Sunday 30 June 2024

Farewell June

Farewell June!
The end of June always coincides with the Glastonbury Festival. Out local Supermarkets greet you with a wall of Thatchers and camping paraphernalia!! I've watched the odd bit on the telly, heard it loud and clear last night (the wind must have been in the right direction!!) but haven't been affected travel wise this year at all.

We've had a tiny burst of sunshine this week but it's also felt cold! 
Not a great summer so far, so going away is even better than normal. 
Need to top up my vitamin D!!

We've posted off our postal vote as we'll miss the Election - Hurrah!!

And I had up until this evening avoided much of the Euro's, until England scored a late goal and I joined the boys to watch, and pretended to be interested!! Sam has just got back from Croatia, a last big finale to his housemates at Richards Street. Half of the gang are graduating this year but because Sam changed courses, he still has another year to go. He came back, to having to move out of his house, put the majority of his stuff in storage, as he can't move into his new place until Monday! So he's home and is our taxi to the airport in the morning!!

And so tomorrow, we head off on our Greek adventure! 
I've spent the majority of this week cleaning the house and packing and washing the bedding etc etc. The kids are house sitting in turns, make use of the facilities whilst mum and dad are away!!
I doubt I'll blog whilst we're gone but do check in on the off chance.

Here's to a glorious Greek July!


Tuesday 25 June 2024

The Lakes

What a weekend!!
The old Derby Cottage Crew together again, minus one!!

A fab mini Uni get-together up in the Lakes.

So, on Friday my alarm was set for 6.30am and I was leaving the house by 7.30, 
down to the bus stop to get the 376 bus to Bristol Temple Meads station.

I then got my train, changing at Manchester, up to Penrith, arriving at 4pm, 
where my lovely friend Sharon came to collect me. 

She owns 2 lovely airbnb's  Rose Barn....

where she kindly hosted us for the weekend.

I can highly recommend them, if you ever want to go up to the Lakes. 
Sharon and her husband Dan, are the most friendly, generous, fabulous hosts.

So the plan was to all meet up in the park in Ambleside and then walk to Grasmere. There were two optional routes, up over Loughrigg or take the low route, about an 8km walk by the lake. In the end we all walked the lower route together.

It was a small group who made the effort to meet up. There was a lot of talk at last years 30yr Reunion, not to leave it so long and meet up again but the reality was, only a few of us did! Half the group was the year above us, which I'll be honest, the vast majority of which I didn't remember. BUT it didn't matter, they were all lovely and friendly and you tended to split naturally into two groups with the people you did know.

It was a chance to catch up...


....take in the beautiful scenery....

...and just enjoy seeing each other again.

I shared a house with this lot, plus one other, who is now living in Australia and was missed. I think we had quite a unique Uni experience. We were all at Charlotte Mason Teaching College based in Ambleside, which was affiliated to Lancaster University. You went to Lancaster in your second year, for the big Uni experience but me and my housemate Steve got to do a years exchange in Connecticut, USA. There were only 200'ish in our year and we all knew each other and the year above. 
It was a fantastic 4 years. 

I will confess, I wasn't the most adventurous individual when I lived there as a student and had only walked as far as Rydal Water, so this walk was new to me. We all stopped to have lunch together in Grasmere, before splitting off for the remainder of the afternoon.

We HAD to buy some Grasmere Gingerbread for old times sake and then sat out in the sunshine with a pint. We lucked out big time with the weather. A changeable forecast at the start of the week, came good for the actual weekend. 

Some people walked back to Ambleside, we caught the bus!! and headed to the Golden Rule, again for old times sake. A lot of our money and time as students, was spent in the Golden Rule!!

And this was our old student house in third and fourth year, Derby Cottage!

We headed back to Sharons' airbnb's for the evening and enjoyed a BBQ and the boys made the most of the hot tub. A chance to really chat and make up for lost time.

I was treated to breakfast made for me....

...and we spent most of Sunday chatting!
There was lots of chatting!!!!

Once the boys had headed for home, Sharon and Dan took me over to the Shap Wells Hotel, home to our yearly Christmas formals, again another chance to reminisce. To the side of it though was a small wood, which was home to some.... squirrels.

How cute are they?

We headed back to theirs via the scenic route, taking in a few landmarks along the way. 
Then after some food Sharon suggested we go for a walk....

.....just as the sun was going down.

Ullswater is just 10 minutes up the road and it was lovely.

So calm and still....

....and peaceful.

The perfect end to a lovely weekend.

I was heading home on the Monday because the trains were really rubbish on the Sunday. It was actually really good to spend the extra time together and time with her hubby and their girls. Sharon very kindly dropped me off at Penrith station. I then changed trains at Preston and Wolverhampton, getting into Bristol just gone 3pm.

It was then the 376 bus home to Street.
Just a mere 68 stops and two hours later!!

Not a bad view of Glastonbury high street from the top deck though!

I will say, the journey there and back was a major stalling factor in going. The thought of driving on my own, when my friend couldn't make it, was a flat no, so the train was the only alternative, which at £120 return was again a stumbling point, but we are not getting any younger. We don't know what might be in store for us another year or two down the line. My friend has had health issues this past year and for the sake of a train fare, I'd of been far worse off for not going! I had THE best time. I hold each of those individuals close to my heart. We shared some really fantastic years together and it was because of all of our friendships, that we all had such a good time, whilst at college and then this weekend. We all agreed it was just like turning the page in a book, we just picked up where we left off. A lot has happened in the 30 years since we were students. We've all married, some faced marital changes, life decisions made. Some had not been able to have children, some chose not to, most of us had, some even had grandchildren. Illnesses, loses, hardships, alongside fabulous accomplishments, adventures.... you name it, we had experienced it but we were all true to ourselves back in the day, and it showed in the depth of friendship we still have today. 

