Friday, June 29, 2018

Trip to Hathersage Lido

I've been meaning to go to Hathersage Lido for about four years. Located in Derbyshire just on the south west of Sheffield, it's about 45 minutes away from our house across the tops, and I've got quite a few friends who've been before, so I've always wanted to make a trip and go. I mentioned it to Lee, who was off work the last week in May, so we said we'd go on the Friday. Only the weather was forecast to be rainy, so we weren't sure if we'd be able to go, but I said we should go there anyway and have a nice lunch out. Anyway, when we woke up it was hazy but sunny, so we set off.

The public session starts at 10.30 on a Friday, so we set off about 9.30 from our house. We've been near Hathersage camping so we sort of knew the way, and we had a nice drive down. We arrived about 10.20 and joined a queue - there were about 20 people ahead of us. The pool does have a capacity so I'd recommend getting there early in case it's really busy. There's quite a few changing rooms, so Lee and I got changed and then stashed all our stuff in two lockers.

The pool is heated, so it felt warm enough to get into. It's quite big, but it gets deep quite quickly so we had to hang on to the side a lot when we swam to the deep end. There was a rope down the length so people could lane swim, which is good if you want a proper swim, but Lee and I stayed in the other part. There were quite a few kids in, but not too many and we still had a lovely swim.

We stayed in until about noon, by which time I was just about to get cold. The sun was peeking through the clouds and we both definitely caught the sun, but I was at the point where I was beginning to feel chilly. On another day I would have sunbathed for a bit, but instead we each had a shower (there aren't many showers, so I was glad we'd got out before the cut off and everyone got out) and got dry.

We went into Hathersage for lunch, stopping at a pub called the Scotsman's Pack. The food was really nice - freshly prepared and delicious. I had a halloumi, avocado, and beetroot hummus salad, and Lee had vegetarian sausages and mash. I'd wanted some local ice cream so I was glad they had loads of flavours. I had salted caramel and double chocolate, and Lee had a chocolate brownie with mint choc chip ice cream.

We will definitely go swimming there again some time, it's utterly worth it if you're nearby. I don't think I've ever been to a lido before but I'd go to another!

I swear it was sunny when we were actually in the pool, these pictures make it look really dark

Plenty of room to swim!

My salad

Lee's brownie

And finally my ice cream! 

We had such a lovely day!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Trip to Darlington in May

At the end of May I went to Darlington with my friend Katie to see our friend Kate. The three of us met at university sixteen years ago and have been friends ever since. I see Katie a few times a year because she lives in Wakefield, but I hadn't seen Kate in a year so we'd organised to get together again. We were going to meet up in Leeds like we did last year (which I seem to not have posted about), but I was a bit skint so I asked if we could drive up to Kate's and just go a pub instead. They both agreed, so I picked Katie up and we headed up to Darlington which didn't take long. The sun was just about breaking through the haze!

We went to The Tuns in Sadberge, where Kate's brother Paul is a chef. There's a nice beer garden so we sat outside and I think all of us caught the sun! We each had a starter, a main, and a dessert. I had pate to start with, then a savoury pancake with salmon and prawns, and then chocolate brownie. They were all extremely good and I'd really recommend the pub for food and for friendly staff too.

We stayed about three hours just chatting in the sunshine, before going back to Kate's, where we didn't stay very long before Katie and I set off back home.

I love these girls so very much - we lived together for three years at uni, they were my bridesmaids, and even though we don't see each other all that often, I know that they both have my back if I ever need them. We've decided to try to see each other over the summer instead of leaving it so long next time!

Coarse pate with bruschetta and onion chutney

Savoury pancake with salmon and prawns - this was so nice, and something really different

The most gorgeous squidgy chocolatey brownie!

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Films of the Month - May

I watched eight films in May which was quite a low number, but I really enjoyed what I did watch.

The first film I watched was The Rachel Divide on Netflix, which is about Rachel Dolezal and the controversy around her claiming to be black. It was a really interesting documentary and I would thoroughly recommend it. I don't want a picture of Rachel on my blog as I utterly think she's in the wrong, but I would recommend watching the film.

I have a bit of a thing about Mt Everest, I'm sort of fascinated with it. I don't see the point in climbing it so I'm really interested in people who do climb it. I also have a morbid fascination in all the dead bodies that are just left up there because it's too expensive to bring them down or because their families have decided to leave them on the mountain. I've read the book that this film is based on and like I say, I find it morbidly fascinating. 

