Sunday Sevens 31st December.

Here I am back again with the last Sunday Sevens of the year. Cannot quite believe how incredibly quickly 2017 has gone. Here are 7 photos from the last 7 days of December. 🌲

1. Christmas Morning ( beween present opening and lunch! ) a walk with friends and hounds, with a couple of kids thrown in for good measure. Our  friend Fi organizes this every year, so it has fast become tradition for anyone who is available to meet up. The location is always Brungerly Park which is home to the  ‘ Ribble Valley Sculpture Trail’ and we always have a standard photo taken by the festively decorated Sikka Deer sculptures. I think Hugo is in there somewhere,  hiding behind Sophie the deer hound. πŸ•

2. Another yearly Xmas Tradition found me joining in with Janet’s Thrifty Christmas Gift Swap. I always love hunting for gifts from craft fairs and charity shops  to send to my recipient, usually another blogger or instagrammer ( is that a word? ) that Janet matches me up with. This year I had to send to Janet herself and I found a few bits and bobs that I hope she likes. These included a Virginia Wolf book, a snowflake tree decoration, a small bottle of toffee vodka and a bundle of pretty fabrics , as I know she is a dab hand with a sewing machine. Sadly I forgot to take any pics but below is the lovely gift stash I got from Hanna , who lives in Washington DC. 🎁 I especially like the frosted fir scented candle and the plush pink mushroom tree decoration. Thanks Hanna. X

3. Hugo loved opening his presents. If he didn’t have his own, he would definitely be trying to open ours. 😁

4. Yet another Christmas Tradition!  When visiting Mum over the festive period ,the whole family gets together for a photo. My brother sets up the camera, then we have 10 seconds to scrabble into position. We basically have the same photo every year, with slight variations. In 2017 Mum is looking startled, Brother in law’s head is almost obscured by a light bulb, my Step Dad has his trouser buttons undone and Hugo is showing us his butt. Ho Ho Ho. 😁

5. My most favourite Christmas Tipple this year has been rhubarb & ginger liqueur from the Edinburgh Gin Distillery served with ice and ginger ale. Bottoms up! 🍸 

6. Well we have booked a holiday! Can you guess where we are going next Summer? Clue ~ rather remote and hopefully we shall see Sea Eagles and Corncrakes, white sandy beaches and crofters cottages. 😊 In fact we shall be staying in the crofters cottage above! 

7. I shall end this post and this year with a piccie of Miss Slinky enjoying her latest comfy spot on the sofa. πŸ™‚

See you in 2018. Enjoy whatever celebrating you do tonight. X

Advertisements

2017 in Photos. X

As it is now a yearly tradition of mine to post a quick photo round-up of the year, I thought I had better get cracking with this 2017 post. I definitely have no regrets about 2017. It has been pretty fantastic with lots of short trips away, days out and fun times with family and friends.  πŸ™‚

keswick jan 093
Derwent Water. Spot the Photo Bomber.

January.  We celebrated Wil’s Birthday with a weekend break in  his favourite Lake District town  Keswick.

Mostly this consisted of walks by beautiful Derwent Water and of course frequenting Keswick’s many watering holes. πŸ™‚

20171223_1745562097832273.jpg
Speaking of  Watering Holes !

February.  February’s  fun included a Galentine’s  Cocktail Making Masterclass🍸

at  Escape Coffee & Cocktails in Clitheroe and Hugo got to visit Millie & Ruby’s Dog Bakery, Lancashire’s first bakery for dogs. πŸΆ

 

 

 

March.  Spring was in the air in March when Wil and I went  Searching for Panopticons in East Lancashire.We found two, but as yet, still have two more to visit ! I ticked Manchester’s Cat Cafe off my Bucket List ( Meow)  and even did  a  Toilets Of Manchester Walking Tour.

20170403_1813301632164883.jpg
Loving London.

April.  It was my little  sister’s 40th Birthday this month and we celebrated with a mini break in the Big City ( London) with our younger brother and other halves. Our trip included The Natural History Museum, Afternoon Tea at Claridges and watching The Lion King.  You can read all about it here.

fb_img_1495990429381546737301.jpg
Finding Nemo on The Malham Safari.

In May  Wil and I went on our first camping trip of the year . We didn’t venture very far, choosing this lovely campsite in Scorton, Lancashire.  Hugo accompanied us on a tour of  Ingleborough Show Cave  in Yorkshire 

and more Yorkshire fun was had on the  Malham Safari Trail.

20170611_152649900814389.jpg
Wild Rose Petal Jelly.

