Tag Archives: london

2017 in Photos. X

As it is now a yearly tradition of mine to post a quick photo round-up of the year, I thought I had better get cracking with this 2017 post. I definitely have no regrets about 2017. It has been pretty fantastic with lots of short trips away, days out and fun times with family and friends.  πŸ™‚

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Derwent Water. Spot the Photo Bomber.

January.  We celebrated Wil’s Birthday with a weekend break in  his favourite Lake District town  Keswick.

Mostly this consisted of walks by beautiful Derwent Water and of course frequenting Keswick’s many watering holes. πŸ™‚

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Speaking of  Watering Holes !

February.  February’s  fun included a Galentine’s  Cocktail Making Masterclass🍸

at  Escape Coffee & Cocktails in Clitheroe and Hugo got to visit Millie & Ruby’s Dog Bakery, Lancashire’s first bakery for dogs. πŸΆ

 

 

 

March.  Spring was in the air in March when Wil and I went  Searching for Panopticons in East Lancashire.We found two, but as yet, still have two more to visit ! I ticked Manchester’s Cat Cafe off my Bucket List ( Meow)  and even did  a  Toilets Of Manchester Walking Tour.

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Loving London.

April.  It was my little  sister’s 40th Birthday this month and we celebrated with a mini break in the Big City ( London) with our younger brother and other halves. Our trip included The Natural History Museum, Afternoon Tea at Claridges and watching The Lion King.  You can read all about it here.

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Finding Nemo on The Malham Safari.

In May  Wil and I went on our first camping trip of the year . We didn’t venture very far, choosing this lovely campsite in Scorton, Lancashire.  Hugo accompanied us on a tour of  Ingleborough Show Cave  in Yorkshire 

and more Yorkshire fun was had on the  Malham Safari Trail.

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Wild Rose Petal Jelly.

June.   This month I participated in The Wildlife Trust’s #30dayswild challenge , where I attempted ( though that’s no hardship!)  to appreciate the beauty in nature every day in June, whether that meant noticing the different wildlife I would see on my daily walks with Hugo, or using natural ingredients in recipes such as Rose Petal Jelly.  The challenge also coincided with my first ever visit to Norfolk, which I shall always remember for it’s many many beach huts, beautiful wildflowers and those yummy Dutch Pancakes in Wells-Next-The-Sea. πŸ™‚

 

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Waiting to Board The Ullswater Steamer.

July.  Already well into Summer now. We spent a couple of nights camping in the Dales and walked  this tiny stretch of  The Dales Way and we took Hugo on his first ever trip on  The Ullswater Steamer .  I think this is my fave ever photo of my two boys. πŸ™‚

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The Cake Ole’.

August.  Anyone for Afternoon Tea?  I can certainly recommend a fun, quirky and delicious one at The Cake ‘Ole   in Skipton.  And August is a great time to go camping with the kids, as we found out when we accompanied friends to Meadow Falls near Ingleton.

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Walking near Meadow Falls.
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A day at The Seaside.

September.  We had a bit of an Indian Summer this month, which made up for a damp squibby August. Luckily we got to make the most of the sunshine on a day out with my niece and nephew in Morecambe  and we spent a week in the The Lake District  , bagging my first wainwright fell and enjoying the incredible views over Wastwater.

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Lancs Cycleway.

October.  Days out in October included  A family friendly bike ride on the  Lancashire Cycleway from Lancaster to Morecambe and back. It was my first time on a bicycle for many a year, so I was pretty happy that I made it!

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Relaxing at The Turkish Baths.

November. My Birthday month was made so special when Wil booked us two nights in the Yorkshire Spa town of Harrogate.

I have always wanted to visit the Turkish Baths there so I checked us in for a morning, which was really enjoyable.  We also visited nearby Knaresborough with its ancient castle and railway viaduct.

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Knaresborough in November.

 

 

 December.  And its nearing the end of 2017 now after a fairly quiet but lovely December. Highlights included Hugo opening his Christmas presents ( he is very good at unwrapping, just need to train him to wrap up πŸ˜‰ ), The traditional Christmas Morning Walk, Willow Angel Weaving and a Festive Afternoon Tea at Alexanders in Skipton. 

I would just like to say a big thank you to everyone who drops in on my little blog every now and again. It really has made my year. 😁

All the best for 2018. I hope its a great one for everyone. Xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sky Garden ~ London.

