Hello there, I am joining in with Hawthorn’s Photo Scavenger Hunt once again. This month I have had to rummage round in the archives for my pictures. Feeling like a Time Traveller!
Rock. Back when Hugo was a pup we took him on holiday to Baycliff in Cumbria. Our holiday cottage was right on the beach so everyday was spent taking walks along the sands. In his puppy days Hugo didn’t like water very much. Here he is 5 months old and marooned on a rock. Bless him. 😙
Swirl. I spent a little while looking for swirls and whirls and ended up settleing for this bright display of swirly plates I saw in Essaoirra in Morocco some years ago. Also tagines make purrfect cat beds. Obviously.
Wood. I don’t go to many art exhibitions but a hanging display in the woodland of Grizedale Forest back in 2009 was a really effective gallery, I thought.
Balance. 2009 was also the year we went to the South of France…and found ourselves in Cannes, when its famed film festival was showing. Pictured is a rather dapper mime, balancing two white ( and very real) cats in his arms. Very bizarre.
Letter. In those days Brangelina was still a thing and this banner is a love letter to Brad Pitt and his then wife Angelina Jolie. The crowds were waiting for the star couple to tread the red carpet. Brad’s film ‘Inglorious’ was showing at the festival. We waited too…but alas not long enough! Our friends who we were holidaying with ,had an understandably cranky 18 month old with them. Brangelina were fashionably late of course and babies and international film events don’t really mix. C’est la vie.
My own choice. To show we were really there, early morning at the 62nd Festival De Cannes.
See what the other scavenger hunters have found over on kates blog.
Every year in May, a small village in The Yorkshire Dales is transformed into a cartoon themed animal trail ! From The Teletubbies to The Wind In The Willows, The Gruffalo to Sponge Bob Square Pants,lovely Malham has become a menagerie of colourful fun for all the family. As a big kid, I was happy to join my god daughter and her Mum, Dad and Gran on this super safari. 🙂 Prepare for a picture heavy post !
Well you can certainly see we had plenty of fun, and I haven’t managed to photograph half of what you can see there. The trail includes a quiz , where entrants have to find various cartoon characters and count mini televisions. Other activities included live music, magic shows, pond dipping, face painting, archery, birds of prey and a duck race. Malham is a very pretty village anyway and the Safari can be combined with a walk up to Malham Cove and Janet’s Foss Waterfall.
Hi here is my Sunday Sevens ~ a collection of 7 photos from the last seven days. 🙂 Last Sunday I found myself mooching round my local town of Blackburn, which was playing host to ‘The National Festival Of Making’. This was a free family festival devised to showcase British making and manufacturing , with workshops, art installations and markets. Now I’m not much of a maker myself, but I did enjoy the craft fairs and art aspects of the festival. And it was good to see good old Blackburn all spruced up for the occasion! Hopefully it was a mighty success and has helped bring prosperity to the area.
At the moment I am reading ‘The Essex Serpent’ by Sarah Perry. I have only just started it , but so far so good. Set at the end of the nineteenth century, this gothic tale involves an Essex village terrorised by a dragon like creature and a young fossil collecting widow ,who attracted by the tales of this ‘ mythical’ beast ,sets her heart upon finding it. No doubt the real monsters will be the ones inside the characters heads. We shall see…
On Friday we packed the car for a spot of camping. We didn’t venture very far on our first camping trip of 2017. We stayed just outside of the village of Scorton, perched on the edge of the Forest Of Bowland A0NB. Despite it only being about 45 minutes away, this is an area of Lancashire we have never really visited before.
We had a camping field all to ourselves , which was good as we had some trouble putting up our new tent! Nothing more embarrassing than being stared at whilst wrestling with a bunch of awkward poles…. 🙂
I will be blogging about our trip so I won’t include the lovely walks we found or our couple of hours in the coastal village of Heysham. Instead here is a photo of my big regret. Our extremely brief visit to Sunderland Point ! This is a tiny settlement by the sea, that gets cut off by the tide twice a day. Unfortunately I had done no research on tide times and left my phone back in the tent. So after driving warily across the tidal causeway, we almost immediately got spooked, and practically raced back ! Sigh. We will return someday I’m sure.
Today on our way back home from Scorton we decided to take Hugo on a walk round ‘Beacon Fell Country Park’ near Chipping. Much to my delight we happened across a Sculpture Trail. 🙂 I’m sure I will be blogging about that too !
Our trip got us in the holiday mood. We have now booked a week away in Norfolk. Can’t wait !
