Sunday, September 19, 2021

Trip to Hebden Bridge - Day 2

I was awake early on the Monday morning of our trip away, because I hadn't slept at all well. I let Lee sleep though and just read my book. We didn't have to rush out of the Airbnb so we left around 11 and went to park in town. We went in a couple of shops and then had a hot drink in a cafe. Sam arrived not too long after that and we went in some more shops and sat by the river for a bit. It was looking low despite the fact that there had been lots of rain - hopefully the flood defences upstream are working because Hebden Bridge was really badly affected by floods a few years ago. 

Janet found us by the river around 1pm and we went to Cafe Mijo for lunch. It was nice but the service was a bit rubbish and they didn't explain that some of the items weren't available, including what I had chosen. I ended up with a veggie breakfast though, which was delicious all the same. It was nice to see Janet and chat to her after so long. We met through blogging actually although we then have tons of mutual friends and both make zines and like YA literature. 

We went into a few more shops after lunch, Janet had to go and then Sam went too to get the train. Lee and I had ice cream by the river before setting off home. I'm pretty sure I had a nap when we got home as I was very tired! 

It was nice to get away from home for a little bit, though, and I love Hebden Bridge so much so it's perfect for a little trip away. 

I was wearing my hand bleached bike gear t-shirt, and my Scarlett & Jo skirt that I cut down from being a dress. 

Oh and there's Jasmine for good measure, she was pleased to be home even though they had both been fine at my mum's! My mum and stepdad love having them overnight and it's so useful for us. 

The view out of the bedroom window

Hot chocolate in the cafe

Ducks on the river

I bought the silver bracelet in a shop in Hebden Bridge, with some money I still have left over from Christmas!

We all had a cocktail for lunch because it seemed rude not to

I had a Screwball ice cream, I haven't had one since I was about twelve!

This is what I was wearing

And here's my beautiful Jazzy 

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Trip to Hebden Bridge - Day 1

I have been so desperate to get away somewhere so I was planning a trip to Hebden Bridge by myself - I was looking at hotels and Airbnbs and asked my friend Sam to come meet me for lunch or something. I also wanted to meet up with my friend Janet who lives in Hebden Bridge now. 

Then Lee's company gave the whole company Monday the 2nd of August off! So that was perfect and he could come with me. A lot of the Airbnbs had disappeared since I was looking, but Lee found one at an okay price so we booked it. We took the kittens to stay at my mother's overnight at set off about 1pm for Hebden Bridge. 

We met the Airbnb owner and went in. The house was built into the hillside so the rooms at the back didn't have any windows - the bathroom and kitchen - but the front rooms were nice and homely. But Lee couldn't get the TV working! What a horror! It's funny too because usually he takes his laptop and a cable and we watch stuff he has downloaded, but this time he decided to not take his laptop - typical. Anyway we didn't worry about that so we went down into town.

I wish we had looked at the market because I love Hebden Bridge market, but we didn't because I thought we would have time on the Monday, but then it wasn't open on the Monday. Annoying! We went to a Greek restaurant called Aya Sophia which was serving cocktails, and it was absolutely gorgeous weather so we sat outside and had some drinks. Lee doesn't drink alcohol so I had to drink by myself, but it was fun. 

At 6pm we went along to Rim Nam Thai for something to eat. I LOVE Thai food, and Lee tried penang curry which he's not had before, with chicken. I had tofu massaman curry which is my favourite, and this was particularly good. We shared some rice and some chips and some not-prawn crackers. Delicious!

After food we decided to go back to the house. Lee managed to get the TV working so we watched a film. I'd finished one cross stitch so started another. It was a nice day! 

Here I am with two cocktails - a tequila sunrise and a blue Hawaiian 

And then later with a Long Island iced tea

I liked this map of the area near the canal

The canal

Lee and I in Rim Nam Thai, it was quite busy but it's big so we felt okay 

My massaman curry

The front room of the Airbnb house

And my just started cross stitch!

Sunday, September 12, 2021

What I Wore 31st July

On the 31st of July our friends Lou and Si came over to hang out with us and see the kittens, who they last saw in September 2020 when they were only a few months old. We ordered pizza from Papa Johns as we had a voucher which gave us 50% off. We had a vegan pizza, a veggie pizza, and a chicken pizza, to get everyone's needs catered for, and a bunch of sides. I don't LOVE Papa Johns pizza, but it was okay - the veggie pizza was nice. Lou and Si brought some vegan cakes from near their house, which were lovely.

