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Things To Do Before I Turn 50

  (also known as my "TA-DA" list as opposed to a "to do" list) It was my 49th birthday a few days ago and this got me thinking. Any birthday that ends with a zero always feels a bit like milestone or a landmark and, when I hit the big "five-o" in 2022, I don't want huge parties or celebrations but I would like to have ticked a few things off my low-effort bucket list.   I see these things as a way to improve my mental and physical health, plus a few slightly off-the-wall experiences that would make for great memories.  Start running again and include the following: Lead a C25K group again  Participate in parkrun EVERY week where possible  < ongoing (now parkrun Run Director too) Visit local landmarks whilst running  Train for a long race - building up from 5k > 10k > 10 miles > half marathon, with a couple of longer trail races mixed in  Lose a lot bit of weight Post more on Instagram or give the blog a bit of a reboot < ongoing Look at

Ghost Signs In Lancashire

After reading an article about ghost signs in London on the Londist website this week I remembered about one that isn't too far from my house.  Ghost signs are old hand-painted advertising signage on the side of a building that hasn't been removed and has faded over time.  This one can be seen in situ on Google maps and it always reminds me of my Grandpa because he smoked Capstan Full Strength for years.

ghost sign, blackburn, lancashire

Until recently there was another ghost sign just across the street from where I live.  I'm gutted that I didn't take a photograph of it because the building has recently had some structural work done and the side of the building is now pebbledashed. It was an old 'bed and breakfast' hotel overlooking the canal and the gable end isn't visible on Google maps.

I am now going to be keeping an eye out for more ghost signs on my travels around Lancashire - this totally fits in with my new motto of "Look Up" instead of "look around" for photography inspiration.  Have you seen any?  Feel free to add your pictures in the comments and I'll update this post if I find any more.


I can't believe I have driven past this sign many times and never noticed it. I just happened to look up today and saw it looming over me.  So... snap!  Here is it on Google Maps - King Street in Blackburn.

Thwaites, ghostsign, Blackburn, Lancashire,

Huge thanks to Lucinda Hartley who has granted me permission to use her picture (edited and enhanced by me) of the James Eccles, Coal Merchant ghost sign on Granville Road, Blackburn

ghostsign, lancashire, james eccles, coal merchant,

More Ghost Signs Around The World

Many thanks to Alison from Five Go Blogging for sharing the Smiths' Grand Teas ghost sign seen in Oakham, Rutland.  See it here in the comments.

This Dubonnet ghost sign below has been submitted by Philofaxy's Steve Morton and can be clearly seen here on Google Maps in France.

ghost sign, Dubonnet, France

Click all images for larger view in lightbox mode.