Friday, July 30, 2021

Great Yorkshire Vegan Market in Leeds

On Sunday 20th June Lee and I went to the Great Yorkshire Vegan Market in Leeds. As I've said previously, I'm vegetarian, but I like to eat vegan sometimes, and Lee doesn't eat red meat but does often eat vegetarian with me, and he also likes vegan substitutes for meat, like bacon or burgers. So when I saw the festival advertised somewhere online, I thought we should go. I bought one standard ticket for a fiver and one VIP ticket which I think was about £15 and which came with a goodie bag. I figured we only needed one between us.

We parked at Leeds markets and unfortunately had to walk all the way around because the entrance was at the other side and it was all cordoned off. I wish there'd been information about this because I would have parked at Victoria Gate and just walked across the road. But we made it in around 11am. There were quite a few people there but it wasn't busy. We headed to the farthest away stalls, which were the hot food stalls. There was Greek and vegan Fish and Chips, and an Ethiopian food stall. We then started around the rest of the stalls. I'd seen people complaining that there were a lot of cake stalls, which I didn't agree with. There were dessert stalls, but of different types, like doughnuts, cookies, brownies, layered cakes, and so on. There were clothing stalls, skincare stalls, soap stalls, wildlife stalls, jewellery stalls, all kinds of things. We bought some brownies, and wandered around. It was hard to make decisions but I've still got birthday money left (from January!) so I treated myself to a couple of bits.

We went out of the market area to have some lunch as there were some benches. I had a Greek pitta but it wasn't that nice - it was quite dry. Lee had a vegan hotdog and chips and I wished I'd gone for that as they were both delicious! Oh well, next time. 

We went back in to look at the rest of the stalls. We bought quite a few things as you'll see in the photos. I thought it was good for the price and I'd go again. I wish there'd been more street food, but that's my only complaint. There were some really lovely stallholders and not too many people. 

Afterwards we went to my mum's to see my stepdad as it was Father's Day, but we didn't stay too long. It was a good day! 

Lee took some photos for me of the stalls

You can see it was busy enough but not stupidly busy

This mural is on the outside of the markets and has been for years - it reminded me of when we used to take Lee to the coach station so he could get the National Express home to Durham!

My pitta wrap, but like I was it wasn't too good

Turkish delight! I bloody love Turkish delight but I don't like rose flavour. The stallholder, who was actually Turkish, pretended to be disappointed in me, but gave me a couple of pieces of all the other flavours, including apple, mint, lemon, orange, pomegranate and a couple more

Chocolate orange cake, we'll share this

Brownies on the left and cookie dough bits on the right. Those were so good! You reheat them in the oven or microwave and they were so delicious

I had been meaning to order from Tyne Chease but hadn't got round to it, so I was pleased to see them at the market. They had tiny crumbles of about six flavours to try, and honestly, I liked them all. It's not exactly like cheese - it's very soft - but the flavours were good. I went for original, which was nice and salty. I dunno what I'll do with it yet!

I got some soap and some wax melts from some lovely girls from Lincoln, and some earrings from Olive & Hope which I'd recently seen on Instagram and which I really liked!

These are the goodies I got in my VIP bag! 

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Lunch Out at Cannon Hall

Towards the end of June Lee and I took our bikes for mending. The government had a voucher scheme going where you would get £50 off a service and repairs for your bike; we both signed up in March or something. It's ended now sadly, but it was so helpful for us. We took my bike first and it took out it needs some TLC we can do, but it only needed the £50 service and less than £20 worth of repairs, so that was excellent. We knew Lee's was in worse shape - both bikes were actually in the cellar of our house when it flooded and I was worried they would both need writing off. I love my bike - I got it off eBay years ago and paid very little compared to what it's worth. It's really solid and has nice thick tyres for my nice thick body, haha. So I didn't want to get rid of it. Halfords said it's in good condition but needs a good clean. We'll do that soon! 

Lee's bike it turned out would cost us £80 after the £50 service. That seemed fine, we were expecting it to be more and we've decided to invest that money in it with the view of buying a new (secondhand) bike for Lee in a couple of years if we need to. This one came out of a skip originally! My uncle rescued it. 

We dropped the bikes at home and then completely neglected to feed the kittens any lunch before heading out ourselves for lunch at Cannon Hall. I really wanted to get out a little bit so I thought we'd chance it. I was expecting the cafe to be heaving as it usually is on a weekend, but instead there were plenty of tables and we walked straight in. The menu isn't huge but there were a few veggie options. I went for a crispy halloumi club sandwich that had beetroot hummus in it too. It was so delicious! Lee had a chicken baguette that he said was nice. 

