Sunday, October 31, 2021

Camping in Essex - Day 3

After a better night's sleep I still woke up early but that meant I got to see the sunrise, which was lovely. I went back to sleep for a bit, but I never sleep well on low airbeds. I'll have to do some research and see what we come up with!

When I got up again I had a shower and then got to making breakfasts again. We made something simple - croissants cut in half and layered with salami and cheese, and toasted under the grill. I had vegan pepperoni which was really nice. Everyone liked it, people said it was a bit like breakfast pizzas with no tomatoes. It was simple but effective and set everyone up for the day. I enjoyed thinking up new things for breakfast! 

My mum and aunt's cousin Sue lives in Essex, so she and her husband came to see us on Sunday, they arrived about noon. My aunt and co went off for a walk, and I sat cross stitching in the sun. It was so changeable though, which was a shame. We had some lunch and sat chatting. The others came back and got some lunch too. I went to Tesco with my cousin. People played games and just generally relaxed. 

About 5pm we went to the beach where Rob decided he would have a swim. If it had been warmer I would have gone myself, but it was just a bit too cold. Lee and I paddled though, and the water wasn't as cold as I thought it would be. I'm glad I went down to the beach though. 

In the evening Rob and Neil made two types of carbonara - one with veggie bacon and one with regular bacon. The veggie one was SO good, I will have to try to make it myself. We moved the tables inside the tent as it was warmer in there. Sue and Eugene left around 8.30 and the rest of us played games until it was bedtime. 

Sunrise at around 5.40am

Breakfast croissants

Peter taking photos

The team photo, Sue took this as she's not in it

Eug took this one!

Down on the beach near the caravan site

It was quite muddy

Rob considering swimming

And then swimming!

Doing okay!

Proof that Lee and I paddled

I took a video of this too once everyone else had gone back to camp

Veggie carbonara

Beth and Lee and I inside the tent ready for tea - Lee and I are failing at looking at the right place on my phone, obviously

Neil, Peter, Rob

The same but with hoods up and serious faces

My mum, aunt, and Sue :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Camping in Essex - Day 2

After our disastrous night of sleep Lee and I were both really tired, but we were doing breakfasts and it had to be done by 10.30 so we got started. We were doing toast with smashed avocado and fried eggs - I couldn't fathom poaching eggs for so many people so we went with fried instead. I mashed the avocado with chilli, pepper, lime juice, tomatoes. My stepdad helped with the toast and eggs. I also made tofu scramble! I've been meaning to forever but haven't got round to it. I crumbled firm tofu into a pan with some oil, and fried it for a bit, then added chilli and turmeric. Everyone tried it and a couple of people said they really liked it. It is like a firm scrambled egg. I'm glad I made it and will do so again!

After breakfast a few of us set off to Tiptree to go to a craft shop there. My aunt had arranged to meet her friend at the shop and for lunch, so she went with my cousin's wife Beth. Lee, my mum and I went in my mum's car as we weren't sure we wanted lunch. The shop was like a Tardis - it just went back and back and back! It had craft products of ALL kinds including yarn, fabric, scrapbooking stuff, dolls house stuff... all kind of things! I was quite restrained though and didn't buy much. My mum bought some fabric. 

We set off back to Mersea Island and decided to stop at a shop nearby to have a drink and a piece of cake. I had a fantastic scone with jam and clotted cream. We bought some souvenirs at the shop, and then went back to camp. I'm not sure what everyone else had been doing while we were gone! Caroline and Beth arrived back some time after us, they'd enjoyed the shop too.

Lee and Peter and I then went for a drive to West Mersea. There was a gala on so it was quite busy, so we didn't stop, but it had lots of nice shops and pubs and I would definitely go back one day. We did park at the end of one street and went on to the beach. We sat there for a while which was lovely. Did I say I've been trialling contact lenses? I had them in as you can tell in the selfie photo! 

