Looking back on this day, I think I may have to admit to a little bit of OCD. And to start of today’s report I’m talking washing as in laundry. I have a real issue with washing. I separate all colours. I hand wash my delicates. And I am now in a country where none of the laundry liquids are like those I would use at home. The laundry liquid needs to be biodegradable for me and safe for sensitive skin. Let’s face it; if your smalls are washed in an unsuitable product, there is the chance of unwelcome rashes in the most sensitive of places. AND NO ONE WANTS THAT!!!
|No rush really|
At present, Andy doesn’t have a washing machine as there’s no point making that kind of investment and then having to ship it all abroad when he finally gets to move. And the local laundry service / ironing establishment, well let’s just say that its services were far less than suitable. Yes, they will wash your clothes but then they only dry them for 20 mins. WTF!!! Enter Caroline then, Andy’s sister and as of this day, my heroine. She came shopping with us at Tesco to help find the perfect laundry liquid among the hundreds available and fully understood the “issues” I was facing. That day, Caroline actually did all our washing for us and allowed us the time to continue exploring Rawtenstall and all its offerings.
So with the washing left in Caroline’s more than capable hands, Andy took me to nearby Whittaker Park and what is known as the Rossendale Museum, a stately house situated within the park grounds. It was once a home in the 1800s for a fabric mill owner; a beautiful old museum now, filled with furniture, art, portraits and trinkets from the 1800s onwards. It was like stepping back in time into some assumingly important person’s past life and seeing how they once lived ~ Well, minus all the dust I am assuming. There were collections of artefacts from all over the Rossendale Valley and the prior house resident’s’ travels abroad. Especially to make me feel at home, there was even a collection of stuffed animals from Australia, including a koala, kangaroo and platypus. They looked a little ragged to be honest but for their 100 plus years of age, they were holding up quite well.
|Just one of the original room sets within the Rossendale Museum|
Click here for the full day's album
And being one of those annoying bloody tourist types, what I would say Whittaker Park and Museum needs more than anything else is a tea room of some sort. Somewhere to sit down maybe and to enjoy a cuppa and some scones, that sort of thing. You know, just to BE in the surroundings, to feel part of the history. The gift shop was cute I suppose, but really, not of the quality I would have expected from this type of a historical landmark. Seriously, tumbled stones with wobbly eyes? I would have loved to have seen more cottage industry type wares, handmade soaps, jams, even teaspoons and tea towels. The handmade toys and cards were something I liked but rest just felt tacky.
|Not much between the houses and the roads here|
Walking back towards the town centre from the museum, one thing I had major trouble getting used to is that there are no real safety barriers between you and the cars when walking along the footpath. You are literally only inches away from the cars screaming past you at 30 miles an hour. Some of the front doors of the houses are just metres from the road too. It can be quite scary at times. How there aren’t a lot more cars running into houses is totally beyond me.
|Fitzpatrick's ~ a bit of a let down really|
We were off to Fitzpatrick’s, which according to nearly every website about Rawtenstall, is the very last temperance bar in the UK. I had been looking at this place online, the website is brilliant, and this is the one place I just had to see while in over here in Rawtenstall. Unfortunately, this was also the single most disappointing attraction of the whole trip over. The place just lacked almost everything. When you walked in, you weren’t greeted, more so ignored. The owner actually walked straight past us to go outside for a cigarette.
The shop looked a little neglected and in dire need of a good dusting. There were a couple of rickety old chairs to sit down at, the coffee was only instant and there was no food on offer either. We actually had to seek out the staff and ask if we could buy a coffee. There were missed opportunities all around us, shelves weren’t fully stocked and it really just looked like the owner had lost interest and this was just a business specifically created to be a cash laundering tax loss, there were no EFTPOS facilities on site either. Arrrgh, get me out of here!!!
I have never been into a Boots the chemist store before either and from what I can tell it was just another high street chemist only it is much bigger and has more product lines and purchasing options and some friendly and helpful staff. There was nothing I wanted in here I just wanted to have a look so I did.
|Because you saw the chippy on last nights blog, |
here's a picture of a local witch simply going
about her business
The saving grace for this day’s exploration was the inclusion of the local “chippy”. Tony was just the friendliest character I had come across for the whole of the day. I had trouble understanding what he said and his broad Lancashire accent, so I did a fair bit of gormless smiling, but Andy took control of the situation and ordered us fish and chips. Cod, was the fish of choice. Now my memories of cod come from when I was just 10 years old, and being trapped at the dinner table until late at night, my father adamant that I would finish off that smoked cod. I still feel ill when I hear the word cod. So it seemed I was in for another adventure. CHIPS!!! You could have fed a family of 4 on the amount of chips that came with the piece of fish. Oh and we were trying a Holland’s steak and kidney pie and chips as well !! I already mentioned in an earlier post that we had to duck to get in through the door here. I am serious, how short were these poms 100 years ago??
As this was a takeaway establishment, there was nowhere to actually sit down to eat so we had to cross the road into a little park to enjoy our dinner/lunch. It’s hard to tell what meal it was as everything is all out of kilter over here with our meal times. And it was about this time that my knee decided it was no longer going to play ball. It froze up and the pain was getting a little beyond a joke. The food was delicious. The park we sat in was beautiful and like most places of beauty, not looked after by the local council but lovingly looked after by volunteers. Yes volunteers really do make a difference in today’s communities, we just need to open our eyes and see them.
|The perfect venue for a great chippy tea!!|
Anyway, it was that time again, time to go back home, via taxi, and time to get some pain killers in me and try to warm up (still cold brrr). Just another wonderful day in Rawtenstall, this is truly a beautiful place to experience.