Everyday life Life

September 2023

September ended so quickly. We visited a lot of places this month and we did a lot of shopping as well. I need new clothes for university, so we went shopping a few times, including for evening dresses for Formal Hall (dinner).


Firstly, I will talk about a memorial in Rochdale, that was on my to-see list for a couple of months. There are 2 memorial stones in a garden, close to the cenotaph. One stone is dedicated to the Holocaust, while the other is dedicated to the Holodomor. The difference between them is striking. On the first one is mentioned only its name, while on the second one there are many more details, as this genocide is not well known.

As I am talking about Ukraine, I have to comment on the appointment of Rustem Umierov earlier this month as Defence Minister. Umierov is a Muslim, and of Crimean Tatar origin, who was born in Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic. Now Ukraine has a Jewish president and a Muslim Defence Minister, in a Christian Orthodox country, where a large proportion of the people attend church. I think this is so impressive, showing the level of acceptance and tolerance within the country.


This month we celebrated the anniversary of buying our home and I got some lovely black frames for my Ukrainian stamps. I love how these look now, so neat.

Heritage Open Days collage

Besides going out a few times this month, one of which included a get-to-know meeting with colleagues from Oxford, we had 3 day-trips for Heritage Open Days. How amazing that these places were open for free, guided by informed and passionate people, and some of them open only for this event (or having an extra room open, such as the library at the grammar school). The pictures are not in chronological order, as is the list. Nevertheless, all the places we’ve been to are described with pictures on the blog, so check them out if any of these take your fancy.

We visited:
The Old Bank Vault is now in the basement of a bakery, Warrington – picture 1 – not open to the public.
Congleton Bath House & Physic Garden – picture 6 – really interesting tour with someone from the Herb Society.
Open house on Tollitt Street, an 1845 railway workers cottage – not open to the public, it’s someone’s home.
Crewe Heritage Centre, where we took a miniature train ride – picture  3 – interesting place, well worth a visit, they do have steam train rides from time to time.
Castlerigg Stone Circle, built in 3000 BCE, Cumbria – picture  4 – free, open when it’s daylight.
Hawkshead Grammar School Museum, Cumbria – picture 5 – lovely place, we saw the library that is not usually open to the public.
Newland Iron Furnace, Cumbria – picture 2 – manned by volunteers, a really special place.
King Charles Tower is at the North-East corner of the city walls in Chester – – picture 7 – not usually open to the public.
Murgatroyd’s Brine Pump Works, Cheshire – picture 8 – closed for winter, it’s a great place for families with older children and for couples, it explains the science and history behind extracting salt and turning it into chemicals.
Newton Hall, south of Manchester – picture 9 – lovely place, well worth a visit if they are open.


1. I made my monthly donation for Ukraine. 2. Flowers to celebrate the home-buying anniversary. 3. Yummy vegan lunch. 4. Ukrainian Superlambanana. 5. Cinnamon buns from The Vibe. 6. Lemon cake from the Cathedral’s cafe (a few days old pic). 7. Cute dog spotted in the traffic. 8. Making plans for the weekend. 9. Heritage Open Days in Cheshire. 10. Heritage Open Days in Cumbria. 11. Remembering 9/11 – evacuation by sea of over 500,000 people. 12. Treo, a hero. 13. Kalyna in bloom. 14. Pre-breakfast smoothie. 15. Butterfly. 16. Aperol night. 17. Heritage Open Days. 18. Beautiful Liverpool. 19. Rose juice. 20. Ukraine peace garden in Liverpool. 21. Remembering. 22. Cocktails and dinner at Down the Hatch. 23. Another night, another opportunity for cocktails. 24. Beautiful frames for my Ukrainian stamps. 25. Pizza and wine, at home. 26. Rochdale. 27. Intu Trafford centre. 28. Holodomor and Holocaust memorials, in the same garden. 29. Last fruits from the garden. 30. Books in September.


This month I finished 7 books and I’m on track with my target of 89 for the year. Most of the books this month were about Ukraine, from history – Borderlands and The Holodomor – to memoirs. Two memoirs are a must read in my view, The Rooster House and The death of a soldier told by his sister. First one is about her family’s history and shows a wonderful picture of how life in Ukrainian villages is. The second one is about the death of a brother (a few years ago, before 2022 and the full-scale invasion), so about loss and what is appropriate when someone dies, how others interact, but it is also about migration and how someone is viewed in their countries and the guest countries too. I liked both books because they deal with so much more than it was implied in the title.

Spies and Hitler, Stalin, mum and dad are both must reads, without any doubt. Spies shows how incredibly stupid intelligence gathering has been so far for the last 100 years or so. The second one shows the struggle of the author’s parents, one under Hitler and the other one under Stalin. I highly recommend the book.

Books I read in September:
The death of a soldier told by his sister by Olesya Khromeychuk – 5 stars
The Holodomor by Charles River Editors – 5 stars
Hitler, Stalin, mum and dad by Daniel Finkelstein – 5 stars
Borderland by Anna Reid – 2 stars
You Don’t Know What War Is by Yeva Skalietska – 2 stars
The Rooster House by Victoria Belim – 5 stars
Spies by Calder Walton – 5 stars

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13 Comment

  1. Oh I missed out on the heritage open days! Sounds like you made good use of them.

    Love that frame!

    I used to love reading – after seeing how much you manage to read it’s pushing me to try to make an effort and read more.

    My daughter has applied for Oxford Uni, now to just wait and see if she can get in!

  2. Wonderful to take advantage of the heritage open days. I had planned to but the one i really wanted to visit was only free during the week and I didn’t want to go without the kids 🙁 #project365

  3. The books all sound excellent and I’m glad you had the opportunity for some gathering and seeing various places last month. Your stamps look beautiful that way. I agree with you about Ukraine.

  4. You made excellent use of the open days opportunities for visiting buildings! I would love to visit the library of that school!
    I read ‘You don’t know what war is’ last month too- why did you give it two stars? I’m intrigued to know because, whilst I enjoyed it, it felt very short and incomplete and a little unsatisfactory..
    Your stamps look really nice!
    The Kalyna is really beautiful! I have a friend whose daughter is called that! Such a pretty name.

    1. Yes, it would be amazing if more of the world would be more and more tolerant instead of sliding back to the intolerance of decades past.

  5. I love the Open Days events. I didn’t manage to get to any this year. Football matches for my son were on, and the places I wanted to visit had got booked up immediately after I spotted they were open for booking. Maybe next year.

  6. It sounds like a good month.
    The memorial stones really are interesting.
    I thought of you the other day when I saw our local church is having a weekend fundraiser for the Ukraine people next month. My youngest has already said she is interested in going.
    I do like that frame and your stamps look wonderful in it.
    Wonderful photos! x
    Kim Carberry recently posted…A photo every day for a year! 23rd – 29th September – Week 39 of #Project365My Profile

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