How are you doing? How are you coping with this new kind of lifestyle? At the moment everything feels all kinds of surreal, though I suspect at some point it is going to feel like the norm…
Currently I am not working ,though my other half is as he is classed as a Key worker. So we are not getting under each others feet and still getting on fine. 🙂 I have signed up as a community volunteer to buy essentials for the elderly, vulnerable and those in self isolation. Should keep me busy!
I am so glad we are still able go on local walks. Luckily I live a walkable distance from fields and flowers. Spring is certainly just getting on with it. New blooms appear almost every day.
Having a pet means exercise is still very much on the agenda. I am so glad that touchwood, I am in good health. I don’t want to think about self isolation when we have an energetic pooch to walk.
One of the nice things about our walks is that everyone always says hello these days,though from a distance of course… 🙂
Last weekend before the libraries shut, I was able to take out this big pile of reading material. Overdue fees do not apply, as who knows how long it will be before they reopen. I was actually allowed to pick out up to thirty books, but I couldn’t carry that many. 😁
Here are a few things I’ve watched recently.
Le Man’s 66 ~ Rented off BT TV. True story about how Ford pitted itself against Ferrari in the Le Man’s 24 Hour Car Race. Set in 1966 , Christian Bale stars as unpredictable racing driver Ken Miles. ⭐⭐⭐
The Favourite ~ Dvd from Charity shop. Lavish debauchery in Queen Anne’s court as Rachel Wiez and Emma Stones coniving cousins battle it out to be the Queens favourite. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Malory Towers ~ Free on BBC I Player. Enid Blyton’s Mallory Towers novels have been turned into a delightful BBC adaptation. Get lost in lacrosse matches, midnight feasts, sea bathing and ghostly apparitions. Pure nostalgia. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Extra Ordinary ~ Free on Netflix. Zainy Irish horror comedy about a driving instructor with supernatural abilities. ⭐⭐⭐
ZombieLand Double Tap ~ Rented off BT TV. Not quite as good (but still fun!)Sequel to Zombieland. Thankfully we don’t have to shoot zombies when we go outside, just avoid humans. 😅 ⭐⭐⭐⭐
So there you have it. Let me know how your getting on and how your keeping occupied/cheerful.
Although my heart belongs to small independent cinemas ( see my post about The Palace in Longridge) ,it has been hard for me to resist the twinkly lights of a shiny new Picture House , recently opened in my home town. The Everyman Cinema chain prides itself on its lifestyle choice ethos ~ watch a film from a comfy sofa with food & drink orders delivered straight to your seat. All this comes at a price of course. Including an online booking fee , a movie ticket will knock you back £12-85. A friend and I decided to take in a midweek Downton Abbey matinée, a guilty pleasure in itself. 😁
The new Everyman Cinema is situated at Holmes Mill , just a stone’s throw from my house. Already home to a beer hall, food hall, bistro & boutique hotel ,the sympathetically converted mill is quite the perfect location for a quirky three screen cinema.
My friend and I were a little early for the showing, so we sat and relaxed with a drink in the spacious lounge area. The decor here is retro chic. Having just watched The Shining on TV the night before, I giggled as I gazed at the funky floors and furniture, they really did remind me of the interior of the Overlook Hotel. 😁
We didn’t opt for food brought over to our seats, but if you do fancy eating, the menu includes pizzas, sharing plates and Spielburgers as well as sweet treats such as popcorn & ice-cream. You can even come to the restaurant just to eat, or enjoy a cocktail maybe, without seeing a movie.
And what of the comfy sofa seating? It is indeed very roomy and relaxing with cosy cushions, plenty of leg room and there are wide arms & small tables to place your food and drink on.
Unlike your typical Vue Cinema no adds were shown before the feature, just trailers. I do love trailers, almost as much as the film. 😁. Downton Abbey by the way was great, just like a double Sunday night episode with lots of Maggie Smith’s wit.
I was quite prepared not to love Clitheroe’s new cinema, but actually it is good that the town has one again. Save me a seat for an occasional treat, I might just turn up on the day though, and hopefully waver that expensive booking fee!
