Monday, November 30, 2020

New Glasses!

When we got back off our holiday my new glasses had arrived in the post. I had been into Barnsley a couple of weeks previously to get tested. It was a bit of a nightmare actually because I had to go by myself, of course, and I really struggle getting tested anyway. Then, because I'm so shortsighted (I'm around -10 in both eyes) the optician couldn't get a decent look at the back of my eyes, so he dilated my pupils in order to see them better. Fortunately Lee had driven me into town and although I'd said I would get a bus home, once I knew my pupils had to be dilated I asked him to wait for me and fortunately he was able to. 

I found the sensation really weird and felt disorientated and dizzy for the rest of the day. I had planned to do work at home but couldn't see the computer well enough to do that, so I couldn't. But my eyes looked healthy so that was good, and the main thing. 

I tried on a few frames. Because of Covid, you then had to put the ones you'd touched into a box so they could be sanitised before going back on the shelf. So I didn't want to try on loads. I needed a pair of ordinary glasses and a pair of sunglasses. I chose two frames and spoke to the sales assistant. I pay for the lenses thinning on my ordinary glasses, but I'm not bothered about my sunglasses. That did mean that the lenses would be about a centimetre thick in my sunglasses, but I decided that was fine. In all, my glasses cost just under £200. And that's including a little bit of help from the government! It really annoys me because I don't CHOOSE to have such bad eyesight, and if I didn't have glasses I wouldn't be able to live an independent life. We were able to use some of my self-employment grant to pay for my glasses, thankfully. 

Anyway, also because of Covid, you don't go and pick up your glasses but they post them to you. You can still go in if they need adjusting but of course it does cut down on the number of people in the shop. My ordinary glasses haven't needed adjusting so that's good. 

So my ordinary ones are Converse ones, not that I was bothered about the brand, I just liked the blue colour on the front of the frames. The sides are leopard print, which I also like. My sunglasses are a nice blue colour, but unfortunately one of the lenses had been chipped in transit. I rang Specsavers and they immediately ordered some more for me, which came direct to me and arrived about a fortnight later. They're okay - I don't love them but I won't be wearing them loads over the next few months, so I'll put up with them for a while and see when we can afford some more for me. 

It took me ages to get used to my new glasses and my eyes kept going in and out of focus, but they seem to be okay now. 

New glasses! I love the blue, and there's a bit of turquoise too

New sunglasses, they're sort of a grey and blue mottled effect

Look how thick the lenses are though. Ridiculous. They're seriously about a centimetre thick

The leopard print sides of my ordinary glasses

And a closer look at the blue - they're nice aren't they

Friday, November 27, 2020

Holiday in Warwickshire - Day 7

On our last day of holiday we decided to go to Royal Leamington Spa. I've never been and I actually thought it was further from Warwick than it is - the two places kind of just merge into one. We needed some kitten supplies and there was a Pets At Home so we called in there and we bought them some new little balls to play with. There were like eleven in the packet and I've been rationing them out because otherwise they all go missing at once! I swear our house is just covered in kitten toys and bits of paper and wrappers these days, it's ridiculous. The kittens were in a cattery while we were away and they were fine. The staff played with them a few times which is good. They also got neutered the week after we came back from holiday, they were both absolutely fine after it and healed quickly! If you want kitten photos, they have an instagram here! But yes, they were fine. 

We headed into Leamington Spa itself but weren't really sure where to go. A few things were still closed because of Covid. We hadn't eaten either, and then I spotted a hipster looking place called Warwick Street Kitchen, so we parked nearby and went in for brunch. It was really nice! Then we went into the CUTEST shop next door, it was like stationery and homewares and fancy toiletries. There were tons of things I wanted to buy but I restricted myself to some Halloween stickers and two French soaps. One of which is jasmine fragranced! Perfect! 

We struggled to find something to do after that and the weather was off and on. We had talked about going to Warwick Castle but it is nearly THIRTY POUNDS PER PERSON so we decided against that. We ended up going to Warwick Museum which was free and quite fun. There was us and two other people and two members of staff in there, so it was fine. It has some cool things in it including dinosaur bones and a huge embroidered artwork of a map of the area. 