Here's to the next meet up!!

Thursday 20 June 2024

Summer Solstice

Today is the Summer Solstice. 
This was actually taken the other morning on one of my 4am loo visits.
You can just about make out people on the top of the Tor!

I'm writing this a little early, as I'm away for a long weekend, so thought I would do a quick round up of the week so far!  It's been busy, catching up with as many people as possible before the summer holidays begin. I had coffee with friends Monday morning. Did my final exam invigilation Tuesday morning. Met up with my old Sainsbury's Manager for lunch in the afternoon. She's taking early retirement and leaves whilst we're away, so it was nice to catch up and make a promise to get together after the summer.

Tuesday was a busy day for the kids too. Sophie was seeing Taylor Swift in Cardiff at the Principality Stadium and Sam is living his best life over in Croatia, having had a 5 hour stop over in Naples! It makes me very happy to get pics messaged over in our family group chat, seeing them both living happily and independently. I feel I did a good job as their mum! And, Sophie got a promotion at work this week, so loads to celebrate!! 

Then on Wednesday morning, instead of walking, my friend and I met up over in Somerton for coffee and a visit to ACEarts, to see the Red Dress.

A friend of mine was one of the 380 embroiderers. 
This dress has traveled to 51 countries. 
You can read all about it HERE

Just a few of the absolutely stunning details.

It's on until the end of June and it's free!! 
So if you're local and get the chance to see it, go!

Then in the afternoon, I drove over to Bath. 
Had a mooch around the shops and then a meal out at Zizzi's, with...... sister. 
She's so busy with work, it was easier for me to go to her. 

Then today, I've done a quick food shop to get Jeff sorted out meal wise for the next few days, then met up with my old neighbour for coffee and a catch-up this afternoon!! I haven't seen her since before we went to Italy, back in April, so had to squeeze in a meet up. It's all go!

Tomorrow I have an early alarm. My bag is packed ready, as my bus leaves at 7.40am. The 376 is so unreliable, I have to get an early bus to ensure I get into Bristol with enough time to spare, to get my train up to Penrith. I arrive at my destination at 4.00pm, with a change at Manchester. I could have flown to Greece for less money and in a shorter time!! It's going to be a long day, as I can guarantee it won't be an early night, we'll have too much catching up to do!!

It's as a result of our 30 year Uni Reunion last year. We made a promise to not leave it so long and put a date in the diary for a years time! It is a trek, but my friend hasn't been well and it was so great to see everyone last year, it's worth making the effort. Although I am the most southerly and have the furthest to travel! Last year I shared the journey with my friend who lives in Cheltenham, but she can't make it this time. I didn't fancy the drive on my own, so the train it is. A little mini adventure. Anyway, I'll do a little round up next week, when I get a moment. It's another busy week ahead x 

Sunday 16 June 2024

Sea air, sculpture, showers, a tiny bit of sunshine.....and family time x

First up........

.....Happy Father's Day! 

Wishing my Dad, Jeff's Dad, and Jeff, dad to our two, a wonderful, relaxing day x

It's been another busy week but heading towards the end of this run of exams.
Have had a few exams this week and a clash supervision and.....

....I got to help out the Art Department, 
chaperoning a visiting school around the Sculpture Trail.

Thankfully it stayed dry but it's cold!!
It's June and it's (very) cold!!!!!

The new Exhibition dates have been confirmed for September.
Looking forward to hosting this.

Sophie popped home on Wednesday after work and we headed down to Cornwall on Thursday, for a couple of days. The weather wasn't great! We drove down in rain all the way....

....dodged the rain in Truro for a couple of hours....

.......sat in the car at Godrevy for an hour, waiting for the rain to pass. 

Ten minutes out of the car before the heavens opened again!!!

So we sat in a cafe having a cream tea, to shelter from the rain!!

The main reason, as always, for a visit to Cornwall, is to check in on my folks.

We actually lucked out with a dry day on Saturday!!! And I treated my dad to an early Father's Day treat with a visit to Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens. Why have I not discovered it sooner???? They were beautiful. They are a partner garden of the The Newt, so I got in free, but they were very reasonably priced regardless. Well worth a visit. Beautiful grounds, over 40 fabulous sculptures, amazing views and delicious food.

Me and my dad x


The food was delicious and a lovely setting.

Dotted around the gardens were over forty sculptures. It reminded me of the grounds up at school. In fact I must check, whether any of the artists have work in both places.

I loved it and will definitely be going back.

I think dad enjoyed it too. Sadly the gardens weren't really accessible for mum, but dad did a recce and reckons he could get her to the cafe, so maybe next time I can treat them both x

Dad then returned to Godrevy on the way home,
so we could get out and blow the cobwebs away!!!

It was rather breezy!!

Then in the evening, before heading home, we met up with my Scottish cousins and their friend, who had just arrived in Cornwall for the week....perfect timing!! It was lovely to see them. I went years, over 30, not seeing my one cousin and now in the past few years we've seen each other 3 times. Making up for lost time x

Had plenty of treats! 
More than I should, with only two weeks to go, until we go away!

Anyway, it was a lovely couple of days, despite the weather. 

Sophie heads back to Cardiff this evening. She has her long awaited Taylor Swift concert on Tuesday. I have one more exam to invigilate, numerous coffee dates in the diary, trying to squeeze everyone in before we go away. I'm in Bath on Wednesday, to fit in a catch-up with my sister once she finishes work, and then another weekend away! I joke with Jeff, that it's good to have time apart, given we'll be spending 24/7 with each other soon, but the reality of organising meals, with all his end of term commitments too, is tricky. Once I'm back, I really do have to get cracking, clean the house, pack etc I am quite well ahead I think, but I'm sure there will be a few things I've forgotten!!