Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Walk In Barnsley

I was desperate for some fresh air on April 15th. I had been in the house for days. I'd been out in the garden over the Easter weekend, and I had been out in the car when Lee went into the supermarket, but I hadn't been out, and I was getting itchy feet. I wanted some fresh air and to feel the sun on my skin, and fortunately the weather decided to cooperate.

We needed to head into town as we had to go the bank for my work. I went into work the previous week to collect the post, and people had been really kind and sent several hundred pounds worth of donations for our food bank, which is insanely busy at the moment and needs funding to keep going. I just needed to drop a bag off at the bank so Lee and I went in to town in my car and did that. Then we parked near a little area of grass in the middle of town. There was one other person there, and there's plenty of benches and stuff so it was easy to keep apart from others.

There's quite a lot of flowers so I took some photos, getting quite up close with them. I just used my phone but I think the photos turned out nice! Plus I was wearing my yellow skirt and bleached top - easy to just pop on to go out but they felt nice!

We got home and ate lunch in the garden before Lee had to do some more work. He's okay working from home as he does it a couple of days a week anyway, but he is getting quite bored of not being able to go anywhere. I am too, even though we both understand it's the safest place for us. Still, it was nice to get some Vitamin D!


I don't know what these were, but the colours are gorgeous

And again, this is such a gorgeous orange colour

Here's me!

I couldn't believe that you could even see the little insect in this flower!

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Films of the Month - March

I watched twelve films in March. A low number, but you know, there was everything else going on. I was finding it easy to watch crap TV instead, so I was watching a lot of Real Housewives of Melbourne. However, I enjoyed the films I did watch, which is the main thing!

I went to see Cabaret and watched the film shortly after because I wanted to see the differences. There's a lot! I do love this film, I hadn't seen it in ages. 

Carrying on with my boxset of British serial killers, I watched this. It's good, Martin Kemp is excellent

The Full Monty is one of my comfort films and I love it so much. It had been a few years since I'd seen it, so I'm glad I watched it again

Lee and I watched The Godfather over a couple of nights at the beginning of lockdown when we had nothing else to do. It's not something we watch often, so it always feels like a special even when we do

Next on the British serial killer list was this about Harold Shipman. I haven't seen it before. It was good, James Bolam was excellent as Shipman. Terrifying too 

Lee and I both really like Identity, so we watched that one day too. It's a weird one, but underrated I think

The last of the serial killer films. Alun Armstrong was brilliant. I really liked how you didn't see the Ripper at all until really near the end

Can you believe I'd never seen Meet Me In St Louis? I LOVED it

Pandemic going on so we watched 28 Days Later. It's brilliant, I love Cillian and Christopher Ecclestone so much

Lee really liked Inside Out but I found it quite distressing actually

And finally I watched a recording of Oklahoma! with Hugh Jackman in it, which I had also never seen. I loved it, too!

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

What I Wore 30th March

Monday 30th March was my first day working at home. Lee and I went the previous week to pick up my computer and files from work so that I can work from home. There won't be as much to do so my hours will be cut, which will mean a loss of income for me. I'm quite worried about it, but I'm hoping I can get at least something back from the government when the grant for self-employed people comes in in June. We'll see! I know it's scary and unsettling for everyone and as I work in payroll I will say that if you need any information about your pay slip, I'm here and very willing to help.

Anyway I sat at our dining table to do some work, with Lee working at his desk in the corner of the room. I needed the dining table out extended as when I'm working I have a lot of paper and files around. But in the position it was in, it was in the way of the rest of the living room. We don't have a big house at all! So we swapped things around - we put one sofa near Lee's desk and the table near the door so that it can stay there with my stuff all on one end but we can also still eat there. I felt a lot better when we did that.

I put a proper bra and an outfit on to work; it made me feel better and got me in the zone a bit. I really love this dress. It's from the Sprinkle of Glitter collection on Simply Be a few years ago and I LOVE it, I love how pretty it is, I love the white cotton and the dots, I love the pom poms, I love the fact it has pockets. I haven't worn it in ages because I had it in my head that it was a) too short and b) didn't fit me properly in the bodice. Lee and I went through all my dresses recently and a few were hung on a rail waiting for me to try on. This was one of them. When I put it on I thought, "Oh, I don't know why I was worried about this?!" It is maybe a tiny bit shorter than some dresses I wear, but with thick leggings in the winter and tight shorts in the summer I think it'll be fine! I am so glad because I really love it.

