My name is Shazza and I live in a small town in North west England with my boyfriend and our black lab Hugo and black cat Slinky. I work in a supermarket full time and in my spare time i enjoy reading,film,food( mostly eating it,I am a terrible cook!),taking photos,travel,camping,wildlife,spending time with my mates and hunting in car boots and charity shops for vintage teacups.This blog is hopefully going to be a collection of my fave things and musings on life,the universe and everything.Xx
I’m joining in as ever with Hawthorns Photo Scavenger Hunt this month. For this one I did look into my archives for a couple of pictures.
Houseplant/s ~ I have a few cacti and succulents dotted around the house. Heres my favourite planted in a stout can which I got a few years ago from a Makers Market in Manchester. So happy it’s still going strong. 🙂
Ring/s ~ It’s The Singing Ringing Tree over Burnley way. A metal pipe sculpture of a twisted tree. When the wind blows through the pipes ,eerie tunes are played. Hugo was mesmerised on our visit a few years ago. 😅
Harbour ~ Staithes on the Yorkshire coast , a November visit some 5 years ago. A lovely picturesque place to amble round.
Window ~ I love this office window in town, with the town literally stenciled onto the glass. A picture perfect view of Clitheroe.
Sky ~ This was my front passengerseat vista on our journey home from the caravan in October. It felt like we were driving into those puffy white clouds.
My own choice ~ I have noticed quite a few white and black & white crows around Clitheroe recently. No photos yet, but here’s one of a bonnie blackbird with white feathers I have seen too.
Although the literary Bronte family lived in Haworth in Yorkshire, it was not uncommon for the siblings to walk over the Pennine moors to the secluded hamlet of Wycoller
in Lancashire. As Sunday promised some rare dry weather ,we headed to the village of Trawden for a Circular Walk that takes in some of the rugged Pendle countryside that may have inspired their writings.
The walk starts from the Trawden Arms in the village,so we found some roadside parking nearby. We then made our way up some old tram tracks to the right of the pub, crossed a main road and then followed a route through many boggy fields, moorland and woodland. It was very wet under foot, but there was lots to see. We passed several farms and smallholdings around Trawden, home to various pets and livestock.
We followed Trawden Brook up to Lumb Spout , once a popular Victorian beauty spot.
The route then follows the Pennine National Bridleway Trail over moorland for a way. I saw a couple of stonechat but didn’t manage to get a photo. The skies were big and the ground was sodden.
Eventually we found outselves off the rugged moors and entering the serene Wycoller Country Park with its greenery, woodland, winding brook and stone bridges.
Wycoller is a former handloom weaving settlement, the villagers took their cloth to the drying ground above Wycoller Hall. Folk moved away to find jobs after the introduction of the powerloom in Lancashire’s industrial towns.
The Bronte sisters visited Wycoller and it is said that in Charlotte’s novel Jane Eyre , the hall was her inspiration for Ferndean Manor where Mr Rochester lived.
We ate our sandwiches here and set off to continue our walk back to Trawden, totally forgetting to go and see The Atom Panopticon sculpture which is a short stroll away. Oh well, a reason to return!
All in all this walk was about six miles long, though at quite a slow pace because of all the mud. Unlike the Bronte sisters we didn’t need to wander the soggy terrain in long gowns and petticoats! I wonder if any of the siblings ever did catch a glimpse of Pendle Hill ? It would be nice to think so….
A lockdown birthday was never going to be the same. Celebration ideas were changed as Lancashire tiers upped levels and then a national lockdown was announced. Finally what I was left with ,still a happy time I think….a few doorstep visits from family & friends, an online party, a walk, yummy food cooked by my other half and a delicious take-away hot chocolate. The new normal isn’t so bad.
A book to dip into everyday of Autumn. Today’s poem probably more appropriate for a frosty November day.
Heres a few verses from The Duke Of Fire and The Duchess Of Ice by Carol Ann Duffy.
Passionate love for the Duke of fire
the Duchess of Ice felt.
One kiss was her heart’s desire,
but with one kiss she would melt.
