Wednesday, June 30, 2021

My Mum's Birthday at the End of May

It was my mum's birthday at the end of May, and not only that, it was the day she retired from work! She's been working since she was 14, except for a gap where I was born and when she then had breast cancer and was on sick leave when I was a toddler. She's just turned 63, so I think she deserves to retire by now! She was thoroughly spoilt by colleagues and clients and the house looked like a florist with all the flowers she got! 

She wanted to go out with us for tapas for her birthday, so she booked a table at Jose's in Wakefield. It's a family owned restaurant and that really shows - it's homey and the cooking is so fresh and the staff are all amazing - you could imagine you're on the Costa Brava eating tapas if it wasn't for the weather! I've been before but no one else had. We ordered loads of dishes, and they come as and when they're ready. Which I do understand but it did mean poor Lee only had potatoes for quite a large part of the meal! I had some delicious dishes, shared with my mum. The best one was the garlic mushrooms. We had leftovers but the staff quickly packed them into boxes for us to take home, which was great.

I had chocolate mousse for dessert which was light but also rich - really yummy. My stepdad had a pina colada dessert with caramelised pineapple and served with a shot of Cointreau - he really liked it. We all really liked the food and had enjoyed ourselves. We were there nearly four hours, which goes to show what kind of family restaurant it is! 

I wore this blue and pink chiffon dress from Yours, which I've had for ages but don't wear that often. I love it, though, it's so floaty and I love the hanky hem on it. I wore it with a pink cardigan from Simply Be that I've also had forever. I even put make up on! It was a lovely evening out to celebrate my mum 

My face on the way - I hadn't put much make up on but I do love this lipstick

Chocolate mousse

My dress - this photo was after I had drunk a lot of wine so do excuse my face!

I wore this necklace which I love, I got it at a clothes swap and it originally belonged to Lolly!

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Mini Trip Away - Day 2

On our first morning in the hotel, Lee went along to reception to pick up breakfast. Now, given that we were allowed to sit inside, I don't understand why we couldn't sit in the pub area and order a hot breakfast. But we couldn't - we had to order the night before to pick up. And they didn't have any vegetarian hot food. AND on the first morning we didn't get any butter with the croissant. So we basically just both ate the yoghurts, cereal, and fruit. Okay, fine, Covid is still a thing but... it can't be that hard. 

We set off around 10.15 to go to Matlock Bath. It was about an hour's drive, but it was a fun one. We parked easily - it's definitely the quietest I've ever seen Matlock Bath! If you've never been, it's a weird place - it's like the seaside, with fish and chip shops and amusement arcades, only it's in the middle of the country, and it's all next to the river. I like it a lot. We went in a couple of shops and the amusement arcade and then had an early lunch in one of the riverside cafes. Then we went in the other arcade. We considered going to the aquarium (which is worth a visit, and is very cheap) but decided not to. Instead, we drove a little way out of Matlock Bath to Cromford Mills.

I've been there a couple of times too. It's an important historic mill, and still has a working watermill which is nice to look at. But now there's a bunch of little shops, including two antique centres, and a cafe. Lee didn't remember having been, but I know he has. It's really nice. I bought some cheese, some books, and a present for my mum for her birthday, and we went into the cafe for a hot drink as it was really quite cold. 

We stopped in Matlock on the way back and Lee went into a record shop and we went in the Oxfam bookshop which was nice. We've missed charity shops while they've been shut! We went back a very scenic way to Tankersley, right up the west of Sheffield. It was fun! We got back to the hotel and had a lie down and rest, which was lovely. We had booked to go swimming at 5.30, and we were able to stay in for nearly an hour which was really nice. We hadn't booked into the pub in the evening because we weren't sure when/if we would want to eat, but around 8pm we went to one of the tents, where we were able to get a table with no problem. We shared a pizza and some onion rings, which were both great, and then a chocolate dipping dessert. It was nice! It wasn't too warm outside but warm enough. 

The next morning we had a disappointing breakfast again - but really, it was the only thing that I could complain about, because the hotel was lovely - and came home via Mexborough, where Lee had bought a guitar pedal, and then to pick up the kittens, who had been in the cattery for two nights. It was a lovely mini break for us! 

