Saturday, April 30, 2022

Museum of the Moon at Wentworth Woodhouse

In the middle of March Lee and I went to Wentworth Woodhouse just south of Barnsley to see Museum of the Moon, which is a huge model of the moon. I saw Gaia (a huge model of the earth) last year at Wakefield Cathedral, so I wanted to see the moon one too. It was on at Lincoln Cathedral but we didn't make it there. It was only on at Wentworth for a week, so we managed to squeeze it in even though we had a busy week AND I wasn't very well after I'd had to see the gynaecologist yet again. But I was so glad we bothered to do it because it was spectacular. 

Lee had band bractice, so we went in separate cars to Wentworth. I've never actually been to the house - I've been to the garden centre a bunch of times, but not to the house. I've heard of it, and I even have a book about the coal mining that happened on site, called Black Diamonds, though I've never read it (maybe I should!). So I was excited to see the house too. We parked in the car park and then I was happy to see they have an accessibility golf buggy to take you to the front porch. It's quite a long way and I would have struggled, so the buggy is ideal. We got in then joined the queue at the front door, which didn't take long to get us in.

So as well as the Moon there were several other art installations and they started in the downstairs rooms. There was a video of poet Helen Mort (who I've heard speak before) reading a poem, and in the chapel there was a very cool sculpture. We sat in there for a while. 

The Moon itself is upstairs and there's no lift, but I did manage the wide, shallow steps okay. The room where the moon is was apparently used as a ballroom in the Downton Abbey film, so that was pretty cool to see. The moon is huge - 7 metres across - and there are cushions underneath it so you're encouraged to lie down. We did. The moon moves slightly because of air currents in the room. It's so cool to see! We laid there for a while, then walked around the whole moon. I took lots of photos! We looked at other artworks upstairs, including a wind chime kind of thing which was powered by fans. It was really good, I liked it. 

We were in there about an hour all told, and we could have spent longer but Lee had to get to band practice. As we were driving out I noticed the house was lit up in the colours of the Ukrainian flag, which was really lovely. I'm so glad we bothered to go and I would recommend it if the Museum of the Moon is coming near you any time soon!

Neon art on the drive

The stunning front facade of the house. This is what the ballroom leads on to

In the chapel, we both liked this a lot

Imagine yourself sweeping down this staircase in a gorgeous ballgown

Some info about the moon

It is stunning in real life

Lee and me! 

I was lying down here, this is as far under as I got

I took this to show the ballroom

As we walked round, so we could see it from all angles

This was the wind chime kind of installation

This is an old aerial photo of the house, apparently it has more than three hundred rooms but they aren't entirely sure how many it has... 

And finally the yellow and blue for Ukraine

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Speaker at my Craft Club in March

I think I've mentioned before that I go to a craft club in Penistone every Monday morning. I joined about four years ago; I had seen it advertised and as I don't work Mondays it was ideal for me. I was working on the blanket I made for my mum for her 60th birthday. Since then I've rarely missed a week - obviously I have when I've been on holiday, and we didn't meet from March 2020 to September 2021. I really missed it during Covid, and was happy to return last autumn. Since then there's been fewer of us. We used to have around 20 people each time, but now we hover around 12/13. But my favourites are still there! I'm the youngest by far, but I've got quite friendly with Jane, who is around the same age as my mum and who has three children around my age, and there's a couple of others who I always like to chat to. I really love that we are all so supportive of each other's work. Some people knit, others crochet, I usually cross stitch, and others do other needlework crafts. Everyone is always thrilled to see finished pieces, which I love. 

In March it was Penistone Art Week. We've had it before where we've all taken some of our craft pieces to the room we meet in at the library, and we've had members of the public come through to look. We were asked to do the same this year, so I took my carousel blanket that I finished in 2020, and the Nutcracker cross stitch that I've just done. People brought some gorgeous things, I enjoyed looking.

Plus we also had a speaker! The Art Week organisers had hired Esther Rutter as Knitter in Residence. She had a number of talks and stuff throughout the week, and we were lucky enough for her to come to speak to us. Now, I don't knit, so I was a bit apprehensive about the talk. We could carry on working while Esther was talking, so I kept cross stitching (I was working on a piece for my friend Sarah's baby Robyn, which I need to get finished for the beginning of April when it's Robyn's first birthday!) but I was listening too. And it turned out to be really interesting! Esther looked at the history of knitting within the British Isles, researching the traditions and history. For each chapter of the book she made a piece to go alongside it. So for example she made a gansey, a traditional jumper made for fishermen, and a gorgeous shawl made of wool from somewhere in the outer Hebrides I think. She found quite a radical history, including lots of protest, and a tradition of knitting that was largely done by women, and often by poor women, and that it has mostly been forgotten. I love this! Craft IS so radical and I love it for that.