June.   This month I participated in The Wildlife Trust’s #30dayswild challenge , where I attempted ( though that’s no hardship!)  to appreciate the beauty in nature every day in June, whether that meant noticing the different wildlife I would see on my daily walks with Hugo, or using natural ingredients in recipes such as Rose Petal Jelly.  The challenge also coincided with my first ever visit to Norfolk, which I shall always remember for it’s many many beach huts, beautiful wildflowers and those yummy Dutch Pancakes in Wells-Next-The-Sea. πŸ™‚

 

fb_img_1500108317108732632764.jpg
Waiting to Board The Ullswater Steamer.

July.  Already well into Summer now. We spent a couple of nights camping in the Dales and walked  this tiny stretch of  The Dales Way and we took Hugo on his first ever trip on  The Ullswater Steamer .  I think this is my fave ever photo of my two boys. πŸ™‚

20170820_130613786239826.jpg
The Cake Ole’.

August.  Anyone for Afternoon Tea?  I can certainly recommend a fun, quirky and delicious one at The Cake ‘Ole   in Skipton.  And August is a great time to go camping with the kids, as we found out when we accompanied friends to Meadow Falls near Ingleton.

fb_img_15027304526291933548949.jpg
Walking near Meadow Falls.
img_20170918_132528112391269.jpg
A day at The Seaside.

September.  We had a bit of an Indian Summer this month, which made up for a damp squibby August. Luckily we got to make the most of the sunshine on a day out with my niece and nephew in Morecambe  and we spent a week in the The Lake District  , bagging my first wainwright fell and enjoying the incredible views over Wastwater.

20171016_0938432003703456.jpg
Lancs Cycleway.

October.  Days out in October included  A family friendly bike ride on the  Lancashire Cycleway from Lancaster to Morecambe and back. It was my first time on a bicycle for many a year, so I was pretty happy that I made it!

20171118_102234280451795.jpg
Relaxing at The Turkish Baths.

November. My Birthday month was made so special when Wil booked us two nights in the Yorkshire Spa town of Harrogate.

I have always wanted to visit the Turkish Baths there so I checked us in for a morning, which was really enjoyable.  We also visited nearby Knaresborough with its ancient castle and railway viaduct.

harrogate 059
Knaresborough in November.

 

 

 December.  And its nearing the end of 2017 now after a fairly quiet but lovely December. Highlights included Hugo opening his Christmas presents ( he is very good at unwrapping, just need to train him to wrap up πŸ˜‰ ), The traditional Christmas Morning Walk, Willow Angel Weaving and a Festive Afternoon Tea at Alexanders in Skipton. 

I would just like to say a big thank you to everyone who drops in on my little blog every now and again. It really has made my year. 😁

All the best for 2018. I hope its a great one for everyone. Xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Winter WarmingΒ  Links & Likes.Β 

 Hello my festive followers!  I thought I would post my last post before Christmas today and spread some Yuletide Blog Love.  β™‘ Here is a Christmas Combo of some of my favourite posts through December , so do grab a Mince Pie with your brew and enjoy browsing through these winter warmers. 😁

 

Those Greedy Sisters make a boozy Mince Pie Martini. Sounds scrummy.

On Too Lazy To Weed some surprising Evergreens are found in the garden. 🌲

Meanwhile in New Zealand kristah’s Garden is bursting with Summer blooms and a recipe for Strawberry Shortcake. πŸ™‚

 festive Tiffin on Mathilde Heart Manech.

From Sunshine to  Snow on Paula’s blog where her gorgeous part of the world has been transformed into a Winter-Wonderland.

Stunning pictures on Hike Minded when Santa visits the residents  of  a Berlin Wildlife Park. πŸ™‚

Get an informative low-down on Winter Seasonal Veg over at Roots And Toots.

And heres a Simple Tasty Potato Stew on the Alfresco Family blog. 

Still looking for Christmas Gift Ideas ?  Lots and lots at the  Forkward Thinking Foodinista.

Very hygge pictures on Simple Natural Handmade.

 Simple Natural Handmade is a lovely blog to follow if you love pictures of cute dogs and crochet. πŸ™‚ 

 A Winter Walk isn’t quite the same without making one of Lisa’s yummy Walk And Eat recipes. Decembers treat is Festive Tiffin. 

And if you are out walking in the cold make sure you Layer up well !  The Helpful Hiker shows you how. 

 Fancy a winter break in Edinburgh? The Dickins Blog can show you how to spend a cosy day in this charming city. πŸ™‚ 

Stunning wildlife shots on Hike Minded.

The Glasgow Gallivanter shares her summer memories of a trip to a Scottish Island, I personally had never heard of.

