Thursday, 31 August 2017

Anyone For A Knight In Shining Armour?

This morning we set off early for Lincoln.
To start with we met up with my cousin and his wife who are renovating a very old property in need of much TLC!
As a fan of "Homes Under The Hammer" it will be exciting to see its development and final transformation.
This mill is very close to them...what a spectacular view!
Lincoln Catherdral is a place I have wanted to visit for sometime, as my late neighbour often told me stories about her father taking here there as a little girl "to see the angels."
So in her memory, I have wanted to visit, and take my own children ( although no longer little!) to retrace her footsteps.
It was rather a disappointment to discover it was going to cost a considerable amount of money to enter the cathedral, for what was going to be a fairly fleeting visit.
However, a walk round the outside of this very elegant building did prove to be worthwhile as we did happen to find some angels!
I do know from online photos there are more obvious ones inside, but this will do us for now!
In fond memory of our dear "Auntie Beryl."
We were pleasantly surprised to discover there was a trail around town.
Knights in various designs had been dotted here there and everywhere.
Its very exciting ( more so with younger children) to turn a corner and discover a new one.
We have walked several trails over the years with the Teens, most famously the Shaun the Sheep and Gromit trails in Bristol...
...each one is individually designed...
..and most of the money raised from them goes to charity
This was my favourite
"Home is where the heart is"
There are 36 in total, and with the short time available to us, we only clocked up 16, but it was a worthwhile challenge anyway.
I hadn't realised how pretty Lincoln was, with quaint lanes full of independent shops and coffee shops/tea houses.
We were certainly spoilt for choice for our light lunch...
...we could not decide between us where to go, the boys not being so keen on the limited choice available at a vegan bistro.
So we split up, with Teen One and I choosing Carrot and Ginger soup with sourdough bread...
..and sourdough toast with home made hummus and olives.
We both thoroughly enjoyed our lunch, whilst the boys had meatball and mozzarella ciabattas nearby.
We finished the afternoon by walking to as close to the castle as we could...the entry fee was once again too much for the short time available to us, maybe another time we may do the wall walk, which was more affordable at £4 something each.
We thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Lincoln and look forward to future visits.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

"If You Go Down To The Woods Today..."

First thing this morning, Hubby left the house quietly so as not to disturb anyone, and set off for a car boot sale we had seen advertised yesterday.
He was so quiet, that when Grandma got up soon after and opened her bedroom curtains, she thought our car had been stolen!!
Sadly because the weather was so miserable, few car booters turned up, and many went home early, some not even bothering to unpack their wares.
Hubby did however find one seller, who was selling exactly what he was looking for....Matchbox/Corgi cars, so we have one more to add to the rather large collection at home!
I stayed behind to catch up on some washing and ironing, which was pleasantly interrupted by a visit from FQ2FF and the adorable Daisy.
She was very bouncy when she first came in, but soon went unusually shy on us and didn't want to be far away from her mum's lap!
But she has left her mark on the French doors, where she was desperate to come in from the garden!
FQ2FF suggested we might like a trip into Woodhall Spa, so with the ironing out of the way, off we set.
First thing was to find somewhere for lunch and this Mediterranean Bistro really hit the spot.
The food was freshly cooked and delicious.
The little High street has got some interesting little shops and joy of joys a traditional bakery!
Oh how I love these Northern bakeries!
They are a dying bread down south, and are always a highlight of our holidays, no matter where we are!
The choice inside and outside was mouth watering and made it impossible to choose!
We look forward to making a return trip and trying something different.
For me the iced fingers were amazing!!
Next up was a woodland walk... a cinema called
It was very art deco inside and had a lovely atmosphere.
There was even an intermission in the middle of the film, which really took us by surprise!
We went to see Despicable Me 3, if you enjoyed the previous two films, you will love this one too.
It was great to hear all the little kids laughing at the slapstick too!
The foyer of the cinema has plenty of memorabilia around, with all sorts of interesting information regarding film making in by gone days.
It really is worth a visit...and the loos were lovely too!!


Tuesday, 29 August 2017

A Hefty Price To Pay!

Today we headed out over to Yorkshire, in search of some beauty spots for Hubby.
He has been taking up to date photos of paintings printed in a This England around one hundred years ago.
We needed to cross the Humber Bridge, for the first time, and were very glad we did as it reminded us we hadn't paid our Dart Charge from the weekend!
Its sadly possible we may have a £70 fine for being a day late.
In actual fact we were only a few hours over, but I guess that wont make much difference.
If only they highlighted there was such a huge fine for not paying a £2.50 charge 24hrs after the crossing, it would certainly act as a reminder to pay as soon as possible!
We will have to wait and see what they take from our credit card I guess.
FQ2FF crosses the Humber Bridge quite regularly and has the tradition of singing at the top of her voice with the windows wide we just had to follow in the family footsteps didn't we!
What to sing though?
Last night we sat in the garden and considered several pop anthems, but just couldn't think of one that fitted us.
As we approached the bridge, with the rain pouring down...
...there was only one song for us!
Google map was not as accurate as it could have been with its timing once again.
What was supposed to be a two and a half round trip ended up taking well over three hours just to get to our first destination!
We arrived in Whitby soon after 2pm, and in need of the loos, so stopped off at a nearby Sainsbury's.
I saw these on special offer, so we gave them a go and they were very yummy!
It was our first visit to Whitby and as well as it being one of Hubby's paintings, we remembered we had completed a jigsaw of Whitby last year in our holiday cottage, so we were keen to track down the actual scene.
Whitby was charming, with tiny lanes with traditional independent shops mingled with more familiar ones.
One of my favourite finds was a traditional bakers,
we bought some luscious lemon buns to bring home...
...a traditional tea bread for Grandma and Grandad...
...and a giant teacake, which all four of us shared ( as well as four of the lemon buns!) on the journey home.
Our next destination was Scarborough, which was a typical English seaside town.
By the time we arrived it was getting rather late in the day, so I opted to stay in the car
 (and try to catch up on the knitting I had unpicked earlier in the morning...grr!)
Hubby took his photo, where a rather tacky fun fair has blighted the original landscape,
and our journey out of Scarborough took longer than we anticipated as the donkeys we had earlier seen giving rides on the sand, were now slowly working their way up the hill on their way home.
Our final destination of the day, was Flamborough Head.
We saw both the existing lighthouse...
...and the original lighthouse.
Our drive back over the Humber was much more scenic, and with no sign of rain, but beams of a setting sun breaking through the clouds, we chose to sing, with our windows down..
"Jesus wants me for a sunbeam!"
We were home with Grandma and Grandad just before 8pm, tired and hungry and very appreciative of the tasty meal awaiting us.

