Spring walks, a Nature Diary and an Easter treat.

The Easter Weekend so far ~ a Good Friday walk with friends, spring shoots and wild flowers and a visit with my lovely friend Lisa to Stydd Gardens in Ribchester. 😁

Blackthorn blossom
Good Friday Walkers assemble in the Calf’s Head Beer Garden.
Stydd Gardens.
Nutella Hot Chocolate and an Easter treat. Rosie Duck at Stydd Gardens.Soo good. πŸ™‚
Lovey Dove.

Treats for the dog at Rosie Duck.

My Ladybird book What To Look For In Spring helped me identify some of the spring flowers below.

Butterbur by a stream.
Golden Saxifrage.
Wild garlic leaves. I do have a recipe handy for wild garlic leaves & cheese scones!
I am going to start a nature diary for my sightings. πŸ™‚

The Easter Weekend has been lovely so far. πŸ™‚

Roll on the next two days. X

Hawthorn’s Photo Scavenger Hunt ~ March.

It feels good to join in again with Hawthorn’s Photo Scavenger Hunt this month. Heres what I came up with for the prompts.

Hole. I guess the most famous hole in Clitheroe ( teehee) is the one in the front of our tiny Castle Keep. Local legends to how it got there include Oliver Cromwell fireing a cannonball from Pendle Hill. Even less likely, the devil himself flung boulders at Clitheroe Castle, also from the top of Pendle. Which do you think?

Making. I attempted to make some Chocolate Truffles from my Eat What You Watch ~ A cookbook for Movie Lovers cookbook. They ended up looking more like onion bhajis! But they do taste like chocolate truffles. Success! The recipe is inspired by Vianne’s chocolate creations in the sweetly sensual film Chocolat starring Juliette Binoche and a yummy Johnny Depp. Well worth a watch by the way. 😊. These truffles are very rich though, I can only manage one with my mug of coffee..

Reading Now. You may be shocked to learn that I have never watched Star Wars! Yet I am reading this book by Princess Leia herself, Carrie Fisher. From what I have read so far she was one very funny, bat crazy, inteligent and gutsy lady. Enjoying it so far. Oh yes I know, I am still using my snowflake duvet set. Hopefully this is not a future weather prediction!

Black & White. Last weekend we met a llama and some alpaca on a walk to a local village. This black & white llama was definitely the most inquisitive and demanding, he came trotting over when he saw us stop at the fence. Wil gave him a bit of loose hay, then he tried to chomp my rucksack! I do love llamas though and a couple of years ago I dragged my family on a llama Trek in the Lakes.

Starts with an H. Well I just had to include a picture of our gorgeous Hugo for this one didn’t I. I think he is as much a part of this blog as me really. πŸ™‚ Hugo is a three year old black labrador and we have had him since he was a wee pup. I definitely have a thing about labradors now as before Hugo there was Jake, who came with Wil ( his faithful shadow) when I met him. They are such a loyal , loving , mischievous breed of dog. I can’t imagine life without a labrador.

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My Own Choice. The bright sunshine we have experienced recently has certainly brought out my blogs namesake, these cheery celandines. 😊

Happy Easter guys. Have a fantastic weekend.

A bird and a poem ~ Little Egret.

A few weeks ago I couldn’t resist buying a little book of poetry from a book fair that I came across. The anthology is full of beautiful poems about…..birds. And each one is paired with a gorgeous illustration. The book is actually a collection of stunning avian art works that can all be found in The British Museum. It is therefore called The British Museum Birds and if you find a copy, I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do. πŸ™‚

Anyway I thought it might be a nice idea to pair the poetry in the book with my own photographs on here occasionally. Though I am cheating a bit today as these pictures of a Little Egret were taken by my other half on our walk by the river Ribble on Saturday. I think its quite unusual to see egrets inland, but this one has been spotted here in Clitheroe a few times recently.

