It wasn’t planned to be out and about in Manchester on the day of the Kings Coronation. That’s how it happened though and actually the city was the quietest I had ever seen it.
We arrived early and Manchester was slow at waking up. A red, white and blue balloon arch had been placed outside the building below.
We headed for the Northern Quarter for wake me up Coffee and Croissants , found at a cute bakery called Just Between Friends on Tib Street. The almond croissants were delicious and the window thrown open to the city outside.
The Northern Quarter is full of little independent shops, cafes and bars, it’s a great alternative to city centre shopping. You’ll spot various street art like the one below , box fresh and promoting a Mediterranean Lager.
After browsing a few shops we headed along Deansgate to the Castlefield area for a light lunch at Prets ( sorry, can’t resist a chain eating establishment sometimes!) , and drinks at a couple of bars.
We loved The Peveril of the Peak on Bridgewater Street , one of Manchester’s most interesting looking old pubs. The green tiled exterior and the old fashioned interior with its snug rooms and bar bells ( sadly no longer in use) really add to this characterful venue. The prices were a bit of a shock though. £9.30 for a pint of ale and half a cider. Crikey!
A free of charge venture in Manchester can be found in Castlefield. The Castlefield Viaduct has long been an unused space, but recently this Victorian Viaduct has been transformed into an urban sky garden. I love what has been done here, all the separate garden areas are beautiful. An oasis of calm and serenity in the city. There are bookable tours of the viaduct in the mornings, you can now just turn up and explore yourself in the afternoons.
Before we boarded the train back home we frequented the Gas Lamp , a favourite sub terranian Manchester drinking den of ours.
I haven’t been blogging much recently, though life has been good in November, my Birthday Month!
Reading ~ it’s always fab when someone gives you books for your birthday. I am currently reading I Belong Here by Anita Sethi ,which was a present and on my wishlist of books to read. Having experienced a racial hate crime on a train, Anita bravely decides to reclaim the countryside of Northern England, on an inspirational solo hiking journey across the Pennines. I am looking forward to how things go. Will the natural world be more welcoming than the people she meets along the way ? I hope she finds goodness in both.
Bowling ~ For my Birthday some friends and I tried out the Duck Pin Bowling at Holmes Mill in Clitheroe. This is a bowling alley in miniature and was certainly alot of fun. Happy Days!
Fabulous Fungi ~ It’s been a great month for finding Fungi , especially colourful waxcaps it seems. These above were spotted on local walks here in Lancs and up at the caravan in Cumbria. My faves as always are the pale pink ones which look like opened flowers, I think they are called Ballerina Waxcaps.
Listening to ~ Records! Birthday money went towards a cute portable record player from Argos. I’ve wanted one for ages, despite having no vinyl to my name. I charity shopped them all years ago! Not that I had an impressive collection. Think Wham, Bucks Fizz and Aha. 😀 Back to the charity shops again for me..
Weekending ~ in the Southern Lakes Peninsula, or should I say Grange Over Sands. I am hoping to write a post about my time there. Until then here’s a photo of myself and Wil on the promenade ,which looks out over Salt Marsh and Sea.
Watching ~ I really watch too too much telly. Having a spare few hours in the daytime , because I work split shifts , does mean I binge watch new seasons and find a fair few films. Some good, some not so good. My faves from November are…
The Wonder ~ Film. An English nurse is sent to observe an apparent miracle in 19th century Ireland, a girl who hasn’t eaten in months, surviving on the Virgin Mary’s love. Beautifully filmed and told. Netflix. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Last Kingdom ~ Series. A Saxon boy is raised by Marauding Danes who killed his Earl father. Later when his Viking family are slaughtered , Uhtred pursues the kingdom that is rightfully his to inherit, taking him on a dangerous journey. Netflix. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Mrs Harris Goes To Paris ~ Film. Off to the pictures for this charming 1950s set movie about a cleaning lady who falls in love with a Dior dress and pursues her dream of owning one , to Paris. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The English ~ Series. Gorgeously filmed Western that brings together a Native American looking for home and a refined English Woman looking for revenge. BBC I Player. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Wednesday ~ Series. Wednesday Adams gets her own show that follows her student years at Nevermore Academy, where she navigates solving spooky mysteries and school life, in her own dead pan way. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
There’s an Autumnal nip in the air as I write this post. Summer is slipping away. Though actually, I am more than ready for cosy throws and candles. 🙂
Although September has had its sadness , with the loss of our monarch, there is much to celebrate about our Queens long life and reign. And it will be interesting to see what changes will unfold in this new non Elizabethan era.
Reading. A sensual and sometimes disturbing gothic retelling of fairytales and legends, often with a feisty female heroine at the heart of the stories. Angela Carter twists the tales around , recreating a carnival of familiar characters. One for the nights drawing in.
