Monday, June 27, 2022

World Seniors Snooker Championship in Sheffield

So only two and a half weeks after my mum and I spent Easter Monday in Sheffield watching the World Snooker Championships we were back at the Crucible to watch the Seniors Championship. This was much less well attended and a lot cheaper than the main one, but no less fun. We first had tickets for August 2020 but that obviously got cancelled, and this is when we moved our tickets to. 

Lee took us to Sheffield early as he had to get back to work, so we walked along Norfolk Row to Marmadukes where we sat outside and had some breakfast. I had a toasted teacake and a chai latte, both of which were nice. We then went across to the theatre. We were right on the second row this time and I'm told you could see us on some of the coverage! Rob Walker was there again, as he had been previously, but this time he was in a sweater and jeans rather than a suit. We spoke to him which my mum was really pleased about, I took a photo of them. 

We saw two matches before lunch which were both good - Rory McLeod was very good. We slipped out before the final frames of the second match because we needed to get some lunch. We went to the Head of Steam just in the theatre square. I had a vegan chicken sub which was nice enough. 

We headed back to the theatre for 2.30 for the second session. I was in pain - ongoing womb issues - and around 4.30 I snuck out and sat for a while in the foyer. My mum joined me just after 5pm, saying she wasnt bothered about seeing the very end of the fourth match. I would have stayed if she had been, but instead we walked down to the station to catch the 5.30 train. We only just made it as there was a platform change, but it was okay!

It was another good day, I really enjoyed the snooker again. It's good being in the atmosphere and my mum had a good day. 

Chai latte

My mum and I enjoying the sun

Back in the Crucible

Rob Walker chatting to us before the first match - there were only about 40 people in the first session!

Vegan chicken sub

Second session I think

My mum and Wayne Cooper, who won his match. He's a local lad too, he's from Bradford

And my mum and Rob Walker sometime during the morning

Friday, June 24, 2022

Lunch Out with Laura

On the 3rd of May I went over to Huddersfield to my friend Laura's. She wanted to take me to the Blue Teapot in Mytholmroyd which is a vegetarian cafe. I left my car at hers and she drove us over. She's never driven me anywhere before so that was a treat!

As was the cafe! It's not huge and we hadn't booked but we got a table. The menu is pretty huge and I was quite overwhelmed because I could choose literally anything! So many things caught my eye, including the breakfasts and the halloumi burger, but I decided to go for something I wouldn't have at home and ordered the mezze platter. 

It had flatbread, fried mushrooms and aubergines, hummus, halloumi, tabbouleh, olives and falafel, and salad. It was so good! Laura had the mezze salad which was kind of similar. Then I went for the chocolate and rapsberry cake and Laura had coconut and raspberry cake. I thoroughly enjoyed it and definitely want to go back soon!

I didn't get a picture of my outfit because Lee was on a video call so couldn't take one, and I was in pain so I wanted to go and lie down for a bit. I'm having a few gynaecological issues still and have been in some pain, but lying down helped. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Weekend in Durham

The weekend of the first bank holiday in May we went to Durham to see Lee's family. We hadn't seen them since Christmas so I thought it would be nice to go up and see everyone. Plans got changed a couple of times but we stayed at Lee's dad's house. He and his wife are about to move to Chester-le-Street so this might be the last time we stay at their house near where Lee grew up. It'll be weird! 

We took our cats to my mum's on the Saturday and had lunch there before setting off (thanks Mum!). We got to Lee's mam's about 2.30 and stayed there for a while talking to her and Lee's stepdad before going to Lee's dad's. We went out in the evening with Lee's dad and Mary, to the same Italian restaurant we went to at Christmas with them. It's really nice - it's all fresh food and they did a vegetarian calzone for me even though it wasn't on the menu. I knew I wouldn't be able to eat it all so cut it in half to bring half home to eat on Monday - which I did, and it was delicious! 

On Sunday morning I had a bath in the massive bath with a bath bomb which was lovely. We had breakfast then headed to Lee's mam's. Lee's brother Andrew and his girlfriend Libby were already there, and then Lee's friend Paul and his wife Lianne arrived too. Paul is an honorary member of the family at this point haha. Andrew made stir fry for everyone - vegan for me, Paul, Lianne and Lee, and chicken for everyone else. We played Trivial Pursuit which was stupid, and then a different game. Lee's sister Kim turned up but I didn't get much chance to speak to her, which was a shame! 

We stayed there until about 7pm and then headed back to Lee's dad's. He and Mary had thoughtfully bought us a bunch of vegetarian food from Greggs as they were concerned about what they could feed me so I had a pasty and a vegan sausage roll (I'm veggie not vegan, as a reminder). We watched a film and chatted before bed. 

In the morning we popped in on Lee's mam before setting off home. We picked up the cats and came home and relaxed for the rest of the day! 

