Tag Archives: witches

New sculptures on the Pendle Sculpture Trail.

Pendle Sculpture Trail in Aitken Wood near Barley is a great little walk that is brimming with eye catching sculptures. I’ve blogged about this trail before here , and it’s now somewhere we love to bring Hugo. Over time some of the sculptures have naturally eroded but a few more have recently been added too. We visited on a foggy Monday morning, driving through the village of Downham and over a misty Pendle Hill.

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Witches on the trail.

There is ample parking in the car park in Barley ( £1 charge) which has a cafe & information centre. No maps featuring the new art installations were available on our visit ,but hopefully this will be remedied soon. To access the Sculpture Trail we made our way through the village , passing the Pendle Inn on our left and then Barley Garage, before following the signs up past two reservoirs and on to Aitken Wood.

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Another witch on the garage.
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A collie keeps a watchful eye on us.

The original Sculptures are very much inspired by the tale of the Pendle Witches. In the 1600s nine local women and one man were accused of witchcraft and tried and hung in Lancaster, as part of the Lancashire Witch trials. Of course they were no doubt innocent victims of the superstitious times they lived in. Other sculptures are inspired by the natural world and there are yet more, with a hint of the supernatural about them.

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Could this be a fir cone?
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Bracket Fungi , maybe.
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Mischievous boggart.
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Bat.

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Any eye-deas?

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Witch Finder General.

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The fog really adds to the atmosphere of the walk don’t you think? At one point I heard some bizarre sounds, that Wil and Hugo seemed completely oblivious to. Some very strange clickings & chattering’s from deep in the woods. Maybe I was letting the surroundings get to me, but I didn’t investigate further. Wil said I had probably heard a toad. Hmmmmm!

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Into the woods.

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I was definitely starting to believe I was in a Grimm’s Fairy tale by this point. More and more supernatural beings were emerging from the fog.

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There were years written on the circular flags. Possibly denoting the time passed since the Witch trials.
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Black Dog.
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Dryad ( tree nymph).
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Unicorn.

Also dotted around the woods are several ceramic plaques, one for each of the accused witches.

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Ceramic sheep skull plaque.
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Tiny fairy on woodpecker.
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Loved this one of the Pendle Witches.
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One of a flock of male and female Crossbills.

As we were leaving Aitken Wood I heard a lot of activity in some conifer trees. Looking up, I saw a flock of crossbills , my first ever. A magic moment indeed.

Are there any interesting sculpture trails near you?

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Photo an Hour Sat 29 October. ☆

On Saturday I joined in with louisa’s and Janey’s Photo An Hour challenge. Here’s how my day went…

8am.  Enjoying a brew in bed.

9am.  Changing the bed. Love my Orla Kiely duvet set but the colours ran a bit the first time I washed it. 😦

10am.  One snoozy dog ( after his walk) and one awake cat. 🙂

11am.  Looking Up.

12pm. In a local cafe waiting for lunch.. I had a savoury cheese scone with chutney and salad. This is the view from the window.

1 pm.  Back home and Wil has assembled ingredients for a stew. Halloween themed of course. Hobgoblin ale going in. 🙂

2 pm.  Put this table in the bedroom and wondering if it looks out of place? However fellow blogger Janet thinks a pile of vintage books or a jug of dried lavendar will look great on it. I agree. 🙂

3pm.  Updating Hugos Lake District Map. Whenever we go to the Lakes we try and take Hugo and photograph him paddling and swimming in various lakes and tarns. The map is slowly filling up now. 🙂

4pm.  In the local pub having a quick one before we go to our friends kids Halloween party. 

5pm.  Loving my friends pumpkins. 🙂

6pm. Halloween Selfie. Vast improvement I think!!

7pm. All wrapped up. Monsterous Mummies!

8pm.  A pumpkin and a Witch aka my 2 Goddaughters. 🙂

9pm. Last pic. Supper is the stew and the first two episodes of Orphan Black. 

Hope you have had a good weekend. Happy Halloween! 

 

Classic Chick Flick ~ Bell, Book and Candle.

For you lovers of old magical movies, I’m reblogging a few Halloween themed posts this week, on the lead up to the 31st of October. Here’s a Witchy Romance featuring James Stewart, Kim Novak….and a siamese cat called Pyewacket. 🙂

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Its that time of year when the nights are drawing in and there’s nothing more comforting than curling up with a hot chocolate ( or one of those spicy pumpkin lattes that I haven’t tried yet!) and a spooky rom com.  Bell, Book and Candle is a witchy tale set in modern day New York ( 1958 ) about a bored witch ( a sultry blonde Kim Novak) , her feline familiar ‘Pyewacket’ and the guy who moves into the flat upstairs.