Afterwards I really wanted a whippy ice cream from the ice cream van that is usually in the car park, but it wasn't there! Disappointing. We drove up to the top of the park in case there was an ice cream van up there, but there wasn't. But there is an ice cream parlour up there, so Lee went in for ice creams and I went to get a picnic table outside on the grass. Again, I was expecting it to be busy and it wasn't. It was the day before Father's Day though so maybe everyone was planning to go then instead. 

I had chococolate and bubblegum ice creams which were both delicious. It was nice to sit in the sunshine and we did the same when we got home, too, in the garden with the kittens. They love it, they like to explore and eat grass and sunbathe. 

I was wearing this Sprinkle of Glitter dress which is one of my favourites, I say this every time I wear it but I do! It's comfy and pretty and I like it with leggings and sandals. I was wearing these new sandals that I got last year in the Dorothy Perkins sale, but I barely had chance to wear them. I've worn them loads this week already! Perfect to slip on and off. 

It was a lovely day - I'm glad we got outside and had a bit of sunshine while it wasn't raining!

I love pomegranate San Pellegrino and was excited when it was on the menu! 

Halloumi club sandwich

Me in the sunshine waiting for ice cream

Chocolate and bubblegum ice cream

Rose gold sandals

And my lovely Sprinkle of Glitter dress, I love how colourful it is

Oh and very excitingly we put up the bee hotel I bought months ago. I just hope we get some bees in it now!

Saturday, July 24, 2021

A Busy Day in June

I had a busy day in mid June and it was the first time I'd felt fully better since my surgery. I maybe pushed myself a little far because I felt a bit rubbish the next day, but I had a nice time so that's the main thing. 

First of all I went to work, which wasn't too exciting but I did see some colleagues which is nice. I'm not sure when I'll be going back into the office, but for now I'm still working at home. I did get permission to upgrade the accounts package we use, which is very exciting for me as it'll do some things that it doesn't do currently. 

I had plans to meet my friend Chloe for lunch, but it was really early for that, so I headed to a Tesco express near where I work. I rarely go in supermarkets anymore - Lee does the shopping and although he will of course buy me whatever I ask for, I like to go and look sometimes. I picked up fruit pastilles and jelly tots which are vegan now, and a bunch of other snacks and stuff. They'll last me weeks! I bought an orange Twirl for Lee. It was nice to have a choice of what I wanted!

I was still early for Chloe but I went along to the pub anyway. I got a table easily and got a drink and sat reading my book for a while. I'm glad I'd had the foresight to take it with me! Chloe was early too so she joined me about 12.15. 

It's a pub that we used to go to a lot because my grandma lives just over the road from it practically, but it's changed chains a few times and the last few times I'd been it's been rubbish. But I noticed it had changed again, so I thought I'd give it a go. And I have to say, the food was nice. There wasn't a ton of veggie choices but enough for me. However, service was reallllly slow. It was 40 minutes before anyone took our order, and the main courses took forever to come too. We each had a starter and a main and while I don't think we would have got puddings, Chloe often likes to have a coffee after her food, but no one even asked if we wanted this. It annoyed me, especially because it wasn't that busy. 

I had breaded mushrooms and halloumi fajitas, both of which were nice. Like I say, it wasn't the food that was the problem. 

I got home just after 3pm and since it was so sunny I went outside to sit under the parasol and play with the kittens. They like going outside and like exploring and eating grass. Lee is in training at his new job, so that finished about 4pm and came outside with us. I was tired, but at 6pm I was going out again!

My book club usually meets monthly in nearby Penistone, but of course in the pandemic we haven't been able to do that, so we've been meeting on Zoom. We've kept that going and will for the next few months at least, but the leader Ceri was eager for some of us to meet up at the pub where we usually go. So 9 of us met up outside at two tables, nice spread about. I wasn't sure about going but I had a lovely time chatting with people and was really glad I'd made the effort to. I didn't get home until 8pm! By which time I was knackered! 

