proved on the first night ,that our tent is no longer waterproof.:( But we have had a lot of weekends away out of it.Time for a new tent.But which one to pick??  

5. The nasturtiums in my back yard that I planted from seeds  have gone seriously crazy, covering the entire flower bed.This is a picture of them AFTER I gave them a good trim back. Looking forward to them flowering though.

6. My pets are looking like they are up to no good here. Wonder what they are plotting!

7. I could have taken yet another photo in Bowland Beer Hall this weekend ,but I will leave you with a strawberry milkshake in Callooh! Callay! Instead. Bobbed in here whilst doing a few errands in town today,before meeting some good pals in the Beer Hall. 

Hope you have had a good week and enjoy the rest of the weekend. 🙂

Spotted in Grange-over-sands.

Whilst camping in nearby Silverdale , we visited one of my favourite Seaside towns, the charming resort of Grange-Over-Sands. Grange is situated on the southern tip of the Cartmel peninsula and looks out over Morecambe Bay. Salt Marsh meadows reach out towards the sea and mountains rise majestically on the horizon. The town itself was built in 1894 and retains an Edwardian feel. It’s a quiet less touristy area of the Lake District, yet is only 7 miles  from Windermere. Here are a few things I spotted on our visit. 🙂

Stripey Geese. Grange has some attractive Ornamental Gardens that feature a large pond , where quite an array of water birds from all over the world  reside. My favourites are these Bar Headed Geese with their striking black and white markings. They are apparently one of the world’s highest flying birds , their winter migration from Central Asia to South Asia being one of the most arduous routes ever. But I think these handsome guys just enjoy hanging out in lovely Grange-Over-Sands.

Look!  A Lido!  The town has a Lido. Unfortunately it seems to have been abandoned . 😦  Obviously I couldn’t really get any great photographs without breaking and entering, so I just had to peer through the wire fence. The lido was built in the 1930s and has amazing views over the bay. Wouldn’t it be great if it could be restored to it’s former glory!  Here’s an article I found with some better pictures. 12 Abandoned Lidos. I have ‘swimming in a Lido’ on my Bucket List  . Maybe this could be the one.:)

Promenade Colours.  Grange-over-sands pretty prom is  charmingly colourful,due to its glorious promenade gardens. There’s nothing quite as lovely as eyeing  beautiful blooms on one side of you and sea views on the other,as you amble along the Promenade. I especially liked the stunning pink flowers of the ‘Valerian’ a coastal garden escape,with a name straight from a ‘Game of Thrones episode’.;)

Wildlife House. We spotted this very elaborate home for wildlife just across from the train station in Grange. It seems to provide shelter for just about every insect and bug going and at the bottom there is even a room for a hedgehog. Not sure who was in residence. I liked the wooden butterfly. 🙂

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Giant Plastic Windmills.  I love love love colourful plastic windmills. So I was delighted in a jumping up and down kind of way, when I spied these beauties outside ‘the Curiosity Shop’ on the Main Street. Of course I had to buy one.I’ve planted the polka dot blue windmill in my garden.So much easier to look after than flowers.;)

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Tea Tree. The Hazelmere  cafe,shop & bakery on Yewbarrow Terrace is definitely worth a visit, if only to purchase some delicious homemade bread or maybe a tea related gift, of which there is an abundant selection. I loved this Tree of tea!  I bought an elegant tea strainer and some rosebud tea from here for my June Foodie Penpal. Foodie Penpals has officially stopped now but if any readers ever fancy doing a food parcel swap, let me know. 🙂

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Grange-over-sands , I’m sure has plenty more surprises up its genteel Edwardian sleeve. Why not visit next time you are on the Cumbrian coast….

 

Bowland Beer Hall ~ Clitheroe.

So what is a girl to do when a new bar opens, literally yards away from her house. Frequent it enthusiastically of course!  Three days on the trot. 🙂

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Dining area next to the Brewery.

The sympathetic restoration of a former textile mill in Clitheroe has been speeding ahead. Lots quicker than anyone would have thought possible, Bowland Beer Hall inside Holmes Mill, opened it’s doors this weekend.  Bowland Brewery have been busy brewing their ales on site over the last twelve months or so. I’ve often smelt the hops when I’ve nipped home from work in the week. But now the brewery has a more than suitable home to showcase its full range of Bowland Beers, as well as a huge number of guest ales. There are in fact 42 hand pulled cask ales on tap!

The Beer Hall houses what could be Britain’s longest continuous bar. It is thought to be a  tad longer than the 104ft and three inches ‘Horseshoe Bar’ in Glasgow. Die hard ale fans can buy Circumnavigation Tickets and work their way round Clitheroe’s bar. If you are not a real ale fan, don’t worry , there are plenty of wines, spirits and ciders on offer. I was keen to try a medium fruity cider called ‘ Lily The Pink’. 🙂

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Opening night outside.

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If amazing original features are what you are after, then Bowland Beer Hall has them in abundance. Many of Holmes Mill’s industrial fixtures and fittings have been retained or incorporated into the interior.

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The red telephone box was actually used a as a means of communication on the spinning room floor. It was quite a surprise to see it inside by the entrance. 🙂 The ‘Piece des resistance’ of original features though , has to be the HUGE steam engine. You cannot miss it!

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I looked up the engine here  and it is apparently a Blackburn- built Clayton, Goodfellow & Co. Ltd horizontal cross-compound type Nos 544-5 built in 1910. There you go!  A Friday night drinker ( who may or may not have been circumnavigating the bar) claims the engine’s name is Elizabeth. She is certainly handsome.  I could not help but imagine this part of the mill, to be the perfect venue for a steampunk gathering or photo shoot. What do you think?

Despite bobbing in Opening night ( Thursday) out of curiosity , and then last night as part of a ‘proper night out’ 😉 , we couldn’t resist but try out the menu for lunch today. Here’s what you can nosh with your beer.

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Wil ordered the Moules & Frites ( mussels and chips) and I decided to try one of the veggie dishes , the Mac ‘N’ Cheese Burger.

Our food came out in durable but bang on trend enamel ware and was beautifully presented. Wil said his mussels were sublime and after tasting one, I agreed, they were juicy, tender and sweet. The Mac N Cheese Burger was perfectly adequate. I do think the menu could do with a few more vegetarian options.

So Bowland Beer Hall is only one of the businesses that will reside in Holmes Mill. A Bakery, Pop-Up-Cinema, Ice cream Parlor, Food Hall, Deli, Gym, Pool, Spa and Boutique Hotel are all planned in phases with 2018 as a final completion date. Watch this Space!