Category Archives: seaside

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. πŸ™‚


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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. πŸ™‚  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! πŸ˜‰

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. πŸ™‚

Urban Wildness.  Swans and cygnets on the canal in Skipton. πŸ™‚

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 7 to 9. Seaside fun.

I am pretty fortunate that my holidays fell at the beginning of Thirty Days Wild , so  I don’t need to think too hard about what to post. I was staying on the wildlife rich  Norfolk coast.  πŸ™‚

Day Seven.  Rock Pools and Sea Holly.  Today we decided to walk along the North Norfolk Coastal Path, from Hunstanton, where we were staying , to Thornham. About six miles or so. The beach at Hunstanton is full of rock pools, so I was hoping to see a starfish perhaps…or maybe a crab. No such luck!  I think these guys had got their spoils before we even set off.

I loved the rocky beach at Hunstanton. I suspect If we had hunted more thoroughly we may have found more, but with a bouncy labrador sniffing out sea creatures, we couldn’t linger for too long.

As we neared the next village along the coast ‘Old Hunstanton’, the scenery changed to a perfect sandy beach, amongst the sand dunes.

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Hugo amongst the dunes.
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The Strandline is a beautiful gift shop in Old Hunstanton. The owner, an artist,is inspired to create by the scenery, seasons and nature here.

I posted pictures of the many beautiful flowers growing between Old Hunstanton and neighboring Holme Next The Sea, in my last 30 Days Wild Post ,but here are a few more on the way to Thornham. πŸ™‚

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Sea Holly.
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An orchid I believe.
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Any ideas? Maybe Annual Sea Blite.

Approaching the village of Thornham, we came across a welcome coffee stop at Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s base at Holme Dunes. A wooden walkway over the marshes then led us to the village, where we caught a handy Coast Hopper Bus back to Hunstanton.

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Shelduck.

Day Eight.  Beach Huts and a Bee.  I posted a separate post about today’s fantastic trip to see The Seals at Blakeney Point.  Before that we had a lovely walk along the beach at Wells Next The Sea. A sudden short shower sent us fleeing to the porch of a vacant Beach Hut to shelter, and weather watch.

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Beach Huts at Wells.
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Sheltering with Hugo.
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The sun came out again so here’s a Bumble Bee on a Viper’s Bugloss.

 

Day Nine.  Our last day in lovely Norfolk. Sob!  A quick early morning walk along the beach at Hunstanton, and I find a Heart shaped Pebble. I think this sums up our stay. We will return. X

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Thanks for dropping by. X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

30 Days Wild ~ Days 2 to 6. I β™‘ Norfolk.Β 

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A hastily arranged ‘Wild’ of Fir Cones.

Having recently arrived home from a holiday in Norfolk, thrown some washing in, greeted the cat and waved off my Other Half to the pub, I thought I had better do some catching up on blog posts. πŸ™‚ Firstly it’s time to update my progress on #30dayswild, which The Wildlife Trusts have organized to challenge people to experience 30 random acts of wildness in June.  On Day One I made Wild Watermint Tea here  and since then I have been staying on the coast in Hunstanton , aka Sunny Hunny. πŸ™‚ Here are some Wild Moments!

Day Two.  Red Striped Cliffs and Nesting Fulmars. As soon as had we settled into our accommodation , we headed to the beach with Hugo. The first thing we noticed was the extraordinary red and white striped cliffs. The red chalk is due to iron staining. They are certainly a stunning sight.

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Red and white striped cliffs.

The tide was out and below is our view toward the Sea. Rock pools have formed in between the boulders. Hugo is out there somewhere!  We did not find even a solitary crab in the pools, but they do have rather a lot of predators. Looking up to the cliffs once again , we couldn’t fail to see ( and hear ) hundreds of pairs of Fulmar, nesting in the craggy rock face.

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Rocky pools.

Fulmars look like Gulls but are apparently members of the Petrel family.  They are able to drink sea-water and have ”tube-noses” enabling them to excrete excess salt through their nostrils. You learn something new every day!  We wish our labrador had a Tube Nose, he does tend to take the odd sea sip, when he thinks we are not looking….

