Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Afternoon at Hathersage Lido

On the Friday that Lee was off, the weather was forecast to be lovely and sunny, so I said we should go to Hathersage Lido. It's about 45 minutes away from our house, a nice drive over the countryside. It makes it a nice day out that's not too far away. We set off around 11, stopping on the way to buy lunch. The afternoon public session doesn't start until 1.30 so we went somewhere nearby to eat lunch. I was lying on a picnic blanket in the sunshine reading, it was lush. We got into the pool at 1.30, got changed and then got in!

The water is heated, and on a day like that - around 22 degrees outside - it's a really nice swim. There were quite a few people there which surprised me. There's two lanes for lane swimming and then a more general area. I think I said before though that it gets deep quite quickly meaning you have to swim or tread water for quite a while.

We had loaded up on sun cream which was just as well because it was sunny. Lee still managed to burn his back a bit though. The public session ends around 3.30 so we got out, got showered, and left around 4pm - they weren't in too much of a rush to get rid of us. We had decided to get tea out after swimming, so ended up in the Ladybower Inn right on the reservoir, where I actually went in June with Sam and Jacqui. We sat inside as we'd had quite enough sun for one day by then. Lee went for fish and chips and I had a halloumi and mushroom burger like before, it was delicious.

After that we just went home, we had had two busy days out but I'm so glad we'd been able to go swimming in the sunshine - it felt so luxurious and nice! They're going to refurbish the lido over the winter so I can't wait to go back and see how it looks next year!

The beautiful and stunning lido

And later, a bit busier. I hope they do something with those steps, they're really bad for me to get in and out of!

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Trip to York

As I said previously, we went to Lotherton Hall in the morning and then set off to York at around 2pm. We were most of the way there, so it didn't take us long. We parked and then got a taxi into town. We got dropped off by the Minster. It was busy but absolutely beautiful to be in York in the sunshine. I went to York St John uni and graduated from the Minster itself, so it's a place very close to my heart. We walked down High Petergates and Low Petergate, popping into a few shops along the way. We ended up at Kings Square and went into a coffee shop there for a coffee. We'd walked quite a long way around the wildlife park so I was getting tired. So it was nice to pause!

Lee wanted to go in the comic book shop and the record shop down Goodramgate, so he walked me to meet Sam and Jacqui and Kerry, and we went to Evil Eye. It's a very sticky bar that I've been going to since I was nineteen years old and at uni. Sam and Jac always have a cocktail called a Constantine which tastes like Skittles, so I had one of those too. Lee came back and Hilary and Emma joined us, and we stayed there until about 6.45. Jac had made PARTY BAGS for everyone which had flower crowns and glow sticks and toys and sweets and CAKE inside. All birthdays require party bags!

At 6.45 we set off to the Ivy for food. I haven't been before but I've been past it and the one in Harrogate. They have a separate vegetarian menu and have a few vegan options, so I had quite a few choices. I went for avocado and tomato cocktail to start with, which was a nice fresh and spicy salad. Then I had an open halloumi sandwich which was so good, there was avocado and pepper and tomatoes too. I ordered a side of baked sweet potatoes with those, and they took ages to come.

Jac and Hilary each got a little cake and candle because it was their birthday (they're friends and housemates who happen to share a birthday!) and we got some desserts and more drinks. I had a peach bellini and it again took ages to come, so I ended up getting it for free. The food is nice, but the service was a bit lacking to say that it wasn't too busy and that it's priced as a top end restaurant. I would go back if someone wanted to go for their birthday, but I wouldn't choose to go myself.

Afterwards Lee came to meet me and we got a taxi back to the car and then home. It was a long day but it was fun! I was wearing this Scarlett & Jo dress, I put it on because it has pockets and that was useful to put my phone in while we were in the wildlife park, but it also looked quite fancy for the evening. I find the top in this quite uncomfortable, though, so I might cut it off and just wear it as a skirt.

The beautiful Minster in the sunshine

A kiss, I was happier about it than I look!

Flower crowns and superhero masks

All of us in Evil Eye, photo by Sam

Cute little birthday treat

And here's my outfit!

