Friday 19 July 2013

Challenge Update - July

My 2013 challenges are:-

1) Watch one old film each month.

2) List five items on Ebay each month.

3) Have a date night with Mick each month.

Sunset Boulevard was the film I watched this month, and although I thought the acting was excellent, it's the film from my challenge which I've least enjoyed so far. I've never seen this film before, but it regularly appears in lists of the greatest films of all time so I was expecting something more from it. I'm not a fan of seeing the ending at the beginning of films, so in my opinion, this spoilt it. I don't think it's a film I'd watch again, though I'm pleased that I've now seen it.

Five items have been listed on Ebay again this month. I'm looking forward to the end of this challenge as it's the challenge I least look forward to each month. It's getting to be a bit of a drag photographing everything, listing it all and then packaging everything up and making trips to the Post Office, though I'm sure I'll be pleased to see the balance in my Paypal account at the end of the year.

You can read about this month's date day with Mick in my Wetherby post. We had a lovely afternoon in this nearby market town including delicious fish and chips in the Wetherby Whaler.

We go on holiday tomorrow to Cornwall for a fortnight so I'm hoping that the gorgeous weather we're having at the moment is going to last. We're staying at the same place near Bude where we stayed last year. It's a small complex with eight lodges and two cottages, four fishing lakes, tennis courts, an indoor swimming pool, games room, gym, amongst other things, so there's plenty there for us to do. I'm really looking foward to it.

Wednesday 17 July 2013

Behind The Scenes

As you know, we bought a season ticket for Lotherton Hall earlier in the year. Though the price has increased over the last couple of years, we've still had our money's worth out of it already. Recently, we received a letter inviting us to a Season Ticket Holders' Exclusive Event, Behind The Scenes at Lotherton Bird Garden.

The event was last night, and a beautiful evening it was too.

The heat of the day was subsiding, and the park looked beautiful in the evening light.

We were able to visit the Bird Garden and meet some of the team who care for the birds. There was a talk about the owls and we got to meet this barn owl, Gascoigne, named after the family to which the property belonged. Gescoigne is four years old and was hand reared by one of the team. He's a beautiful bird, and we learnt some fascinating facts about owls which I didn't already know.

The snowy owl was wondering what was going on.

I love this mural which explains things about different birds. The emphasis is definitely on education in the bird garden and facts about different birds are dotted about all over.

The birds were much more vocal that I've heard them before. I suppose the time of day had something to do with this. I always talk to animals, whether they can answer or not, so I was quite surprised when I said Hello to this bare eyed cockatoo named Goosey and got a reply. I think he though I was a bird too as he kept saying Hello Birdie and calling me a Pretty Boy.

As we walked away he even said Goodbye.

I love these Laughing Kookaburras but didn't realise that they're members of the kingfisher family. There's so much to learn every time you visit Lotherton.

This is a great bug hotel which is situated in the Wildlife Friendly Garden, it's on a much larger scale than the small one I've got in my own garden.

There's a new deer hide at Lotherton which we could have had a preview of but we just didn't have the time, we were so engrossed in the talks which were going on in the bird garden, but I'm sure we'll get to see it in use very soon.

I noticed this sign asking for volunteers to help care for the birds, that's something I could be quite interested in if I had a little more free time on my hands.

At the end, we were given complimentary refreshments in the Stables Cafe. It was lovely sitting outside in the courtyard at the end of the day, watching what I think were House Martins flying in and out of the stables buildings, there were so many of them, they must have nests in there.

All in all we had a lovely time, and I think it was a very worthwhile event, we certainly enjoyed it.

Monday 15 July 2013

Happy Birthday Gorgeous Girly

It's Eleanor's 15th birthday today, where did that time go?

She was up at the crack of dawn so that she had time to open her cards and presents before heading off to school.

I'm so proud of the young lady Eleanor is growing to be, she seizes opportunities which come her way and loves life.

