Friday, September 30, 2005

Stained glass under the influence of a grey Lancashire sky.

There are many delightful things about living in a older terrraced house in Burnley, Lancashire Many of the houses have retained their original character. One of the things about our house we love is the hall window. When we moved in it was very delicate and everytime the front slammed we thought it might fall out. We had it renovated and it is lovely. It changes colour all the time. Today was a very grey wet day and the window took on this very sort of moody look to it.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Reflection on tiles

Reflection on tiles
Originally uploaded by Jaxpix50.
I have just realised that it is thirty years since I started work teaching here at college. The building is amazing, late Victorian and teaming with history. Of course people are busy, students are young and people rarely lift their heads to see what's around them. If only they knew what they were missing. The old entrance hall is my favourite part of our building, which is the oldest part of the college. It has huge stained glass windows which reveal the original purpose of the college,education for the cotton workers and miners and so has an emphasis on textiles and engineering. Throughout the building are elderly tiled walls and the photo here is of the reflection of the stained glass on the tiles. If you would like to see more views of the college click on the photo.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Reflected sister

Reflected sister
Originally uploaded by Jaxpix50.
Just got back from a full day with my sister in Southport. Our fellas went off doing their own thing and we walked on the pier and drank tea in the cafe all afternoon. I couldn't resist catching this shot of her relcted in a shiny seat at the end of the pier.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Off with the old.....

Off with the old.....
Originally uploaded by Jaxpix50.
There is definite winter feel to today. The sun is still shining beautifully but even the trees aren't sure about whether it is autumn or not. Look at this one, taken on my way to the shops this morning.
A good one for an example of an idiom ... maybe a proverb really any way off with the old and on with the new.

Friday, September 23, 2005

View from the tow path

View from the tow path
Originally uploaded by Jaxpix50.
I'd be the first to admit that NE Lancashire has had its fair share of problems, however people who have never been here think that its all dark satanic mills. How wrong can you be? The Leeds to Liverpool canal built to supply those 'dark satanicmills' now provides us with the perfect place for leisure pursuits.

Our house and garden actually overlook the canal and it is amazing the huge number of people who use it. Not only is there a fair amount of leisure boat traffic during the summer but there are also many walkers , bikers and joggers. One of the nicest things about our canal is that of course, as it was built to supply the cotton mills (now no longer here) with coal from Wigan and cotton from the port of Liverpool, it does run through the centre of busy towns like Burnley and Blackburn. This makes it the perfect 'scenic route' for people just walkng into town to do the shopping.

This photo was taken a little further out of town near to Fouldridge just outside Colne and perhaps here in the town it is not quite so pretty. However the old industrial architecture and views of the valley here are very under-rated.
Ok I know I am beginning to sound like an advert now.. pity I don't do bed and breakfast!!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Victorian Gem, Burnley Cemetery.

Still magnificent....
Originally uploaded by Jaxpix50.
I love cemeteries. I always have and I've never known why. My love for them has increased since doing family history as there is so much to be learned from them. Everytime we go into the Dales or the countryside of Lancashire I have to have a poke round all the grave yards.
Strangely enough though I had never been round our own cemetery here in Burnley as from the road you can just see row after row of modern headstones. However about 3 years ago Steve noticed in the local newspaper that there was guided tour of the cemetery. Well of course we had to go and we discovered this hidden Victorian gem. It is absolutely amazing.

Not only is the older part stunningly beautiful and full of atmosphere but the whole cemetery can be read and gives the history of our town. The impressive mill owners graves stretching skyward and the open spaces, unmarked graves of the thousands of workers who died in their factories. We found the grave of Dan Irving the first Labour MP for the town and monuments to victims of WW 1 and 2. There is a tribute to the men who lost their lives in the Hapton mining disaster in the area in 1962 along with one to several local people who were killed during Wakes Week in plane crash en route to Spain.
Finally the newest edition is the area set aside for parents of lost neo-natal, still born and miscarried children. There are benches to sit on and the path is made up of small bricks with the children's names on, often just 'Baby Smith'.
So Burnley Cemetery, a piece of history... . see the pix by clicking on the pic here.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

When in Rome......