I was wearing this black dress from Yours which I showed a few weeks ago. I hope you all like my witch's familiar, Jasmine. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Barbecue on 13th June

Sunday the 13th of June was supposed to be a really warm day so I invited my mum and stepdad over for a barbecue. We have the world's tiniest garden but it's nice to sit out in it. We've been taking the kittens out too, on harnesses. They like to explore and eat grass and sunbathe, it's very cute. My mum and stepdad arrived about 3.30 and we took the kittens out almost straight away. Lee and my stepdad were sorting something out inside, but the kittens kept us amused outside. Then when we were all outside, Lee decided to start destroying the wooden chairs and table that we've had forever. We don't use them - Ivy was the one who sat most on them. Usually if we sit in the garden we sit on picnic blankets on the grass, or if we've got visitors we use our camping chairs and table. The wooden stuff was all rickety, and taking up space, so Lee's been meaning to destroy it for a while. He had a lot of fun doing it.

We put the kittens back inside and got the barbecue going. I'm not sure Lee and I had a barbecue at all last year, and I love them. Ours is small and cute! I bought it for Lee a few years ago. We let it get nice and hot all over before putting on chicken for those three and kebabs for me and veggie sausages for all. We had homemade potato salad and some other bits, but I hadn't gone overboard. We put some of the kindling from the garden furniture on the barbecue for a bit of a fire. 

We had food and then started a game of Trivial Pursuit. It wasn't very sunny but it was muggy. Halfway through the game my stomach hurt and I went to the bathroom and ended up being sick, which curtailed the evening! I dunno what it was, if something had disagreed with me, but I didn't feel at all well. That meant I didn't get a picture of my gorgeous dress, either, which is annoying because I havent blogged it before and it's really pretty! 

But, it was a really nice time and I'm glad they came. 

Oh I was wearing these cute little green leaf earrings that I bought from The Perfect Stud just before this. They're silver

Garden furniture reduced to kindling

And my cute lil barbecue with a bit of a fire going

Saturday, July 17, 2021

What I Wore 12th June

I pulled out this outfit to meet Sam and Jac, I wasn't sure what I wanted to wear but when I opened the wardrobe I spotted this skirt and thought, ooh yes that's a good one. I pulled out the stripy top from the same collection which I actually have two of because we managed to dye one in the washing machine at some point, so this one is whiter than that (which I wear around the house).

Both items are from the Sprinkle of Glitter collection at Simply Be from several years ago - I reckon it might have been around 2016 cos I think I remember wearing one of the dresses when on holiday in Cornwall that year. The skirt is lined with lilac satin and has pink netting with sequins on top. The top is so comfortable to wear and I really love it. 

Jacqui said she liked my outfit a lot!

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Day Out in York

It was my friend Sam's birthday on the 10th of June, so she took herself off for a few days. She stayed in York on the Friday night and asked Jac and I to meet her for bottomless brunch on Saturday morning. I wasn't sure how I'd feel - I was still suffering the after effects of surgery - but as the week wore on and I felt better than I had, I decided I would go. Lee took me, he went to see a friend in York and then came into the city centre and went in some shops before meeting up with us. 

We met at the Slug and Lettuce and had their bottomless brunch. I had a veggie breakfast which was nice enough. They were pretty good at supplying us with drinks. You get two hours which was plenty. 

After breakfast we decided to walk along to Holy Trinity Church on Goodramgate which is where Anne Lister and Ann Walker took their sacrament together which they regarded as marriage vows between them. There's a plaque there now and the church is open and still has all the old box pews inside. It was pretty cool to see. 

Then we walked to Evil Eye on Stonegate which is one of my favourite bars ever, I first went in there when I was a student in York (I was at York St John). It's famously the place where my friend Laura accidentally chucked a drink all down my pale mint green top. They do a cocktail called a Constantine, which tastes like Skittles and is so nice. We had a couple of drinks in there, and Lee met us there for a bit before he had to go back for the car. He picked me up near the Minster and we got home about 4pm. I was absolutely exhausted so got into bed for a rest. I've had to do this a lot since being ill in April and definitely since surgery. I really need to learn that it's okay if my body needs it! I will get better I'm sure, but I definitely feel a bit rubbish in the meantime. 

It was a lovely day though - Sam and Jac and I haven't been together just the three of us since December 2019, so it was lovely to do that. 

Gorgeous to see York Minster in the sunshine. I love York very much and always like to go

Reunited and it feels so good!

Veggie breakfast 

The plaque to Anne Lister at Holy Trinity Church

Cute box pews

Jacqui with cocktails

Me, looking hot and bothered, with cocktails

And finally Sam with cocktails too!

