Archive for the ‘day out’ Category

Cup cake flag

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Cup cake flag

As it was held on the weekend of the wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton, the theme of Eckington’s Open Garden weekend was weddings.

After looking round several gardens, we went to the village hall for a cup of tea and a cake and that was where I found this wonderful cup cake flag. I would have liked one of the cupcakes, but I didn’t want to spoil the beauty of the flag, so I bought some lemon drizzle cake instead! It was delicious!

Hot Chocolate

Monday, January 10th, 2011

Hot Chocolate

I was out for the afternoon with my friend Jenny. We had called in to a local garden centre to have a look round and decided it was time for a drink.

I looked at the menu and as it was quite cold, I decided I’d have a nice hot comforting Hot Chocolate. I checked the price and saw that it was the usual sort of price for a nice big mug of steaming deliciousness.

But when it arrived, I was very disappointed. It was in a tiny cup, that wasn’t full, and the froth on the top took up half the space in the cup, leaving two mouthfuls of liquid. It was absolutely delicious, but gone so quickly!

I decided that I would say something. If a cafe is going to charge the normal price that everywhere else charges, then they should make it clear on the menu if it’s not the same size as everywhere else. So I went to the counter and explained. The young lady asked me to show her the cup and then told me that I’d been given the wrong size. It should have been a mug, but I’d been given a half size cup, so she refunded me half of the money I’d been charged.

It wasn’t until I thought about it later that I realised I should have asked for all of the money back, because I certainly didn’t get half a mugful. Oh well, you learn by experience and hindsight is a wonderful thing! I’ll be alert if I ever visit that garden centre again!

Blackberrying adventures

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

I’d like to make some blackberry wine, so I went to a lane near where I live to pick some only to find there weren’t any. I’m not sure if I was too early, too late or if someone else had got there first.

When I told my friend Jenny about it, she offered to take me somewhere she knew where she thought there would be lots of them. It was a lovely walk through fields and over stiles in beautiful countryside, and eventually we got to the blackberry bushes. But they weren’t much better! I was expecting big juicy blackberries that I could pick lots of in a short time. There were some, but not many and they were small and hard. I decided not to pick any as I thought they wouldn’t be sweet enough for making wine.

Jenny picked enough to make a blackberry pie. That didn’t take long and we were soon retracing our steps through fields and over stiles. We just had one more field to cross before we reached the lane where the car was parked, when a large chestnut horse came trotting out of a shed and headed straight for us. He wasn’t there when we went the other way.

I was getting anxious because he was so big and was coming at us so fast. I moved over and stood by the hedge hoping he’d ignore me, but he didn’t. His head was taller than me and I found him quite intimidating. I knew I had to try and keep calm and not panic. I stroked his nose and talked to him, then I decided I needed to make a move. I walked past him steadily but not too quickly, and started heading across the field to the stile.

I hoped he would let me go and trot back to his shed, but he didn’t. He followed me, and I could feel the weight of his head on the rucksack I was wearing as he nibbled at it. I slipped it off one shoulder and swung it round so that I could hold it in my arms as I continued to head for the stile.

Still he didn’t leave me. As I walked, his nose was against my back. At this point Jenny decided she’d better do something, and she gave him her bucket of blackberries. That kept him occupied for a few minutes which gave us both time to get over the stile to safety. I was so relieved to reach the lane.

Thank you Jenny for giving up your blackeberry pie to save me from a very scary situation.

Retracing my childhood memories

Saturday, May 1st, 2010

The Mew Stone at Wembury

Last week I was holiday in Devon, so I was able to visit Wembury. It has a very special place in my memories because my Grandmother lived there when I was a child, and so I spent part of every childhood summer on the beach.

As we walked along the lane to the beach every morning, carrying spades and buckets, I got so excited. I knew that we would come to a point in the lane where suddenly the sea would come into view. It was magical. As we got nearer and nearer we could see more of the sea including the Great Mew Stone.

Soon we could see the little Church and we’d arrive at the steps down to the beach. They were steep steps and I struggled to get down them, but I suppose that’s because I was small and they just seemed steep to me. Halfway down the steps we passed a little shop selling colourful buckets and spades, nets and ice creams. I loved the bright colours.

We’d spend all day digging in the sand, making sandcastles, collecting buckets of sea water to fill the moat, paddling, climbing on the rocks and collecting shells. Mum brought sandwiches which I think we managed to eat without getting sand it them. The weather always seemed to be be warm and sunny, but thay may just be a trick of my memory.