Lee by the river in Matlock Bath

Me by the river in Matlock Bath

A photo of Matlock Bath in the cafe we ate in 

Cromford Mills. I think it's so cool! 

They appear to be doing work on the water wheel currently, so some of it is fenced off

The books I bought - the crime books are by a Derbyshire author so that was cool 

Drinking wine again after swimming 

Our dipping dessert - I'm so glad we shared it!

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

What I Wore May 24th

When Lee and I went into town for him to have his first jab, we went into Yours in the Alhambra Centre. I'm really glad it's still there, and had a good look round. Sometimes Yours shops look really dull - all full of black and navy clothes, but I was happily surprised to see some lovely colours on the racks. There were a couple of tops I might have to go back and buy. But I spied this dress and went to try it on. 

I don't think I've ever owned anything leopard print before, but I really liked the dress. I'm sure that's obvious as I've quite a few dresses with the bardot style shoulders and shirred elastic top. The dress is really long and has nice slits up to the knees. I wore it with leggings but on holiday I would wear chub rub shorts underneath it and leave my legs bare. 

It was £33 which is more than I usually like to spend on a dress, but I really liked it and I wanted to support the shop to make sure it stays open!

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Mini Trip Away - Day 1

I think I said Lee was off in the week between ending his old job and beginning his new one, so we decided to go away for a couple of nights. We ended up going to Tankersley Manor, which is less than five miles away from our own house but which we've wanted to try for a while. We were actually booked to go last November, when the gym was shut and we both really wanted to go swimming, but then the national lockdown happened so it got cancelled. So when we thought we might do something, Lee suggested going there. He booked it and booked into the spa and pool and sorted out breakfast for us. I was glad I didn't have to do anything!

We had some errands to run on Monday morning, including taking the kittens to the cattery. The lady there says they're really friendly and always want to talk to her, which is very nice to hear. We then went to Yummy Yorkshire for brunch. We hadn't booked a table so I did wonder if we would get in, but they could squeeze us in which was good. We both had the vegetarian breakfast which was delicious, I'd recommend it. Then we went outside to get an ice cream and sat in the sunshine to eat it. The weather was very changeable, but it stayed dry for long enough then.

We came home and got packed, and then went to the hotel for check in at 2pm. Our room was in a quiet wing of the hotel, so we laid down for a while and watched TV. I was reading my book, too. It was a nice chilled time! We went swimming at 4pm. The pool was just under our room, but it didn't disturb us at all. There is a pool for swimming, and a lovely hot jacuzzi. We were booked in for half an hour but could stay longer as there weren't too many people in the pool. It was lovely! 

We went back to the room and I made a Buck's Fizz while I was drying off from swimming and before I had a shower. It was really nice. We had a table booked in the pub for 7.30, but we went around 7pm and they took us straight to our table. I had a cocktail and we shared nachos to start with.

I'd gone for a veggie burger, but when it arrived it was like pea cutlets in bread, not at all what I was expecting and I don't like peas, so I didn't like it. I was hoping for better service than I got, but I did get some halloumi to eat with my chips instead. We decided against dessert, but went outside to have another drink. They've got some cute little tents outside with heaters. It was nice, but I did get cold, so after a drink we went back to the room to watch more terrible TV!

Iced coffee in Yummy Yorkshire!

I was wearing my rainbow dress 

Really yummy vegetarian breakfast

Fudge ice cream

This is me drying off in my swimming costume before I went in the shower, with Buck's Fizz


A pornstar martini - it was so good! I'll show you my dress in the next post

These were the tents outside, I liked the decoration

I had a strawberry mojito outside

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Day in Town 22nd May

Lee and I had a nice day out in the middle of May. We were woken up early by the postman, but we lounged for a bit and then headed to the post office and the Tesco in Penistone. I stayed in the car while Lee went in, reading my book, which was actually nice. I was reading the newest Vera Stanhope book by Ann Cleeves; I haven't read too many of them but I really like the TV show. 

We went home for lunch as we had leftover takeaway pizza to eat. The day before had been Lee's last day in his old job and his adrenaline had all gone so we'd ordered pizza. I'm so glad he's left the job - it used to be great but then it was bought out and it was a case of too many managers with none of them listening to the developers on how to do things. Six developers ended up leaving within six months! I hope they end up looking at why that's happened.

