Friday 30 December 2011


Many thanks for all your good wishes. We had an excellent walk with the kids on our anniversary and we have plans for a romantic couple of days away in a couple of months time when the young man is on a field trip with school.

I spotted this carousel in Barkers Pool, Sheffield on Thursday when the dancing queen and I hit the sales - it was doing a great job in brightening things up as the weather is now dire! I think all towns and city's should have a carousel - like they do in France. There is something really cheery about them .

Well, if I don't see you before, have a great New Years Eve/day, and I'll be back in 2012. Love to all. xxxxxx

Wednesday 28 December 2011

Love changes everything

Hubby and I have been married for 20 years today. They say that time flies when you are having fun, and it doesn't seem 2 minutes since we said "I do", but when I look at the photos - he still had hair, and my cheekbones were still visible! Like most couples, we have had ups and downs, but we tackle everything head on and together. He is the love of my life.

The church choir was available to sing on the day that we wed and did us proud with their version of "Love Changes Everything" from "Aspects of Love". The song meant a lot to us as we had both been married before and I can vouch that the sentiments in the verses are very true.

Here's looking forward to the next 20. x

Tuesday 27 December 2011

Christmas Walks

The weather here has been more like Spring than Winter, so over the last 2 days, I have walked and walked.
I got my own back yesterday. My very excitable "baby" (16 year old ) got us up way too early on Christmas day (he who usually stays in bed till noon if we let him!). So I got him up nice and early for a Boxing Day walk!

It was a bit breezy, but the wide open spaces blew the cobwebs away.

Ive seen plenty of seasonal Holly...
...and Ivy.
We've discovered an ancient woodland with lots of exposed Limestone crags.
I've walked around 2 different lakes

And found some Rhododendron's out way too early!
Ive trampled around a forest and park.
Skirted around the churchyard
And of course incorporated a pub stop.
Fingers crossed that the weather stays fine so I can continue my wanderings. x

Saturday 24 December 2011

Happy Christmas

So here it is, Merry Christmas everybody's having fun! Well we will be once we've sorted out the problematic car that we thought had been sorted before!

Lots of love to you all - Lets do it all again next year shall we?

Thursday 22 December 2011

The things you do for love.

I had made up enough overtime at work to take a couple of days off - so I thought that the last 2 days before the Christmas break would be great to get the house cleaned etc etc. That was the plan. However the dancing queen announced that she needed to do some " location" filming for a piece she was doing as part of her uni course. This would take her on a journey that I wasn't keen on her doing alone, so I volunteered to go along as production assistant/bag carrier. So on my day off, I found myself having to get up at 5.30am and buy 2 return tickets to our destination - and let me tell you, we could have flown to Spain for the same price! DQ will be ironing her way through 2012 to pay me back!!
Our first leg of the journey saw us catching a train across the Pennines to Manchester (where the railway station looked stunning all lit up), and then cross to platform 14 to await our train to.....

It had to be Blackpool as she is filming a documentary about a band that are from here (she says they are excellent and will be as big as the Arctic Monkeys - so watch for them - they are called The Colours). She filmed them the other week in Manchester, but she needed some Blackpool shots as she has been marked down for her "locations" in the past.
So at 9am, we alighted from the train, and found ourselves surprisingly in the sunshine! (although it was very bracing on the prom prom prom!).
They've done a lot of work on the promenade since we were last here, and we both loved this piece of work in front of the Tower.
It features hundreds of names of people who have performed in the many theatres in the town - I remember seeing Mike & Bernie Winters at the end of the pier once in the 1960's .
There were some funny jokes too that made me titter.
And lyrics to well known songs...
And this ones for you John.
The English Seaside can look very forlorn in winter, but the sunshine cheered things up a lot. The town still has its 3 Victorian piers intact. Blackpool isn't on my list of fave places, but it does have some endearing features.
The cloud patterns were amazing.
She got all of the filming done (hopefully) and we had a laugh walking from the Tower end down to the Pleasure Beach - hardly passing anyone else.
The famous illuminations have ended and are just being taken down until next year.
DQ made an interesting comment. We noticed that the south pier had a really interesting looking entrance - hidden behind a tacky later edition. She said that it would be a far nicer town if they ripped down all the "later editions" and stripped it back to the Edwardian/Victorian facades of the buildings - and I think she is right.
I love the way that Blackpool blatantly flaunts the "Trades Description Act". As Jim Royale would say - "Continental eating my a***"!
"Luxury Holiday Flats"?!
And can you spot the mistake? It got me wondering if it was me or them!
We managed to take a few photos just inside the Pleasure Beach. I remember the Noah's Ark from when I was a little girl. Its had a coat of paint and looks as good as new.
I hadn't appreciated the stunning Art Deco architecture of the park entrance before. It has some great features.
And being Blackpool, the Christmas tree was made of ballroom glitter balls - fab!
So on the train home, after a ridiculous early start, and extortionate train fares, I asked her how long her documentary piece had to last. The reply? 1 minute!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday 21 December 2011

