Sunday, October 24, 2021

Camping in Essex - Day 1

You might remember that for the past few years my family and I have been camping together one weekend and it's become a really lovely tradition. We all cook for each other and it's such a nice relaxing time. Last year because of Covid we went in a static caravan and a lodge but still managed to have a great time. This year, it's mine and Lee's only camping trip, which is sad. I love our tent so much but camping is so hard on me. We'll see what happens next year. 

Anyway, a couple of years ago we had said we'd like to be near the sea, so I found a site on Mersea Island in Essex. We had it booked for last August bank holiday, but didn't feel it was Covid safe, so rescheduled for this year. My mum and stepdad set off earlier as they wanted to stay longer, that's better for them. Lee booked the Friday off so we set off around 10am when we'd taken the kittens to the cattery. The traffic was mostly fine but then we got off at a services and it took us an hour to get into them, get some food, and get back out again. There was a problem on the northbound motorway which was putting everything back on to the roundabout. It was very stressful but we managed to get to the site at around 3pm which was okay. My aunt, uncle and cousin were already there and they kindly helped us put our tent up which reduced my stress levels a lot. 

My other cousin and his wife weren't arriving until later, but for tea my mum and stepdad made hotdogs with salad - vegan hotdogs for me and Lee obviously. It was lovely! The weather was cold though - I think we've been spoilt because in the past it's always been so warm. We ended up sitting in my aunt and uncle's tent which was warm. 

However, this meant that when it was bedtime I was absolutely freezing. I got into bed in all my layers and laid very still with all the bedding wrapped around me. I fell asleep around 11.30pm. Lee and I have a big deep airbed that has an inbuilt pump and it's been really good when we've used it before. However, about 12.30am I woke up and the airbed had already deflated significantly. I burst into tears because I was so upset and annoyed and tired and cold. Lee looked to see if he could find a puncture but couldn't. My mum was still awake and came to help. In the end I ended up sleeping in the car (not ideal as I couldn't lie down, and I ended up in pain on Saturday) and Lee slept on the floor more or less, with extra blankets from my mum. 

Not ideal, but we got through it! Fortunately Caroline and Neil had a spare airbed for us to borrow the next night. 

Lee and I in front of our tent when it was up 

My new washing up bowl! Isn't it so cute! We had to go to Go Outdoors recently cos one of our tent poles was broken, and while Lee was waiting I bought a few things, including this. It's so useful as it a) has handles and b) folds flat. I love things like this for camping!

Me and our tent, I love it so much 

Peter and Neil played frisbee for a while. The site got a bit busier than this but in general it was a really quiet site, I would recommend it

I also bought these plastic champagne flutes in Go Outdoors for just 99p each. It's nice to drink fizzy wine out of them but know they won't break

Hotdogs! So yummy!

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Gaia in Wakefield and Afternoon Out with a Friend

The day after my last post I went first of all to Wakefield to see Gaia, which was at Wakefield Cathedral. It is satellite imagery of the world, it's seven metres in diameter and it's not going too many places so I'm really happy it came to Wakefield and that I got to see it. I suggested it to my mum so we met up just as it was opening, which is really good because when we came out the queue was huge!

I'm quite used to the inside of Wakefield Cathedral, but haven't seen it since they took all the pews out (I'm not sure if that's a Covid thing or what). But the space is now perfect for something as big as this to look perfect in. Me and my mum stood on the steps for a little bit watching the world slowly move round. Then we went closer to it (I wish we'd been able to go underneath but it's very low and there was a barrier) and then we sat down and watched it spin. I looked up maps on my phone so we could see what land masses were what exactly, like Madagascar and the Falkland Islands. It was so cool, I really liked it. 

We had a coffee together and then I drove off to Pot House Hamlet to meet my friend Gillian. It was her suggestion as she liked it so much a few weeks ago when we went, so she'd booked a table. She had both her children, L and E, with her, which was nice. The food is always so good - I had smashed avocado on toast with crumbled feta and salad, and some of their amazing twice cooked chips. Oh and that apple juice was lush - I had to get some at Tesco later in the day!