Day Three.  Coastal Butterflies & Wildflowers.  On a walk along the Norfolk Coastal Path from Hunstanton to Holme , here are some of the plants and butterflies that we spotted. Now despite studying a couple of Collins Guides , I’m not confident with all my IDs. So if you know better, please let me know. πŸ™‚

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 Vipers Bugloss 
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Orange Hawkweed.
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Pink Valerian.
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Painted Lady in Holme.
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Sea Bindweed.
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Saw lots of tiny blue butterflies fluttering around. Possibly Small Blues.
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Maybe a Tree Mallow.
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Lots of these tiny red moths. Possibly Cinnabar.
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Phacelia.

This walk was a dream for me. Some of these flowers and insects, I have never seen before. I just couldn’t stop smiling. πŸ™‚

Day Four.  Eating Lavender.  Norfolk Lavender is one of the country’s largest Lavender Farms and as it was only down the road from us at Heacham , I persuaded Wil that we needed to try their Lavender Cake!  Lavender has been used since Roman times ( indeed it was the Roman’s who probably brought this fragrant flowering herb over to our shores) in medicines, lotions and potions. I for one had never tried it in cake….. or in Lemonade.

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Cake!

The cake was quite nice ( in a fragrant flowery way) but even though Wil and I shared it, we couldn’t finish it. Now that wouldn’t happen with Chocolate Cake!  The lemonade was refreshing but very very fizzy, so I couldn’t drink all of that either. Most disappointing was the fact that about ninety percent of the lavender isn’t in bloom yet, so if you are planning a visit, wait a few more weeks.

Day Five. Collected Shells on Brancaster Beach.   On Day Five we took Hugo for a walk On Brancaster Beach.  Norfolk is great for Pet Friendly Beaches and Brancaster is just one of many lovely stretches of sand. Our walk was incredibly windy so we got somewhat sandblasted.  I’m not sure my photo really does the conditions any justice!

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Brancaster Beach.
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Sea Campions.
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Shells.

I probably gave up collecting shells after about five minutes , so my little collection is a bit sad. What you can see are a couple of oyster shells, a razor shell, a couple of cockle shells, pebbles and a couple of trough shells. I think they are all quite common on British Beaches.

Day Six. Rainy Walk In a Country Park.  This day was wet and windy so we decided to have a wander round nearby Sandringham Country Park. The canopy from the woodland offered some protection from the elements.  At this time of year the Royal retreat is adorned with flowering Rhododendrons and Foxgloves. We spied a Roe Deer, several squirrels and a couple of cheeky Jays. They were all very camera shy. So here are some facts about foxgloves. πŸ™‚

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Dead Man’s Bells and Witches Gloves. 

Other names for Foxgloves include Fairy Thimbles, Floppydocks and Goblin Gloves.

The  name Ffion is Welsh for Foxglove.

Foxgloves , though highly toxic, are used in Heart Medicines.

Plant Foxgloves in your garden and you will attract fairies.

The White Spots in each bell are marks left by fairies.

Fairies apparently taught foxes to ring the bells, warning other foxes of hunters in the area.

Bad fairies told foxes to wear the flowers on their paws ( like slippers) so the hens in the hen house wouldn’t hear them coming.

In mythology the Roman Goddess Flora touched a foxglove to Juno’s belly, so she could conceive a child with Jupiter.

Thanks for reading my update. More to follow in a few days. πŸ™‚

 

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.  πŸ˜‰

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 ( Β£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. πŸ™‚
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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. πŸ™‚

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’. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

 

Lido β™‘Β 

I’m not quite sure how my fascination with Lido’s started. It’s definitely quite a recent thing with me. Maybe it’s their association with vintage seaside fun or in some cases, the glamour of their 1930’s art deco style. Maybe it’s the fact they were often built with pleasing views in mind ,or is it that they seem a safe and only slightly warmer alternative to outdoor lake and sea swimming …. The silly thing is I’m not even a keen swimmer !  And I’ve never even been to a lido.  Maybe I can remedy at least one of those things in 2017.