Friday, October 25, 2019

Trip to Lotherton Hall

In the middle of September Lee had a couple of days off work so, as we do, we planned some fun things to do. On the Thursday, we were heading to York for my BFF Jac's birthday, but we had the morning free so I suggested we go to Lotherton Hall. It's east of Leeds, not far from York, and I saw that Jo had been there a few times and said there were penguins in the wildlife world. Lee loves penguins, so I've been thinking for a while we should go. We bought our tickets online the day before as that's cheaper, and then we set off from ours at about 10.45. We arrived at the park about 11.15 and the man on the gate told us that they would be feeding the penguins at 11.30, so we parked and went straight into the wildlife park.

There's a gentle slope up to the wildlife gift shop, and then you go through that to get to the main park itself. The penguin pools are the main attraction, and there were quite a few people already there waiting, often with small kids. The keeper came and fed loads of fish to the penguins - it took her about fifteen minutes in total! The penguins are small Humboldt ones and they are SO CUTE. Lee is certain we could bring one home and keep it in the bath.

After the penguins we walked round the rest of the wildlife park. It's mostly birds, but all different kinds, including emus, condors, a ton of owls. It was a lovely day so walking round looking at birds was really nice. There's kind of one way round which is quite helpful, and as you come back through you go past the penguin enclosure again. They were so friendly up against the glass. On the way out we saw flamingos and CAPYBARAS. I love them! They're just big guinea pigs! It's so cute! They were sunbathing. There were also some kind of Filipino wild hogs, they were cute too.

We were in the wildlife park for about an hour and a half. Your entrance ticket also gets you into the house, but we didn't really have time to see that, and there's a deer park on site too and a hide to watch them from. It's not a bad price (£8 on the door, £7.50 advance) for all that.

We went into the stable yard to the cafe for some lunch. There aren't tons of options but it's nice, freshly cooked food. I had a roast vegetable and goats cheese roll on a ploughman's lunch, which was lovely. Outside, we had spied an ice cream van so we each got an ice cream and then set off to York.

I'll leave what we did in York for my next time, but here's the wildlife park pictures:

Penguins! Look how tiny and cute they are

Feeding them

They also don't care about your signs

I tried to get pictures through the bars of lots of birds, but sometimes failed


Penguins again! They kept coming over to the glass, it was lovely



Wild pigs!

Lunch! I do like a ploughman's

And finally, ice cream with blue sauce

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

What I Wore 16th September

I went to craft club on this Monday morning, and then drove over to Huddersfield to go to the cinema with Sam. At craft club I was making a Christmas present and then did a bit of cross stitch too. There weren't many people there, it was very quiet. I had stopped on my way to craft club to buy lunch, so I ate it as I drove over. I met Sam just before the film started and got my ticket. She had got pick n mix for both of us which was nice!

We saw The Big Meeting, a documentary about the Durham Miners Gala, held every July, and which is also known as The Big Meeting. Lee used to go when he was a kid and some of his family still go now. The documentary is really good - it's got a lot of history, it follows some people going to the meeting today, and it's really evocative and emotional. There's quite a big section on mining banners, which are something I love. They have so much art and craftsmanship in them, and always contain so much history and background. I would love to read more about them! I would recommend the film utterly, if you're interested in history and socialism and all of that stuff. It's great!

I was wearing this top, which I tie dyed on holiday. I clipped a peg in the middle and swirled the fabric around, then tied it together with cable ties into a kind of donut shape. I dipped it in the pink and yellow dyes, and this is the result! I love it, I think it's really pretty and the pattern is gorgeous. I love that about tie dyeing, you never quite know what it'll look like and that's half the fun. It's brighter in real life than it appears in this photo!

My hair looks a state, too, but you know, keeping it real and all of that.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

What I Wore 13th September

In the middle of September I had lunch with my friend Sarah. We hadn't seen each other in over two months, since we got tattooed together! That's a long time for us! We had planned to meet at Yo Sushi in Meadowhall as we like it there. I was planning to just lounge in bed in the morning and read my book, which I did for a bit, only then Sarah said she was going to go to Hobbycraft first, so my eyes lit up and I said I'd see her there.