I spoke to Esther afterwards about something she had said, and asked if I could take a photo of her wearing some of her pieces for my social media. She happily agreed. She spoke to quite a few people and did some knitting herself. I'm really glad to have got to listen to her! 

Sunday, April 24, 2022

What I Wore March 12th

On Saturday the 12th of March I headed to Leeds for a Body Shop conference of my region. It's the first one I've been able to attend as I couldn't go to the one in October and clearly prior to that they'd been stopped because of Covid. I didn't know anyone else who was going but was assured that I would sit with someone and would meet people. I knew exactly where to park which was useful. It was a bright sunny day so I put on a spring outfit and also my new white Converse which Lee bought me for my birthday. I haven't worn them before because I didn't want them to get mucky straight away!

I put on this Yours dress with florals on, it's one of my favourite dresses and I like wearing it when the weather improves a bit. It's quite thin but with leggings underneath it was fine. Plus the room we were in was really hot so I didn't mind that my outfit was cool. I put this crocheted mint green top on which was from New Look around ten years ago. I had a purple one too but got rid of it, and wish I hadn't! 

I found my new Converse comfortable, and really liked wearing them. They have a floral stripe down the back of them which is really cute. I took my denim jacket too but when I went out to buy lunch I didn't need it because it was such a nice day. 

I enjoyed the conference, it felt nice and welcoming and not too cliquey. There were some interesting speakers for sure. I got home just after 4pm which was great. I had been having some health issues so needed to rest in the evening which I did. On my way out of the conference I had bought two donuts from Doh Hut which was just next to the hotel. I've been past it a few times but it's always been closed, so when it wasn't I took my chance and went in! I bought Lee a donut with creme patissier inside, and myself one with chocolate ganache inside. I only ate half of mine so I had some left for the next day! 

I have a pair of black slip on Converse that I wore to death last summer. They're really comfy and easy to slip on and off, and I love the look of them. I saw these in the sale after Christmas and asked Lee to buy them for my birthday

Picture just when I got home, I do love this outfit, it's casual but feels pretty put together too!

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

What I Wore March 6th and Visiting My Cousins

On March 6th Lee and I went to Leicester to see all my cousins. My cousin Rob and his wife Beth live there, and have just got two cats, and it turned out my other cousin Peter and his fiancee Beth were visiting that weekend, so we took the opportunity to see them too. Peter and Beth get married in June which is exciting! 

Rob and Beth also recently got two cats - Maisie and her son George. It was so lovely to meet them, they were very friendly and also very excited to play with us. Rob cooked lunch of toad in the hole with vegetables, which was delicious, and then chocolate pudding and ice cream. While he was cooking Lee helped and the rest of us played Mario Kart which was really fun. After lunch, which we finished about 4pm, we had to say our goodbyes as Peter and Beth had to get back to Surrey and Rob and Beth were headed out to a gig. Lee and I got home about 6pm, which was good. 

I wanted to wear my sparkly raspberry Snag tights, so I put them on first and then the shoes, which have a snakeskin pattern and are new. They're exactly the same as some black patent ones I shared a little while ago, they're from Schuh and really comfortable. My stepcousin N bought me these for my birthday but I hadn't worn them before. I think they're cute with the tights! 

I swapped dresses a couple of times before settling on this Yours dress which I've had absolutely forever. I like the sparkly top. It's an easy dress to wear and end up looking quite dressed up without it being difficult to wear. I really like it and will have to wear it again soon! 

Finally have some photos of the cats. Maisie is a gorgeous grey tabby but has some ginger in her too, which is obviously where George gets it from. So cute!

Snakeskin shoes and sparkly tights

George and Maisie both having a drink - you can see that Maisie was recently spayed and her fur is still growing back!

George in his little bed, so cute!

My aunt asked for a photo of us all so we made sure to take one just as lunch was finished. It's really nice to see my cousins as adults without our parents haha

Tiny George asleep on his tree

And me in my Yours dress and the full outfit when we got home!