Lido season is well on it’s way, so I thought I would list a few of the iconic UK outdoor pools that adorn my  pinterest board. πŸ™‚

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The Jubilee Pool ~ Penzance, Cornwall.  A beautiful art deco seawater lido , designed in the 1930’s.  The pool is a gently curving triangular shape and is surrounded by high streamlined sea walls, which are terraced upwards in the interior. Bare in mind the water temperatures can be quite bracing !  But I’m sure the stunning Cornish Coastal views are worth it. There is  a smaller children’s pool on site too and a cafe. This years season starts at the end of May. www.jubileepool.co.uk

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Tooting Bec Lido ~ South London.  One of Britain’s oldest lidos, Tooting Bec was opened in 1906 and at that time was known as Tooting bec Lake.  It’s an unheated fresh water lido and the pool is apparently quite enomas and lined with changing rooms, featuring brightly coloured doors. It is surrounded by parkland and trees and also boasts a small cafe and kids pool. Opens from May 1st. www.visitlondon.com 

Saltdean Lido ~ Brighton.

Reopening this May after extensive restorations , Saltdean harks back to it’s art deco hey day in the thirties. It is the only grade ll listed Coastal Lido in the country and unlike the above two beauties, it will actually feature a heated pool. πŸ™‚ Phase two of the restoration will bring back the iconic curved buildings to their former glory and include a heritage cafe.  The pool will open on the 27th of May. www.saltdeanlido.co.uk 

Thermae Bath Spa ~ Bath.  The only naturally hot (and  rich in minerals) waters in the UK , can be found in the ancient city of Bath. The Thermae Bath Spa’s Welcome package includes, use of the Indoor Minerva Pool,  Multi-Sensory Wellness Suite and use of the Roof- Top Pool , with its stunning views of the city and hills beyond.  Prices from Β£35 per person. www.thermaebathspa.com 

Pontypridd Lido ~ South Wales. Lido Ponty in South Wales looks like the perfect place to soak up the sun !  There are three heated swimming pools, a Heritage Visitor Centre, Cafe and children’s Adventure Play area. The Grade II listed Lido retains newly restored features , including the 1920’s turnstiles and wooden changing cubicles. Whilst it was a free attraction, 2017 sees a new Β£1 charge per adult.  Swimming commences at the end of May. πŸ™‚ Check out this  website Here. 

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Ilkley Lido ~ Yorkshire.  There are Lido’s up North too !  1935 saw King George V  celebrate his Silver Jubilee and many Lido’s were opened at this time, to commemorate the occasion. Ilkley is one of those and has an unusual shape, like that of a mushroom sliced in half. With the picturesque Ilkley Moors as a scenic  backdrop , this unheated fresh water pool benefits from a cafe, picnic benches and bowling green. There is even an indoor baths for inclement weather.  The 2017 season starts on the 28th of May.  www.bradford.gov.uk 

Stonehaven Heated Open Air Pool ~ Aberdeen, Scotland.  The Uk’s  Northernmost Art Deco Lido has an Olympic Sized (and heated) Sea Water Pool.  There are large sun terraces with free recliners and a cafe on site. Midnight Swims under the stars are apparently very popular at Stonehaven. πŸ™‚ There is also a heated indoor pool and leisure centre next door. The Lido reopens for the Summer at the end of May. www.stonehavenopenairpool.co.uk 

Bude Sea Pool ~ Cornwall.  This semi natural Sea Pool was built in the 1930s to provide safe sea swimming in a sheltered bay at Summerleaze Beach. The pool is a popular base for learning various activities including surfing and sea kayaking.  Swimming here is free. There are colourful beach huts to hire nearby and a cafe. I must admit I have actually seen this idylic attraction, bustling with holidaymakers on a warm August day. I should have ventured in !  www.budeseapool.org 

Tinside Lido ~ Plymouth.  Yet another beautiful example of thirties art deco splendor, Tinside overlooks the sea at the tip of Plymouth Hoe. The Lido is a sea water pool with three fountains and do I spy a lighthouse in the background?? On site is a coffee shop selling snacks and Icecream, but visitors can bring picnics too. There is also a Swim Shop and sun loungers for hire.  The splashing commences on Sat 27th May. πŸ™‚ www.everyoneactivecentre.com

There are plenty more lovely Lido’s and pool’s that I could include, so why not look up your nearest outdoor pool ? London and the South of England seem to have the highest concentration of original Lido’s still in use, while the further North you go, the fewer of these iconic beauties remain. 

Lido’s need our support to stay afloat ! 

Which Lido could tempt you to dip a toe in?

My 2016 ~In Photos.

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 πŸ™‚  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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚  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 πŸ˜‰  ) 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. πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™‚

October. We had an unseasonably dry October so this month’s posts are full of Autumn colours. πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™‚

December.  This month has been all about meeting up with family. πŸ™‚  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