Tag Archives: manchester

May Links & Likes. 

It has been a week that has been particularly hard on many. Life must go on and we must live life to the full, God knows, life is short. Here are a few blog posts I have enjoyed in May.

Mrs Bertimus and family stay in this very quirky and eclectic seaside Guest House at the Whitby Goth Festival.  I have actually spent a night here too…many moons ago. 🙂

Grenson the dog is always on holiday! This time in ‘Mostly’ dog-friendly Yorkshire…

Ever thought of  ‘Gin tasting’ or visiting the ‘Wild West’ in Edinburgh? Lucy shares her  alternative Guide to this beautiful city.

Speeking of beautiful cities, our hearts go out to everyone in Manchester at the moment. City Jackdaw has been writing about the incredible generousity of spirit in his home town.

Laura has been admiring Japanese Cherry Blossom….in Kent.

And Christine found a Secret Valley Of Bluebells.

Duck in a Dress  shares her Geocashing Adventures!

Here’s a nostalgic glimpse into one bloggers magazine reading history. Remember Bunty anyone? From Bunty to Betty on ‘Typewriter Girl’.

And this lady has nostalgia in buckets! Am happy to have discovered Forties@Heart here on WordPress, where Julie, a Mum in the Outer Hebridees ,atempts a 1940’s inspired Lifestyle.

Cumbrian Blondie has been walking the beautiful Ullswater Way. 🙂

And here’s a blog from my little corner of the world. Lovely recipes and beautiful interiors ~ My Grandma Taught Me To Cook. 

Can I show you a few snaps from beautiful Brotherswater I took only yesterday.  This is one of the smaller lakes in The Lake District and is situated in the eastern region of the Lakes.

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The Lake.

 

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A Nesting Swan.
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Bogbean, I think..
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Pied Wagtail.
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Hawthorn blossom.

 

 

There’s still time to join in with #30dayswild in June. If you fancy signing up and doing something wild every day next month, go to action.wildlifetrusts.org and join in with the challenge.  Here are a few ideas for your Random Acts Of Wildness.

Sow some Wildflower seeds.

Identify a Bird Call.

Collect some Elderflowers and make a cordial or champagne.

Tell the time with a Dandelion Clock.

Read a Nature Book outdoors.

Go Barefoot in the grass.

Play Pooh sticks in a stream.

Record the birds who visit your garden.

Visit a Nature Reserve.

Make a Bee Hotel.

Thanks for dropping by.  Let me know if you are joining in with #30dayswild.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Toilets Of Manchester Tour.

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The bridge next to The Lass O Gowrie was the site of the Oldest ‘Pissotiere’

Can you think of a more unusual way to spend a few pennies ( Tee Hee )  than booking a walking tour round the old toilets of Manchester??  My friend Fi decided to do just that for her Birthday recently…..and it proved to be a very interesting way to while away a couple of hours. 🙂  Billed as the cities ‘ most convenient tour’  this guided walk explores the history of Manchester’s use of toilets, from the Industrial Revolution onwards.

We met up with our tour guide and  the rest of the group ( which included a band of  poo enthusiasts !  )  at The Lass O Gowrie  Public House on Charles street , just off Oxford Road.  This old tiled Real Ales pub is situated on the site of  the oldest ‘Pissotiere’ in Manchester. A pissotiere is a much pleasanter sounding word for public urinal. It was a public toilet ( with no privacy ) , where gents could relieve themselves into the river below. As you can imagine the river Medlock soon became a very smelly cesspit.

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The Lass O Gowrie and nearby The Sailisbury are situated in a part of Manchester known as Little Ireland, a former slum area in the city. Anne ( our guide )  told us  that Irish immigrants moved here in the 1820s to work in the factories and mills.  Conditions were dyre with inhabitants living in crowded squaller in back to back terraces with  

whole streets sharing  just one toilet.  And that toilet was little more than a  big  bucket that was emptied once a week.  😦  With the smog and pollution and insanitary filth , it must have been one hell of a miserable life here. 😦

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Temple  Of Convenience !