I've got a list of some Disney films I want to see that I've not seen before and Brave was one of them. I enjoyed it, Kelly Macdonald and Billy Connolly were both great and the story is pretty cute. 

Lee has never seen the Hunger Games trilogy so we started watching it. I had to answer a lot of questions about the world that it's set in, but he thought it was a decent film. 

After I'd seen Love, Simon, I wanted to see this because Nick Robinson is also in it. I haven't read the book, although I've read The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon. I liked this film, Amandla Steinberg is fabulous. 

Someone recommended this to me on Facebook and I'm so glad they did. It's got Jodie Whittaker as a woman who has lost her twin brother and is about to turn thirty without him. She's muddling through life and trying to deal with her grief, so I empathised a lot with her. It's a really great film.

Walk the Line is one of my favourite films as I'm a huge Johnny Cash fan and think both Joaquin and Reese were perfectly cast in this. I love the music

Lastly I watched Moana, it was also on my list of Disney films. I thought it looked stunning, the ocean especially looked gorgeous! I'd watch this again.

Friday, June 22, 2018

What I Wore May 27th

I had no clue what I wanted to wear for my mum's birthday, but when I was searching for what to wear the day before I came across my Sprinkle of Glitter skirt and thought it would be nice for a party. I didn't know what to wear with it, so I searched through a lot of tops before coming across this one from Evans, which I've had for about five years. I know that for certain because I can remember wearing it in Benidorm in 2013! I thought the two items looked nice together.

I would probably have left my legs bare except I hadn't shaved them, so I decided to wear my grey leggings from Joe Brown's. I love them but they're quite thick and I was really hot. It was lovely that the weather was so nice because it meant we could sit outside all weekend, but it was really sweaty and sticky too!

Lots of people said they liked my outfit which was nice of them! I would wear this again, I think the pieces worked well together.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Mum's Birthday Weekend Day 2

My mum's birthday itself was Sunday the 27th of May and she had a big party planned at her church after the service. She and the rest of my family went off to church, while Lee and I stayed at home and then went to meet everyone about 12.30. Some people had stuck around after church so it was a bit of a picnic! The bouncy castle arrived and the face painting lady arrived, and the church cafe was open to do tea, coffee, scones, and cake, because that's what my mum wanted. The kitchen head, Frank, did really well and I'm glad she decided to do that.

People started arriving from around 1.30pm and the kids were all over the bouncy castle. Lee's mam, stepdad, one of his brothers, and his friend Paul all came down together in one car so it was lovely to see them. Tons of my mum's friends came, some from really far away! One of her cousins came, and his son and grandson, who I hadn't yet met, so that was really lovely. I think there was around a hundred people there!

I had asked my mum's sister and my uncle to give a short speech each because I knew my mum would like it, and if I gave one too. I thought about asking my stepdad, but he was really stressed when he had to give a speech at their wedding, so I thought he wouldn't mind if I didn't ask. We rounded everyone into the main church area and I went first.

I thanked people for coming, and then I told everyone about some things that my mum is, including being a very good bookkeeper and dressmaker. Everyone laughed and applauded me, and I got very choked up but managed to not cry! Caroline went next and she said lovely things about being good friends with my mum as well as her sister, and then Neil went last. He and my mum are very close too. My mum then said something really briefly but we had sprung it on her because I wasn't sure she would agree! I was really nervous but proud of myself for doing it.

I had my face painted with flowers and glitter, the lady was a friend of a friend and she was so friendly and also really talented. She did loads of faces and arms and had unicorn horns and flashing lights and all kinds of things! I'd recommend her so if you need a facepainter hit me up. My mum was really pleased she'd had a facepainter and the bouncy castle.

We all left the church at about 5pm and went to my mum's. She opened some of her presents (so much alcohol!). There were 17 of us left by this point so we all went to a nearby pub for tea. I was sitting with my godmother, Lee, my cousin Peter, my second cousin Ben, his son, and his girlfriend. It's ages since we've seen Ben so it was really nice. I had a burger with halloumi in, and chocolate cake with ice cream. The pub, the Dam Inn at Newmillerdam in Wakefield, has recently been refurbished and it's really nice if you're in the area.