She dreamed of him in his red pantaloons,
In his orange satin blouse,
In his crimson cravat,
In his tangerine hat,
In his vermilion dancing shoes.
One kiss, one kiss,
Lips of flame on frost,
One kiss, pure bliss,
and never count the cost.
As you can probably imagine, there’s a puddle at the end of this poem….
The weekend saw us head to the Ribble Valley village of Ribchester for a 5.5 circular walk, taking in squelchy fields and country lanes. Ribchester was the site of the Roman fort Bremetennacum and there are ruins of a Roman Bath House in the village. Take your wellies if you do this walk. 😁
We left the village by following the private road to Parsonage farm , where a bridleway took us into waterlogged fields.
After squelching through the fields there was some country lane walking. We kept Hugo on his lead, though we didn’t see any cars. Hothersall Lane eventually joins the Ribble Way.
Hothersall Lane winds its way down to an Outdoor Centre and then Hothersall Hall. Apparently just past the entrance of Hothersall Hall Farm there is a stone head wedged in a tree. But we couldn’t find it!
We climbed uphill to some trees and there were great views over the Ribble.
We followed The Ribble Way back to the village. There are lots of interesting old buildings in Ribchester ,so it’s definitely worth a look around.
It was good to visit a village less than ten miles from home, that we have rarely spent any time before.
Find this walk in Guide to Lancashire Pub Walks by Nick Burton.
Sweet treat ~ The best October Sweet Treat I have enjoyed is this Mocha Plate at The Shepherd’s Inn in Melmerby. Soo good.
Starts with a ….W… ~ The beautiful Wood carving of a bird of prey in Fitz Park in Keswicklooks amazing surrounded by Autumn colours.
Reading now ~ PINE by Francine Toon, which is described on the blurb as A Literary Gothic thriller that chills to the marrow. Yikes!
Hobby/crafting ~ I am not a crafter so I will have to show you some of the pretty painted pebbles I have come across over the last few months. Two were on a little roadside stall and one ( the beautiful Oyster catcher) was painted for me by the very generous Blackpool blogger Bea. 🙂
Something Purple ~ Not sure what these purple tipped plants are? I know them as Mother and Chicks for some reason , they seem very content on stone walls.
My own choice ~ This is not my photo, but shamelessly stolen from a friend. Bruno and Bradley are her family pets. Talk about bunnies that do brunch. Any captions ? 🐇😊
My sister, niece and nephew and I ( and Hugo, of course) had planned to do the Walking With Witches Trail , a 4 mile loop starting at Barley Car Park. The pretty villages of Barley, Newchurch and Roughlee lie in the shadow of Pendle Hill. The area is famed for its spooky associations with The Pendle Witches , a group of individuals who in the 1600s were sentenced to death for witchcraft. Of course the day we set off on our witchy wander it was chucking it down with rain and the foreboding bulk of Pendle Hill was enveloped in mist.
We only managed to follow the trail from Barley to nearby Newchurch over boggy fields, before calling it a day and turning back. I didn’t take many photos, but still thought I would share with you what we did see between showers. The scarlet and yellow waxy cap mushrooms we spied along the way are a fairly good indicator of ancient meadowlands.
Newchurch is named after its ‘ new church’ of St Mary’s consecrated in 1554. The west side of the churches tower is unusual for its Eye Of God. Can you see it? Maybe the eye was there to watch over the locals, more likely it was used as a window by the bell-ringers, so they could view approaching service goers. Whichever, it is a little bit spooky on a grey Lancashire day.
To the right of the churches porch is a Nutter family grave, inscribed with a skull and crossbones, athough it is unlikely that Alice Nutter herself was buried here. Alice Nutter was a land owning gentlewoman from nearby Roughlee. She had been involved in a boundary dispute with her neighbor , local magistrate Christopher Nowell. Maybe the dispute was easily solved when Alice herself was conveniently found to be one of the 12 people in the area sentenced to death for witchcraft.
Although the superstitious times of the 17th century are thankfully over, there is a little shop in Newchurch that sells all things witchy, so we couldn’t resist a mooch…and shelter from the rain.