After lunch we headed to Cannon Hall. We parked at the bottom and took the girls into the playground there. L was really brave and went up the cargo rigging all by herself and down the slide. We each pushed one of them on the swings each and then sat on the grass for a little bit just chatting. Then we walked over to the ice cream shack and got an ice cream. It was really sunny so nice to sit outside for a while enjoying it and of course lovely to see Gillian and the girls. 

I got home around 3.30 and not too long after that Lee and I went to Tesco to buy supplies for the weekend, as we were going camping with my family. You'll see that in my next posts... 

I don't think you quite get the scale of Gaia in this photo

Here's me and my mum!

South America

I think this was New Zealand

Pink Lady apple juice, how yummy! 

I swear there's avocado and toast under there somewhere... 

And here's baby E, she's such a cutie!

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Tea Out with a Friend and Trying Contact Lenses

A couple of days after Lee's birthday I had a busy week, I picked up a temporary job so did that on Monday, and then on Tuesday I had to get up early to go to Specsavers to get a free trial of contact lenses.

I wore monthly lenses when I was in my teens, and then again in my twenties, but I always struggled with screens while wearing them so eventually I just gave up. But recently I'd been thinking that I would like to wear fun sunglasses again, so maybe I should try lenses again. 30 pairs at Specsavers costs around £30, which seems fine by me as they'll last me way more than a month. 

I went into the shop and was asked to put the lenses in, which was fine. I was surprised by how clear everything was - I could read the very bottom line of the eye chart. The optician said they looked good, so off I went. I didn't want to take them out so decided to test drive them all day. I did some work and they were fine, and then I was upstairs on my own computer and they were fine too. I was meeting my friend Laura for tea so I wore one pair of sunglasses to drive across to meet her. By the time I got home around 7.30, my eyes were tired, but I was also tired, and I had been wearing them for 10.5 hours at that point! I was so impressed though. 

I recently got some more slip on Converse from eBay. I love my black ones so much and noticed that there were other patterns available (I really want some white ones!). I bid on these on eBay and got them for just over £25 I think. These floral ones aren't yet as comfortable as my black ones but I'm hopeful they'll stretch over time. I was also wearing this dress with fans on from Simply Be, it's absolutely ancient but I pulled it out again. I love the pattern on it so much and it's very easy to wear. 

Waiting for Laura in the car wearing these ridiculous heart shaped leopard print sunglasses, they were from Matalan and were less than a fiver!

Laura and I met at Prashad which is a totally vegetarian Indian restaurant in Drighlington. It's so worth going, it's delicious. I've been a few times. Lee and I got a takeaway in lockdwo and they weren't doing the mango lassi, so this time they are so I had to have one!

I had chaat to start with which is so spicy and delicious and served cold. I only ate about half because of the spice level

Laura and I both had the paneer biryani which came with a nice yoghurt dip too

Look at all the layers in this! Gorgeous. I brought half of this home too

Floral slip on Converse

And here I am in this Simply Be dress, wearing my contacts still!

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Lee's Birthday Meal Out

We went out the day after Lee's birthday to celebrate, as we'd been in Durham the day before. Lee wanted to go for curry, so I suggested going to Maveli in Sheffield. Lee and I came across it once after an event, and really liked the food. I also really appreciated the veggie stuff on the menu and the fact that they have an extensive vegan menu. I knew my mum and stepdad would like it, and Lee invited his friend Leah too. 

Lee and I went to Sheffield about 2.30 and went to Revolution for drinks. Some cocktails were on 2 for £10 so I had two Mean Girls to start off with. My mum and stepdad arrived about 3.45 and my mum and I had a Pornstar Martini each. Leah arrived so we were all chatting. She'd brought Lee a copy of her record which was cool (they used to be in a band together but are now in separate ones). My mum and Norman bought Lee a guitar pedal bag which is cool. 

