Category Archives: lancashire

Sunday Sevens ~ 9th July. 

Its been a while since I have joined in with Natalie’s  Sunday Sevens, so I thought I would collect some piccies together, and give it a go. Last weekend was a friend’s wedding, and the reception included an Afternoon Tea!  Now any readers of this blog must be wondering , why have I  been slacking on the afternoon tea front recently?  I really don’t know!! Must remedy that. The Spread Eagle in Sawley does an amazing one, which includes a tasty sandwich selection, fruit cake and cheddar cheese, rocky road, carrot cake and scones with strawberry jam & clotted cream. I must say the Spread Eagle is also a lovely wedding venue with welcoming staff and lovely interiors. 

 

And theres even a menu for dogs. 🙂  Wil and I ended up walking back the next day to pick up the car. We had a yummy lunch there and ordered Hugo some crackerjacks. They didn’t last very long!  

 

Wil and I at the wedding.

This week I have been catching up on the utterly brilliant The Handmaid’s Tale on channel 4. If you have heard of the Margaret Atwood novel from the 1980’s , this series is based on her dystopian masterpiece….and is gripping, horrifying,moving, disturbing and Wow, just amazing!  Set in a totalitarian society in a modern day America, where chemical warfare has rendered most men and women sterile, The Handmaid’s tale follows the lives of  the few fertile women that are left, imprisoned as child- bearers , for the future of the population. Elizabeth Moss ( Mad Men) plays Offred and we see her struggle to survive this terrifying regime. You need to watch this show….

A year ago I blogged about the regeneration of  Holmes Mill, an old Textile Mill in my home town, Clitheroe. It is being turned into an amazing entertainment space and already houses England’s longest continuous bar. Thursday gone ,saw the new Food Hall open , showcasing some of Lancashire’s best local produce. I hope to do a proper blog about it soon, but here are a few photos to wet your appetite. 🙂

 Of course , as fantastic as it looks, the Food Hall is also incredibly expensive. Somewhere to go if you want to treat yourself , I think ! 

Speeking of much less creative spaces ( sigh) here is our horrid front room, with its stunning 1970’s brick work and fire. We had a bit of a declutter yesterday, and it is actually looking a lot better than it did!  Anyway future plans ( probably next year) are to update the fire ( hurrah!) and paint the horrible brickwork white ( may need about 20 coats! , not sure it will look right though? ) as well as put wooden flooring in and change the wallpaper. To be honest I would dearly  love to take a sledge hammer to those darn bricks, but Wil is not to keen on that idea! What would you do?? 

Lost in a time warp….in a bad way. 😉

Anyway thanks for dropping by and enjoy your Sunday.  Looks like sunshine out there! 

30 Days Wild ~ Days 26 to 30. A poem and a Nature Reserve Visit.

Here are my ‘Wild’ moments from the last few days of June. 🙂

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Day 26 ~ Pressed Flowers make memories.  After resurrecting my old Travel journal ( it went by the wayside after I started blogging), I thought pressing a couple of local flowers from our Yorkshire Dales camping trip, would be  a nice way of remembering our time there.  I must get myself a flower press though. I just squished a field scabious and a common vetch ( both are numerous along the river Wharfe) between two pages of a book, I was reading at the time. Not very professional!

 

 

Day 27 ~  A Nature Inspired Poem. So here’s my attempt at writing a poem!  I have took inspiration from my recent trip to the Norfolk coast. We stayed in the seaside town of Hunstanton and visited nearby Holme, Wells and Blakeney Point.

Busy Bee , Stop!  Look up….. and rest.

Rust striped cliffs, where fulmars nest.

In rocky pools  limpets cling.

Oyster Catchers peck them clean.

Cinnabars and fluttering Blues.

Sea Holly amongst the dunes.

Bursts of pink wave in the breeze.

Seals play in blustery seas.

So stop…. and look….. and take in

the wild living  amongst us.

 

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Day 28 ~ Feeling Blue. Today was another dreary damp day, but instead of feeling blue, I made a slideshow of the colour blue in nature. These pictures are all from the past couple of months.  They include Scabious, Meadow Cranesbill, Viper’s Bugloss ( aka Sea Thistle), Blue Sky, Small Blue butterfly, Bluebells, Violet and blue in a Peacock Butterflies wing.

