Saturday, 29 May 2010

When I came back...

…from a trip to T K Maxx this morning, a shop I’ve not been to for ages and one I really like to have a good old mooch in, there was a huge box waiting for me in the kitchen. DSC_4029 Inside it were these beautiful, beautiful flowers and the pink jug to put them in.

DSC_4028 copy

They really are gorgeous.  I’ve played around in Photoshop and put a Shadow House texture on the picture above.

DSC_4053 These are the true colours.  I probably wouldn’t think to put pink and yellow together but these delicate pink roses and deep yellow gerberas look amazing side by side in and amongst the greenery.


Who are they from? you might well ask.  Well, they are a thank you from Caroline for looking after Charlie tonight while she and Trev are spending the night in a nice hotel in Leeds. It’s their first wedding anniversary a week today and Trev booked the night away as a surprise.  How sweet of him and how sweet of her to send me the flowers.  Thank you Caroline, I love both the flowers and the vase, I couldn’t have chosen better myself! xx

Friday, 28 May 2010

Whit Friday Band Contest

Since the earliest recorded contest in 1884 a Whit Friday Brass Band Contest has taken place every year in and around the towns and villages on the edge of the west Pennines. Last year over 100 bands took part.  We love these contests and have been many times over the years.  Today Caroline, Charlie and I went over to Uppermill to the contest there.
Hearing a brass band always make me feel nostalgic.  It takes me back to the Whit Walks of my childhood when every year along with my brothers and sisters we would walk in our parish procession through the streets of our local town.  I do have a couple of pictures and I’ll post them another day. Brass bands were always a feature of those processions playing the hymns that we sang every day in school and in church on Sundays.  Then fast forward to when Caroline was in the band all the way through high school and took part in the very same Whit Friday Contest we witnessed today.  No wonder they fill me with nostalgia, I have so many happy memories of them. DSC_4017
Mounted police lead the bands as they play marching up the main street.
Uppermill is a pretty place, you’ll find pictures of it dotted around this blog and here are some more. 
I like this picture with the train going over the aqua-duct and the barge waiting to go under it. 
I hadn’t ever noticed the picnic tables up there on the canal-side before but I’ve made a mental note and I hope to be sat there with my flask and sandwiches in the not too distant future.
We left the car at the garden centre where we had had a coffee sitting in the sunshine and then walked along the canal bank to Uppermill centre.  It was a beautiful day and of course the sunshine made it so much more fun.  That’s Caroline pushing Charlie in the buggy.  It really was a very pleasant walk, very peaceful.
By the way, Charlie loved the bands and pretended to play the big bass drum most of the way home in the car.  He’s so cute!

I’m joining Outdoor Wednesday at please go over and have a look at all the other great Outdoor Wednesday posts, it’s fun.


Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Thatched Cottages

Today I’m linking up to Mosaic Monday over at Little Red House.  It’s a great blog and I love looking at all the different Mosaics, if you’d like to take a look you’ll find it here. 

My mosaic shows some of the beautiful thatched cottages I snapped pictures of a couple of weeks ago when we had a week’s holiday down in Devon. 


I’ve seen many thatched cottages over the years but I never cease to tire of them and of course they don’t build them, at least not very often, any more.  If you should ever be down that way and are interested these particular cottages are in the hamlet of Harcombe near Sidmouth.


