Tag Archives: picture post

Shibden Hall!

I really don’t know why it is taking me so long to do these posts. Maybe it’s the 1.5 million photos to sort through? Anyway, let’s move on to the primary reason for our stop in Halifax: a visit to Shibden Hall!

Preface: As Shibden Hall is closed for a bit in winter, we had planned our vacation to be in Halifax for opening day. You can’t buy tickets for Shibden; you just queue up on the day you want to visit. About a week prior to our departure date, I was made aware that Shibden had announced they were pushing back their opening date. HOLY SHIT, Y’ALL! I was devastated. In one of my Gentleman.Jack groups, someone told me to contact them, because surely they’d let us in. My American self thought this would NEVER happen, but I sent off an email. The next day I received a reply, saying that they would be happy to have someone meet us and give us a tour. O.M.G. So, not only were we going to Shibden, but it was going to be a private tour! YASSSSSSSSS!

So, we got off the train at Halifax (from our visit to York) and decided that we should hop in a cab and get over to Shibden so that we weren’t late. We had very little cash on us and the cab wiped us out (didn’t accept credit cards). It was maybe a 10 minute ride and we pulled up to FREAKING SHIBDEN HALL!!!!!!!



Our guide met us in the parking lot and led us into the courtyard where we immediately lose our minds upon seeing where Suranne Jones as Anne Lister gayrushed into Shibden every week!!!!


Our guide then led us inside. OMG!int_entrance




The Lister lion!!!!!!!



A is for Anne!


L is for Lister!


Living room


Living room window with family crests


Crests closeup


Crests closeup


Portrait of Aunt Anne


Portrait of Anne Lister – Our tour guide said there are many portraits that are not on display as they have no idea who is pictured. She posited that they quite possibly have one of Ann Walker but they have no way of knowing


Dining room where the Lister sisters sniped gloriously at each other


Kitchen, though the tour guide said that they staged some of the kitchen somewhere else in the Hall


View from the kitchen, through the back entrance, living room, and to the other end of the house, where the dining room and study are located


Study, where Anne received her guests and rang her bell when she was done with them


I believe this was a downstairs bedroom


Let’s head upstairs, shall we?



Upstairs catwalk – living room is to the right in this pic.


View from other side of hallway


Living room view from upstairs


Study in turret that was constructed by Anne Lister


Upstairs bedroom


Upstairs bedroom 2


This room was connected to Anne’s bedroom (through the door to the left).


Porch chamber and library corridor



Anne’s funeral hatchment


Anne Lister’s bedroom!!!!! Our guide told us that it was too small to film in, so they recreated it on a set. She speculated that Anne wanted this bedroom even though it wasn’t the biggest, because it was light, bright, and had an excellent view.


The view from Anne’s room – keep in mind that this was early March. In summer, it would be flower-filled and gorgeous.




Shibden freaking Hall




Barn behind Shibden (directly across courtyard from the back entrance of Shibden Hall)


The Lister Chaise!!!!!!!!


Shibden Hall is such a special place. You truly do feel a connection to Anne and the many other occupants of Shibden over the years. I can’t wait to visit again (and again and again)! I’ll cover the grounds and the Walker Pit (!!!!!!) in my next post.


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized, vacation

Day 3: York

While eating dinner the night before we went to York, we discovered that the church where the Ann(e)s were wed would be closed the day we’d be there. Poor planning there, right? We decided it was still worth going to see the grounds and check out York. We had to be at Shibden Hall (!!!!!!) that day at 2, so it was going to be a tight schedule.

We woke up early to get to York as quickly as possible. We discovered that it was close to an hour by train each way, which left us with 1 hour in York. Figured it was fine since we just wanted to go to the church, really. So we purchased our train tickets and headed out of Halifax. The train ride was interesting as we got to see different parts of the country (Leeds looked like a cool city). We got to York and OMG it was absolutely stunning! And there we were with only an hour to spend! Doh!IMG_2388IMG_2390IMG_2392IMG_2430IMG_2427IMG_2419

We mapped to Holy Trinity Church, and discovered it was only a 7 minute walk from the station. You guys, it was so hard to walk past all of these beautiful buildings and landmarks and have to keep on going. So gorgeous!

