Hi and welcome to this months Photo Scavenger Hunt. The words that Kate/Hawthorn chose for May are Cool, Movement, Disaster, Fence/Fencing, Prickly/Spiky & My Own Choice. So in no particular order, here are my photos for each prompt.
Prickly/Spiky ~ It was very fortuitous that two of my friends and I actually went to a Terrarium making class a couple of weeks ago. 😁. I have become quite fond of cacti in recent months, so it seemed a nice idea to create a home for some. The two hour course was part of The National Festival Of Making, which was held in Blackburn recently. If you fancy learning how to make a Terrarium for your prickly pals, check out Salvaged Gardens for workshop dates. They are based in Leeds.
Cool ~ The best way of keeping cool in the recent hot weather? Paddling in a lake. This photo of me was taken at Bassenthwaite last week on a Camping Trip in The Lake District. The water was chilly!
Fence ~ This picture was taken whilst out with Hugo yesterday. I tried to make him pose in front of a fence, but he was more interested in the cows . : b
Movement ~ Canada Geese hot-footing it past some rowing boats next to Derwentwater. The Lake is home to gaggles of Greylags and Canada Geese, honking away at the tourists and each other.
Disaster ~ This was a tough prompt as I can’t think of any recent disasters that have happened ( touchwood!) , so when in doubt, post a picture of cake! I put on 3 1b in the Lake District…which I suppose is a bit of a disaster.
My Own Choice ~ I love this colourful Blue tit mural , found in the Northern Quarter area of Manchester. There is lots of unusual street art here, so its fun to grab your camera and go on a hunt. 🙂
Sometimes its good to get away to the big city, especially to see a show or a favourite band. As we were off to the 02 Apollo in Manchester on Sunday night, we thought, ‘you know what, lets stay over’. We found a terrific ( and fun! ) budget option in The Ibis Styles Hotel on Portland street, which is centrally located opposite Piccadilly Gardens.
I booked a Queen room , which was bright and spacious …. and like the entire hotel, had a wacky weather theme. 😊 The room was furnished with Queen bed, a sofa , writing desk, television, free wifi, kettle and ensuite bathroom. All the usual amenities for a comfortable city centre stay.
It was ‘ Raining Cats & Dogs ‘ in the elevator, the carpets were covered in Autumn leaves and a production of ‘Singing In The Rain’, wouldn’t have looked out of place in the lobby. 🌞🌧☂️ You really couldn’t help but smile at the decor. 😁
A tasty continental Breakfast is served in the Jamboree Foodfest Restaurant & Bar , which is also a great place for evening cocktails and has a Happy Hour. Of course I headed straight for the pain au chocolat. 😁
For a budget B & B stay in Manchester , the Ibis Styles is a great choice. We were a 20 minute walk from the 02 Apollo concert venue and the eclectic bars & shops of the Northern Quarter are a 5 minute stroll away.
I thought I would share with you a few of the quirky shops and cafes that my friend Lisa and I visited in the vibrant Northern Quarter area of Manchester last week. This plethora of independent bars, eateries and emporiums is situated not far from the city centre and can easily be reached from both The Arndale and Piccadilly Gardens.
Oklahoma. A must if you are after a quirky gift or something unique for the house, this colourful gift and homewares shop on High Street is a delight to mooch around. Ideal for cute stocking fillers and novelty items too. Has a super Christmas decoration section with lots of kitsch baubles and festive fun. I bought a couple of little fun presents from here. 🎄okla.co.uk
Craft & DesignCentre. Housed in a Victorian Fishmarket building , the Manchester Craft & Design Centre is home to several talented artists and maker’s workshops over two levels plus a wonderful little cafe. After admiring some of the crafters work we had lunch here. I can recommend the tasty frittata and salad. 😁 craftanddesign.com
NorthernFlower. I was dazzled by the array of plants and flowers in this bijou florists on Tib Street. Describing itself as a Potting – shed boutique, Northern Flower has an impressive selection of cacti and succulents as well as beautiful pots and hangers. I couldn’t help but purchase a tiny cactus for my collection. 🌵 www.northernflower.com
ChapterOneBooks. A great place to relax with a coffee and cake this spacious and comfy coffee shop is also a book shop. We bobbed in for a brew and a chat and made the most of the comfy sofas. Its quite alright to settle down with a book and if you buy one you get a free drink. Oh and the cakes are good too! 🍰 chapteronebooks.co.uk
Afflecks. No visit to the Northern Quarter is complete without a mooch round the institution that is Affleck’s on Church Street. Over 70 independent shops and businesses trade under one roof and any spare wall space is adorned with colourful street art. Fancy dress, vintage clothing, tattoo studios, music, art and quirky cafes can all be found here. Well worth a look. 🃏 afflecks.com
BonbonChocolate. Just as we were thinking about heading home Lisa and I stumbled into … a chocolate cafe!
Bonbon Chocolate Boutique on John Street is an artisan chocolate makers that also serves amazing Hot Chocolate. Lisa tried a chocolate orange flavour and I had the chilli hot chocolate. The cafe area is tiny with only room for 3 or 4 small tables and chairs. But if you happen upon it in a quiet moment , why not enjoy the decadence. 🍮 bonbonchocolate.co.uk
Of course I have only touched upon the huge amount of shops and cafes in the Northern Quarter, not to mention the many bars in the neighbourhood. Hopefully I have inspired you to visit!
I’ve just realised whenever I post a Sunday Sevens ( 7 or more pictures from the past seven days) I seem to average about one per month, not one per week! But anyway I have just had a week off work…and that seems a good enough reason to join in. 😁
Last weekend it was my Birthday get together so here I am on a Night out with the girls. I’m holding an Espresso Martini , which does look more like a Guinness!
A week off means more time spent walking with this gentleman of course. It’s been pretty muddy and squelchy in the fields. But that doesn’t stop Hugo’s enjoyment. Whilst I am busy pulling myself out of bogs , he whizzes round like a whirling dervish! Here he is in a rare still moment.
On my actual Birthday my friend Lisa took me to Manchester and we had a great time mooching round the Northern Quarter. This is a colourful area in the city full of quirky bars, cute cafes and independent shops. Just my cup of tea! I am sure I will blog about it soon. 🍰🍫🍸
My Guilty pleasure at the moment is watching Grimm, a supernatural series about a homicide detective who inherits the ability to see monsters.Those goblin, witches and werewolf types inspired by Grimm’s fairytales. And there are a lot of monsters in Portland for sure! I have also finally finished watching Son’s of Anarchy with Wil. All 7 seasons! When he first started watching it I thought it wouldn’t be my thing, a drama about an outlaw motorcycle gang. But hey it became an addiction! What TV shows are you enjoying at the moment?
Presently I am stopping in an apartment in Harrogate with Wil ( my Birthday present! ) and yesterday I got to cross something off my Bucket List. 😁 I had booked us into the Turkish Baths which are Britain’s most fully restored Victorian Turkish Baths. As you can see , I took one very sneeky pic in the Relaxation Room aka the Frigidarium. Photography is not allowed but I wanted to prove I visited this beautiful building with its gorgeous ornate tiling. Bliss..
We also had early morning coffees before our spa experience in a Harrogate institution Betty’s Tea Rooms. I think having breakfast there maybe before 9am , is one way of beating the queues!
But I will post more about our stay in Harrogate very soon. 😊
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.
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 orchampagne.
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.
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.
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. 😦
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. 🙂
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. 🙂
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.
On the Crapper. 😉
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 .
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. 🙂
‘ 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.
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.
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. 🙂
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.
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. 🙂
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…..