We went back to the cottage and went swimming for the last time. It had been so lovely having the pool and I'm so glad we found somewhere with one - and really pleased by the added bonus that we didn't have to share it with anyone! Then we went to a nearby pub for tea. We'd chosen one that had vegetarian options on the menu but it was quite strange and the food and the service weren't that good. But, never mind, you live and learn. 

We had mostly packed on the Friday night, so the next morning we just put things in the car and drove home. We dropped things off at home and then picked up the kittens around lunchtime. We had had such a nice time but it was nice to be home with them. And I know we're so lucky to have been able to go on holiday in the pandemic. I feel like we did it in the safest way possible. 

A map of Warwickshire in the museum


These were bits of pottery found, I liked them

Lee, proving he was taller than a sabre toothed tiger

The really cool embroidered map

This is where we were staying, near Rowington

Bye bye pool! :( 

I was wearing this Joe Brown's dress to go out in, I love the colours in it

Here we are in the pub

This was the main room of the cottage 

And the other side of it 

The cottage itself. The other one was to the right of this picture

This was the pool house! It was really lovely to stay there - I'd go back!

Monday, November 23, 2020

Holiday in Warwickshire - Day 6

We went swimming first thing on the Thursday of our holiday, as we hadn't been on the Wednesday. We wanted a nice quiet day as we were both really tired. We had a lovely swim and then a shower and then ate some lunch. We then headed into Warwick as I wanted to visit the independent bookshop there. It's called Warwick Books and it's right on the market square. 

The staff greeted us really warmly and said they liked my flamingo skirt. which was nice of them. Their children's and YA sections were really nice, I wish I'd taken photos actually. I bought three books, as always you can read my book reviews here on my book blog. We also managed to get a wheely trolley/small case from the Oxfan shop next door which we've put the zine distro into. We had a big box but it was breaking, and it meant that if Lee dropped me off at a zine fest I couldn't carry it by myself, I would have to wait for him to come back. We've been after a wheeled case for a while, but we didn't want to spend too much. So this one, which looked close to brand new and was just £6.50, was perfect. We've put the zines in at home and it's got loads of pockets for all our other bits. I'm happy about it!

We left Warwick and drove to Henley nearby, where we'd got curry from previously. There was an ice cream shop so we went in there and got ice creams. I had banana fudge and salted caramel and they were both really nice. We thought there were more shops to look round there, but there weren't, so we just went back to the cottage and relaxed.

I was wearing my flamingo skirt with a pink and yellow tie dyed t-shirt that I dyed last summer. I love it, it's really soft and the colours are so nicely pastel. I wear these two a lot together!

I took this photo of myself because I was feeling cute. My hair was also really long at this point. Lee cut it back in March but it's grown loads since then, it was nearly to my waist. I've had it trimmed since then though as I had a lot of split ends

Henley high street

And the other way

And my huge ice cream!

Outfit of the day!

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Holiday in Warwickshire - Day 5

On the Wednesday of our holiday we went a bit further afield and went to Stow in the Wold in the Cotswolds, which was just under an hour's drive away from where we were. We managed to park in the market square and went in a couple of shops. We bought some Christmas presents which was good, and also some delicious orange creams which we ate over the next couple of days! 

I was really exhausted by this point, though, so we didn't stay in Stow that long. I don't feel like we got the full experience of the place so I'd like to go back and see it again. 

I also thought we'd been to Stow when we were on holiday in the area over a decade ago, but I didn't recognise it at all. I thought very hard and thought maybe I was getting confused with Bourton on the Water, so we headed there. That was definitely where I was thinking and I recognised it straight away with the shallow river running through. It's gorgeous! 

We walked over the bridge and went into a pub for lunch. It was quite bizarre thanks to Covid, but the food was nice enough and I had a lovely glass of Sauvignon Blanc so I can't complain. We went into a couple of shops but by this time it had started to rain quite heavily and we were both tired so we didn't stay too long. We ended up stopping Moreton on the Marsh to get a drink and cake, too. We got back to the cottage pretty early but decided to not go swimming and just had a quiet time on the sofa watching TV and films. We had leftover curry for tea, which was still great. 