The film starts with a festive snowy street scene. It’s Christmas Eve and lonesome witch Gillian is working in her African Art shop feeling in a bit of a rut. She spies her neighbor from the flat upstairs ,  Shepherd Henderson ( James Stewart) and ponders to her siamese cat Pyewacket, that he might be a rather nice Christmas present…..

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Classic Chick Flick ~ Bell, Book and Candle.

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Look into my eyes.

Its that time of year when the nights are drawing in and there’s nothing more comforting than curling up with a hot chocolate ( or one of those spicy pumpkin lattes that I haven’t tried yet!) and a spooky rom com.  Bell, Book and Candle is a witchy tale set in modern day New York ( 1958 ) about a bored witch ( a sultry blonde Kim Novak) , her feline familiar ‘Pyewacket’ and the guy who moves into the flat upstairs.

The film starts with a festive snowy street scene. It’s Christmas Eve and lonesome witch Gillian is working in her African Art shop feeling in a bit of a rut. She spies her neighbor from the flat upstairs ,  Shepherd Henderson ( James Stewart) and ponders to her siamese cat Pyewacket, that he might be a rather nice Christmas present…..

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“Give me him for Christmas Pye.”

A chance meeting ( well, kind of 😉 ) and Gill learns that Shep is a publisher and he’s interested in publishing the next book by the author of a guide in her shop called ‘Magic in Mexico.’ He’s also engaged to be married.  Gill’s batty Aunt Queenie ( Elsa Lancaster) and bongo playing warlock brother Nicky ( Jack Lemmon) think he might be the ideal candidate to test her supernatural  powers on. But Gill doesn’t want to cast a love spell on Shep and bans her interfering relatives from making mischief.” It might be pleasant to be humdrum once in a while” she reflects.

Lightning strikes!
Lightning strikes!

After mentioning to Shep that she and Queenie were going out to a nightclub called the ‘Zodiac Club’ that evening ,he decides to take his fiancee there for a drink. It turns out his bride to be Merle went to boarding school with Gill and used to bully her and get her in trouble for walking around barefoot ( its a witch thing!)   so Gill sees red and beckons Nicky and the orchestra to gatecrash their table. To Merle their playing resembles a crashing thunderstorm. We find out that Merle is terrified of storms and she flees the club followed by a perplexed Shep.

Love the tree. :)
Love the tree. 🙂

Back at the flat Gill and her family exchange presents round the tree. Nicky’s present to Gill is a summoning charm. She decides to use it to lure the author of ‘Magic in Mexico’ to the shop. But it is Shepherd who turns up and witnesses the three gathered round a lurid green flame. Remarking that ,”It seems more like Halloween than Christmas round here” he is easily convinced by Gill that the fireworks were just a party trick. When the others leave Shepherd tells Gill that he and Merle have now planned to get married the following day. It is then that our witch decides to use her magic on him. Humming a tune to Pyewacket she casts a Love Spell that immediately makes the publisher fall in love with her.

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We next cut to the top of the Flatiron building ( in its time the tallest in NY)  where we see Gill and Shepherd locked in an embrace. Shep goes to break it off with a very disgruntled Merle and the two start to enjoy a magical courtship, doing the ordinary humdrum things that Gill has craved such as dinner and dancing, ice skating in Central Park and chilling in her flat. Meanwhile ‘Sidney Rednick’, the author of the Mexican magic book turns up at Shepherds office. He has an idea for a new book….about witches in New York.

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Convinced that New York is a haven for witches Sidney writes the book with the help of Nicky who has decided that he deserves a bit of recognition for being a warlock. Gill has accepted Shep’s marriage proposal even though she knows he is under her spell. But something has happened to our witch. Witches don’t cry. Witches don’t blush. When witches fall in love they lose their powers and their familiars leave them.  Pyewacket scarpers to go and live with Aunt Queenie. Is it possible that Gillian has fallen in love after all??

To see how the story ends….you really should rent the movie. Arnt I mean!  Go on , it’s the purrrfect spellbinding Halloween film. 🙂 .

Whats your favorite magical movie?

A Celebration of Black Cats ~^^~

Recently I found myself some what astonished by the information that black cats in animal rescue centres are usually the last moggies to find homes. 😦
As the human of a black cat called Slinky ( named after the mischevious storybook kitty) , I can asure cat lovers that black cats are just as lovable, annoying, naughty and adorable as any other variety. I speek from experience, having always had furry felines in my life, of differing sizes and colours.

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Slinky Malinki.

Of course black cats are often asociated with superstition and witchcraft, especially at this time of year. In the middle ages they were often percieved to be witches familiars or even witches in disguise. And the myth that a black cat crossing your path is bad luck is still a superstition some people believe, like a broken mirror or not walking under a ladder. It is easy to logically see why a smashed looking glass can be bad luck…but not a cat….unless you trip over him! Who am I to speek though.I always have to greet any solitary magpie I see with a cheery hello…..