Whilst in London, there are so many ways to discover the city, to get your bearings and enjoy the view.  Why not aim high and book a slot at  Sky Garden  in what locals affectionately call the  Walkie -Talkie.  20 Fenchurch Street is the fifth tallest building in the capital, so as you can imagine the views over London are stunning.

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The Walkie-Talkie.

Sky Garden is as it’s name suggests, a garden 38 stories up !  Three tiers of lush geenery and tropical pants make up this heavenly space , with its incredible panorama.   I decided it would be the perfect venue to admire the city-scape , whilst we were down in London celebrating my sister’s Birthday. It was a fantastic post
 
by Laura from Tales of Adventures Big and Small that inspired me to look it into it. Not long after , my facebook feed started buzzing with folks enjoying a cocktail here, so its definitely gaining in popularity. πŸ™‚
 

The Birthday Girl enjoys a cocktail.

Of course another incentive to visit, is that  Sky Garden is a public garden , therefore absolutely free!  You do however need to book an hour slot and tickets become available online up to three weeks before your chosen date. 

Panoramic views of London.

Our overall experience of Sky Garden was great. We had a short wait on the ground floor before being ushered to the elevator that zipped us up into the clouds with ease. πŸ™‚ On arrival we were drawn out onto the open terrace to enjoy the views and the fresh air.

Out on the terrace.

It was a lovely sunny spring afternoon so the views towards the Shard and down the Thames were suitably impressive.   After drinking in our surroundings  we enjoyed cocktails at the bar. You are not obliged to buy any food or beverages, but this was a birthday treat after all. πŸ™‚ 

There was ample time to explore the gardens and admire the many vistas before our hour time slot expired. Not that anyone asked us to leave, I think the staff are fairly relaxed about it.

It is possible to visit Sky Garden as a walk-in early mornings ( fancy breakfast with a view? ) and in the evenings. But make sure you do book tickets for daytime trips. Nearby tube stations include Monument and Tower. 

Have you ever been to Sky Garden? I really recommend it as a great and Free thing to do in London. πŸ™‚

London ~ A Walk in the Park.

Ha the title of this post sadly doesn’t refer to my knowledge of The London Underground! I am still hopelessly confused by the city’s magnificent transport system. This post simply documents a stroll from A to B, through three beautiful Royal Parks.

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Baby Cakes. πŸ™‚

After hungrily devouring these gorgeous and expensive cakes in Harrods, with our eyes, we bought a few less expensive items for a picnic in nearby Hyde Park.  Hyde Park covers 350 acres and it was just so nice  to get out of the hustle and bustle , and  into a lovely green space.

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Spring Blossom selfie. πŸ™‚

Now I’m afraid I didn’t do any research about the Royal Parks. Looking up Hyde Park now, I can see it is full of beautiful sculptures and statues, which we of course completely missed !  I did however see plenty of wildlife and lots of Spring Blossom. πŸ™‚

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Egyptian Geese and their brood.
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Moorhen amongst the reeds.
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Beautiful tulips .
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Anyone any idea what the taller yellow flowers are?

We did spot  two sculptures in Hyde Park.  The marble Boy and Dolphin Fountain was made in 1862 by Alexander Munro, a friend of Alice In Wonderlands creator , Lewis Carroll.  Not far from him is The Huntress Fountain, located in The Rose Garden. Look closely and see that she has made the ideal perch for Mr Magpie.

Our stroll had taken us as far as Wellington Arch which opens into the smallest of London’s Royal Parks, Green Park.  Happily we decided to carry on and enjoy the open space. πŸ™‚

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Wellington Arch was built as a Victory Arch and celebrates Wellington’s defeat of Napoleon.

The Parks are all the more pretty at this time of year , due to the gorgeous Spring Blossom. If you are in London right now be sure to head to the Royal Parks. πŸ™‚ And look out for the city’s population of bright green parakeets! Popular legend has it that  the Ring Tailed Parakeet population was given a helping hand  by rock star Jimi Hendrix , who released two on Carnaby Street in the Sixties….

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Parakeet in Green Park.

We walked through Green Park towards Buckingham Palace,  the official residence of the Queen.  A carpet of stunning colours greeted us as we crossed over the road into the oldest of the Royal Parks, St James’s Park.

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Buckingham Palace.

St James’s Park is a delightful place to stop for an ice cream and admire the water fowl that frequent the lake. There are also wonderful views from the Blue Bridge towards Westminster and the London Eye.

