Friday 26 July 2013

A very proud day

One that I will never forget.

 She is the first in my family to have had the opportunity to go to university and she did us proud.

And yes, Mum and Dad both shed a tear.  I held it together really well, but then  "went" at a rather inopportune moment - but then, its expected of me these days! And it amuses the family!

Tuesday 23 July 2013

Earl Grey Ice Cream

Thought I would share this recipe I found and made when Lyn from Everyday life came to stay.  You can make it without the Earl Grey tea, just omit the tea bag stage.  I don't have an ice cream maker either so I just froze it for 3 hours, then whisked and froze it again.

4 Earl Grey Tea Bags
Few drops of good Vanilla Essence
1 pint full fat milk(600mls) (you can use skimmed or semi skinned )
half pint (300mls) double cream
8 oz (225g) golden caster sugar

Heat the milk to almost boiling and add the tea bags and vanilla essence.  Leave to infuse till milk is cool
Squeeze out tea bags

If you have an ice cream maker, add the milk,  cream and caster sugar and churn until thick.
If not, whisk everything together and freeze in a shallow container, fork through every couple of hours until frozen.

Its fun getting people to guess what the flavour is - nobody has guessed it as yet!

Very nice served with a Brownie!

Monday 22 July 2013

The Bad Nana's

I managed to catch my favourite pensioners at the weekend at Tramlines Festival in Sheffield.  I did take my own video for you, but could not get it to upload, so I'll share this one from Youtube.  If you ever get chance to see them, do.  They are so funny.  And I had to giggle at the drunk bloke who really couldn't work out whether or not they were real old ladies or not.  Granny Turismo are my favourite bad nana's .

Stop Press

I have just discovered that a new drama series is to begin this Sunday at 8pm on Channel 4 - filmed at Quarry Bank Mill (previous post).  The Mill is based on true lives of the worker at the mill.  I hope its good.

Saturday 20 July 2013

Styal and Quarry Bank Mill

 On Thursday evening, we had to pick the young man and his girlfriend up from Manchester airport, and so hubby and I decided we would go late afternoon and make a bit of a day of it.  The pretty village of Styal, and the mill at Quarry Bank lie just behind the airport and are lovely to stroll around.  The village was built to house workers at the nearby cotton mil and I believe most of the houses are owned by the National Trust who now run the estate.
The little houses are so pretty and the village setting is perfect.

 I think I spotted Quince growing in the orchard.

 We wandered across the fields to where the mill sits.
 We used to visit Quarry Bank Mill lots when the kids were young.  This is the apprentice house where orphaned or abandoned children were housed whilst providing free labour at the mill. Whilst my children thought it was great fun to dress as Victorian waifs and pretend to sleep on a straw filled mattress, the reality of life for these poor children would have been horrific - but much better than the workhouse.
 The children were educated and fed here in return for working very long days in the mill - usually in very dangerous jobs.  They also had to tend the gardens after work.  Children would have been as young as 6 years old and often lost fingers and limbs working under the machinery in the mill, or just dropped dead from exhaustion.
 The mill itself is a magnificent building, but the similarity to a prison is striking.  It sits in a very beautiful valley on the river Bollin which is quite unusual as most mills of this size were built in towns and cities.
 If you visit the mill during opening times, they have a couple of the machines running - and they are really noisy.  It must have been a tremendous noise when all the machines were running at the same time.  Most mill workers did lose their hearing very young.

 The mill was built and owned by Samuel Greg.  He pioneered the factory movement in the UK and was considered to be fairly benevolent to his workforce, but conditions were still horrific.  Like Salts Mill in Saltaire, it must have been better for the workers to live out here in the countryside than suffer the awful conditions in the city.

.We also had time to have a quick wander around nearby Wilmslow  which is a very affluent town - home to many northern celebrities and Manchester footballers.  The estate agents windows are always a bit of a laugh - 6.5 million pounds was not the highest price we saw either!

 And apparently this Aston Martin dealerships sells the most cars of any  of its dealerships in the UK.  Hubby's face was a picture as we wandered around.

Tuesday 16 July 2013


You can find friendship in the most surprising of places, and I never expected when I started my blog all those years ago, that I would go on to count my fellow bloggers as some of my truest, loveliest friends.  I have met up with the Lovely Lyn from Everyday Life now more times than I can remember, and when she needed  an overnight B&B when she was on a course near my home, and with me all by my own for the evening, the answer was obvious - and so she came to stay. 

She came bearing gifts - a basket full of Lancashire goodies, to eat, drink and read.  And she also brought a  delicious Lancashire Hot Pot for us to share for supper.  I love it when people cook for me.

 Before supper, we had a time for a quick walk around Wentworth to look at the big house.....
 ... the lovely countyside...........
 ... the old church, which was still open ...

 .... and the new church....

We chatted and gossiped for hours and hours - with never a pause for breath - just liked we did the first time we met.  So many shared interests and stories we both loved to share.  But I didn't get any photos of us!!!

You just know when you have met a kindred spirit.

Thursday 11 July 2013

Found in Rotherham.....

.... the best road sides verges and traffic islands in all of the land.  Stunning and such a perfect idea.

They look out of this world.

Wednesday 10 July 2013


A walk around the centre of Sheffield on a hot summers evening - noticing some large expanses of window,  some old, some new, some gorgeous, some not so.  All iconic buildings in our lovely city.

Would make a great competition at Christma xs! Name the buildings!

Tuesday 9 July 2013

Audley End House

I almost forgot to show you our visit to Audley End House near Saffron Walden in Essex.  We called on our way home from Kent.  Yet another place ticked off my list! 

 The house was a lot older than I imagined it would be.  Apparently it used to be about 4 times bigger too! We had a guided tour around the house which was great - no photos allowed though.  They have a huge collection of stuffed birds.  In the Victorian era they were collectors pieces and you could send for them flat packed from all corners of the earth and then you got your own taxidermist to stuff them!

 You were allowed to take photos in the kitchens and servants quarters though.

 They have lovely formal gardens and a great organic kitchen garden.

It is looked after by English Heritage and well worth a look in if you are passing.