Mini Zoo Visit

Yesterday we paid a visit to a mini zoo which is located at Reaseheath college. It was a spur of the moment decision (it was either this or go bra shopping) but the zoo is only about a 30 minute drive away. The college offer animal management courses and due to the zoo being used for teaching purposes it is only open during certain school holidays. 

The weather wasn't great so some of the animals were watching us from undercover.

This meerkat on watch duty was the only one outside with all the others in their house staying warm and dry.

I didn't know what this little deer like creature was until I looked it up when we came home and found out that it is a Patagonian Mara, a large rodent which is closely related to the guinea pig.

The zoo houses over 180 species but Little L's favourite animals were the rabbits. All the rabbits here have been rescued and re homed at the zoo.
The admission price to the zoo is £5 for adults and £4 for children which I think is a great price. I know it is only a small zoo and you couldn't really spend a full day here but it also isn't overcrowded with people and not so large that children may begin to lose interest.

Hartley Homes

On our trip to Wycoller we noticed these house as we passed through Colne and stopped on our way back home to take some photos. I've never seen anything like them before but there maybe similar arrangements to these here and there around Britain.

The first thing we saw was the clock tower and thought we were approaching a church but instead it was this collection of quaint houses. There are 20 houses in all,10 either side of the clock tower.

I think that at one time this stone arch would have been the main entrance to the complex but this was padlocked.

The wooden plaques on the arch give information about the properties.

I found more information about these houses here. After reading more about them I found that one of the renovations was an added bedroom as the interior up until 1960-63 had a bed-sit arrangement. I think they look tiny now so it must have been a bit of a tight squeeze before the extension. 

This aerial view of Hartley Homes taken in 1934. The building next to the houses was a hospital and when we were driving past only managed to catch a quick glimpse of the front but I don't know how much of that building remains or what it is used for as it was mainly hidden by trees.

These homes are for local elderly residents. I thought they may have been when we first came across them but I don't know who these houses were originally intended for. I would love to live here if I lasted to an old age and even told my husband to start saving his pennies (but they are rented properties plus we're not in the area). To live here it must have a wonderful sense of community spirit, lovely waking to see the lawns and plants and feeling of safety living in closed complex.

Lotta Clogs

Ever since I first spied a pair of sandal type clogs a few years ago I've had a strong hankering for a pair so with money given to me for my birthday I jumped online for a spot of clog shopping.
The first brand that popped up when searching was Swedish Hasbeens. Their clogs are lovely, I really liked the designs and colours but they're not cheap. As I usually live in boots and trainers I can't justify spending what is to me a silly amount of money on a pair of shoes that I may hardly wear. 

I managed to find a less expensive brand, Lotta from Stockholm. They stock many colours and styles plus also sell seconds on their web site. I opted for an aubergine shade as I think that I'd wear a darker colour more often. That's the same reason I chose a closed toe style rather than an open toe.

As I don't wear shoes very often I was a bit worried that my feet would complain as soon as I put them on or blister but after a couple of hours trotting around the house they seem fine. The leather is very soft so they don't rub at all. 

I know clogs are not everybodies cup of tea, Little L said they were horrible and my sister agreed and told me that I was looking 'very Dutch'. Oh well, it's not the first time I've worn something that others have thought was hideous.

A Day In Wycoller

Last Friday Anders and myself had the opportunity to have another day out and this time we went to Wycoller to see the hall ruins. I saw the hall featured on a TV programme about British villages a while ago and knew it was somewhere I'd like to visit one day. 

Before going to see the hall we stopped off at the Atom, one of the panopticons in Lancashire. 

The view was fantastic even if it was a bit of a dull drizzly day.

It was a shame to see graffiti in the Atom but I suppose in such an isolated spot it is bound to happen.
Travelling to Wycoller from the Atom only took about 10 minutes. The car park at Wycoller Country Park is not far from the village (I think that parking in the village is for residents only). Even though the weather wasn't brilliant that day there were plenty of ramblers about. (I did type walkers to begin with but the first thing that springs to mind then to me is TWD)

 Next to the hall is the visitor centre which is a barn that was built around 1630. Behind the barn is a picnic area and pond (be prepared to be ambushed by the ducks)

It doesn't look much from the outside but inside the beams are amazing. The hole in the side of the building near the roof is an owl hole.

Walking around the ruins was like trying to stay upright on an ice rink. The old stone flags were lethal after being wet from the rain.

I love all the stone work that has survived around the window and door frames.

 This must be the largest fireplace I have ever seen. I never found out what the key hole shape next to it was for. There was a mention of this feature in the visitor centre but no explanation. I wonder if any other buildings of this age have them?

How many people have been up and down these stairs for them to be this worn.

This is the floor plan of the hall

and the key which was about 8 inches long. I'm sure you wouldn't manage to accidentally lose a key that size and not notice.

The hall is situated next to Wycoller Beck which has various ancient bridges that cross it.

This 15th pack horse bridge has withstood traffic from man and horse for centuries. When I took the photos of the bridge I was only standing about 15ft from the nearest house in the village. It must be lovely to have this stream and the hall ruins as a view when you look out of your window.

Opposite the hall is a conservation area with willow sculptures and ponds.

The ponds were very clear for pools of still water. There were lots of information regarding the local wildlife. Wild plants were labeled, some with what their medicinal purposes would have been in the past.
It was a lovely day despite the not so great weather. I'm glad that we managed to fit this in to one of our child free days out as I think that the children's attention span would have lapsed after about 20 minutes.
The TV programme where I first saw Wycoller was on Penelope Keith's Hidden Villages. The programme is still available to view here, it was featured on series 1, episode 2, third segment.

Libbie Club - August Box

I've only just finished testing the contents of this months Libbie Box and think I've found a new favourite thing. That's what I like about beauty boxes, being send something that I would never normally purchase and finding I love it.
These are the products from the August box.

Indeed Labs Nanoblur

Nanoblur is a product developed to reduce fine lines, enlarged pores and wrinkles. It can be used alone or with make up. When first applied it felt quite sticky but was fine once dried. I tried this both on myself and my Mum and saw instant results. Fine lines magically disappeared and my skin had a smoother appearance. It did not completely hide red thread veins but it did reduce them. This is definitely my favourite product from the August box.

Nizz Cosmetics Lustre Lipstick

This is a 100% natural, vegetarian, hypo-allergenic lipstick. Nice packaging. It is a creamy lipstick maybe too much so for me as I thought it bordered on being greasy. I was sent the Mocha Nude shade which I was looking forward to as I favour nude colours but it looked very orange to me.

Mizon Placenta Ampoule Cream

This moisturiser is from Mizon, a Korean beauty brand. The placenta content is from a plant not animal (I don't think I'd be willing to try that out). The cream claims to reverse signs of aging and improve skin tone. It is a light cream which quickly absorbs. Only a very small amount is needed so this jar should last quite a while.