Photophile: One who loves photography and carries a camera everywhere. Named after the biological term for an organism that loves light, or functions best in it.

The Gift of the Gael

The “Gift of the Gael” is a replica Viking Longship based around a Gaelic adaptation of a Norse design, the Birlinn, also known as a Scottish Galley, developed in the Hebrides and Western Isles of Scotland.

Viking settlers would have commonly used this design as a small cargo ship for trade, exploration, invasion and warfare including transportation of mercenaries to Ireland.- PLATTY+ 


The Gift of the Gael Viking Longship
The Gift of the Gael ©HelenBushe

She was built by The GalGael Trust – a community project building and sailing traditional boats in celebration of Scotland’s heritage.

Built in a Glasgow shipyard in 1999 from oak and elm gifted to the trust by the local council from trees felled by a heavy storm. Her name means gift of the Gaelic people. She was the first ship to be launched on the Clyde this millennium. – PLATTY+

I saw this wonderful boat yesterday at the Lodore Falls jetty on Derwentwater on my third trip of the year to Borrowdale Valley. The cleverly named PLATTY+ website has this tempting information:

With one of our experienced helmsman in control, we will take up to ten of you, on an inspiring adventure, learning to explore just like the Vikings or just enjoy the surroundings in this good natured vessel.

Our Viking Longship, the “Gift of the Gael”, can be sailed or rowed which makes this a very versatile activity with respect to both session content and the weather! She can be used on a purely fun basis or as an integral part of a fun packed inspirational educational experience.

Our experience and knowledge of the lake along with access to safety boats allows us to offer you a range of experiences in most weather conditions. Anyone can go on-board, there are no age limits, from babes in arms to great gran and we have all the necessary safety equipment.

And just to give a clearer idea of what being a Viking would be like, they provide the following picture for anyone lacking imagination:

Eric-the-Viking (Image from PLATTY+website)

Is this Oddball enough for Cee’s OddBall Challenge? I believe it is! I hope you agree.


Britain’s Last Temperance Bar

Owner of Britain’s last Temperance Bar who extolled virtues of abstinence to TV chefs is banned from driving… for being drunk – read full article in Daily Mail here

I’m sure that even by the standards of our tabloid press that has to be a rare headline. It’s certainly one that made me laugh.

It also led me to visit Britain’s Last Remaining Temperance Bar in the town of Rawtenstall in Lancashire. Anywhere that serves Dandelion & Burdock is worth a visit as far as I’m concerned; it’s been a favourite drink  tipple  of mine since childhood but was only ever available to me on annual trips down from Scotland to visit my  Lancashire grandmother.


Britain's Last Temperance Bar
Britain’s Last Temperance Bar ©HelenBushe


The Temperance Movement began in 1820 in both America and in England.

In the 1830s a more extreme form of temperance emerged called teetotalism, which promoted the complete abstinence from alcoholic beverages. This movement originated in Preston, England, in 1833.

There was also a new focus on the working class and children; the Band of Hope was founded in Leeds in 1847 by the Reverend Jabez Tunnicliff and it aimed to save working class children from the parents of drink by teaching them the importance and principles of sobriety and teetotalism.- wikipedia

Temperance bars were once common in the High Streets of most Northern English towns.

Fitzpatrick’s Herbal Health in Rawtenstall is thought to be the last original temperance bar. The Fitzpatricks, a family from Ireland, came over to Lancashire in the 1880s. A family of many herbalists, they turned to building a family-run chain of shops throughout Lancashire. These shops dealt in their non-alcoholic drinks, sold herbal remedies, and cordial bottles. – wikipedia

They certainly didn’t go in for decadent luxury inside…………


Britain's Last Temperance Bar Lancashire Rawtenstall
What’s your Poison? ©HelenBushe

………………….but then revelling in decadence and luxury wasn’t  what it was all about was it?

I enjoyed my visit there. If I ever return I’ll have a glass of the famous Sarsaparilla for which Fitzpatricks have won many awards.

This post is in response to WordPress Photo Challenge: Rare


Wordless Wednesday: Pub Entrance with Flowers

Wordless Wednesday: Pub Entrance with Flowers


Pub Entrance Bowness Windermere English traditional Lake District Cumbria
Pub Entrance ©Helen Bushe


CFFC: Hands


This first picture needs no explanation, other than that he was playing some great blues.

Trumpet Player
Trumpet Player ©HelenBushe  


My  second picture was taken on one of the piers in Blackpool at the height of British Summer Time last year!

This stallholder came to work well prepared for the cold and the wind, though I don’t think business was too good that day.

A Cup of Tea on a Cold Day
A Cup of Tea on a Cold Day ©HelenBushe  


I took my third picture at a local street festival.

The kids at school used to call this kind of dancing “Joined-up Dancing” .They complained like mad every year when they had to practise it for the school Christmas parties, but I think they rather enjoyed it even although it wasn’t “cool”.

Dancing Hands
Dancing Hands ©HelenBushe   


Thanks for stopping by to view my post for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Hands.