Watching. My favourite BBC comedy series is back for Autumn. And by golly, I’ve binge watched it already. Ghosts sees the return of Alison & Mike ( the only living residents of stately mansion ‘ Button House ‘. ) hoping to transform an estate cottage into an Airbnb. Help ( or hindrance) is on hand from a motley collection of ghosts, of which only Alison can see. I love that the ghosts are all from differing time periods, and each has their own particular life ( and death! ) story. Apparently there’s now a US version of this show. Surely can’t be better than ours. 😀
I am also loving Korean Comedy Drama Extraordinary Attorney Woo on Netflix. In fact merely writing this blog post is keeping me from watching it right now, I’m becoming addicted ! And that’s no mean feat ,with subtitles and hour long episodes involved. Attorney Woo is an attorney with autism, navigating life at a high ranking law firm. There’s the intricacies of Korean law to contend with ( she’s good at that) and the intricacies of everyday life ( not always so good), an endearing obsession with whales & dolphins and a sweet burgeoning romance with a work colleague. I am adoring this show.
Eating. Gingerbread! Traditional Gingerbread from Grasmere no less. Sarah Nelson’s Grasmere Gingerbread has been made in the village since the 1850s, Sarah herself created the secret recipe and first sold it from a tree stump outside her front door. Eventually moving her business into a tiny old school house , that is still used today. The gorgeous gingerbread smell wafts around Grasmere attracting locals and tourists alike. I got in that queue. Always delicious 😋.
Weekend wandering. Speeking of Grasmere, we ended up here by mistake. Our plan had actually been to walk up Raven Crag from Thirlmere, adding another Wainwright to our short list. However we somehow failed to find the carpark, drove right past the lake and ended up at Grasmere. No complaints though, it was a lovely late Summers day, perfect for a stroll around the village and the water.
Another day we headed over Alston Moor to Garrigill for a hike taking in Ashgill Force. I love the beckside walk , which is usually peaceful, sometimes the quiet is interupted by the odd group of Gill Scramblers! Not sure I would want to try that myself though. We found a lovely cafe for lunch in a converted chapel in nearby Nenthead.
Wildlife. The amount of times I see Kingfishers is ridiculous ( I realise I’m very lucky) , though getting a photo of one doesn’t happen very often. I was gobsmacked when one of these beautiful birds posed for me, only a few metres away. ❤️
Hanging out with. Star Wars Characters! And other supernatural beings at Blackburn Comic Convention. As I have still never actually watched the Star Wars films ( I know, what! ) this might appear a little strange. Blame my friends A and M who love all this kind of stuff. And it was actually fun.
Another month has sped by and half a year has passed already. Crazy or what!
Reading. The only reading I’m doing at the moment is reading about books I might want to read. Haha. Oh and reading blogs of course. 😊 I really need an incredibly short novel to get me started, if anyone has any recommendations…
Watching. Now that I’ve finished 7 seasons of Grace & Frankie ( sob! ) ,I am in need of something else to fill that time in the day between my early morning shift and my late afternoon shift. Of course I do get on with housework and take Hugo out as well, I am not a complete couch potato. Honest! I quickly sped through Russian Doll starring the brilliant Natasha Lyonne , in the first season she gets stuck in a timewarp where she has to celebrate her 36th Birthday everyday. But she also has to die everyday, so not all good. Wil and I watched a film, Dog starring Channing Tatum as a War Veteran assigned to take a War Hero dog to her handlers funeral. Not all runs smoothly on this Road/Buddy movie, it’s an enjoyable ( occasionally hard) watch.
Eating. A Heat-Up to Eat-Up Take-Away has sprung up nearby ,so one Friday night we ordered a yummy platter. Grounded in Clitheroe is hoping to open as a deli shortly too. Can’t wait to buy some more globally inspired nibbly bits soon.
Walking. I have blogged about a walk from Shap in Cumbria and a walk that features wildflower meadows at Slaidburn in Lancashire , this month. Just incase you missed them. 😁 I find myself regularly doing 25 thousand + steps a day at the moment ,due to walking up and down corridors at work and walking the dog.
Animal Encounters. June was the month I held a snake called April. April is a Milk 🐍 Snake. Milk Snakes aren’t venomous happily , their bright colours fool potential predetors into thinking they are dangerous. I did the Animal Encounters Experience again in Melmerby, this time with friends , who were stopping with me at the van. If you don’t fancy getting up close and personal with snakes and hissing cockroaches, there are also alpacas, llamas, ponies, rabbits and goats to cuddle.
Enjoying. Flowers that resemble insects. A couple of beautiful bee orchids are in flower in the quarry area at Cross Hill Nature Reserve , saw them on a dog walk. So bee 🐝 autiful. ❤️
Friends Becoming 50. No not me! Not quite yet. The first of a group of good friends hit the big 50 last weekend. She had a 70s/80s/90s themed party at her home , with a cheesy disco, We had a really fun time. Happy Birthday Jo!
I was looking for a short ( hopefully cow free ) local hike and I came across this 2.3 Mile Wildflower Meadow Walk , starting from the pretty Lancashire village of Slaidburn. Not sure the mileage mentioned is quite correct ,we ended up doing twice that amount! The directions took us on a wild goose chase a couple of times. Or maybe we just get lost easily. 😃
We arrived in Slaidburn about 9-30am on Sunday morning, unaware that we had visited on the day of a Vintage Steam Fair . The village car park was still quiet at that time though , so we found a space and set off to the cenotaph, the start of our route.