On a more cheery note our next stop on The Toilets of Manchester Tour, was  a former public toilet which is now a subterranean bar !  The Temple Of Convenience  on Bridgewater Street was one of the Victorian-era lavatories  originally built for businessmen and gentlemen visitors to the city. I don’t think ladies went to the toilet in those days, not public ones anyway!  It would have been fun to bob inside the Temple for a quick half, but alas a drink in a former loo was not part of the  tour. ; (

 Anne regaled us with more tales and information about Manchester’s toilet history as we walked round the city in the wind and rain. It was therefore a nice surprise when she led us into an impressive  Neo Gothic building that looked like a church, but is actually John Rylands Library. 

John Rylands Library was completed in 1900 and was founded by Enriquita Rylands in tribute to  her late husband, a Manchester textile mill owner and millionaire. Enriquita wanted the best of everything in the library , including the latest in modern flushing lavatories. 🙂

 

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Inside the magnificent  John Rylands  Library.

 The original  Victorian  toilets ( the oldest working loos in Manchester! ) can be found in the library basement.  Fortunately by 1900 Ladies could use public conveniences too, so Fi , Jo and I trundled off to spend a penny. 🙂

 

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The imposing ‘ King Of King Street’.

Our last stop on the tour was  ‘ The jamie Oliver’ Restaurant !   It resides in an imposing  1930’s  Art Decor building , formerly the Midland Bank at 100 King Street , known as The King Of King Street.  

 Whilst the top floors house  a swish boutique hotel called  Hotel Gotham , the former bank vault ( which can be hired out for parties)  is adjacent to the rest rooms, which contain reproduction Thomas Crapper lavatories .  

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Flushed Away!

Thomas Crapper was a renowned Victorian plumber and inventor whose flush toilets had the Royal Seal of Approval!  His name lives on in potty mouths everywhere. 🙂

We found this walking tour at manchesterguidedtours.com

£8 per person.

Can you recommend any unusual walking tours? 

Cat Cafe Manchester.

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‘ Time Spent with Cats Is Never Wasted’ , this Sigmund Freud quote is replicated on the time card my friend Lisa and I were given on arrival at Manchester’s only Cat Cafe.  Cat Cafe  in the city’s independent and creative Northern Quarter can be found on the corner of High Street. With its large floor to ceiling glass windows, it is easy for curious passers by to nosy in at the ten furry friends who call this bright and airy space home.  Before Lisa and I entered the cafe area we were given disposable shoe covers and told to use antibacterial hand gel. Then it was our time to enjoy the company of its feline residents….. £12 each for the hour.

Cat Cafe is devoted to comfort. The humans can get cosy on the many snug sofas whilst drinking an unlimited supply of hot and cold beverages  ( included in the entry fee) and the moggies have the run of the place. Some of them were busy snoozing and others were only to happy to play. There are plenty of cat toys for the kittys…..and their visitors to keep entertained.

 

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Play Time. 🙂

Lisa and I soon made ourselves cosy with a lovely hot chocolate ( complete with paw-print) and a slab of the most delicious Orange & Chocolate cake. The cafe serves a mixture of drinks, cookies and cakes. All food is paid for at the end of your allotted time slot.

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Cats and Cake. 

Cat Cafe  has a short list of rules that visitors must abide by. No waking  any sleeping cats, no feeding the cats ( except for the treats supplied  by staff) and no flash photography. Many of the kitty’s were chilling on cushions and in basket beds. They have the choice to stay in the cafe area or if they are not feeling sociable, they  have their own room to escape to. I think we managed to see most  of the Cat Cafes Cat family on our visit. 🙂

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On Watch.
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Aslan enjoys a cat nap. 

I really like how  Cat Cafe is set out and the cats really do seem to be content in their surroundings. The hour soon sped by  and all too soon it was time to leave these mischievous moggies behind.

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Who needs a telly !

 

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Ygritte looks down on her surroundings.

But not before we witnessed new recruit ‘Stan’ the siamese kitten enjoying ‘treat time’, which tends to happen on the hour every hour. Aw bless. 🙂

Time for a treat. 🙂

Maybe I will return oneday  for one of  Cat Cafe’s  special cat themed events.  Fancy a Yoga class or a film night in the company of some furry felines ??  Sounds very relaxing…..

