Thursday 30 August 2018

50 Things before I'm 60 - An Update

Hi there everyone 😀

Do you remember my 50 things to do before I’m 60 project?

When I hit 50, back in 2014, I decided I wanted to achieve 50 goals before I hit 60. I didn’t know what all of the 50 would be at that time, but I keep finding myself thinking of things and just adding them to the list.

So far I have shared 25 of my goals with you. Well ... I will be 54 later this year and, as it stands, I have fully completed 18 of the 50 things I want to achieve.

1 - Hand make Christmas and birthday gifts
2 - Make bramble jelly jam
3 - Have a posh afternoon tea
4 - Visit Balmoral castle

7 - Holiday on the Suffolk coast
8 - Christmas in a holiday cottage

10 - Upcycle my old placemats
11 - Go camping again, or get rid of the camping gear
12 - Have a cottage holiday on one of the Channel Islands
13 - Run my own business

15 - Visit Rosslin Chapel
16 - Visit The Kelpies

18 - Become an auntie again
19 - Holiday in The New Forest

21 - Replace old wonky and tatty patio in the garden
22 - Decorate all of downstairs
23 - Visit Warner Bros Studios - Harry Potter Tour
24 - Visit Castle Howard

Of those I’ve published so far I still have work to do on ...

6 - Complete my on line photography course
9 - Holiday in all of the national parks of Great Britain
14 - Finish off the Explorer 232 series
25 - Finish telling Will Sidney's story and decide what to do with his memorabilia

... and I still need to get started on these ...

5 - Make something in mosaic
17 - Lose weight - go down four dress sizes
20 - Go up Snowdon on the railway

I’ve already started to think about the next 5 things that I want to do and have even started working on some of them so thought I would publish them now rather than waiting until the end of the year when I normally do my update, so here we go with 26-30 ...

26 - Visit all of the Shakespeare properties in Stratford-upon-Avon
Having had a couple of really lovely days spent mooching round Stratford-upon-Avon and catching enticing glimpses of the sculpture garden at New Place I really wanted to actually visit the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust properties

Back in May we decided to make a weekend of it and booked into the Premier Inn in Stratford for three nights and bought ourselves tickets that allowed us both to visit the five properties as many times as we wanted to over the course of a 12 month period.

We managed to fit in visiting all bar one of the properties on our break and you can see what we thought about Anne Hathaway’s cottage, New Place, Hall's Croft and Shakespeare's birthplace in my previous posts.
We still have to visit Mary Arden's farm, which we didn’t get round to on our visit and maybe we will make another visit, but I think I’m going to say that this one is done.

27 - Buy no clothes, shoes or bags for a year
A while ago now I started to clear the clutter from our home the Marie Kendo way. I am still working through the house, it’s definitely a long term project rather than a quick fix.

I started with my clothes and counted up 93 tops!! I did manage to slim them down a bit, but still had 59 ... so I definitely didn’t need any more tops. The rest of my clothes, shoes and bags weren’t quite so excessive but it did make me think that I didn’t really NEED any more.
I’ve also started reading a lot about minimalism and living a more simple life ... it’s all about having enough and not living to excess.

At the beginning of the year I just decided that I wouldn’t buy any more clothes shoes or bags and so far I haven’t bought a thing. That’s not to say I haven't wanted to ... I am a sucker for a pretty summery top.

I think the weather has helped as I’ve been able to wear stuff that I’ve had for ages and not worn for years as it’s just not been warm enough,

I feel that I am on a bit of a roll now and am really hoping that I can see out the year having achieved this goal.

28 - Use less plastic
I don't know whether I've been struck by 'The Blue Planet' effect, but I really want to try and use less plastic and I am in the process of putting together a blog post about what we have tried so far.

One of my first real changes has been to give beeswax wraps a go and I will tell you more about these and whether they are any good in a separate post.

29 - Visit Portmeirion
Portmeirion is somewhere that I've always wanted to visit. I've seen pictures and it looks really funky and a great place for taking some unusual photos. Well, we've actually booked a holiday for next Spring on the Llyn Peninsular and I am hoping that we will get to visit. We should also manage to finally make our trip up Snowdon on the railway, so I may get to kill two birds with this one.

30 - Embroider something to display in an embroidery hoop
During my trawls of Pinterest and other blogs over the last year I've lost of inspiration for hoop art, with lots of lovely embroidered hoops adorning mantels and I really want to have a go at this myself.

