Sunday, 30 March 2014

The Cat Is Back.

I have finally returned to Leicester home and back to a hubby who was very keen to see me again. We are not used to being apart for so long and so often, so the feelings were mutual. As the journey back home varies between four to four and a half hours driving I have a plan how I'm going to split the journey up. Yesterday I was delighted to be listening to Radio 4 and they were playing The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. This really isn't my cup of tea and I have tried to read this book but never really liked it that much. Yesterday hearing it being performed live was excellent and I can recommend anyone to listen to it on IPlayer but you'll probably need to do it soon before it gets taken off. Now the reason for me blurting on about this was that I stopped at Wetherby Service Station. The radio is playing and I am in this different zone when I think "did I just see a naked man?" No just get on and drink your tea girl. But then I look again and no it's not the radio sending me crazy I am seeing something strange.

What a sight - not pretty. I have since been told that he is wearing a mankini! All I could think of was that it was a good job he was partying yesterday when the weather had warmed up and not the previous day when the temperature was 6 degrees! Moving swiftly on to the rest of the day. As it was soooo gorgeous outside Mr P and I went on our usual walk around, what we joke as one of Leicester's few tourist attractions, Foxton Locks. There were plenty of others out enjoying the sunshine. We even stopped to enjoy an ice cream - such a contrast to the previous day when I was wearing many layers, with hat and gloves! Anyway we stopped to see a field full of very young lambs, but Mr P decided he had to take a photo with his phone and I couldn't understand why for a while. Then as I stood there puzzled thinking isn't it cute that Mr P likes to take a picture of cute lambs like me when I got it.

The sign in the background says "Shoulder of Mutton"! It is in fact a Chinese restaurant but looks like a pub! Have to say I have never been in there but according to Trip Advisor it is rated 147 out of 766 restaurants in Leicester. Mr P put the picture on facebook and has had various comments such as:-

 "We don't want to ram it home, but ewe'll be amazed at how good our food is..."

"Please don't lamb-ast me for that last one"
" Cold shoulder if you don't "like" our lamb"
" Buy local, choose before you eat"

Mothers Day.

Oh I was greeted today with a lovely email from one of my daughters. She has recently started writing a blog and it was a kind of a wonderful way to say thank you. Click here to read what she said. Her blog is called The Mum, The Dog and The Baby. Needless to say I ended up blubbing. Then I had the delight of opening up my cards.

Later on the doorbell rang with a delivery of these beautiful flowers from my daughter in Northern Ireland. Such a proud mummy to have my four wonderful children. I'd really like to show you a photograph of them all but I have promised them that I wouldn't be doing that on my blog. But deep down I'm desperate to show my children to you all.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Back to Scotland - Day Seven, Northumberland.

Thoughts for the day were to go to Holy Island, but the tide crossing times were not very good. So after some thinking I came up with my one of my most favourite coastal walks. St Abbs. It's just over the border into South East Scotland.

People come here to do scuba diving.

The walk starts from the town and obviously climbs up the side of the cliffs.

The tide was coming in and I enjoyed watching the sea hit the rocks.

 There was a great sound of sheep and lambs bleating as they were being fed.

They reminded me of my chickens - walking in their food!

Favourite spot for Mr P and I to sit, admire the view and drink a cuppa. Only today it was rather cold and windy. Wonder where the boat was going - I'm guessing Edinburgh rather than Aberdeen.

If it had been a warmer day I would have spent much longer here - watching all the birds flying to and thro from the cliffs.

Sorry I could bore you with loads of pictures but realise I better stop.

Even though it was only 5 degrees - I couldn't walk past this picnic spot. What a fantastic view.

My hands were soooo cold, but decided to be a good British citizen and have my picnic regardless of the weather.

Well the rest of the day was spent in Berwick - running a few errands, trip to the neighbour, a bit of packing :( home tomorrow. Happy to see Mr P :).

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Yarn Crawl - Day Six, Edinburgh

I can hear myself singing this song - What a difference a day makes. My feet are feeling great today and ready for my outing to the big city.

Last year I visited Edinburgh and could not find one knitting shop. So before I went I did a bit of research and found on  my favourite wool web site Ravelry a group of knitters in Edinburgh who had done a yarn crawl. Kindly they had listed exactly where they went. So I used the information as a basis for my day. Now not knowing my way around the city I had to rely on a small map and my own drawn map!

Passed a tiny tiny pub.

Discovered that I had arrived rather early for Edinburgh. - many of the shops not opening till 11am. So I went and had a cuppa and croissant. This was the headlines! Seems so strange that this could make the front page. The issue of women being allowed to become members of THE golf course, St Andrews.

Somehow I ended up walking far too far out of the city and had to abandon the first knitting shop, but it did mean that I passed a few places that I hadn't planned on seeing.

What the heck is "hot and iced bubble tea"?

 This is what I like about going to a big city - you see things that you have never heard of.

Pass Greyfriar Bobby. It's worth clicking on this link to read the story of this dog.

Not many dogs have a statue built of themselves.

Hurray eventually I make it to a wool shop - K1 Yarns.

Sells some rather posh yarns, displayed beautifully. Not sure about that jumper in the window - looks rather short and wide, maybe that's the fashion!

Then walked by by the train station - Waverley. It's the second largest train station in the UK. It looks to me as if they have finished restoring the station.

It was great to see some trams - they are being tested at the moment, but are due to start at the beginning of May. It has been a long battle for it to happen - you can if you want to read more here.


