Thursday 29 September 2011

Unexpected Packages

I often come across websites which are offering freebies or giveaways and I'm only too happy to try my luck.

Last week, I had a package drop through my letterbox and I've no idea why it's been sent to me. I can only assume that at one time or another, I've given my details and applied for a giveaway.

As it happens, it's very useful, a teatowel from Knorr. I'm forever buying teatowels. I've got two pairs of oven gloves in the kitchen, yet Mick will insist on using all my best teatowels to take things out of the oven with, resulting in them being burnt or stained.

It even comes with a recipe, Griddled Steak With Wild Mushrooms, sounds delicious.

Monday 26 September 2011

A Couple Of Mugs

We went to see my friend's son playing his saxophone in one of the local outdoor shopping centres yesterday. He's part of a youth band, and they were very good.

As we passed the shops to where they were playing, I happened to notice that Whittards, one of my favourite shops, had a sale on. I love the colourful pottery items which Whittard sells, they do some brilliant ranges.

As soon as I saw this mug I knew it would have to come home with me. Close Knit, perfect for a knitter.

I then happened to notice that they had some piggy ones too. I just love pigs, they're so cute, so Trotters made it's way home with me too.

I'm not a lover of hot drinks. I very very occasionally have a cup of tea, and sometimes have hot chocolate, but I do love to have nice mugs in the house.

We also popped in to the traditional sweet shop which is there. Mick loves hard liquorice so he got eight sticks, and I got a quarter of aniseed balls and a couple of bonfire lollies. OK, I know they're sold in grams now not quarters but I'm an old fashioned girl. I can't bring myself to say a hundred grams.

I've just started the Waving Not Drowning socks again which I pulled out a while ago. They're for my mum for Christmas so I really need to get on with them.

Perhaps a hot drink in my Close Knit mug is just what I need to spur me on.

Tuesday 20 September 2011

Make Do And Mend

I have to admit that I'm useless at sewing. It's something that never interested me at school so I dropped textiles as soon as I got the chance, though it's something which I now regret. I've always sent Daniel and Eleanor's school uniform to my mum for name tapes sewing in, and even sewing on a button brings me out in a cold sweat.

I was determined that Eleanor wouldn't be the same, so as soon as she started showing any interest in sewing I encouraged it. She's just started her GCSE subjects at school and textiles is one of them. A couple of Christmases ago,  we bought her a sewing machine along with a well stocked sewing box.

When she came home from school last week with an unravelling strap on a top she wears underneath her shirt, she knew better than to ask me to sew it. Instead, out came the sewing box and she got to work on it herself.

It wasn't long before it was as good as new.

I realise now how important it is to have these skills and wish that I'd had more of an interest at school. It's funny how much we change as we get older.

Friday 16 September 2011

Moving Day

Today's the day that my mum and dad will leave the house where they've lived for the past forty plus years and move in to an apartment.

They've amassed quite a lot of belongings over forty years, and as the apartment is much smaller than the house, they've had to get rid of lots of things. A charity shop is now well stocked, that's all I can say, but there's some things which have found there way in to my house.

We've taken some practical things like the freezer which will be great for storing the gluts from the allotment, and we've taken gardening tools too. The apartment has beautiful shared grounds with a summer house, but they're looked after so my dad won't have a garden to tend any more. Some sentimental items have come my way too. This is a dressing table set which was given to my grandma by her parents in 1928 on her 21st birthday.

I went to my mum and dad's last night to say goodbye to the house. I lived there between the ages of two and twenty and it holds lots of memories. In January, I will have lived in my own house just as long. I'm sure this house will hold lots of memories for my own children.

Tuesday 13 September 2011

Tunnel Vision

This limited edition print, named Tunnel Vision, by Graham Carver is hanging on my wall. I've often looked at it and wondered just where the view was from. We can see St. Mary's Church on Whitby's East Cliff along with the abbey ruins, and we can also see the harbour below, so the view must be from the new part of town.

You may remember that we visited Whitby last weekend for my birthday, so before we set off, we decided that we would go exploring and try to find the source of the view.

We parked at the side of the abbey and as we walked down the 199 steps to the old town, our eyes were scanning the buildings and cliffs opposite to see if we could see a little tunnel. It wasn't long before my eyes came to rest on a little opening in the cliffs and I was sure that I had found the tunnel. Can you see it, right in the middle of this picture?

