So I had a baby….and lost the blog

Over Christmas 2016 we went to Haslam Park to feed the ducks and this is what we saw:

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It’s so long since I blogged that I’ve forgotten how to put a caption on photos, suffice to say I was never someone who really noted objects….it was always about the garments or shoes….but couldn’t resist the doggy. I’m officially soft since having a child.

Also pink mittens for toddlers are clearly all the rage….not much choice if you have a baby girl. I’m glad I had a little boy – I think the pink overkill would have had me reaching for a Dylon subscription by now!

I captured this at Blackpool Zoo…and I love it.

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It was floating in the penguin pool. Seriously visit Blackpool Zoo. The last time we went was not great. I wasn’t at all pleased, but this time I was heartened, not least by the excellent sea lion demo. The keeper/trainer was fabulous, informative, passionate and encouraging us all to realise that predators are really no threat to animals….we are. He also had an angle on the SeaWorld debacle which came as a total surprise. Despite our global, mutual outrage over Shamu, I had never realised there was a positive side to SeaWorld, at all.

Let’s all strive to be kinder to all living things in 2017. 2016 was a nasty blight on us all. It’s interesting that this piece was written back in the summer….and we were only hal;f way through the year. Pre trump, pre more celebrity deaths, pre countless more attrocities.

I wish you health, love and happiness for 2017.

 

Lost with Beetham’s Fairies!

Magic  magic everywhere!

Magic magic everywhere!

This delightful shot was sent to me by Robin Gregson.

I don’t know what I love more about it, whether or not it’s the actual hat and the marvellous Gruffalo, or the fact that it’s on a footpath sign directing you towards the Fairy Steps – how magical.

It makes sense. Among Robin’s many talents, he has just published his first novel Unreliable Histories. I was zooming through it on holiday, got 3/4 of the way through and I just don’t know where time has gone recently but I’ve not finished it, still!

Definitely worth a download, I’m enjoying it enormously….and not because he’s a mate and I’d have to say that (wouldn’t I?), but because it is rich in language, humour and plot.

I’m also looking forward to reading the Gruffalo to my young son, who, thankfully, adores books. It doesn’t matter if we’re reading That’s Not My Penguin or Peppa’s Viaje En Tren (I’m not kidding), he’s enthralled. I hope it lasts.

Sadly pregnancy and motherhood have not done much for my joy of reading, I don’t seem to have the attention span any more so it’s been a real thrill to read Robin’s first novel without, unrelatedly, having to put it down and pick up Closer magazine instead…..I never said I didn’t have a shallow side!

As for Beetham and The Fairy Steps, I’ve not visited myself but it looks lovely and like a walk the kids might enjoy, if only for the challenge of climbing the steps without touching the walls!

 

Lost on Moor Park

I’ve walked round Moor Park a number of times since William was born, probably more so than during the preceding 46 years!

It’s a lovely park which skirts a very beautiful avenue, once home to Preston’s super rich, I imagine, yet now home to consultants’ surgeries, Moor Park High School and Preston College’s annexe, The Park School.

I spotted this purple hand….

Purple Hand!

Purple Hand!

The park has always been a happy place for me although when I once had a personal trainer and was learning how to run, it became a source of discomfort….no loos! There are two public conveniences but both locked following increasing incidences of illegal naughties going on….now, however, some genius has installed one of those all encompassing blocks near the bowling greens – relief!

Sadly some lowlife managed to burn the old building down

The burned out bowling green hire cabin

The burned out bowling green hire cabin

 

……..but they have rebuilt and as I say, installed some new pay as you go loos – oh the relief!

They also have one of those Adidas sponsored exercise areas.

On your marks....

On your marks….

 

Work that body....

Work that body….

 

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like these areas. They remind me so much of the ones you get on the beaches in Spain…so, of course, remind me of being in Spain. I missed it so much last year, choosing not to fly whilst pregnant, but can’t wait to get back there this year to the lovely villa.

I digress…

Moor Park is a lovely place to walk round, you can play tennis, bowls, take a cycling tour, care of a Council initiative, feed the ducks on the pond…or just have a nice sit down.

There’s also an observatory and it breaks my heart to know that it is no longer in use. I would dream of looking up at the stars from there when I was a child and the minute I became an adult, they shut it down and stopped the public viewings. TYPICAL. Someone get Dara O’Briain and Brian Cox on the case!

