Monday, July 22, 2019

What I Wore 8th June

At the beginning of June I had a resurgence of one of my chronic illnesses, meaning I was almost incapable of doing anything. I struggled through work on the Tuesday, but Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were a total washout. I had said I was going to go to the cinema on Thursday, but couldn't manage it. I'm extremely lucky to have Lee to look after me, I know that. I also made sure to take all the medication I could and to let myself sleep - a couple of times I fell asleep on the sofa and I must have needed it.

By Saturday I was feeling a bit better so I wanted to get out for a bit. I'm a homebird but so long in the house was beginning to drive me mad. Lee was playing a gig with his band This Is Not A Drill in Sheffield, so I said I would go with him. It was in a pub in Pitsmoor where the ordinary customers seemed pretty bemused by the ton of punks turning up. Lee and I sat down for a bit then moved towards the stage when it was time for him to play. His band was good, just very loud - they play hardcore punk.

We spoke to a few friends and then stayed to watch Rites of Hadda who I actually really liked. They sounded a bit like the Dead Kennedys. We had some vegan burgers from the barbecue out back. It was a nice evening and I was really glad to get out of the house!

I'd put on my flamingo skirt with this new top from Simply Be that I got a few weeks ago. I haven't worn it yet but I liked the knotted bit on the front and the colour. It feels really comfortable to wear and I think it looks quite cool too!

Friday, July 19, 2019

A Busy Weekend

At the beginning of June I had a really busy but fun weekend. I could have gone out on the Friday night too, as my BFFs met up to go to the cinema, but I couldn't go out three nights in a row!

Anyway on Saturday Lee and Sam and I went to Leeds to see Sofie Hagen. She's a comedian who talks a lot about feminism and about being fat. I'm not sure how I came across her originally but we saw her last year on tour too. A few people I know were also going (and then I saw tons of people there who I knew!) so I met up with some for a drink first. It was a really warm night and the alley where City Varities is was packed!

I really enjoyed the show, it was moving as well as funny. I would have liked to buy Sofie's book, Happy Fat, but I didn't really have the spare money. As it was, I got a copy of it on Netgalley for review, so check out my review here.

After the gig Lee and I went to Wakefield to pick up my friend Rachel. She was at Long Division festival in the city and I had offered her a bed for the night so that we could have lunch with my friend Laura on Sunday. They're online friends but had never met. I haven't met Rachel that many times so it was nice to spend a bit more time with her.

On Sunday she and I went across to Huddersfield to meet Laura. We went to Cafe Mandalay, the Burmese restaurant, which Laura hadn't been to but which I have. Rachel had agreed it sounded good. They do a reduced menu on Sundays but there's still a few veggie and vegan options. I went for the chickpea masala that I had last time and Laura did too.

Laura then suggested we went to Icestone Gelato for dessert. It's usually packed in there but because it was Ramadan it was less busy. I had chocolate chip cookie dough which I nearly always get because I like it so much! After that I took Rachel for her train and then I went home for a couple of hours before I had to go back out again.

Honestly I barely ever go to Leeds and here I was going twice in two days! I drove to the Wardrobe near the Playhouse, parked the car, and met Sam inside. We were seeing Emmy the Great, a musician who we both really like and who we've seen a few times but not for ages. She was playing the whole of her first album, First Love, so we were really excited about that.

I will say that the Wardrobe's access policy is brilliant. I had contacted them beforehand and gave my name, and they showed me to a seat and also said I could use their lift. I'm okay with one flight of stairs though, so it was okay. I appreciated how good they were, though. Sam could have sat with me but she stood behind me instead.

Support was from a musician called Bishi who I was also really excited to see. I loved her first album back in like 2008, but I had never seen her, so it was nice to see her finally. Emmy was amazing; I really loved hearing all the songs off the album and it was weirdly emotional - it took my right back to ten years ago when I was still grieving badly for my dad who had died the year before and relying a lot on music to get me through it. Afterwards I spoke to both Bishi and Emmy and they signed my ticket. I like this trend of playing full albums - I saw Suede do Coming Up several years ago and I've seen the Manics do two albums in full. I had such a lovely night.