After that we went back to my mum's, getting fewer in number as people left. She opened her presents and Lee and I didn't leave hers until after 1am! It was a long day but I know my mum really enjoyed herself and that was the main thing.

Here's my photos of the day plus some I stole off Facebook:

On our way! This lipstick is from Models Own and it's semi matte and utterly gorgeous

Have you ever seen a bouncy castle in front of a baptismal?

Lee's brother, Lee, Peter, Paul. Peter was doing somersaults

Lots of bouncing going on

Just as Peter was about to do a forward flip

And just after!

I didn't get on the bouncy castle properly but I did lie on the front bit and get bounced about a bit which was fun

My face painting! The bit in the middle is a sticker and I had to take it off because it was itching me. The right hand side is pure glitter and it kept falling off me in huge bits, I think I'm still covered in it now

My mum's arm painting and a bit of her dress, which she made herself!

Me giving my speech! Lisa took this photo. We had to stand at the lectern to use the microphone there but it did look a bit like we were giving the sermon

My mum saying thank you

And this is Sarah's photo from the back of the church so you can see most of the people there! So many!

Monday, June 18, 2018

What I Wore May 26th

I didn't really have any spare cash to buy any new clothes for my mum's birthday weekend, so I wasn't sure what I wanted to wear. I'm glad I waited though because it was hotter than it was forecast to be, so I was glad I could choose a summer outfit to fit in with the weather. On the Friday I remembered this dress which I bought last year in a sale from Yours, but hadn't worn yet. I thought it would be perfect.

The dress is really light and floaty, which is perfect for summer, and it has this pretty lace trim around the neck and the bottom. The top half has sequins on the pale blue flowers which makes it feel like a fancy dress! I wore it with an ancient crocheted top from New Look which is also really cool and summery. I'll definitely take this dress on holiday this summer!

I forgot to take an outfit photo until we got home at nearly midnight, so do excuse my everything

I had also painted my nails this gorgeous pale lilac from Essie, it applied really nicely too.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Mum's Birthday Weekend Day 1

As I said, my mum turned sixty at the end of May. She planned a whole weekend with loads of people, and it was really lovely but now it's the day after and I've totally crashed and feel really ill. I'll have to be gentle to myself for a couple of days to get over it!

My stepdad's mum arrived a couple of days before, and my godmother and her husband who live in France were staying with my mum too. My mum's sister and family arrived about the same time we did on Saturday. The plan for Saturday was for family to have afternoon tea at my mum's house. They had put tables in the living room and outside, so fourteen of us could move around freely. She had ordered afternoon tea from a lady who brings it and all the crockery and then takes all the crockery home so you don't have to do any washing up. She was a really nice person and I would recommend her!

She brought afternoon tea on cake stands, plus cups, saucers, teapots, cafetiere, coffee, tea, little bottles of milk, and everything else we needed! The tea consisted of ham, egg, and tuna sandwiches, lemon cakes, scones, and really yummy brownies. There was loads to eat and we all really enjoyed it.

The weather was gorgeous so we sat in the garden while my mum opened presents from all of us that were there. She got some really lovely stuff, including tickets to see the Bat Out Of Hell musical in London and a new watch. We gave her the blanket I posted and also bought her gift vouchers for the Titanic Spa in Huddersfield. My godmother and her husband had been to Asda and bought £60 worth of food for the food bank at my mum's church, which was a really thoughtful gesture and one she was thrilled about.

In the evening we ordered pizzas and I spent the whole day having my drink topped up by someone or another. My mum had been stockpiling prosecco for months and we also had some proper champagne to toast my mum.

Here's my photos:

After the historic vote in Ireland, Lee decided to wear his Repeal the 8th t-shirt in celebration. I bought it for him for Valentine's Day 

My mum saw these cakes in Betty's in April and decided she'd like one. They're individual fondant fancies! Isn't the effect really pretty?

