Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Ulverston - New Territory

The highlight of the week gone was a trip to Ulverston. My No 4 child is to be married in Leeds this coming Saturday and he and his wife will be living just outside this pretty town. For the last 5 years he has been training, in Dumfries and Galloway, to become an outdoor pursuits instructor. One thing I like about having four children is the opportunity to explore new areas that I may not have ever thought of visiting. So Friday, after work, I travelled a very long journey north. What I had forgotten about was that whilst Leicester had half term last week the rest of the country was just gearing up for half term! So the M1 and M6 were  a nightmare - no accidents but just heavy congestion and the journey took five and a half hours of stopping and starting. I encountered the first lot of traffic not far out of Leicester and I wanted to turn around and go home but with a car full of furniture, crockery etc and the thought of seeing my son and soon to be daughter-in-law helped me stick it out. Arriving in the pitch black I did not see any beautiful scenery but the next day when I peered out my bedroom window I could see the hills (Lake District). The weather was not happy so apologies for the picture.

They are renting a house in a small village, but I will not show you the house yet as they have not properly moved in and will have wedding gifts to unpack etc etc. So just my son is there until they get married. They opted to move into an unfurnished property so were keen to receive any bits and pieces to add to their new home. Now I didn't want to stay too long as they had wedding preparations to be getting on with. My son wanted to take me up a hill to see a lighthouse but I had only come in my work shoes so that was not on so instead he took me into Ulverston. What a treat this town is. It is the home to Stan Laurel - you've probably heard of Laurel and Hardy. There is also a museum which I look forward to visiting, another time.

There are lots of cute oldie worldie shops that I look forward to seeing another time.

Now in this small town I discovered TWO wool shops and a stall in the indoor market selling wool! How envious I am of my daughter-in-law!

I found some yarn bombing, apparently there is more but it was a rather rainy morning and not the sort of day for walking slowly!

But it was a prefect morning to be heading into a cute old fashioned cafe for a cream tea.

I forgot to take a picture of the outside of this building but they sell masses of different types of tea and anything else associated with making tea. Needless to say the tea was not teabags but tea leaves. To make it even more perfect the fire was roaring and I could see the wool shop opposite - paradise!

As you can see a lovely place. But the waitresses were rather busy serving customers and running the shop. Then I heard one very posh middle aged man seek out a waitress saying "are you serving in this shop because I'm tired of waiting. I thought of exposing myself but then thought that not a good idea because of the children around!" So I guess even Ulverston has its rather strange characters too!

The butcher shop had a fantastic array of meats and I loved the clock.

I love pumpkins not that I am into halloween, but you can make smiley faces with them!

The second wool shop - the baskets were closed because of the rain, but they were full with bargains.

Even the Oxfam shop looked exciting with its wooden stairs, but there was not time to visit.

Final picture of another tea shop. I am really looking forward to coming back again to visit and having more time to explore this lovely town and of course I have not even mentioned the spectacular countryside. Looking forward to seeing their new home set up. I am so happy that they have settled in such a lovely location.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Ooops Forgot To Think Of A Title!

Golly it's been over a week since I've blogged! Shame on me! Maybe it reflects my mood. Been a little bit like the weather bit down in the dumps - nothing major, just a combination of a few things happening at the same time. But I'm almost fine now.

Saturday I made a trip to Birmingham in the hope of finding some shoes for my sons wedding. Well I got some shoes but when I got home, in the afternoon, I discovered that they did not fit my feet! I guess as the day had gone on my feet had swollen! Anyway the shoes were returned to a branch in Leicester and I have now got some boots to wear to the wedding instead! Golly I'm so glad I don't have to go to posh events often I could never cope with all this sorting out of clothes business.Sure my mum would be turning in her grave if she could read this - as she loved clothes shopping. But  did opt for a short walk along the canal whilst out.

It was so nice to get away from the noise and bustle of the big city to a more tranquil environment.

Outside the art gallery was this display - I guess ready for the World War 1 commemoration.

Sunday afternoon I got very excited as I started a new craft project but cannot show you as it will be a Christmas present for my oldest daughter and hubby! Last night at craft group there was a bit of show and tell.

This quilt has been totally hand sewn! It is a Christmas present for her grandson - hope he enjoys it. Apologies for the quality of the picture.

This blanket has been crocheted, by a new member of the group, for a baby that is soon to be born. I love the colours - mmmm have a feeling it might be for a boy! Oh well time to finish blogging, washing up to be done as Mr P is away in Northumberland (that's usually his job). Need to be cleared up for Great British Sewing Bee extra special programme for fund raising. Have a good week all.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

You're Never Too Old

Now if you knew me then you'd know I am a nightmare when it comes to buying clothes for a wedding. I go through the same pattern of thoughts as I look at the clothes - "Oh it needs to be posh for a wedding, but I look ridiculous in those sorts of clothes". As I walk around the shops this theme repeats itself. Some people offered to come with me and very strongly I responded with the word "NO" - as it's bad enough for me but not to have to put someone else through my trauma!