In the morning, Lee and I had been to the gym. I'm not sure if I mentioned it, but I set myself a challenge to swim 2.5 miles in July. This was 202 lengths. We usually go swimming only once a week, and I'd say we only do around 20 lengths each time, so obviously that's only around 80 a month. So doing more than twice that would be a proper challenge for me. I decided to ask for sponsorship and wanted to raise money for Mind as mental health issues are close to my heart, so they're a charity I like to support. 

I knew it would stretch me, and challenge me. I did lengths with my mum and with Lee. When it was really hot Lee and I went a few times to cool down, so didn't do loads of lengths then, but everything was a little more towards the total. On the 26th of July my mum and Lee and I did enough lengths so that I only had ten left to do! 

I went to the gym a couple of times by myself, which is not something I do often, but when I did I managed to do thirtty lengths all at once. I paid for it with pain the next day though, when I could barely walk because I was hurting so much. I'm sure most people could do way more lengths than me, but due to chronic pain I've to be careful. But it was a challenge for me!

Anyway, before Lou and Si arrived, Lee and I went to the gym and did the final ten lengths and then eight more, meaning I had a total of 210 for the month! I'm so pleased. I also raised over £500 for Mind, which is absolutely brilliant. I had so many brilliant donations and I'm so pleased I did it. And proud of myself! 

We will definitely try to go to the gym more often I think, and I really should get better at going by myself. I'll try to keep a tally of how many lengths I do next month and see whether I could get to 150, for instance. 

After the gym we came home and I got in the shower. Lou and Si arrived and so did the pizzas and it was really nice to just chill! 

I was wearing this t-shirt from Simply Be with sequinned lips on it, I haven't worn it in ages but I like it, and a black pleated skirt that I think is from New Look. I got it at a clothes swap though - remember them! Hopefully we'll be able to have one again soon. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Tea Out at Make No Bones

At the end of July I met up with my friend Philippa in Sheffield. I haven't seen her since before the pandemic started, so it was well overdue and so nice to see her. I had been having a craving for vegan junk food, so I suggested we went to Make No Bones. It used to be down in Meersbrook, and then it moved to Church - Temple of Fun. Pippa and I went to it there once, but I don't think I blogged it. It's now moved again to The Old Workshop in Neepsend, so Pippa booked a table. We usually meet for lunch but Make No Bones doesn't open until 4pm at the moment, so we booked for then for an early tea. It worked out well for me because Lee was going to band practice and needed the car at 6.30 ish. 

I had been craving a chicken burger - it's hard to replicate the mouth feel of fried chicken in fake meat products, I've found - so I went for the "chicken" burger which comes with vegan slaw and mustard and salad. It was so good - it had that crunch of fried chicken and the flavours were gorgeous. I also went for poutine fries which had fake bacon bits and vegan cheese on them, and came with a side of gravy to pour on. Finally I went for avocado wings which are deep fried and covered in ranch dressing and which I've had before and would recommend. The food was all great - Pippa went for the same as me except she had mushrooms instead of avocado wings. 

It was nice to go out again, and great to have such amazing food!

It's a nice big airy space

Chicken burger

Poutine fries, before gravy!

Avocado wings

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Outfit of the Day 27th July

I feel like I haven't done an outfit post in forever! You've seen some of the outfits I've worn recently, but I've been mostly wearing the same things especially as it's been so hot. I've been living in long dresses and nothing else! 

But on Tuesday the 27th of July I had to go to a meeting in Leeds. I've volunteered as a trustee for a charity in West Yorkshire and that was the first meeting. I'm excited about it, I hope that I can lend my skills to the Trustee board. I met a bunch of people which was good, and I learnt a whole load of new things too. 

I left Leeds around 3.30 and got home just after 4pm. Lee had finished work so we went to the Food Warehouse in Barnsley and bought a bunch of stuff for our new freezer, which had arrived a couple of days before. We got loads of yummy vegetarian stuff and some potato products and tons of ice creams. When we got back the kittens were very excited I was home as I'd been gone ALL DAY. 

Anyway, I was wearing this old Scarlett & Jo skirt, which is one of my favourites as it's nice and light, and a plain white t-shirt from Simply Be. The t-shirt is nice and stretchy, it's nice to wear. 

I look absolutely knackered because I hadn't been sleeping well due to the heat, due to exhaustion, and due to chronic pain. Sorry! But that's real life!

