Monday, 30 December 2013

The walk in my week....

Into the
Douglas Valley

The River Douglas, also known as the River Asland or Astland, is a river that flows through Lancashire and Greater Manchester in the Northwest of England. It is a tributary of the River Ribble and has itself two tributaries, the River Tawd and the River Yarrow.

River Douglas

Steps leading nowhere

The long and winding path

Monday, 4 November 2013

In Memoriam...

November is the month of Remembrance


These Gothic memorial photographs were taken during

a visit to a WW1 grave of a family member.


The Victorians had a special affinity with the angelic

This lovely lady is guarding the graves of children..
The youngest was Florence aged two

The dappled sunlight shining through the alder
caught my eye

This secluded corner could almost be a scene from

a Charles Dickens novel

Just shows that there is beauty to be found in the ordinary

"And to live on in the hearts of others is never to die"


Tuesday, 15 October 2013

A little bit abstract...

Here are some lovely shapes

These abstracts were captured inside the Lowry Building on a recent trip

Wherever you look 

the inside is 


Sunday, 6 October 2013

The walk in my week....

This morning's blast of Autumn sunshine meant a lovely meandering walk alongside Scotman's Flash in Poolstock, Wigan. Since I didn't take my little Fujipix camera, these photos were all taken with my Samsung mobile phone!


Wigan Flashes are a group of wetlands, which were formed originally as a result of mining subsidence.  Over time this area has evolved into landscape rich in flora and fauna and is a haven for birds. Its hard to imagine that just 100 years ago this area formed one of the major coal fields in the area. 
What a legacy those hard working miners left to the town.

Scotman's Flash alongside the Leeds-Liverpool Canal

Mum and her babies

From Ugly ducklings.... a beautiful swan!

A View from the Bridge

My favourite stopping place gives a perfect view of the
Leeds-Liverpool canal towards Poolstock


Thursday, 3 October 2013

Beautiful Birds...

On my walk in the autumn sunshine  I photographed these beautiful birds  


Three Sisters Recreation Area

Ashton in Makerfield

Mute Swan

Canada Goose

Three Sisters Recreation Area is located in Bryn, near Ashton in Makerfield, Greater Manchester, England. In 2011 it was designated a Local Nature Reserve.

The area was reclaimed from three coal mining spoil tips during the 1970s and now comprises a large area of woodlands and ponds. It has become a flagship example of brownfield regeneration in Greater Manchester.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

The Lowry, Salford

The Lowry is a theatre and gallery complex situated on Pier 8 at Salford Quays, in Salford, Greater Manchester, England. It is named after the early 20th-century painter, L. S. Lowry, known for his paintings of industrial scenes in North West England. The complex was officially opened on 12 October 2000 by Queen Elizabeth II.

This iconic and ground breaking building was designed by Michael Wilford

All this is far removed from L S Lowry's original representation of 

Oldfield Road Dwellings, Salford

Laurence Stephen Lowry (1 November 1887 – 23 February 1976) was an English artist born in Stretford, Lancashire. Many of his drawings and paintings depict Pendlebury where he lived and worked for over 40 years, and Salford and its surrounding areas.


Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Media City ~ Salford Quays

I seem to have had a busy month on jaffareadstoo but have made some time to take a few pics

These photos were taken on a recent trip to Media City - home of the BBC and ITV at Salford Quays

View to Media City across the Manchester Ship Canal

The hustle and bustle of this television city in the heart of Salford

MediaCityUK is a 200-acre mixed-use property development site on the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal in Salford and Trafford, Greater Manchester, England. 

It's now the home of :

BBC Breakfast
BBC North West Tonight
Match of the Day
Radio 5 live
Blue Peter
Dragons Den
BBC Bitesize 



Sometimes if you're lucky you get to see a few famous faces 

Monday, 9 September 2013

A stroll along the Leeds-Liverpool Canal...

The Leeds-Liverpool is a canal in Northern England linking the cities of Leeds  and Liverpool over a distance of 127 miles (204 km), it crosses the Pennines, and includes 91 locks on the main line.

A gentler mode of transport

Bridge 41

Appley Bridge to Parbold

Nice Reflection from the old tree

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Is this seat taken....

I couldn't resist this view...

and the one behind me wasn't bad either ...

Browsholme Hall
Cow Ark

Browsholme Hall has been the ancestral seat of the Parkers, Bowbearers of the Forest of Bowland since Tudor times. It is still in family ownership.


Monday, 2 September 2013

Artisan Market ~ Tithe Barn at Browsholme Hall, Lancashire

On the first Sunday of the month,  Browsholme Hall in the delightfully named village of Cow Ark in Lancashire, hold a fascinating artisan market in the beautiful tithe barn.

The Tithe barn is stunning .It's over 300 years old and gets its name from the ancient practice of tithes (rents) being paid in produce. The Tithe barn is where the produce would have been stored.

Beautifully restored, the barn is now a popular venue for weddings, but is equally popular as a place to buy and sell good Lancashire food, and also to find really quaint and quirky arts and crafts.

I enjoyed my visit there yesterday. My favourite artisans were :

Cow Ark Pottery 


Sunday, 1 September 2013

Amazing maize....

I love how Maize grows in such straight lines - they seem to go on for miles !

Maize is a domesticated form of a wild grass, first cultivated over 5,000 years ago in tropical Mexico that produces an adaptable and productive grain. It has been inextricably linked with the rise of the South American civilizations and following their conquest by the Spanish, it was exported around the world. It was introduced to the UK in the early part of the twentieth century.