So, we knew in which direction we were heading but had no idea how to get there. It appeared to be high above the buildings in front of it and bored in to the cliffs.

We walked over the bridge from the old town in to the new part of town and walked right along the harbour. As we got to the beach, there were some steps leading right up to the top of the cliff. We soon realised that we were far too high up, so we walked a little way along the road and came to some steps. Looking down from the steps we could see the back of the tunnel.

We wanted to see if we had the exact same view as Graham Carver did when he painted this picture. What do you think?

There were some steps leading down at the end of the tunnel, and though we couldn't see where they led to, we decided to investigate. They took us down to the back of some buildings. There were also some lovely little cottages and gardens, and as we walked along, it brought us back out to the harbour.

We weren't the first to find the tunnel though, look who'd been here before us.

I'm glad he'd left by the time we got there.

Saturday 10 September 2011

A Day In The Life Of A Cricket Widow

Mick used to play cricket before we met, but he gave it up, along with football, as he damaged his knee ligaments. Daniel has been playing cricket now for quite a few years and it's rekindled Mick's enthusiam so much that they now both play for the same team. His knee ligaments are no better than they were twenty years ago, but he knows not to moan to me about them as he'll get no sympathy. Daniel plays most weeks, but Mick will often take a week off so that he doesn't abandon me too often. They're both playing away from home today, so I thought I'd show you what I've done with my day.

Eleanor had a birthday party invitation so Mick dropped her off on his way to cricket.

First of all I thought I'd better sort out the pile of magazines which have been at the side of my bed for months now. They're sorted in to three piles, one for my dad, one for Mick's auntie and uncle and one for someone at Mick's work. I never throw a magazine away.

Next, I got my crochet out. My blanket it coming along well, though I don't know how many squares I've done, I really need to count them. I've done this on and off all day.

Eleanor came home from her party this afternoon and we all had cuddles on the sofa whilst we watched Forest Gump. I don't know why I keep watching it, it makes me so depressed. I think it's had the same effect on Archie too.

We took Archie for a walk before he had his tea. This is a flower display outside the primary school just around the corner from where we live. It's one of the Yorkshire In Bloom displays.

Archie loves his walks in the woods.

We took a detour on our way home to say hello to the horses, but they had just been given their tea so they weren't interested in us.

When we got home, I decided to pick the ripe tomatoes in the greenhouse. Eleanor came down the garden with me and found this tiny frog. She put it down at the side of the little pond and it jumped straight in.

When I came out of the greenhouse it had started raining. This is my tomato haul from today, and they're still coming. I would recommend growing tomatoes to anyone. You haven't tasted a true tomato until you've grown your own.

It's now after 7pm and Mick's just rung to say he's on his way home. It's the last match of the season next week so I might get my family back for the winter months.

Thursday 8 September 2011

All By Myself

It's Daniel's first day back to school today, and he starts in the sixth form. He doesn't have to wear a school uniform anymore but still has to dress smart, and he looked very dapper this morning as he set off.

Eleanor went back on Tuesday and is already in the swing of things. She starts on her GCSE subjects this year, so she's extremely happy that she doesn't have to study the subjects she doesn't like anymore.

The holidays this year have seemed much longer than usual. I think it's because Daniel finished way back on 27th May, half way through his GCSEs, so he's had a whopping fourteen and a half weeks off. I feel that we've made the most of the holidays having plenty of trips out, as well as our fortnight away in Cornwall and Devon.

Now they're back at school I'm going to reacquaint myself with my knitting, which had to be pulled out whilst I was on holiday as I'd made too many mistakes. I'm one of those people who has to concentrate whilst knitting otherwise I go wrong. I'm also behind with my magazine reading, and I've a couple of DVDs to watch too. There's never any me time during holidays.

Tuesday 6 September 2011

A Birthday Trip To Whitby

It was my birthday on Saturday, and after such a lovely trip to the East coast on Friday, we decided to head back in that direction, this time to Whitby.

I'd got up and opened my wonderful presents on Saturday morning. I did very well and got lots of surprises as well as some money. I was totally spoilt. After breakfast, we headed off.