I'm almost ready - in fact, if it doesn't arrive soon the sherry will be all gone! The kids are as excitable as ever - even though they are 19 and 16 years old! I don't know if its my age, but a couple of Christmas cards have arrived bearing sad news from people we don't see from one year to the next. This has made me determined to make more effort keep in touch with friends that we have "let slip". It has also made me determined to focus much more on what we "have" and not hanker after things we "want" but really don't need. Other cards have made me laugh. The one that arrived "to" someone different on the inside to the address on the envelope, and the one that arrived yesterday with no writing at all on the inside - so its not just me then!!! We only ever have a simple Christmas - it suits us just fine.

I have a mission to complete tomorrow, then its all "eat, drink & be merry" hopefully. xx

Monday 19 December 2011

Snow chasers

From my village, we can look over the valley where Sheffield sits in the bottom, and over to the edge of the Peak District. We could see snow, so on Sunday, hubby and I decided to tog up and head out frolic in the white stuff and get that Christmassy feeling flowing.

You have to admit that the view from Foxhouse, just a few minutes drive out of Sheffield, over towards Mam Tor is pretty spectacular and one of the reasons why I love living around these parts.

We stopped off at the National Trust Cafe for homemade soup and a roll - a brilliant start to our walk. The house on the Longshaw Estate is not open to visitors. It is split into apartments. A pretty gorgeous place to live I think. It so reminds me of somewhere the Brontes would have written about.

So if you have no Christmas snow at the moment, come with me across the Grouse Moors, and wallow in the loveliness of this perfect winters day.

Sundays walk was a complete contrast to Saturdays - but I enjoyed them both equally. I love that this contrast is really only 15 minutes apart.

Sunday 18 December 2011

City Walk

Hubby and I had been trying to attempt a walk for a couple of days, but "Mum & Dad's" taxi service had been in full use, so on Saturday we seized the opportunity and did one of my favourite city walks. We parked up at Meadowhall - as we had dropped the DQ at work - and walked down the footpath alongside the river Don into Sheffield. The footpath is well maintained as it is part of the Five Weirs Walk , but the marvellous steel walkways are often victim to metal theft these days. This scarey spider has survived though.

Many of the old industrial units by the river are now derelict, but a few were occupied and in full swing.

We spotted some fab graffiti painted on one building.

We reached the city and ended up on the " Wicker" - one of Sheffield's historical streets, full of fabulous grade II listed buildings but sadly now a more run down part of town.
The Wicker Arches used to carry the main railway line from Manchester, but this line and station are no longer used.
Can you see the patched up bit? A relic from the Sheffield Blitz.
At this stage, it started to pour with rain and sleet, so we popped into a gorgeous little pattiserie. Its years since I stepped into an eaterie on the Wicker and it was really lovely.
Once refreshed, we took time to explore some of the great buildings on the road.
The history of some of these buildings are amazing and should be preserved. I always love finding history and interest that I have not seen before - in places that I visit or pass through often. Its all about looking that bit closer.

There are some fascinating old buildings at the end of the Wicker. Until the floods in 2007, these housed a furniture shop, but they are empty now. I hope they don't get pulled down.

I wanted to photograph this area as it is where 2 rivers converge. The tunnel on the right brings the river Sheaf (where Sheffield takes its name from) from its culvert under the city, to join the river Don.
Whilst it was still raining, we thought we would pop into Castle Market - Sheffield indoor market who's days are apparently numbered. I've not been to Castle market since about 1980, and the area around it is very run down, but we were both gobsmacked to find how lovely it was inside. It was really clean and tidy. I'm planning a return trip for a better look.
Once back outside, the sun was shining, so we headed down to the canal basin for our return leg of the walk.

I think that there is a certain beauty in some of the derelict buildings along side the canal.
With the sun now shining brightly, the reflections in the canal where stunning.

The river and canal must have been a wonderful breath of fresh air through the industrial part of the city in the past - it still is. It draws the wildlife right into the heart of Sheffield. We saw a Kingfisher - as we have every time we have done this walk. And we finally got to take a walk! x