Earlier in the year I downloaded a free pattern and I dashed out and bought everything I needed to get started. Sadly, it has all just sat in the bottom of my sewing basket, along with a few other unfinished projects, and I'm yet to get started.
The pattern is a spring design so I am hoping that I will get cracking with this over the autumn and winter months.

So that's it for now. I will be back with an update early in 2019 to let you know how I've got on and what I want to do next 😀


Monday 27 August 2018

North Yorkshire Coast #3 - Runswick Bay, Staithes & Saltburn-by-the-Sea

Hi there everyone 😀

Yay!!! I am finally able to publish the last post from our holiday on the North Yorkshire coast back at the beginning of June.

I think this was our favourite day of our week's break. The weather was great and we saw some lovely places, both old favourites and brand new surprises.

We started off in Runswick Bay, somewhere that I've never visited and Martin hasn't been to for many a year.

It's a tiny little village, perched right on the edge of the coast, full of traditional Yorkshire cottages and narrow paths just waiting to be explored ...
 ... and explore we did ...
We ended up having a quick pitstop at the cafe by the jetty before heading off for our next stop.

We'd both been to Staithes before and it is definitely worth the effort of the walk down and back up the hill to have a good wander round.

There is plenty of parking at the top and we walked down into the village on the road, veering off left across the bridge towards the lifeboat station and the jetty ...
We walked past the cliffs where there were just loads of seagulls nesting ...
We walked right out to the end of the jetty, where the views looking back across at the village are always worth a look, though it was a bit dull at this point ...
We made our way back along the jetty and past the lifeboat station and back over the bridge to continue our walk down into the village and wandered round to the harbour, where the sun put in an appearance and we spent a good while just sitting watching the comings and goings, the dogs running around like crazy things, chasing sticks, balls and stones into the water and just generally wearing themselves out ...

After a good sit in the sunshine we decided to head back on up the hill and continue our meanderings. We had forgotten there was another route back, but were very glad to be reminded of it as the road is a bit of a long drag.

Instead we headed up steps and made our way along small pathways, passing pretty little cottages ...
The views along the way were spectacular looking back across the village and the coast ...

... and we seemed to get back to the top in a flash for more spectacular views ...

... and this pretty impressive piece of wire sculpture ...
We were soon on our way again and heading for the last stop of our big day out and, in fact, our week's holiday. We were heading for Saltburn-on-the-Sea, somewhere that was new to both of and we had no idea what to expect, other than that there was a cliff railway and a pier. In fact, the last pier remaining in Yorkshire.

Well, to say we were surprised with what we found as we arrived, was an understatement. It looked absolutely beautiful. The longest sandy beach imaginable, plenty of nice looking places to eat and a lovely old Victorian pier.

We decided to drive up to the top, where we managed to find parking on the side of the road. The views in both directions were seriously impressive and we couldn't believe that we'd never been here before ...
Our plan was to walk back to the cliff railway and take it down to the bottom to explore. However, we were really disappointed to find that it was closed for maintenance 😞😞😞

There were some great views and some really pretty gardens though ...
Neither of us were up for the walk down and back up the cliff so we decided to take the car back down to the bottom and parked in the car park by the Valley Gardens, which definitely looked like they would be worth a re-visit, but we didn't have time today.

We walked back towards the pier ...
... and past the bottom of the cliff railway ...
... and carried on along the prom, past the pier ...
We found crazy golf ...
... and plenty of pretty beach huts, which are always worth a picture ...
We made our way back to the pier where I found a lovely spot in the sun whilst Martin headed over to the fish and chip shop to get our tea ...
It couldn't have been a better way to end a lovely day and a lovely week's holiday. The tastiest fish and chips, sat in the loveliest spot ... just perfect 💜
We did have a quick drive back up inland to try and see if we could see more of the park and we did see a few intriguing bits ...
We'd had the loveliest of days, exploring this part of the coast and it is safe to say we will definitely be back to Saltburn, there is more than enough to do to fill a day. We want to see the cliff railway working and we want to explore the park and there was another really nice looking place that we would like to try to eat at.

But for now it was time to head back to Ugglebarnby and The Piggery for the last night in our cosy little hideaway ...