So on Saturday we decided to see what the Eden valley village of Shap has to offer. To be completely honest I have never been the biggest fan of Shap. Partly because it’s one of those places that you mostly just pass through, a road of grey houses on the way North… and partly because I actually stopped there for a night once with an ex in the deathrows of our relationship. These reasons and the fact that it usually rains in Shap ( in my experience!) haven’t exactly endeared the area to me. But I am being unfair. A little bright sunshine and some friendly hospitality has happily changed my mind. We arrived mid morning with a destination in mind, Shap Abbey. Little is left of this twelfth century abbey except the imposing tower which looks striking against both stormy and sunny skies. Information boards scattered around the site give a you a good idea of what was where. The building was one of several used by the Premonstratensian Order of Canons before the disolvation of the monestries by King Henry VIII. The canons were known as ‘The White Canons’ because of their unusual white woollen habits. They were apparently given good pensions when their home was destroyed , some of the abbeys stones were used to build the adjoining farm house. I can’t help but wonder if those canons still walk the grounds of a moonlit night…..
Wandering round the abbey gave us a good appetite. Shap is home to an award winning Fish & Chip shop. We headed there for lunch. Situated in the heart of the village, Shap Chippy is incredibly fresh and clean looking inside & out. The decor has a homely nautical vibe and we recieved a cheery welcome. You can eat in too, and we were pleasantly surprised that dogs are very welcome. Most importantly the fish & chips are excellent. Well recommended!
After that tasty treat we needed a good route to walk off those calories. Nearby Wet Sleddale Reservoir has a 4 mile public footpath & quiet road that circles the water. Set in the Shap Fells this triangular reservoir was built in the sixties, the water like many Lakeland reservoirs is used to supply Manchester. For this walk I recommend wearing wellies! I guess the clue is in the name. Wet Sleddale is indeed quite wet & boggy, even on a dry September day. We parked on the car park near the dam.
The countryside is lovely here and so peaceful. We only saw a couple of other walkers, so its definitely away from the Lake District crowds. Ling Heather, Scabious and Bog Asphodel grow in abundance and buzzards soar in the sky. The area also has connections with the cult ( and rather batty!) movie Withnail and I. Film locations include the stone bridge where Withnail attempts to shoot fish in the brook below and Sleddale Hall where him and his friend try holidaying in the Lake District. I took a sneak peek at the remote Hall, where outdoor screenings of Withnail and I are shown annually in the yard.
At the end of our wander round Wet Sleddale we sat and admired the gushing dam which is 21 metres high.
Have you ever visited Shap or the surrounding area?
When Wil and I visited Edinburgh recently ,we decided to leave be the usual touristy venues such as the Castle, the Camera Obscura, Mary Kings Close and the Scottish National Gallery. All these wonderful attractions are definitely worth visiting ( and we will again, I am sure), but we wanted to explore some other parts of this beautiful city.
The Scottish Capital has extensive parks, extinct volcanos, hidden bars, Harry Potter inspired locations and the most listed buildings in the world. Here are a few images from our trip.
Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Garden is just one mile from the city centre, and well worth the walk, if your feeling active. I must admit I was dying to visit the ornate glass houses, of which there are ten. The Victorian Temperate Palm house below is one of the tallest traditional Palm houses ever built. Because it was quite nippy, it was nice to keep warm inside for a while, so I recommend a Winter trip. Look out for the Gardens cat, a handsome black Tom, called Milo. I didn’t manage to get a picture, but he’ll be the one being fussed over by the tourists. 🙂
From the Botanic Gardens it is a pleasant walk alongside the Water of Leith into Stockbridge, an area of Edinburgh with lots of green spaces and a friendly village atmosphere. It’s plethora of independent shops and cafes makes Stockbridge a great place to linger.
Edinburgh is a walkers city! We followed the Dean Path along the waterside to the Dean Village, a beautiful Edinburgh suburb. An Instagrammer’s delight , the Dean Village is incredibly picturesque, but bring a picnic if your planning to eat here. There are no shops or cafes, though plenty in nearby Stockbridge.
