Thursday, September 30, 2021

Films of the Month - July

I managed to watch way more films in July than I had watched in either May or June, so that was good. I watched eighteen films in all and enjoyed all of them! Here's what I saw:

I watched This is Paris which is on Netflix and which I'd recommend. Paris and I are a similar age and there's a lot about how abysmally she was treated by the press and so on in the mid 00s. I've been interested in her family because I've seen the first few seasons of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, which features Paris' aunts Kyle and Kim. So it was interesting to see some more of the family and Paris herself. I'd recommend this if you're interested in the Britney Spears case too 

Lee and I watched Finding Dory which I know we've seen but which Lee couldn't remember anything of. It's not as good as Finding Nemo but I do like it

We also watched Men in Black together which is one of my favourite films of alllllll time, I just love it so much!

Sam and I watched Frida together - I've never seen it but really wanted to. Sam had seen it before. Salma Hayek was really good, but the film as a whole didn't wow me 

Then we watched Dogma, keeping on the Salma Hayek film, which is one of my favourite films ever. I haven't seen it in ages so it was nice to revisit

I then happened to click on 'films' on iPlayer. I find Netflix doesn't understand my taste in film so is useless, but iPlayer had loads of films I wanted to see, so I started with Pride, which I love very much

I also watched Molly's Game on iPlayer, which is about a woman who ran a high stakes poker ring involving a number of celebrities - supposedly Leo Dicaprio and Topher Grace were involved. I liked it, it's really slick and fun, and Jessica Chastain is flawless

Lee wanted to watch Supersonic, the documentary about Oasis, so we watched that together. I've seen it before but it's quite funny so I didn't mind seeing it again

Summer Holiday was on iPlayer so I thought I'd give it a go. It's fun, funny, and kitsch, I quite enjoyed it

And The Producers was on iPlayer so I tried that too. I've never seen it before. I didn't love it but I'm glad to have seen it

Both iPlayer and Netflix were really wanting me to watch Yesterday so eventually I did. I saw it in the cinema and I do think it's cute 

I don't know how I heard about American Animals but I thought I'd give it a chance. It has the lovely Evan Peters in it, who I swear I would watch in literally anything cos I love him (have you seen Pose?). This is an interesting film about a heist - it's a true story and it has the real people being interviewed in it, and it's got a non linear structure that I quite liked. I recommend it

I went on a bit of a music thing towards the end of the month. I've never seen Sid & Nancy so I watched it. Gary Oldman is good but I didn't rate the film particularly. I did enjoy seeing baby Courtney Love though, bless her

I'd been listening to the podcast You're Wrong About and I really enjoyed the one on Kurt Cobain and copycat suicide (trigger warning for suicide, obviously!) and it made me want to watch Kurt & Courtney again. I have seen it before, probably about twenty years ago. I can remember all the hoohah about it being made and about Courtney refusing to have anything to do with it or allow any of Nirvana's music in it. Watching as a 37 year old, it just comes across as a bunch of men who hate Courtney for no reason (including her own DAD). I'm not saying Courtney is perfect but equally I don't believe she murdered Kurt or had him murdered or whatever. The film is very one sided and Nick Broomfield just comes off as a douche

So then because I was tweeting about Kurt & Courtney several people recommended Montage of Heck to me. It is much more evenly handed and was made with the agreement of Frances Bean Cobain. Courtney is in it - she mostly just seems sad and lonely. There's some lovely family recordings, including of Frances' first birthday, and some nice archive footage of Nirvana too. I liked this a lot

Something Lee said reminded me of The Graduate, so I went to watch that. I've seen it before but only once. Dustin Hoffman is great

I love School of Rock and needed something easy to watch so I watched it. I KNOW it could never happen but I like it, so cute

And finally I watched Bridesmaids, which I find comfort viewing too, I like it cos it's fun and kitsch and full of funny women!

