Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Camping near Knaresborough

At the end of June Lee and I went camping to Knaresborough for the weekend. We only managed to go camping once last year so I scheduled in some trips for this year and this was the first one. It rained a LOT in June, but fortunately our weekend was lovely and sunny which always makes for a more enjoyable camping experience.

Lee had Friday off so we set off around lunchtime, got some sandwiches on the way, and went up to Knaresborough. It's not a place we've been very much. We had booked into Kingfisher caravan park. It has loads of statics and quite a few tourers, and a field for tents. When we arrived there was only one tent there but by the end of the weekend there were quite a few of us! I liked it, it was a nice quiet site and the tent field was close to the loo block, which was nice and clean. We had to be quite close to the electricity point as our cable is really short, but it wasn't really a problem.

We got all set up and then drove into Knaresborough to look at the river just for a bit. It was so peaceful and sunny. When we got back to camp we heated up some chilli Lee had made the day before and made some rice to go with it. Perfect camping food! It dropped quite cold as the sky was really clear so we ended up sitting inside the tent watching a film.

We had a new airbed, a king sized one raised off the ground by about eighteen inches. We bought it with a gift card we got as a vow renewal present which was perfect! It was really comfortable to sleep on and made a lot of difference to my pain levels.

On Saturday morning we had breakfast and had a shower each and then went into Harrogate. We parked near Betty's and did a little bit of shopping. It was really busy! Not usually my thing but it was nice. We bought some bread and cake for later in Betty's and then headed down to the Old Swan hotel for afternoon tea. I'll write more about that in my nest post because I took some photos.

After the tea we went back to Knaresborough and bought some stuff for tea, then went back to the campsite. It was still so sunny so we sat outside to eat. We did eventually have to go inside the tent and again watched a film. It was less cold though.

On Sunday morning we got everything packed away and then went into Knaresborough itself. We looked around a couple of shops and then found a cafe for lunch. I had goats cheese and onion tartlets which were really nice. Then we got ice creams from a place close by. We were really tired so just came home after that - we got home around 2.30pm! It was a lovely weekend though, I do love camping so much.

There were rabbits on the campsite - quite shy but it was possible to see them in the evening and early morning

Tent all set up! Lee had forgotten we got the awning poles but they're so useful when it's hot

A different view of the tent and our little stove and kettle - I do love that kettle!

The river Nidd

Cute photo of us

Looking down river

Chilli and rice inside the tent

A rabbit in the morning

In Harrogate we went into Jespers, a stationery shop. I bought a converter for ink for my Lamy fountain pen, I can't wait to use it

I recently bought myself some Saltwater sandals. I went shopping with my mum and was intending to buy some Birkenstocks but I saw these. I didn't know they were selling them in the UK now but I've admired them for a long time. I wasn't sure if they'd fit, but they do! The sizing is American so I'd recommend trying a few to see which is best for you. They're quite wide fitting and I LOVE the red colour. I found them really comfortable even after walking around all day. They're waterproof too - can't wait to test that out in a stream or something!

Side view of the sandals. I have them done on the second to loosest notch, but they're not uncomfortable at all

Later, drinking wine back in the tent

Bits for tea - the veggie sausage rolls were nice

Swiss torte we bought from Betty's

Sunday morning - rice crispies outside!

This was in the cafe where we had lunch and I thought it was cute. I've been to Mother Shipton's cave but not for about fifteen years

My lunch

And here's my ice cream just before we set off back!

Monday, July 29, 2019

Trip to Derbyshire - Day 3

On the Friday of our holiday to Derbyshire we went to Ringwood Hall spa for the day. Sam had done her research and booked it starting with lunch and then use of the facilities until 6pm I think. We had to leave the cabin by 11am, so we set off then. We arrived at the hotel just before noon. It wasn't clear where we had to go so I think they could have had better signage. We signed in and then got into our swimming costumes and robe and flipflops. They offered me a bigger robe which was nice, it was much better.

We decided to not get wet before lunch so went straight into the restaurant. It is quite small but the staff were nice. Our afternoon tea was ready so we ordered some cocktails to go alongside our tea and coffee. The cocktails took foreverrrrrr to come, we had almost finished our lunch before we got them which was annoying. The food was lovely though - plenty of sandwiches, really nice scones, and some lovely little cakes.

After lunch we went into the spa. There's a little pool, about 8 metres in length probably, with a jacuzzi at one end, some jacuzzi jets in the middle, an infinity edge, and some jacuzzi seats at the other end. There's two saunas and a steam room, an experience shower, an ice fountain, and two footbaths. The three of us kind of split up, each doing our own thing and meeting occasionally when we happened to be in the same place. Jacqui and Sam both went upstairs to the quiet rooms, but I liked the pool and when I found myself alone in it I was floating for quite a long time, my chin resting on the infinity edge. I totally zoned out and found it very meditative, which was lovely.