Now this trauma started on Friday afternoon, after work. I headed off to Market Harborough thinking "ooh if I could get a dress this afternoon then I won't have to spend Saturday clothes hunting". So I went into
White Stuff
Fat Face
Jacks For Women
Doyles Fashion

 There were many more but these are the ones I can remember. Most of them I tried on armful of clothes but to no avail. Mind you I went into one shop and I had to pretend to be interested. The shop assistant came up to me and informed me that the clothes were arranged in collections and when I saw the price tag I nearly choked! Thank goodness nothing appealed to me. Well at least I had got a head start in deciding with the fashion what style dresses suit my massive size and which ones to not even bother trying on!

Next day Mr P dropped me off in Leicester last at 8.55am and I headed off to John Lewis. This is my favourite department store. I selelcted sooooo many dresses over my arms that when it came to the dressing room the assistant said lamely "how many clothes have you got?" I replied that I had no idea and she tried to count and gave up. Think she recognised the hopeless shopper in me and took pity and just let me go into a changing room. I only had a small handbag - so guess she thought that there was no way I could be smuggling those clothes out of the store! There was one dress that I thought it could do, but nothing setting my pulse racing. So sheepishly I came out of the cubicle and asked for just the one dress to be set aside for me. Then I continued out of the store desperately trying not to get distracted by the wonderful china and kitchenware department:( If I recalled all the shops I went into then I would never ever finish this blog. Let's put it like this I continued all the way through Leicester getting down to two shops!

I got very excited when I came across this shop Pepperberry. Outside it claims to be a clothes shop for ladies with larger boobs! The shop is well laid out and feels inviting. So I do my usual and go around and collect masses of clothes to try on. But somehow my big boobs don't seem to be quite big enough for this shop and the clothes, as nice as they were, and plenty would have been suitable for the wedding just did not fit right. Despondent and with the thought in my mind last hope I reluctantly walked into Fenwicks. This is another large department stall - rather old fashioned looking. I climbed the stairs and entered the ladies clothing department to be greeted with a range of clothes from Masai. My heart leaped for joy. There was a huge range of their clothing and of course I busily threw many styles and colour dresses over my arm. Yet again another wonderful shop assistant taking pity and letting me take ALL the clothes into the dressing room. Then I was left with a wonderful choice of two dresses!!!!!!!!!!! I ended up calling Mr P and dragging him out into the rain to come and help me choose. The sales assistant and Mr P both agreed which dress it should be - so that made it simple. Not only was the dress reasonably priced but also, unbeknown to me, there was a 20% sale on Masai clothes!

 Only photo this blog - I'm not showing you the dress but this is a sample of the fabric.

Mr P said I needed a bold piece of jewelry to make the dress rather more special. So I spent the rest of the afternoon hunting for a bag, shoes and necklace in purple. Now let me tell you I have done ALL the shops in Leicester and purple is not in this season! Plenty of aubergine and lilac but NOT purple. Shoes are a nightmare as I have exceptionally wide feet, bunions, high brow and flat feet! My feet are a disaster area. I did go into one shop and they ordered me some shoes in but sadly they do not fit so I still have to sort this part of my attire out. I could not find a bag but when I got home I found something else that will do the job nicely. Now the necklace well what a nightmare. Clutching my fabric I hunted and hunted. Then at 17:40 as the shops were closing I sadly headed back to the carpark. But as I walked down a small street I suddenly found  a shop selling jewelry and pictures! Strange combination. But anyway there in the window was a PURPLE necklace! Wahay! I almost walked past the shop as I was rather shy of going into this small shop but am so pleased I went in because the necklace was perfect. It did not have a price on display and cost more than I was thinking of paying but then I thought - get a grip girl you haven't spent much on a dress or anything else - go for it! And so I did BUT it came with some earrings for pierced ears and they matched beautifully. Trouble is I am such a whimp that I have never had my ears pierced - too scared. Went home and thought about it and after a conversation with daughter number two decided it was time to do something about this issue.

Monday morning I woke up in a sweat. This was the first day that I started to cycle to work and it was pouring with rain!  So I was anxious as to how it would be cycling and then I get even more into a stew as I thought about how after work I was going to get my ears done. Now I did not tell anyone I was going to do this  as I was not sure whether I could go through with it or not and did not want to look silly if I backed out. So from work I cycled into Leicester, took the bike to a wonderful place by the town hall where you pay very little to have your bike left securely - Bike Park. I did not want to leave my sparkling new Wrennie chained up in the town centre and be fretting about her. Then I walked across the town to Claire's Accessories. By the time I reached there I was sweating. My face was bright red and I was trembling. But no I went inside and fortunately at the time of day I went there were very few people inside and I did not have to look silly in front of lots of teenage girls. The assistant made me sit on this high chair and then want me to make decisions! How do I know what to choose - just do it! The kind girl helped me make a sensible decision as to what earrings to have and then what seemed an eternity started getting things ready!!!! Then she gives me a clip board to read and sign. I did have my glasses but I could hardly take in what I was reading. After I signed she then insisted that she had to give me after care instructions. I pleaded with her to tell me this after the piercing but I reckon she wouldn't because I think she thought I was going to faint! From advice from my daughter I asked them to do both ears at once - so glad I had been given this info. So the girl draws on my ears to get the mark in the right place and looking equal. Then a second assistant comes along and together they count down from 3 to 1 and that's it bingo earrings are in and I'm left wondering why have I waited till the grand old age of 54 to have them done! They were lovely and so understanding, sure I gave them something to talk and laugh about for the rest of the day!

