Saturday 31 August 2019

Day Out

I forgot to mention that yesterday I was cut up in traffic by a hearse. I was coming back on a dual carriageway when I long, shiny black coffin carrier shot out from the crematorium like it had seen a ghost, across the oncoming lane and right in front of me and I had to break sharpish. There was no deceased in it that I could see, and I guess that the driver had been hanging on for ages as the traffic was busy, but it made my day, really. I was doing the speed limit and I still got cut up by a hearse.

Today we went to Oakwell Hall. I was sort of glad that DH was driving as the road up to the Hall is quite narrow and you have to stay steady. I took some pictures before my camera ran out of charge. Here is the Great Hall.

And another view, including the seventeenth century gate to keep the dogs downstairs.

There was some beautiful panelling, and I noticed a few cupboards hidden there.

The bedchambers had been restored. It was considered unhealthy to lie flat, so beds were quite often short with lots of pillows to prop up on. I think these beds are all sixteenth or seventeenth century originals.

The bed hangings and coverings above are not original (of course) but were stitched based on the designs of the seventeenth century.

The above is a detail of the bed in the nursery, and there was a carved cradle as well!

It was very different if you were a servant. They were housed in a north facing room with no ceiling - along with some of the food cupboards!

Can you see the bottom bed that pulled out?

There was even a spinning wheel!

I got a picture of the dining room

And parlour

But I didn't have enough charge to get pics of the room where Charlotte Bronte wrote 'Shirley'. I didn't get a pic of the kitchens either.

One thing that surprised me was that the rooms were quite small. In my imagination, the kitchens and Great Halls would be vast things, but this was the big house of the village, and a respectable home. I did get a pic of bear, though, as there was a dressing up area.

And I got one of the rear of the house

It cost £8 for all of us to go in, and I would definitely want to go again.

Hugs to all.

Friday 30 August 2019

I Remembered Photos

Eloise - One of the adults on the tour didn't know what a shilling was. I think tours of historic places are vital!

As we are planning at trip as a family tomorrow, I had my day out today. I was very tired after a bad night, but I always feel better after a drive and ended up, after some wandering about, in Otley. I couldn't find a place to park and got hopelessly lost so ended up in Waitrose. From there I went to Otley Chevin. I managed some risky parking

A few more inches and I would have been down the bank! I hadn't been here before, and wasn't planning to today, but it isn't far from Leeds, and I shall go back. I didn't manage much of a walk, as I am so out of condition and in my driving shoes, but I had a little potter and I plan to have another visit now I know it is there.

Writing stuff - I'm in contact with a wonderful author called Kasper Beaumont. She asked for a shout out about a 'Choose your Own Adventure' book she had written, set in the world of her series Hunters of Reloria. I bought the book with my own money, didn't tell I was doing more than a 'this exists' type post and dipped in.

I just love the pics. She had a competition with kids sending in pics, and used those pics to illustrate the book. It's a choose your own adventure, so you read a paragraph, are given a choice and then you flip to the numbered paragraph. It's a lot easier with an ebook.

It's not very long, but I enjoyed it. I've been struggling a little over the last weeks and this just made me smile. You can see my full review here.

Hugs to all.

Wednesday 28 August 2019

I Forgot to Take Photos

Eloise - hugs

Today we went to the National Coal Mining Museum. Jill, I may have gone past your former house as I think the sat nav took me past everyone's house within ten miles. We went all around the back lanes and up some serious hills and I was soooo grateful that we didn't meet tractors. According to Google Maps timeline, we went thirty miles. It felt a lot long, especially when I got stuck in traffic on the ring road.

Unfortunately, I was walking with a stick today as my hip has just gone. I am so tired. But we tootled to Tesco, where I bought bear and his pal breakfast, then we drove to the museum. It was only £5 per car, and then £5 per person for the underground tour. The underground tour took around an hour and a half. The tour guide had quite a dark and abrasive sense of humour, but it was really informative. We went down in one of the cages, along some of the galleries and passages and learned about the little kids working at five years old in pitch dark down mines, and of the hard labour for fifteen shillings for a family for a week, when most of that would have been taken back by the mine owner in rent and food from the company shop.

