Friday, 24 August 2012

Rochdale Canal Festival

This year's Rochdale Canal Festival has, for the first time, been extended into Manchester city centre. The Rochdale Canal comes into Manchester just across the road from where we live, so we've been taking advantage of some of the things that have been organised as part of the festival. Best of all, it's all been free!

On Thursday evening we popped over to the car park on Ducie Street to watch a screening of the Wes Anderson film The Life Aquatic. The film was projected against the wall of a multi-storey car park and there were deckchairs available for people to sit and watch. You could also park your car up and tune into the audio for the film through your car's FM radio. We arrived a little later than planned so we had to make do with a bench.

I'm a big fan of The Life Aquatic but I hadn't seen it for a while. I quickly remembered why I'd liked it so much. It's funny without being completely daft, poignant at times without being too schmaltzy, and it has Jeff Goldblum and Bill Murray in it. What more could you want?

The amazing Malaysian restaurant Ning were also there, serving food from a little marquee. I had the Kuey Teow Goreng, which is a mix of chicken, beansprouts and thick noodles in a slightly spicy chilli sauce. Liz had the Chicken Lime Curry and we both shared some lamb samosas and vegetable spring rolls. Pretty tasty stuff. I think we're going to pop over to Ning at some point soon hopefully!

Also as part of the festival, artist Kerry Howarth has yarn bombed the Brewer Street Bridge over the canal. We saw her the day before busy tying all the bits of yarn to the railings as it was starting to rain. We think it looks great! Definitely worth all the hard work. It looks like extra bits are been added too, although it might just be us not noticing things the first time round.

LomoWall is a new permanent lomography exhibition on Tariff Street. It's made up of loads of photographs taken on lomography cameras and you can see a little bit of it in the photo underneath. If you click on the bit that says LomoWall back there <--- you can watch a video of it being put together.

It's not too late to go and have a look yourself! The LomoWall and the floating garden at Jackson's Wharf (Which we don't have a photo of!) are permanent and free, so you can go and see them any time you like. Also, I've just seen that there's a BBQ at New Islington Marina on Sunday, after moaning about not being able to eat barbecued food in the last post. There's loads of other stuff going on as well, between midday and 4pm. LOOK AT THIS FOR MORE INFO.

See yer.


Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Tea Party

On Sunday we had a vegan tea party for our lovely friend Rebecca's birthday. We tried to make lots of nice food that she'd like which included a homemade carrot cake, Moomin shortbread and a whole host of different vegetables. We also made soy and balsamic glazed tofu, which was alright! I think next time I'd use more soy sauce than balsamic vinegar though. It was a bit too zingy for me (That's a professional chef term, by the way).

We watched the film Practical Magic, which wasn't the whimsical children's film that I was expecting, and then we went for a walk along the canal. We were hoping that we'd be able to have a picnic somewhere, but yet again the Manchester weather foiled our plans. Stupid weather! The tea party was nice though. 

We're determined to have either a picnic or a barbecue before the end of the summer but we're quickly running out of time. If anyone reading this is planning one of the above, invite us please! 


Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Solva Mill

We have just returned from a holiday in Tenby, Pembrokeshire. Although we didn't get the best of weather we both had a wonderful time. There will be another post about our Tenby fun when we get the photographs back from Boots. Something to look forward to!

On the way home from Tenby we called in at Solva Mill just outside of St David's. Solva mill is the oldest working woollen mill in Pembrokeshire, which is still using traditional shuttle looms to produce their cloth. I had spotted it when I was on work experience at Melin Tregwynt (another woollen mill) earlier this year. However, I didn't finish work early enough to visit so it was a real treat to get the chance to return and I wasn't disappointed! Not just is it set in beautiful surroundings but it is also producing wonderful Welsh woven fabric. I would highly recommend a visit.

E x

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Southport Fun!

How much fun can two people possibly have? It must seem, to you outsiders, like our lives are spent constantly visiting places that aren't Manchester and having a nice time. That's not quite true, but a week after going to Liverpool and Llangollen, we made the trip over to Southport.

Ostensibly the trip was for a football match. I support Grimsby Town, for my sins, and have spent the last 15 or so years of my life being repeatedly disappointed by them. Don't worry, this isn't a post about football. To make the idea of going to see rubbish football more appealing, we decided we'd make a day of it and invite Liz's sister and brand new husband (Remember they recently got married and Liz made a blanket for them? Corresponding blog post here) along to share the misery.

Obviously no trip to the seaside is complete without a game of crazy golf. Initial fears that the course might not be particularly crazy were allayed when we saw the obligatory windmill on the third hole. We both found the course quite challenging and finished comfortably in the bottom two places in the standings.

Liz managed to get a fantastic hole-in-one on one of the more tricky holes, whereas my performance was fairly terrible throughout. Liz's sister came out on top by being consistently alright, rather than being a dead talented crazy golfer. Although I might be saying that because I'm a poor loser.

We recently popped over to Project Atelier to have a go on their rowing boats but, sadly, they'd had to be locked away due to some 'unsocial behaviour'. Hopefully they'll be back out again soon! After this disappointment we jumped at the chance to go on the swan pedalos in Southport. Up there's a shot of them in the distance, all lined up and waiting to be pedalled.