Sunday, 23 May 2010

Oh, to be in England .. that April’s here or May in this case.  Recently I’ve been very glad to be in England the weather is great and that together with our beautiful scenery is hard to beat. Shame about the greenfly plague we’re having at the minute though, I’ve never known anything like it before in my entire life.  Apparently it’s due to the sudden rise in temperature and not enough ladybirds around to eat the little pests.
Anyway, to continue.  William and I took advantage of the weather this weekend and yesterday morning we drove over Blackstone Edge to Hebden Bridge, a little mill town about 20 minutes away from here.
We checked out a few of the charity shops, which is one of my favourite things to do and something I haven’t done a lot of lately so I really enjoyed it.  I mainly buy my books in charity shops and just so as you know hospice shops are the cheapest. DSC_3897We had a morning coffee sitting outside a coffee shop overlooking this unusually low river. Very pleasant except for all the sticky sap that had fallen from the trees on to the benches and which in turn left stains on our trousers! DSC_3902We mooched around for some time after that and decided before we headed home to have a cold drink outside the Shoulder of Mutton.  Actually we each had a very, very cold glass of draught Guinness, it was so good in the sunshine!
Today brought more sunshine and what better way to spend the day than at the seaside.  Along with Victoria, Gary and boys we set off for Cleveleys over on the west coast of Lancashire. DSC_3920 copyWe parked alongside the prom wall toward the Bispham end of Cleveleys and took our picnic down onto the beach. The boys loved it.  DSC_3922   William read the paper.  I read my book. DSC_3914Gary found himself  somewhere to rest his head! 
We had a lovely day and to top it all off I don’t think the greenfly were as bad today, maybe the plague is on the way out (fingers crossed).

I'm linking this post to Outdoor Wednesday over at  Go over and have a look at some more Outdoor posts from all over the world.


Thursday, 20 May 2010

Charlie is two today.

I can’t believe it but Charlie my youngest grandson is two years old today.  He’s a very cute little character and after opening all his presents this morning Caroline and I took him and Nicholas to an indoor play area for a couple of hours.DSC_3867 crpd I took this picture of him back at home this afternoon.  He was painting out on the deck with Nicholas.  Naturally I took tons of photos, this is one of my favourites though. DSC_3881It was such a beautiful day that later on, when Victoria brought George home from school and the men came home from work,  Charlie’s tea party turned into an impromptu picnic party on the decking.DSC_3889  Happy Birthday Charlie! xx

Monday, 17 May 2010

A little something to brighten your day.

One of the things I really look forward to when we go down to Beer and the surrounding towns is the flowers.  There are so many beautiful gardens and floral displays you wouldn’t believe it.Sidmouth I absolutely love tulips and Connaught Gardens in Sidmouth were overflowing with them when we there a couple of weeks ago.  Donkey Sanctuary, Sidmouth. 06/05/2010I also absolutely love flowering cherry trees and they were everywhere we went and all in glorious full bloom.Sidmouth 07/05/2010I just love pansies, all the different colours, spectacular to say the least.Sidmouth 07/05/2010But I think one of all my all-time favourites has got to be good old fashioned bluebells.  Maybe because they remind me of my childhood playing in Alkrington Woods in the spring.  In those days bluebells seemed to be everywhere and we would pick a bunch when we were out playing and take them home for my mother. 

We never picked dandelions though, if you had them in the house they would make you wet the bed!  We believed it too!

I’m looking forward to going back to Devon in July, gardens and hanging baskets will be full of another of my favourites, petunias.


Saturday, 15 May 2010

Crazy Golf

A very excited George rang me last night to see if I wanted to go playing Crazy Golf with them today. Of course, I said yes.  Caroline, Trev and Charlie came too.  So off we went this morning to Paradise Island at the Trafford Centre.DSC_3736There were 19 holes to play. DSC_3746 DSC_3742 DSC_3741DSC_3745









DSC_3738 It was all fun stuff. 

On the 19th hole, the hardest one, if you managed a Hole In One you got a coupon for a free game.  I am absolutely useless at any ball games but guess who got the free coupons, Gary and ….DSC_3762

DSC_3770 me!



Wednesday, 12 May 2010

A Beautiful Spring Day.

Victoria and I took Nicholas and Charlie to the park this morning.  DSC_3680 It was such a lovely morning and the flowers in the gardens, especially the tulips were a sight to behold.  DSC_3692_edited-1 Charlie thought so too.  He’s learning early to stop along the way and smell the roses, or in this case tulips.DSC_3667 Nicholas found somewhere to put his feet up!  He had to hold on tight though, Charlie came along and tried to push him off! DSC_3696Back at home Charlie took a nap and I took my book and a cup of tea into the garden where I enjoyed a quiet half hour, just another of life’s Simple Pleasures.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Well, we’re back …