There’s a car park at the Preston North End end of the park so no excuses for not giving it a whirl – best in the summer and autumn months!

 

Lost in weight-loss

So, many moons ago I wrote that I was treading the streets of Fulwood…..and sometimes the paths of Cumbria, in a bid to lose weight so as to facilitate having a baby.

How the tables have turned – or have they?

Now, having had a baby, I am, once again, having to realise that I need to do some exercise.

The last walk I did when in this frame of mind, proffered forth the highest number of losses in any one walk ever….and I was absolutely sure I’d already blogged them…but I’ll be darned if I can find that blog…so here goes, with an apology for repetition.

 

Lost medical supplies - by Sharoe Green allotments

Lost medical supplies – by Sharoe Green allotments

 

Lost medical supplies 2 - by Sharoe Green allotments

Lost medical supplies 2 – by Sharoe Green allotments

 

Gone off the railings!

Gone off the railings!

 

Lost in Booths Car Park

Lost in Booths Car Park

 

Lost by the hospital!

Lost by the hospital!

 

Lost in Clanfield

Lost in Clanfield

 

Lost with Jeanne Jugan

Lost with Jeanne Jugan

The more I look at these pics, the more I am sure I have already blogged them but I can’t find them so I must be going mad – one of the truer statements relating to becoming a mother – I never really acknowledged how true it was when people referred to baby brain but it’s really quite alarming. I can’t recall conversations I’ve had two minutes ago!

So any Prestonian can see my route – a 3 mile circuit of Fulwood’s main roads – ah yes, getting a lung full of that fresh air ; )

Actually yesterday we did.

We went over to St Annes and walked along the prom, past the old site of the open air baths and to the pier. They are currently restoring the end of the pier by the looks of it, and there’s a lovely new cafe at the end. I say lovely, we didn’t go in, but it looks so quaint and welcoming……bit less full-on than the arcade which you have to plough through before getting back into the open air. I’m a sucker for the British seaside, so piers, donkeys and wind breaks evoke real joy in my heart…..noisy arcades and the constant allure of chips, perhaps not as much!

It was possibly the first bright, sunny afternoon this year that we’ve managed to enjoy a bit of the outdoors…..more of that, please.

Anyway…..in a bid to keep it fresh, I’ll shut up, suffice to say the battle of the bulge is back-on!

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Christmas loss

Another lost soul

Another lost soul

It’s funny how so many gloves find their way on to the railings of a church. Funnier still how the finders, or maybe the elements, point a finger towards the spire…a kind of godly loss?

This fluffy beauty was on the railings outside English Martyrs Church, just outside town, spotted as we took a post Christmas walk up to the Asia Continental Supermarket on Sedgewick Street.

I’ve never been inside the church but just googled them to see if they had a site – it looks very jolly indeed. Having been brought up CofE, in truth, I’ve been inside very few UK Catholic churches and I’m always astounded by how ornate they are by comparison to their protestant counterparts.

Church decor is something which always makes me question the graven images commandment whenever I’m inside one.  St Walburge’s, also in Preston, is a fine example of fabulous church decor, with its splendid stained glass windows and minstrels gallery, the second highest spire in the country and beautiful stone. I’ve no idea if you can gain access for a peek, sadly its parish is all but non existent and I know, years ago, there was an urgent sense of it having to be saved from disappearing as a church per se but if you can get inside, revel in it.

While I find church interiors often quite beautiful in their over the top design, from a spiritual perspective, there can be none more moving than St Martin’s Church in Martindale, in Cumbria. Its serene simplicity, lack of embellishment and ancient design make it an idyllic place to sit quietly and contemplate life’s greater questions.

All that said, as a lapsed church-goer (understatement), for many, many years I ceased going inside churches, as a tourist, after being in Crete one Easter. We took an excursion on Good Friday to a village church, where the presence of so many tourists made it impossible for actual worshippers to attend their own service inside their own local church. I was ashamed to be there, merely to gawp at the interior,when people were trying to get in for more legitimate reasons on the most important day of their religious year.

So I stopped going inside. I missed the Dome of the Rock when I was in Jerusalem, have missed countless divine settings in Europe and chosen to stand outside instead. But I’m going back inside more of them, just choosing my timings and being more considerate, I hope.

On a lighter note, I feel compelled to discuss the Asia Continental – I have to say I love it, although spend far too much on sacks of spices which will go off long before they are used. It’s a wonderful place to find most of your foreign goodies, not just Asian cuisine.