I had an exciting excursion to the front garden for a little bit of sunshine.

Selfie while I was sitting working. A group I'm in often shares Monday selfies, so I added mine

Gorgeous Sprinkle of Glitter dress. It has pockets, which are nice and deep 

I'm also looking very glamourous in my slippers, I think you'll agree

Saturday, April 18, 2020

What I Wore 27th March

Lee and I went to the supermarket on Friday the 27th. I should have been going to see Louis Tomlinson in Doncaster but instead I had a very exciting appointment at Morrisons. The queue was all down one side of the store, given that everyone had to distance 2 metres away from each other, but when we got to the front the staff told us they were only letting one person from each household in. That was kind of a pain, as I can't manage a supermarket by myself, and I wanted to go in and choose some things for myself. Instead, I had to go and sit in the car and wait. Lee sent me some pictures of stuff so I could specify what I wanted, but I still would have liked to go in. Well, I guess that's the strange new world we're living in...

I had put on this yellow skirt because I love it so much, and pulled out what I thought was a plain black top, but it turned out to be the one with the bleached bike cog on it. I do love this top, though.

In the afternoon I decided to paint some rainbows for the front and back of our house. The people across the road have got two in their window and I thought they'd probably like to look at one too. I'm not a brilliant artist but I enjoyed playing around with both the watercolours and the acrylics. My yellow went awry on the acrylics - I should have done that before the green!

Lockdown is weird, unsettling, unnerving. I don't go out much anyway but I'm finding it hard to not have the option to go out when I want to. Here's to a better time soon!

Standing on the back doorstep 

My watercolour paints aren't huge but they mix up nicely enough

My watercolour painting, this went in the front window. It's A3

This is the acrylic painting, it went in the kitchen window as that looks out on to our shared yard and people pass by it every day

Also over the weekend I made some earrings and a necklace. My mum had picked some beads out that she wanted making into earrings so the top left earrings and bottom right are for her. I liked the blue and white beads she chose so made some for myself (top middle) which are just a bit shorter. Then I went through the rest of my beads and made the other two pairs for me. I have a new pair of wire snips which make making earrings much easier!

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

What I Wore 20th March

Friday 20th March was just as everyone was starting to self-isolate properly. Lee and I had been at home most of the week; I'd been to work on Tuesday as normal and he'd been working from home all week, but otherwise we had stayed in and were cancelling weekend plans. I usually spend quite a lot of time at home anyway but I suppose I've always had the choice to go out - I have money, I have a car, I'm free to go wherever I want - so not having that choice was really daunting. So when Lee mentioned he had to go into work for a person to sort out some hardware so his company could all work better from home, I said I'd go with him. He works over in Doncaster so I knew we'd be a few hours including the driving. I took my laptop to do some writing, and after the person had finished Lee and I went to Burger King (in the drive thru) for lunch before coming home. We were sensible - there was no one else in the office and we washed our hands and stuff - but I definitely needed to get out. I'm writing this the day after and I feel a bit more positive at the moment about staying in for the next few weeks. I've got to go to work on Monday to do the payroll - people still need to be paid, after all - but then I may be able to work from home, and if not, then the church centre where I work will only be open for a couple of people and not for any members of the public.

We're lucky, neither of us has health issues that mean we would be likely to be severely unwell if we contracted the virus. We're also lucky because Lee's income is unlikely to be affected by the virus and he will be paid as normal. I'm not sure about me - my hours might be cut. I guess currently all we can do is sit and wait it out. We started redecorating our huge attic room a couple of weeks ago so at least all this is giving us the chance to finish that. We've never decorated it - it was newly decorated when we moved in 16 years ago so it's about time for a change! I'll hopefully share photos in a few weeks.

I think I might also write a post about things I do while I'm at home if I'm unwell. It might help someone out there who isn't used to spending a lot of time at home!