The most dramatic part was when we all turned off our lights and were in complete darkness. Until then I hadn't really thought about the phrase 'velvety darkness' but it did feel like that, sort of soft textured and complete.

I really recommend a visit there, but take sandwiches. I felt I should buy something for the lads, but both of them were very unimpressed and it was a lot more expensive than a very decent breakfast at Tesco.

DH has very kindly made dinner and I plan a knitting evening tonight. It's back to blanket knitting weather.

Hugs to all.

Tuesday 27 August 2019

Who Needs the Soap Operas

More drama in the street. There are kids involved, so I don't like getting into the details, but it's grim that you are having fighting in the street before breakfast. It's driving me nuts. It's not just the kids. Some of the adults ought to know better.

Bear, DH and I have hung out and watched Infinity War. Its drama is almost as intense as what is going on outside, but with green and blue people. We have watched quite a few marvel films over the last few days, and I've really been enjoying it.

I took bear to the doctor's again. He's being referred to a joints specialist as the Osgood thingy with the knees normally sorts itself out within a year or two, and it's been four years. Bear charmed the doctor (again). Poor kid is in so much pain sometimes, and it's really restricting how much he can do, especially with sports.

And it is still far too darned hot!!!

Hugs to all.

Monday 26 August 2019

Far Too Warm!

Kate - I would go with whatever explanation made life more interesting. This is an attitude that could get you into trouble, but I live by it.

Pattii - thank you! It's a strange thing to say, but there is a lot of interest in an old graveyard, and I think there are always stories. It seems weird to me that Australia is currently cooler than the UK, but perhaps it's what you are used to. It's 30C here, and it's making headlines.

I woke up with one heck of a hangover this morning - I celebrated father rather too well. There is also one week left of the summer holidays and I'm not sure that I'll make it. Bear has driven me daft. So far he has been ridiculously picky over food and I'm tearing my hair out. Dinner tonight ended up as sandwiches and salad, take it or leave it. I'm just having salad.

Writing stuff - if you are interested, this week's writing prompt is here. The main rule if you want to take part is to have fun.

Hugs to all.

Sunday 25 August 2019

Quiet Day

I took down some sweeties to the church father used to attend this morning. Did I mention he once turned up drunk to a Bible study meeting and got away with it? He used to take sweeties to the church every Sunday and hand them out to everyone he could get near to. Those who had responsibilities used to beg him in vain to wait until the end when it was easier to pick up the wrappers. He dished them out at the start anyway. So rather than pay for flowers on the alter, I took wrapped chocolates.

My grandmother had a thing about flowers for dead people on anniversaries. She was a Christian Spiritualist, and my mother forbade her to ever mention her beliefs to me, so I don't know much except that the bits I gathered were rather odd. She must have spent a fortune over the years putting flowers on graves. As I have previously mentioned, I am not sure exactly where my mother is buried and I don't feel it is important. Wherever their shell lies, what made them them is elsewhere. Grandmother used to make a real thing of it, sometimes travelling long distances and making a performance of the matter, which I suppose was important to her. I can't imagine father would be that concerned. He would be too busy focusing on what was happening at the moment. Although he would probably know a bit about the gravestones.

That is something that I regret about my trip to Settle. I didn't stop to get a picture of the headstones of the Welsh navvies who worked on the Settle Carlisle Railway and who were allowed to have their headstones engraved in Welsh. I'll get a pic next time. Which reminds me, here are the pictures I took on my day out to Settle. I didn't take any yesterday.

I was wondering where to go next Saturday, so I may aim for a graveyard somewhere, just to remember everything. It won't be where father's ashes were scattererd, as that is very close, and the journey to where uncle is buried (and somewhere nearby, known unto God, so is mother) would take several hours each way if I avoid the motorway, so I may google for interesting localish graveyards that are not in Bradford. There is a historically important graveyard in Bradford, but even the police don't like driving there.

I've had a slow day as bear was poorly in the night and needed me to generally be a mum at 4am. I was almost grateful to be woken, as I was dreaming about book keeping errors, but the poor kid was exhausted, hot, dehydrated and fed up. He's been better today, despite the extra drama in the street. I will be glad when the heat breaks, as it doesn't really suit any of us.