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Two Trips out in July

Towards the end of July I made plans to meet up with my friend Sarah. We always used to like going to Yo Sushi in Meadowhall, but since Covid it's not been open in the same way, and Sarah had been to Meadowhall before restrictions lifted and said no one was wearing masks or keeping their distance then, so we decided we would try another sushi place in the middle of Sheffield. We had decided on one but then it turned out it didn't open until 4pm so FINALLY we decided on Mr Myagi's Revolving Sushi Restaurant on Division Street. I booked a table but I needn't have bothered, although it isn't huge inside and would be busy later on I bet. I know there's parking just off Division Street and I managed to get it which was good. There's usually some on Division Street but they've pedestrianised some of it so that restaurants can have outside spaces, which is annoying, but I'm glad I got parked all the same. Also, the city was setting up for Tramlines festival so roads off Division Street were closed... but it was all okay.

I was impressed with the size of the restaurant's vegetarian and vegan selection - there's LOADS. They have excellent sushi choices and fake meat dishes, so I went for Korean BBQ mock popcorn chicken which was delicious and sticky and amazing. Sarah went for pulled beef bao buns, I think, which were bigger than we were expecting! We shared a veggie sushi platter which was yummy. I was so happy they had marble soda, too, as I really like it. I got lychee flavour which was really nice.

We had considered ordering more sushi but there's a dessert place across the road so we went there. We had a chocolate shot each and a dessert. I had a crepe, it was pretty nice. Baby Robyn was very good throughout the whole thing and we had a good cuddle and look at her book. 

Lychee soda

Really good Korean BBQ "chicken"

This sushi platter was so nice, I could've eaten it all myself

The bestest chocolate shot

And my crepe!

The day after this, Lee and I went to Manchester to a Publisher's Fair held in the Central Library. We had breakfast sandwiches and then set off, as I'd bought tickets to go in between 12.30 and 12.50 - they had it staggered which worked out well. There weren't tons of stalls, but I bought some books, and my friend Vicky of Pen Fight Distro was there with books and zines so I bought some of each of those from her. We were done quite quickly so we had a drink there and then wondered what to do next. We went down to Revolucion de Cuba where we got some bar seats with a proper seat which is good for me, it's not painful. I had a Flamingo Collins cocktail which was delicious and came in the most amazing flamingo mug.

Then we tried to find food to eat... and failed. NOWHERE was serving food, because they were all just operating as bars. There was a Polish restaurant with no veggie choices, and somewhere else with ONE vegan choice... which I did not want! I wanted vegetarian food! We walked round and round and it was hot and tiring and eventually I just said let's go home. It was frustrating. 

On the way home we decided to go to Glossop as there are pubs and stuff there. I had it in my mind there was a Pizza Express and I think there used to be, but it's gone now. But there is a Pico Lounge - I don't know if you've been in any of The Lounges but I think they're franchised. I've been in ones in Swansea and near us at Fox Valley. I know they have decent veggie choices so we went in there. I had tapas and a Long Island Spiced Tea which was lovely. Lee had a huge buttermilk chicken burger which he really liked. It was past 4pm by this point and we were both hungry and tired, but I'm glad we finally managed to get something. It was a nice day but I paid for it the next day and was in a lot of pain. 

In Central Library having a drink 

My utterly ridiculous flamingo cocktail

Lee's finally cottoned on that I always need a photo of myself with a fancy drink. I was wearing this bardot neck Yours dress and there was a girl in the place wearing a really similar dress only it was longer and had broderie anglaise in it - it was so pretty and I told her she looked really pretty 

Long Island Spiced Tea looking a little tired, but ok

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Afternoon Tea at Wentworth Garden Centre

For Christmas 2019, you know, in the Before Times, my mum and stepdad bought us a voucher for afternoon tea at Wentworth Garden Centre. I don't know if you've ever been but it's a lovely place - there's a large gift shop, a huge plant nursery, a cafe with the nicest homemade cake, gardens, an aquarium/farm, children's play area, etc etc. I love it there and my mum had had an afternoon tea so she bought us the voucher. However, due to lockdown, we obviously haven't been able to use it, and we weren't sure if it had an expiry date or not.

But a few weeks ago Lee rang up and we could still use it, so we booked the tea for one Sunday afternoon. The only time they had was 3.30, which was a strange time really, but we had some early lunch and just chilled out for most of the day until we set off for Wentworth. 

We went into the cafe which was the emptiest I have literally ever seen it. It's usually heaving. But restrictions were still in place so I guess that is partly why. I was expecting to be seated in the cafe but instead we were led through to the Bothy, where there were a couple of other tables already eating afternoon tea.