Have you ever visited a cat cafe?

 

Sunday Sevens 19th March.

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Two Good Books. 🙂

Hi its Sunday yet again so time for a quick round up of the last 7 days via  a  Sunday Sevens post.  This last week I’ve read two really good books !  I sound surprised because I’ve read a few meh ones recently , so it’s great to find a couple of cracking reads. Firstly The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware is a modern day Agatha Christie set on a boutique cruise with plenty of twists and turns. ‘Lo Blacklock’ is a journalist who thinks she’s witnessed a murder , a woman thrown overboard in the dead of night. But nobody seems to have heard of the victim. Paranoia and suspicion engulf Lo and make this’ Who Done It’ an absorbing and scary thriller.  Secondly, a just as absorbing  but true life tale is  The Yorkshire Shepherdess  by Amanda Owen.  This is Amanda’s own story about how as a youngster she read the James Herriot country vet books and dreamed of working on a hill farm with her own flock of sheep. And amazingly through a lot of hard work and determination she has ended up doing just that. As well as a flock of sheep she has a husband, 8 children and lives and works on a remote farm in the Yorkshire Dales. An inspirational and often funny read, I loved it. 🙂

As well as having my nose in a book this week, I have been using up some holidays and  had a couple of days off work. On Thursday my friend Lisa and I had a fun afternoon hanging out in the Northern Quarter in Manchester. She showed me some great independent shops in this creative area of the city and we also had a really tasty lunch at Oak Street Cafe Bar in the Craft & Design Centre. And I got to cross something off my 25 Before 45 Bucket List !  I had booked us a slot in Manchester’s only Cat Cafe, very originally called  Cat Cafe  which is situated on High Street in the Northern Quarter. Imagine coffee, cake and cats all in one spacious area , adorned with comfy sofas, cushions and cat toys. I will blog about it sooooon. 🙂

On Friday Wil, Hugo and I went to visit family in The Lake District. My family live not far from Ullswater so for some reason Wil , my brother and I thought it would be a good idea to go and check out Aira Force , a waterfall not far from the lake.  The problem was, it was an incredibly rainy and windy day , which always annoys me as I can’t take any photos with the rain blowing in my face. We had to agree though that the force looked amazing in the weather and we will definitely have to go back on a much drier day.

Last Sunday it was raining  too but not as badly ( Hurrah ! ) so we were tourists in our own town and took   The Ribble Valley Sculpture Trail around Brungerley Park. Just in case you missed my post , you can check it out here 🙂

All in all a pretty good week. What did you get up to ?

 

 

Photo an Hour Sat 27th August.

I joined in with Janey and  Louisa’s Photo An Hour challenge on Saturday. Prepare for mostly random pictures of shopping and drinking! I went to Manchester with the girls.:)

8am ~ Sharing toast in bed.

9am ~ If I’m going to Manchester I had better put some nail polish on !

10am ~ On the train.

11am  ~  A typical House of Fraser customer maybe. 😉

Noon ~ Trying on an Oasis dress…..which I did end up buying.:)

1pm ~ Eyeing up Converse.

2pm ~ In The Botanist waiting for cocktails.

 3pm ~ The most amazing dessert!

4pm ~ Cider in the Gas Lamp before our train home.

5pm ~ Not really much you can photograph on a busy train.

6pm ~  Back in Clitheroe so obligatory ciders in The Inn At The Station before heading home. I forgot to take a photo at 7pm.

8pm ~ Other Half has gone to the pub so I’m sorting out dresses to put in our new wardrobe in the spare room. I need the most space.Obviously!

9pm ~ Chillin with Hugo and pondering on whether I should start my new book.Anyone read it? 

By 10pm I was already tucked up in bed.Very Rock n Roll on a Saturday night. 

Have a great Bank Holiday.x

Sunday Sevens 17 April.