Writing stuff - I poem I posted a long time ago a poem about visiting and tending graves, partly inspired by my grandmother, and it's here, if you are interested.

Hugs to all.

Saturday 24 August 2019

I Miss Father

Father would have been 88 today. I miss him so much. I've written about him before. I've posted in exasperation when he was alive, and I've shared stories. I saw him rescue someone from a burning building. He sometimes wore a falso moustache to church. He went his own way and you couldn't tell him otherwise, but he wouldn't argue about it. He would smile, nod and then do whatever it was that he wanted. He looked outward at life. I could learn a lot from memories of him.

I went for a drive today. I didn't have a destination in mind so I just drove. I headed south past Huddersfield, resisted the temptation to go over the Peninnes towards Rochdale, resisted the temptation to head to the wilds of South Yorkshire and Sheffield (all on the back roads), passed through Holmfirth but didn't see a good parking place and then tried to get back home. I went four times around Huddersfield town centre, nearly ended up in a restricted road, headed towards Bradford and ended up in Sainsburys car park in Brighhouse after driving non stop for two hours. Then I worked out how to get home and eventually, after some serious hill work in low gears, got here. According to Google maps timeline, I did 48.8 miles. I felt much better afterwards.

Father enjoyed driving as much as he enjoyed going places. He drove us all over as kids, for hours and hours at a time, and he didn't really get stressed, even at the strange roundabouts at Telford. I think I may have inherited that. Just driving around on strange roads was actually incredibly relaxing (even Huddersfield centre). And I don't really suffer from road rage. Bear is disappointed in how little I beep my horn, even under strong provocation, but father never did the stress and I don't tend to. I also suspect I have picked up his bad habit of coasting to a stop and I will pay for it in gear boxes. I wouldn't dream of coasting down hill or on any stretch of road, but I get the clutch down far too early when it comes to traffic lights.

When I got home there were various people sobbing at different parts of the street. I would have ran in, but my knee has really given way, so I limped in as quick as I could and made it without being intercepted.  I think I shall have a quiet night with considerable quantities of alcohol, in the memory of father.

Friday 23 August 2019

It's Been a Long Day

Today started off with taking bear to get school shoes. We got the bus into Leeds (scary one way system and very expensive parking) and picked up some shoes for bear. School shoes are not inexpensive and these were downright dear, but hopefully they will last until Christmas.

While in Leeds, I was somewhat startled to see this.

I'm sure it's educational, but it's not what I needed. When I cut through the Trinity shopping centre, I was less surprised to see this, as the dinosaur was here last year. I still failed to get a pic with its eyes open, though.

I was glad to get home, but the trip to the National Coal Mining Museum was delayed. Jill - I thought of you when I was driving around trying to find the best way there. I got lost, but I only had to backtrack a little way. Unfortunately we arrived there about ten minutes too late to take part in the underground tour. We had a little look around and are going back next Wednesday (all being well - I hope I haven't jinxed it). I was really annoyed that I forgot to take photos, but hopefully will have some next week, all being well.

Then the lads took over the navigation and steered me in the direction of the nearest McDonalds. They found a likely one in Wakefield and steered me towards that. I haven't been in Wakefield for years. Last time I went, I was with my late mother and she passed in 2003. I had no idea where I was going. But we found the McDonalds, and after the lads were full we set off home. Fortunately the signposts weren't too hard and I had some idea of which way I was aiming to avoid the M1, and we got home in one exhausted piece.

Writing stuff - I've posted the last instalment from the White Hart. I've been finding time to write a few lines here and there over the last week, and it isn't enough for the complicated characters and ongoing stories. I couldn't keep doing it justice. I hope to now be able to concentrate more and get some more novels out, and the flash fiction which takes less time and concentration will continue. A sincere and heartfelt thank you for all the encouragement that I have had since I first posted from the White Hart, back in January 2017, you've made the stories possible.

Hugs to all.