Lee's new job is fully remote and he'll be working with two people he's already worked with, so that will be good. It seems like a great opportunity and I hope it works out! I also had some good news as I've been accepted on to the Trustee board of a charity in West Yorkshire. I'm really excited about it!

Anyway, after we'd eaten pizza we headed into town because Lee had his first Covid jab, in Superdrug of all places. We tried to get coffee first, but the place we wanted to go had no low seats inside and I find it impossible to sit in high seats. Such an accessibility fail! I sat in the precinct reading my book while Lee waited (they were running behind), finally had his jab, and then had to wait ten minutes to make sure he felt okay. It was spitting a bit but thankfully I didn't get wet. 

We then went into the Alhambra centre and went into a couple of shops. I got a new dress in Yours which I'll try to wear soon to show you. We got a drink in the bottom, and I had an ice cream while Lee went for an ice cream sundae. It looked nice, and he gave me one of the Flakes from it. 

We went home after coffee, but I'm glad we went into town and spent some money there. Post Covid that's what our town centres will need! 

We both had a nap when we got home, Lee was feeling a bit rough after his vaccination and I was just tired. I'm way better than I was but still needing to take it a bit easy. Then we made veggie mince bolognese baked into big shells - it was absolutely delicious. The bolognese was rich and tomatoey and delicious - we'll have to do it again! 

Sunday, June 13, 2021

What I Wore 17th May

My friend Sarah and I arranged to meet up on the 17th of May. We didn't really plan for it to be the first day we were allowed inside restaurants, but we were both free. Sarah has recently had a baby so I was looking forward to meeting her, of course. I had a lazy morning having a shower and using allll my Body Shop products to make myself beautiful. I even put make up on, which I haven't done in probably over a year. I pulled out a really old Asos Curve dress that I've had since probably 2014 when I wore it on holiday in Cornwall, and which I haven't worn in forever. I'd forgotten how much I like it. It's got a lined skirt which I like, and even though I think it's maybe a tiny bit short I decided to wear it anyway and style it out. 

I don't know if I said that Lee has a new job, working totally remotely for a much bigger company than he's ever worked for before. 17th May was the beginning of his final week and he had his exit interview and stuff, so I made myself scarce and was glad I was out for lunch! Sarah and I just went to Nando's. It was nice, every other table was blocked off so it felt safe enough, but it was quite busy. But I'm double vaccinated so I get that I can take risks that others don't feel able to. I think for a few months people are going to have different ideas of what they want to do, and I think that's fine. I'm just looking forward to seeing some friends because I've missed them so much!

I wore what was for me quite a lot of make up. I thought I went a bit heavy on the blusher but my friend said she liked it, so I left it. 

I was photobombed by Jasmine while I was taking this photo! Isn't she cute?

And here's my dress - it's a lovely gold and black pattern and I'll have to wear it again soon. It also has pockets!

Friday, June 11, 2021

What I Wore 16th May

I woke up early on the 16th of May feeling in need of a bit of adventure. I suggested to Lee that we went to Fred Aldous in Sheffield. I've been to the one in Manchester before, and I knew they had opened one in Sheffield, but hadn't yet been. So we set off and got there just after eleven. We had a poke around - they don't yet have a photobooth but apparently they're getting one. I bought some Mod Podge and two packets of envelopes, so not much, but a couple of bits. 

There's a cafe next door called Chakra Lounge - they have one in Buxton too apparently. They serve Indian street food including breakfast and including plenty of vegetarian and vegan options. It smelt amazing so we went in to order food to take away. I got samosa chaat and a tofu curry, and Lee got punjabi chicken curry and naan bread. We drove to a park to eat it, but it had started raining horribly, so we just started in the car. I couldn't eat all of mine - I brought half of each home to eat later. But I did have enough room for an ice cream so Lee dashed through the rain to the ice cream van. 

We headed home after ice cream, and did some house cleaning stuff when we got back, but it had been a nice morning out with some unexpected good food. I was wearing this old Scarlett & Jo dress which I haven't worn for a while but which is easy to pop on. I like the navy blue colour, but I have a very similar dress in green polka dot too. I was watching the Wedding Dress Shop on the BBC recently and one of the bridesmaids coming in to the shop was wearing a green one! I was like, I know that dress! 