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A rather bewitching witch and her companion.

In any case doesn’t the magic and mystery surrounding the black cat make them more alluring. I’ve been having fun on Pinterest collecting beautiful images of le chat noir. 🙂

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Moi !

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Love Cats. 🙂
Playful Puss.
Playful Puss.

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Moon Moggie.

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Chat Noir Poster. Le Chat Noir was a Parisienne nightclub in the late 1800's.

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Chasing leaves.
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Black magic.
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The Owl and the pussy cat.
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1960's advertisement for Christian Dior featuring a black cat.
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Slinky Malinki was blacker than black by Lynley Dodd.
Pumpkin Puss.
Pumpkin Puss.

I devote this post to all the Midnights, Jets, Buntys, Bouncys, Kingstons, Tommy Sues, Boos, Miles, Maus, Sisis and Slinkys out there ~ black cats who have been the beautiful kitty companions to myself or various friends and family over the years.

What are your thoughts on black cats?

Spellbinding Screen Witches.

Halloween is on the horizon, so I thought I would compile a list of those spellbinding sorcerers , the winsome and the wicked, who have appeared on the big screen ( and the small screen) over the years. Do you remember these magical movies and tv shows?

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Hocus Pocus (1993). Three witch sisters are resurrected and cause hilarious havoc one Halloween. They like to sing, dance and eat the odd child or two.. Look out for SJP before her transformation into Sex and the city’s fashionista Carrie Bradshaw.

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The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005).
Tilda Swinton is the powerful white witch Jadis in the 2005 Narnia movie. She manages to portray her as both ethereal and evil.

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The Wizard Of Oz (1939). Probably the most iconic Witch of all, the Wicked Witch of the West ( Margaret Hamilton in lurid green makeup) truelly terrifies with her evil cackle and flying monkeys. Hide those ruby slippers Dorothy.

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The Craft(1996). Teenage supernatural movie centreing on four high school outcasts who form a coven and cast spells to get revenge on the people who have wronged them. Things soon spiral out of control. Fairuza Balk who plays the rather nasty Nancy apparently became a wiccan in real life.

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Bewitched( TV series 1964-1972). A beautiful witch marries a mortal man and agrees not to use her magical powers in their everyday life……but often finds she cannot resist. With a twitch of her lovely nose ,Samantha can’t help but try and save the day, especially if her interfering Mother visits( another witch) or Darrin ( her hubby) needs a helping hand. They are joined later in the show’s run by baby witch Tabitha. Happy families!

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The Witches of Eastwick(1987). Jack Nicholson plays a mysterious warlock who moves to the town of Eastwick and sets about seducing three friends , who become his coven. Cher, Susan Sarandon and Michelle Pheiffer play the sexy witches to be.

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I married a witch(1942). Charming supernatural romantic comedy starring Veronica lake as the reincarnated bewitching Jennifer, intent on having her revenge on the ancestor of the man who originally had her burned at the stake. Hubble, bubble, toil and trouble.

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Bedknobs and Broomsticks(1971).
Angela Lansbury plays ‘Miss Price’, an apprentice witch , who reluctantly takes in three child evacuees during World War 2. The children soon find themselves on a magical adventure, involving a flying bed and an adundence of animated characters, as they search for a way to save the country from invasion.

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Charmed(Tv series 1998-2004). The Halliwell sisters are three powerful witches known as The Charmed Ones. In the show they battle demons and save innocents, whilst juggling their magical powers with the trials and tribulations of everyday life in modern day San Francisco.

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Bell, Book and Candle ( 1958). Gillian, a sorceress in a rut, living in New York with her familiar ( a siamese cat called Pyewacket 🙂 ), casts a spell on a man she’s just met to fall in love with her. But the problem is…. she soon finds herself falling for him, for real. And witches who fall in love with mortals risk losing their powers. Kim Novak and James Stewart star in this spell binding rom com.

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Harry Potter Films. We all know and love the good witches who passed through Hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry. The most evil and loyal follower of Voldemort however was the evil Death Eater Bellatrix Lestrange. In the films she first appears in The Order of the Phoenix and is played by the wonderful Helena Bonham Carter.

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The Witches(1990). A young boy on holiday in a seaside hotel finds out that the ‘Royal Society for the prevention of cruelty to children’ convention being held there, is actually a witches get together. Angelica Huston plays the Grand High Witch demanding that all Englands children must be destroyed…..or turned into mice. Roald Dahls witchy tale is given the big screen treatment.

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Sabrina, the Teenage Witch( Tv series 1996-2003). Sabrina discovers she is a half witch on her 16th birthday and madcap magic follows.She is taught how to use her new powers by her two six hundred year old aunts and their black cat Salem. Sabrina has to learn to Juggle high school with hocus pocus, often with hilarious results.