The illustration in the book is Egret On Willow In Snow , a hanging scroll painting on silk by Oda Kaisen ( 1785-1862).

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Snow

In the gloom of whiteness,

In the great silence of snow,

A child was sighing

And bitterly saying : ‘ Oh,

They have killed a white bird up there on her nest,

The down is fluttering from her breast!’

And still it fell through that dusky brightness

On the child crying for the bird in the snow.

Edward Thomas ( 1878-1917)

Little Egret. Photo Credit D Wilson.

Sorry the first poem I included is quite sad. But I hope you liked it anyway. X

March Photo An Hour 2018.

Hi there on this gorgeous Spring day! We are definitely due the little bit of sunshine that we are experiencing at the moment. 😁 Yesterday I joined in with Louisa and Janey‘s photo an hour over on Instagram, for the first time in ages. I thought I would record my day on my blog too. Here goes….

7am. My clock is fast, its actually just after seven, and everyone is awake. Sigh!

8am. Breakfast is oats so simple with blueberries and a smidge of peanut butter. Wil thinks I’m pretty disgusting. He hates peanut butter!

9am. My washing up view this morning. A breakfasting starling. β™‘

10am. We’ve decided to walk to the nearby village of Waddington and back. We start our walk in Brungerly park and head along the river Ribble.

11am. We happen upon some friendly fellas. Alpaca and Llama. They are very inquisitive and the black and white llama does try and take a chomp out of my rucksack. 🀣

12 Noon. Early Lunch. A tuna toastie in a cafe in Waddington.

1pm. On the way home through Waddow Hall estate.

2pm. Vibrant crocuses. Spring is here in Clitheroe at last. 😁

3pm. A brew at home and a slice of homemade ginger cake. I have decided to no longer buy in biscuits and cake. Because I hardly ever bake ( even though I have a sweet tooth! ), this will hopefully be an incentive to do more and be slightly healthier….hopefully.

4pm. Chillin with this girl. πŸ™‚

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5pm. And now chillin down the pub and trying to work out where we should stay on our way home from the Hebrides in August. Thinking maybe somewhere round Oban, but not sure yet.

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6pm. Some pub companions. Stan and Smudge the Springer’s. πŸ™‚

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7pm. Hadn’t planned on stopping in the New Inn this long! So resorting to taking a photograph of my hare brooch that is pinned to my earth squared bag. Both were presents from my lovely friend Jo. πŸ™‚

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8pm. We called in at an Indian takeaway on the way home , so here’s salad, dips and poppadoms.

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9pm. Wil is watching Californication on Netflix but I am pretty much beat ! My day ends here and bed beckons. I am officially sad!

Thanks very much for dropping by. I had better go and sort out that alarm clock!

Searching for signs of Spring.

On Saturday we braved The Mini Beast Of The East and headed to Cumbria to visit family. We also packed in two short walks with our labrador Hugo. I kept my camera handy to record any burgeoning signs that Spring might just be making an appearance. πŸ™‚

First stop , Kirkby Lonsdale. This small market town on the edge of the Lake District sits on the banks of the River Lune. An easy stroll from the free car park at Devil’s Bridge takes you along the waterside and up into the town centre.

Devil’s Bridge, Kirkby Lonsdale.
Male Goosander.
Pussy Willow.

The only climb is the ’86’ Radical Steps that lead up to ‘Ruskin’s View’ , a beautiful vista painted by Turner and described by John Ruskin as ” the loveliest view in England”. The steep stone steps also take you to St Mary’s Churchyard, which was adorned with a delightful carpet of crocuses when we visited.

St Marys Churchyard.
Ruskin’s View takes in the river Lune.
Male Blackbird.
Such a bonnie house. I think I take a picture of it every time I visit.

The cold weather has meant that the snowdrops here in the North are still in good form! Whilst they continue to bloom, Winter has stubbornly decided to hang on I think. As we headed further up the M6 , the countryside turned whiter and the world got windier.