One of my favourite places in Clitheroe to meet for a coffee or even a cocktail , is the warm and welcoming Escape Coffee & Cocktails in the centre of town. This attractive bar with it’s industrial yet cosy interior runs Cocktail Making Masterclasses for groups of 4 people or more, upstairs in a private bar space. When my friend Fi suggested a girly get together to celebrate ‘Galentine’s Day’ ( Yep thats a thing!) , I jumped at the chance to develop my somewhat non existent cocktail making skills. 🙂
Upon arrival we were treated to prosecco bellinis in the bar upstairs where our instructor Ben introduced himself and handed us our Cocktail Menus. We would each be making Five cocktails over the course of the evening, three classics and two that we had chosen beforehand. I must admit to feeling dubious about drinking five cocktails. But I was willing to try!
First cocktail on our list ‘The refreshingly popular Mojito!’ as modelled by Ailyn and Fi. According to the Masterclass menu ( which someone helpfully slipped into my bag, thank you 🙂 ), Mojitos first became popular in Cuba, where rum was in abundance. Add Lime juice,Crushed Ice, Mint and Sugar syrup and hey presto…the most refreshing combo ever. Our friendly Bar man demonstrated how to make every cocktail first of course, and even gave us a brief history of each. I’m afraid to say my memory is a little hazy. I totally blame the alcohol !
Porn Star Martini.
My favorite Cocktails of the evening were two, designed by ‘Escape Mixologists’ themselves. The ‘Happy holidays’ is a refreshing blend of Gin, Rose Liqueur, Grenadine,cranberry juice and freshly squeezed lemon juice. A sugared rim and lemon soaked strawberry added to it’s celebratory vibe. The ‘Delightful Trifle’ is actually a pudding in a glass. No pictures sorry but imagine a heady combination of strawberries, blackberries, salted caramel vodka and creme de mure , capped with fresh cream.
And a cocktail that everyone loved equally was The ‘Porn Star Martini’. Unfortunately it also gave me heartburn. 😦 But rest assured, I was swiftly created a heartburn cure. It worked and I was able to continue with the rest of my night. 🙂
At some point in the evening we were given a quick fun quiz on some of the cocktail related facts we had learnt along the way. A bottle of prosecco was our prize, which we decided to share after the Masterclass finished. That was not before we made our fifth and final creation ‘ The long Island Iced Tea’ , probably ( according to the Masterclass Menu) first concocted in NY to resemble an Iced Tea, when in fact it contains Rum, Vodka, Tequila, Cointreau ….and Coca-cola.
The Cocktail Masterclass at Escape costs £35 per person and includes five cocktails, tuition to make the five cocktails, a welcome drink and a fun quiz. It’s the perfect evening for getting together with friends. Just book the following day off! 🙂
Hey I’m joining in with Natalie’sSunday Sevens today and posting 7 ( or maybe more! ) photographs from my week.
Above is a photo from Instagram.I am trying to post a piccie each day as part of Kate Gabrielle’s #brilliantphotoaday challenge. Oneday the prompt was Polkadots so my whirly windmill came in very useful. 🙂
Tuesday was of course Valentine’s Day and Wil and I exchanged cards. I got him a humerous yet vaguely insulting card and he got me a lovely romantic card. Hurrah! I celebrate …because for years we chose cards for each other that we would rather have got ourselves. He likes funnies so he would get me something silly. I like pretty romantic cards so that’s what I would get him. We would joke that we should ‘swap’ cards. At last though, we have maybe got it right? Only taken us nearly 12 years! 🙂
On Thursday morning we took Hugo a walk up past Standen Hall, which was a good exscuse to look at all the lovely Snowdrops. It’s a private residence but I couldn’t resist stumbling over the cattle grid and taking a few photos. There were even some turkeys and a grey squirrel too! I hope those turkeys are not being fattened up for Christmas…
Friday night was a great fun night out with the girls…..but I have got to say, I am still recovering! Friend Fi arranged for 6 of us to try out a Cocktail Mixing Masterclass at Escape Coffee & Cocktails In Clitheroe. The class was upstairs in our own little private bar area and after a demo from Ben our Mixologist, we each got to make five very different cocktails….and drink them of course. After experiencing a welcome Belini, a Mojito, a Happy Holidays, a Porn Star Martini, a Delightful Trifle, a Long Island Iced Tea and a glass of prosecco, I may just not be able to remember enough to write a full post about it. ;). All I can say is at £35 per head it was great value for money, and a good time was had by all!
Yesrerday I did manage to emerge from the house and meet up with a pal for tea and cake at Callooh Callay in town. This Alice In Wonderland inspired tea room has had new owners of late, so we were a little worried it may have changed beyond recognition. Happily it is still devoted to all things ‘Alice’ ,though the new proprietor isn’t English, he presented us with some dates to try before our tea came. I guess that only adds to the quirkyness! 🙂
The Helpful Hiker has compiled a list of the Best Outdoor Dates For Valentine’s Day. ♡
Ever considered Greenland for a City Break ?? Ellen says Ilullisat is one of her favourite destinations. And I can see Why.