We got to the church to find that the grounds were not accessible – they had a gate to shut it off. Damn. We took pictures through the gate and it was still pretty great.IMG_2396IMG_2400IMG_2399IMG_2398

We saw that York Minster was right behind it and it was super impressive, so we walked over and took a look around. Holy Trinity was off of a very busy street, so I knew they can’t have used it for the post-wedding shots on Gentleman Jack. I remembered seeing the Minster in the shot and noticed an alley that I’m now sure was where the scenes were filmed. Amazing.IMG_2402IMG_2405IMG_2406

We had to make our way back to catch the train in order to make our 2PM appointment at Shibden. We had noticed on way to the church an entrance/exit to the amazing looking Roman city wall and so we went up and walked back on the wall. I’m so glad we got to do something in York in the short time we were there. The wall was incredibly cool and it gave a gorgeous vantage point of the city and some homes nearby.


So, yes, we are already planning a return trip in the future. We will stay in York and explore it all and include a day trip to Halifax to pay our respects to the Ann(e)s. Next up: SHIBDEN HALL!!!!!!!!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized, vacation

Halifax/Paris trip: Day 1-2

Hi, friends! I guess it took a pandemic and ensuing quarantine to get me back to blogging, but here we are! I may be a regular here again, and I may not, but I wanted to do a series of a posts on the fabulous England/France trip DW and I took in early March. I find that I’m forgetting a lot about it and I don’t want to forget a THING so, here is post 1, which covers Feb 29 – Mar 1. I’m including our travel day because 1) It was eventful and 2) I want to let y’all know what a pain in the ass it is to get to Halifax, England. I mean, it’s worth it, but OMG.

A friend dropped us off at the airport and we had lunch and a celebratory cocktail (our usual travel beverage, a spicy Bloody Mary). We flew into Atlanta and discovered that our flight was delayed by hours. HOURS. I wasn’t that sad about it because I knew we’d spend it day drinking at the airport with no kids – pretty much heaven. We parked ourselves at a bar in the international terminal (which was quite empty, thank you very much Ms. Rona). By the time we got on our flight HOURS later, we were tired and just ready to be on our way.

We took some Tylenol.PM for the red eye and waited to conk out. I fell asleep maybe an hour in, but poor DW had some trouble. I’d wake up occasionally and see her watching a movie or reading and think, “Oh no.” Then back to sleep for me.

We landed in Manchester, England, at around 8:30AM (which was 2:30AM by our body clock). It wasn’t as rough as you might think as we were so excited to be there and get to the hometown of our Lord and Savior, Ms. Anne “220 pounds, 17 shillings, and 6 pence” Lister of Shibden Hall, Halifax, Yorkshire, England. (If you didn’t get that reference, then 1) you are not a lesbian and/or 2) you haven’t watched the greatest show in history, Gentleman Jack. Get on that. NOW.)

Ahem. We picked up our bags and made our way to the train station to begin the LONG ASS HAUL to Halifax. Since it was a Sunday, the train from the airport to Manchester Picadilly station wasn’t running, so we queued up to take a bus there. When we arrived at the station, DW went to get our bags from under the bus when the DOOR STARTED TO CLOSE, TRAPPING HER BY THE SHOULDER! It took me a second to realize what was happening and I went to yell out to a woman standing nearby, “HELP HER!” But it came out as a garbled “L****!!!!” To which she replied, “I KNOW!” And then the door started to lift up again. We were so tired and it was so strange that we were LOLing even though it could have been really bad!

So, we haul our big ass bags into the train station and figure out how to get tickets to the next station (Huddersfield) and then on to Halifax. Got on the train, which was pretty crowded, and DW tried to fit our giant duffle bags in the overhead bin – they were way too big. A guy ended up putting them in a seat next to him. We get to Huddersfield, pull our bags out, and start hunting for the next train to Halifax. We get on and this train is far less crowded and had a large area for baggage. Then we arrive at Halifax station!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Let me recap: To get to Halifax, we flew into Manchester, took a bus, and then took two trains. It was almost 24 hours of travel in all.