I haven't been to Hobbycraft in ages! I had a nice wander round. I had seen someone in a Facebook group post that they had planner stickers in stock, but I couldn't find any in this one. I ended up buying two other stickers sets and a sparkly purple tackle box that is now my sewing box. My old one had broken so this, at £6.50, is perfect!

We went to Meadowhall itself and made our way to Yo Sushi. I really enjoyed what I had - they've got some new vegetarian and vegan bits on the belt which I really like - but Sarah thinks they've changed some of the recipes of what she likes to have, so didn't like it as much. We sat there for ages chatting; it wasn't busy so we weren't taking up space.

I went into M&S on my way out and, as I had a voucher, I bought some nice alcohol. The buck's fizz I've had before, it's quite sharp and citrussy. I've no idea what to do with the elderflower liqueur but I'm sure the internet will have some ideas!

Finally, I was wearing my new rainbow top. My cousin's girlfriend Beth dyed it for me when we were tie dyeing, she was really good at getting it so good. I love it! i decided to put it on to show Sarah. I found it quite odd that my sleeves were different colours but I got used to it. I think it's perfect!

I got two bottles of buck's fizz, a bottle of sparkling rose Cava, a pre mixed can, and elderflower liqueur

Some paper and the stickers I bought, on the sewing box

I love how sparkly it is! They had a few different colours, I think I might need to buy another

Sarah took this of me while we were eating

And here's the top in full! We didn't have any orange dye, and the yellow and green look pretty similar here but they look more different in person

Thursday, October 17, 2019

What I Wore 1st September

As I said, we went to the theatre in York at the beginning of September, and I debuted the top that my mum had bleached for me the weekend before when we did all the tie dyeing at camping. My mum was really good at the bleaching so I left her to it as I was doing the dyeing.

As I said, my cousin Peter had brought this cog off a bike with him to use. He did his first, spraying bleach over the cog and leaving it until he was happy with the shade that the bleach bleached the fabric to. I think he went quite white with his. I liked the effect so much that I asked my mum to do one for me.

The top was a basic one from Simply Be, I bought a bunch and they were all under £10. My mum sprayed the bleach - she said it was better to spray the air for a bit to make sure the bottle wasn't clogged, and then move towards the cloth.

I washed the bleach off when the fabric had faded to this coppery colour, because I thought that was quite cool. I love the effect, I really do. I like the bigger spots of bleach, too. I wore the top to the theatre tucked into this skirt that I am wearing a lot at the moment.

These leggings are from Simply Be and the seam on the right leg is twisted somehow, meaning that when I wear them they end up looking twisted like this. It's fine but kind of annoying!

I will definitely do more tie dyeing and bleaching in the future, because the effects are really good and I like wearing something unique.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

The Tempest and Twelfth Night in York

You may remember at the end of June I went to the pop up Rose theatre in York to see Henry V. We went last year too, and were really excited by the programme this year. At the beginning of September we - me, Jacqui, Sam and Jodie - decided to do a double bill. It was the Tempest in the afternoon by one company, and Twelfth Night in the evening by the other company.

I did both these plays at school - Twelfth Night in some depth - so I knew the stories unlike with Henry V which I didn't have a clue about. We took our seats - high up on the second tier but facing straight on to the stage, so we had a great view. The staging for the Tempest was pretty steampunk in nature, so it looked really pretty.

I enjoyed the first half, but lost the thread of what was happening, so in the intermission I looked up the synopsis of the plot on Wikipedia. That really helped and although I'm far from stupid I sometimes can't understand the language. Shakespeare is hard! I enjoyed the second half a lot more than the first, and thought it was really well done.

We went over to 31 Castlegate for food. We went there in June, too, and had quite a strange waiter, but the food was nice. They have a set menu for £19, which has plenty of vegetarian and vegan options, which I do appreciate, but this time we had an even stranger waiter and I've been quite put off going again. Weird!