Monday, 28 August 2017

A Wedding In The Family

We have had a lovely weekend, most of which has been spent with family and been quintessentially English.
Saturday started off with a family wedding in the beautiful village of Groombridge...
...the weather was a perfect English summer's day, with the reception being held in a marquee in the local Cricket Club ...
...the tables were beautifully decorated with flowers on a log, many vases filled with just one large bloom, I really loved this country style...
...there were some last minute adjustments to be made to the bouquet of cupcakes, which were all personalised for the bride and groom...
...with the reception formalities out of the way, it was time for the main event!
A inter family cricket match!
The Bride and Groom led out their teams...
...whilst the rest of us sat back, enjoying the sunshine, good company, endless supplies of refreshments ( did I mention the cream scones and cake!) along with some handicrafts of course...
...what better way to spend a day I ask!
The evening reception was held in the village hall, where an "Ovaltine" room had been created, using sofas collected from Freecycle, rugs, throws, cushions, lamps etc, which made a really homely feel and became the favourite choice of rooms for most of the guests...the disco inferno being the other choice.
We retired to our Premier Inn (eventually!) tired but happy, having spent a lovely day with family we don't often get to be with.
Sunday started with a leisurely breakfast, again with family, at a local pub which opened especially for the family.
We sat in the sunny garden enjoying watching the little ones play, sneaking in a few cuddles as well and thinking back to when their parents were that age....around a couple of years ago surely!
Just where have those years gone?
Around midday we headed up to Lincolnshire to spent some time with Grandma and Grandad in their new house.
This morning we woke to beautiful sunshine once again and after a leisurely start to the day, took Maisie out for a walk to  investigate our new surroundings.
I love the way village folk often decorate their front doors...
...hearts seem to be the favourite theme up here.
We thoroughly enjoyed exploring the area...but must remember next time we take Maisie out, to take doggy bags too!!
As it happened, when the need arose, and I rummaged through my bag, I did happen to have a small plastic bag in there, no idea why it was in there...but  was very grateful to find it...and not to mention the doggy litter bin a few yards further up the road!
Had we been at home I would have bagged up these fallers by the roadside pretty quick!
Hopefully there will more there on the day we leave and I can bring some home.
Our bedroom has this delightful mini patchwork bag, which I detect has all the hallmarks of FQ2FF's creative fingers....
...what a lovely idea and what a useful way to use up scraps of pretty fabric.
We have taken today pretty leisurely, lunch in the garden with a bit of knitting...
..although Teen Two worked up a sweat...
..aiming for perfect stripes, but ending up a little "Lynette Anderson" in style....
rather patchwork quilty!

Whilst Grandad continued the relentless attack on the ivy!
Hubby took a short drive to North Thorsby for a 40's event...specifically to see the vintage cars, then we all took a drive out to a nearby mill  for some afternoon tea.
Three of us enjoyed a traditional local delicacy... Lincolnshire plum loaf with cheese.
It was deeeee...lishous!
Just my sort of thing ( who doesn't love hot cross buns with cheese in the middle?)
Grandma opted for chocolate cherry cake with ice-cream, which Teen Two helpfully finished off for her, it really was a humongous slice!!
Teen Two enjoyed a slice of Rocky road, with one of my slices of cheese on top and hailed it as a huge culinary success!!
This really is a pretty venue for a tea shop, with local artists ware sold inside.
The place was clean, with a lovely choice of scrummy cakes as well as items which can be taken away.
I bought a Plum Loaf to take home for Grandma....if I can resist it myself!
Its worth noting, our welcome was not the warmest sadly, and the party of three that followed us in also received a rather sharp "welcome."
So much so that they decided to walk out and I can understand why.
A third party came in and they too were  spoken to in an unnecessarily sharp tone.
However, it was a hot day, it was the end of the day and we all know the general public are a peculiar people, so who knows who had crossed their threshold earlier in the day?
The place was so lovely, one we would like to visit time and time again,
so we did our best to engage with our host and eventually we broke down that initial barrier and she was chirpy with us.
It would be nice to try and build up a rapport with her as I can imagine this being a favourite place to take visitors for morning coffee/afternoon tea.
We drove a little further into the village, with the intentions of checking out the local Arts and crafts fair, but with only half an hour to go for closing time and a £2 charge for each of us to get in we decided we would keep our pennies in our pockets.
Back home just as we were about to turn into Grandma and Grandad's drive, two local peacocks walked across the road!
Not something we are used to seeing on our busy city streets back home!
Our first day in Lincoln has been one of new experiences and we are looking forward to what the rest of the week brings our way.