Saturday, 3 August 2013

Oh, Island in the sun ....

Almost a year ago I took you for a walk on the wild side to the wonderful Piel Island.  To be honest, I really didn't think it was that long ago, and as it was such a grey, miserable day, I thought it was last October, but no, it was actually in August!

Yesterday ... not last year!

My lifelong friend Anne who lives in Dorset, is visiting my little town on her annual jolly to see family and friends, and  over a nice meal out the other night, mentioned that she was going on a nostalgic boat trip to Piel Island with friends, so Millie and I invited ourselves along ...

This time we were going on the Ferry, not by foot, and the day dawned wild and windy with heavy showers, but as I always say, if we waited for sunshine we'd never get anything done. Armed with our pac-a-macs and picnics, we met up on Roa Island, and while we stood around idly chatting, missed the first ferry over!

Harry, ready for action

It only takes 10 minutes or so to do the return trip, so we didn't have long to wait before we boarded.  The sea was quite choppy, so it was a boisterous journey, but the sun was shining brightly and shimmering on the waves ... a bit different from the last time I showed you the island.

We approached the island after being gaily thrown about for five minutes or so, and although I have said it before, I still think that Piel Island would make a great setting for an Enid Blyton feature film as it has all the essentials ... a rugged, desolate beach; dark, brooding castle, a secretive huddle of smuggler's cottages, and an old sea dog's inn, all steeped in ancient, salty history ...

Millie, hugely excited!

We disembarked without falling in the sea, and went for a quick look around the island, as it is well over 30 years since Anne last camped here, and she needed to reacquaint herself with the landmarks.  She got a bit emotional which is very unlike her, as we looked at the little cottage that is still for sale, and had a little dream about living there, and then found a sunny spot to lay the blanket on the ground.

Replete with a Tesco meal deal (I left it too late to decide whether or not to go, so there was no time to make up the usual hamper) and several Fondant Fancies, we ambled along to the pub for a swift half of shandy ...

who needs to go abroad? 

By now the sun was really blazing it's socks off, so we all rolled up our jeans, fiddled around with tee shirts to avoid tan lines and joined in with the kids playing on the sand.  These are the best kind of days, and cost practically nothing ... the children get to play together, team build, use their imagination and are out in the fresh air, communing with nature.  Much better than trawling around a gaudy theme park eating vast amounts of chemical laden 'food' while their parents apply for a further advance on their mortgage.

This unfiltered image of the beach, sea and sky, wouldn't have looked out of place in a brochure advertising select 'off-the-beaten-track' holidays in the Aegean sea ...

eeeh! It's grim up north ...
All too soon it was time to leave, and we walked around the island, passing the castle ...

following the time-worn path beside the cliffs, eroded by the vicious tide, which will one day bring down this magnificent building and take it for its own ...

and boarded the ferry tired but happy, full of plans for next year!

Definitely A Grand Day Out of the highest order!

Sale of the Century

I know I promised to tell you all about my Vintage Sale which took place last week, BUT ...  I didn't take any photos ...  I started setting up at 6.30, and it took until 9 before I was satisfied with how it looked.  I took a little breather, had some breakfast, and made myself presentable, then everyone started arriving and didn't stop until lunchtime! By then it looked a little picked through and tatty, so I didn't bother with photographic evidence.  It was a fabulous day, the sun shone, was very well supported, I sold lots of stock, made some money to contribute to buying more of said stock, and decided that I will definitely be making Fabulous Vintage Sale an annual event! Thank you all for your support and kind words.

I'd just like to say that I was completely overwhelmed with the volume of comments for my last post. Thank you so much, they mean the world to me, and I was glad to be able to share my news with you.

Have a fabulous weekend, and hope the sun shines for you

Love, Claire xxx


  1. I loved reading this post, I lived on walney Island from the age of 1 - 6 and Piel Island was one of our day out destinations as well.
    Thanks so much for bringing back happy memory's for me and also for inspiring me to go pay a visit, as I only live an hours drive away, and I think I'm way overdue a visit to the area of so many childhood memory's.

  2. ~ Awww that's a lovely comment above!!! ~ Hello Mrs Thriftwood, your trip looks I have said before I have never been to Piel, even though we both live virtually in the same town! ~ Glad you had a fabby vintage sale....Millie looks lovely on the pictures too! ~ Hugs Maria x

  3. Ohh ... it all looks like a grand day out .. we are so lucky with all this sunshine.
    That little cottage for sale looks tempting ... imagine living on a tiny island like that.

    Vicky x

  4. I remember your post about Piel Island from last year and the weather couldn't be more different! I'm so glad the sun shone for your trip. x

  5. Ah your posts always make me smile as I sit here reading them. Your day out looks fabulous and I totally agree - you really do not need to spend vast amounts of cash to have a lovely day, just a little imagination, good friends and your family xx So glad your sale went well too! Good reward for your hard work x

  6. You did have a great day out, good for you. That little cottage indeed is tempting!! Just imagine living there, though it will be lonely too. Love your photo's, beautiful. groetjes, Gerda

  7. What a lovely post. It's beautiful there! It looks like you had perfect weather for your visit. :)

  8. By the way, it's fun to read your post titles, all those songs...Groetjes, Gerda

  9. I just found your blog last week I wish I'd found you before your sale otherwise I'd have come along !! Your posts on lovely things and Cumbria have inspired me to start up my own blog which has been pending for about 6 months....
    Thanks so much

  10. What a fabulous day out! I bet that your kids will talk about their outing still in years to come. Mine are grown ups now and still remember our fantastic camping holidays on the Isle of Perbeck. These type of outings make for great memories that are treasured forever!