Me and my best cousin Peter, I love him and I'm so proud of him - he's currently thriving at university in Bournemouth

The hampers the afternoon tea arrived in. So pretty and cute

I really liked these little bottles that the milk came in 

The cake stands 

And the plates and napkins, really pretty and cute too 

My favourite were these pink and gold cups

Lee and my cousins and my cousin's wife got really into this game, Anomia, and spent ages playing it

I think Rob did best but there were lots of laughs involved. I didn't play because I kept wandering between inside and outside

Last thing I had a fondant fancy - it was really nice. They were like mini Victoria sponges inside!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Lunch Out and A New Tattoo

At the end of May I had an appointment for a new tattoo. While we were clearing out the cellar last year I found a card from my parents that my dad had written for me. I think it must have been when I finished my degree, when I was 21. Now, usually my mum signs all the cards, so the fact that this one was from my dad made it really special. I thought then that I would like to have "Love Dad" tattooed, and then I completely forgot about it. Then the picture popped up on Timehop in March and I thought, oh yes I really do need to get that done. So I made the appointment.

Then I asked my friend Chloe to make a 60th birthday card for my mum using pages from the book Rebecca, which I'm named after. She suggested meeting up for lunch so she could give it to me, so since I was over that way of the world for my tattoo I suggested meeting after that.

So I trekked off to Heckmondwike on the 24th of May. Nini traced the writing out of the card and got it all sorted. The tattoo didn't take too long but I really love it. It's nice to have my dad's writing with me forever.

I messaged Chloe when I was done and we met near Ikea and went to Pizza Express. We had voucher codes so we got three courses for £13 which was a bargain. I had garlic bread with cheese, a La Reine pizza, and ice cream. We chatted for ages and had a really lovely time.

When I came home I completely crashed - I think the week had been difficult and I just lost all my adrenaline and needed a bit of rest before my mum's birthday weekend. That's fine - it's allowed!

I took some photos of my lunch and my tattoo:

This garlic bread was small but really yummy!

Ham and mushroom pizza is one of my favourite things in the world

Salted caramel and chocolate ice cream

My dad had terrible writing. We think he should have been lefthanded but wasn't allowed to be (I'm lefthanded). Still, I love how unusual it is! I love it

Monday, June 11, 2018

A Blanket for My Mum

My mum is turning sixty at the end of May, and around Christmas when I made the blanket for Lee, I offered to make her one too. She chose the colour pack that she liked, but I decided to make Sandra Cherry Heart's earlier blanket, just called Spice of Life. Having made it, I think the first one is a lot simpler, but also a bit more boring in parts, there's quite a lot of rows that are just trebles which can get repetitive. I would make the second one, the one for Lee called A Spicier Life, again, if I made another - which I might! I'm not sure yet, but I do have two more packs of yarn ready to go!

Anyway, this is the Bollywood colourway and my mum chose it because she liked the bright colours. There isn't a colour I dislike in this pack at all, unlike in Lee's where I didn't like some of the paler colours. I didn't end up using Violet, because I needed one less colour and I thought there were already a couple of purples in the pack. I made a list of the colours in the original pattern and then matched kind of by "theme" eg Parchment became Buttermilk which are both kind of pale neutrals, and Petrol became Emperor because they're both quite strong dark colours. Lee helped me with this bit but honestly I didn't think too much about it, because I knew from Lee's blanket that it would look good in any order. I decided to just let it be!

I started the blanket around the beginning of March and I've been working on it a few hours a week every week since then. I had a bit of a break in the middle when I was making the baby blanket for Leanne, but I logged about 60 hours on this blanket all in all! It's a lot of work!

I tried to sew in my ends as I went along but it can be really boring so I didn't altogether manage it. I enjoyed the different stitch combinations, like I did with Lee's blanket, even though I think this one is technically easier.

The week before my mum's birthday I finished the body of it, so I just needed to do the border. It's a much less complicated border than the one for Lee's, but I took myself off to a knitting/crochet/craft group which was held at the library in Penistone. It was a nice group and I will definitely go back - it's nice to have that concentrated crafting time.

I finished the border at the craft group and the day after, so that was really good. I felt so accomplished again - it's so gorgeous and I'm so proud of myself.

I've got lots of photos taken throughout the process:

Look at all these gorgeous balls of squidgy yarn!

The foundation rows of trebles

Sewing in ends at some point

At this point I think it started properly looking like a blanket

I really liked this lilac hook, too. It's a 4mm

This was when it was big enough to sit under as I worked on it!

The body of it finished

The very last stitches on the border!

Ta da! I love the Bluebell of the border, I think it's a nice choice

More of a close up

I can't wait to see what my mum thinks!