Category Archives: reading

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. 🙂
 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Sevens 14th May.

 

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.

Blackburn Cathedral.
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A bit of yarn bombing in Blackburn.

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…

 

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The Essex  Serpent.

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…. 🙂

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The road to and from Sunderland Point.

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.

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Beacon Fell Sculpture.

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 !

Sunday Sevens was devised by the lovely Natalie at Threads And Bobbins.

Photo an Hour 18th March 2017.

8am.  Starting the morning by finishing my book. Its a good un. 🙂 The Yorkshire Shepherdess by Amanda Owens. My Other Half is a good un too, as he has taken the doog out in the rain. 🙂

9am. Nothing in for breakfast so I’m at the supermarket. Brekkie shall be croissants.

10am. Washing up and admiring these daffs Mum gave me from her garden. 🙂

11am. Off out to do some jobs uptown shortly. The weather is still a bit grim. 

Noon. I pass this little fella on a shop sign as I walk through the town centre.

1pm. Having a spot of lunch in a cafe called Brioche in Clitheroe. The wall is adorned with clocks of all shapes and sizes.

2pm. Back home and watching my plastic windmills whirl and twirl in the wind.

3pm. Sorting out which of my clothes to take to London in two weeks. Two weeks!! 

4pm. Milk, a cereal bar and my fave magazine. 🙂

5pm. Watching reruns of ‘Gavin & Stacey’ on the box. I love this show. I always secretly hope they will make a one off Christmas special again. That would be lush. 😉

6pm. Going to close the curtains and shut the world outside. Don’t judge me, I have been in my pjs since just after 3. 

7pm. Busy writing up a blog post.

8pm. Hugo looking sorry for himself. Maybe he is objecting to his very pink fleece !

9am. Yep I’m going to bed and its only nine. And I’m ending this post by starting The Yorkshire Shepherdess’s 2nd book. 🙂

Thanks as always to louisa 

and Janey 

for organizing Photo An Hour. X
 

 

Sunday Sevens Sunday 12th March.

Hi there I thought I would gather last week’s pictures together and make a Sunday Sevens post. 🙂

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Last weekend I came upon an Honesty Box selling eggs whilst we were   walking in Rossendale. As one of the entries on my 25 Before 45 ~ A Bucket List. is to make a meal from provisions bought from an Honesty Box, I left the requested £1 for six eggs and the following day we made pancakes for breakfast. So yummy but I am not sure one ingredient purchased this way can warrant me crossing it off my list?

Spring is on its way for sure now. 🙂  The snowdrops are almost over but blossoms are appearing on the trees, Daffodils and Crocuses are brightening up the parks and Celandines and Daisies are popping up everwhere. It feels good!

The decorating is over for a couple of months. Upstairs is pretty much done now. All that is needed are some more pictures for the stairs and landing. I am pretty happy with these framed retro Lake District Views we found in card  form from   Love The Lakes in Keswick.

Only a little over 3 weeks until we are off to London for some Birthday celebrations. My little sis is going to be 40! Eeeek ! So we are all booked into ‘The  Big Smoke’ for 4 nights in April. So far we have a theatre trip planned and of course an Afternoon Tea. 😉 . Hoping to book The Sky Garden  for amazing and FREE views over the cityscape too. And maybe use a water taxi to Greenwich. Decisions. Decisions.

So I have been scanning my London Guide books for things to do. Any recommendations?

Sunday Sevens was devised by Natalie at Threads And Bobbins. 

 


Sunday Sevens 29th January 2017. 

Hi this is my first Sunday Sevens of 2017!  Here is what I have been up to in the last week.

Books Read in January.

I have been on a roll reading this month. Three of the above were Christmas presents and all four books I have given solid 4 ☆☆☆☆ on Good Reads. A whimsical romance with books, a quirky story about a young adventuress who doesn’t recall her adventures, a laugh out loud romp with our favourite singleton Bridget and and an interesting novel about the reintroduction of wolves into Northern England. All good.