I liked the steam room, it was a nice heat for me. One of the saunas was quite nice too. I was a bit disappointed there wasn't a cold plunge pool but I did use the cold shower instead which helped - it is really important to cool your body when you've been heating it for a while. And keep drinking too!

We eventually got out and had showers and then went on to where we were staying that night - it wasn't very luxurious so I won't review it! We had a takeaway delivered and just watched telly - it was fine!

Welcome smoothie shots, they were really nice!

Sam and Jac waiting for lunch

Afternoon tea

I tried the carrot cake but I really don't like it!

My Kir Royale

Jac took this of us against the infinity edge

Sam took these two before we got in the pool

And Jac took this of me - you can see the bubbles from the side jets

All in all, I think Ringwood Hall Spa is a bit overpriced for what there is, but a nice place to spend a few hours for sure!

Friday, July 26, 2019

Trip to Derbyshire - Day 2

On the second day of our trip to Derbyshire, we kind of chilled out for most of the morning. The log cabin provided a hamper which included bacon, eggs, and sausages, and they had been nice enough to include vegetarian sausages so I had sausage and egg sandwich and it was great!

We set off late morning to go into Buxton. I've been before, with Lee, but didn't remember much of the town centre. We went into the charity shops and each bought some sweets in the sweet shop. I managed to get two pairs of shorts in one of the charity shops for Lee for the huge sum of £6.90 and he liked both of them which was good!

It was quite cold and a bit rainy so we went into a cafe for a hot drink. We then decided to drive to a big bookshop - High Peak Bookstore - which was really nice and certainly had a lot of books. I bought a huge book of vegetarian recipes for just £9 - Lee and I are working our way through it! I took it camping a couple of weeks later and we went through it making notes of recipes we wanted to try. I think it was worth it!

We were beginning to get hungry so went to Tittesworth reservoir and found a pub nearby. It had quite a few veggie options. I went for chilli, which was really nice! We looked at the reservoir but it was raining and also expensive to park so we didn't stop. We wanted ice cream but nowhere seemed to be open (I guess it was early in the season still) so we ended up back in Buxton for ice cream.

After that we went back to the cabin and got in our pyjamas. We had been talking earlier in the day and so ended up going through finding out what was number one on our birthdays from the year we were born up until the present day. We played some songs and laughed a lot and it was just a really fun, silly time.

I slept better the second night, probably because it was warmer than the first night! I didn't take many photos but here's what I do have:

Hot chocolate in Buxton 

Chilli at the Lazy Trout pub



So many ducks!

And finally, butterscotch ice cream in the afternoon :)

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Trip to Derbyshire - Day 1

In the middle of June it was my BFF Sam's birthday and she had the whole week off work. She took herself to Liverpool at the beginning of the week, and then her and Jacqui and I went to Derbyshire for a few days at the end of the week. Sam had booked it all, we just all had to meet in Barnsley and then set off!

It had been raining for dayyyyyys and dayyyyys, so although we had said we would go to Hathersage Lido on Wednesday afternoon, I wasn't sure we actually would. But as we were driving there, it finally stopped raining so we decided we would still go.

We stopped at Ladybower Inn on the reservoir for some lunch, which is a really lovely pub that I would like to go back to. They had a few vegetarian choices but I went for the burger which had a mushroom,. halloumi, and some carrot bacon in it. It came with chips and some weird coleslaw (not a fan of fruit in coleslaw I have to say!). It was really nice!

We got to the lido at about 1.45. There were only a half dozen other people in - although it wasn't raining it really wasn't warm. It was okay in the water - as long as you kept moving. When we stopped to chat we soon got cold. But it was really fun to do and I'm really glad we did it!

Afterwards we each showered and then went round to the cafe to have a hot drink and a piece of cake each. The cafe was quite busy but nice and warm.

Around 4pm we set off to our cottage. Sam had booked us into this cosy log cabin near Buxton which was in the middle of nowhere and so cute! It had a wood burning stove which we managed to get going to throw out some heat. It had a tiny fridge and really cute stuff in it. There were two king size beds - in a bunk! Bonkers. We had salads for tea and drank some wine and watched Netflix on Sam's computer.

The cabin had a little bathroom in a shed. There was a shower, a composting loo which actually wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, and a stand with two bowls on it - one for washing hands and one for washing dishes. It was a cute little bathroom and even going really early in the morning wasn't too bad. I would highly recommend the cabin, it's very sweet for a bit of a break away.

Oh there were also cats! One kept trying to come in but Jac is allergic so we couldn't let him. Sam and I petted him outside.

Here's my pictures from Wednesday.

Lunch at the Ladybower Inn

The lido when we got there

All of us in the pool

Caramel shortbread in the cafe

And a hot chocolate

Cat! He was so handsome

The cabin was so cute! It was like a grown up Wendy house

The bunk beds

See how there was even a king size bed on top? Weird! Sam liked it though

And the other cat who looked so mean but was happy to let me stroke him

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!