We turned right at the War Memorial and headed over the bridge and then through a kissing gate into a field on the right. Keeping the brook on our right , we headed across the field in completely the wrong direction. So best to ignore my instructions and follow the route link yourself, if you don’t want to get lost. 🙃
We saw several hares in the grass and it was also a privilege to hear and see lots of flying curlews and lapwings.
A stone track took us over another bridge and on the right we saw a farm gate with a purple Coronation Meadow Sign on it. Coronation Meadows is a Wildflower Meadow Restoration Project started by HRH The Prince Of Wales. Since the Queen’s Coronation ,Great Britain has lost a huge percentage of its naturally farmed meadows. This initiative started in 2013, aims to protect remaining wildflower meadows, create new ones and get people interested in them. There are now ninety Coronation Meadows in the country with Bell Sykes Farm representing the Ribble Valley.
Bell Sykes Farming methods have changed little over the years, hence their inclusion in the Coronation Meadows project. Seeds from the ancient pastures have been used to create new meadows, some are on the farm and others are elsewhere in Lancashire.
The meadows were looking resplendent, in them were thousands of buttercups and clover, ribwort plantain, self-heal and yellow rattle. I also spied one orchid, maybe there are more. The diversity of wildflowers encourages bees and butterflies. It was however very breezy on Sunday , so we didn’t actually see many.
Toward the end of the walk we passed through a couple more of Bell Sykes beautiful Coronation Meadows.
Once back in Slaidburn we had a coffee and piece of cake ( of course! ) sat outside the cafe that looks over the Village Green. By this time the Vintage Steam Fair was in full swing, rousing tunes piping from beautiful fairground organs. 😊 I shall leave you with a few photos.
So the 75th Cannes Film Festival will soon be under way. All the glitz, the glamour, the Red Carpet, the film stars dressed in their finery…
This year Tom Cruise will take the centre stage with his eagerly anticipated new Top Gun Film. I am definitely up for watching it. 🙂
Well quite a few years ago I was actually in Canne on a festival day. So I thought I would try and reblog my post again. I already have once in 2014! Not sure that reblogging is a thing now though but WordPress has let me share it below.
Please excuse my original post for spelling mistakes and lay-out ~ WordPress is not for letting me Edit it! I will hide my embarrassment behind a film poster of Inglourious Basterds, a film contender for the year I attended, 2009. 😚
During the same holiday we were also in Monte Carlo whilst the Grand Prix was on. My claim to fame ( according to Wil and our friend Andy, I never even noticed ! ) was almost being run over by Lewis Hamilton on a scooter, whilst trying to take a photo!
Click on the link to see my post of the 62nd Canne Film Festival.
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 one of the best things about owning a static caravan is being able to invite friends for a weekend away. Our caravan is in the village of Melmerby in the Eden Valley in Cumbria, close enough in driving distance to the beautiful Lake District, but in a less busy touristy area. On Friday five of us drove up to the van for a girls getaway. We spent an enjoyable and chilled couple of days there. Here are a few photos from our trip.
It was fantastic to spend maybe our last sunny & warm weekend of the Summer with my friends at the caravan. Happy Days. 😁
Thanks to Arwen & Marian for some of these photographs. 🙂
At the weekend we drove over to Ullswater ( about 20 minutes from our caravan in the Northern Lakes) and then on to the pretty lakeside village of Glenridding. Here we hopped onto one of the beautiful Ullswater Steamersfor a trip around the lake. Coincidentally the steamer service was celebrating its 160th Birthday! Colourful Bunting adorned these historic vessels and a grey morning turned into a lovely sunny day.
The steamers offer a hop on/ hop off service so we decided to dismount at Pooley Bridge for lunch. The newly painted Pooley Bridge Inn reminds me of a Swiss chalet. Ullswater itself flanked by Some of Britain’s highest mountains has been compared to the stunning lakes and mountains of Switzerland.
After a pootle about the village and Hugo’s obligatory paddle in the lake, we set back sail for Glenridding from Pooley Bridge Pier. The Steamers fleet has five vessels. It was our pleasure to travel back in M.Y Raven, she too was celebrating a Birthday, having been first launched on the 16th July 1889.
All the steamers have indoor and outdoor seating, toilets, serve coffee, teas and light refreshments and have fully licensed bars. Dogs are welcome onboard for a small charge.
I loved all the gorgeous wildflowers by the beck and the lake at Glenridding. Highlights were the swathes of vivid blue Vipers Bugloss and the sunshine yellow Monkey flowers.
Our lazy day on Ullswater finished with refreshments , sat outside The Glenridding Hotel which has a coffee shop called Let it Brew. I wasn’t really expecting such decadence when I ordered a milkshake. 😋
Thanks for bobbing by. Have you been messing about on boats lately?