Thursday 22 August 2019

Uniform Shopping

I survived the trip to buy bear's school uniform for next year. Not only did I find an awesome parking spot, but I worked with the closed roads around Dewsbury where they were resurfacing the road and got home relatively easily. And I paid for the blazer and sports kit without an anaesthetic, but it was a close call. It was so expensive. The blazer alone was just shy of £60.

The yarn came today. Here it is in all its glory - all £26 of it.

Marriners Yarns are inexpensive, and this is just acrylic, but it's not a bad buy. I also find it knits up nice. I couldn't tell you what quality of yarn makes it comfortable to knit, but some yarns seem to just knit easier than others, and this stuff is lovely. And despite the gazillion projects I have going already, of course I've started the squidge blanket, and it's lovely. I know it's August, but it feels like blanket knitting weather.

Hugs to all.

Wednesday 21 August 2019

Wonderfully Dull

It's been lovely and quiet. Bear played out with the kids next door without drama. There was an ambulance on the street, and I suspect I know what is going on, but bear and I managed to stay out of it. We were supposed to be going out, but his pal couldn't make it. I may head that way some other time without bear, just to make sure that I know the way to go.

I'm sort of regretting getting the yarn, but it's for a blanket, and it feels like blanket knitting weather. Part of the problem is that I've subscribed to r/knitting on Reddit and they have some lovely pics. I've seen gorgeous shawls, dozens of socks and lots of interesting ideas. I also saw the pattern for a Garter Squish blanket which is knitting in garter stitch in two strands of yarn and has weird edges - pattern is here and is free, which totally suits me. I suppose I should be glad that I've resisted yarn for so long.

I keep nattering that I need to save money, and I'm getting a little better, and shopping a lot less (though really could do better), but I need to somehow pull myself together and get that blog about shopping online going and hopefully make some pennies. I'm under no illusions, but I'm just hoping to make maybe £100 a month, which would cover my petrol. With bear becoming more expensive as he becomes a teenager, and worrying about how we will manage retirement, or if we can, I need to do better. I also need to write more. I managed around a thousand words today, and with a little luck will manage a few more by bedtime.

Tomorrow I have to go and get bear's blazer for next year. Bear is coming with me and bitterly resents being parted from his computer/friends on street/comfort zone. As he is also complaining that he hasn't done anything during the holidays, I am muttering about the National Coal Mining Museum, but my heart isn't in it. I've driven past it once with my instructor, and it isn't too far, but it's not a familiar route. I really need to buy a decent local road atlas so that bear can heckle the satnav.

Hugs to all.

Tuesday 20 August 2019

Why is it Only Tuesday?

There are fifteen days left of the school holidays. I may not make it.

Drama continues, and bear didn't help it today. I considered grounding him, but I can't see how that would help him or my sanity! I am unimpressed. He will be a teen soon, and it is showing.

Today I went to the Food Warehouse and bought a portable powerwasher for a very inexpensive price of £11.99. It didn't work. This means I have to go on the scary ring road again to take the dratted thing back. I didn't really like Food Warehouse. Most of the stuff I can get for a similar price from Tescos and they have a lot of frozen stuff which I like to get delivered. Also, I have no space in my freezer. However I got into the right lanes at the right time and even though it wasn't very busy, I managed okay. That was promising as the Food Warehouse is next to B&M bargains, and they are often worth a quick look, especially in the run up to Christmas.

Also, I have a confession. I have been feeling a little low, and now 2000g of yarn is headed towards me. I don't need 2000g of yarn (around 3000 yards, for those on the other side of the Atlantic). I have more yarn than I can use in a year. I think I may get knitting with purpose this evening. It feels like knitting weather - cold, a little damp and there has been quite a wind.

Writing stuff - Here's my response to this week's writing challenge. I had fun.

Hugs to all.

Monday 19 August 2019

I Wish I Hadn't Seen This

I dropped some bits off at the Salvation Army. They have a cafe for locals and meet ups, a basic charity shop and a furniture shop. They had to put a notice on the window of the very inexpensive furniture shop that anyone trying to cheat them out of money would be banned. It's quite sad, because the furniture is cheap enough, and I'm pretty confident that if someone needed help, the best thing to do would be to ask. I've heared of a few charity shops that have issues with stealing. I wonder if the people who do that are desperate or just too lost to see anything wrong with what they do.