Day 29.  Update. Has #30dayswild been a success in our little back yard? Well , it’s a work in progress! The wildflower seeds I planted at the beginning of the month are definitely seedlings.Still waiting to find out what they will become. I have not counted any butterflies, though I have seen bees. It has rained every day since I put out the bee water dish. 😦 Most successful is our little bird feeding station. We now  have bluetits and a Tree sparrow, as restaurant regulars. 🙂

Day 30.  Visit a Nature Reserve. My last day of ‘Wild’ has been a success! This morning I took myself off to one of Clitheroe’s two Nature Reserves, on the edge of town. You can find them both by using The Wildlife Trust’s Nature Finder App. Salthill Quarry is half woodland and half disused quarry. The limestone grassland is a haven for wildflowers, and even on a drizzly day like today. it did not disappoint. Prepare for about a million photos….

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Any ideas? A ground spreading purple flower in the woodland.
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A snail amongst the bramble.
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Trees Canopy.
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Not sure of this birdie either.
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Agrimony. Used in Herbal medicine.
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How cute is this squirrel. 🙂
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Self-Heal. Used by Medieval first- aiders for binding up wounds.
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Rosebay Willowherb. Also known as Fireweed.
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Vetch.
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There were lots of orchids. 🙂
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Ringlet Butterfly. One of the few butterflies that are active in light showers.
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Goldfinch.
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A type of grass.
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Despite the weather,I did see quite a few bees.
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Creeping Cinquefoil.
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Pignut. Has edible roots.
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Scabious.
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Marjoram.  A striking culinary herb.
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Hawkweed and Betony in the background.
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Another Ringlet.
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Thrush.
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Ladybird on Meadow Sweet.

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My favourite spots of the day. But are they Six spotted Burnet Moths or Cinnabar Moths?  They did not move from their blades of grass.

So there you have it! Another #30dayswild ends. It has been a challenge this year, but also a lovely experience. I have taken more notice of insects.  I have visited  new places, as well as returned to some old favourites. I have tried to make the garden area more wild and will continue to do so. As usual The Wildlife Trusts have inspired me to stop, step back and take in , all the beautiful nature that surrounds me. 🙂

Hawthorn’s June Photo Scavenger Hunt.

Hurrah I found a Photo Scavenger Hunt recently, courtesy of Hawthorn at I Live, I love, I Craft, I am Me.  So I thought I would join in for June!  I must admit, I have borrowed a couple from the archives, on this , my first attempt. But mostly my photos were taken in the past four weeks. 🙂


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The Setting Sun. Crystal Cove near Tofino on Vancouver Island. Wow 11 years ago!  Oh to go again and look for bears, whales and giant woodpeckers. 🙂  You can see some of my memories of Canada  here.

Local Wild Place. I guess if I am not walking the dog down the fields, my nearest local wild place is Clitheroe Castle and it’s park. I’m lucky enough to live a stones throw away, and its a great place for watching birds , squirrels and butterflies.


Mug of your favourite drink in the garden.  There is actually a drink in my mug. Honest! I wouldn’t say coffee is my favourite drink, but I certainly consume more of it than I ever used to. In fact before I met my other half ( many moons ago) , I didn’t drink coffee at all. Now I am on the hard stuff. Strong and Black! 😉

My kind of beautiful. My beautiful nephew and niece.

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Look to the skies. A holiday snap from our stay in Norfolk. Taken from the pier at Cromer. I love the slightly moody sky in this picture.

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Rain. A Yellow Flag Iris covered in raindrops. This was in Norfolk too, on the Sandringham estate. A very rainy walk !

 

 

Mini Beasts. Spot the shiny green beetle. Out with Hugo on a miserable rainy afternoon, a glistening green jewel caught my eye.

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Something Summery. Beautiful Beach huts at Old Hunstanton in Norfolk. I love Beach Huts!  There are not many in lovely Lancashire , though St Annes has some. The Norfolk coast has it’s fair share though. 🙂

Urban Wildness.  Swans and cygnets on the canal in Skipton. 🙂

My Own Choice. My family! Minus the crazy cat. Its me, Wil and Hugo outside The Golden Lion in Hunstanton, Norfolk.

If you wish to join in too in July , check out the blog link above . Catch you soon!