Inside Witches Galore there is certainly plenty to look at. My sister purchased a painted Pendle witch pebble and as for myself? An ornamental toadstool. 🙂
If only we could have used Pendle Transport ( broomsticks!) for our journey back to the car. We settled on walking to Barley along the road instead of through the muddy fields. Another time we will do the whole Walking With Witches Trail. There is so much more to explore!
It does feel like all I post about is walking this year. I suppose that is very true! Before this Sunday morning hike from the Nick O Pendle , we also enjoyed a tasty breakfast at the super cute Nest On The Hill , a newly opened little cafe in a cabin at The Wellsprings restaurant. Wil had a sausage butty and I devoured yummy french toast with melted chocolate and blackberry compote. Hugo was made a fuss of by the lovely young couple who run this quirky bruncherie ( hope bruncherie is a word! ), that serves warming food & drinks before the main restaurant opens for lunch. The Nest is also packed with locally sourced gifts and crafts. Lots of present ideas. I even started my Christmas shopping!
After our food and my purchasing , Hugo for one was busting for a walk. I could have curled up on the cosy sofa in front of the toasty log burner for a while longer ,but fresh air beckoned…. We took the owners recommendation of a bridleway walk through the fields, thus avoiding the crowds who park nearby to make their way up Pendle Hill.
We walked up the road and down a little , then through a gate on the right, following a farm track/ bridleway over rugged Lancashire countryside. To be totally honest I’m not really sure what this area is called, maybe Wiswell Moor. Some map perusing is needed! Anyway we basically walked as far as a field of llamas, then turned around and made our way back. A muddy 4 miles or so.
The weather was bright and breezy, a perfect Pendle day. More from Pendle Hill coming soon hopefully. 🥾
We joined my sister and kids for a walk along the river Hodder into Dunsop Bridge, a village that claims to be at the very centre of the UK. Lots of Autumn colours and plenty of fungi finds too. We parked by the stone bridge over the river just outside Whitewell.
This walk was a very enjoyable 4 miles, with a brew and biscuits bought from Puddleducks Tea Room in the village,which is presently operating as a take away. I think we will return 🙂
At the weekend we took a walk from Garrigill in the North Pennines to the nearby waterfall of Ashgill Force. We bought an Alston Moor walk leaflet in the outdoors shop in Alston for 60p.
The route begins at Garrigill’s Village Green, we parked near the village church. Garrigill looks to be a lovely little village , whose pub and shop have seen better days.
The leaflet says that there were once two pubs in Garrigill. The George & Dragon was the haunt of visiting gentry, Tories and shooting parties, whilst the Fox was for miners, poachers and Liberals!
The weather went a bit wild and after navigating about a million steep stiles we came across the waterfall. Unfortunately we had managed to deviate from our maps directions somehow, but we got there in the end.
It is apparently possible to walk behind the waterfall, and indeed ‘ Dance with the Fairies’ , although it looked a bit busy with Gill Scramblers the day we visited.
Hugo was joined in the gorge by another Black Labrador boy, which would be lovely if Hugo actually liked other boy labradors. Fortunately Hugo was more interested in the stones Wil were throwing in the water, than fighting. Phew!
The rest of the walk was more of a gentle meander, following the River South Tyne back to Garrigill.
I really enjoyed this scenic 5 mile walk and hopefully we will try it out again, maybe when the meadows are full of wildflowers come early Summer. 🙂
My weekend was a cornocopia of fungi finds. In rainbow colours!
A lovely lady in Melmerby showed me the ones that have sprung up on the village green. If you have ever been to this Eden Valley village, you will know that the green is huge. It’s also home to lots of gorgeous wild flowers in the spring and summer. The green is managed like an old fashioned hay meadow. It’s a real haven for wildlife.
Hope these identifications are right. I used the I naturalist app on my phone to double check. I am clueless when it comes to fungi.
Definitely feel blessed to have been shown these. My favourite has to be the ‘ Ballerina ‘.
Later on Saturday Wil and I took a walk from Garrigill to Ashgill Force. To my delight we spotted these beauties by the brook.
And last but not least, spotted these at home in Clitheroe.