When in Rome......
Originally uploaded by Jaxpix50.
I have been having a great time playing with photos just lately. On the flickr site there are lots of discussion groups where you can get lots of tips for editing pix and so I have been having a play. This is my favourite so far. Silly I know but I like it. The original photo was a pretty non-descript one of some pillars around St Peter's Square in Rome. I had noticed these two delightful nuns at one side but when I tried to crop the photo they looked rather strange.... but with a little editing of the colours and highlights etc it's turned into something quite good fun. I think they look a great duo.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Salford Diocese Celebration

As part of a celebration of the cultural diversity of the diocese of Salford today a group from church travelled to the cathedral in Salford to take part in a Mass. There we heard unbelievable singing . There was an African choir who you can see and hear below, a Filipino choir, Pakistani group, and even a Chinese choir.
The African group were amazing as they sang in lots of different languages including French and Swahili Languages which reflected where the singers had originally come from.
I was also surpised to find a Chinese choir and that when they sang it was delightful. I just never thought there would be Chinese Christians in any great number but there were lots there. Of course coming from this area of Lancashire I did expect to find lots of Pakistani Christians. In fact there were lots of parishioners on our bus who sang in English with us and some Psalms in Punjabi as a warm up en route to Salford.
When we went to recieve communion it was fantastic to feel a part of something which has reached out to all these continents and peoples. Everyone looked as if they had the same feeling of wonderment.

Upload Video at

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Gabriel with some Grass

I know I've said before that the new online system I use for photos is wonderful but I just had to show you this one. Isn't he just beautiful. The person who took the photo is Jennifer Esperanza, his mum. Her photos are simply wonderful although as far as I can make out is a professional.
It is very nice to know though, that she has looked at some of my photos and left me very nice comments., which is encouraging for those of us who really just take snaps. If you want to look at the rest of her work just click on the photo and it will take you straight to her page on flickr.

Jennifer Esperanza's website

Friday, September 16, 2005

First flight

First flight
Originally uploaded by Jaxpix50.
I adore kites.. so much so we always keep one in the boot in case the circumstances are favourable for a quick fly. There is something about a kite in flight that makes people stand and watch and it is just so exhilarating for all.
We only ever buy very cheap ones which usually just last a year. We get the one stringed variety as they will fly in almost any conditions.

Well Joseph of course has been many times with us and we let him hold the plastic handle and one of us wears gloves and holds the string!! Today as the kite was only from Poundland (yes £1) I got it flying and then he held the handle alone and was able to copy how we pull it and then he ran with it. It was so wonderful to see. He had a look of pure joy on his face as he watched it fly. Everyone around in the park stopped to watch him with shouts of 'Go on' , 'Keep it up' ...

If you haven't tried it, it's a must!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Towneley Park

>It was great to have Joseph for the day again today. We have missed him so much since he went to school. We took him to Towneley park, a favourite with us all. We had to look at Towneley's famous bear in the museum part and the stuffed cat in the old kitchen as well as the park itself with sand pit swings etc.
I always like to have wander round by the cenotaph. I can never resist taking another photo of it.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Blackpool 'lights'

Originally uploaded by Jaxpix50.

September holidays here, which of course means the obligatory visit to the 'lights.' I must be getting old as I actually enjoyed nature's lights, a lovely sunset, rather than the illuminations themselves. Our peaceful stroll along the prom on a quiet Monday evening looking at the lights pales into insignificance when compared to the childhood excitement of standing up in Uncle Harold's side car (probably be arrested nowadays) or squashed into a 'sharrer' with lots of others .. craning their necks en route for the first view of the tower and the promised threepenny bit for the winner (yes I am so old I remember threepenny bits.) Then the drive throught the lights themselves with the communal 'ooohs' and 'aaaahs' and finally perhaps a shared bag of chips with my sister if I hadn't nattered too much for rock and monkeys on sticks etc. I think I must have been a real 'I want' sort of kid.

Don't get me wrong the lights were lovely and we did recapture the old excitement on occasions especially as hundreds of bikers drove through the town pipping and cheering. Our evening was brightened even more as they paraded along the prom road with flashing reflections from the lights themselves. Everyone clapped and cheered as they rode past.

