another flying visit to see my mother and my brother and I went to see a film in deansgate – i was shocked to see how the whole of the area around deansgate and castlefield  has been regenerated – there are definitely more places to eat and drink.   i also realised how much cheaper going to the cinema in manchester is compared to london, almost half price!   its great to see some of the old warehouses being preserved and converted into something useful, the print works is another example with cinema and entertainment.   i have never been to the hilton hotel, but this  newish high rise building is not only a hotel, but apparently there is a restaurant with great views of manchester on the level just before the building then becomes apartments.   its on my list of things to do in manchester.

elise has been my friend since i was 15 and still remains one of my closest – we have gone through so much in life,  from happy to sad times, boyfriends, marriage, birth, children and death – we are so similar that we still even buy the same things without either of us realising;  she has lived in the area of chorlton for over 22 years and how it has changed.   yesterday with the beautiful sun and holiday, everyone was sat out on the ever-growing  street cafes on beech road  - we ate lunch in the horse and jockey on chorlton green, perfect for lunch.   of course its sad that all the local amenities are disappearing, sadly the launderette became a restaurant last year, but its great that the area is young, vibrant and thriving.

i found these amazing pictures of my mother when she was younger – in the group picture, she is 2nd from the right.

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the crimson field

i missed watching this new series about volunteer nurses in the first world war, but fortunately with iplayer have managed to catch up.  it really does make you think how lucky we are these days without war….

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Poppies have long been used as a symbol of both sleep and death: sleep because of the opium extracted from them, and death because of the common blood-red color of the red poppy in particular. In Greek and Roman myths, poppies were used as offerings to the dead.  Poppies used as emblems on tombstones symbolize eternal sleep. This symbolism was evoked in the children’s novel The wonderful wizard of oz, in which a magical poppy field threatened to make the protagonists to sleep forever. Oddly, the poppy field affected the film’s characters in the same order the cast members actually died.

doesnt this poppy remind you of the folds of a velvet dress?

easter eggs

love these eggs that talented artist Mary Mathieson,made for our ilovegorgeous shoot.

Barrier Reef Dress, Sea Green, 698

Harliquin Dress, Sea Green, 482 Harliquin Dress, Sea Green, 487 Barrier Reef Dress, Sea Green, 685_1

Easter is a Christian festival and for Christians the custom of giving eggs at Easter celebrates new life. The first eggs given at Easter were birds eggs. These eggs were painted in bright colours to give them further meaning as a gift. We still paint bird eggs today but usually only chicken eggs.  my daughter loves to paint eggs, but you do have to be really gentle or they will easily break.    you need to pierce a hole at either end blow out all the liquid inside the egg, use for scrambled eggs, or bake a cake!  then perch your egg on a barbecue stick or on a chopstick and paint with acrylic paints.  you can always thread pretty ribbon through the holes and hang them – they look pretty cute.  i really like the tree that maude painted on this egg.

if you are in padstow, on easter sunday there is the annual easter egg rolling down the street – bring your own hard boiled egg – its fun to watch everyone dress up, roll their eggs and raise money for their favourite charity.

good friday celebrations

Semana Santa is a magical time in Andalucia and Vejer celebrates in spectacular fashion. Good Friday sees a dramatic and moving procession as the whole town turns out to witness the local virgins being paraded by religious brotherhoods in full costume deep into the night. Then the local marching bands play in the streets before a major party takes over, culminating in the running of two wild bulls through the cobbled streets, as thousand watch, and a few join in.

Afterwards Vejer returns to its usual sleepy ways, so you can combine amazing folkloric events with a touch of hedonism and a lazy break, all against the backdrop of one of the oldest and most traditional houses in this beautiful ancient town.

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maude’s sushi

alice bought maude a sushi making kit for xmas, book, wooden mat, rice, seaweed paper – such a good idea and now maude has taken to making herself sushi for her pack lunch at school.    i have to say, she makes it look easy and they make good healthy snacking food.   these are vegetarian so that they stay fresher in her school bag.


beautiful day for a walk in regents park

i noticed that the honest sausage is now gone – apparently it will reopen as a smokehouse selling fashionable pulled pork and corn on the cob on the bbq!  the boathouse cafe on the lake is a nice place to sit for coffee, as well as the garden cafe in the rose garden.   i walked past the zoo, it reminded me of the days i used to spend there with the children – its such a shame that when they grow up you stop visiting places like the zoo.   hopefully one day i will be able to take my grandchildren……..


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unite and type

for something unique and individual as a gift, for say a child or even for fun for an adult, unite & type can just about put anything onto a plate or cup.  the lettering is simple and clean and can be done in any colour.  always lovely to put the child’s name onto a plate for a new born baby gift.   or why not put a favourite saying or quote onto a plate for someone special.   there are also 1 day courses and workshops in letterpress – would love to do this myself.

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