Situations in the street come and go. Bear is currently horrified that the neighbour's daughter is forced to wash her parents' car. I have pointed out that it's quite normal for kids to have to pull their weight and perhaps I should add to his (very light) duties. Bear is unimpressed. Mind you, I've lost half an hour between starting the post and writing this having words with bear about stuff on the street.

Bear is okay at the moment. We watched Endgame this morning and bear approved. It's a cracking film if you don't mind how long it takes. Bear now wants to watch all the MCU films from the beginning. I'm not letting him watch Deadpool.

Pam - thank you for the encouragement, and thank you for all encouraging me with driving. I've been driving alone for over four months now, so I should be getting the hang of things. It still seems like an adventure, though.

Writing stuff - this week's writing prompt is here, and I haven't got a clue what I'm going to write.

Hugs to all.

Sunday 18 August 2019

More Drama than Shakespeare

Still more drama in the street. I'm trying to keep my head down, but tomorrow I'm buying one of those books with the bound pages to keep a log of all the hassle. We are just on the fringes of it all as well.

I'm browsing eBay, but quietly confident that I'll resist most temptation. I'm more worried about throwing stuff out at the moment. I have a trip to the charity shop planned soon, and I think I may have worked out a way of getting to Temple Newsam without more than average scary bits. It can't be worse than yesterday!

Hugs to all.

Saturday 17 August 2019

Hold up on the A65

Bless - that all sounds somewhat familiar, although we haven't had machetes, just big sticks, and it's been a while since there was a gun (yes, even in the UK!) I suspect it's going to quieten down, but who knows.

I was a hold up on the A65 today. I can drive on a basic level. I can do just fine on my regular routes. However the A65 between Skipton and Settle is probably best for someone a little more experienced than I. It has stretches with sharp, blind bends with unexpected dips and a very variable speed limits. I couldn't keep up to the national speed limit on some of those corners - they were scary! I was still managing 40-50mph, and I wasn't a complete liability, but I think I should have waited a while. It isn't a bad road - it has two lanes, so not exactly a real country road with passing places, but I'll need to up my game a little before I go back. I will go back.

I only got a couple of photos, and I am too tired to get my phone, but I drove to Ilkley, picked up some cola, then drove straight to Settle. I stopped at the Watershed Mill, which I don't recommend, and I didn't even get a pic of the Naked Man Cafe, though I found one on WikiCommons

File:Ye Olde Naked Man cafe - - 831695.jpg

I just sort of drove to Settle, grabbed a drink at the Watershed Mill, and then drove home, stopping quite a few times in lay-bys as I got cramp. I got lost on the way home and went through Otley and Kirkstall before finally getting back on the street. According to the Google tracking I was out for 4.27 hours and covered almost exactly 90 miles. I would have done it quicker, but I have never got through Ilkley in less than half an hour as there always seems to be a tailback. I had some quite nice rests in the lay-bys as well. 

It beats yesterday. I only did around 20 miles and got lost around Hanging Heaton. I was checking I knew where to park when I take bear to get his school uniform, and I found it okay. However on the way back I turned right when I really should have turned left and hit some back country roads, though there was a lot less traffic than today.

Tonight we watched Captain Marvel together and now I am about to collapse after all that driving. 

Hugs to all. 

Thursday 15 August 2019

Another Day, Another Drama

It has been so bad on the street that I have not managed to do much more than breathe. Bear has been in a right state, and poor lad is just an onlooker on the extra chaos. Mind you, no police or ambulance today so things are calming down.

Hopefully will have something more to report tomorrow than jangled nerves and a craving for strong drink.

Hugs to all.

Wednesday 14 August 2019

I Need a Slap

Drama in the street continues. It's given me a serious nudge to count my blessings, and it is very upsetting and makes me want to just hug bear all the time. Bear may not be as enthusiastic about the hugs, but he's pretty subdued after it all. It's likely to drag on for a while, and it is so tough on all those concerned.

I always think, 'There but for the Grace of God go I' and I can see that there are a lot of layers. I'm still fussing over bear (as much as he will let me).

