Friday, 9 March 2012

Hello, have had a very busy time lately, and have neglected you a little bit ...

I had a birthday

Lots of lovely cards,

Loads of flowers ... and beautiful gifts.  My friends and family know me so well, and my presents reflected this ... Euros from my eldest son and sister, for my upcoming holiday with friends, books, a beautiful handmade cake stand (from Maria at Rosey Tinted Spectacles), soap, ribbon for crafting, manicure voucher, lipglosses from my gorgeous girl, heart-shaped coasters (I love hearts, in case you hadn't noticed!), vouchers and lots and lots of flowers from family and friends, particularly loved the tulips from sons number 2 & 3.  My big present from my lovely husband was a weekend in Blackpool with my little sister, which I'll tell you about in a little while.

The day after my birthday, Maria and I went to Ulverston, a lovely little market town not very far away.  She very kindly treated me to afternoon tea at The Mad Hatter's tearooms.

This is a gorgeous little cafe, very quirky and unusual, with amazing food served in intriguing surroundings

Delicious cakes ...

and afternoon tea, served on cake stands with delightful mismatched china

Ulverston is a lovely little town, that has retained its charm and history, and there are lots of little shops and cafes, a street market and quite a few charity shops which give me my thrifting fix, every now and again!

But the highlight of my birthday week was my weekend away with my lovely little sister, Helen.  We set off bright and early on Saturday morning, did a little bit of shopping, particularly in Primark for the lovely vintage style tea towels which have a hint of Cath Kidston and Pip's Studio (more of which later, I plan to reveal them, when I've spring cleaned my kitchen) and the shopping list from our teenage daughters.  A quick visit to T K Maxx, where I bought some baking bits and a lovely little jug (I have so many, one more won't make a difference, surely?), back to the hotel for a quick change before dinner at a lovely Chinese Restaurant and then off to the Winter Gardens ... such a beautiful building, very art deco ...

Romance ...

and the concert began ...

Definitely one to watch, Jay James Picton, a very talented young man (you saw him here first!) followed by the amazing Rebecca Ferguson ...

Was really impressed as unlike most new 'stars' I don't think she did any covers, these are usually used to pad out their own songs, but not only did she sing them, she'd also written them ... don't know about you, but too good for X Factor! Really hope she doesn't change, she was sort of shy and a bit humble, with that amazing, powerful voice.  She'll go far, reminds me of a young Aretha Franklin x

Blackpool, by night ...

and next day, grey and blustery, quick walk along prom,

and then home, to Sunday Dinner cooked by my lovely husband ... perfect end to perfect birthday weekend! Thank-you everyone xxx

Before I go, let me just share these images with you ... 2 weeks ago went for walk with my husband, and Ruby, the mad Patterdale, to Furness Abbey

the jewel in the crown of my home town

snowdrops everywhere,

but when I returned 2 days ago, with Ruby and Son No 2, they'd all disappeared ... fleeting beauty, making way for the bluebells yet to come.  Spring's definitely on the way ... have a lovely weekend! xxxx


  1. Hi Claire, what a lovely blog, bringing back memories of Furness. Wishing you a Happy Birthday and lovely pressies and cards, the afternoon tea looked delicious, there looks like there are some nice shops in Ulverston now. My daughter says she dosn't miss Barrow, as she went to Barrow 6th Form and had to travel on the bus from Grange, quite a trek isn't it at 7.30 in the morning. Furness Abbey looks very magical, any deadly nightshade! Julie xxx

  2. A lovely post Claire!!Thats what birthdays should be about.....xxxxThe finer things in life!!

  3. Hi Julie, one of my sons is at 6th Form and another used to go ... not so bad travelling from Walney though. Yes Ulverston has some nice shops, but an awful lot have closed down too! Haven't noticed any Deadly Nightshade as don't know what I'm looking for, but lots of wild garlic or Stinking Lilies as my Mam called them when I handed her a big bunch! xx

    Thanks Maria, hope you have lovely weekend, looking forward to reading your Blog xx

  4. Happy Birthday Claire !! Lovely post ....sounds like a perfect birthday. I think the fact that spring flowers are so fleeting makes them even more enjoyable...looking forward to the bluebells ! Have a nice week...Gail x


I love to hear what you think of my ramblings and value all your comments ... I will try and get back to you, but am sorry if I don't always manage this ... sometimes real life just gets in the way! Claire xxx