Today's school day is a bit out of the ordinary for Eleanor as she has been chosen to be a member of the Peer Support Team. She will offer emotional, social and practical guidance to the new Year 7 students who start at the school in September, but today, some of them are visiting for a fun day so Eleanor will be on hand so that the students are able to get to know her ahead of September. I think the bit of the day that Eleanor is looking forward to most is when she gets a turn on the inflatables the school have hired for the day.

Happy Birthday my Gorgeous Girly.

Saturday 13 July 2013

A Grand Night Out

I've visited The Grand Theatre in Leeds a couple of times over the past couple of months and tried to get some decent photos of the inside to show you, but it's always so dark that they don't seem to come out very well. I was there again on Thursday evening so I had another go and this is what I came up with.

The chandelier is set in to the most beautiful ornate ceiling.

This type of decoration is continued throughout the theatre, as you can see here on the front of the balconies. There's such fabulous detail, it truly is an impressive building both inside and out.

This time, we were there to see Priscilla Queen Of The Desert starring Jason Donovan and it was a fabulous show.

This is the third time I've seen Jason Donovan, I've seen him twice previously in Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and he's always given a fantastic performance, Thursday evening was no different. In fact, all three actors playing the three main characters were outstanding.

We're so lucky that we get such a varied programme of shows to choose from at The Grand Theatre, musicals, opera, ballet, drama, comedy, even shows direct from the West End. Thursday was another wonderful evening out.

Thursday 11 July 2013

192 Days

Today is the 192nd day of the year, which means that there should be 192 squares in my One A Day blanket, and there are. It now measures twelve squares by sixteen squares and has reached a size with which I'm happy.

I now need to put a border on it, but that can wait until I get back from my holidays, I'm not going to start it before I go. I haven't decided yet what I'm going to border it with, just something simple I think.

It's so squishy and soft that I'm going to enjoy using it when the cooler weather arrives, it should keep me nice and warm.

It's been a relaxing project to work on, crocheting just one square each day. I've joined the squares and sewn the ends in as I've gone along, so there's no making up to do at the end, my worst bit of any project.

I'll be back with more photo's when it's totally finished.

Tuesday 9 July 2013

In The Pleasure Groove

I used to read a lot of biographies and autobiographies, I enjoy reading about people's lives, I suppose that's one of the reasons I enjoy reading blogs so much. When I heard that John Taylor, the bass player from Duran Duran, had written an autobiography, I knew it was something I'd enjoy reading.

I was a devoted Duranie in the 1980's and John was my favourite member of the band. My bedroom wall was plastered with posters of the band which I'd carefully torn from magazines and having listened to their songs over and over, I knew every word. I saw them play live twice.

I haven't got very far in to the book yet but I'm enjoying the way it's written. It's already making me want to read further so I don't expect it will take me long to finish. Perhaps I'll relive some of those eighties days in the pages to follow.

Wednesday 3 July 2013


Mick took a half day holiday from work yesterday so we decided to make the most of the extra time we had together and go on our date day.

It's a while since we've been to Wetherby, a small market town about ten miles from where we live, so we decided we'd head there, have a mooch around the shops and call for something to eat.

The car park by the river was very busy but we eventually found a space.

A family of ducks were having a snooze at the water's edge.

The main roads through the town are always busy, though quite a few shops have closed down over the last couple of years which is sad.

There aren't many high street stores in Wetherby, I love all the little independent shops.

Away from the hustle and bustle of the town centre, the streets are much quieter.

The cottages in this row are so pretty, tucked away in the back streets.

There are many different eateries in Wetherby offering a selection of different types of cuisine, so we were spoilt for choice.

In the end, we decided to have our lunch at the Wetherby Whaler, a Yorkshire chain of fish and chip restaurants. The take away shop is downstairs whilst the restaurant is above it.

Mick's not a huge lover of fish, in fact, I can't remember the last time he ate fish, but we both thoroughly enjoyed our lunch and didn't need anything else to eat for the rest of the day. Just as well really as I'm supposed to be trying to lose a few pounds before my holidays.

It was another lovely date which we both enjoyed.