Nina is celebrating 2 years of being a Mum to little cutie Lana. 🙂
I might have to try this tasty looking low fat Flapjack recipe on Fred The Thread Blog.
Need to know what Galentine’s Day is all about. Read this article here and arrange time out with your Besties. 🙂
Happy Valentine’s Day ! Let me know how you will Celebrate? I’m doing ‘The Galentine’s ‘ thing on Friday night with some girl friends. A cocktail masterclass at ‘Escape’ in Clitheroe. I will let you know how it goes. 🙂
As is now tradition, I am posting a quick photo round-up of my year. All in all it’s been a pretty good one! I have been slightly more organized than normal and included some post links. Yay!
January. Woh this seems such a long time ago now. January gave us the only snow of the year. Hugo loved it of course but it only lasted one snow day. 😦 It was still frosty and cold however on our visit to Formby Point where we saw Red squirrels 🙂 And yep thats me with a naked man at Another Place , the Anthony Gormley Art Installation on Crosby Beach.
February. It was a pretty quiet month in February. We did manage a day out in Manchester however and I had a fun time photographing the Street Art in the Northern Quarter. I also attended my God daughter Mady’s sons christening. I’m not one for holding babies but baby Jason was very chilled. 🙂
March. Wil and I had a weekend away in Coventry and stopped at the lovely Coombe Abbey Hotel & Country Park. We also visited Coventry itself which had lots of surprises. And later in the month I was in Manchester again , this time for a friends birthday. You can read my post about it here.
April. Spring arrived at last ( hurrah! ) and I couldn’t wait to get out and about with my camera and my Ladybird Book Guide To spring. 🙂 A day out at Bolton Abbey in the Easter Holidays was great fun and I treated Wil to a trip on a steam train ( with lots of Real Ale involved 😉 ) on the East Lancs Railway.
May. The weather was great in May and included a day out in Kirkby Lonsdale with my sister and her family. We even managed a paddle in the river. 🙂 A walk along the banks of Derwent Water in the Lake District was made all the more interesting , when Wil, Hugo and I came across a giant hand sculpture! Our Holiday Season started in May.:) A camping trip in the Yorkshire Dales , not too far from Fountain Abbey. And a stay in a hotel looking over Haweswater. 🙂
June. I loved our day out in Malham where we walked up to the Cove and paddled in Janet’s Foss. Think that was Hugo’s favourite part.:) We also went camping in Silverdale and Hugo enjoyed his second ever boat trip, on Lake Windermere.
July. Clitheroe has had lots of great new eating and drinking venues open in 2016 and the biggest surprise is probably Bowland Beer Hall at Holmes Mill. It’s an amazing space in an old textile mill, host to a listed steam engine and what appears to be England’s longest continuous bar. I attended the opening evening with Wil and some friends in July. I also crossed Llama Trekking off my Bucket List when myself and some of my family enjoyed a half day with these adorable animals here. Oh and Hugo found himself inside the July edition of The Simple Things Magazine. 🙂
August. In August there was a holiday at Spring Park in Cornwall. We stayed in ‘The Duke’ , a beautifully restored Showman’s wagon. On the way down to Cornwall we stopped one night in the spa town of Bath.I would love to return to both places. 🙂 Hugo has been busy bagging lakes all year. Here he is in Grasmere, over the bank holiday.
September. The poor pooch wasn’t quite sure what to think of The The Morecambe Bay Cross Bay Walk. as it involved a lot of doggy paddling. I got pretty soaked too! The new Bridget Jones film turned into a bit of an event for us ladies.:) And if you like cake ( doesn’t everyone) you will like my post about my friend Nicolas Macmillan World’s Biggest Coffee Morning.. She certainly didn’t scrimp on her baking. 🙂
October. We had an unseasonably dry October so this month’s posts are full of Autumn colours. 🙂 I joined in with #30dayswild, and enjoyed fun days out at Lowther Castle & Gardens and The Forbidden Corner with family.
November. November is my Birthday month so it was great to get away with Wil and Hugo to a holiday cottage in Scotland . The Afternoon Tea in Portpatrick was a Birthday treat courtesy of Wil and it was also nice to get together with friends. 🙂
December. This month has been all about meeting up with family. 🙂 I’ve included a piccie of my cat Slinky as she does tend to get overshadowed by a certain Black Labrador. And I took part in Janet’s ‘Thrifty Christmas Gift Swap’ which I will post about separately I’m sure.