30 Days Wild ~ Days 10 to 16. Wild-rose petal jam and a walk in the centre of Britain. 

Back to my own neck of the woods  now, the lovely Ribble Valley in Lancashire. Here are my wild moments from the last seven days. 🙂

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Day 10 ~ The Running Hare. I have started reading this charming book by John Lewis Stempel. It is  the story of how a farmer attempts to transform a bare ,almost barren meadow , into a haven for the kind of wildlife that would frequent a field, if it wasn’t for the intensive farming methods used  today. This book takes me back to my own childhood, growing up on a farm, when  hare and partridges, lapwing and field mice were much more commonplace  than they are today. I hope he succeeds…

 

Day 11 ~ Wild Rose-Petal Jam. The hedgerows are full of fragrant Wild Rose shrubs , so I thought I would follow this recipe and make Rose- Petal Jam.

2 Cups Wild Rose Petals.

2 Cups Caster Sugar.

1 tbsp Orange juice.

1 tbsp Lemon juice.

Half a cup of Water.

Dissolve two cups of caster sugar in half a cup of water mixed with one tablespoon each of lemon juice and orange juice. Stir in the rose petals and put the pan over a very low heat. Stir continuously for 30 minutes, or until the petals have ‘melted’. Cool the mixture and pour into a small glass jar and seal. Rose-Petal jam is popular in the Middle East , especially with yoghurt.

The recipe worked, though took an awful lot of stirring. Also the jam is incredibly sweet, so I think if I make it again, I would lessen the amount of sugar used.


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Day 12 ~  Feeding the Birds.  Wil very kindly made this hanger for the bird feeders at the weekend. Much less precarious than having them swing about on the washing line! One visitor has taken to the Coconut shell filled with cooked fat and seeds.A bluetit ! Hopefully more will follow. 🙂

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Meadow Cranesbill.

Day 13 ~  Wildflower Count. My blogger pal  Christine has posted on Facebook about an online Wildflower survey organized by Plantlife  , so I thought I would give it a go on today’s dog walk. Hugo and I followed Mearley Brook through the fields and then on to the River Ribble. I ticked off only 7 of the suggested flowers, which  was a little disappointing . But there were a few I spotted that were not on the list, such as Red Campion, Crosswort, Silverweed and Water Forget-me-not. I also saw the shiny copper coloured beetle below. Let me if know you take part…


 

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Possibly a Garden Chafer.

Day 14 ~ Meadow Grasses.  Flowers are beautiful, but have you ever noticed how pretty wild grasses are?  On an early morning walk with Hugo, I passed through a farmer’s field, which I think is waiting to be mown. Here are just a few of the different grasses that I very quickly took pictures of with my phone. Hugo loves racing trails through this meadow. We ended up soaked with dew and covered in grass seeds. 🙂

 

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Day 15 ~ Wildflower Seedlings. It looks like the seeds I received in my #30dayswild pack from The Wildlife Trusts are sprouting in my flower bed. Either that or a variety of weeds. I am intrigued to see what we end up with!

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Day 16 ~  A walk in the centre of the Kingdom.  Did you know the exact Centre of the UK is in Lancashire?  National Grid reference SD63770 56550 Hanging Stones , to be exact!  The nearest village is the pretty Bowland settlement of Dunsop Bridge. We parked our car in the village car park and walked up the track adjacent PuddleDuck Tearooms, past the playground and into the Dunsop Valley. Here are a few photos of the wildlife we saw on our walk.

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A Willow warbler, I think.
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Thistle.
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Heath Bedstraw.
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Pied Wagtail.
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Mallards.
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Elderflower.
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Common Spotted Orchids.
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Grey Wagtail.
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Foxglove.
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Eyebright.
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Mistle Thrush, I think !

After our ramble we had earned coffee and cake at Puddleducks!  A tearoom complete with ducks on the Village Green. 🙂

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Puddleducks , Dunsop Bridge.

Whoo I think that means we are just over halfway through ’30 Days Wild’ now. I just need to think of some ideas for the next 14 days!  All suggestions welcome. 🙂
 

 

 

 

 

Heysham and Half Moon Bay.

The recent sunshine is making me long for the seaside. I shall have to make do by collecting my pictures together of a lovely coastal walk in Lancashire.  ðŸ˜‰

When I think of Heysham, I basically picture it as a Ferry port and the home of Heysham Power Station.  I actually had no idea of how pretty the old part of the village is, and how full of history.

We parked up in the spacious village car park ( £1.40 for five hours)  and passed a few pretty tea rooms and shops on our stroll towards the start of our walk, St Peter’s Church.

