Category Archives: reading

Sunday Sevens 25th February.

Welcome to another Sunday Sevens. Managed to actually write two this month. πŸ™‚

I noticed this book on the Instagram page of a lovely gift shop I know in Clitheroe ‘ The Keep’ just off Moor Lane…and I was intrigued. I love movies and I love food! So when Wil very kindly bought it me as a belated Valentine’s present ( Thanks Wil! ) I was delighted. We immediately decided to try out a recipe…and chose The Hawaiian Burger based on The Big Kahuna Burger eaten by Samuel L Jackson’s God fearing Hitman in Pulp Fiction. It was great! We also rewatched the movie. I had forgotten what a cool soundtrack Pulp Fiction has! I am sure I will blog about Eat What You Watch , A cookbook For Movie Lovers once I have attempted the creme bruliee from Amelie and/or Uncle Buck’s Giant Pancakes. πŸ˜‰

Meanwhile this was Hugo when he spied the finished results. Oh Hugo……

Another book I happened upon recently at a second hand book sale is this beautiful book of bird illustrations from The British Museum, matched accompanying poems. It was only £3 and I love it. 😁

On Friday evening myself and friends Fi and Jo went on a spooky ghost walk round Hoghton Tower near Preston. Fi saw it advertised on Facebook and immediately decided we should go. Reputedly the 3rd most haunted house in Britain, Hoghton Tower seems to have a ghost residing in every room. As we were lead by torch light from wing to wing and down through underground passageways, we kept a nervous eye out for Ladies in white, Ladies in green, monks, little french girls, mischievous spirits and black dogs, amongst others. I wouldn’t have minded seeing the black dog. πŸ˜ŠπŸ•

Wil and I took our black dog on another walk to a country pub yesterday. My #walk1000miles challenge is going well. So far walked 220 miles in 8 weeks. πŸ€—

These two flew to the pub on their Broomsticks. πŸ˜‰

Thanks to Natalie as usual for organizing Sunday Sevens.

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Sunday Sevens February 4th.

Its actually Friday morning as I gather together some pictures for my Sunday Sevens post. Yesterday ( Thursday) I had the day off as I am working for a colleague on Saturday. Yay , I can hardly wait! I know I am totally spoilt really and have become to used to having my weekends off….

I have just finished reading ELeanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, and I must say, I really enjoyed it. The story centres round Eleanor, a thirty something office worker who exists according to a regimented timetable during the week….and buys two bottles of vodka to drink at home every weekend. Eleanor thinks her life is rolling along as it should be, in other words she’s completely fine. And then she makes a friend. I found this book to be sweetly funny, heart-breaking and unputdownable. Anyone else read it?

Linden and Holder image saved from abduzeedo.com via Pinterest.

Currently watching ~ The Killing on Netflix. I am probably very late to the party! Based on the Danish TV series Forbrydelsen ( The Crime) , The Killing is a serial detective drama set in the more often than not bleak and rainy Seattle. With Scandi Noir influences and Linden’s Danish knitted jumpers, our crime busting duo are two very different homicide detectives ,with contrasting styles of how to get things done. Although I am very definitely the kind of audience that hides behind a cushion when I think something bad is going to happen, I am seriously hooked on a good mystery at the moment. Other Netflix series that I have enjoyed recently are The Sinner, Godless and The Lizzie Boden Chronicles. Any recommendations?

Thursday and Friday have been bright and cold days. On Thursday I had a good walk round my local Castle grounds. I went up to the top of the keep and it was freezing up there! This gave me an excuse to visit a tearoom and indulge in a pot of hot tea and a slice of Lemon Drizzle Cake. πŸ™‚

Callooh ! Callay in Clitheroe has just re-opened. If your a fan of Alice In Wonderland and your tea served in vintage china, you will love Callooh!

I also did a spot of shopping. I found a couple of cute cards in Roost, a fab new Gifts and Interiors shop on Moor Lane. Plus I purchased a pretty top in a charity shop for Β£4. Can you see it is covered in little cat motifs. Slinky does not care to compliment it. That little fur ball on the edge of the photo is actually Slinky curled up in sleep ( or ignoring! ) mode.

Slinky Malinki

Speaking of which, I was disappointed to read ( yet again ) this week, that black cats in rescue centres are finding it hard to be re-homed due to them not being seen as photogenic enough for Instagram or selfies. If a person only wants a pet to decorate their social media feed, then I’m afraid they don’t deserve one. There are some eejits out there!

Walkies!

My final photo shows Pendle Hill in the back ground and is a view I tend to see a lot, when we are out and about with Hugo. I am hoping to #walk1000miles in 2018 and my progress in January has been pretty good. I have walked 120 miles in the first month. However I am probably only walking what I have always walked, its just that I haven’t bothered to record the distance before. If we didn’t have Hugo, would I have the motivation??? I think I would struggle!