Back at camp my aunt and uncle made curry for tea, it was so nice. It was cold again so we ended up sitting inside the tent again. It was a nice, relaxed day. 

We went to bed but then I needed the loo again - I'd been drinking White Russians with my cousin and I was drunker than I thought! But my new phone has a thing that opens the aperture for longer or whatever, and I managed to get photos of the stars! I'm so impressed, in the original photo you can see loads! 

Fried eggs and tofu scramble on the way

Cream tea for lunch

My stepdad, mum, and uncle being ridiculous on the way to the loos

West Mersea beach

And the channel

Looking the other way

Me and Lee and Peter

It was a nice beach

Peter trying out his depth perception

The sunset was pretty

Rob and Beth made pavlova for pudding

Stars! I'm so happy I got photos

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Camping in Essex - Day 1

You might remember that for the past few years my family and I have been camping together one weekend and it's become a really lovely tradition. We all cook for each other and it's such a nice relaxing time. Last year because of Covid we went in a static caravan and a lodge but still managed to have a great time. This year, it's mine and Lee's only camping trip, which is sad. I love our tent so much but camping is so hard on me. We'll see what happens next year. 

Anyway, a couple of years ago we had said we'd like to be near the sea, so I found a site on Mersea Island in Essex. We had it booked for last August bank holiday, but didn't feel it was Covid safe, so rescheduled for this year. My mum and stepdad set off earlier as they wanted to stay longer, that's better for them. Lee booked the Friday off so we set off around 10am when we'd taken the kittens to the cattery. The traffic was mostly fine but then we got off at a services and it took us an hour to get into them, get some food, and get back out again. There was a problem on the northbound motorway which was putting everything back on to the roundabout. It was very stressful but we managed to get to the site at around 3pm which was okay. My aunt, uncle and cousin were already there and they kindly helped us put our tent up which reduced my stress levels a lot. 

My other cousin and his wife weren't arriving until later, but for tea my mum and stepdad made hotdogs with salad - vegan hotdogs for me and Lee obviously. It was lovely! The weather was cold though - I think we've been spoilt because in the past it's always been so warm. We ended up sitting in my aunt and uncle's tent which was warm. 

However, this meant that when it was bedtime I was absolutely freezing. I got into bed in all my layers and laid very still with all the bedding wrapped around me. I fell asleep around 11.30pm. Lee and I have a big deep airbed that has an inbuilt pump and it's been really good when we've used it before. However, about 12.30am I woke up and the airbed had already deflated significantly. I burst into tears because I was so upset and annoyed and tired and cold. Lee looked to see if he could find a puncture but couldn't. My mum was still awake and came to help. In the end I ended up sleeping in the car (not ideal as I couldn't lie down, and I ended up in pain on Saturday) and Lee slept on the floor more or less, with extra blankets from my mum. 

Not ideal, but we got through it! Fortunately Caroline and Neil had a spare airbed for us to borrow the next night. 

Lee and I in front of our tent when it was up 

My new washing up bowl! Isn't it so cute! We had to go to Go Outdoors recently cos one of our tent poles was broken, and while Lee was waiting I bought a few things, including this. It's so useful as it a) has handles and b) folds flat. I love things like this for camping!

Me and our tent, I love it so much 

Peter and Neil played frisbee for a while. The site got a bit busier than this but in general it was a really quiet site, I would recommend it

I also bought these plastic champagne flutes in Go Outdoors for just 99p each. It's nice to drink fizzy wine out of them but know they won't break

Hotdogs! So yummy!

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Gaia in Wakefield and Afternoon Out with a Friend

The day after my last post I went first of all to Wakefield to see Gaia, which was at Wakefield Cathedral. It is satellite imagery of the world, it's seven metres in diameter and it's not going too many places so I'm really happy it came to Wakefield and that I got to see it. I suggested it to my mum so we met up just as it was opening, which is really good because when we came out the queue was huge!

