First Wintry Walk Of 2018: To Darwen Tower

Brambles and moss, covered in frost

A New Year’s walk up to Darwen’s Jubilee Tower has become a tradition. I’ve been a little under the weather over the holidays (just a nasty cold), so when we finally took the plunge, it felt extra-good to brave the fresh, winter air and get out for some exercise.

Darwen Tower

Darwen Tower may look warm under the glow of late afternoon sun, but anyone who has ever made the climb will vouch for the wind chill factor up there, even on a summer’s day. Continue reading

Listening To A Riff; Capturing A Moment

The Two Hats Blues Band

Music makes me happy, and live music can be the best of all. I’m fascinated to watch musicians listen to each other on stage as they take turns to riff. It’s one of many added benefits of live music.

You’ll see all degrees of listening – in-the-mood in the main, but also respect, surprise, the odd wince, right through to definitely-thinking-about-something-else. Naming no names, of course, for civility’s sake. In most cases they’ve heard it all before, often.

I loved how these blues players listened with intensity, as if they were hearing each other play for the first time. The stage lights had simplified their colours to blues and magentas and the steel guitar had become abstract, rippling gold.  Continue reading

Today Was A Good Day | My first Mesh!

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A Jubilee tower, built in 1898, overlooks my home town, Darwen, seemingly to tempt walkers on to the moors. Getting up there involves what real ramblers call a moderate climb, which translates to quite steep for a good bit of the way. Despite this, it’s very popular locally – you’ll be sure to meet families, couples, joggers, mountain bike riders and dog walkers, young and old, with varying levels of fitness.  Continue reading

Weekly photo challenge: bluebell blur

Bluebell meadow

Bluebells. For me, they’re a sign of home. My tiny garden is so full of the sturdy, Spanish ones that I can’t plant anything else without digging a few up, no matter how careful I try to be.

We stumbled upon these ones growing wild on Darwen moor, not far from Sunnyhurst Woods, on our way to the Jubilee Tower last spring. A field of bluebells is enough to stop even the most experienced of ramblers in their tracks. It makes me happy to think that this year’s flowers aren’t far away now. Continue reading

Moorland ponies

Moorland ponies

Lovely to meet these three ponies during a walk on Darwen moors. One was bold, eager to meet two passing strangers and find out what we had to offer – ideally food but failing that, affection. The second was patiently waiting to see how things turned out, and the little one was poised to run even further away. The bold one took all we had – just pats, compliments and a few other whispered words!