Halifax station is tiny and cute. We pull our bags out and map to our hotel (The White Swan). It’s a 10 minute walk, so we decide to walk it instead of getting a cab. It was COLD. We looked a mess, I’m sure, dragging all of our crap through the cobblestone streets to the hotel. We did enjoy seeing all of the historic buildings and the charm of Halifax, though to be honest, it was a little depressing as well. Very small and a lot of unoccupied businesses.


We make it to our hotel and check in. Drop our bags in our room and drop ourselves on the bed for maybe 20 minutes. We are starving and noticed a restaurant attached to the hotel (an Italian restaurant called Julio’s [not “Hoo-lio’s” but “Joo-lios,” which was hysterical to us after a full day of travel). We go down and they are not opened yet, though the door was unlocked. We walked in to staff eating and looking at us like we had 2 heads. After telling them we were there for lunch or dinner (it was around 3), they informed us they opened at 4:30. Sigh.

I wanted to check out The Piece Hall and saw that there were restaurants there, so we walked over. What a cool place!


The Piece Hall, which was quite empty thanks to the coronavirus.

The restaurants weren’t really our type of thing, so we decided to just walk around a bit. Went into an adorable Christmas shop and purchased a few ornaments. (That’s a thing we always do – buy ornaments on trips so we remember them when we decorate our tree. I love it! These are just cute ornaments that we like, not touristy labeled ornaments as again, not our thing.) While checking out, I mention Anne Lister and the shop keeper (an older woman) lights up and starts talking about how much Halifax has been impacted by the popularity of Gentleman Jack and how great it is. Then she launches into a story about her friend who started studying the diaries years back and I’m thinking, “Is she talking about Helena Whitbread???” Why yes, YES SHE WAS! It was so freaking amazing to be in Halifax, talking Anne Lister with a Halifax resident.

We then went into a bookstore as I wanted to buy the Anne Lister walking tour map. I got that and another AL book and the woman who checked us out asked if we’d been to the Halifax Minster yet. She told us it was a 2 minute walk away so we headed over! Never underestimate the power of Anne Lister to fortify two hungry lesbians enough to forgo a much-needed meal in order to see the church where Anne Lister was baptized and buried!

Halifax Minster was just incredible. A woman gave us a brief talk about the church and the Listers before setting us loose to look around. W.O.W. The church dates back to the 1400s! We saw the baptismal font where Anne Lister was baptized, as well as the area of the church where she and her family are interred. (Poor Ann Walker is buried in Lightcliffe with her family. We had planned to visit her grave and leave flowers, but our time was so limited, we didn’t end up being able to. I’m sorry, Ann! You have a special place in my heart!)

Exterior of Halifax Minster



Interior of Halifax Minster


Looking from rear of church to front (behind the baptismal font)



Anne was all over this church. They even had a little shop filled with Anne Lister merch! It was so incredible to see a lesbian celebrated like this in a church.




Facing the area of the church where Anne and the other Listers are interred. You can see an enlarged image of Anne if you look closely on the right.


I can’t explain how it felt to be in this church, celebrating Anne Lister. Life-affirming, our own LGBTQ connection to history all because Anne Lister wrote those diaries. It still blows my mind, y’all.

We trekked back to the hotel and ate at Julio’s, which was another strange experience. “Do you have a reservation?” Us: Look around at a mostly empty restaurant, “No….” To be fair, I’m sure we looked a fright, but still – our money spends just as good as anyone else’s! We had our dinner, called our boys, and called it a night. After all, we had to be up early for our trip to York…


Filed under Uncategorized, vacation

happy birthday, baby!

Today is the Marshmallow’s first birthday. This year has simply flown by! The MM has been a model infant – sleeping great, sweet and sunny disposition, hitting all milestones right on time. I couldn’t have asked for an easier, more mellow little guy. And now we head into toddlerhood! Sniff.