I forgot to take outfit photos because I was too busy having fun, but I did get a few photos... 

Funghi al aglio, which were delicious

Roasted vegetable calzone 

I think this was an Avobath bath bomb from Lush, but I'm not sure. My stepcousin bought Lee and I a few each for Christmas which is lovely!

Vegan stir fry - it was delicious

Playing Trivial Pursuit in teams

I did get a picture of my outfit on the Monday - this gorgeous clouds dress from Yours, plus my black footless Snag tights, and my white ballet Converse. It's a lovely spring outfit I think!

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Twilight Spa at Gomersal Park Hotel

I mentioned to Lee in early April some time that we should go for another spa evening as we both like them and they're very relaxing. He had a look online and managed to find a deal for the Twilight Spa at Gomersal Park Hotel near Batley, so he booked it for the end of April. It was a very busy period for me but I knew I would like it, so it was fine. 

We actually got married at Gomersal Park Hotel way back in 2005! My dad had been the quantity surveyor on the extension, and we liked the hotel and the suite in which we got married. We stayed over a few years ago, maybe on our tenth wedding anniversary, but I can't remember exactly when. The spa wasn't there when we got married so I'd wanted to try it. We had it booked to go in November 2020 but thanks to Covid and the tiers we were in, it had to be cancelled. So I was glad Lee found a deal.

We arrived around 4pm and found the spa reception. We were offered a welcome drink of juice and then got changed and were given a little tour of the spa. There's a small pool, experience showers, a sauna, steam room, ice, foot spas, and then a hydrotherapy pool/hot tub which is outside. We went in there first of all - it was absolutely gorgeous. We then used the foot spas too.

The deal included a 30 minute treatment, either a facial or a back massage. I went for a facial at 5pm while Lee had a back massage. I really enjoyed mine - she did a lovely facial and left my face feeling really soft, and she also did some of a massage in my hair which was lush. Lee isn't sure if he liked his massage or not - he's never had anything like that before! 

We went in the pool for a little bit before we had pizza and prosecco at 6pm. Lee had a margherita and I had a veggie pizza with goats cheese and vegetables on it. They were delicious! Since Lee doesn't drink alcohol I go to have his glass of prosecco too which I'm not complaining about! Once we'd eaten we headed back outside to the hydrotherapy pool as it was just so lovely. 

There weren't many people in the spa which obviously made it feel really special and luxurious. We went and swam in the pool for a bit - it was also nice and warm in there which made my body feel better. Then we went back into the hdyro pool right up until just before 8pm when we had to get out. 4 hours was a really lovely amount of time to spend there though!

We got home about 8.40 and once again got into bed as I was so tired and achy. Lee made hot chocolate and we watched the latest episode of Derry Girls which was really nice. I would recommend the spa for sure if you're local! The dressing gown fitted me pretty well even though they were all the same size, and the treatment beds were nice and wide and sturdy so I felt really safe when I was lying on it. Definitely one of the better spas for plus size people!

The outdoor hydrotherapy pool - it was steaming warm and had lots of lovely jets

Feet in the foot spa - this was nice and warm too 

Lee took this one of us

And this one of me outside in the pool. My swimming costume was from Simply Be earlier in the year - as we swim at least once a week I tend to wear through costumes quite quickly!

Gorgeous fresh pizza

And this is the pool - it wasn't huge but nice to float in

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Day Trip to Manchester

At the end of April I went to Manchester to see my friend Amy. I saw her in February but we had been meaning to get together for a bit of chat and craft time, so I headed over. There was an accident on the way there so it took me a bit longer than it should have, via a diversion, but I got there. We chatted at Amy's for a bit then left her girls with Mike and headed to the Tea Hive in Chorlton for some lunch.

I've been there before but not for ages. Amy likes it as they have plenty of vegan options. I went for a triple decker halloumi sandwich which was lush - definitely did not scrimp on ingredients at all. It had tzatziki and hummus and olives in it too. I also had an orange hot chocolate which was lovely. 

It wasn't too busy so we felt we could linger, and we both did a little bit of cross stitch. Amy wanted some pointers as I do so much of it! We ordered cake and hot drinks a little while later too. I had chocolate salted caramel cake and a coffee, which were both lovely. 

We wandered across the street when we left the Tea Hive to Lily's deli. We've been to the restaurant in Ashton before, and I've been to the deli before and bought delicious snacks. I bought some puri, and some snacks for Lee and I to share. Oh, I had also bought him a brownie in the Tea Hive too! 

We headed back to Amy's house. It was getting on at this time but I didn't want to get stuck in traffic, so we sat in the kitchen for a while with both girls and Mike. Amy and Daisy were making some dandelion honey and some Easter nests, and I played with Robyn while she was sitting on the table. It was a good time! 

