Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Outside cat!

Ivy came to live with us almost ten years ago when she was around 18 months old. We live on quite a busy street so she has been an indoor cat. We weren't even sure if she'd ever been outside and she has mostly not been bothered with open doors and stuff. She got out into the back yard that we share with neighbours once and was thoroughly scared, and she doesn't like rain so she never tried to get out. Our front garden is raised up from the road and the wall at the front of it was broken when we moved in twelve years ago and the garden was in a mess.

We finally got the wall mended in 2014, and then my stepdad put up the fence and gate for us, and then a few weeks ago we had some turf put down. Lee has been using the front door for a while as his car is parked on the road, and Ivy at first was quite suspicious of that - she spends a lot of her time on the living room windowsill which is very wide for lounging on and very warm for sunbathing. But she got used to it, so last week we decided to take her out into the garden.

The neighbours have freedom of access across our garden due to the odd way the houses are set out, so there's a gate at each side of the garden, and low fences at either side and on the front. Ivy has a lead and we took her outside on it and sat on the grass with her. To begin with she was a bit skittish (she is quite a neurotic cat to be honest), especially at the loud noises like busses going past, but she was okay. That was Sunday 7th August.

On Monday, the weather was so lovely that I took her out at lunchtime and read my book while I ate my lunch outside. She was exploring a lot more and settled down eventually. Since then we've had her outside every day and she's really happy and has even been sitting on the mat scratching the door asking to be let out! I'm really proud of how well she's done and I've been soaking up some sunshine too. Plus, when Lee's been with me, we've enjoyed just sitting on the grass chatting to each other.

It'll be a shame when the weather turns, although I suspect Ivy won't be bothered about going outside much then anyway!

Eating some delicious grass

Exploring. We've blocked up the fence in the corner there where she could have got through. 

I was lying on the grass watching her roll around on the path and took this very cute photo. Love her!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Visiting relatives

The other day I mentioned to my mum that I was going to Blacker Hall Farm Cafe for lunch. "Oh, with your grandma?" she said. "No," I said, "I'm meeting two friends. Why is grandma going?"

It turned out that a a relative of my grandma's, who is Australian, was visiting England on her round the world trip and had been staying with my grandma's cousin Penny in Gateshead. They were coming down for the day and my grandma was taking them to Blacker Hall Farm Cafe for lunch. 

It's a really nice cafe. The farm shop has been there forever and sells organic fruit and vegetables, meat, deli items, beer and wine. I could spend a fortune in there! The cafe is really big and serves really delicious food. I recommend it if you're in the area! 

I met my friends and kept an eye out for my grandma. I had a short conversation with her and my relatives and was invited to have tea with them in the evening. It was nice to meet Meredith, she was really lovely.

My stepdad took this photo

And I took this selfie of me and my stepcousin N who was staying with my mum for the week

Thursday, August 25, 2016

What I Wore August 13th

I had been looking on Simply Be for day dresses and saw this one. It reminded me very much of the Scarlett & Jo dresses with its plain top and floral skirt, but I liked the added twist of the lace sleeves. I love a lace sleeve because they show off my tattoos!

I also fell in love with these shoes; I like sandals but just don't have enough that are scure on my feet like these are. I thought the two went nicely together so wore them for a trip to Sheffield to meet some friends and eat burritos.

The only problem is that the fabric of the skirt is shinier than I was expecting, sort of like scuba material. I still like it, but I think it's the only dress I have like this so far!

I really liked the browns and creams of the floral skirt, I think they're nice for the summer but also will be nice in the autumn

Here you can get a better view. The dress is available here for £55. The neck is a cute sweetheart shape and the lace sleeves are really nice. The wide elastic waistband is one of my favourite things because I think it suits my shape

Here are the shoes. They're Sole Diva ones so they're a wide fitting and feel really comfortable. They're real leather which is great, and they're a really pretty gold colour. The laces are a little plain so I might replace them with some ribbon or something. The shoes are available here for £30.

Check out the rest of Simply Be's day dresses here.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

What I Wore August 16th

I bought this skirt back in April when I went shopping with my mum (when I got this dress), but I hadn't worn it until now. I was waiting for nice weather so that I didn't have to wear anything underneath it! The weather has been beautiful recently, so I wore this for a trip to Huddersfield and then tea with my mum and stepdad (and Lee of course).

It's a gorgeously full skirt, it's really long on me, and I love the pattern. I used to have loads of skirts like this but recently the fashion for them seems to have disappeared. I'm glad to have this one to add to my collection!

The material is quite thin so I would probably like to wear an underskirt with it, but it does mean it's very cool in hot weather.

My top is from Simply Be, I got it recently in a three pack with a grey one and a white one.

This doesn't even show the full extent of the skirt

A more close up of the pattern

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Books of the Month - July

It was a good month for books, I read ten! Here's a round up.

The Telling by Jo Baker. My friend Laura lent this to me and although I probably wouldn't have ever picked it up myself, I really liked it. There was a dual narrative which I really liked.

Songs About A Girl by Chris Russell. I liked this cute story about a girl who goes to photograph a famous boy band. My in depth review is here

Dear Amy by Helen Callaghan. This is one of those Gone Girl type of books, I enjoyed it but it's not the best book in the world. I review it here

Mrs Hemingway by Naomi Wood. This was for my book club, Steph sent me her copy which was lovely of her. I liked it, I felt like the last wife got a rough deal from both Ernest and the book. I liked the stuff set in the 30s and 40s and in France. 

Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield. This was just stunning, such a good example of YA literature. I recommend everyone goes to read this immediately. My review is here

Rough Music by Patrick Gale. I really like Patrick Gale (one of my favourite novels is Notes From An Exhibition) so I saw this for cheap on Kindle. I liked it a lot, it was intriguing and the characters were good. 

Symmetry by Laura Price. Okay, this clearly isn't the cover, that's because this was written by my friend Laura and I was one of the first people to be able to read it! It's a really creepy, sinister story and is set in Yorkshire and the North East. I have such talented friends and it was a pleasure to read.

Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller. This is an excellent dystopian novel about a girl whose dad takes her to a remote German cabin and tells her the rest of the world has ended. My review is here. Read it. 

A Thousand Salt Kisses by Josie Demuth. The premise of this was better than the actuality of it. Also every single synonym for "said" was used, and it was jarring. 

Word Nerd by Susin Nielsen. This is a very cute Middle Grade novel in the vein of Wonder. I really liked the main characters. My review is here

Wow, I really did have a good book month, I liked a lot of these!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Films of the Month - July

Did I do better than last month's frankly shameful number of films? Yes, but just barely. Ah well!

Back to the Future Part II is maybe my favourite of the franchise.

Lee had put this on one evening when I went downstairs so I watched it even though it wouldn't be my first choice of film. I don't really like Adam Sandler, but I find him quite sweet in this and I like Drew Barrymore a lot. I think this is a sweet and funny film.

My friends and I went to see this at the cinema and it wasn't great. It passed the time and was funny in parts, but I think basically it was an excuse to go film in the south of France! It needed more Saffy too. 

This came up recommended for me on Netflix so I gave it a whirl. It's about how the Denver Post covered the fact that marijuana was made legal in Colorado, it's a really interesting documentary. 

Lee and I finally managed to watch all of this. We were in the cinema watching it when Lee's brother phoned to tell him that their uncle had been killed in a road accident, so we immediately left the cinema and have never been able to face watching the end of the film even though we both wanted to. Anyway, we did, and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

I never really enjoyed the original X Men films, I only really liked the ones with James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, but after we'd seen Apocalypse last month, my friend Jacqui told me to go back to the beginning and watch them again. Lee thought this was a good idea so we watched this while away in Whitby and I did enjoy it more this time. 

We also hadn't seen this in forever and a day so watched it in Whitby. It's one of my favourite films against racism of all time.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Punkypins sale splurge!

My BFF Sam has bought quite a few pins from Punky Pins over the years and recently let me know that they were having a sale. I went on the website and found loads of stuff in the sale, from 83p! Eighty-three pence! Gosh. I went a bit mad and bought fifteen different things, which with postage came to around £18. I think you'll agree that that is a bargain!

First of all these are all the brooches/pins I bought, plus a pair of dangly earrings.

A nautical star pin, one that says "Be awesome", one that says "Be yourself", and one that says "Wild and free". Then these gorgeous tattoo art style dangly earrings in the shape of swallows. I need to put some of these pins on my jacket!

And here's the eight pairs of earrings I bought, plus a very cute deer necklace. The earrings are bees, more swallows, clouds, teapots, strawberries, birds, mushrooms, and blue anchors. 

Now the eagle eyed amongst you might be able to see that there's only fourteen items here but I bought fifteen. That's because one thing went off to my friend Lucinda as a present... Hope she likes it!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Day in Saltburn

Whitby was absolutely heaving while we were there so we headed up the coast to Saltburn. We've been before and it's really lovely, and was even lovelier in the sunshine. We'd been swimming in the apartment block in the morning, so we had lunch in the apartment and set off around 1.45pm. It's about 17 miles to Saltburn and we managed to park easily and walked over to the pier. We played in the amusements a bit, then walked on to the pier and looked at all this gorgeous yarnbombing that is Yorkshire themed!

We also played mini golf (Lee won five holes, I won four, and we drew on one!) and then drove down to Sandsend to have hot chocolate and cake. We were both tired so in the evening we got a takeaway curry and ate it in the apartment in our nightwear! I had a lovely bottle of prosecco and we watched a couple of films. It was just the kind of quiet and relaxed evening we needed before coming home the next day.

I took loads of pictures of the yarnbombing to share:

It did say Yorkshire but because of the bright sun I couldn't see I hadn't got the E!

A little map of Yorkshire

Chuffed to bits

No cheese Gromit!

From the phrase "'Ow's tha diddlin'? Fair to middlin'" meaning "How are you doing? So so."

Yarndale! And the lovely Lucy from Attic 24

I loved this crocheted Yorkshire tea teapot!

"It's either nowt or summat"

Grimethorpe Colliery Band - the people are supposed to be the main characters from Brassed Off

The Rhubarb Triangle! This is where I'm from!

Yorkshire motto "It'll be okay"

A miner, it says "Last shift down t'pit"

"Where there's muck there's brass" which is a great phrase meaning "Where there's dirt/tragedy there's money to be made", it also has an air of disapproving of someone making money off someone's misery

Black Sheep brewery

And finally, Captain Cook!

The pier itself, look at all those happy holidaymakers. So typically British!

And here's Lee and I being punks by the seaside! What a lovely day.