Chana masala

Tofu fries

Some kind of passionfruit drink - it looked pretty but wasn't amazing

Chocolate chip cookie dough!

Bishi - my phone is terrible at photos in light like this

Playing her sitar


And again

And finally the Sofie flyer and my signed ticket!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

My Mum's Birthday

My mum's birthday was on bank holiday Monday at the end of May and I'd asked her what she wanted to do. She decided that during the day she would go out with my stepdad and then go out for tea with us as well in the evening. She decided on Bistro 42 in Ossett near Wakefield. They've been before but Lee and I never had so I was eager to check it out.

I did my make up before we left and used the eyeliner I wore for our vow renewal, which I hadn't done by myself before. I think I did okay! I wore a bright pink lipstick from Model's Own, too. I love their lipsticks, I find them really long lasting but not drying on my lips.

We went to my mum's house to begin with to give my mum her presents and to see their holiday photos from a few weeks ago. Then Lee drove for all of us which was nice. We had a cocktail in the bar before going to our table. My mum and I shared nachos and then I had a halloumi burger. The portions were huge and none of us had room for pudding! It is a lovely restaurant though, I'll definitely go back. It feels really classy!

Showing off my eyeliner. Can you see the grey hairs starting to appear at my temples?

Face in full

Pornstar martini - my mum had one too as she's discovered she likes them


Bubblegum daiquiri with popping candy on the top

My burger with homemade chips

And here's what I wore. I love this dress but almost never wear it. I love the sheer fabric of the bottom half and the lovely pattern. My mum liked it too!

Monday, July 15, 2019

Day Out near Derby

As I said, we were in a hotel between Derby and Nottingham for the night. We paid extra to have breakfast in the hotel which was nice, it's been ages since we did that. We checked out about eleven and went into Derby to go shopping. We had been in the shopping centre last November when we went to Derby to meet Elly Griffiths so we knew where it was and where to park. We went into a few shops, including Tiger, where I bought some stroopwaffel, and The Works, where I bought some paper and a copy of Brett Anderson's memoir (who even knew he had one?). However I was pretty tired and in pain from the day before so we decided to not stay in the shopping centre.

We set off towards a reservoir, thinking we could have a little look round and maybe a drink, but on the way we saw the sign for Mercia Marina and decided to stop off there instead. There's lots of narrowboats in the marina which I like looking at, and quite a few shops and restaurants which are all quite posh. We walked round some of the shops but then it started to rain so we went into the Boardwalk bar for a drink. I had a really yummy cocktail and we shared a vegetarian platter which was nice. It was a nice couple of hours just chilling out and chatting.

After that we set off home, it was getting quite late. It was a really lovely weekend and I'm so glad we took the time to do it. We have talked about doing it again soon!

These cute pieces of art were in the hotel. We stayed in this Holiday Inn and I would utterly recommend it because it was a bit fancy and very peaceful even though it was really busy

The marina. I love narrowboats, I really want to go on a holiday on one!

More boats

Me after I got caught in the rain

Pornstar martini which is one of my favourite cocktails ever

Lovely Lee. He had hot chocolate

I had a bubblegum cocktail which was only okay, I preferred the other one

Here's what I got in the shops!

Friday, July 12, 2019

What I Wore May 25th

As we weren't sure where we were going to eat when we were away in the hotel, I wasn't sure what to pack to wear. I decided on this dress because it looks really cute but is quite casual too. I've only worn it once before (on holiday in August last year) so thought I really should wear it again.

It's from Simply Be and it's made of quite a thick crepey material. I love the stripes and I like the bardot top, which I think suits me and my body shape. I like the colours and I think it's a good length. It's a bit shorter than I would normally wear but it looked nice with leggings. I'll try to wear it sooner again!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Day Out in Nottingham

At the end of May Lee and I went to a hotel in between Derby and Nottingham for the night. We had talked about going camping, but I wasn't well enough, so we managed to get a hotel for the night for £50 just off the M1. It had a pool, so we planned in time to go swimming too. We decided we would go to Nottingham first, and I had seen a post about a new vegan cafe there so I said we should go for breakfast.

