Amazing lights, beautiful city

Edinburgh was so beautiful, as expected. We have both been before, but to be there at Christmas was just magical. We stayed in a very central location, just near the castle so it was within walking distance of everything. The apartment was beautiful, here it is on Air bnb , if you are ever interested in visiting Edinburgh. Last two pictures are from the listing.

We spent most of the first day we were there just wandering around admiring the buildings and looking in some nice shops.

We were stunned by the amount of beautiful Christmas lights on all the shops and hotels. There were some absolutely gorgeous displays, including some very innovative light displays on the buildings.

We had tickets for the Botanical Gardens light event on Boxing Day which was also wonderful, a trail through with all different lights shows and music, the photos so not do it justice really as most of the light installations changed colour as well.

One of the best things was the number of gorgeous places to eat, so many stunning architectural gems as well as the food and drink being great. We had delicious gluten free pancakes in the old Assembly Rooms, a company called Stack and Sill, and Bailey’s hot chocolate in a lovely café called Tiles which was the previously the reception area for the Prudential insurance company.

We also visited the gorgeous Café Adaluz for a tapas lunch and had an evening meal in a restaurant, Angel’s Share, that I did chose for its amazing tin tile ceiling and chandeliers. Luckily the food and cocktails were nice as well!

We had a ride on the big wheel and a lovely couple of tours on the big red tour bus which is always a great way to get around a city and find out lots about it.

Another highlight was a visit to a cat café, Maison de Moggy. We had been planning to visit one of these in Japan, so spent a lovely hour having some very delicious Turkish Delight hot chocolate and cake. The visit was a chance to pet the ten cats they have there, including a beautiful Maine Coon, Pauline, that had the most amazing lion like face. This photo at the bottom of her is from the web site as I couldn’t get a good picture while we were there.

I am enjoying my time at my sister’s, I have bought a new sewing machine, with 99 stitches so am looking forward to using that and am knitting my first Little Cotton Rabbits fox.

I am enjoying cuddling up with her lovely cat as well, Scully, she is my sofa companion when I do my studying for my writing courses.

Jacky and I have also been to the gym a few times and I have done my first aquarobics session which was fun. We are having a quiet weekend at home as the weather is a bit rough. My sister is a primary school teacher and has had a busy first week back at work so it is nice to have some quiet time.

I hope that you have all had a nice week, and have a good week ahead. I will be back with the first of my museum series of posts, as I have lots to share with you from all the lovely costume and textiles things I have seen since August. Until then have fun, take care, stay safe, and thanks for visiting.

Bright lights, big city!

Happy New Year to you all, let’s hope 2022 is a year when we can do the simple things like meeting up with family and friends more often without worrying, and plan things without the risk of them being cancelled.

I have been lucky enough to meet up with lots of people over Christmas, seeing all of my ex work colleagues and friends in Marsden before a lovely time in Edinburgh over Christmas with Ellen. I am now staying with my sister in Worcester for a few months and start driving lessons again in a couple of days so wish me luck!

I will post later about Edinburgh but wanted to show you the lovely things in Manchester first. This was a last minute decision as I was going to stay with my brother, but due to the fact that he had to isolate when coming back from Spain decided to go there for a little tour of some of the places I had never visited.

I stayed at the Salford Quays development in a very cute little room in an Ibis Budget hotel. This was only a short tram ride from central Manchester and I got to admire all of the amazing tower blocks on the way in to the city.

The area was created out of the old dockland area from the era when ships used to sail as far as America via the Manchester Shipping Canal, as Manchester is a long way from the sea. It was one of the first urban regenerations in the early 1980s.

Within the modern shopping malls there were some lovely photos of the old docks and the workers are commemorated along the walkways with art and poetry. I spent a lovely couple of hours wandering around the new areas admiring the Christmas lights and the sheer scale of the buildings there.

My first visit was to the Manchester Art Gallery. Their fashion collection is still being developed but they had some beautiful art depicting costume, which I always love looking at.

There were also some very interesting other exhibitions looking at the role of ‘unskilled workers’, particularly during the pandemic.

That afternoon was a visit to the Manchester Jewish Museum, which is housed in the old Spanish/Portuguese Synagogue which was so beautiful. I have never visited a synagogue before so it was very interesting and very well interpreted with oral history recordings from the people that used to worship there.

There was also a separate museum with the history of the many people who had come to Manchester to settle, which was again full of the personal stories and belongings. I love museums like this that tell the history of ordinary people, it is so important that their stories are not lost.

I was also lucky enough to come across The Portico Library, a beautiful little subscription library that was founded in 1806 and had a quick look around. They had a lovely exhibition on ‘polite literature’ and they also have some resources on fiction writing that I am going to follow up on You Tube.

The final visit was to The People’s History Museum, which is a museum about the history of democracy and has many really interesting sections on the struggle for votes and worker’s rights. Some of these I remember well as they happened during my teens and early twenties. They also had a really interesting collection of banners, from the simple home-made ones of the 1970s and 80s to the very elaborate ones of the Victorian and Arts and craft era.

It was a lovely couple of days and it was nice to visit some of the smaller, less well-known museums in the city. After a busy few weeks I am looking forward to a nice quiet time here. I have bought a new sewing machine with lots of decorative stitches and am looking forward to trying that out this coming week so you never know there may be more evidence of crafting on the blog very soon!

I hope that you all have a nice week ahead, have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.