So now I am the proud owner of some small gold ball earrings and look forward to the day when I can choose lots of lovely dangly ones to wear. Of course it now means that I can wear those earrings that came with the necklace for the wedding. When I got home I had to have a bath as I had sweated so much in fear! Well there you go "never too old!"

PS - somebody asked me how many dresses had I tried on and I reckon easily 70-80!

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

New Love In My Life! - EBike

I have a new love in my life. No do not worry everything is fine with Mr P and myself. This love comes with two wheels. For a while I have been thinking and hearing about e-bikes. I won't bore you with why I am only getting it now - after the summer has well and truly finished! I have been wanting to get one to use to get to work so that I am getting some exercise. My job is rather sedentary and some days I get home and feel as if my legs ache from sitting still soo long. So after much reading and searching around I finally went to E-Bikes, Leicester in Granby Street. I parked the car in Dover Street Car Park and hummed and aarghed as to how long I should pay to park. Decided to go with a 2 hour ticket thinking that I bet I'll be cross with myself for wasting one hours parking unused. Well I was very wrong as later on I had to go and put another hour onto the ticket! Three hours in a very ordinary sized shop - hearing how the bikes work, all the ins and outs etc etc. Then came the time I was almost dreading - going out on a test ride! Fortunately Mr P was with me and so was the owner. I was sweating like mad, terrified I was going to fall off and wreck their bikes. But no I managed to stay on and after five minutes I started to relax a little. Very quickly I knew which bike was for me. Back at the shop and after payment the man said I could take the bike there and then. But having come by car this was not possible so he offered to deliver it in a few days time. I was dizzy with excitment, I became like a small child and when Thursday came I could hardly wait for him to come. I kept peering out of the window and there she was all shiny and sparkly - Wrennie.

Isn't she lovely. The bike has three ways of being used - either by half pedalling and half with battery, use it as an ordinary bike or if I go out too far and get tired then I can switch it onto a throttle where it will reach a top speed of 15mph.

The reason for the name "Wrennie" is because of her model name. Most people have the next model up but my legs are too short! Liam runs the shop and he is amazing when he said he would deliver the bike he cycled her to my home and then spent another 45 minutes running through various different instructions. So if you live in Leicestershire and are thinking of doing something similar then I would really recommend this shop. They also service the bike, do repairs and offer this to other bike owners. It took me a while to get my clinics sorted out with stock as I couldn't carry this all on the bike but now I am a very happy e-bike owner. Have cycled everyday even though it has rained everyday! Sorry I'm to blame for the bad weather!

Now don't worry I have panniers on in these pictures but I do have a basket with buntings in the process of being made! Panniers for work - basket for pleasure outings!

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Weekend With Friends - Part Two, Belgrave Hall

Sunday was literally a day of two halves. In the morning Mr P went and DID church along with one guest. The lady guest and I went to Fabric Guild. I've not been there for months. Oooh it was soooo lovely to go back and see all the wonderful array of fabrics. I was very good and only spent £2.50 - probably not being good as I have soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much stash already! We all met up for lunch at home and then headed off to Belgrave Hall.  A food festival was taking place! Yum yum! It was such a lovely warm day - more like summer.

We went through the house into the gardens where there were about 30 stalls of yumminess.

Our friends bought some sausages, locally brewed beer and cider.

The sausages smelled divine. It was a good job we had all eaten lunch as this event could have cost us all a fortune buying up lots of food.

We went round the stalls trying various bits of food. I fell in love with this stall.

I ended up with a pot of very very hot chilli jam and a chilli plant.

He's a bit lanky but I rather like him!

Still wanting to enjoy the gorgeous weather we headed off to Botanic Gardens. Where the dahlias were looking gorgeous.

Now I do have a very short story about dahlias. My dad had always wanted to grow these lovely flowers and when he finally had his own garden he decided to grow them. Now whilst he was busy at work my sister and I were playing ball in the garden. Sadly we did not really care or were aware how precious these dahlias were and so we happily threw the ball everywhere knocking down lots of his precious blooms. When dad came home and saw what a mess we'd made of his lovely flowers he was fuming. Think mum  had to calm him down and get him to realise we were small children. After that he did not grow them again until earlier this year when I bought him some to grow - hopefully to make up a bit for what I'd done as a child. So dahlias hold a special memory for me of childhood. 


Well we had a great weekend with our friends, went to bed very late, ate and drank loads. I think we all had a special time - thank you friends for coming.