Why not click on the icon to see more submissions from all around the world?cffc

Yorkshire Tea

Yorkshire Tea

There’s nothing at all odd about drinking Yorkshire Tea when in Yorkshire but I couldn’t resist posting this picture as an OddBall Challenge.

I took this picture a few weeks ago  in a very traditional teashop in the  village of Saltaire in Yorkshire.

Even though there was glorious sunshine that morning, the heavy net curtains at every window kept out enough daylight to necessitate the table lamps being permanently on.

What really caught my attention, whilst we waited for our mid-morning snack of toasted teacakes, was the Teddy Bear sticking his head  out of the window of his little teapot car.

The teacakes were very nice too as was the tea.

Yorkshire Tea tearoom teashop teapot net curtain
Yorkshire Tea ©HelenBushe 



Waterways 2: Our Local Stretch of the Lancaster Canal

Waterways 2: Our Local Stretch of the Lancaster Canal

Some of you who have been following this blog for a while may have gathered that I love canals.

I love the majestic settings of the these waterways in my home country of Scotland.  I have enjoyed exploring the the canals of Amsterdam, Venice, Paris and London.  I’ve sailed the length of that Wonder of the Ancient World, the Corinth Canal. I’ve even zipped along the Klongs of Bangkok on a long-tail boat.

Wherever I go, town or countryside, I am always thrilled to see canals, their boats and bridges as well as  the people (or wildlife) living alongside.

I am so lucky that where we live in North West England we have easy access to a beautiful stretch of the Lancaster Canal. We were there today – Nordic Walking of all things! – and yesterday for a leisurely stroll along the towpath.  Today we passed a fisherman, yesterday we were overtaken by a jogger and, apart from that, the only people we saw were those lucky enough to be sailing past on narrowboats or (very) small cruisers.

The Canal & River Trust website has this to say:

There are plenty of reasons to visit the Lancaster Canal.

Linking Preston to Kendal, the Lancaster Canal is one of the country’s few coastal canals. Built along the natural lie of the land it offers 41 miles of lock free cruising – the longest stretch in the country. As the canal is naturally level, it also lends itself to gentle walking and cycling as well as canoeing and other outdoor pursuits.

In addition to providing spectacular views of the Silverdale Coast, Forest of Bowland and Wyre countryside, the Lancaster Canal also features some of the most impressive canal architecture in the country. The Lune Aqueduct, which has recently benefited from a £2.4 million transformation, is one of John Rennie’s finest works and not to be missed.

The pictures in this post were all taken on iPhone yesterday. I hope they give you some idea of why I love our local stretch of the Lancaster Canal.

(There’s a good wiki page about The Lancaster Canal here)


Repairs to Canal Bank Lancaster Canal
Repairs to Canal Bank ©HelenBushe 


Canalside House with Buddha Pendle Marina
Canalside Cottage with Buddha ©HelenBushe 


Slow Down Bridge 32 Lancaster canal
Slow Down At Bridge 32 ©HelenBushe 


Canalside Gate Lancaster canal
Canalside Back Gate ©HelenBushe 


Canalside House with Flag Lancaster Canal Lancashire
Canalside House with Flag ©HelenBushe


We are Sailing waterway Lancaster canal
We are Sailing ©HelenBushe 


A Cow and a Tree
Some Cows and a Tree ©HelenBushe

Waterways 1. Canal and Towpaths of Hebden Bridge

Waterways 1. Canal and Towpaths of Hebden Bridge….. and barges and narrowboats and couple of ducks for good measure.

I think know I’m going to like Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge as I can’t see that I’ll ever be stuck for stuff to post. I love walking in cities, so there’ll be streets and lanes, I love the the country side so there’ll be paths and stiles and  I totally adore canals.

There are many canals around where we live in North-West England both in the town and cities as well as in the countryside. Their history is fascinating as so much of England’ s prosperity resulted from them in the past.

This post features the Rochdale Canal as it winds its way through the Yorkshire town of Hebden Bridge. The canal dates from the late 18th Century.

Hebden Bridge is the 4th funkiest town in the world and is also the UK town with most local identityFrom HebWeb news 

Having visited Hebden Bridge a few times, I would definitely agree with the description “funky”.  A Hebden Bridge door can be seen here and a very unusual chair on the pavement can be seen here.

And a snapshot of the Rochdale canal is coming up here…..


A Day in the Life moorings Hebden Bridge Rochdale Canal
A Day in the Life ©HelenBushe 


RED Barge Rochdale Canal hebden Bridge
Red Barge ©HelenBushe 


Tug Teal Hebden Bridge Rochdale canal Yorkshire
Tug Teal ©HelenBushe 


Number 1 Boat Hebden Bridge Rochdale Canal Yorkshire
Number 1 Boat ©HelenBushe  


Mighty Quinn Rochdale Canal hebden Bridge
Mighty Quinn ©HelenBushe 


Barge and Narrowboats
Barge and Narrowboats ©HelenBushe
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