Tomorrow I am determined to have something more upbeat to report. Tonight I will sit back and watch the Super Cup and keep everything crossed for Liverpool FC!

Serious hugs to all.

Tuesday 13 August 2019

Another Day Another Drama

I swear our street should be called Shakespeare Avenue because of all the drama that goes on. Bear is knee deep in knowing all the stories of the neighbours and all the rows. As there is an assortment of kids in the street, it gets complicated. I think there are currently eight to ten kids here at any one time in the four houses, plus some serious trouble makers from outside, plus another three from a hundred yards or so further down that don't get so involved.

I believe that there is nothing that is completely safe on the internet, so I don't want to go into too much of my neighbours' business, but there are court cases, illnesses, ambulances, police, social services and general havoc in those four houses as well as an assortment of kids under 16. I have one of the children and a slight cold. All I can say, with my hand on my heart, is that I'm glad I'm not facing any of it myself. I don't know how well I would do. Today has put my minor concerns in perspective.

I was going to post today about getting a leaflet through the door with a £5 voucher off a £40 spend at the food warehouse. It's an inexpensive place to shop, but relatively good quality, and that is something of a temptation. However I would not only have to drive on the scary ring road, but also change lanes. I'm glad that's all I've worried about today.

Writing stuff - again, it feels quite hollow, because there are some serious issues going on, but my take on this week's writing prompt is here. I could have a lot of fun with this.

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash 

Monday 12 August 2019

Travelling is Odd

Jill - if I ever get on the Woodhead Pass, I shall look out for your Dad's bit of wall. I'm never going to attempt it in bad weather, but it looks like the roads between the tip I use and the main route to Batley - you have to have your wits about you on some of the bends and you can't speed, but it's not mission impossible.

I feel okay on twisty roads, and even on steep hills. I know when I picked up bear from his sports day and it was an unfamiliar route, it was twisty and steep and bear had warned me against the road as he said the bus sometimes struggled. Actually, my little citroen isn't too bad as long as you keep her in a nice low gear. It's only a one litre engine, but she can manage most of the local terrain. I'm getting more and more comfortable on awkward roads, and if you learn to drive around Heckmondwike, you learn how to deal with hills and sharp corners. Unfortunately you don't learn as much as some about dual carriageways. The thoughts of Leeds city centre, motorways and dual carriageways still terrify me, and they shouldn't. I think that when bear is back in school, I'm going to have to manage a few outings into uncharted territory.

And something odder. I needed to send something in for financial stuff and I wanted to send it registered. And I realised that I can drive to all sorts of places without worrying, and that I can drive for quite some time without stressing, especially if it's not on multi lane roads, but I still can't walk a few hundred yards to the local post office. I still have a few problems. On the other hand, when I nipped to the Aldi, I reversed into the space I planned to use. So I'll take that.

On the downside of that triumph, I was out when my next door neighbour chased a kid while waving a stick, but bear was very unhappy about it. I miss so much drama.

Writing stuff - first, I am writing this in my bedroom, on a fold out table, with a proper wrist rest and in peace and quiet. It's wonderful and I plan to get some more writing done. Speaking of which, this week's writing prompt is here. I have had an idea or two about it, and now I can work on it without stress.

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash

Hugs to all. 

Sunday 11 August 2019

Weirder than the Weather

The weather has been normal - for November! It's August!

I have been determined to keep this blog bright and breezy, as I don't want to encourage myself to wallow, but the last few weeks have had some tough times for my mental health. I'm getting exasperated with myself now, and I need to pull myself together.

Bear is doing fine. He had another pal around today, and they were bickering about Skyrim and other games, so I was happy to get on and potter myself. They had a great time, according to bear, including McDonalds where I managed some awesome parking. The next expedition was supposed to be Wednesday but the weather forecast for Wednesday is grim. I'm looking at alternatives, but unfortunately some of them involve driving in Leeds city centre. Leeds is not as bad as Chester, and considerably better than Bradford, but it isn't an easy run. There are lots of one way streets and odd corners. I'm going to have to master it, though, if I'm going to be able to take bear to places.