One place we reserved a table for dinner was ‘ The Witchery By The Castle‘ near the castle gates. Fine dining in a gothic setting, this restaurant may set you back a few quid, but it is in a very atmospheric setting and the food is mouth watering.
We also discovered some almost hidden bars on our explorations round Edinburgh. Venture down any ginnel off the Royal Mile, and you will find a traditional real ale pub such as The Jolly Judge ( look out for the nearby Writers Museum) and The Jinglin’ Geordie. If your preference is cocktails, The Devil’s Advocate in the Old Town and Brambles in the New Town are both quite hidden from the hustle and bustle, but can get busy even so.
On the Sunday before catching our train home, we took a stroll up Calton Hill which is home to several skyline monuments. From here there are far reaching views over the city and some quite interesting structures, including a building that was once called ‘Scotland’s Disgrace’. It is in fact a half finished replica of the Athens Parthenon , a tribute to the fallen of the Napoleonic Wars. The money ran out and building of the National Monument was never completed. I quite like it though! Other iconic buildings include The Nelson Monument, The Royal Observatory and Rock House, which you can actually rent as a holiday let.
I don’t know about you, but I have always loved going to the cinema. Yet shamefully in years gone by I have almost abandoned this film themed treat, for the comfort of watching movies ( whilst munching on kettle chips) all snug on the sofa at home.
As a child and teenager my memories of the Pictures, meant a trip into Clitheroe to the Civic Hall Cinema ( a long time closed now) where you would sink into red velvet covered seats and queue in the aisles for sweets and ice creams, sold by usherettes. The very same usherettes ( quite stern old ladies) would shine torches at you if you were misbehaving during the film ;). I for one was always mesmerised , as soon as the red velvet curtains swished open and the familiar Pearl and Dean music filled the theatre, I was engrossed in movie heaven. Modern film multiplexes just don’t have the same appeal. I was intrigued then, when I heard that the market town of Longridge near Preston still retains its original old cinema. A trip to this iconic building was a must! I immediately booked a matinee showing of the new Mary Poppins film for myself, my sister and my nephew and niece. 🙂
The Palace Cinema is apparently one of the oldest surviving cinemas in the North West and is tucked away between terraces on Market Place. When I told my niece and nephew we were looking for the Palace, I think they envisioned a colossal castle, not a cute little Picture House. We parked on a nearby street and followed a few families , who looked like they were heading somewhere welcoming and warm.
I had booked our tickets online and simply showed my phone to one of the attendants. However you can purchase tickets at the Palace as well. After bagging our seats ( they are the original red velvet covered ones 🙂 ) in the packed auditorium, my sister and nephew headed to the foyer to buy drinks and popcorn. I was pleasantly surprised that paper straws were provided with our cold drinks and that they are served in paper cups and recyclable cans. Tea and coffee in china cups are £1.
Before the feature started an apologetic attendant told us that the adds, trailers and National Anthem wouldn’t be played that day, as they had got lost in the cloud. This did make me chuckle. Its sweet that the National Anthem is part of the whole cinema going experience here. Soon we were all lost in the whimsical and splendiferous Mary Poppins Returns, which is well worth seeing by the way. 🙂
The Longridge Palace retains all the charm of a vintage cinema with quirky touches and modern ideas , such as mother and baby screenings, film and book club evenings and adjoining café and bar.
So as November is my Birthday month , I thought I had better check on my 25 Before 45 Bucket list progress. Considering I am now almost the grand old age of 45 ( Sob! ), I think I haven’t done to badly with the list. I have managed to cross off 15 out of 25 of the entries I wrote down two and a half years ago. Some I still would like to do and I am sure I will probably write another list soon, and add them to it. But for now , here is how I did.
1.Learn to crochet. Discovered this isn’t my bag. 😐
A friend and I had a crochet lesson and I just couldn’t master it. Kind of knew I would find it difficult, as I can’t knit either. Imagine me looking quite confused and then thoroughly bored, with my hands tied in woolly knots.