I finally set off back about 6.20. My satnav told me that Woodhead Pass would be the quickest way and I stupidly believed it. It ended up taking me nearly two hours to get home! By that time I was so tired and in pain that I went to lie in bed until it was time to go to sleep!

Absolutely gorgeous halloumi triple decker sandwich

Chocolate salted caramel cake

Amy and Daisy making Easter nests. The whole family is vegan hence the other project of dandelion honey

And here's little cutie Robyn (I was just next to her to make sure she didn't fall off the table)

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Louis Tomlinson in Doncaster

Towards the end of April I went to see Louis Tomlinson in Doncaster with my friend Helen. We bought the tickets back in October 2019, but because of Covid we've had the gig rescheduled twice. We were both starting to think it would never happen! But it did, and in his hometown too which made for a marvellous gig. I had so much fun. 

Helen came to mine around 5.30 and we set off to Doncaster about six. We had some tea in Burger King and then Helen dropped me just outside Doncaster dome. I used to go in the holidays because it was a fiver to go ice skating in the morning and swimming in the afternoon. A fiver! What a bargain. I bet Louis used to do that too. We weren't sure about parking but fortunately Helen managed to park in the dome car park so caught up with me very quickly. We got inside quickly and a helpful member of staff found us the lift to go up to the balcony. 

We had missed the first support band but caught the second one, Only the Poets. They were pretty good! I hope they get signed. Louis played a blinding gig, it was so much fun and he sounded fab. We danced for a bit and sat down for a bit, which suited me fine. I knew I didn't have to drive home afterwards which helped! 

I'll definitely see him next time he's near! I know it's not my usual style of music but sometimes I just like a good pop song I can sing to!

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Lunch Out with Chloe and Laura

Just after Easter I went to Meadowhall to meet up with Chloe and Laura. I was still absolutely exhausted from spending all day at the snooker and the two days after that, but I knew I could take it slowly with those two. We first of all went into Flying Tiger, which hasn't been open in Meadowhall for very long. I spent £14 in there. Then just up from there is Typo, which is more expensive, but has some cute stuff. In there I got some pens. 

We headed upstairs to where Paperchase is now, where I bought some cards. I'm trying to be that person who always has a card ready to send. I actually bought a bunch last month from Whistlefish, which are absolutely gorgeous. These are too, and blank inside which means they're suitable for any occasion. 

Then we went into Kenji! It's only been there a year and I've been in a few times. It sells Japanese things - stationery, snacks, drinks, and plush soft toys. It's really fun. I bought some noodles for Lee and some other very cute stuff. Laura and Chloe had both bought stuff too. They hadn't been in Kenji before and were impressed.

It was about 12 by this time so we headed to the Oasis to go to Wagamama. I haven't been for ages so I'd suggested it especially as I know they have lots of vegetarian and vegan options. I went for bang bang cauliflower and tofu raisukaree curry. They were both SO good! 

We headed to Yours clothing after lunch as I wanted to find a dress for my cousin's wedding in June. I tried on about eight and chose one which I'll show you soon! Then we went to Starbucks for a coffee and more chat before we had to leave each other. It was such a lovely day though - I love these two and the chats we have very much!

I didn't get a picture of my outfit, but I was wearing a mustard dress and black footless tights, and my white slip on Converse. Here's some pictures:

I put contact lenses in so put my favourite sunglasses on while I was driving. I love how reflective they are!

Bang bang cauliflower - so delicious

Tofu raisukaree curry - I thoroughly recommend this

And here's what I bought!

Sunday, June 5, 2022

Easter Weekend 2022

We had a nice Easter weekend. Lee had had a cold for the week beforehand - not Covid, but it wiped him out quite badly. By the weekend he was feeling a bit better. On the Friday we tidied the bedroom and then chilled out which was nice. I watched a good film with a friend in the evening which was nice and which also felt like early lockdown again! 

On Saturday we made chocolate mousse in the morning. I had more success with the whisking of the egg whites than I've ever had before, and the chocolate folded in really nicely. 

Then we started sorting out our huge attic room again, I have so much stuff in there and it gets unwieldy and I can't find stuff. So we started sorting stuff out, going through the shelves. We didn't completely finish but we made a good start. We also need to get decorating my dolls house, but it needs painting first of all. I did find lots of white acrylic paint so I can do that. 

In the evening we made a nice meal and then had two of the chocolate mousses, which had set wonderfully and tasted lovely. We'll be making those again definitely! 