In the more northerly climates like that of the UK where there is insufficient summer warmth to ripen the crop, maize is grown largely for forage. Here it has become an important crop being the most important forage after grass.

Even something so ordinary can look beautiful if caught at the right angle


Saturday, 31 August 2013

Lavender's blue, dilly dilly.....

Whilst picking a bunch of Lavender in the garden this morning I found 
myself singing Lavender's blue, dilly dilly

Lavender angustifloria
Josie's Garden
August 2013

Lavender's blue, dilly dilly, lavender's green,
When I am king, dilly, dilly, you shall be queen.
Who told you so, dilly, dilly, who told you so?
'Twas my own heart, dilly, dilly, that told me so.

Call up your men, dilly, dilly, set them to work
Some to the plough, dilly, dilly, some to the fork,
Some to make hay, dilly, dilly, some to cut corn,
While you and I, dilly, dilly, keep ourselves warm.

Lavender's green, dilly, dilly, Lavender's blue,
If you love me, dilly, dilly, I will love you.
Let the birds sing, dilly, dilly, And the lambs play;
We shall be safe, dilly, dilly, out of harm's way.

I love to dance, dilly, dilly, I love to sing;
When I am queen, dilly, dilly, You'll be my king.
Who told me so, dilly, dilly, Who told me so?
I told myself, dilly, dilly, I told me so.

Lavender's blue is an English folksong which can be dated back to the seventeenth century

Friday, 30 August 2013

My boys....



On patrol in the garden
they like their vantage points to be on high ground

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Medieval beauty...

St Michael's Parish Church

The oldest parts of the church are Norman
built in the time of King Stephen 
in the 12th Century

This shows a blocked doorway which dates from Norman times

There is evidence to suggest that Christians have worshipped on this sacred site for 
well over a thousand years,

The church continues to gently slumber in the summer sunshine.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Lurking in the undergrowth...

Today's picksipic


A beautiful Meadow Brown Butterfly drying its wings in the sunshine

Maniola Jurtina

The Meadow Brown is one of our commonest and most widespread butterflies, and a familiar sight throughout the summer months. This species can be found in all parts of the British Isles, with the exception of the most mountainous regions and Shetland.This is a highly variable species with four named subspecies found in the British Isles, although the differences between them are often subtle.

The picture is mine but my thanks to the experts at who clarified the breed for me.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

From this.... to that ...

It's very easy to do basic photo manipulation using a very simple editing process over on
and whilst it's not got all the gizmos and gadgets that you would associate with a professional finish like on Photoshop, it does prove that you can play around with pictures and change them a bit.....

From this ....

As you can see this picture seemed to be a lovely view across the fields

but came out a bit dark and boring

To that.....

I brightened up the colour - and added a border but couldn't do much with the sky
but it works !

I think it looks a bit more interesting now.....

Monday, 26 August 2013

A different angle...

Sometimes you just have to look from a different angle.

These pictures were taken a couple of weeks ago on a trip to Whalley Abbey.

Which is a beautiful 13th Century Cistercian Abbey, in the village of Whalley in Lancashire.

If only the ancient stones could talk...

...what a story they could tell us .....

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Oh noes ...

As much as I don't want to even whisper the word 

....shhhh Autumn....

There are signs in the greenery that the season of mellow fruitfulness is just around the corner.

The Rowan  Tree or Mountain Ash, is commonly known as the Wiggin Tree in my part of the world.
 It even features on our town's coat of arms.

Mountain Ash or Sorbus aucuparia. is well known for keeping witches at bay
The rich , vibrant orange berries are not poisonous and
are eaten in vast quantities by small mammals and birds 


Elderberry or Sambucus nigra is another plant that is commonly 
used to ward off witches.
The berries once purple can be picked and cooked and  made into liqueurs or cordials
but be warned the berries are poisonous if eaten raw.


Blackberry or Rubus fruticosus is perfect for picking 
and if you are away from the road and car fumes then you should
be able to pick lovely clean berries...but always soak overnight in cold water
to get the little berry bugs to come to the surface.
Blackberry crumble and custard is yummy.


Hawthorn or Crataegus spp.
My mother always told me that a good crop of hawthorn berries in the Autumn
meant a hard winter to come.
It's also strongly associated with fairies and marks the entrance to the otherworld.

There are also eleven places in the world called Hawthorn

I never knew that .....

Over the fields and far away...

There are some stunning fields close to home
just perfect for a Sunday morning stroll

and where I found

The maize is as high as an elephant's eye

Wheat and corn fields are really quite noisy -when you get up close and personal 
you can hear it popping and creaking as the fronds sway in the breeze

This beautiful corn meadow reminded me of the lovely Eva Cassidy song

walking in Fields of Gold

I wonder where those leading lines are 

Away we go ....

I'm not an expert photographer but when I'm out and about I've started to take my camera just to capture those little snippets of time and place.

And in wondering what to do with the pictures ----Picksipics was born

All the pics are taken with a little Fujifilm camera

Finepix JX370

No fancy lenses, no fiddling with shutter speeds and macro lens, just a little point and shoot

which shows it's not the camera , it's the person taking the picture that matters.

So with no apologies for style, presentation or technical ability 

here are my picksipics

Lower Rivington Reservoir

The engineer for the Rivington reservoirs was Thomas Hawksley and construction took place between 1852 and 1857. The Lower Rivington reservoir has two dams, the 646 metre long, 12.2 metre high Millstone Embankment and Horwich Embankment which is 506 metres long and 18.6m high.

There were some kids about to have a sailing lesson. 

The water was calm

but the safety boat was out and about just in case there were
any kids overboard.