It was really nice! It's called the Prickly Pear and it's really small, and the menu is quite small too, but everything is freshly made and delicious. I had scrambled tofu and Lee had potato rosti and a bacon and sausage cob. I would love to go back for lunch - I'd like to try their mac and cheese!

After breakfast we went to the National Justice Museum which is in Nottingham's old courthouse and gaol. It's £12 each but I would say it's worth it. We went right down to the bottom to start off with and looked at the cells and dungeons and stuff. We made our way up through the museum - it has lifts to each floor. There's also plenty of staff around to tell you interesting stories, which I appreciated.

We got back to the main floor at around 1.30, when there was a mock trial going on in the courtroom so we went in to watch that. Lee had to join in and be a witness who had aided the highwaywoman! It was pretty funny. We then decided we'd go into the cafe for a drink and a piece of cake. The red velvet cake was delicious!

Lastly we looked at the main floor of the museum which is about justice issues currently. There's stuff about protests and protest songs, and stuff about campaigns against violence against women. I liked this more modern stuff, I thought it was really good and sensitively done.

We then made our way to the hotel and checked in. It was a busy hotel but had been refurbished to a high standard. Our room was really cute and comfortable. We made our way downstairs to the leisure club and went swimming. The pool was really warm and the jacuzzi was gorgeous. We stayed a LONG time!

We got showered and then went to the restaurant for something to eat. We'd decided to do that because it meant we didn't have to find something else and didn't have to go out again. The restaurant didn't have tons of vegetarian options but enough, so I was okay. Lee had mushroom soup to start with then fish and chips which he said were lovely. I had hummus and pitta bread and then a halloumi burger which was delicious. I had a couple of drinks and then afterwards we played some of the board games that were in the bar. We played a word game that was a bit weird and then Battleships which I like.

We went back up to the room and ended up watching Die Hard With a Vengeance before bed! It had been a really lovely day :)

New type of pop in the Prickly Pear

These were coasters!

Scrambled tofu - I will have to make some of this myself!

Lee's potato rosti which came with chorizo sausages which neither of us really like

And his sausage and bacon cob

Opposite the justice museum 

Inside the old courtroom

Lee being a judge

I was really pleased to see these books - which I love, read my reviews here - in all their colourful splendour in a room in the museum


The toilets had this very fancy fireplace inside!

There was a whole bit about votes for women and about what you would protest for. I said trans rights

After swimming I showered and then while Lee was in the shower I did a face mask and had a drink

Lee in the restaurant wearing his Star Wars vow renewal t-shirt

Me in the restaurant


Mushroom soup

Halloumi burger

The weird word game

I had recently rediscovered these gorgeous earrings and have been wearing them loads

And finally battleships!

Monday, July 8, 2019

Jamaican Food in Manchester

Towards the end of May I went to Manchester to see my friend Amy and her new baby. I had met baby Daisy at the vow renewal, but didn't have much of a chance to cuddle her and see how Amy was doing. I offered to go over and Amy (who is vegan) gave me a whole range of restaurants to choose from. I said that the Caribbean place sounded right up my street so we set off in Amy's car. It is called The Drop and it's on Barlow Moor Road in Chorlton.

It was a sunny day so we could have sat outside but we chose to go inside. We were the only ones inside! I loved the decor, it was so colourful and pretty.

The menu has a bunch of lovely choices, including lots of veggie and a few vegan options. I was tempted by quite a few things, but Amy had mentioned the jerk halloumi so I went for that in a "lunch box" which meant it came with rice, coleslaw and a dumpling. Amy had dumplings and coleslaw and something else which I forget. It was really delicious food and really filling! Oh, and cheap too!

On the way back to Amy's we popped into the Tea Hive to buy cake. I couldn't stay much longer because I had to get home for 5pm, but I enjoyed my brownie later. It was a nice trip out!

The colourful wall

Fizzy pineapple juice - I wrote a whole zine about fizzy pop, I love this stuff especially

Amy's dumplings and fries

My jerk halloumi on a bed of rice with mango salsa, coleslaw, and a dumpling

Here's what I wore - I wore the skirt that I made by chopping the top off a Scarlett & Jo dress, and my new mustard coloured top with it

And my very yummy vegan brownie later!