Crikes! – it’s been nearly a month since the last one. James had his birthday at the end of August, that was nice. Then September arrived and now it’s almost gone! Nevertheless, we’ve had a great month – we went up to the Lake District (not very far when we’re in Manchester) to visit friends Geoff and Pam.
As James made many visits to visit the Lakes many moons ago, it’s always a nostalgic delight for him wherever Pam and Geoff take us. On the Saturday we went to Grasmere where we had a delightful light lunch by the river …….
….. and then for walk around the tiny village, popping into the ‘world famous’ Sarah Nelson’s gingerbread shop, before a trip into the churchyard to pay our respects to William Wordsworth and his family.
On Sunday, with Geoff and Pam, we met up with friends Chris and Pete for a long dreamed of visit to Morecambe. The wonderful Winter Gardens Pavilion, just one of several “musts” along the seafront, is a real delight.
The interior is undergoing a very long restoration by volunteers. They’ve been going now for almost thirty years ……….
….. in a valiant and tireless attempt to bring the majesty back to this Victorian edifice. There is a lot more to be done but the place is a real testament to the love which the people of Morecambe have invested in one of it’s finest buildings.
The foyer is has been renovated very nicely but stunning ceramic tiled staircases are out of bounds and can only be viewed from the ground floor. James is sure (and we should have taken a pic!) that in the original entrance mosaic floor someone has spelt “Pavillion” with two L’s! A very permanent reminder that we all can make a mistake!
Very close to the Pavilion is an ice cream parlour with it’s original Art Deco interior. A real gem!
A little walk along the seafront and we reached our next point of interest – the commemorative statue of Eric Morecambe! This lovely centre piece just has to evoke something very deep in the British psyche, and it most certainly lifts one’s spirits!
Haha! It just has to be done!
In fact, we all did it! (pic kindly taken by Pam!) and after this we all spontaneously burst out with a rendition of “Bring Me Sunshine” – and if you can’t remember all the words (shame on you!) they’re written on the steps leading up to Eric’s statue.
There are many stars inlaid into the frontispiece of Eric’s tribute site but this one stood out as a real record breaker!
Back along the seafront, opposite the lovely old railway station (now no longer used as a station) was our next port of call ………
……. the very well restored and refurbished Midland Hotel. A magnificent Art Deco example standing proudly with it’s back to the sea.
The restoration has been carried out very well with the beautiful staircase being the centrepiece to building.
We stopped for a drink to recharge the batteries and soak up the atmosphere. Doug, Pam, Chris, Geoff and Pete.
There are a few works by Eric Gill around the hotel. The very kind hotel manager allowed us into one of the rooms to view this frieze of Morecambe Bay. Here’s us with Chris, who with husband Pete, is a great devotee of this hotel.
Here’s all of us again, still ensconced in the hotel, having another drink. Chris, James, Geoff, Pete and Pam. With Chris’s expert knowledge and the kindness of the manager and one of the house keepers, we both had a wonderful tour of the hotel including a couple of the superb penthouse apartments.
After a delightful time in Morecambe (and our delight was certainly not dampened by the wet Sunday afternoon!) we all journeyed a few miles the other side of Lancaster to The Mill at Condor Green for a lovely late Sunday lunch. An additional pleasure to the meal was that we were sitting right next to the Lancaster Canal – a stretch of water that we didn’t get to cruise when we had “Chance”.
Together with Pam and Geoff we also had the pleasure of having dinner one evening at the lovely home of Chris and Pete for which we say a big thank you. We also have to say a terrific thanks for, once again, the marvellous hospitality of Pam and Geoff.
Leaving the Lake District on Sunday evening, we made the journey south to Selsey for a couple of weeks. We needed to be around for the replacement of our conservatory roof which was badly damaged in a hale storm (Selsey’s normally glorious weather occasionally has a sting in it’s tail!). We, of course, delight in being so close to the sea and to enjoy our wonderful beach – which, apart from Lifeboat Day each year when there are literally thousands of people around, always looks like this!
One slight dampener on the previous three weeks has been that Doug has undergone three emergency operations – one in Manchester and two in Chichester. He insisted on going ahead with the arranged weekend with friends Pam and Geoff in the Lakes, for which we are so very grateful to them for their help and understanding. Doug’s parents, Derek and Vilma, came to see the “convalescent” and this was his first walk out for quite some time. He’s now on the mend and beginning to face life head again!
We’re now back in Manchester for a while, as we have a short sojourn coming up, and, as James was in desperate need of a hair cut, he thought he’d go for a short one to match to upcoming event !!!