We parked up near the Abbey, which is set on the East Cliff above Whitby.

From here you can look down on the beach and harbour.

The lighthouse stands at the end of the pier.

Just in front of the abbey is St. Mary's Church and Churchyard, which gave Bram Stoker the inspiration to write Dracula. There are 199 steps from the churchyard down to the old town. There are some lovely little shops to be found in the pretty cobbled streets, and we spent quite a while looking round them.

Along the harbour you will find The Magpie Cafe which is known as one of the finest fish restaurants in the area. I don't think I've ever been to Whitby when there hasn't been a queue outside this restaurant.

We had a lovely walk right along the harbour and then headed in to the back streets. Looking back over the harbour you can see St. Mary's Church perched on the cliff.

As we started walking back towards the car, we watched the fishing boats bringing their catches back in to the harbour.

Before we headed home, we took a short drive to Sandsend. There's a long sandy beach here, perfect for Archie to have a run.

Of course, he couldn't resist a paddle in the sea.

There were only a few people, as well as ourselves, on the beach.

We had a lovely view of the bay from where we'd parked the car.

This is the first decorated Christmas tree I've seen this year, and where did I see it? Driving home on the North Yorkshire Moors.

The weather had held out beautifully while we were on the East coast, both on Friday and Saturday. I was surprised how warm it was, we were all in short sleeves both days. The rain started just as we were crossing the moors on our way home from Whitby, I didn't mind then.

There was one last surprise waiting for me when we got home on Saturday evening, though I'm sure they got the 3 and the 4 the wrong way round. That's what I'm telling everyone anyway.

Sunday 4 September 2011

A Day At The Seaside

As it's nearing the end of the school holidays, Mick took the day off work on Friday so that we could get out and do something together. Apart from our holiday in Devon and Cornwall, we hadn't been to the seaside yet this year. We often take days out to the East coast, and we were aware that we hadn't yet been this year, so we headed off to Scarborough.

Scarborough is great for a day out for us as it's less than an hour and a half away. There's two bays, North and South, with a harbour between them, and we were very lucky to hit up on a parking space right by the harbour.

Though we've been to Scarborough many times, we've never walked out to the lighthouse.

The plaque tells how the lighthouse was rebuilt in 1931 after being destroyed by German bombers on the 16th December 1914.

Boat trips can be taken from the harbour. We saw this pirate ship just setting sail.

If a pirate ship is not your style, how about this Regal Lady pleasure cruise.

Looking back from the lighthouse, you can see Scarborough Castle perched up high.

This seagull must be going shopping, he's carrying his shopping bag with him. Seriously, I hope the seagull wasn't tangled and managed to escape the bag.

After visiting the lighthouse, we made a stop at the lifeboat. It's amazing to think how many lives this boat has saved.

Although there's a police box on the seafront, I've never caught sight of Dr Who.

We headed off the beaten track to the back streets and came up on a shop selling these impressive looking cupcakes. They looked delicious but unfortunately, the shop was closed.

Eleanor consoled herself with an ice cream dipped in sherbet, urgh. The ice cream started off with the pink sherbet totally covering it.

We had a walk right along South Bay, and spent a few 2p's in the amusements, before heading off to Fraisthorpe beach which is about four miles south of Bridlington. This is a great dog friendly beach and it didn't take Archie a minute to find the rock pools.

After getting a good soaking, it's imperative to dry off by rolling in the sand.

There's a great expanse of beach for both humans and animals alike to have a good run.

You can see that the soft cliffs here are suffering from the erosive effects of the North Sea. At least 30 villages have been lost since Roman times.

In 1940, pill boxes were built as a defence against German invasion. 28000 pill boxes were built, yet only 6000 remain today. Some of these can be seen at Fraisthorpe.

We had the whole beach to ourselves, save for one or two people walking along the shoreline or exercising their dogs.

The sun was starting to go down as we left Fraisthorpe, yet we decided we would head to Bridlington for a walk along the promenade. It was such a lovely evening that there were still a few people hanging out on the beach.

Bridlington has changed so much over the last few years. There's been a lot of building work taking place, and it's looking so much nicer.

We had a wonderful day, arriving home at about 9pm, thoroughly worn out, yet looking forward to the day ahead.