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Lunch Out with Lee

On the 5th of March Lee and I headed into town for some brunch. We had attempted to do this the week before, but it turned out that the football was on and we were stuck in traffic for ages and then couldn't get into Falco Lounge which is where we wanted to eat. We did go over to the Market Kitchen and managed to grab ourselves a table and still had some delicious food, but Lee suggested trying the Lounge again this week so I agreed. There was a table free so we sat down and ordered. We both had the vegetarian breakfast which I love, it's truly delicious. All their veggie stuff doesn't feel like an afterthought, which is what I want from restaurants to be honest. 

After we'd eaten we went into TKMaxx which is not a place I go in often but I needed a present for someone and I had also heard that their stationery collection was pretty cool. And it was! I've never looked at it before but I ended up buying a few bits including a squared notebook to use as my bullet journal when my current one is full. I was impressed!

We then headed down to Asda because I had a gift card from work for Christmas to spend. I'd been looking online at some of their bedding, but they had different ones in store. But I ended up getting one with stars and constellations on and one with big leaves/ferns on it. They're both cute and only cost us £3 after the gift card! So it was worth going.

In the evening Lee went to see Napalm Death who are one of his favourite bands (he has a Napalm Death tattoo) and I stayed in and chatted online to my friend Von. I message her on WhatsApp often, but hadn't video chatted with her in months, definitely since before she visited in September 2021. So it was lovely to talk! We were both working on cross stitches while we were talking, so that was nice. 

I headed to bed before Lee got in, and was surrounded by kittens when he arrived. 

I fully recommend the veggie breakfast in the Lounges (it's a chain, but they're all called something different) even if you're a meat eater!

I've been in the redone part of town a number of times recently, as you've seen, but I hadn't seen the water turned on before. It's really cute!

This bit has stepping stones across it, I bet it'll be fun to play in in hot weather!

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Films of the Month - February

I watched eleven eleven films in February which was a decent amount for such a short month. Here's what I watched:

I've seen Footloose before but not for absolutely ahes. I really like it, Kevin Bacon is perfect and swoon worthy. I won't leave it so long before watching again!

I've seen this drama about Torvill and Dean, which is a TV movie, before, probably when it was on the telly to begin with. But I decided to rewatch it and I like it, it's a cute dramatisation of what happened in their early lives and careers etc

Lee and I watched Pulp Fiction, which I don't think I've seen all the way through before. I've seen it parodied loads, obviously. I liked it

When I watched Kingsman in January I read that Michael Caine had previously played a spy in The Ipcress File films, so I watched the first one. I have to say I didn't fully follow the story so I'm not sure I'll watch the others in the series

If you haven't watched The Tinder Swindler yet get on it immediately because it's just mind boggling! This guy called Simon something basically scams a bunch of women by lying and saying he's from a really rich Israeli family, and sweeps them off their feet with private jets and living the high life etc, and then lies saying he needs to borrow money from them etc. I felt sorry for all the women and got how they'd been sucked it. Watch it!

I watched Betting on Zero, the documentary on Herbalife, and thought it was really interesting. Again, I'd recommend it

Lee and I watched The Birds together one evening, it's a classic isn't it. I love the setting of it

I watched the second Kingsman film as I'd enjoyed the first one so much. This one isn't as good, but still fun and funny and very tongue in cheek. I'm determined to get my mum and stepdad to watch this

I've had Still the Enemy Within to watch for ages but hadn't got round to it. It was filmed in 2014, thirty years after the Miners' Strike, and interviews strikers and lots of other people about their memories of the time. It was absolutely fascinating - I grew up in a mining area and knew men who had been on strike at the time. I thoroughly recommend this if you have any interest in folk history like this

I saw Everybody's Talking about Jamie in the theatre way back in like 2017 when it was first out, so when I heard there was a film I was keen to see it. However, I didn't rate the film at all. It didn't have any of the energy of the musical, it just didn't seem as much fun at all. A few good songs seemed to be missing, and Richard E Grant was just horribly miscast. I was not a fan. See the stage show instead!

Finally I watched The Lost Daughter on Netflix which I really liked. Olivia Colman was perfect and I thought it was just a good film

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Day Out in Derbyshire 21st of February

Lee's company gave him a Monday off towards the end of February, and I wanted to go on an adventure, so I asked Sam if she wanted to join us to go to Derbyshire. I had three places planned - High Peak Bookstore, Bakewell, and Matlock. Everyone agreed, so we set off from Penistone around 9.45 and headed through the countryside to get to High Peak Bookstore. However, this was only the day after Storm Franklin, and there was a LOT of water on the roads, and debris everywhere. We didn't go through any deep water, so it was fine, but a lot of the roads had water streaming down the sides of them and spouting out of the most random places, too. We took it steady but I was very glad to get to the book shop!

