Wednesday 28 July 2021

Settle Flowerpot Festival

Following on from my last post, while we were in Settle having lunch on our day out, we came across a number of flowerpot characters...

...we didn't know what they were all about at first but we soon discovered a sign taped to a lamppost. The Settle Flowerpot Festival. If I'd known about this before our trip I'd have devoted more time to it, I do enjoy a trail to follow.

Here are a selection of a few flowerpot characters that I snapped.

Some are better than others.

I've seen scarecrow trails before but never a flowerpot festival.

I think it's brilliant when a community comes together to put on this type of event.

There's some really creative people out there.

They were all over the town.

This one was in the car park and I think it was my favourite from the ones I took photos of.

Settle Flowerpot Festival runs throughout July and August, the last day being Sunday the 5th of September 2021. There are over 150 flowerpot creations on display throughout the town, three different flowerpot trails and a quiz available.

Kettlewell is another Dales village. It usually put on a scarecrow festival in August but it's unfortunately cancelled this year, as it was last year, because of coronavirus. If you'd like to see some scarecrows from years past you can take a look at my Kettlewell Scarecrow Festival and More From Kettlewell posts from back in 2014. We've visited this festival quite a few times.

There's always something new to see or do each time we visit the Yorkshire Dales, no wonder we return again and again.

Saturday 24 July 2021


The weather was gorgeous last Friday so Mick decided to take a day off work and we headed off into the Yorkshire Dales. We started off in Malham, a small village in the Pennines. Most visitors pass through on their way to Malham Cove, a cliff formation of limestone rock. On the top is a large area of limestone pavement where scenes in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows were filmed. We didn't visit Malham Cove this time, we last visited back in 2012, I didn't realise it had been all that long ago, and you can read about it in my Back To The Dales post.

There isn't much in Malham itself but it's a lovely quaint village to wander round.

At the entrance to the village is a carved limestone boulder with a quote from Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice.

Here you can see the road which leads to Malham Cove. It's about a mile from the village and then there's over four hundred steps to climb. It's a little too much to ask of Archie these days.

The Malham Smithy is the workshop of blacksmith Annabelle Bradley, she's been in residence since 2007. Bill Wild was Blacksmith here from about 1946 until his death in 1985. He bequeathed the Malham Smithy to St Michaels Church and they now lease it out, the rent providing income for the church.

How cute are all these birdboxes hung on the Beck Hall Hotel. I wonder if any of them are occupied.

The Yorkshire Dales are known for their dry stone walls. I love to see them covered in moss like this.

A stream runs through the centre of Malham and there's a woodland walk which runs right by it. It was the perfect place to let Archie off his lead for a breather as the small wood is enclosed by walls and is gated.

It was a hot day and Archie enjoyed being able to cool off in the stream.

These mushrooms were growing on a tree. The photo doesn't show how huge they were.

It was nice to be able to cool off in the shade of the tree canopy. This day out was at the start of the heatwave and it got incredibly hot that day.

After a stroll around the village we decided to drive to Settle, a market town about six and a half miles from Malham. I never tire of seeing all the animals in the fields and by the side of the road. 

It gets a bit much when they block your way though, haha. They don't move out of your way either, we had to manoeuvre our way around these cows but it didn't end there because there was another small herd further along the road. I do love to see animals roaming free though.

Our lunch in Settle consisted of a hot steak and ale pie from Drake & Macefield butchers. If you're ever in the area I can heartily recommend them. It's not the first time we've sampled their wares and it won't be the last. We also purchased some cold pies to bring home with us, they're so good. Afterwards we set off for Hawes, passing the impressive Ribbleshead Viaduct on the way. 

We had a lovely day out and I'm sure it won't be long until we feel the draw of the Dales again.

Tuesday 20 July 2021

Book Giveaway Winners

Thank you to everyone who entered my book giveaway.

I have chosen two winners at random. Kay is the winner of Mine by Susi Fox and Flashin Scissors is the winner of Mine by Clare Empson. Can you both please let me know your name and address details so that I can get the books sent out to you. You can find my email address by clicking on my name in the About Me section at the top of the sidebar. 

I hope you both enjoy the books as much as I did.

Friday 16 July 2021

Puerperium Cardigan

Contrary to what everyone must be thinking by now after I've been knitting a flurry of baby garments just lately, there are no babies on the way in the family, nor do I know of anyone who is expecting, but I see these cute little clothes and can't resist knitting them. Never mind, I'll have plenty of  things ready to give as gifts whenever a baby does arrive.

This latest offering is the Puerperium Cardigan, a simple pattern and an ingenious design. It's a simple style which is designed to be easy for new parents to dress their baby in the puerperium period (6 weeks post birth) as it buttons up the side rather than the front.