Norman and I had a Zombie cocktail each which is one of my favourites - rum and pineapple and fire! Delicious! Then we went round to Maveli. We hadn't booked a table but it was early, only around 5.30 so we got a table easily.

The food is absolutely gorgeous, but the service was soooo sloooow. It wasn't that busy but I think they were being kept busy with takeaway orders and it just took forever for our starters to come and then our mains. It was a bit disappointing. But the flavours are amazing with real depth of spices. I had cauliflower varuval and then paneer and spinach curry with rice. Everyone enjoyed what they had and my mum said she'd definitely go back. 

We got back home around 8.30 and Lee wanted to watch a livestream with some friends which he does most Sunday evenings. I got into bed - I was really tired and wanted to lie down. I was watching a documentary about the Boleyn family which was really interesting! 

I bought Lee this Vault Boy bobblehead, he's obsessed with Fall Out

I also bought him this book, we have the other vegetarian one in the series and it's marvellous so I'm excited to make some stuff from this

In Revolution

So fetch!

Lee took this of me

Zombie cocktail

Cauliflower starter with gorgeous dips

And paneer curry, itwas lush!

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Family Party in August

On Saturday 21st August it was Lee's 39th birthday... and also his dad's 60th birthday! Lee was born just after midnight on his dad's 21st birthday. Lee's dad had decided to have a party so we set off for Durham just after 9am.

We went to see Lee's mam and stepdad and one of his brothers to begin with. They fed us some lunch and then we went to Lee's dad's house about 2pm. There were quite a few people already there, and a bouncy castle in the back garden! There were plenty of kids running about. The weather was dryish so we sat outside, then it stopped raining entirely so that was good. There was a buffet and plenty of drinks. About 6pm it started raining heavily so we went inside. People were leaving by then, but there were still enough people to chat to. Eventually it was just us, Lee's dad and stepmam, and his littlest sister Victoria and her boyfriend who we hadn't met before, so it was nice to. We left about 8.45pm and went back to Lee's mam's house just for a little bit. We got home just before midnight. It was a long day but it was worth it because it was so nice! Lee and his brother and sister had clubbed together to get Michael a Samsung smart watch and he liked that. Due to lockdown we haven't been able to see Lee's family for months and months so it was nice to. 

I stole most of these photos off Kim, Lee's sister, so thank you very much to her. 

I was wearing this Yours dress with a boat neck and pretty mint green skirt. I've had it a while but don't wear it very often, it's very nice to wear though and I love how it looks!

Me in my Yours dress

Lee's sister Victoria, his dad Michael, and sister Kim

Victoria and Kim

Lee's dad and stepmam Mary

Michael and his cake

Michael on the right and his brothers Peter and Kevin, who is usually known as Ox

And Michael with his balloons!

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

What I wore 14th August

In the middle of August Lee and I had a nice morning out in Penistone. We live not too far away and we really like going to the market. It's been a little small in the pandemic, but there's always a cake and bread stall, a vegetable stall, and usually a cheese stall which also sells amazing butter. Lee said we should go, and we had also been meaning to go to the Art House Deli cafe for breakfast, and I wanted to pop into Tesco, so we decided to combine all those things. We set off a little bit later than I would have liked because I slept in, I needed to sleep! 

We went to the market first because we weren't sure what time it packed up. We got some sourdough bread and some fruit and vegetables from that stall. Then we bought butter and I got twp types of cheese: smoked feta and a pecorino. She gave me a sliver of that to taste and while it's quite strong and verging on too strong for me, I liked it so decided to buy some. Mission accomplished!

We then drove round to near the church where the cafe is, because we weren't sure what time they stop serving breakfast. They actually do it all day. We both had a veggie breakfast and a hot chocolate, and it was all very delicious and nice! 

We then went back to Tesco. I haven't been in a supermarket for weeks, so I picked up some snacks, some wine, and some interesting Malibu drink that should be nice! 