Fred Aldous is on Fitzalan Square which has been redeveloped recently. I hope more things open up there

Chaat with hot samosas underneath

Tofu curry

Ice cream in the car. The sun kept coming out but the rain was apocalyptic too - has the weather been like that for you, too?

Here's the navy polka dotted Scarlett & Jo dress

And here's what I bought from Fred Aldous. The Mod Podges have different uses

Monday, June 7, 2021

Weekend in Saltburn: Day 4

All too soon it was time to come home from Saltburn, but we had had such a lovely weekend. It was honestly just nice to not be in my own house looking at my own four walls! We packed up and left around 10am. My mum and stepdad went straight home, but Lee and I stopped off in York on the way home.

I mentioned in my post about Kelly, who died of Covid back in February, that she collected ghosts from York Ghost Merchants. I don't know if you've seen them, but they're handmade little ghosts with different patterns on them. I think they're made of jesmonite. I know quite a few people who really love them - my friends Laura, Leanne, and Bettie all collect them, and Kelly had lots, including some really rare ones! I hadn't really been bothered about them, but since Kelly died I had been thinking about getting one in her memory. I asked Laura about them, who told me that the big ones (which are about three inches tall) are £15 and the little ones are just £8. That seemed really reasonable to me, so I asked Lee if we could pop to York.

We parked near the bottom of the Shambles and walked up to the shop. The Shambles is the old meat market, and it's tiny and narrow, and the shops nearly touch each other up above. It's now full of weird and wonderful shops, and is worth a visit if you're in York. Laura had warned me that sometimes there's a queue outside the ghost merchant shop, so I was prepared for that to happen. 

There were two sets of customers already in, so we did have to wait for a few minutes as that's their limit under Covid, but it was fine. We went in and the salesperson asked if we were familiar with the shop and how it worked. I said no, but explained that my friend had died and had lots of the ghosts, and that I wanted one in her memory. She said that was lovely, and said that a lot of people have reasons like this for buying the ghosts. I liked that, it made me feel welcome. 

We looked at the shelves, chatting about which we liked. As it was two years last week since our Reweddenning, we had said we would buy each other some little gifts while we were away. Lee got a Toy Dolls vinyl in Whitby, so he said he would buy me a ghost as a gift. I had already thought that I would like a purple one for Kelly, and Lee liked the black and white one that he bought for me. There were lots of patterns I liked though - I would probably get another! 

You pay for the ghosts and the salesperson wraps them in York map paper and puts them in boxes, and then she puts them on a little train that goes to the front of the shop, where you pick them up! You can also take a photo of the ghosts before they're wrapped up, in the photobooth, which I of course did. It's a very cute shop and I like the attention to detail. It makes buying a ghost feel like An Event, which I like. 

I've put the ghosts on one of the sets of drawers that live on my desk. I am so happy to have something to remind me of Kelly, who I really miss, and to have a gift from Lee too! Every time I look at them they make me happy

I love York and it was so nice to be back there, even if it was very briefly. Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate is said to be the shortest street in York which is probably true as it's not much longer than this sign!

Here's my wee ghosties in the photobooth. It's cute eh? The purple one has a veil over its face, which I like, and I love the swirls on the black and white one - at the bottom they almost look like people in a fog ridden city!

Thursday, June 3, 2021

What I Wore 9th May

I was fortunate on the Sunday we were away because it was really quite warm and stayed dry, even though there were a few clouds around. When the sun was out, it was nice and warm. I was glad I had long sleeves on though, because the wind was fierce! 

So this skirt used to be a dress. You'll have seen it before I'm sure. But the bodice never sat quite right, so eventually I just cut it off and wear the bottom as a skirt. That means I can mix it up with whatever top I feel like! I love the skirt because it's lined and it has some netting, so it looks quite vintage and I like the shape of it. 

This top was one of a pack of three that I got from Simply Be at some point last year. The others in the packet were a black top and a white top, and I liked that they all have long sleeves. I don't have many long sleeved tops but they're good when it's cooler weather. I like the blush colour of this top. I was picking out clothes for the weekend and thought that the colour matched some of the colours on the skirt. I thought they'd go well together and I think it paid off! Instagram agreed, too! Again, I wore the top tucked into the skirt as that's the look I like.