As it was so hot we were offered the choice of cold drinks instead of tea and coffee,  so Lee went for lemonade and I ordered a Coke. I don't often drink full sugar Coke (we usually have caffeine free) but it's really nice when the pop is cold and the weather is hot. 

Our afternoon tea stands arrived just after the drinks. I had all vegetarian sandwiches and Lee didn't have any red meat, but I swapped one of my egg sandwiches for his cheese and chutney as he doesn't like cheese. There were tons of cakes on top - scones, a chocolate torte, lemon posset, coffee cake, and a raspberry meringue. I couldn't eat all the cake so brought some home.

It was a really lovely tea, it's just a shame it was so hot in the Bothy. I'm glad we finally got to use our gift! 

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Saturday with the Family

My aunt and cousin came up towards the end of July to stay with my grandma, so we made plans to see them. I haven't seen my cousin Peter since last August as he couldn't come at Christmas of course, and he's been completing his degree at uni in Bournemouth all year. He's finished now which is excellent, so he came up with my aunt. I wanted him to meet the kittens - we're a cat family - so Lee and I picked him up from my grandma's just before lunchtime and came back to ours. 

We had lunch and then because it was so hot decided to go to Cannon Hall. We managed to find a shady spot under a tree and sat there for a while playing a game. Lee and Peter went over for ice creams and then we went into the playground which was fun. Peter made the roundabout go so fast! 

Back at home the kittens were desperate to go outside but it was far too hot at the front, so we took them out the back with their harnesses on. They were inquisitive about it, if a little confused, and there's no grass to eat out the back, but they stayed there for a while anyway. 

Around 5pm we set off for my grandma's for tea, with my mum and stepdad coming too. It was so hot inside my grandma's house that I staged a coup and went to sit outside with Lee. Everyone came with us and it was really nice to be out in the fresh air. We ordered some Turkish food for tea and had to eat that inside, but then we sat outside until nearly 11pm. Even my grandma didn't complain! 

Ir was a nice day, pretty relaxed but nice to spend some time in the sunshine and fresh air. Plus of course ice cream!

There was barely a cloud in the sky at Cannon Hall. There were people around but it wasn't stupidly busy

Two of my favourite people in the whooooooooooole world

And kittens outside the back for the first time! Jasmine was just the other side of Peter

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Trip to Manchester in mid July

I went to Manchester in mid July to meet up with my friend Amy. She had a baby, Robyn, in February and obviously thanks to lockdown I haven't been able to meet the baby yet so we made plans to meet up when we could. I suggested meeting at the Drop Bar Cafe in Chorlton. We've been before, two and a bit years ago when Amy's first baby Daisy was very little. I had it in my head that it was completely vegetarian, but I was wrong. It does serve meat, but it has good veggie and vegan options. It's Jamaican, so everything is nice and spicy!

Amy mentioned to me that Lily's, a vegetarian Indian restaurant in Ashton-under-Lyne that we've been to a couple of times, now has a deli in Chorlton, so I decided to go early to Manchester to go to it and to the Unicorn grocery, which is just near the deli. I've been there before with Amy. I had a gorgeous drive across the moors in the sunshine and arrived at the Unicorn around about 11.15. They're extending it so the car park isn't huge, but I managed to get parked. I bought lots of snacks like Bombay mix, and some sourdough bread for Lee, and some coleslaw and onion bhajis for both of us. In Lily's I bought samosas and a portion of dhal and stuff. It was so hot so I also got a cold can of lychee Rubicon out of the fridge!

I drove along to the Drop Bar Cafe and parked nearby at just after 12. I went in and got our table, even though I was a bit early. I ordered a pineapple juice and read my book while I waited for Amy. 

She and Robyn turned up not too long later, Robyn dressed in just her dungarees which I was very jealous about because it was warm! Amy ordered the vegan drop box and I ordered the veggie hence drop box, I'm pretty sure this is exactly what we each had last time! 

Mine was so good, it has jerk halloumi, veg curry, fried plaintain, two types of coleslaw, rice and peas, and a fried dumpling. It was all so nice, absolutely amazing flavours and really delicious. I'd recommend the place if you're in the area and you like Jamaican food! 