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Hysteroscopy and Spinal Block in Hospital

I mentioned before that I was waiting for a procedure in hospital and I think I mentioned too that I'd had to go to A&E at the end of April because the pain was so bad. I have endometriosis and I have had really bad bleeding for a while. I had some biopsies taken in December and when I got the results in January they were concerned because I had pre-cancerous cells in the lining of my womb. I was supposed to have the hysteroscopy and more biopsies taken in April, and sure enough an appointment came through. 

However, the referring doctor messed up the referral meaning I hadn't had any pre op assessment, so I couldn't have the procedure done. I ran out of the medication that he had put me on as he'd only given me twelve weeks worth, and that's when I started bleeding horribly again. And the pain! It was the pain that was worst, I've never known pain like it. Fortunately I was given more meds. I had my pre op assessment and finally got a date through for the 3rd of June.

Coincidentally that week was Lee's first week in his new job. I had a Covid swab on the Monday and then we both had to self isolate until Thursday morning. I had to be at the hospital by 7. I was one of the first to go into theatre, partly because I'm mildly allergic to latex so apparently they do those first. I had all the pre checks and spoke to the anaesthetist. I didn't want a general anaesthetic and I didn't want to stay in overnight either. She agreed with me, saying they would do a spinal block and that if it wore off and I felt okay, I would be able to go home later that day. 

I was taken into theatre around 9.30. The spinal block took effect very quickly. They asked me what music I would like to listen to and it's funny because when I had some teeth taken out at the hospital a couple of years ago they asked the same question and I said Bruce Springsteen. So I said Bruce again and all I could hear was Bruce singing in my ear. I was singing along at some point, I'm sure. I had been given two anti anxiety meds but otherwise no sedation, but it was fine as I really couldn't feel anything. 

I was taken into the recovery room and the doctor immediately came and said to me that I have no tumours inside my womb, that they got lots of "good" biopsies, and that the lining of my womb looks healthy. So that's all excellent news and I'm glad, although it still doesn't cure me of the bad bleeding or explain it. I was supposed to be in recovery for about 20 minutes, but my blood pressure was too low so I ended up being there around an hour. Apparently everyone's blood pressure drops after a spinal block but mine didn't come up very quickly. 

Eventually I was back in where I had been admitted first thing. I got a little bit of feeling back in my toes, and then could move my knees, but I was numb from the belly button down. I had something to eat and felt okay, but as the day wore on it became clear that the spinal block was not wearing off my left foot as quickly as it should. It should take between 2 and six hours, so six hours took me to 3.30pm, but I couldn't feel all the way down the back of my left leg from the middle of my thigh all the way to my toes. I couldn't stand up or walk. I was reading and cross stitching, and was basically fine, but bored. Theatre admissions shuts at 6pm so as it got towards that I was panicking that I would be kept in. The nurses got an anaesthetist to come and see me, and he wasn't too worried, and also didn't want to admit me. I could feel him touching most of my leg, and even moved away when he tickled me, so he was like, okay, it will wear off. He asked me to move my ankle, which I couldn't do, but then after a few minutes I could. I managed to walk a few steps so they discharged me. I had to think very much about moving my foot, but I did manage a few steps. 

Lee picked me up and we came home, and then my mum and stepdad arrived. My stepdad is really strong so I knew he would be able to help me, so he helped me from the car to the bottom of the stairs which are just inside the kitchen door. I went upstairs on my bum and then turned on to my front, and managed to stand up with a little help from Lee. I hobbled into the bedroom and sat on the bed and then I was okay. My mum and stepdad stayed for a while; my mum was poking the back of my leg and foot to see where exactly it was numb. She helped me get undressed and into my night stuff, too. 

They left and Lee ordered some food which was good cos I was hungry. I went to sleep really early. I woke up in the night and needed help to get to the bathroom, but I was okay. But in the morning, the numbness hadn't really worn off much more. Say on Thursday it had gone from 100% to 60% numb, well overnight it had only gone down to 50% numb. They had told me to phone back if it hadn't worn off, so I did, and was told to phone my GP. I did THAT, and the nurse phoned me back and told me to go to A&E. It was completely the last thing I wanted to do, but I didn't really have a choice. My mum took me around 2.30, but of course she couldn't come in with me (which upset me). I was triaged very quickly and had to explain everything, and I was crying because I just wanted to go home. But I was really lucky and a doctor came within about 20 minutes and he was convinced that because I could feel most of the sensation, that it was a sensory nerve that was trapped and wasn't permanent. He told me not to worry and to go home and rest basically.