2.Find a keep Fit Regime I like. Done! I have enjoyed the #walk1000miles challenge and am still continuing. Hopefully 1500 miles this year and maybe 2000 in 2019.
3.Eat a Dutch Pancake in Amsterdam. Haven’t got round to visiting Amsterdam yet. Its definitely somewhere I intend to go for a long weekend.
4. Photograph a Kingfisher. Done! Got my photo on the river Nidd in Knaresborough. 🙂
5.Make an Honesty Box Meal. Still need to create a meal from produce bought from the side of a country road.
6.Read To Kill A Mocking Bird. Done! Bought the book from a second hand book shop in Fargo village in Coventry and loved it. I then just had to watch the Gregory Peck film from the 60s and found it to be a great adaptation of the novel.
8.See the Northern Lights. Maybe another trip to Iceland beckons. We chased the lights four years ago , with little success. I don’t really need an excuse to revisit !
9.Have a Vintage Make over. I’m not to bothered about this one anymore. Glam is just not me , to be honest. Does a Wham Tribute night , where my friends and I dress up in Eighties style Choose Life T-shirts and tutus count? 😉
10.Swim in a Lido. Well I can’t believe I never got round to swimming in a Lido! Ilkley Lido in Yorkshire is the nearest one to me, so hopefully next Summer……..
11. Go on a proper picnic with a picnic hamper. Done! Bought a hamper from a charity shopand enjoyed a picnic by the stream in Dunsop Bridge. Unfortunately Hugo took a chomp out of the cake!
12. Be Nine Stone! A-hem, Nope!
13.Stay in a Bothy. Definitely in two minds about this one. The type of bothy I mean is one of the very basic Mountain Bothy Association stone buildings that you find in remote parts of Scotland etc. They are free to stop in, though you might have to share with other hikers. I wrote a post about them called Would you stay in a Bothy? I think I may actually prefer Wild Camping though, as you are zipped up in a tent, and there is no danger of a mouse running up your trouser leg…….
14. Photograph a Barn Owl in the wild. When I wrote this I had actually seen Barn Owls several times. Since then, none at all. 😦
16. Take Part in a sponsored Charity Event. Done! Raised money for the East Lancashire Hospice, whilst walking across Morecambe Bay. The Morecambe Bay Cross Bay Walk.
17. Have Afternoon Tea at Cloud 23. I have really been slacking in the Afternoon Teas department in 2018. Up to press , I haven’t indulged in this very British Institution, all year. I do like the idea of partaking in Afternoon Tea in the clouds though, so Cloud 23 ( at the top of Beetham Tower) your still on my list. 🙂
18. Enter Hugo in a Doggy Competition.Done! Entered Hugo in a bonnie dog category at a local pooch show. He didn’t get placed, even though he is of course, the most handsome boy in the world. I am one highly prejudiced doggy Mum!
19. Get Engaged! Haha.
20. Bathe in a Turkish Baths.Done! The Turkish Baths in Harrogate are a relaxing and fun experience. 🙂 If your ever in Harrogate , treat yourself….
22. Experience a night out down Canal Street. Done! The rainbow village in Manchester, a top night out!
23. Do the Morecambe Bay Cross Bay Walk With the Queen’s Official Guide.Done! See number 15.
24. Visit the new Cat Cafe in Manchester.Done! My friend Lisa and I spent some quality time eating cake and stroking cute kitties. Cat Cafe Manchester.
25. Cook a proper Sunday Roast Lunch ( I almost never cook!). Done! I know its a shocker that up until my 45th year, I had never made a roast dinner. Please don’t judge me. ;). Thanks Wil for overseeing my attempt at Sunday lunch. Yes I did cheat somewhat as I bought ready made gravy, Yorkshire puds and a tray of pre prepared veg to roast. But It still counts….I hope. 🙂
A post I wrote a couple of years ago which is still perfect for this time of year. Maybe swap the film recommendations for a Mamma Mia Sing along and your good to go. 🙂 viaTwenty Things To Do This Autumn. 🙂