It's funny, I suppose, but I was looking at the Woodhead Pass and thinking, it doesn't look that hard a drive. It's bendy, and it looks like you have to keep your concentration, but a low gear and a sensible attitude and you should be fine. Driving for a few hours on twisty roads doesn't worry me at all. Looking at a motorway, however, terrifies me. I need to get over that. I suppose growing up as a kid travelling around the roads of North Wales, with their single lane tracks, passing places, fords and sheep, makes the thought of such a pass less daunting. We didn't really go on motorways.

Writing stuff - I have been included in the Dreamscapes anthology. The edits are, in my opinion, bloody peculiar. If you wish to read my contribution in the form I originally meant it to be, it's here. Otherwise I leave it to your judgement. They are lovely people, but at the moment I don't think I can support their anthology without reservation. I'm not precious about edits, I promise you, as authors are often too close to their work, and my natural inclination is to accept all edits. Sometimes, though, I have to say that the edits are odd. Do check them out, however, especially the podcasts by Ariana Cherry.

Hugs to all.

Thursday 8 August 2019

An Adventure

We were supposed to be going to Temple Newsam. How hard could it be? I knew the route, knew the tricky bits, I should have been fine. I got about a mile away from the house and took a wrong turn that made it all go very, very wrong. I ended up heading towards Leeds City Centre with no clue about how to get on the right track. And every way that I tried to get back on track, it went wrong, including me sitting in stationery traffic, realising I was in the wrong lane and then having to switch - in front of a police car! I did it all according to the rules, but I wasn't calm.

I had two lads in the back who were awesome, but I was a bag of nerves anyway as I knew I'd have some unfamiliar driving and motorway/dual carriageway/slip roads to face, so it wasn't helping. We ended up at Kirkstall Abbey. The plan was icecream, food, museum, possibly football.

The icecream from the van in the car park was not very nice but the cafe at Abbey House made up for it as we all had baked potatoes. Then we had a look around the museum at Abbey House. It is the original gatehouse of the monastary, probably thirteenth century, but the food was good and modern while sitting under medieval arches.

We had a great time in the museum. I was worried that the lads may not have enjoyed it, but we took part in a quiz which sent them running around a recreated Victorian street, which was awesome. There was a recreated pharmacy, a shop selling mourning clothes, a recreated pub, pawnbrokers, Sunday School and grocers. There was also the opportunity to dress up.

I don't know who he got his love of the dramatic from. We had so much fun in the museum that there was hardly any time for football.

All it all, it was a good day. Next week we may consider Temple Newsam, but I'm also considering Heckmondwike zoo (two bunnies and an alpaca).

I also went to the tip earlier this morning and filled up the car, getting £3.60 off the petrol. That has to be a good thing. So I think today has been mildly successful.

Hugs to all.

Wednesday 7 August 2019

I Have No Idea

Yesterday I was out for a while as there is an offer on at Tesco where if you spend £60 you get 10p per litre off fuel, which is a nice little bit. Bear did not approve and raised an eyebrow at the frying pans I bought. We need to replace my current one because the rivets are wobbling and the handle is shaky. It was part of a set which cost something like £100 in 2005, and the pans are still as good as new, so I didn't want another set. However I got two instead of one and bear was exasperated. Besides, he had his piano teacher turn up while I was out, and it offended his idea of the proper way of things. He has had this same awesome piano teacher for years and I am confident that the only worry there would be if bear didn't behave. And bear is usually a good lad.

Then I spent lots of time sucked into writing stuff or sorting out bear. There's been some weird stuff going on. I just about collapsed into bed.

Today I've been a little hit and miss but have been sorting out the pit of a room where I sleep. I found a load more yarn that I had forgotten about.. I have so much yarn, and I don't want to lose it, but I'm going to just have to get rid if I don't get it knitted up soon. I need to get things rearranged so I can use my laptop there and actually get some writing done when bear's pals are around.  I'm taking five minutes, while the lads go to the shop as I have been a dreadful mother and only provided healthy treats.

Hugs to all.

Tuesday 6 August 2019

That sort of Day

It's been the sort of day when I haven't had a chance to write a blog post. Back tomorrow.

Monday 5 August 2019

Week Three of Summer

It is the start of the third week of bear's summer holidays. I am quietly confident that I will survive this week. After that, all bets are off.