Ta dah - made it to the second yarn shop - McAree Brothers. They had lots and lots of wool with shelves full of knitting and crochet books. Could have bought the shop, but came out with nothing!

I fell in love with the architecture. Here is Sotheby's - needless to say I did not go in!

Home of Robert Louis Stevenson.

Really enjoyed exploring these different roads - would never have done this if I hadn't had my yarn crawl list.

Really nice to see people making the most of their small court yards.

The chimneys are amazing - reminding me of Mary Poppins again - Chim chim cheree.

A picture for my No 4 child who lives and works near Cream of Galloway ice cream. It was a bit too cold to have one, for me anyway.

Then to the next yarn shop - Kathy's Knits

You'll be pleased to know that I eventually bought some wool!

Got these three balls to knit some small shawlettes.

Sorry its blurred but it was just beginning to rain. Just liked the way this florist displayed their wares.
Stopped to have some lunch and was hoping that the rain might stop, but sadly I had to make the next 15 minute walk in the rain.

The owner of Ginger Twist was very welcoming and when she saw my wet state offered me a cuppa. She dyes her own wool and has a lot of colours to choose from.

Even in the city there are plenty of daffodils.

I loved spending the day in Edinburgh. It seemed to be a very prosperous city but there were the sad reminders that not all have money.

When I took this picture it was pouring with rain. I saw many people for whatever reason are having to sleep rough.

This man was carving a dog out of sand in order to make some money.

Well now it's time for you to guess where I am or what am I doing?

Any ideas?

Still not sure - well I'll keep you guessing till the end of the blog!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Having run out of wool shops - I headed over to Jenners. This is a department store that has been running since 1838. Wow!

The store reminded me very much of Libertys in London. Now my feet were really aching and even though I still had forty minutes of shopping time left I decided to call it a day and head back to the railway station. But Mr P did say I could treat myself and so I succumbed and bought a book, I know I hardly dare say it, but it was a cookery book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A girl can never have enough cookery books.

I have been watching the series on television and Mary Berry is just so wonderful. I want her to be MY grandma. She does everything so effortlessly. As I write the series is available to watch on BBC IPlayer, but that will only be for a short while.

OK the answer to my question as to where I was is here..........................................

Those wardrobes were the doors to the changing rooms! I had no idea how fantastic this store layout was going to be. As you go in there is an area with sofas, coffee table and free hot drinks - I think it's especially for the men. By the changing rooms were video game consoles for small children - brilliant place.

Well I had a lovely day and sorry if this has ended up being a long blog. Only one more day of hols left.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

All Sorts - Day Five, Northumberland

Woke up today unsure of what I was going to do and then decided to head off to Alnwick. As I begin to drive I remember the charity shop in Belford and head there first. On my way there I have to stop because I see these gorgeous lambs.

Just look at their cute black legs. They are so adorable!

As you drive along the A1 this is the view you see looking across to Holy Island.

Belford is a lovely village in fact Mr P and I nearly bought a house here, but there were some structural issues with the house and so we had to abandon the idea. Anyway I can recommend the charity shop, nearly every time I go in there I get something really nice. Today they did not let me down. I bought some items of clothing one being made by Joules! All for £2 each - bargain. Can't show you them as they are in the wash. Then the great thing about being on your own is that you can change your mind about your plans. Suddenly I just didn't feel like trecking down to Alnwick and decided to head to Bamburgh instead.

Along this part of the A1 as soon as you head towards the coast there is always a railway line to cross. Mr P and I usually have daft bets as to whether the train will be coming from the south or north, if we have to wait at the crossing. Not much point doing that on your own, missing Mr P like mad.

What I find amazing is that I am still finding places I have never seen before and this was one of them.

Wow what an amazing place to stay for a holiday.  Looks as if its about £690 a week for two people.

The reason I changed my mind as to where I was going was because the weather was looking a little happier and my feet a little happier. (Decided to remove the blister plaster from underneath my heel as I think it was making worse and causing an infection. This has helped a bit and my heels are feeling tons better.)

I do love the coast line around Bamburgh and I love to park near to the golf course. Here you can sit in your car and just look across the whole of the bay. It's especially exciting when the tide is coming in as the sea crashes against the rocks and throws out a spray. I have visions of Mr P and I sitting there with our books, flask and picnic when we retire and have got too old to walk far.

Yes that is a deer painted into the rocks - not sure why?

In the distance you can see the Farne Islands - this is where the famous Grace Darling supposedly rescued lots of shipwrecked sailors in a small rowing boat. There is a bit of controversy as to whether she actually did or not, but I think the consensus of opinion is that it is most likely true. If you are ever in this part of the world then do visit the Grace Darling Museum run by the RNLI.

Of course there is always Bamburgh Castle to visit. I have to confess that neither Mr P or myself has ever been to visit the castle.

The village green was looking pretty with the daffodils circling the trees. Then I decided to drive to Fenham le Moor. Have not visited there for years but the bird hide is still there and have just discovered there is a blog kept for the site - click here to see. Just after I parked this tit decided to come and join me!

Bit of a crazy bird as it kept pecking at my window and mirror!

The view from this remote stretch of coast looks across to Holy Island.

Just wanted to show you  the drive into our village - all the way in is daffodils on either side of the road.

Back to the cottage to do some hookey (crochet) and give my feet a break. I hope I don't regret this but I have booked a return ticket to the big city - Edinburgh, for tomorrow. Oh well if I can't walk I'll just have to people watch!