For us though the most glorious part of the evening was watching the sun set. It was beautiful and it is years since we saw the sunsetting over the sea. We get withdrawal symptoms if we don't visit the coast once a month. We are such an island race aren't we?

Actually the most welcome lights of all were the lights of the RAC man on the motorway as he came to our rescue after we drove over some thing huge, metal and pointy which burst the inside wall of one of our tyres.

For the rest of the photos click here.

Monday, September 12, 2005

And did those feet!

Originally uploaded by simonski.

We watched 'the last night of the proms' on Saturday night and as it finished we couldn't help but say how wonderful the BBC is. Where would we be without it? It has the most amazing website imaginable; it allows you to keep in contact with the UK wherever you are,when we go to France for the summer our main contact with England is through Radio 4; and then it organises events like this.

We were delighted to see that this year the whole nation was involved with simultaneous concerts in various parks around the UK. The organisation of the rendering of 'And did those feet...' is mind bending and yet it worked perfectly.

One of the striking things about the evening was the fact that we seem to have claimed back our Union Jack flag from the BNP (British National Party). Whilst I am not tremendously patriotic for the UK, I always felt sorry that the flag had been comandeered by this group and people have since then been afraid carry the Union flag in case they were seen to have BNP mentality.

So well done the BBC and thanks to Simonski on flickr for putting his photos from a park prom so we are able to get a 'park view' of the concerts rather than our usual fireside view.

The rest of Simon's photos are here.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

The last Clarion house

The last Clarion house
The last Clarion house,
originally uploaded by Jaxpix50.

We went to Barley at the foot of Pendle Hill today and did a circular walk taking in this Clarion house en route.
This is the last Clarion House of the area. This was built in 1912 bit there were several such houses in this part of NE Lancs. They were inspired by the Independent Labour Party to encourage the textile workers of the area into the country and to hear the message of hope for the future. My dad walked us over from Colne many times for a cup of tea. It is still open every Sunday.. take your own food to picnic and enjoy the views, have a cup of tea... and yes feel the message of hope for the future.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

We have bluetooth.

Grandma's pet zebra
Grandma's pet zebra,
originally uploaded by Jackie's pix.
Somehow managed to install bluetooth and get this photo from my phone on to the comp and so to here. Clever stuff isn't it... and not a wire in sight!!

Blackburn boulevard

Blackburn boulevard
Blackburn boulevard,
originally uploaded by Jackie's pix.

Had a busy day yesterday. I visited my mum's home town of Blackburn. There I met up with new family whom I discovered through the internet in my family history research. We are all the great grandchildren of Joseph James Howard. We have never all met up before. One of the cousins is Graham whose mum and my mum were half sisters . We all three myself, Graham and another cousin Christina met together just near this statue on Blackburn boulevard. Our parents all lived and worked in Blackburn yet never met.

The photo is from a sculpture on the boulevard.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Fame at last

After our trip to Ripon I sent one or two photos to the BBC as I know they have a Yorkshire gallery... and what do you know...... they have one of my faves on line . Want to see ? Go on then here it is Bank holiday Races. I am still playing around wiht this new flickr website for the photos and I love it. It's kind of entertaining as you can look at everybody's photos but also quite inspiring as some of the photos are works of art. I am just waiting for an opportunity to go and start experimenting. People can comment on your photos and put them as favourites. It's really nice when you go on the site and some one had written something nice about a pic you've taken. It's all good fun and it's free too.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

September holidays loom

Well here we are all ready for the September holidays next week. I had to break the news to the students today who were a bit upset at the thought of no class. I am looking forward to spending time with Joseph as we have really missed him since he has been at school.

Work is really settling down now and the class is beginning to 'gel'. It's fascinating watching all the different personalities trying to work together as a group. Already I am receiving homework by email which is great . Students these days are so much more computer literate than previously . It's about 2 years since I asked the question 'Who has an email address?' and only two students put their hands up . I asked this class and only one student hasn't!!!! Not bad as I teach adults not youngsters. There are online computers, in the classroom where I teach, which the students have free access to. Things at work have really changed in another way. As I am now hourly paid it was always expected we attend meetings for nothing... not now.... I have just got back from a meeting where I was paid extra to go. I won't tell you how much but it was worth walking down for.... especially as I got home in time for he Bill. On that note I am going to watch it now.!