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The Bird keeper’s Cottage and the lake.
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Red necked geese.
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London Eye from the Blue Bridge.
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Grey Squirrel.
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Spotted this very tame Heron watching the lake from under the cherry blossom. πŸ™‚
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Very tame indeed. 

We even managed to spot St James’s most famous residents !   Pelicans have lived in the park since  1664, when the Russian Ambassador gifted some to Charles II.  They are cared for by a Wildlife Officer who feeds them fish every day and makes sure they are in tip top condition. The exotic birds  also snack on fish in the lake and their usual hangout is Pelican Rock below.

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Pelicans on Pelican Rock.

Our walk had taken us through three Royal Parks and the hotel was mere minutes away. Who needs the Underground. πŸ™‚

Which is your favourite London Park? 

Postcard from London. β™‘

This past week I have been fortunate enough to have spent some time in my nation’s Capital London. And what a wonderful week !  Our trip was all in aid of celebrating my baby sister’s upcoming 40th Birthday. We managed to pack quite a bit in. Here are a few photos of what we got up to in this beautiful city. πŸ™‚

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Travel in Style.

Far the best way to travel to London ( unless you have your own private plane πŸ˜‰ ) is by train. You can often find relatively cheap First Class Tickets, so your journey is speedy and comfortable with plenty of food and drink included. We booked with Virgin Β£80 each return from Preston and had use of Virgin’s complimentary First Class Lounge at Euston. ;0).

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Natural History.
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Deinonychus.

The Natural History Museum

 is well worth visiting, if only for the Dinosaurs !  Like many of London’s museums it’s free and is  so vast you could easily spend the whole day here.  I especially liked the moving Deinonychus above.  One of the best ways of getting around the city is via The London Underground and the nearest tube stops are Gloucester Road and South Kensington. Underground travel has gotten simpler with the use of contactless payment. Remember though , the money doesn’t go out of your account until a couple of days later.

Typically I hunted for Green Spaces in the city, and there are plenty. One day  Wil, my brother and I bought a picnic from Harrods ( like you do) and sat down to eat it in Hyde Park. We then walked through Hyde Park, Green Park and St James’s Park , back to our hotel near Trafalgar Square.  It was a nice way of seeing London and the various wildlife that makes the park its home.  Look out for the Parakeets!

My sister wanted to see a show whilst we were away and which better to experience than The Lion King which plays at The Lyceum and has since 1999. Its an amazing piece of musical theatre and we loved it.  Highly recommended.

Even in London it is possible to stumble upon almost secret places.  Colourful Neals Yard  in Covent Garden is an Instagrammers delight with its multi – coloured buildings. Its also a lovely spot for a coffee or a bite to eat. The perfect place to sit and watch the world go by.

Neals Yard.
An Instagrammers Delight. β™‘

If you are going to celebrate a special Birthday in the Capital then you might as well go the whole hog and book a luxurious Afternoon Tea in one of London’s high class hotels. πŸ™‚   Claridges  in Mayfair offers a delicious array of finger sandwiches, warm scones with Marco Polo jelly & Cornish clotted cream,  a varied  selection of teas and a tray of delectable cakes and desserts from Β£60 per person. The setting in the grand art-deco inspired foyer and the attentiveness of the friendly staff add to this sublime experience.

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Afternoon Tea at Claridges.

A must for everyone’s London trip is a river cruise down the Thames, taking in all the cities famed landmarks, old and new.  We  used  City Cruises  to plan a return jaunt to Greenwich which is definitely worth a visit.

Another way of enjoying stunning views of London is to go some place high. Very high !  Like The Shard  The Sky Garden  commands a spectacular vista of the city. Unlike The Shard, it is absolutely free !  You still need to book online and tickets are usually available from three weeks before you go.  We enjoyed cocktails ,amazing views and an unusual garden setting from 155 metres above. πŸ™‚

So there you have it, just a small selection of what we got up to in London town.  It was a fabulously memorable holiday and a fun way to spend time with family too.  Hopefully I will try and blog about some of our adventures in more detail soon.

Thanks for reading and a Very Happy Birthday to my sister Yvonne. πŸ™‚

Links & Likes March. β™‘

Starlings and Hares by Rob Barnes.

Hey and welcome to March Links& Likes. I thought I would include some pretty pictures of mad March hares frolicking around with not a care in the world.  If only our lives could be as carefree as these beautiful illustrations.  Anyway without further ado….

Gina put   The Kelpies

 

 in Falkirk on her visit list. I would love to see these Giant horse sculptures for myself. 