So I did! I left and my mum and I picked up Costa which was nice. I slept early again on Friday night, and when I got up on Saturday a lot of numbness had worn off. It was about 20% numb, meaning I could manage the stairs by myself, although slowly. 

I've had some cramping and some bleeding, so I've been taking lots of painkillers. I've had to rest and nap a lot. My legs still aren't back to 100% right, but I'm sure it'll be fine. It's Monday 7th June as I write this, and I'm just tired and reminding myself that I had quite a big procedure and need to let myself recuperate! I've got a couple of friends coming to see me this week which will be lovely. I will get full results in about four weeks, so hopefully I'll be okay! 

Waiting in theatre admissions first thing in the morning

And about to go to sleep at around 8.30pm!

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Films of the Month - May

May was my worst for number of films watched ever since I started keeping records several years ago! It was terrible! I watched FOUR films! I've been thinking about why that is, and I think partly it's because I've been watching old seasons of Gogglebox a lot, and I quickly got through Season 3 of the Real Houswives of Beverly Hills, and there's been other good TV on too, and it's also partly because as things have been opening up I've been out more and in the house less. I don't know what this means for films going forward, but it's the first of June as I write this and I'm watching a film already to try to do better! 

Anyway, here's what I did watch:

Someone had recommended Dating Amber to me, but it took ages for me to get around to it. It's about two gay teenagers in the 90s in Ireland, who decide to date each other as a cover for their real sexualities. I liked it, it's cute and funny

Lee and I watched Death Becomes Her, which we hadn't seen in absolutely forever. I love it, each of the leads is perfect and so funny

Carrying on with my watch of all the dramatisations of the Hatton Garden robbery in 2012, I watched King of Thieves. It's the most slick of the 3 I watched (two films and the TV series) and Michael Caine is good, but the TV series is still the best one

Finally Lee and I watched Return of the Jedi, which I do love very much. He wanted to watch Rogue One, but I said this instead.

See you next month, let's hope I do better!

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Party for My Mum End of May

As I said, my mum retired on her birthday at the end of May, and we wanted to celebrate. My aunt and uncle were able to come up because of the lifting of lockdown, so I got thinking about what to do for the (very small) party. My mum was sixty-three, but we thought maybe she'd prefer to be 21 and again and again, instead! So my aunt and I talked about it and decided to do a lunch buffet with foods from 1958, 1979, and 2000, and the same for tea. We googled a lot and settled on a few things, and split it between us for cooking. 

I also prepared a playlist and a quiz for us to do. I ordered some cupcakes (which were from 2000, apparently) from a lady in my village who's done them for me before and they're always delicious. We arrived at my mum's about noon and started preparing the buffet lunch. I'll show you the pictures:

We had Mateus rose, Hock, crisps, hummus (I decided some vegetarians were definitely eating hummus in 1979), vol au vents (I love a vol au vent! I don't know why they're out of fashion now!), sausages and cheese and onions on sticks with veggie sausages for Lee and I, beef paste sandwiches, salmon paste sandwiches, and tuna paste sandwiches. Oh, and egg sandwiches for me. Everyone really enjoyed the buffet and my aunt said it reminded her of her birthday teas from the 70s. 

A better view - all the flowers were retirement presents from my mum's work and so on

Cupcakes! Aren't they so gorgeous?

I had a rose one

We did the quiz and enjoyed the music while sitting outside in the sinshine, which was lovely. I definitely caught the sun, but I'm in desperate need of Vitamin D. 

For tea we made spaghetti bolognese followed by Black Forest gateau. Lee and I had veggie bolognese of course, and we cooked some garlic bread too. My mum really enjoyed it, which was good. After that we played a game before it was time to go! My mum had had a really good day and enjoyed the theme of it. 

I put just a tiny bit of make up on in the morning, including one of my Body Shop lip juicers on my lips, which I think is a lovely colour and it smells so good (it's the strawberry one). I was wearing my flamingo skirt with a top that I haven't worn before. I got it last year I think, maybe from Crazy Clearance. It's very soft and I thought it matched with the skirt. It wasn't too dressed up but neither was my mum when we got there, so that was okay. 

Oh, we also swapped Christmas presents with my aunt and uncle as of course we couldn't see them at Christmas. I got some gin liqueur! 

My face!

My outfit 

And finally here's my stepdad with my umbrella - to be fair he was holding it so the sun wasn't on my grandma, as she was asleep, but it did mean the sun wasn't on his head either!