We went back over to the theatre and took the exact same seats for Twelfth Night. This time, it was staged like it was the 1920s, all jazz bands and flapper dresses. I know Twelfth Night a lot better. I did it for GCSE and had to act the part of Sir Toby Belch as part of my coursework I think. It was really fun, and funny. It was the last night and the actors seemed to be in a really celebratory mood, which added to it. They broke the fourth wall a couple of times, which was really funny. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I'm glad it was the second play of the day.

At the end the director gave his thanks and so on, and he said that the theatre will be back next year! We've already been discussing what we hope comes to it, and I know I'll go back to see more!

Here's my photos - although I'll do my outfit in another post:

The staging for the Tempest - there's Prospero just chilling out before the play started

I loved this Shakespeare quote poster behind the seats. There's so much Shakespeare that people know off the top of their heads

Goats cheese mousse for starter. It was nice, but I had it last time and it was nicer last time

Mushroom risotto, this was really nice

Sticky toffee pudding, it was nice but this is when the waiter was weird

The neon sign for Twelfth Night

Jac and Sam and Jodie and me, on the upper tier. It wasn't that full

And lastly, here's the stage all lit up in the intermission when it was a bit darker

Saturday, October 12, 2019

A Roasting Tin Recipe

I bought Lee the Green Roasting Tin book for Christmas, I think, because it looked really good. It's full of vegetarian and vegan dishes that are all done in, you guessed it, one roasting tin. For us that's really useful because it's easy and requires not much setting up or cleaning up. We both went through the book marking recipes we liked the sound of. Some of them are a bit too nutty for Lee, including this one. It's supposed to have cashews on it. However, he liked the sound of the rest of it, so we decided to just leave the cashews off.

It's the sticky Thai rice recipe if you want to look at it in the book. We used sweet potato and broccoli, because neither of us likes squash. The rice is pretty nice by itself, but the dressing lifts it. It's tart, sour, a bit sweet, gingery - it's yummy! I really liked it. We had this with Quorn chicken nuggets.

I've been vegetarian since the New Year. I've had smoked salmon a few times, and tuna once. I think that's fine! I've really wanted it, and have enjoyed it when I have. My friend Chloe told me to stop worrying about it in July, so I did, but since then I've had no fish either. I'm finding vegetarianism really easy, by and large. I'm lucky because Lee is really on board. He hasn't eaten red meat ever since I've known him, but he really likes chicken and tuna. He would find it hard to go completely vegetarian because he doesn't like cheese, but he has tried so many more new things this year. I am enjoying myself currently, so I'll keep going as a vegetarian until I'm not!

We will definitely make this again because it was so nice!

Thursday, October 10, 2019

What I Wore 29th August and Lunch Out

On Thursday the 29th of August I was due to meet a friend for lunch so I got up and had a shower. My friend wasn't feeling too well so she cancelled, but I was feeling a bit cabin crazy so still wanted to go out. Lee said he'd go out for lunch with me to Meadowhall. He works from home on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so could take an hour or so off to go with me. I offered to buy sushi for both of us, so off we went to Yo Sushi.

I've always liked it, but Lee doesn't like the raw stuff, so since they've brought in more cooked dishes he's more keen to go. He had chicken ramen and some other bits. I am really loving Yo Sushi since I went vegetarian as it's made me branch out in what I'm trying. They've got a bunch of new vegetarian and vegan dishes. I had pumpkin katsu, vegetable gyoza, and a bunch of other stuff. There's a new vegan roll that I really liked with vegan mayo and sriracha, and I love their fries (which are vegetarian if you ask for them without the bonito flakes).

After lunch we wandered into Accessorize. I saw some faux marble slides in there back in May when we were in Harrogate, but didn't buy them, and I've been thinking about them ever since! I was hoping they were still in stock, and they were. I also treated myself to some rose gold earrings, I've been wearing them loads since.

I had just put on this dress to go out, nothing really special but comfortable and cute enough for a casual lunch. It was a nice couple of hours!

I love Yo Sushi, it's filling and delicious and fun

Aren't those slides so gorgeous?! They're pretty good even in my fine hair, too

Scarlett & Jo dress, I've worn it a million times, but I do love it