Fancy a walk that meanders through a pub and ends with a Waterfall?  Let Jo  show you the way.  

Naomi tells us about  The Joy of Gorse and how the shrub’s sunshine yellow flowers  can be made into a fresh and delicious cordial. πŸ™‚

Illustration by Lucy Grossmith.

Louise  follows in the footsteps of  Peakland writer Roger Redfern and finds that things haven’t changed all that much ,since he published his own rambles in the 1960s.

One of my favourite travel boggers ‘Mary’ from Travels with the Blonde Coyote hasn’t posted in a while, but hopefully that will all change now she’s introduced her gorgeous new dog pal ‘ Vida’. What a beauty! πŸ™‚ 

Erin has visited the vibrant and colourful city of Lisbon. Me too please. πŸ™‚ 

Illustration by Louise Scott.

This fab post by Baked by Mummy Iris explores London’s Covent Garden. It looks like foodie heaven and certainly makes my tummy rumble. πŸ™‚

 Hey did you know that there is a A Cat ~^^~ who actually works in B & M Bargains???  Check out this cute Kitty ! 

And if your planning a trip to Iceland this year , here is a very useful blog to consult I β™‘ Reykjavik.

Wendy Andrews ~ Dreaming of Spring.

Thanks so much for dropping by. If you have any blog recommendations, that you think I will like, please let me know. β™‘

 

 

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. 

 


Afternoon tea at the Bentley Hotel, Kensington.

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Another Afternoon tea ( you can never have too many I find πŸ™‚ ) B and I tried out in London was a traditional afternoon tea at the The Bentley Hotel .This refined hotel is tucked away in a quiet residental area of Kensington and didn’t take us to long to find.

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Afternoon tea was served in elegant and quite feminine surroundings.I loved the tables and chairs with their pretty floral upholstery. We were seated and looked after by the attentive yet unobtrusive staff. Champagne was brought as we waited in anticipation. How posh.

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Delicious finger sandwiches were served separately from the cute cakes and desserts that arrived on a silver cake stand. The shiny teapots looked like they had had a good old polish. πŸ™‚ And of course there were scones too with clotted cream and organic jam.

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B had purchased Afternoon Tea vouchers from Groupon , which is an excellent idea if you are looking for a luxury meal at a more reasonable price. πŸ™‚

A Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea at the Sanderson.

When my friend B and I decided to go to London for three days, we knew we would try and fit in as many Afternoon teas as possible! In the end we only had two. πŸ˜‰ And lunch out at a Cat Cafe. So we didn’t do to badly! By far the most quirky afternoon tea I have ever enjoyed was the Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea at the Sanderson Hotel.

The unassuming facade of The Sanderson.
The unassuming facade of The Sanderson.

Inside the Sanderson is modern and minimalist, airy and bright. To our surprise afternoon teas are served in an inner courtyard amidst a backdrop of greenery and water features. The effect is summery and tranquil.
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I absolutely loved the attention to detail of everything about the Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea. The menus were hidden inside vintage books, the sugar cubes for the tea came served in one of those old musical trinket boxes with a twirling ballerina and the black and white crockery was very striking!
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We were invited by the waitress to smell the aromas of the choices of tea. I decided to opt for the Mint chocolate chip and B chose a more traditional breakfast tea. I got the mint but I couldn’t taste the chocolate!
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Our food came served on an amazing three tiered cake stand topped with a teacup with greenery growing out of the top! The Mad Hatter must have prepared it himself. πŸ™‚ My friend B had let the hotel know about certain food allergies that she has and unfortunately the sandwiches she was brought were less inspired and less in number than what I was given. I felt a little guilty as I set about enjoying my varied selection as she toyed with three rather boring salmon sandwiches. Never mind, there were also some lovely savory cheese scones to sample.
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The desserts were deliciously decadent. And curiously kooky! We loved the Wonderlandy presentation and Alice inspired touches. Marshmallow mushrooms, a Victoria sponge clock and a vanilla mousse served in a chocolate cup were highlights. πŸ™‚
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I must admit this was the the first Afternoon Tea that I have tried , where I didn’t sample some of everything. I was so so full I couldn’t even manage a bite of the fruit scone and as tempting as ‘Jelly Wonderland’ looked, we both had to give it a miss. The fruity concoction in the ‘Drink Me’ bottle was very refreshing.