I've used Rico Baby Dream DK in the Pastel Confetti colourway and it's so soft, perfect for next to baby's skin. It only took 70g of yarn so with the leftovers I decided to knit a hat to match. I went with the Plain and Striped Newborn Purple Hat by Halifax Charity Knitters, another free pattern on Ravelry and I think it goes perfect with the cardigan.

Both patterns were a pleasure to knit and I can see me knitting them both again in the future, perhaps when there's an actual baby to knit for.

Monday 12 July 2021

Mine Giveaway

My last post was about two books I'd recently read, each with the same title, Mine. One was written by Susi Fox and the other by Clare Empson. I really enjoyed each of these books and thought you might like to read them too.

You can find the blurb for each of the books in my last post. If you think you'd like to read them please leave a comment on this post and if your name is pulled out of the hat, I'll send one of the books to you. Please let me know if you have a preference in your comment otherwise I'll just choose which one to send to you myself. There will be two winners, each one winning one of the books. I'm sorry but this is a UK only giveaway owing to postage, you'd be able to buy the book cheaper than it would cost for me to post it abroad.

I'll leave this giveaway open for a week or so before choosing the two winners at random. 

Good luck.

Thursday 8 July 2021


A couple of months ago I bought a few books from The Works. Two of the books had the same title, Mine, but were written by different authors. 

"The baby in the cot is not your baby.

You wake up alone after an emergency caesarean, desperate to see your child. But when you are shown the small infant, a terrible thought seizes you: this baby is not mine.

They say you're delusional.

No one believes you. Not the nurses, your father or even your own husband. They say you're confused. Dangerous.

But you're a doctor - you know how easily mistakes can be made. Or even deliberate ones.

Everyone is against you; do you trust your instincts? Or is your traumatic past clouding your judgement? You know only one thing.

You must find your baby."

The first book I read was Mine by Susi Fox. This was one of those books which kept me reading, I just didn't know in which way the story was going, was the new mum suffering from postpartum psychosis, had a mistake been made, or was there something more sinister going on in the hospital? 

This is the author's debut novel and I think she's done a great job with it, I was kept guessing, and changing my thoughts on what the outcome would be, right until the very end. I thought this book was excellent.

"'Who am I?

Why am I here?

Why did my mother give me away?'

Luke has always felt like an outsider. But when he finds his birth mother Alice, he feels an instant connection with her.

So when Luke's wife goes back to work and they need someone to look after their son, Alice seems like the perfect choice.

But Alice is battling with demons of her own - she's still not forgotten the heart-breaking events of 27 years ago that forced her to give up her child.

And she will do anything to stop history repeating itself..."

I found Mine by Clare Empson to be a slow burner at the start but it was setting the scene and once it got going I was hooked. The story is written in the present from Luke's point of view, and recalls Alice's past, with alternating chapters. It's a beautifully written book which deals with all the emotions of love and loss. Billed as a psychological thriller, this book is so much more.

Two books with the same title and I'd recommend both. I enjoyed Mine by Susi Fox so much that I didn't expect to enjoy Mine by Clare Empson as much, but I was wrong. If I were to recommend one above the other it would definitely be Clare Empson's Mine.

Sunday 4 July 2021


When Eleanor completed her degree in biomedical science she had the qualification she needed to be a biomedical scientist, however, before she could practise as a biomedical scientist she had to complete an Institute of Biomedical Science Certificate of Competence in order to apply for Health and Care Professions Council registration as a biomedical scientist. In simple terms, her degree is her academic training but she also had to complete a portfolio showing her competence before she could apply for registration.

The portfolio is usually completed whilst working as a trainee, however, trainee jobs have been very thin on the ground in our area. I don't know if this is usually the case or if it's a knock-on effect of the pandemic (so many things are put down to this these days), so Eleanor took a job as a medical laboratory assistant. Whilst she's been there her employers have allowed her to do her additional training and complete her portfolio, which she sent off to be assessed. She also had to do a presentation demonstrating her knowledge. She did this last week and at the end of this, the examiner told her she'd passed. She now has to register with the Health and Care Professions Council and then she's able to practise as a biomedical scientist. She just needs a job now. She's still working as a medical laboratory assistant at the moment but she's hoping that a suitable job will come up at the hospital she's working at already, I don't think she's keen to change hospitals.

One of the things the examiner said to Eleanor was that she was impressed by the breadth of her knowledge and that she was verging on the knowledge a specialist biomedical scientist would have. What a lovely remark, though Eleanor has worked very hard to get where she's at and loves what she's doing so this doesn't surprise me.

Jacob was lucky, he also took a job as a medical laboratory assistant but a trainee biomedical scientist job came up at the hospital he's working at which he applied for and he got the job. He hasn't completed his portfolio yet but he's not far off now, and his employer has allowed him to apply for a biomedical scientist job which has come up at his hospital and he's been successful, so he's got a job waiting for him as soon as he qualifies.

They're both at the beginning of their careers but they're both ambitious and work hard so I can see them going far. We're very proud of them both.