 And last but not least , Christine shares her wonderful  Wildlife Moments of 2017.  πŸ¦‹πŸ¦Ž

 Merry Christmas and thanks for reading. X

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Sevens 18th December.Β 

Its  a  Christmassy Sunday Sevens this week.  If only I had some snow to show you, but its been sadly lacking in Clitheroe. And the snow I did see, whilst travelling with my friend Fi over  Pendle Hill last weekend, was beautiful if  a smidge scary. I did not want to insist that we stop her little smart car for photographic opportunitys, when we were running late for a Willow Angel weaving morning with ‘ The Willow Witch of Pendle.’ Luckily The Willow Witch was lovely about our lateness and a very patient teacher. Can you believe these Angels were constructed out of 16 bendy willow rods. Quite impressive! 

There were 5 of us who took the class and we all came away with an Angel. Some more angelic than others!  I love how Louise has wrapped fairylights round the wings of hers. πŸ™‚ 

After braving a snowy Pendle Hill back , Clitheroe was a bit of a non event snow wise..

Last Sunday I went to Skipton with some friends as there was a Christmas market on. Check out the festive Stilt Walkers!  And Christmas is not Christmas without an Afternoon Tea. πŸ™‚  My lovely friend Gill had booked us into Alexander’s
 

, a gorgeous piano bar and restaurant on the main street. It even has a pop up Alpine Den ( very Hygge) throughout December. I want to go back!  My Goddaughter Mady brought her 2 little ones ,and we can definitely say Alexander’s is very family friendly too. 

The Christmas Tree is up at last!  As you can see its laden with an eclectic  mish mash of decorations and baubles. Over the years I have collected and been gifted various bits and pieces. I am one of those people who find myself buying decs for the tree even in the middle of Summer. I once found a Christmas shop in Sorrento, Italy , in the middle of July…..and  a cherry red ‘ Bon Natalie’  bell, has graced our tree every Christmas since. 🌲

The living room is all properly decorated now , thanks to my wonderful other half. πŸ™‚ He has proved himself brilliant at wallpapering, painting, laying the floor and tiling the hearth. I treated myself to a textured black & white cushion from Rafffia in Clitheroe,  to celebrate. 

All that hard work deserves a couple of drinks down the pub. πŸ”₯🍻

Thanks to Natalie at Threads And Bobbins for organizing Sunday Sevens. 

 

Wildlife Moments in 2017.Β 

I thought I would post a few of my favourite wildlife photos that I have taken whilst out and about this year. There have been a few special moments! I finally managed to photograph a kingfisher  ( not once, but twice! ) and I was thrilled to spy a Green Woodpecker by the river Wharfe in Yorkshire.  A holiday on the Norfolk Coast proved an amazing experience for wildlife spotting and even a few days away in London gave me some photographic opportunities. πŸ™‚ Hope you enjoy my pictures.

norfolk 076
Small Blue Butterfly  , Old Hunstanton sand dunes.
brotherswater 023
Pied Wagtail eating lunch , Brotherswater.
FB_IMG_1513026262996.jpg
Kingfisher perched above a rowing boat on the River Nidd in November.
norfolk 168
Foxgloves in Sandringham Country Park.
lakes 2017 111
Comeront , River Esk, Cumbria.
lakes 2017 139
Tawny Owl, Muncaster Castle.
seaside b and c 001
Sea Holly, Rossall Beach, Fleetwood.
norfolk 014
Nesting Fulmar  in the stripey cliffs of Hunstanton.
brougham hall and dalmaine 066
Fallow Deer, Dalemain Estate, Cumbria.
london 063
Grey Heron in Hyde Park, London in April.

 

london 029
Moorhen in Hyde Park.
london 053
Green Parakeet ( another London Park regular).
norfolk 043
Vallarean flowers amongst the beech huts, Old Hunstanton.
ullswater aira force 066
Wild flowers on the banks of Ullswater.
harrogate 057
Kingfisher on the river Nidd.
norfolk 107
Sea Asters, Cromer.
salthill quarry 055
Six spotted burnet moth, Salthill Quarry Nature Reserve.
norfolk 308
Common and Grey Seals, Blakeney Point, Norfolk.
yorkshire 120
Green Woodpecker next to the river Wharfe in the Dales.
caves 053
Pheasant in the Dales.

What wildlife have you enjoyed viewing in 2017?

