Monthly Archives: November 2013

A BUSY WEEKEND. A long post of short walks, art and restaurants.

  A mad dash down to Preston station on Thursday to rendezvous with Mel, my old walking pal from way back. His wife had sent him up north for the weekend. Our usual first visit is to a local Indian takeaway  for a quick lunch of Samosas.   http://www.rksweets.com

Tempting delicacies.
Tempting delicacies.

The afternoon was showery with dry sunny intervals, we took the opportunity of one of these intervals for a quick walk, to blow the cobwebs away, around the forest tracks on Longridge Fell.

Pendle from Longridge Fell
Pendle from Longridge Fell

Just made it before the next downpour.

The local curry house, http://hamadanrestaurantlongridge.co.uk/,    

had a half price meal deal so no debate about where we should eat.  

 Liverpool was our destination for the next day. Down to the docks and first The Tate Gallery and some interesting linked art exhibitions showing the influence of the masters on the their successors.  In no particular order…

Girl in a Chemise. Picasso.

Jackson Pollock.

Simon Starling   Five-Man Pedersen (Prototype No.1)
Simon Starling     Five-Man Pedersen (Prototype No.1)

Haven’t been down here for a few years and the place is busy, some new statues including one of the iconic Billy Fury.

Billy Fury.
Billy Fury.

Liverpool 1 seems to have taken over in this end of town. Managed to find a Chinese buffet for lunch – cheep and cheerful! http://www.maysumrestaurant.co.uk/

Next on our whistle stop tour was the Walker Art Gallery with some early David Hockney paintings.

Early Hockney.
Early Hockney.

Watch this video for more interpretation. —

http://homotopiafestival.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/david-hockney-early-reflections.html

I will return to the Walker soon to look at their other exhibits. But now we were down to the Liverpool Library. Wow what a place!

The writer Frank Cottrell Boyce has said that the new library had been completely overhauled to an unrecognisable degree.He said: ‘It’s like going to meet your gran and finding out that she’s turned into Beyonce,’       Just stunning.

Celestial!

Go up onto the roof for wonderful views of the city and North Wales.

View from the roof.

View from the roof.

Time to go home and reflect on the days experiences. They were getting ready to switch on the Christmas lights and delightful stilted fairies were wandering about.

Christmas fairies.
Christmas fairies.

Getting out of some of these gated and ticketed car parks is never straight forward. Have a dread of getting to the barrier, nothing working and a great line of cars behind me!

Saturday was for relaxing, short afternoon walk in the local countryside…..

….and a meal with the family at night.

We had arranged to meet up with more friends on the Sunday for a walk based on the Witton Weavers Way near Blackburn. Lucky to have a bright clear day so that Mel doesn’t think it always rains up here.

...the three stooges...
…the three stooges…

The Leeds – Liverpool Canal tow path was busy with dog walkers, runners and cyclists.

Soon we were in the Hoghton Gorge with the river running high.

Above is Hoghton Towers the home of the de Hoghtons since the 12 C. It was claimed James 1st visited in 1617 and ‘knighted’ a loin of beef, this is most likely a false etymology for sirloin. We reminisced of adventurous climbing escapades in the nearby quarry.

Below Hoghton quarry.
Below Hoghton quarry.

But thoughts of food drove us on to the hamlet of Pleasington and the pleasant surprise of the Butlers arms pub. hhtp://www.thebutlersarms.co.uk

Butlers Arms

Despite our muddy boots and disheveled appearance we were made welcome and enjoyed a good pint and food. Highly recommended. The walk back through Witton Playing fields was enlivened by realistic model airplanes strafing us from 50ft.

The evening was spent with more friends at a favourite Indian restaurant in Leyland run by  the lovely Jamal.  Bangla Spice.

Monday morning was spent up in the village and a coffee stop at the best cafe [there are so many now] in Longridge – the converted station which has the added benefit of a heritage centre with old pictures of the railway and associated mills and quarries.   http://cafe.longridgestation.co.uk/   We discussed the route of our next, annual, spring walk  – maybe St. Cuthberts Way or the Icknield way.

By coincidence it was the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month so we attended the service at the memorial next to the cafe.

Longridge station cafe.

In the afternoon I did a guided walk of the interesting historic sights of our village and will post this separately sometime. But more to the point of this post we were thwarted in the evening by the local Thai restaurant being closed. So off to Preston and the revamped Ming Dynasty. A new crew here served up a wonderful freshly cooked banquet of Chinese food. Highlights included salt and pepper fried Tofu,Dim Sums and fabulous prawns in garlic and ginger. Thanks.  [Update = now closed!]

The next morning Mel was on his way back to London realising that we have some good eating places up north. I hope his wife doesn’t notice the weight he’s put on!!

So we walked maybe 25miles, stimulated our minds, ate x thousand calories and enjoyed the company of many friends and family.

Phew!

Can’t wait to do it again.