Here's what I wore to go to Lee's work - I pulled on my yellow Scarlett & Jo skirt as it's one of my favourites and it always cheers me up. I recently ordered a three pack of tops from Simply Be because I needed a new black one and a new white one. They were cheap and they're okay, but I find the neckline rises up a lot. Although it is better when I tuck the top into the skirt as I have here.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

What I Wore 14th March

I had a new dress to wear when we went out to Sowerby Bridge. I kept seeing an advert for this black pinafore dress on Instagram so went on to the Simply Be website as I really liked it. It turned out to be in the sale so was less than £15! I needed a new black top (my old one had some holes on it) so I ordered a multipack and the dress, and also the same pinafore dress but in a green leopard print.

The tops were fine so I kept them, and the black dress I thought looked great on me. The green dress was nice, but a slightly different fabric to the black one which meant it sat shorter on me and I didn't like it. But that's fine, I'm glad I tried it!

The black dress is really nice. It sits really nicely above my knee and it has nice deep pockets. I like the pinafore top; it's not too baggy on my shoulders which I was a bit worried about. I don't wear a lot of black but I like the look on me. I put my rainbow tie dyed top on underneath and leggings, and my boots. I really liked the whole outfit and will wear it again!

I had also painted my nails. I've been trying to do it every week. I go through phases where I wear nail polish a lot and I've been trying to keep up to it. I discovered Nail Polish Direct and bought a few new polishes - two holos, one from Barry M and this one from A England, and twelve China Glaze minis from two different collections. All for the bargain price of £26! I'll use some of the minis over the next few weeks, but I couldn't resist using this A England polish straight away.

It's called Dancing with Nureyev and it's a gorgeous blue with a deep holographic flash to it. It looks absolutely amazing in bright sunshine. I love holographic nail polishes anyway and this is definitely one of the best I've seen. I have two other A England polishes that I've never worn but I'll have to because their formula is really good and my nails dried really quickly.

Simply Be black pinafore dress with hand dyed top underneath

A England Dancing with Nureyev polish 

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Day Out in Sowerby Bridge and Hebden Bridge

The day you'll read this will be the twelfth anniversary of my dad's death. I honestly don't think there's a day that has passed when I haven't thought about him. The grief doesn't hurt like it used to, but I do still get very upset occasionally and wish he was still here to live life with us. I'm not sure what I'll do to mark the occasion this year, but I wanted to write it down here.

Anyway, in the middle of March Lee and I went out for the day and met Sam. It was right at the beginning of the Covid 19 scare, when it properly started to hit and people weren't sure what to do. We did go out, but we didn't do much going out in the days after, that's for sure. I hope by the time you read this, all of that will be over with and it won't have been as scary as people thought it might be. I'm not convinced, though!

So Lee and I set out to Sowerby Bridge about 11am. Ever since I went to Temujin in October with Sam and Jac, I've been wanting to take Lee as I knew he'd love it. So we arranged to meet in Sowerby Bridge and once there we mooched around the market for a bit. Then we decided to head up to Hebden Bridge. It was quite busy up there, like it usually is. We parked and walked over the packhorse bridge. We had a coffee and a cake each in a nice little cafe, which was well needed. We went into a few shops and then round the market. I bought a couple of little things but nothing huge. I would have bought a planter but the stall selling them wasn't there! Maybe next time. Lee didn't think he'd ever been to Hebden Bridge before ever! Gosh

They're doing a ton of flood defence works in Mytholmroyd and the queue was huge, so we decided to take the high road back to Sowerby Bridge. This gave us some lovely views of Hebden Bridge, Hawksclough, and Mytholmroyd. It was much quicker. We came back into Sowerby Bridge and went into Temujin, which was empty but more people arrived after us.

I loved the massaman curry sauce I had to start off with, and Lee loved the whole concept and had a bunch of different plates. I knew he'd love it! Sam went off to get her train and on the way back Lee and I popped into a garden centre because I wanted to get a new plant for the bedroom. I've had this gorgeous pinkish plant pot for ages with nothing in it. We got a lovely reddish plant and also a new hanging basket for outside. We still got home around 6pm which was good!