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Snow near Shap.
Dacre Bear.

Our second walk was later in the afternoon and started off in the pretty village of Dacre, about two miles north of Pooley Bridge. Four stone bears can be seen amongst the gravestones in St Andrews graveyard ( they are not very bear like now! ) and it is claimed that they once rested on the four corners of Dacre’s 14th Century Castle keep.

Could this be the Mini Beast From The East??

The only daffodil in flower that we saw was one solitary yellow trumpet in Dacre. Looking back to this time last year, the nearby village of Askham where my Mum lives was positively trumpeting. Not so in 2018…yet ! We continued on our way amongst snow flurries, bitter cold winds and odd spells of bright sunshine, along the estate path towards Dalemain Mansion. I wrote a post last year about our visit to the gardens here.

Deer park, Dalemain.

Although its a nice dog walk from Dacre to Dalemain, the estate does not allow four-legged friends to accompany you into the house, gardens or cafΓ©. 😦 So we tried to warm up outside with a steaming hot coffee and a delicious slab of ginger cake spread with marmalade. Dalemain is famous for its annual Marmalade Awards and Festival, and it was actually near to the end of the first day of this years festival, when we arrived. If your in the area today, the weekend of marmalade tasting continues. I bought a small jar of Jane’s Marmalade. Jane is the Lady Marmalade of the house apparently.

Crocus and Aconites.
Fallow Deer.
Heading back to Dacre. The 14th century Castle is just ahead.

These two short walks added up to six miles and it was lovely to see some small signs of Spring what has been an unusually cold March.

Walking in Clitheroe this morning.

Of course things are back to the norm, back home in Lancashire today. Yet more snow!

What signs of Spring have you seen in your neck of the woods?

I am linking up with Jo’s Monday Walks so do pop by her lovely blog. X

Mermaids in the Movies.

I have a hankering to watch a Mermaid movie, then I remembered that many moons ago I collected a sea full of sirens, all in one post. πŸ™‚ An Ocean of Ondines, , a Miracle of Mermaids. Let me know your favourite fishy tale. X

sunshine and celandines

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I recently watched Pirates of the Carabean – On Stranger tides and the plot involves the pirates obtaining a Mermaid’s tear. This got me thinking ~ what other films feature fish tailed femmes?

I’ve come up with a list of eleven Mermaid movies. A handful I have seen but a few like Mr Peabody and the Mermaid and Miranda , I really need to watch them! If you know of any I have missed please feel free to comment. πŸ™‚

Mr Peabody and the mermaid( 1948)

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A middle aged man catches a mermaid whil’st fishing on holiday. Unfortunately he is also married and his attempts at hiding her in the resorts pool and bath tub make his wife think something β€˜fishy’is going on.Starring William Powell and Ann Blyth.

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of fire. ( 2005)

In the fourth Harry Potter film Harry has to dive into…

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Were All Mad Here ~ Callooh ! Callay Tea Rooms in Clitheroe.

Ah but where in Clitheroe can you find a White Rabbit, a March Hare, a sleepy Dormouse and a Mad Hatter taking tea? There’s a very good chance you might, at Callooh! Callay , an Alice in Wonderland inspired Tea Room on Moor Lane. If your up for a Mad Tea-party…. or simply a tea-time treat, this is the place to come. ♀♑◇♧

Now Callooh Callay has been open for a few years now. In fact I had my 40th Birthday ( or should that be Un-birthday) tea-party here, four years ago. Sob! How time flies and where’s my pocket watch. Its recently become under new ownership and happily the owners have continued with the Wonderland theme.

My friend Lisa and I bobbed in for a brew yesterday and we couldn’t resist the tempting array of cakes on display. Lisa chose a slab of delicious millionaires shortbread and I ordered a slice of starry chocolate cake. It went very well with my March Hare Perk Me Up Peppermint Tea. Delightful. πŸ™‚

As you can see everything comes served upon lovely mis-matched vintage china. Pink flamingos adorn the cafe walls.