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Twilight Trip to Ringwood Hall Spa

ALSO at the beginning of August Lee and I went to Ringwood Hall Spa near Chesterfield for a twilight spa experience. Lee's discovered he likes spas, so I thought we should treat ourselves and found they did a twilight package which included a pizza and glass of prosecco each first. I've been before with Sam and Jac so I knew what to expect, but Lee didn't, and didn't want to be spoiled so I didn't say much! 

We arrived just before 5pm and had pizzas and drinks in the Glass House restaurant. It was nice - my pizza was lovely and the prosecco was lovely and cold. We went across to the spa at around 5.50 and there was a bit of confusion which was annoying, but we managed to get in.

As I said in my last post about Ringwood Hall spa, there's a pool that's about 8 metres long. It has a jacuzzi at one end, massage jets in the middle and an infinity side, and massage seats at the other end. It also has two saunas, a steam room, a cold/warm shower experience, ice, some relaxation rooms, and sun loungers. There were ten of us in in the evening which was just the right number I think. We stayed around the pool area - I went in the sauna but Lee's not keen on hot rooms, and the steam room was broken which was a shame.

The water temperature was really hot so we made sure to keep having a cool shower and to drink lots of water. I went a bit funny at one point - I think my blood pressure had dipped too low and I felt a bit ill - so we sat on the side for a bit until I felt better. But it was lovely to float and sit in all the jacuzzi bits - my joints felt really relaxed and not in pain! 

Lee enjoyed it too, he's got vertigo at the moment so had to be careful too but he did like it. I would go again for sure, but there's a few other spas I've got my eyes on! 

Drinking prosecco beforehand

I had olives and mushrooms on my pizza, it was lovely

The left of the pool from where I was sitting.... 

And the right. As you can see, it isn't huge, but people move around

I like this photo I just wish I was smiling more!

This is better! As you can see at this point I had the pool to myself

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Two Lunches Out at the Beginning of August

I had a really busy week at the beginning of August which left me exhausted but which was very fun at the time. I guess I was seeing people again after so long, which was lovely, but it meant a lot of time out! 

At the weekend my friend Lucinda asked if I wanted to meet her in Scarborough, where she was on holiday with her partner. But Scarborough is a long way for me to drive by myself there and back in one day, so we thought about it a bit more and then decided to meet in York. I know York well so we found somewhere with vegan options and I parked by my university. I went to York St John for my undergraduate degree when it was still a college of the University of Leeds (that's where my degree comes from) but now it's a university all of its own. I loved it, it was so nice living in York and I miss it! So it was nice to park at the bottom of Gillygate and walk up to where I'd arranged to meet Lucinda and Linden. 

I had a vegan hotdog and chips, and chocolate orange cake. Lucinda and Linden both had veggie burgers. It was nice to meet Linden, we had good chat, and it was lovely to see Lucinda after so long again. I last saw her on my birthday in January 2020!

The next day, Wednesday, I went to Sheffield to meet up with Laura of Lolly Likes and her Franklin. I've seen her a couple of times during the pandemic but not for lunch and not for long. I'd been fancying trying something new in the middle of Sheffield, so we went to Pho, which is a Vietnamese restaurant. I had a bit of a kerfuffle getting there as the car park I was going to use was closed - helpful! - but I found street parking and walked through. Laura and Franklin were sitting outside - it was bouncing it down with rain in Barnsley but bright sunshine in Sheffield! It was lovely. 

Laura and I bought got summer rolls with peanut sauce which were SO good, and then I had mock chicken Vietnamese curry and Laura had some kind of noodle soup. My curry was so nice - beautifully spiced and with a thick sauce. I will definitely go back there because it was such nice food. 

I don't have any photos of meeting up with Lucinda, but here's the Vietnamese food:

Curry, it had rice on the side

Summer rolls with peanut sauce, which were vegan

Laura snapped this gorgeous photo of the three of us as we were leaving, I love it! I made it my profile picture on Facebook :) 

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