We're still planning this week's outing. It's a combination of not too far as bear doesn't enjoy the travel, together with not too scary driving, as I swear I am getting more nervous, together with something we haven't done a gazillion times already. I'll share when and if it happens.

It's been an odd sort of day. I was planning a long lie in, but the people at the back had visitors. I have no idea what actually was happening but after the banging on their door started to shake our walls, I heard shouts about trespassing and all sorts. I've still no idea as they had quietened down around 8am. Then I had an email with the edits for the anthology that is being sold in support of charity:water. It was all lovely and professional and I worked through the very short piece quite quickly. Then I nipped out to the shop (a near one, for a change) and found out some scandal going on in the street, but as it's a legal matter, I had better keep quiet on it. It's wonderfully complicated, though, and as soon as I can share, I will. Then bear's pal with the wounded leg came around. The leg is almost completely better which put my mind at rest. He's a good lad.

I'm hoping for an early night and inspiration for an adventure with bear. Also some inspiration for dinner tomorrow as I am running short of ideas. Between our selection of intolerances and preferences, I have a very narrow selection to choose from.

Writing Stuff - if you are interested, this week's writing prompt is here. I'm kicking around some ideas already. If you want to join in, there is one rule that is vitally important - have fun! 

Photo by Kari Shea on Unsplash

Hugs to all.

Sunday 4 August 2019

Me and the Weather

I've told this story before, but many years ago, when bear was tiny, we were on holiday in Pickering in November. We had rented a cottage just a few yards from the castle, and, if you know Pickering, that is the top of an extremely steep hill. I kept my eye on the forecast, listened to my instincts and insisted that we left a day early. The menfolk (bear, DH and father) reluctantly packed up. And thank goodness, because it SNOWED!!! We left quite late, not before 10am like the checkout time, and plenty of tractors and four wheel drives had taken the edge off the foot of snow that had landed overnight. It was deep and the driving was horrendous. Fortunately we were going downhill, and DH did a wonderful job getting us back home. There wasn't a snowflake on our house, but there was further snow at Pickering. We would have been stuck!

Since then, I've been pretty accurate with snow. We don't get that much, but sometimes I can look at the men and say, 'it's going to snow' and I'm right. I get incredibly sleepy, for some reason, and if I mention it, they treat it as fact when it really is just a guess that's going with my instincts.

Today DH went into town and decided that he wouldn't take his coat. "It's okay," I said, "It probably won't rain until 2pm." That was a guess, and everyone took it as a joke and DH left. The heavens opened at 2pm. Fortunately it was only a brief shower, but it's adding to my legend.

Negotiations are ongoing about this week's adventure. Bear was quite keen on Holmfirth, until he found out it was a two hour round trip. I need to go somewhere new, with or without bear, so I'm going to get onto Google maps and see what I can get up to. Bear is talking about the art shop in Leeds. We are getting buses to the town centre!

Saturday 3 August 2019

Tootling On

I went to the tip today. It was such a lovely run, as it was the weekend so I didn't have to dodge the heavy lorries and the double parking on the Industrial Estate. I was thinking to myself that I would have to come back more often on a Saturday. Then I actually got to the tip. It was packed! There was a queue and then I had to reverse between two other cars! I thought I would pass out from nerves. Fortunately the bays are huge so I managed and got rid of some rubbish before having a short run around Dewsbury, Heckmondwike and finally to Tescos at Batley again.

I think I will stick to first thing on a weekday morning for the tip.

Writing stuff - the latest from the White Hart may be a day late, but it's here.

Thursday 1 August 2019

Lost a Day

Until about an hour ago, I was convinced it was Wednesday. It's Thursday. This has left me in an interesting position as I suddenly have a day less to do things in than I thought.

Today has been quite bland. I've made soup for bear and chili for DH and I. I've driven to shops and failed completely at my beep game. Someone pulled out right in front of me and I didn't beep my horn. Fortunately bear was at home or I would never have heard the end of it. I've done a little writing and supervised bear stuffing himself with cherries.

I hope to be back with something a little more interesting tomorrow. 

Hugs to all.