I had been sitting in the same place for quite a while by the time we left, and as I stood up I realised that the front part of my leg was numb down my shin. I'm pretty sure this is still a by effect of my surgery and the fact that the spinal block didn't wear off properly. I'm finding this happens sometimes, and if I get pins and needles in my leg it physically hurts, like I'm being pricked with actual needles, for ages as it wears off. I've mentioned it to my consultant and he said it was just an after effect and I shouldn't worry. The numbness did wear off, but it took over a day to do it. Sigh! 

Pineapple juice 

The wall in Drop Bar Cafe, so colourful!

Mine and Amy's lunch

And the cute just bag I bought in Unicorn!

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Films of the Month - June

I did slightly better with films in June than I had in May, and watched eight films in the month, which was an improvement on the four films I watched in May. Here's what I saw:

I watched Love and Mercy, which is the biopic about Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys, starring Paul Dano as the young Wilson and John Cusack as the older one. Both were brilliant, I really liked the film and would recommend it even if you're not a huge Beach Boys fan (I'm not!)

(Sorry for the French poster!)

I watched Portrait of a Lady on Fire because I've been meaning to for ages. I really really liked it. I generally don't like films with subtitles as I find them hard to follow, but I was cross-stitching at the same time and I think the fact that I'm good at French helped. I would definitely recommend this if you haven't seen it

Lee wanted to watch Office Space so we did. I fell asleep in the middle part though, but from what I saw I liked it. Lee's seen it before but I never have. 

I watched London Town, which is about a teenager who gets into The Clash. It's okay - Jonathan Rhys Meyers was miscast as Joe Strummer in my opinion (I'm a big fan of The Clash) but it's a cute enough film

Next I watched Ammonite, which is Francis Lee's second film (he also did God's Own Country, which is one of my favourite films ever) and which is similar to Portrait of a Lady on Fire. It's good, Kate and Saoirse and both really good. I'd been rewatching Gentleman Jack too, so it was a good month for queer ladies!

Lee and I watched Finding Nemo together, it's one of our favourite films and we saw it in the cinema way back when it came out. I love it!

I had The Awakening of Motti Wolkenbruch on my Netflix list - I think it was recommended after I'd watched Orthodox, which was brilliant. This is less harrowing, it's quite tongue in cheek, but also a bit weird. It was okay but I wouldn't rush to watch it again

Lastly I watched The Impossible, which is about a family caught up in the Boxing Day Tsunami in 2004. Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor were good, and baby Tom Holland was adorable and good. I liked it. 

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Day Out in Uppermill

Right at the end of June I went to Uppermill, right on the top of the Pennines, to see Steph. I obviously haven't seen her in forever thanks to the pandemic, and she was off for a few days so I drove over. It's weird because I put the address in my satnav and it took me a weird way to Holmfirth, and I thought, well if you'd said I had to go through Holmfirth I could have got myself there! I followed the A635 across the moors then. It was a lovely sunshiney warm day and driving across the moors listening to a podcast was beautiful! It's been a long time since I've driven myself so far, by myself, as where I've been for 16 months has been with Lee or just driving to work or somewhere like that. So it was nice!

I parked in Uppermill and met Steph. We went in a couple of shops and then had a cup of coffee in the sunshine. Then we went to a garden centre nearby which is also where we ended up eating lunch. The food was nice but the service was slow - the staff seemed very confused about what was going. We drove a little bit after lunch and went past some gorgeous parts of the moors. Then we went to a pub and had some dessert there while sitting on the canalside in the sunshine. It was really lovely! I didn't want to be too late home so I set off back about 3pm, but it was so lovely to see Steph and catch up after so long. 

I was wearing my new LGSM t-shirt. I saw it in The Bookish Type in Leeds but didn't have enough money to buy it as well. But then I immediately regretted it and decided to order it online. You can usually buy it through Gay's the Word (where LGSM originated), but it was out of stock. But then Housman's bookshop had it, so I ordered through them. I must point out it was the same £12 wherever I bought it. It arrived first thing on Tuesday so I put it on. I love it! I'll be wearing it lots over the summer I reckon. It's a 2XL which is the biggest size they stock (boo!) and while it doesn't fit me on the hips, it does fit on my arms and boobs so is fine tucked into a skirt. I love it!

My whole outfit, which included this skirt which as I've said before was a dress but the bodice was short on me so I cut it off

A close up on the shirt. If you haven't seen the film Pride, go watch it now!

Me and Steph in the car together!

Some sheep in the middle of the road in Marsden 

Sitting next to the canalside in the pub

And looking the other way

And finally this necklace which I bought from Asos a couple of weeks previously. It says 'Good times are coming' and I think that's perfect for just now!