Liz and her brother-in-law were in charge of pedalling and, after about ten minutes, were suffering from severe leg cramps, leaving us floating aimlessly around the boating lake. A swan in distress. The weather was nice though and it was quite pleasant just floating around on our own (We were the only swan in action). Eventually the pedallers managed to summon up the energy and leg strength to propel us back to shore safely.

After that we went and got some amazing ice cream (More on that in a later post) and then went to the football, which was about twenty minutes walk from the town centre. The match was predictably dull and any pre-season excitement had well and truly disappeared by the end of a disappointing 1-1 draw.

The result didn't matter too much, though. We'd had a lovely day in Southport despite the football. The next time we go and see Grimsby play I think we'll try and organise something actually enjoyable around the match again.


Friday, 10 August 2012

Llangollen Fun!

This is a sister post to the one I posted yesterday, which you can find by clicking HERE. On the Saturday we spent the day doing stuff in Liverpool, but on the Sunday we went to Llangollen, in North Wales.

Our main reason for going to Llangollen was THE BIG ONE, an antiques fair held in the big pavilion place where they usually do the Eisteddfodd (I had to google the spelling, fyi). It's certainly the biggest antiques fair that I've ever been to (read: the only antiques fair that I've ever been to) and there was plenty of old junk to look at. There was some good stuff too, though.

Some of our purchases are classified at the moment as they're presents for people who might be reading this! I can tell you, however, that I bought a copy of Melody Maker from 1986 that had an interview with Ted Chippington in it. Liz bought a Laura Ashley floral jumpsuit for about £5 and a 60s badge that says 'Young Seeker' on it. Liz's dad bought a book about Patagonia and a stack of Welsh postcards and her mum got some earrings that looked like ones she used to have but was partly stolen a few years ago. Pretty successful trip, I reckon.

I'm half tempted to collect loads of packaging for things so that we can go to antiques fairs in fifty years and make loads of money. Someone was selling an old Bovril tin! Unbelievable.

We spent the rest of the afternoon walking around Llangollen, which looks a bit like the photo that's just above this writing. It's very pretty. There's antique shops, a couple of old mills, a place where you can get amazing ice cream and fudge (we got a rum and raisin and a banoffee ice cream and some mint and chocolate fudge) and nice cheese shop. In fact, we got some cheese that Martin Platt off Coronation Street had made, possibly with his own bare hands. I doubt that actually, but we can pretend.

There's also a steam railway in Llangollen, which we'll definitely have to have a go on at some time in the future. Thomas the Tank Engine was there on Sunday though, so the whole place was full of stinking kids. There's some pictorial evidence for you, in case you didn't believe us. That's definitely Thomas, isn't it? It's not one of the other ones. Dave? Was Dave one of them?

We narrowly managed to avoid getting drenched on the way back to the car, which was lucky. It was even more rainy than the rain we experienced the day before in Liverpool (Please see previous blog post for more details about the rain). Very rainy!

Speaking of rain, we're very much crossing our fingers and hoping that it doesn't rain all week next week. We're going to Tenby on holiday for the week so it had better not chuck it down. It is Wales though, so it undoubtedly will. We'll post some photos up while we're away, so keep checking back to see just how much fun we're having! If you'd like a postcard from us, do feel free to send us an email with your address on to youngexplorerzine @ We fully understand if you don't want to give your address to some strangers off the internet though.

Don't have nightmares


Thursday, 9 August 2012

Liverpool Fun!

Despite the bobbins weather we're still hoping to go on as many days out as possible this summer. We spent this weekend just gone in Liverpool and Llangollen, which was super lovely. Here's some photos!

We went to Liverpool fairly early on Saturday morning and went for a walk down Lark Lane. Sadly the Amorous Cat Book Shop was closed. If anyone reading this has ever actually been inside this shop, please fill us in on how amazing/rubbish it is please.

We went for breakfast at a cafĂ© on Lark Lane and had their 'American Breakfast' which was alright.  I think the pancakes were a bit burnt, but you know, it was still nice. I'm still not sure how I feel about maple syrup with savoury foods, but the novelty of it was exciting enough for me. Syrup on eggs! Syrup on everything!

According to Wikipedia, Lark Lane has a 'bohemian reputation', so I guess it's like Liverpool's answer to the Northern Quarter. Kind of. I think it's probably more relaxed than the latter and it's dead close to Sefton Park, which is a bonus. Imagine how much more pleasant the Northern Quarter would be if it was all green and leafy and that.

Speaking of Sefton Park, that's where we went after we'd had our breakfast. The other half of Young Explorer went here quite a bit when she was growing up in Liverpool and she delighted in showing me her old haunts. The palm house (above!) was restored fairly recently and looks beautiful now. It's definitely worth a visit if domed ceilings are your thing. Or if you like plants and trees.

Over here on the left is a statue of JM Barrie's Peter Pan, for some reason. I'm not sure exactly if JM Barrie has any kind of connection with Liverpool, but either way, they saw fit to erect a statue of his most famous character in the park.

Liz tried to explain a game that her and her brother and sister used to play that involved running around the statue and putting your hands on a designated character around the statue's base. So an independent adjudicator (aka a parent) would shout something like 'two little mice' and the first to touch that character would win. I don't think there were any prizes, I imagine it was just a pride thing. If reading this has confused you then I apologise.

Remember to buy stuff from our Etsy shop or email us at youngexplorerzine @ if you want to bypass any annoying login type things and just arrange buying stuff off us like that. Many thanks.