 

Harrogate.Β 

harrogate 043

A few weeks ago we spent a couple of nights in the Yorkshire spa town of Harrogate. This charming town is the ideal mini break destination , boasting elegant architecture, beautiful parks, art & theatre, olde worldy pubs, over 130 restaurants and shopping galore. Whats not to love!

harrogate 012

From the cobbled streets and boutique stores of the historic Montpelier Quarter to the chilled 70’s vibe of Major Tom’s Social, we discovered some fab places, yet there is still so much left to explore.  Which of course can only mean, we shall have to return. 😁

Wil had booked us into one of these lovely apartments , quite centrally located,  off  Cold Bath Road.  Because we had planned a morning at the Turkish Baths Hugo did not accompany us on this trip. But just in case your wondering, our accomodation did turn out to be pet friendly, so he could  definitely come with  us in the future.

I’ve made a little list of some of my personal favourite places that we came accross in Harrogate.  😁

 

 

Major Tom’s Social.   Describing itself as a ‘ Youth Club for grown ups’ this laid back hangout above a retro vintage shop specializes in selling craft beer and real ales. Also on the menu are fantastic stone baked pizzas made freshly on site. We spent an enjoyable couple of hours here one evening chilling out on a comfy sofa and soaking in the 1970’s flavour of the place. Dotted around Major Toms are allsorts of retro memorabilia and like it’s name suggests it’s a very sociable bar, welcoming everyone including families with children and dogs too.  www.majortomssocial.co.uk

harrogate 026

Covet.   A few doors down from  Major Tom’s Social is an eclectic gift and interiors emporium called Covet  which has a sister store in Ilkley.  Packed full of unique pieces this quirky independent is a treasure trove of the unusual. I wish I had gotten a photograph of the ground floor as some of the more unusual items for sale included wire moose heads and taxidermy butterflies. Well worth a browse for a thoughtful gift or interesting pieces for the home.

 

 

 

 

Baltzersen’s.   Sometimes it’s good to try something a little different and Harrogate certainly caters for all tastes. Balterzen’s on Oxford Road uses Yorkshire sourced produce in its  Scandinavian inspired menus.  This place was buzzing when we arrived on a Saturday lunch time so it’s probably best to roll up early to miss the queues. I tried a delicious open sandwich with maple and mustard roasted root veg , houmous and pickled baby carrots. Was soooo good!  Other goodies on the menu include Lentil and root veg Lapskaus ( Norwegian Stew) , Gravlaks on potato cake with poached duck egg & sweet dill dressing and Mackerel Pate with rye toast, gooseberry chutney and feta salad. www.baltzersens.co.uk

 

 

Betty’s Tea Rooms.  No visit to Harrogate is complete without a trip to Betty’s.  This Yorkshire institution blends the county’s friendly  hospitality with elegant surroundings and a distinctly Swiss flavour. It’s founder Frederick Belmont was born and raised in Switzerland almost 100 years ago. Bettys is renowned for its delectable cakes and chocolates and of course Afternoon Tea ,which has been enjoyed here for nearly a century. One way to avoid the crowds ( Bettys is extremely popular) is to treat yourself to a Betty’s breakfast early in the morning. My Swiss Rosti set me up the day. Make sure you check out the gift shop too with it’s dazzling array of baked goods and confectionary.  www.bettys.co.uk

5f4b438ee827c9b0a89bccb8908b270f855987650.jpg

Turkish Baths.  Harrogate is  home to Britain’s most fully restored Turkish Baths, dating back to the 19th Century. I have long wanted to discover them for myself, so I booked us both in for a Saturday morning session. πŸ™‚  The Turkish Baths experience begins in the elegant Frigidarium above, where you gradually become acclimatized to the warmth. Next it’s a case of braving The Steam Room, The Tepidarium ( warm room), Calidarium ( hot room) and Laconium ( hottest room) with showering and immersions in the invigorating plunge pool in between. And then…. simply…repeat!  What I treasured most about my visit was admiring the stunning moorish architecture. The Baths are so beautiful and definitely worth a visit. Make sure you book, take some flip flops ( the terrazzo flooring gets quite hot) and drink plenty of the free water that is provided.  www.turkishbathsharrogate.co.uk

 

The Little Ale House.  A very happy discovery , the Little Ale House on Cheltenham Crescent is Harrogate’s first Micropub. Cosy and friendly with a great selection of real ales and gins, this bar is run by a young husband and wife team , often accompanied by their gorgeous collie cross rescue dog. πŸ™‚ A tiny pub but well worth a visit if you can squeeze in. Oh and the pork pies are to die for!

harrogate 035

Weetons Food Hall.  My browse round Weetons was all to brief ,but if you are a foodie you will definitely enjoy perusing the many goodies on offer in this attractive Food Hall. Overlooking the Stray ( one of the town’s many green spaces) Weetons also has a restaurant , an award winning butchers and lots of mouthwatering displays. www.weetons.com

 Have you ever been to Harrogate?  Where would you recommend me to visit on a future trip? I am sure I will return. πŸ™‚