  11. Yes, that's definitely an island for adventures! Glad your sale went well, it all looked great! :) x

  12. Claire, I had been wondering how your sale turned out.Really pleased for you that it went well.
    I think that little island looks wonderful and I would have tagged along too!!

  13. Absolutely beautiful. Love the photos.

    Hugs from here, manuela

  14. Such beautiful skies. It looks like a fantastic day out.

  15. Beautiful skies. Looks like a fantastic day out.

  16. What a lovely place - I had to look it up on map! It's so Enid Blyton (hurrah!) and I agree much more fun for kids than a theme park.

  17. How totally and utterly lovely, all of it!!! Love from me xxx

  18. What fun, and yes, very Enid Blyton. I hope you had ginger pop!

  19. Oh Claire thanks for the virtual stroll around the island and the fondant fancies (my favourites the pink one). I have to agree it has Enid Blyton written all over it. Love the 'grim up North' photo. Looks more like 'grin up North' to me, very inviting. It was wonderful to hear the sale went to well and your planning the next one. Have a lovely week.
    Ali x

  20. What an amazing place to visit!
    I wish I could have joined in, maybe next time?
    Have a great week,

  21. You are right Claire. It could be the setting for an Enid Blyton novel :-)! What a pretty island it is!

    Glad to hear you had a fabulous day at the vintage fair!

    Happy week!

    Madelief x

  22. Oh Claire I love your trips, and as before Piel Island looks just so unspoilt and just the perfect place for an adventure, especially in the sunshine..well done on your vintage sales sounds like you did very well
    Happy Week
    Thea xx

  23. A lovely post claire! Claire i live in the east of england, please tell me where is this beautiful island? How much was the cottage that is for sale? questions questions, the sea calls me as i get older. Thank you for sharing another lovely post. best wishes jackie

  24. Thanks for posting, Claire, and sharing such an interesting and beautiful location with us! I'm glad you had a good time and very much agree with you that taking advantage of sites near us that are interesting, outdoors, and not expensive is a great investment of time and energy. I'm so glad your sale was a success, too!! I loved the sales I took part in but did not sell much which was a bit counter-productive :) Hope you have a happy week!
    Gracie xx

  25. I remember the photos from your last trip, but it was great to see this special place in the blazing sunshine. A lovely day out - especially with Fondant Fancies to re-invigorate you! I read your last post but didn't know what to say at the time - now just want to say it's so nice when such lovely, fortuitous things happen to nice people!

  26. Oh this looks like just my kind of place, thank you so much for telling me about to google it and plan!!
    Love Lxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  27. Hi Claire,

    I loved hearing about your trip to Piel island and seeing the lovely photos and yes the perfect setting for an Enid Blyton novel.
    Glad that the Vintage Fair went well.
    Also how lovely that you came into contact with your Mothers friend and must have been happy memories and seeing all the lovely photos.
    Thanks for visiting me and wishing you a happy week

  28. Sounds like a lovely way to spend the day.

  29. You've had such a wonderful day, and live in such an amazing area with the sea and the castles and beaches!! You must be very glad you & Millie decided to join your friends to the island. I'm glad your vintage sale went so well ... maybe better than working at the local fairs? I'm glad you gave it a go and are going to do it again. I've been away for a few weeks, and am now going to backtrack to read your previous posts. Enjoy your week Claire :) Wendy xox

  30. What a wonderful day out, it looks stunning!

  31. sounds like you had a lovely day - again i feel like i'm stalking people from hettie brown's page - but i was attracted by your name!!!!! i know it's called thriftwood but i love collecting driftwood - new zealand is the best place place for that!!!! AND I WANT TO BUY THAT COTTAGE!!!!! lynne x

  32. I went into your friend's teashop violet peapods in Ulverston yesterday and it was empty on market day. It is not very well signposted and when you first walk in, it smells musty. This does not bode well when you are trying to sell food and drink. I thought I would pass on my thoughts as it may help to improve business if there is negative as well as positive feedback. The concept is great but the decor is in need of improvement and it is highly unlikely that I would visit this shop again. it needs to be more Gillams and less charity shop.

    1. Hello Anonymous, I'm sorry you didn't enjoy your experience in Violet's as you are the first person I've spoken to who has had negative comments. I will certainly pass on ths feedback. I was actually there yesterday too, with my daughter Millie. It was full, there was a table full of new customers who were absolutely buzzing about it, and loved it! There were regulars in, enjoying the lovely cake and tea (I had home made elderflower cordial ... Delicious!). I wish you had given your name as I may know you, and would have been able to say hello, when I see you! Perhaps 'vintage' isn't your thing, as this shop is true vintage and that's what I love about it ... It isn't trying to be hip and trendy, it is what it is, and I have always found it to be scrupulously clean and welcoming.

      Thanks for dropping into Thriftwood, you're Lways welcome

      Love Claire xx

  33. wow Claire this years photos of Piel island look like a different place entirely ...just shows you what a bit (or rather a lot) of sunshine does !! so glad your sale went well it's such a great idea ...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