There’s also a really good fresh fruit and veg section with a good range of everything from the pedestrian to the exotic, but best of all, for us, if you’re someone who makes jams or chutneys, you can buy stuff by the crate!

Perfect for when you’re whipping up a batch of Moro’s harissa or Mrs Balbir Singh’s mango chutney – I think it’s her recipe we use (?)!

Kendal Calling!

It’s been an age – I forget how long, since I last wrote a lost blog. A lot has happened and, as Booker T would say, Time is Tight.

I had a baby!

Yippee and hooray and everything else in life pales. Cheesy but true.

This morning this photo was posted by Justin Grammer on his Facebook page with a nod to the Lost Socks Laundromat….so I HAD to write.

Hat at Kendal Castle

 

Having never been to Kendal Castle I can’t comment on its visitor attractiveness but I’m guessing it’s a ruin and stands on a small hillock surrounded by the breathtaking Cumbrian hills. And this is where the hat resides.

Sadly my lasting memory of Kendal Calling – the title of this piece, was when the music festival was still sited just off the Kendal bypass in a farmer’s field. It was a dreadful weekend weatherwise, very sadly indeed 2 people died from dodgy drugs and with them died my inclination towards ever attending another music festival. I am told, however, that its new location at Lowther makes it a much more appealing past time. The line up gets bigger and better with every year and were it not for our dear, sweet, little boy, I might have given it a whirl this summer.

Kendal, itself, is a lovely place, made all the more enjoyable last year when a group of otters decided to take up residence on the river, slap bang in the centre of the town.

Give it a whirl. It’s got some great eateries and the number of locally produced gastronomic delights make it a must go for any foodie! I just wish I could still find Kendalicious Cordials but fear they may no longer be around. Check out their food festival in March.

Cheers Justin!

Lost with the Lord of the Rings!

I’m not a fan myself. I’ve read the first page countless times, I think I even made it to page two once. I set it down as the films came out but having nobody with whom to watch them at the cinema and, having insufficient confidence to go alone, I waited until they hit the small screen or borrowed DVDs.

It was no better then. I could see from the outset that these were films which needed to be watched on a large screen.

Having borrowed the first one off my then boss, @otoolealexandra, I marched into work the following day admitting my defeat and noted that the films were long enough without having to pause them intermittently for Monday night double episodes of Corrie. Alex, bless her, was apoplectic and close to issuing my first written warning.

Their setting and inspiration, however, could not be nearer my heart. There is an arrogance within that rejoices in the fact that more observers than not note that Tolkien was living in the Ribble Valley at the time the books were written.

So this little, lime green, fluffy lost glove was right in the heart of Middle Earth (for all I know this reference might be a Star Trek one, I know I’ve heard folk mention it….but, to be fair, I’m not a fan of either, yet their respected fanbases seem to attract the same people).

My name is Inigo Mantoya, you killed my father, PREPARE TO DIE!

I loved this glove not least for its colour – my favourite shade of green, but also because from this angle it looks like the thumb is concealed underneath the hand of a six fingered man! Ha ha ha ha, which, of course, leads me to recall a great book and one of my favourite films, screened, by chance, this last Saturday, The Princess Bride. A star studded cast, it never ceases to amaze me how few of my closest friends have seen it, yet, to me, it’s probably my own personal Python! (at this point should I mention I have never seen a Python film?)

The quotes come thick and fast from “Never start a land war in Asia” to the best, “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die”. Why has Mandy Patinkin not had more huge roles….he is fabulous.

Anyway to return to the glove….it was not owned by the six fingered man..

…..there is no concealed thumb!

And the walk, whence this bright loss was spotted…..well that took place last weekend, when it snowed throughout, when stopping for sandwiches seemed like a good idea but resulted in my fearing I’d never feel my fingers again. Note to self…buy mittens, gloves don’t cut it. It was a walk which started in a layby beyond Hurst Green, backed up on itself and took us through the grounds of Stonyhurst (setting for Three Men and a Little Lady school scene) and up on to Longridge Fell. It would be such a pretty walk without doubt in the Spring and Summer, but the view was marred by low lying snow clouds.

From Stonyhurst we walked up Kemple End and through the woodland on Longridge Fell, dropping back through Green Thorn, Deer House Wood, over Sandy Bridge and back into Hurst Green.

7 miles, 4 hours. Fabulous.