The canal in Sowerby Bridge 

Me and Lee - he made me take this photo, saying it was ages since we'd taken a photo like this

The river in Hebden Bridge, looking high as usual

Looking the other way

Lovely warmed pain au chocolat for lunch

Sam and me and Lee on the main bridge in Hebden Bridge

Looking down on Hawksclough

Massaman curry sauce, I loaded it with cauliflower and broccoli and courgette and mushroom - it was amazing!

Again, the gorgeous canal basin just below the restaurant

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Treasures of Tutankhamun Exhibtion in London

Some time last year I saw the Treasures of Tutankhamun exhibition advertised and immediately wanted to go. I was really into Egyptology when I was a kid and really wanted to see some of the things from his tomb when they came to the UK. I asked some of my friends if any of them wanted to go, and surprisingly a bunch of them did. Sam and Jac were already in London one weekend in March to go to the theatre, so asked if we could combine the two. Sam bought eight tickets and that was that!

I asked my aunt if I could stay with her and my uncle in Woking, in Surrey, and go to London from there. In the event, we had a spare ticket so Caroline came with us, which was nice. I also decided that the train and tube journeys would be too much for me, so I thought I would drive into London and book parking near the Saatchi Gallery. This was only slightly more expensive than a train + tube ticket and it was better peace of mind for me as I knew I wouldn't have to walk all the way through the tube stations and tunnels.

We decided to book lunch for after the exhibition and Caroline invited two of her friends as she wanted Lucinda to meet them. We booked into a place close by to the exhibition for my peace of mind too. I know my limits these days and am grateful to have friends who accept that.

Caroline and I set off early on Sunday morning in my car. We went up the A3 and across the Thames and found the car park really easily. It was really non stressful. However, we then kind of went the wrong way round the block where the gallery was and walked the long way, meaning I felt awful by the time we got there, but I had some water and painkillers and waited for everyone to arrive.

The exhibition itself was pretty accessible, the gallery has lifts and everything was well signed, and there were benches at several points which we all made use of. Sarah and Lucinda stuck by me, which was good as it was busy and we were all moving at different speeds.

So the exhibits themselves! I'll start off by saying that I understand why Egypt now keeps a lot of the things from Tutankhamun's tomb (including the death mask) in Egypt, and why these things will be returned there when they've built a museum in Cairo for them in a couple of years. I don't think the uncovering of the tombs was done in a good way, and although I'm glad we now know what happened to Tut, I understand why the Egyptians now keep their treasures close. I would love to visit Egypt one day, but in the meantime I'm really grateful I got to see this exhibition.

There were some really amazing things in the exhibit, but I'll let the photos speak for themselves. I do feel a lot better knowing that they have actually returned Tut's mummy to the burial chamber in his tomb. I think that's pretty cool.

The restaurant for lunch was nice - we were sitting downstairs in a cosy booth that was like in the cellars, ten of us round a big table. The food was nice but the staff all seemed quite stressed and service was a bit slow. It was fine, we had plenty of time to chat. Jac and Sam peeled off and then Sarah and Von and John left too and Caroline and I finally left about 4pm. We got back to Caroline's where Neil was busy making a vegetarian chilli for us. It was absolutely gorgeous!

I stayed over on the Sunday night and headed back home on Monday morning. I was really tired and sore, but I'm glad I made the effort to see the exhibition while it was in London.

Okay, photos:

They took a green screen photo on the way in and this was one of the options for it later. This was my favourite. Lucinda's cardigan did not like the green screen! We bought some of the souvenir photos on the way out

Tiny angry Horus

These pots were both made of cobalt, I believe

I loved this effigy of Tut

And who knew the ancient Egyptians had boomerangs?

I loved these little statues

A tiny figurine of the death mask

I liked this sphinx head made from calcite

Did you know that Tut was buried with a necklace in each layer of his wrappings?

This is the water boy who happened upon Tut's tomb

And a plan of it

And did you know his parents were brother and sister? His mother is a mummy known only as "The Younger Lady". It's amazing what they can find out with forensics

This photo does not show the scale of this statue. It was huge and suspended in the air. Look at the guy standing on the bottom left! I loved this

For lunch I had eggs benedict avocado, which was actually quite weird and had a bit too much spinach for my liking

But then for dessert I had salted caramel and chocolate fondant which was SO good!

It was an excellent day!