Thanks as always to Natalie at Threads and Bobbins for organizing Sunday Sevens.

Hebden Bridge and Haworth.

In the past when Wil and I have driven to the Yorkshire town of Hebden Bridge, we have arrived  there completely frazzled, because our old sat nav loves magical mystery tours. Or we just couldn’t find the place at all!   Happily on Saturday the Gods did not conspire against us, and we pulled up in a sunshiney Hebden before ten in the morning.

Hebden Bridge is a market town in  Calderdale.  , famed for its  independent stores  and creative community . Artisan shops and pavement cafes adorn the cobbles and Victorian terraces cling to the steep hillsides.  On a bright September  morning, it really did look like we had arrived in the ‘Happy Valley’.

 

 

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Early morning in Hebden Bridge.

As we were accompanied by a certain ‘ hungry black labrador’ , I suggested  we stop by at The Lamppost Cafe  for coffee and flapjacks for us…and a pup cake for him.  On the Lampposts facebook page it says ‘Because every dog deserves to feel special and be treated so! Don’t tie your best friend to a lamppost, bring them in The Lamppost!’

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A cafe that loves dogs…and their humans. πŸ™‚

We loved the rustic decor in this very dog friendly cafe, and it was fun choosing Hugo a mouthwatering muffin from their impressive pup cake collection. It’s a pity he wolfed it down before I could get a picture !  His new friend  Lucky was most happy to pose though. Isn’t she adorable. πŸ™‚  Lucky is sat on a hessian coffee sack , which you can help yourself to, if your dog doesn’t want to lie on the wooden floor.  I really enjoyed my fruity flapjack and the coffee was good too.

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After a wander round the shops and the market ( I found a lady who makes felt fairy lamps ~ Christmas present sorted for one goddaughter! ), we had lunch at Green’s ( a veggie cafe) and then went for a walk by the canal.

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We headed in the direction of Hebden Bridge’s neighbor Mytholmroyd, where poet Ted Hughes was born. Along the way there were were many barge businesses and floating homes.

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On the outskirts of Hebden Bridge  a rust coloured sculpture of a hawk, roosts in memorial to the Yorkshire born poet.  I’m not sure it looks hawk-like enough. What do you think? Hughes first wife writer ‘ Sylvia Plath’  is buried in the churchyard at nearby Heptonstall.

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Mid afternoon and Hebden Bridge was crazy busy , so we left the town and headed for nearby Haworth, another Yorkshire parish with famed literary connections. But first we stopped off for a walk on the rolling moorland above Oxenhope. Hugo decided to leap onto this wall and nearly ended up in the steep ravine below, tangled with the purple heather and brambles. Luckily he decided that running amongst the rushes was just as much fun!

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The Black Bull was where Branwell Bronte could often be found.

Beautiful Haworth is still so evocative of  its famous residents, the Brontes.  Surrounded by wild moor land , Haworth’s cobbled streets are brimming with old fashioned shops and is little changed from the days when Charlotte, Emily, Anne and Branwell lived with their father in the parsonage , now a museum.

 

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Text from Wuthering Heights.

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I love the cute shops in Haworth and make no apologies for buying a couple more Christmas gifts. I just couldn’t resist and ‘ Wave of Nostalgia ‘ especially, really drew me in.

There are lots of Tea shops on the cobbled main street, but Wil can certainly recommend the Jamaican Peaberry Coffee from 10 the coffee house, where all coffees are freshly ground to order.  As you can see the African Lime cake we shared is tiny! But I’m kind of glad, as it has been my only cheat in a fortnight of abstaining from cake, pastry, crisps , bread and chocolate …..so far. πŸ˜‰

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The Bronte Parsonage.

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It’s been a few years since I have wandered round the wonderful Bronte Museum, and on this visit I contented myself with a stroll in the garden and a quick glance in the museum shop.

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I’ve already decided that I would like to return soon and follow in the footsteps of the Bronte’s ,up onto the South  Pennine  Moors,  via the path that passes the parsonage. Watch this space. πŸ™‚

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

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. πŸ™‚

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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. πŸ™‚

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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. πŸ™‚

 

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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. πŸ™‚

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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. πŸ™‚
 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Sevens 14th May.

 

Hi here is my Sunday Sevens ~ a collection of 7 photos from the last seven days. πŸ™‚ 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.

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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…. πŸ™‚

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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. πŸ™‚  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. πŸ™‚ The Yorkshire Shepherdess by Amanda Owens. My Other Half is a good un too, as he has taken the doog out in the rain. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ˜‰

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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

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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 Β£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. πŸ™‚  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. πŸ˜‰ . 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.