Happy birthday, my sweet baby F! I love you more than words can say. You completed our family in the very best of ways ❤

Here is a rare unprotected photo post of baby’s first year because BIRTHDAY!



Filed under Uncategorized

Protected: easter

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Enter your password to view comments.

Filed under Uncategorized

frivolous friday fun

Am I the only silly person who enjoys those “What’s in your bag/purse” features in magazines? I don’t know why, but I love seeing them. So I thought I’d show you what’s in MY bag! Feel free to share your own.



  • LilyPadz wipes to clean breast shields on the go
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Kiehl’s lip balm
  • Lipstick
  • Coach wristlet/wallet
  • Hello Kitty pouch with feminine products
  • Change of clothes for the MM
  • Keys on a Chococat keychain
  • Harajuku Lovers zippered pouch with diapers/wipes
  • Black changing pad
  • Giant silver leather Coach bag
  • iPhone (not pictured as I used it to take the pic)


Filed under Uncategorized

party planning

This has been the week from hell. Truly. Last Sunday, my MiL fell at her house and broke her arm. Her “friend” who was living with her rent-free for 7 months bailed and it got ugly. DW had to referee and help this “friend” pack her crap to get her out of there quickly. Both boys and I have been sick forever. We were supposed to go to Disney.land Thursday and Friday, but that didn’t happen. Instead, I was home alone and sick with two sick boys all day (with no car) while DW was helping her mom. They do not get along well, so that was not at all pleasant for DW. Today we were supposed to go hang with a friend and her son and have beers, but I’m feeling worse today and the MM had a rough night so only DW and Monkey went. See? Told you it was a week of suck.

In all of this, however, I’ve come up with the perfect theme for baby MM’s first birthday (4/29/14) – we’re having a vintage toy party! (Amanda, I blame you for this WAY AHEAD planning 🙂 I was not even thinking about baby’s first birthday until you posted that you had started planning Boo’s!)

Long-time readers may know that we are all about vintage themes. First, there was our vintage cowboy themed baby shower:


Then Monkey’s Winter ONEderland party, which had a vintage feel:


And last year, we had a vintage cowboy/train party for Monkey’s third birthday:


Now I’m pinning like a mad woman and having so much fun! This theme is perfect for us as we already have tons of vintage style toys and stuffed animals. Below is just a fraction of what we have (why yes, I was extremely bored being cooped up for so many days and gathered toys and took pictures of some ideas for the party):



We also have the Fisher.Price piano and phone and lots of tin toys (robots, planes, etc.).


Also have a sock monkey and an adorable little goose stuffy that would work well.

We also have:

  • Old school building sets (tinker.toys, baby blocks, and Lincoln.Logs): Thinking of spelling out the MM’s name with the baby blocks and using tinker.toys to hold cards that have the different food items on them with some vintage clip art.
  • Wooden train set: This could be cute for centerpiece(s). Milk bottle with sunflowers and circular train track around the base.
  • Little.Golden.Books (thinking of buying these as party favors, too): Check out the Little.Golden.Books party stuff!
  • Wooden puzzles: Have ABCs, 123s, animals
  • Grocery cart with wooden pots, pans, and food

The possibilities are ENDLESS!

Decor can also double as entertainment (kids can play with the toys)! We are planning on having this at our local park and we’ll bring Monkey’s Radio.Flyer wagon (add cute bunting and wagon balloon and put gifts in it!), tricycle, and scooter for cuteness and play, too. I’m having way too much fun fantasizing about this party. It won’t be nearly as elaborate as what I have in my head, but it won’t take much effort or money to make it super cute and fun. I need to find someone who has a wooden highchair I can borrow to really put the finishing touch on it…

The only thing I’m trying to think of is if we do this as a morning party, what vintagey type food could we serve? I had initially thought Cracker.Jacks, animal crackers, that sort of thing, but is that nuts if we had a party at like 9 or 10AM? Thoughts?


Filed under Uncategorized

Protected: christmas 2013: a picture post

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Enter your password to view comments.

Filed under Uncategorized