Sunday means joining in with  SUNDAY SEVENS which was created by the lovely Natalie at Threads And Bobbins . The idea is to post Seven ( or more) photos from your week. Here goes!wp-1460902820761.jpg

  1.  Just started reading My Family And Other Animals by naturalist Gerald Durrell. It’s the story of Gerald’s crazy but idyllic childhood in Corfu in the 1930s. You might already be familiar with their adventures if you have been watching Sunday Evening Television recently. The Durrells is on itv 8pm every Sunday and it’s a great adaption of his memoirs. 🙂 I’ve also invested in an alarm clock!  Instead of using my phone as my alarm I now keep my mobile downstairs at nights , so I’m not tempted to go on Facebook etc into the early hours.

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2. The doog is better! Hugo is now back to full health and here he is smiling amongst the daffodils. Doggy grins are so cute. 🙂

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3. Ikea purchases. Wil and I survived our First trip to Ikea together. However I’m not sure there will be a second!  It’s HuGe! And Claustrophobic!  And we didn’t buy what we went there to buy. We were meant to come back with a wardrobe. Instead we came back with two pink flamingo glasses and a bag of daim bars. Nice glasses though!

 

4 & 5.  Let them Eat Cake!  Had a fun afternoon in Manchester again yesterday. This time with my good friends Arwen and Gill. We booked a perfectly adorable ( and very good value) Afternoon Tea at Hey Little CupCake!  in the Spinningfields area of the city. For £12 each we feasted on dainty finger sandwiches, home baked scones with jam and clotted cream, marvelous miniature cupcakes, delectable macarons and juicy red strawberries dipped in chocolate. The service was attentive, the decor ‘pretty in pink’ and the tea refills plentiful. Heartily recommended. :))

 

6,7 & 8.  As well as loving our Afternoon Tea we also enjoyed popping into Elixir Tonics and Treats on Deansgate. This is a real Fun Palace  for those of you who prefer your cocktails served with theatrical flare. I was certainly amused with the assembling of my ‘Into The Ether’ cocktail …and it went down well too. If you like smoke,bangs,pops and sparkle with your drinks, in a friendly and relaxing atmosphere , Elixir is for you. It was certainly for us!

What have you got up to recently?

Lunch at the Infamous Diner in Manchester.

A few weeks ago the Other Half and I found ourselves in Manchester’s eclectic hub of independent shops,bars and eateries known as The Northern Quarter. I had a craving for a Burger, so where better to head , than a 1950’s style American Diner!  Infamous Diner  on Basil Chambers Street( not far from the Arndale Centre) is decked out like a diner in the movies. Think’ Back to the future’ or’ Greece’ and you’d not be far wrong.manchester 006

With black and white check tile flooring and pretty in pink leather booths and powder pink bar stools, the interior is a retro delight. There are gleaming silver ceilings and the walls are adorned with American car number plates. Bring in the Pink Ladies!

On our visit ( a quiet Monday lunch time) the jukebox played 1950’s hits and the Gene Kelly Musical from the same era ‘Singing in the Rain’  was showing on the flat screen above the bar. A quick trip to the rest rooms downstairs revealed walls covered in colourful and punchy pop art style graffiti. I love going to places where you are surrounded by fun visuals and Infamous does not disappoint. 🙂

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The Menu includes lots of American Diner faves such as Chicken and Waffles, Hash and Eggs,Pancake Stacks,Mama’s Meatballs and Beef Hotdogs. All I craved was a burger ( there are lots of choices) so I had to go for the ‘Infamous Cheese’ whilst Wil ordered ‘Steak and Eggs’ with fries. To wash my choice down I tried a bottle of Blind Pig Rum & Poached Pear Cider , which was rather good. I loved that it came wrapped in newspaper too. 🙂

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So did we enjoy our food?? Well Wil was happy with his steak and eggs. The Infamous Burger hit the spot fine but at £9.95 was rather expensive for what it is. Even if it does come served on a cute plastic red tray with a star spangled banner popped in the bun! However I surprised myself by not ordering a dessert. Looking back, I must have been crazy! How I resisted the lure of a slice of New York Cheesecake, a Knickerbocker Glory or even Infamouses own homemade donuts, I do not know.

 

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So I am going to have to return, if only to perch myself on one of these fabulous pink leather bar stools. There is an extensive cocktail menu at Infamous too!

Where do you like to eat in The Northern Quarter?

Are you a fan of American Style Diners?