I've been before - Sam and Jac and I went when we were staying nearby a few years ago. I bought one book then, this huge vegetarian cookbook that is such a great resource. But they sell all kinds of books so I was excited to go back. I still have money to spend from Christmas and my birthday, so I knew I could treat myself. 

I picked up three books - one about Women in Rock which was a bargain at £9.99, the Val McDermid one cos I like her stuff, and Charlotte Says, which is the sequel to a book I read a while ago. The shop has a TON of different genres of books and a lot of them are at outlet prices - the two paperback were only £2.99 each!

About 11.30 we set off to Bakewell, fortunately on better roads. We parked and went for lunch in the Rutland Arms. It's a chain, the same as where Lee and I recently ate in Thirsk, so I knew there were decent vegetarian choices for me. They were operating a limited menu as they hadn't had a delivery, but that was still fine. I went for the Moving Mountains plant based burger, which came with goats cheese and onions, and fries and coleslaw and a salad. I was impressed! You can make this vegan too, which is good. Sam and Lee both had fish and chips and said it was nice.

After lunch we went in a few shops. Lee bought a record and Sam bought herself some real ales. I got back in the car looking very wet and windswept. I'm on some new meds which can cause nausea, and I did feel a bit sick so Lee bought me a bottle of water. I bought the Agatha Christie book in a charity shop for just £1.50!

We set off for Matlock where we had planned to go to a couple of bookshops, but thanks to some roads being closed it took us a whole to get there. I wanted to go to Scarthin books, which isn't in the town itself, so we headed there. A friend of mine recommended it to me ages ago. As we got close, I didn't realise that it's close to Cromford Mills, where I've been a few times and where Lee and I visited last May. So we decided to go to the book shop first then go back to the mills. 

The bookshop is so cool, it has three floors and is crammed full of books! I didn't go upstairs as I was in pain, but I definitely want to go back and explore more when I'm not so tired. I bought one of the Heartstopped graphic novels, which I've heard so many good things about. It was £3 so perfect for me. We also met the shop cat, bless him. 

After the bookshop we went back to Cromford Mills and had a hot drink and an ice cream in the cafe. The sun had come out, but the water that comes through the site was really high and making such a torrent! I bought some cheese and crackers in the cheese shop. Lee was feeling rough by this point as he was still ill, so we set off home not too long after. We got home about 5pm! 

It was a really lovely day out and I'm glad we did it despite the weather. I am happy I bought books! I wore a plain black t-shirt, my netted Scarlett & Jo skirt that I've been wearing quite a lot recently, and striped Snag tights with my Dr Marten shoes. It was a nice warm outfit for wanering around! (With a hoodie too, obviously!)

Setting off on our adventure just as we picked Sam up 

I liked this sign in High Peak bookstore, at the entrance to the cafe

My veggie burger for lunch

The river in Bakewell was really high, you can't usually see it like you can here

Wet and windswept. My earrings are laser cut balls of wool, they're so cute!

The canal at Cromford Mills, it isn't usually as full as this

My outfit when we got home, the sun was coming right in from the living room windows

Tights and shoes! I love these tights, they remind me of being sixteen

The books I bought, I'm looking forward to all of these

Thursday, April 7, 2022

What I Wore February 19th

On Saturday the 19th of February Lee and I went out to meet some friends of ours who were down from Gateshead. Paul has been friends with Lee since before I even met Lee, and Liane is his wife. They got married in 2017 when we had that very busy year of weddings! We haven't seen them since Christmas 2019 because of Covid, so when Paul messaged me to say they were coming down to Yorkshire and wanted to meet up, I said yes immediately of course.

Lee and I had a pretty laidback day before we went out. He had caught some kind of bug (not Covid) and it was wiping him out. He's had vertigo since June 2021 and it seems like whatever virus he caught was made worse by the vertigo. He's waiting for a referral to the clinic so hopefully that will help. Anyway we had a lazy day and then set off just before 5 to Wakefield to pick Paul and Liane up.