I'm quite used to the inside of Wakefield Cathedral, but haven't seen it since they took all the pews out (I'm not sure if that's a Covid thing or what). But the space is now perfect for something as big as this to look perfect in. Me and my mum stood on the steps for a little bit watching the world slowly move round. Then we went closer to it (I wish we'd been able to go underneath but it's very low and there was a barrier) and then we sat down and watched it spin. I looked up maps on my phone so we could see what land masses were what exactly, like Madagascar and the Falkland Islands. It was so cool, I really liked it. 

We had a coffee together and then I drove off to Pot House Hamlet to meet my friend Gillian. It was her suggestion as she liked it so much a few weeks ago when we went, so she'd booked a table. She had both her children, L and E, with her, which was nice. The food is always so good - I had smashed avocado on toast with crumbled feta and salad, and some of their amazing twice cooked chips. Oh and that apple juice was lush - I had to get some at Tesco later in the day!

After lunch we headed to Cannon Hall. We parked at the bottom and took the girls into the playground there. L was really brave and went up the cargo rigging all by herself and down the slide. We each pushed one of them on the swings each and then sat on the grass for a little bit just chatting. Then we walked over to the ice cream shack and got an ice cream. It was really sunny so nice to sit outside for a while enjoying it and of course lovely to see Gillian and the girls. 

I got home around 3.30 and not too long after that Lee and I went to Tesco to buy supplies for the weekend, as we were going camping with my family. You'll see that in my next posts... 

I don't think you quite get the scale of Gaia in this photo

Here's me and my mum!

South America

I think this was New Zealand

Pink Lady apple juice, how yummy! 

I swear there's avocado and toast under there somewhere... 

And here's baby E, she's such a cutie!

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Tea Out with a Friend and Trying Contact Lenses

A couple of days after Lee's birthday I had a busy week, I picked up a temporary job so did that on Monday, and then on Tuesday I had to get up early to go to Specsavers to get a free trial of contact lenses.

I wore monthly lenses when I was in my teens, and then again in my twenties, but I always struggled with screens while wearing them so eventually I just gave up. But recently I'd been thinking that I would like to wear fun sunglasses again, so maybe I should try lenses again. 30 pairs at Specsavers costs around £30, which seems fine by me as they'll last me way more than a month. 

I went into the shop and was asked to put the lenses in, which was fine. I was surprised by how clear everything was - I could read the very bottom line of the eye chart. The optician said they looked good, so off I went. I didn't want to take them out so decided to test drive them all day. I did some work and they were fine, and then I was upstairs on my own computer and they were fine too. I was meeting my friend Laura for tea so I wore one pair of sunglasses to drive across to meet her. By the time I got home around 7.30, my eyes were tired, but I was also tired, and I had been wearing them for 10.5 hours at that point! I was so impressed though. 

I recently got some more slip on Converse from eBay. I love my black ones so much and noticed that there were other patterns available (I really want some white ones!). I bid on these on eBay and got them for just over £25 I think. These floral ones aren't yet as comfortable as my black ones but I'm hopeful they'll stretch over time. I was also wearing this dress with fans on from Simply Be, it's absolutely ancient but I pulled it out again. I love the pattern on it so much and it's very easy to wear. 

Waiting for Laura in the car wearing these ridiculous heart shaped leopard print sunglasses, they were from Matalan and were less than a fiver!

Laura and I met at Prashad which is a totally vegetarian Indian restaurant in Drighlington. It's so worth going, it's delicious. I've been a few times. Lee and I got a takeaway in lockdwo and they weren't doing the mango lassi, so this time they are so I had to have one!

I had chaat to start with which is so spicy and delicious and served cold. I only ate about half because of the spice level

Laura and I both had the paneer biryani which came with a nice yoghurt dip too

Look at all the layers in this! Gorgeous. I brought half of this home too

Floral slip on Converse

And here I am in this Simply Be dress, wearing my contacts still!