Despite the radical changes in this country and abroad in 2016, I guess the best thing to do is just carry on and LIVE. Life is just to short to get depressed about it. So all the best for 2017 guys ….. and see you soon. X
The tree is down and the decorations have been put away. Yet the happy times don’t have to end. Winter is so often dark and cold but maybe we should embrace our longest season. Maybe we should do as the Danish do and bring on the Hygge!! Hygge ( pronounced hoogah) is a Danish word that describes a feeling of cosiness and joy. It embodies the pleasures we take in simple things such as enjoying a mug of hot tea whilst the rain beats at the window, reading a favourite book by candlelight, getting together with friends in a cosy pub or snuggling on the sofa with a pile of blankets and cushions and a good film. It seems that people in Denmark cannot wait for Winter to arrive and their contentment with this time of year surely contributes to their nation being ‘the happiest’ in Europe. 🙂
With this in mind I have consulted ‘The Little Book of Hygge’ by Meik Wiking of The Happiness Institute in Copenhagen ( yes there is such a place! ) and written a list of ideas to help us get through the rest of January and February. No two months need the concept of Hygge more, I feel.:) Indoors.
Light candles. The home always feels so much cosier by candlelight.
Feel toasty. Snuggly socks, slipper boots, cozy cushions & throws all add to that super cozy feeling.
Hot drinks. Your favourite coffee, tea or hot chocolate in a lovely new mug. Why not try an unusual tea , add a flavoured syrup to your coffee or some ginger to hot chocolate.
Bring Nature Indoors. Treat yourself to a few plants or flowers. Or when your out and about look for fir cones, greenery, berries etc and arange them inside.
Take up a creative hobby. I’m always saying I will learn to crochet! Or how about rag rugging, knitting or cross stitch.
Bring out the boardgames. Invite friends or family round for boardgame fun. Remember Scrabble, Monopoly, Connect 4, Kerplunk?
A good book. Hunt out your library card and take out some stories by your fave authors to read over Winter.
Old Movies. Oldies are the best I think. Some of my faves include Rebecca, The Ghost & Mrs Muir, To Catch A Thief and Roman Holiday. Snuggle down with some of your fave films.
Slow Cook. Make Winter warming stews and fill the home with amazing aromas. Oh and invite friends round for a hearty supper. They can always bring pudding. 😉
Discover a New Box set. There are so many! Currently binge watching The Killing on Netflix and just caught up with The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Any recommendations?
Dig out old photos. Or print out some of your favourites and put in a photo album to enjoy flipping through on a cold Janury evening.
Create a Hyggekrog. This is cozy nook in the home where you can snuggle in a blanket with a good book and a brew.
Build a Hygge Emergency kit. For those times you just want to curl up with all favourite things. Add candles, a book you love, notebook & pen, chocolate, your fave film, some snuggly socks, pjs, a face mask, a pretty teacup and your tea of choice. Or whatever makes you happy. 🙂
Daylights at a premium in January and February so I will try and make the most of it. 🙂 Here are a few ideas.
Out & About.
Blustery Beach Walk. The UK is full of almost deserted beaches in the Winter , so why not wrap up warm and blow those cobwebs away with an invigorating walk along the coast. Look out for wintering water birds and big skies.
Hire a Beach Hut for the day. Why not rent a base for your day out at the seaside. Be sure to take essentials such as warm blankets, hot water bottles, flasks of hot chocolate and your fave board games. Heres a Beach Hut day rental site in St Annes.
Hunt out Street Art. Fill a flask with your favourite hot beverage and explore your neighbourhood on foot.
Find a Cozy Cafe. There’s nothing more comforting than finding a cozy cafe to relax in when the weather is miserable outside. You can even get that Hygge feeling in one of the many Scandinavian cafes that are popping up around Britain such as Baltzersens in Harrogate and Nordic Bakery in London.
Snowdrop Walks. January & February bring out carpets of snowdrops. A sure sign that Spring is tentatively on its way. The National Trust has information on Snowdrop walks near you. 🙂
Book A Weekend Away. The great thing about booking a few days away out of season is the price! Look for somewhere with a wood burning stove or open fire for that extra Hygge feeling. I used Sally’s Cottages to find a cozy cottage for a weekend in January.
Borrow a Dog. If you don’t have a four legged friend, borrow a pooch from a friend or family member and take them out for a long country walk. Fresh air is honestly one of the best cures for the Winter Blues and your new companion will be very appreciative.There’s even a website Borrowmydoggy.com that you can sign up to.
Spa days. Look out for pamper package offers at local spas and treat yourself.
Ice skating. Find your inner child and get out onto the Ice. Some outdoor rinks are open throughout January, like this one www.canarywharf.co.uk
January & February Celebrations. Take note of winter celebrations such as Burn’s Night at the end of January, Chinese New Year, Shrove Tuesday or ‘Pancake Day’ , Candlemas/Imbolc and Valentine’s Day. Or make that Galentine’s Day to celebrate the girl pals in your life!
Hope this post gives you a few ideas of how to combat those Winter Blues. Oh and if it does actually snow, make sure you dig out that sledge!! 🙂