They're both vegan so I had sent them a list of vegan options in and around Wakefield, and they chose The Spiced Mango in Middlestown. It's an Indian restaurant and I have been before - we went with my mum and stepdad one time on my stepdad's birthday, but it's absolutely years ago and I've been wanting to go back for a while. So we were pleased they had chosen that! We booked for 5.30 as afterwards we were going to go to my mum's to see them.

We had poppadums and pickle tray, which is always nice, and then I had bhel-puri to start with, which was lovely but VERY spicy. It was crunchy and delicious though. Then I went for aloo paneer - I love paneer so this was ideal for me! Lee and I shared some rice. Paul and Liane really enjoyed the food - there were quite a few vegan choices - so it was a good choice all round! I'll definitely go back in less time!

I pulled out a pair of Snag tights, obviously, because they're my new thing. I have two pairs in Bubblegum, and I thought one was tights and one footless tights, but on inspection they're both footless pairs! So I'll probably sell one pair... to buy more, obviously! I love the bright pink colour and the footless tights are really easy to wear and don't bag at all. I thought this skirt - which was a dress, but the bodice didn't fit properly, so I just cut it off and wear the bottom as a skirt - matched perfectly with the shades of pink, so I then just found a plain black t-shirt to put with the skirt and bright tights. It was a nice outfit! 

After food we went to my mum's, where my aunt and uncle were staying. My grandma has recently gone into a home, so my mum and aunt were starting to sort out her house with her. It was nice to see my aunt and uncle too. We stayed ages, it was gone midnight by the time we left and took Paul and Liane back to their hotel! It was such a lovely evening. 

Bubblegum Snag fottless tights and patent Schuh dolly shoes - these shoes are so comfortable and also look so cute! 

Scarlett & Jo "skirt", black t-shirt from Simply Be. I also had my hair cut the day before this - she gave it a really good trim and I liked it!

Monday, April 4, 2022

Lunch Out in Barnsley and What I Wore February 10th

On February 10th I had made plans to see Chloe and Laura in Barnsley. We've got together a few times recently and it's been lovely each time. I suggested we go into Barnsley to Market Kitchen which, as I've said in previous posts, is a bit like a food court - there's several cafes and counters in it, including Balkan food, Turkish, Indian, and my favourite, a Thai place. That means everyone can have exactly what they like while still sitting together, which is great. From what I've seen of the place, too, there are plenty of vegetarian and vegan options which is obviously really good.

Chloe came to my house about 11.30 and I drove us into town and we walked through to Market Kitchen and got a table by the window. Laura's train got in just after twelve so it wasn't long before she joined us. Chloe and I both went for Thai food and Laura went for a pulled pork sandwich from the poutine place. I usually have Massaman curry but decided to have cashew nut stir fry this time, which turned out to be an excellent decision because it was delicious. We then just sat chatting until 3pm. It wasn't busy so we were fine taking up at table. Lee had asked me to bring home some curry for him for tea, so we got that and then said goodbye and came home. 

I had recently bought these brogue style shoes in the Schuh sale, they were just £20 which I found a bargain. They're patent but they're kind of a cracked, aged patent, which I really like! I also finally tried on the raspberry glitter tights from Snag Tights that my aunt bought me for my birthday. They fit perfectly, the texture is a bit weird but they're absolutely fine to walk in which was my main concern. I wish I'd been able to get some purple ones too, but they've gone off the website. Oh well, I do have many other ones and I do love the pink ones!

I bought myself a Grace Petrie t shirt in the sale, it was reduced to £20 which was perfect. Her shop has all t shirts up to a 5xl. I wasn't certain on sizing but decided to go for a 4xl and it's perfect, it fits really well. I probably could have sized down to a 3xl as I often wear t shirts tucked in anyway, but the 4xl fits really well. I tucked it into this old Scarlett & Jo skirt which I had forgotten the existence of until I saw it on Timehop and pulled it out again. It's literally a satin lining and then this netting top, I love it, it's so fancy and floofy but so easy to wear. I thought the black outfit made the tights pop really well. I'm glad I wore it!

You can see in the picture of my shoe that we have finally been able to replace the carpet on our stairs. We had had one carpet since we bought the house in 2004, it was totally disgusting. We went for the same carpet all the way up both flights of stairs to the attic room and along the landing on the middle floor. It is so nice and luxurious! 

Cashew nut stir fry

Pink glitter tights and patent brogue shoes

Grace Petrie t shirt, floofy skirt, smile by me!