On Sunday we headed to my mum's house about eleven o'clock. I had requested that my mum make a big Easter Sunday dinner. It turned out my aunt and uncle were also up because they had been clearing my grandma's house again with my mum and stepdad. My grandma is settling into her new home but was only allowed out on the Sunday as she'd been unwell. My mum agreed to make a dinner, with chicken and then a beefless Wellington for me, but as everyone was at church, I volunteered that Lee and I go over to get things going, or we'd have been eating much too late! My mum left stuff out on the side and it was like that round in Masterchef where they have to try to figure out what the person before them was trying to make. Absolutely bonkers. But everyone arrived at my mum's about 12.30 and dinner was ready just after one, so it was a win! It was delicious.

We stayed at my mum's until late playing games and looking at photos they had brought from my grandma's house. My grandma went about 7, maybe a little earlier. The rest of us had sandwiches for tea. We had to taste wine for my cousin's wedding too, which was so tough obviously! Lee and I got home about 11pm. 

On Monday I was up early to go to the world snooker championships in Sheffield with my mum! My mum loves the snooker and always watches it. She used to go every year with my dad, grandma, godfather, and his friend. Then my dad died, and a few years ago my godfather and his mate decided it was too expensive (it is expensive!) so she just went with my grandma. Then my grandma got too disabled to go, so my mum hasn't been in a few years. It's different now as well because you have to enter like a lottery for tickets. But my mum asked me last year if I would go, so I said yes. I wouldn't watch it on TV by choice, but if I'm at my mum's I'll watch it. It's different in person, too, the atmosphere is pretty good. I went once when I was about ten years old and sat on the steps because I couldn't see - you could see my white socks on the telly! But I haven't been since then. 

So Lee took us to Sheffield and we went in for the first session at 10am. We were watching Anthony McGill versus Liam Highfield to begin with - Liam was down but rallied a little bit, but Anthony ultimately won. We left before the last frame as it was already past 1pm and we needed to get lunch before the 2nd session which started at 2.30. One of the pubs opposite the Crucible had a barbecue outside selling burgers and hotdogs, including vegan options, so we each had a hotdog. It was lovely! In the square outside there are big screens showing the snooker for the entirety of the tournament, which is pretty cool if you don't manage to get tickets. 

The second session was long, so long. We started off watching Mark Williams versus Michael White, but Mark only needed a few frames to win that match. He is left handed as am I so that was quite cool to see. When that finished we had an interval, and then the curtain went up between the two tables so we could see the end of Neil Robertson versus Ashley Hugill. Ashley is from Yorkshire and is a new player, so he had done well to get 3-1 up against Neil (who is a former world champion). However, Neil won the next five frames meaning he was 6-3 up by the end of the session. My mum did ask me at 5.30ish, in between frames, if I wanted to go, but when we checked the trains we had just missed one, so I said no, we may as well stay until the end. It ended about five to six. We walked down to the train station, bought tickets and waited for the 6.30 train. 

It was a long day but ultimately very fun. I liked watching the snooker live. There weren't many women there generally, and most of them were with men, so as two women by ourselves we were definitely in the minority. We have tickets for the Seniors championship at the beginning of May too, so we're going to do it all again! 

I was absolutely knackered the next day and would have stayed at home, but I had to process payroll at work so couldn't!

Whisking egg whites for mousse

And here it is - so yummy

Sunday, I took this photo in the car as I'd put contact lenses in and could wear my fun sunglasses

Ruben sitting on the mantelpiece which is a place he definitely shouldn't be! Clearly this is what he gets up to when my mother isn't in!

Later he sat on me

Outside the Crucible first thing on Monday morning!

And just waiting for it to start...

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Anne Lister In Her Own Words Exhibition in Wakefield

On the 12th of April my mum came to work with me - where she is treasurer - because she needed to get some things updated, and we needed to do the payroll year end. It used to take absolutely forever, but these days, where you submit information monthly, it takes about fifteen minutes from start to finish. So we got everything done by about 1.30, and then we went to the West Yorkshire archives, in a building that neither of us has been in before, to see some of Anne Lister's diaries.

You know Anne Lister from the TV programme Gentleman Jack, I'm sure, even if you had never heard of her before. She is regarded by many as the first 'modern lesbian'. Last June Sam and Jac and I went to the church in York where she and Ann Walker took their sacraments together and made pledges to each other. Then last autumn Sam and Jodie and Lee and I went to Shibden Hall where Anne lived. I was so excited when series 2 of Gentleman Jack started just a couple of days before this, it was marvellous. I had heard that some of Anne's diaries were in Wakefield so asked my mum to go with me. 

The exhibition wasn't very big at all so I'm glad it wasn't too far out of our way, but there were several of her diaries, opened to show pages of her writing. A lot of it was coded, mainly to hide her sexual relationships with women but also apparently to make comments about her peers! It was interesting to read more about the codebreakers, and more about Anne's life, although I do know quite a bit about it already. There was a picture of an excellent tapestry that had been done about Anne too, I'd love to see it in person! 

It was cool to see, if very small!