All in all we really enjoyed the ambience and presentation of our Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Teas though the taste was sometimes lacking in a couple of the savoury items. I would be quite happy to give it another go though, next time i’m in London. πŸ˜‰

May Moments.

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Books ~ Not doing as well on the old reading front this month. I read The Rosie Effect by Graham Simsion earlier in May but It didn’t really float my boat. πŸ˜₯ Maybe because this is a follow up to his previous book ‘The Rosie Project’ which I haven’t actually read, I couldn’t really get into the story.All the characters just annoyed me! I also started on Ali mcNamara’s From Notting Hill With Love Actually but it is still lingering barely touched on my bedside cabinet. The plot looks fun ~ its about a girl who constantly daydreams that her life could be like her favourite movies. I will persevere!
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On the Telly ~ Did anyone catch the brilliantly funny Peter Kay comedy Car Share this month? It started off slowly but by the final episode I loved it! Maybe it was because I could identify with the characters.I too work in a supermarket so some of the plotlines did make me giggle. Peter Kay was funny but it was the bubbly Sian Gibson who really had the LOL moments. And I loved the ‘Forever FM’ soundtrack on the car radio.I’m hoping there will be a ‘ Now thats what I called Forever FM’ cd out soon! πŸ˜‰

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Pooch Package ~ Hugo was wagging his tail with glee ( honest he was, though he looks a bit worried in the above piccie) when he received his fantastic ‘Pooch Package’ in the post from Flynn the Pointer. πŸ™‚ The lovely Emma at Oh Gosh Blog organised a pressie swap for pets so of course I signed up Hugo. Hugo and I sent his swap buddie Flynn some goodies too….and we hear he was very chuffed!

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Lots to Love in London A couple of weeks ago a friend and I visited ‘the Big Smoke’ and highlights of our trip included a Mad Hatters Afternoon tea, The Savage Beauty exhibition at the V&A , Lunch in a Cat Cafe and a wander round the Natural History Museum. You can read about our trip here.

The Natural History Museum.
The Natural History Museum.

Bags of Joy ~ I treated myself. :0) To a new bag! And its perfect for summer. I love a good satchel and this beauty from Cambridge Satchel Company is just my bag. πŸ™‚

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Its proper name is a ‘Batchel’ as cleverly it’s a cross between a bag and a satchel. The straps can be taken off so you can carry it like a clutch bag too. It has magnetic fastening clasps for ease of use. But mostly I just love the colour ~ a cool Alpine Blue. πŸ™‚

What have you enjoyed in May?

Scavenger Hunt May.

Its the end of the month Β so I thought i would join in again with Greenthumb’s Photo Scavenger Hunt. I have managed to source all my pictures from May’s adventures. Most of them are from my trip to London and some are from nearer home. It was quite a challenge!

skipton waterways festival 064Blue ~Β  Pale blue Heron on a blue barge background at the Skipton Waterways Festival which was at the beginning of May.

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Crystal ~ Β Not sure whether Sulphur is classed as crystal?? Spotted on my visit to London at the Natural History Museum.

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Vintage ~Β Β Love this pretty shabby chic Vintage bike at a friends wedding over the Bank Holiday. πŸ™‚

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Fluff ~Β  Dandelion Clocks are every country gals way of telling the time….

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Global ~ Old fashioned Globe I spied in the V&A gift shop.

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Mask ~Β  Can teapots wear masks? I think so! Mad Hatters Afternoon tea at The Sanderson Hotel near Soho. Post coming soon…

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Bus ~Β Still in London ( can you tell! ) and a shot of a bus taken from er, a bus!

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Frame ~Β  Framed cat’s behaviour in Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium , a Cat Cafe I visited in Bethnal Green. ~^^~

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Collection ~Β Impressive eggcup collection in a cottage window in Slaidburn, a pretty Hodder Valley village not far from where I live.

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Poster ~Β  Poster for the Alexander Mcqueen Exhibition ‘ Savage Beauty’ which I was lucky enough to go to. Its well worth seeing if your ever at the V&A over the summer.

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Ribbon ~Β  It would have been fab to use a shot of Maypole ribbons here but that wasn’t to be. Instead its some retro sweets tied up with a teeny ribbon.Can you see it? Don’t worry Slinky didn’t run off with them. ~^^~

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Whatever I Want ~Β  My fave pic I took in May was of this green parakeet in a London park. Apparently there is a whole population of them living wild down there. Love it. πŸ™‚

To see more Scavenger Hunt photos bob on over to Made With Love for a peek. πŸ™‚