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Snow White and the seven dwarfs(1937). The Wicked Queen , jealous of Snow Whites beauty ,uses witchcraft to transform herself into an old hag and gives our heroine a poisoned apple. Lots of Snow White adaptations. This is the Disney
original of the brothers Grimm fairytale.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV Series 1997-2003). Ok Buffy was a mean kick ass vampire slayer, but remember her best mate Willow? She became an extremely powerful witch as the series went on. I think a Buffy fest is on the cards!

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Practical Magic(1998). Sisters, Sally and Gillian Owens ( played by Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman) are witches with not your average relationship problems. Any mortal men they take up with are doomed to an untimely death. The feisty Gillian meets an evil demon,who’m the ladies have to vanquish…..but he keeps coming back to life! And Sally finds herself drawn to a dishy cop whose investigating the case. Toil and trouble in this entertaining witchy chick flick.

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Maleficent(2014). I have yet to see this classic retelling of Sleeping Beauty,told from the perspective of the villianess Maleficent. Angelina Jolie certainly looks magnificent in the part though. 🙂

Hope you have enjoyed my list and its certainly inspired me to dig out a few of the films/shows mentioned here. Who is your favourite Screen Witch? What will be on your Witchy Watch list this October? Let me know.:-D

Clitheroe Castle and Museum.

Clitheroe Castle is a Norman Keep and one of the smallest in the country.
Clitheroe Castle is a Norman Keep and one of the smallest in the country.

Despite featuring Clitheroe Castle in a recent post I thought I would return for this months #take12trips challenge. I’m not planning on travelling very far in March so where better to explore than right on my doorstep. 🙂 I persuaded my friend Becky to tag along with the promise of a brew in the Castle’s Atrium Cafe. Although we both live locally neither of us have visited the Clitheroe Castle Museum for years and years. Now seemed a good a time as any !

The Atrium to the right of the museum.
The Atrium to the right of the museum.

Firstly we had a catch up in The Atrium. Becky was quick to point out that The Atrium isn’t really an atrium as it doesn’t have a glass roof. But we didn’t care as it does do a nice slice of homemade treacle and ginger cake. 🙂 The menu here is quite simple. Sandwiches, jacket potatos, chips etc. There are some good cake choices with gluten free , dairy free and even vegan on offer. Somewhere to take my vegan friends then when they visit. 🙂

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After our refreshments we had a quick look in the Stewards Gallery which exhibits local artists and then on to the museum.

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The museum has loads of information on the geology, wildlife, history and folklore of the local area. Spread over two floors, there are plenty of exhibits and some interactive bits and bobs including guessing games, dressing up clothes and a mini animated film about the Castle Keep. We tried to get into the spirit of things. 🙂

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Victorian Kitchen.

Defending the castle  ~ Well, Kinda!
Defending the castle ~ Well, Kinda!
An Otter and traps. :(  Not interactive, thank God!
An Otter and traps. 😦 Not interactive, thank God!
Mini Animation.
Mini Animation.
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Manning the phone in the Collector's Study
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Clitheroe has devilish connections!

The area has associations with not only the devil but the Pendle Witches and drowned water spirits. Yikes! And there have been many famous people connected with or have visited Clitheroe including Tolkien , Frank Whittle ( the inventor of the jet engine) and Gandhi. You can learn more in the museum. 🙂

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We probably spent a little over an hour wandering round the museum and then had a look round the small shop which has various souvinirs, books and childrens toys.

Witchy stuff.
Witchy stuff.
Colourful souvineers.
Colourful souvineers.

Prices for the Museum ~ adults £3-85. Children under 16 free.

The Castle Keep itself is always worth a visit as there are 360 degree views of the whole town and beyond from the top. Built in Norman times it is said that the hole in the side of the keep was made by Cromwell in the civil war. Another legend has it that the Devil himself shot a cannon ball through it….

The Castle from the creative Activity Space and Play area.
The Castle from the creative Activity Space and Play area.

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A bit of a grey view i'm afraid.
A bit of a grey view i’m afraid.

Explore the castle grounds and you will find a bandstand, a creative activity space, a children’s playground, skate park, tennis courts, bowling green, beautiful garden areas , sculptures and a war memorial. The park is popular with the locals and visitors alike. We enjoyed our afternoon at Clitheroe Castle and the museum is somewhere new to take the kids on a rainy day. 🙂

The War Memorial commands a view over to Pendle Hill.
The War Memorial commands a view over to Pendle Hill.
Snowdrops. Yay. :)
Snowdrops. Yay. 🙂

If you would like to take part in the Take Twelve Trips Challenge head over to Claire’s Blog at http://www.needanotherholiday.com or check out #take12trips on Twitter. 🙂