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St Peter’s has windswept tombstones and uninterupted views of the sea. It has been here since Saxon times.
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The Coastal Walk is looked after by The National Trust.
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We headed through a patch of woodland and emerged onto a cliff top. Here are the 8th Century ruins of  St Patrick’s Chapel.
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St Patrick is said to have been shipwrecked here in the 5th Century.
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The Chapel looks out over ‘Half Moon Bay’.
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Definitely the most unusual burial ground I have seen.  Rock cut graves carved out of the headland.

The Rock- Cut Graves that surround St Patrick’s Chapel are actually not unique.  There are apparently similar graves in Hexham, Northumberland and in Ireland.  The body shaped hollows were carved for the VIPs of the eleventh century, mostly kings and priests.  I hope they had lids on!

We continued along the cliff footpath , heading towards the Ferry Port in the distance. It was quite a bracing day in May , so when we spotted the Half Moon Bay Cafe ,we warmed up with a hot drink.

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The beach allows dogs all year round. 🙂
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Looking towards the Ferry Port.
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The Half Moon Bay Cafe is bright and friendly.  It sells a small selection of local art and doggy treats too. 🙂

After a welcome brew we made our way back to Heysham, following another criss- crossing path over the cliff tops, an area known locally as ‘The Barrows’.

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Flowering Gorse.
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Campions.
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A pretty cove.
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Wil and Hugo.
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Bluebells.

Back in the village, I picked up a fantastic and quirky map of The Morecambe Bay and Heysham area from the Heritage Centre .  The ‘Seldom Seen’ series of maps , ‘map the hidden assets of Morecambe bay’ and are full of interesting facts. I especially like the phrase ‘ Beyond This Place Lie Monsters’. 🙂

Seldom Seen Map.
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The newly refurbished Royal is a great place for lunch.
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Look out for ‘The Spirit of Heysham’ sign…..and a viking!

Vikings came to Heysham over 1000 years ago and today this is celebrated when the village holds  it’s annual  Viking Festival. This year’s event takes place 15th ~ 17TH jULY.

By all accounts I was very surprised by Heysham. Now I have my map , I’m sure I will be returning soon. 🙂

 

Photo An Hour Sat 20th May.

Yesterday I joined in with #photoanhour on Instagram, organized as always by louisa and Janey
 
, I think its been going a good few years now. My posts always seem to contain a picture of Slinky ( the cat) on the bed , and Hugo ( our dog) out on a walk. Nothing changes then! 

 

8am ~  the day started out quite bright and warm with the sun streaming through the bedroom window, so it seemed right to get up and out , despite slight hangovers. 😉 

9am ~ As always here is Slinky , making the most of an empty bed! 

10am ~ Housework done , so settled with my latest photo album. I kid you not, I have millions! Putting a few photographs in and…… considering building an extension for them. 😉

11am ~ Doing a few jobs in town and find a man with an owl outside the New Inn. Turns out he is advertising a Bird Of Prey charity , that has an exhibition on the market today. I bob by and donate a few pennies.

12 Noon ~ We bought a few plants off the market for our back yard. 

1pm ~ We have lunch at the wonderful Cheesie Tchaikovsky cafe in town. Sadly it is closing down as the owner has become deeply allergic to bread and baking bread. 😦 . I will miss her amazing cheese scones. 

2pm ~  Back home and find some postcards from postcrossings in the post! Including these cute kittens from Germany. 🙂

3pm ~ Out with Hugo in the rain. Wil spots this tiny glistening green beetle on a leaf. Could possibly be a flea beetle. Not sure.

4pm ~ A bit later than 4 actually. Got absolutely soaked in the rain so warming up with a brew indoors.

5pm ~ Weather brightened up again. Off to Homebase for some compost and pass these pretty cottages. I love the blue flowered bush , but not sure what it is.

6pm ~ A selection of bits and bobs for tea including samosas off the market. 🙂

7pm ~ Settleing down to watch Doctor Strange on dvd.

8pm ~ Hugo does not seem impressed with Doctor Strange. Neither does Wil, but I quite like it. Keep thinking Mr Cumberbatch is Sherlock though! 

9pm ~ The money plant I obtained recently has not sprouted fivers. 😦 But I did get it a pretty new pot, so you never know…..

10pm ~ Yep I’m in bed. So Rock N Roll ! Jotting down ideas for #thirtydayswild in June. Looking forward to getting my pack! 

Well thats it for a pretty quiet Saturday. Let me know if you joined in too. 🙂