Thursday 23 August 2018

Joy in the Everyday Ordinary - August, 12-21

Hi there everyone 😀

I don't really remember the Summer of '76 that everyone seems to keep referring to as being the last time we had a Summer like the one we experienced back in June and July. I think I'm more likely to remember this one though, assuming that it's not the shape of things to come.

We are now mid-way through August and, whilst it has cooled down considerably, it has been pretty much glorious since the beginning of June, with just a few showers, which have been very welcome. The cooler nights of August have been an absolute blessing.

Martin has only had to work for a few days during August so there has been plenty of time for cracking on with stuff, when it's not been too hot, and trying to finish off some projects that we've had kicking around for a good while.

We will even have finally managed to have new carpet fitted downstairs, which has certainly been a long time coming.

The scorching sunshine and dry days have certainly taken their toll on the garden, though there is still plenty to be thankful for and to take pleasure from.

So, here we go with our August so far ...
Day 12 - Having pretty much filled our vegetable beds with plants and flowers this year we have really missed being able to pick our own salad. We planted these cut and come again mixed leaves at the beginning of August, thinking it might be too late to expect anything from them this year, but look ... We have leaves!!
Day 13 - Today was a crafty day. I have been working on these memory cushions for a friend for a fair old while now and I finally managed to finish all of the cross stitch motifs I needed to be able to finish them off.

Day 14 - After completing the cross stitch motifs yesterday I managed to finally finish all of my friends cushions today. They have turned out really well and she loves them so they have definitely been worth the effort 💜
Day 15 - This week we are finally having new carpet fitted in the lounge. Today's absolute joy and relief came from our exploratory mission to see what lie beneath. For years we have experienced dubious creaking and cracking when walking on certain areas of the lounge floor. We were so pleased to find that there were just a couple of floorboards that needed screwing down to solve the problem. As our neighbours have had to replace their joists we were expecting things to be a lot worse.
Day 16 - A lot of heavy lifting later and we could go to bed ready for the carpet fitter to come first thing in the morning. I know it sounds dull but we were both really pleased with ourselves for getting everything shifted and excited to see how the finished room would look.
Day 17 - Plenty more heavy lifting and lots of dusting and cleaning and everything is back in and we absolutely love it. We were very dithery about picking a colour and this is just perfect, exactly what we were looking for. A bit more modern and neutral, but still warm and cosy. I know you can't really see the colour in this photo, but it is called 'strand'. I know that doesn't really help, but it is a bit of a cross between oatmeal, mink and grey. We even wire wooled the TV cabinet down and gave it a fresh coat of wax and were amazed at how well it came up, for not a lot of effort. We will definitely be doing the same with the corner unit which stands in the opposite corner of the room. So, the red has well and truly gone and we aren't too sad at all. 😁
Day 18 - After a bit of a hectic week we were trying to have a bit of a lazy day before we had another busy day out with the craft stall. We started off with breakfast and a good mooch around a couple of local garden centres. We've seen these pretty daisies growing in abundance a few times this year when we've been out and about on our garden visits and we managed to find some. They are supposed to self seed easily so I am hoping to have drifts of them all round the garden in years to come. I just need to decide where to put them in to get them started off.
Day 19 - Sunday, and we were up and out bright and early with the craft stall. We were back at The Red Barn, where we had a fairly slow and steady day, with plenty of time chilling and chatting ... and we managed to sell a few bits and pieces too. Craft fair days are always a bit hectic at the start and the finish, setting up and packing away, but that bit in between is a lovely way to spend a day or an afternoon.
Day 20 - Monday and, with a busy week ahead, we only had a couple of things on the agenda for today. Martin managed to take the bottom off the lounge door following the fitting of the new carpet and I was on 'get the craft stall stuff sorted and away'. We managed to get all of that done in record time and were at a bit of a loose end so dug out the piece of fabric that I bought from one of the craft stalls yesterday and gave our red footstool a bit of a makeover.

Day 21 - Martin spent the best part of the day taking up the stair carpet, ready for refitting on Thursday and I managed to make another batch of little birdies for the craft stall. These have been surprisingly popular ... not exactly flying off the stall but we've sold a fair few over the summer months. After re-familiarising myself with the fairly tricky instructions I managing to get in my groove and managed to get nine made up. I was able to use leftover scraps of fabric too, which is always a bonus 😀