Derwent Water Morning light.
Castlerigg Stone Circle.

Last weekend was spent enjoying a mini break in The Lake District. We stopped in a cosy cottage in Keswick with our dog Hugo.Keswick has been voted ‘Most Dog-friendly town’ several years on the run. More about that coming soon. The above pictures show reflections in beautiful Derwentwater and the nearby ancient Castlerigg Stone Circle with its mountainous backdrop.

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Stella the Tabby.

On the way home from Cumbria we dropped by a Yorkshire village called Clapham and I met the proprietor of a local vintage shop, who was actually a tabby cat called Stella. 🙂

New Mugs!

 

Whilst I was away I bought two new mugs from a shop in Keswick called  Love The Lakes. Mine is the one with the sheep on. 🙂

 

 

Stairway to heaven. Erm not yet!

This weekends job is lots of sanding and getting the stairs and landing ready for decorating and a new carpet. I can’t claim that I have done much to help as Wil does not trust me with a paint brush! To speed up proceedings Mr Hugo has decamped to a boarding kennels for the weekend. It is really wierd without him. 😦

Happy Chinese New year. 🙂

After lots of decorating prep we stayed in with a Chinese ( do you like my dragon puppet? ) and watched anti-superhero film ‘Deadpool’. Quite amusing!

How was your week?

Ten Fun things to do in December.

I thought I would reblog this Christmassy post from a couple of years ago. Just reading it made me feel so festive. 🙂

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Winter is nearly here ! And festive thoughts abound as December is almost upon us. I thought I would compile a Top Ten post ~ so wrap up snug and warm and take a look. 😀

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Get your Skates On. Lots of large towns and cities open up temporary open air ice skating rinks at this time of year.  Time to twirl as snowflakes fall. Or at least cling to the side with a hot chocolate and watch the experts glide by.

Christmas Cocktails. Expand your Christmas cocktail repertoire ( Maybe I should experiment more ~ than just Baileys & Ice. 🙂 ) , here are some festive fizz and merry mulled wine recipes to indulge in.

Manchester Xmas Market CHEESE! Manchester Xmas Market CHEESE!

Christmas Markets. Continental Christmas Markets spring up all over the UK every winter these days so there is no excuse not to browse the Bavarian style wooden chalet…

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Sunday Sevens September 18th.

Although there was a nip in the air early yesterday morning, it still feels like Summer here in North West England. Even though I have recently written a Twenty Things To Do This Autumn. 🙂 blog post, the warm rays of Summer hang on. 🙂

Last Sunday we traveled home from Grange-Over-Sands as we had stayed the night there after doing the The Morecambe Bay Cross Bay Walk. It’s well worth doing by the way! On our meander home to Clitheroe we stopped off in both Cartmel and Bolton Le Sands.

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A cute cafe cat relaxes outside The Mallard in Cartmel.

Cartmel is a pretty medieval village specially famed for it’s Sticky Toffee Pudding, ancient priory, busy race course and a variety of foodie shops. We had a little walk in the nearby woodland and enjoyed a hot chocolate in the village centre.

We stopped later in Bolton le sands near Morecambe for lunch. I wish I had taken some photos of the sea, however I did manage to take the following cute animal pictures. 🙂

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Lapwing. One of my favourite birds.
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Ponies at Bolton le sands.

Giant rabbits at Red Bank Farm campsite which has a cafe and a pets corner, open to non residents too.

The giant rabbits reminded me of the book I have just finished reading. It’s called When God was A Rabbit. Has anyone ever read it?  I loved the first half but the second half wasn’t as good.

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Yesterday I made some cookies. Why do they never look as good as in the recipe book? Ha ha.! 🙂

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Dark Chocolate & Pistachio Cookies.

They are pretty tasty though ….and the recipe can be found in Sabrina Ghayour’s Cook Book ‘Sirocco’ ~ Fabulous flavours from the East.

This post is for Sunday Sevens which is devised by Natalie at the blog Threads and Bobbins. where she asks folks to share seven ( or more) photos of their personal week.