Monday, September 05, 2005

Class of 2005

Class of  2005
Class of 2005,
originally uploaded by Jackie's pix.
So why do I still work when really I could be retired by now. well click on this photo and you will see why I work. This is my great class of 2005.

It is probably the most diverse class I have ever taught. At the moment there are 15 students and they come from 12 different countries and they speak 18 languages between them. Portugese, Hindi , Gujerati, Slovak, German, Fresian, Dutch, Mandarin, Urdu, Punjabi. Kossovan, Polish,French, Arabic, Twi, Ukranian, Russian ... oh yes nearly forgot and English of course!!!

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Guess where!!

Guess where!!
Guess where!!,
originally uploaded by Jackie's pix.
Wow what a lovely day for September. couldn't resist a Blackpool trip. There were loads of people on a sponsored walk called 'The three piers' walking in aid of the British heart foundation. Lots of them were from Weight Watchers and were still obviously on their way to their targets. I really admired them with their T shirts for Weight watchers even though they were quite big.
We also walked the Three piers but then unfortunately ruined the calorie intake with a trip to Harry Ramsden's !!! Never mind they were rather good!

Settle and its hills

Settle and its hills
Settle and its hills,
originally uploaded by Jackie's pix.
Had a day in Settle yesterday. The weather was gorgeous and the hills around were spectacular. Living here in border country of Lancashire and Yorkshire (but definitely in Lancashire) means we have constant views of hills. The hills mean we get lots of rain of course but I really wouldn't like to live where there are no hills even if it meant better weather.

As we were driving back from Settle and we saw the 'back of Pendle' rising in the distance it made me think what a glorious hill it is. it doesn't matter from where or when you look at it, it always looks different. My favourite view of it is the view from my home town Colne... in fact I have just bought a Keith Melling print of that view. To me that's Pendle exactly.

It can tell you the weather of course.. the rhyme goes
'When Pendle Hill doth clear appear ye men of Colne have no fear,
When Pendle Hill doth wear its hat ye men of Colne beware of that'....

I think it's about the weather or could it be something more sinister???

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Still a radio ham

Still a radio ham
Still a radio ham,
originally uploaded by Jackie's pix.
Just sending this one of our boy as he is now. cute or what!

Friday, September 02, 2005

House hunting

Well what started off as a good fun day turned into a house hunting day. We have been thinking for ages about a move. We have been here for 12 years and as the area has changed we have started to feel maybe we should live a bit further out of the town and have a little peace and quiet. We have always loved it here and the house is wonderful ..tall Victorian terraced with stained glass window and a lovely garden but it is very near to town and becoming more and more difficult with parking, litter etc.

Anyway it was such a nice day we decided to have a drive out. First we had a look on the internet to see if it was possible to get anything decent for about the same value as this and after about half an hour we realized that ours is probably worth about £30/40 thousand more than what we thought. Anyway we had a drive round and we saw some quite attractive 3 bedroomed semis for about the same price as this.. at the moment we do want to keep the house in France .. anyway we were really pleased. We do want to have another garden and we were thinking perhaps we would only be able to afford a small terraced house with just a back yard if we didn't sell in France.

So we are on the hunt. We probably won't go on the market for a bit as I am still working but I think next year we will be looking towards getting this on the market and who knows....
I am putting a pic of a very nice house we saw... we don't anticipate looking round anything yet as it seems unfair to get people's hope's up but we are both quite excited at the prospect of a move!!!

By the way still experimenting here, this is being sent by email with a picture of one of the houses we looked at attached.

No must have to go through flickr to do that... put this photo on manually from here... ah well never mind!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Student blogging.

Well what an interesting class I have this year. First of all it's all women and then out of 12 students there are 10 first languages and most students can speak two other languages as well as English ... so that's a lot of languages!
Anyway I was telling them about blogging and the general opinion is we should have a class one. It sounds all very good and today they worked on making a webprofile to go on line as well as a motto and a symbol or picture they would like on their 'bit'.

Had a bit of a tragedy when I looked this aft at the blog as all the pics had gone..... where to? ... who knows. I cheated and put them all on directly to the blog from the comp.