… from our first full week spent in the van in Devon.  We had a really good time, the weather was quite good on the whole, not sunbathing good by any means, more fresh and bracing good I’d say.DSC_3430We even got the awning up without any mishaps, bearing in mind this was the first time Billy and Trev had put up an awning.  We also had a very big and private pitch which was great.  It didn’t take too long before we were sorted and our holiday began.MayCottages-w
Billy and I took a detour off the main road on the way to Sidmouth one day and found this beautiful little hamlet of thatched cottages and a farm.  I was practically dizzy jumping in and out of the car taking pictures.  It was such a picturesque little place, the thatched  cottages were gorgeous and there were quite a few of them. 
The geese weren’t very happy at our being there, I’m glad I didn’t have to walk past them!  The place is called Harcombe by the way.
Weymouth-etc-copywAnother day we went with Caroline, Trev and Charlie to Weymouth where we enjoyed a bag of chips on the harbour-side. I want to go back there in July and join one of the guided walks to find out about the history of the harbour. 
We called at Burton Bradstock on the way back (bottom left), that’s a gorgeous beach with a great beach cafe.  The view couldn’t have been better while we sipped our lattes.
A treat we always enjoy when we’re in Beer is breakfast on the beach, there’s nothing quite like it.  There’s Billy  tucking into his Full English.
I’ll be back later with photos from the rest of the week, for now I have to go and conjure up some culinary delight for my beloved to eat when he returns home from a hard day’s work!  Does Chilli con Carne count as a culinary delight? Probably not, but that’s what I’m going to conjure up tonight.

The Donkey Sanctuary…

… is just a pleasant walk away from our campsite so William and I took a look at it.  Both our girls and their families had been to the sanctuary before and had enjoyed and praised it but I wasn’t expecting it to be anything extraordinary.  I was wrong.  This place is wonderful!  You can visit it’s website hereOne man and his dog.This is the path leading to the sanctuary.  Benches everywhere to rest, watch the donkeys and enjoy the views.Donkey Sanctuary, Sidmouth. 06/05/2010These donkeys have got to be the happiest donkeys alive!Donkey Sanctuary, Sidmouth. 06/05/2010There’s a donkey hospital on site and I’ll bet it’s in a better condition than many an NHS hospital.Donkey Sanctuary, Sidmouth. 06/05/2010Gardens immaculately presented with memorial plaques everywhere.  There’s a cafe too and also plenty of places to enjoy a picnic.Donkey Sanctuary, Sidmouth. 06/05/2010I love how they’ve cut a donkey shape into the backs of all the benches. Donkey Sanctuary, Sidmouth. 06/05/2010I’m sure we’ll be visiting here again on future holidays, I absolutely loved the place.

I'm joining in (for the first time) with Outdoor Wednesday over at  It's a wonderful blog with a window into many different people's worlds.  Take a look.

Budleigh Salterton…

…. a little seaside town just up the coast from Sidmouth, has become one of my favourite places to visit.Budleigh Salterton
Budleigh SaltertonBudleigh has a quiet genteel feel which appeals no end to me.  A beautiful wide sweeping bay with a prom to stroll along.  The beach is all pebbles which is the way I like it.  Sandy beaches are great for children but I prefer sand-free sandwiches etc. Plus, if you should drop your ice-cream cornet, (heaven forbid), you can pick it right up and carry on licking it!
Budleigh Salterton
A sweet hand-painted B&B sign. Believe me this B&B has got views to die for!Budleigh SaltertonAnd another one of those memorial plaques, this time on a bench right on the seafront.  I love the inscription on this one.  Victoria thinks I’m potty taking pictures of these plaques but I can’t help it, I’m seeing them everywhere I go and I just like ‘em.  There’s more in my next post.

And finally…

… no visit to Devon would be complete without a trip to Branscombe. Branscombe beachBranscombeThe mandatory cream tea was eaten in The Sea Shanty and on the way home we had the mandatory glass of Guinness at The Mason’s Arms.SidmouthThis is actually Sidmouth beach but the colours of the sea were so beautiful I had to include it.  Of course that’s Caroline and co. there on the sand and a couple of strangers on the shore!
Sidmouth 07/05/2010 Like I said at the beginning we had a lovely week and we’re all looking forward to the next time in July when we go for two weeks.  Things just keep getting better and better!