I was wearing this new blue jumper which I've been saving for autumn and which was perfect. I bought it from Crazy Clearance a few months ago. It's a lovely pale blue, and it's quite thin which I prefer in a jumper, and it's really nice and soft. I really like it! Plus it was only about £11! 

An old coaching inn in Stow

And another! So gorgeous, I would have liked to go in

Bourton on the Water!


They all came swimming over but sadly we didn't have anything to feed them

I bet on a sunny day there's about a million people in the water here

The pretty sign 

The colour isn't too obvious here but this is my new blue jumper!

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Holiday in Warwickshire - Day 4

On the Tuesday of our holiday we went to Hatton Country Park which was only a few miles away from where we were staying. My friend SB lives in Coventry so I'd asked them where was good to go and they'd suggested the park as it has a GUINEA PIG VILLAGE. This had enticed me straight away, so we booked tickets. I think it was about £13 each? Lee did it online on the Sunday of our holiday. We had to choose a time so we went for 11.

You walk through a little shopping village on the way to the animals, so we decided to go into some shops on the way back, and get some lunch. We went into a gin place and I bought some Christmas presents, which was nice. 

There was a ton of stuff to do in the park, so I would recommend it for families with kids but also for people like us, as we had a lot of fun for the money too. We bought some of the animal food and fed the goats and sheep and pigs in the first barn. The second area has the GUINEA PIGS. The female pigs' bit has a ramp where piggies can walk up and get to fresh food, so we watched one cutie doing that in there for a bit. Then it was GUINEA PIG feeding time. A staff member came across with fresh cabbage leaves for the piggies. She took some of the female pigs out of their pen and let a few children who were around hold them. And Lee held one too! She was a cutie, she ate some cabbage leaf out of my hands. We were there ages. The staff member then gave us some cabbage leaf to feed to the boy pigs. We sat on the edge of their pen (it was like a low wall) and fed them, that was also very cute. We were both certain that the GUINEA PIGS were worth the price of admission alone. 

The next little bit had reptiles and snakes. Some of them I like but I'm a bit scared of snakes and definitely of spiders so I didn't look at them. Then the same member of staff came and let us (I say us, but it's Lee really) hold a bearded dragon. That was pretty cool although it was weird to touch! 

Outside we looked at the horses and donkeys and goats and fed them too. The shire horse was absolutely gorgeous, I really liked him. There was also a falconry centre but we didn't want to stick around so we went to the cafe for some lunch. 

The cafe was empty apart from us and two other people, so we went in and got lunch. It was given to us in a cardboard box and cardboard cups, all recyclable but one use items. I kind of get that because of the pandemic, but it does still feel quite wasteful. We got cake so I chose rainbow cake - it was moist and so delicious. The slice was huge so I took it with me to eat later. 

We went back to the cottage and, you guessed it, went swimming! It was honestly so lovely to have the pool to ourselves, we used it six days out of seven and I just loved it. 

That evening we got a curry takeaway from a village a few miles away. It had good ratings and most importantly it had good vegetarian choices. I chose a vegetarian thali, which is a bunch of little bits of different dishes and in restaurants is served in little metal pots all on a big tray. Mine came in all little containers and there was so much that there was easily enough for me to have leftovers the day after. I had chickpea and paneer curry, a mushroom curry, rice, a samosa, an onion bhaji, and I'm sure some other bits I've forgotten about. Lee's curry was nice too, I think he had chicken passanda. As I'm sure I've said before, he most often eats vegetarian at home with me, so he likes chicken sometime for a treat! 

Fried egg and veggie bacon sandwiches for breakfast

The chickens were flying all over between all the different pens which was pretty cute

Goats, so cute


These deer were really new so you couldn't get too close. They'd been rescued



Look at the little piggy coming to eat her veggies!

Lee held this one

Me feeding some of the boys

So, so cute

Look at the horse

He was so beautiful and his back stood higher than the top of my head!

We fed him

Social distancing on the farm

Cheese toastie 

And rainbow cake!