After our refreshments we bobbed upstairs for a nosy. There are two further rooms and a cute bathroom on the first floor.

Upstairs you can browse in the newly opened craft shop and there are plans afoot for Craft and Natter mornings.

The cafe now extends to upstairs too. I love the ambience in this cosy room. Now available to hire for private parties, the dressing up area in the corner is a nice touch. I can see my niece and god daughters loving it here. 😁

Callooh Callay is open every day 10 ~ 5pm and 12 ~ 4pm on Sundays. Maybe Alice herself will welcome you!

And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?

Come to my arms, my beamish boy!

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!’

He chortled in his joy.

From the poem JABBERWOCKY by Lewis Carroll ~ Alice’s Adventures Through The Looking Glass.

Ice Cold In Haworth.

Here I am snug as a bug in a rug. The radiators are piping hot , I have numerous throws to wrap round myself and two fur babies to snuggle up with. Bliss !

Friday night though was spent ( mostly shivering!) In a little B&B in the Yorkshire town of Haworth. I won’t say it was our accomodations fault. I couldn’t properly get warm anywhere at all. I think Yorkshire folk must be alot hardier than us Lancashire lot. The heating was on everywhere but didn’t seem to make much of a difference. I layered myself up and was tempted to keep my coat and hat on….even in bed. I have turned into a right softy!

Bronte Parsonage Museum.

Wil and I ( minus the pets) stopped over in Haworth as we were attending a talk in nearby Keighley by the Arctic adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes. It certainly seemed touch and go whether the event would take place. But of course ‘ the world’s greatest living explorer’ was easily up to the challenge of travelling from Exmoor to bleakest Yorkshire, whatever the conditions. πŸ™‚

Despite my whinging, we did have a lovely time. The snow gave the cobbled streets of Haworth a wintery charm. The town is of course, famed for being the home of an extraordinary literary family, the Bronte’s. Writers Charlotte, Emily and Anne lived in the parsonage with their father the Reverend Bronte and brother Branwell. We had the Bronte Parsonage Museum all to ourselves on Saturday morning. Photography is no longer prohibited inside the museum,so I took a few pictures and imagined the Bronte siblings sitting at the dining room table, scribbling away. How frozen must their fingers have felt in the perishing south pennine winters.

Cobbled Streets.
Howarth Railway Station.
St Michael & All Angels Church. All the Brontes apart from Anne are buried in the Bronte family crypt, beneath the church.
Old fashioned sweet shop.
A nice coffee shop with a great selection of cakes. πŸ™‚
Peppermint tea and a ginger bun in Villette. The cafΓ© is named after one of Charlotte’s novels.
Icicles.
Inside the parsonage. The Dining Room. The sisters would have wrote here at the dining table.
Mr Bronte’s study. Emily and Anne both played the piano.
The kitchen.
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The children’s tiny playroom.
Landing window.
Inside Branwell Brontes bedroom. Branwell was a troubled soul and failed to live up to the high expectations his family had of him.
A small bed embroidered with words by and about the Bronte sisters. Visitors are invited to make and unmake the tiny bed ( using the white gloves provided), to reveal the prose written in the bed clothes..
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A snowy pathway.
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Inside The Cabinet of Curiosities on Main Street. The shop was an apothecary even back in the days of the Bronte’s.
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Book I bought from the gift shop in the Bronte Parsonage Museum.

We ended our visit to Haworth with a winter warming lunch in The Hawthorn on Main Street, whilst browsing our purchases. I bought ‘The Brief Lives of Charlotte, Emily, and Anne by Catherine Reef ( Can’t wait to start it! ) and Wil had purchased a signed copy of Ranulph Fiennes appropriately titled ‘Cold’, the evening before.

Which is your favourite Bronte sister novel?