We got home and made some mulligatawny soup that we were planning to eat for tea with the fresh bread and butter and cheese. It was pretty easy to do. We cooked it then left it for later, when we blended it and reheated it to eat. It was nice! 

I was wearing my La t-shirt with my flamingo skirt that was originally a dress. It was from Lindy Bop originally, who I understand have gone under. That's a shame. Plus size retailers just seem to get fewer and fewer... 

Sunday, October 3, 2021

I Tried A Flotation Tank and Didn't Like It!

I have been interested for a while in trying out a flotation tank because I've heard they can be good for anxiety and good for people with joint problems, which I am both of. It can aid joint problems because you basically achieve weightlessness. I was apprehensive though because I don't like the dark, and I also wasn't sure how big the pod would be and as I'm a big person I was a little bit worried about it. I asked around if anyone had done it before, but I couldn't find many answers. 

Then my friend Laura started saying she wanted to try it too. There's a company in Huddersfield that does it, so we talked about doing it together but then Covid happened so we never got round to it. But as things were opening up again I thought I would make myself an appointment. One session is £40 and I thought, well even if I don't like it, I can afford to lose forty quid on it. That session includes a full hour of floating and a relaxing drink afterwards. 

So I made the appointment for mid August and set off early to get there for ten am. When I arrived I was a little bit apprehensive because the building didn't look open. But I went in and met the staff member working. He showed me into the room where the pod was, told me what to do, and left me to it. This was just before 10am. 

I got undressed - you float naked - and showered under the shower in the corner. The room was darkly lit with colour changing bulbs and when the blue light was on the room was really quite dark. The pod also had a colour changing light. To begin with there was like a jacuzzi jet putting more water in, and then, the man explained, there would be fifteen minutes of music, then nothing, but the music would come on five minutes before the end of the hour so I would know to get out and get showered. 

The jet stopped and I got into the water. It is saturated with Epsom salts which is what makes you float, and I have to admit that it felt really nice on my skin - it made my skin all slippy. The water is warm, too, so that is nice. The music started and it was like nature sounds, which I also like. However, I was having problems with the gel earplugs I'd been given. One went in fine but the other wouldn't go in properly meaning I could hear things around it and when I laid down in the water I was getting bubbles in my ear which was distracting to say the least. I tried to put it back in at least ten times but just couldn't get it right.

However, I pulled down the lid of the pod and tried my best. The pod was huge - I could have laid in it with someone else and still have had enough room. On one side there's a switch to turn the light off and at the other there's a panic button, although the man did tell me that no one had ever pressed it in genuine alarm. As I don't like the dark I didn't turn the lights off within the pod.

However, the lights went off in the room. I could tell because the light disappeared from around the edge of the pod lid. When I put the lid up, the lights clicked back on - they were obviously on a motion sensor. But that made me freak on that they weren't on; I didn't like it. 

But I did try! The fifteen minutes of music stopped and I floated in the pod for about five minutes after that. My entire body DID float - my bum wasn't touching the bottom of the pod at all. It's a weird sensation but quite nice - my arms and legs were right up and even my boobs were floatinga bit! I didn't mind that. BUT the lights kept changing and again the blue was really dark and that freaked me out. Plus the earplug! That wasn't relaxing. 

I tried sitting up in the pod for a bit - there's enough room for you to do that. That did help, but again when the light went off in the room outside I freaked out. I was just like, is this fun, am I having a good time? And the answer was no. I got up, got dry and dressed, and decided to leave. It was by this point 10.30, so I think I had given it a good enough go. 

I said to the guy that I didn't like the lights and the darkness, and he said he had had to have around three sessions before he'd really relaxed into it and liked it. He said I didn't have to pay which I appreciated. I left and came home. 

I think if the light in the room had been better, I would have been okay. I also think that if someone else had been there with me, I'd have been better. And maybe if my bloody earplug had worked, I would have been okay too. But all the things together just made me panic and I couldn't relax. So I got myself out of there, and that's okay.

At least I can say I've tried it now!