The Mew Stone is about 5 miles out but it dominates the beach and as a child I came to love it’s shape, so it was very special to be able to take this photo of it.

Celebrating my Birthday

Thursday, November 26th, 2009

Birthday celebrations

I had a lovely day on my Birthday a couple of days ago.

A friend took my out for lunch at a local hotel, and I really enjoyed it. I’ve been to that hotel before for a drink, but I’ve never had a meal there before. I had to work in the morning so it was about 2.15pm when we got there, and they had really stopped serving. But they checked with the kitchen and said they would serve us. We sat in the bar which we had all to ourselves except for the friendly barman and a resident who came in to chat with us. I had Steak and Ale Pie with new potatoes and peas. It was gorgeous! The hotel is high up and we sat by a window where we had amazing views across the valley.

When we’d finished eating, we wandered round the town taking photos. My friend, Jenny, is a photographer too and it was wonderful to be with someone who takes as many photos as I do! For as long as I can remember, Christmas decorations have always appeared in shop windows and in towns in time to celebrate my birthday, and this year it was no different. The men in fluorescent jackets were actually putting up the lights on the big tree as we went past. I always like the glizt and sparkle of Christmassy things, because it’s as though they’ve been put up just for me to celebrate my birthday!!

Before work, another friend took me out for cake and coffee in a lovely little cafe at the back of a gift shop. The shop was full of glitzy Chrismassy things, and I enjoyed browsing as we wandered through, enjoying the sparkle and opulence of things that are fun to look at, but completely unnecessary to life! It was lovely to relax and catch up with my friend while I enjoyed good coffee and coffee and walnut cake. Mary was bemused when I started taking photos of the coffee and cake! I explained to her that I was doing a photo diary of my Birthday. She was ok with that as long as I didn’t take any photos of her!

When I got to work, I was just in time for a meeting. There were about 8 of us there, and when the meeting ended, they all sang Happy Birthday to me, which was lovely!!

I spent the evening with my friends Mary and David. Mary had made the most gorgeous birthday cake for me! It was a fat free swiss roll covered in strawberries, and filled with strawberry yogourt. It was the most delicious cake I’ve ever tasted!! Thank you Mary! I did take some photos of it, but they didn’t come out very well.

I had posted a ‘Happy Birthday’ photo on my Flickr photostream, and I had so many good wishes from Flickr friends!

So I had a wonderful day! Thank you to everyone who helped to make it so special!

It’s my birthday!

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

It's my birthday!

It’s my birthday today!

I like my birthday. I like it being in November when it’s dark long before the shops close, and people are starting to put Christmas decorations out. I had time to wander round my local town yesterday, and noticed that lots of shops had baubles and Christmas trees in their windows. For as long as I can remember, that always happens in time for my birthday. It’s like they’re putting them out especially for me to celebrate!

For years I’ve always taken my birthday off as a holiday and done something special, but for various reasons I’m not able to do that this year. But I’ve got a busy day planned meeting friends and eating out as well as going to work. I’m looking forward to it!

Sunny Easter

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

I was woken up in the night by the sound of rain hammering against the window. When I got up in the morning, it was still raining. Everything looked wet and green and rainy. It seemed odd. It must be so long since it’s rained that I’ve forgotten what it’s like. But there’s always a silver lining to everything, so the saying goes, so I expect the gardens and the farmers needed some rain.

The weather forecast for Easter wasn’t very good, but fortunately it was wrong. The weather was gorgeous. It was warm and sunny on Sunday and on the Bank Holiday Monday.

On the Monday I went out to a family get together. When I set off in the morning, there was a lot of mist around, but that soon burned off and there was a lovely blue sky. After lunch, we sat out in the garden to relax and chat and have a cup of tea. It’s a beautiful garden with a big lawn with a low wall across it separating two levels. It looks very pretty, and much more interesting than a large expanse of lawn and the youngest member of the family, who is nearly two, discovered walking on walls!

I spent some of the afternoon holding his hand while he walked along the wall, up a step and along to the end, then jumped off. Then he ran back to the beginning saying ‘more jump’. It was fun. I loved seeing his enjoyment of what he was doing. It was a good day.

Meeting a friend

Monday, March 16th, 2009

What a lovely day it’s been today. I had the day off and met my friend for lunch. We live about 20 miles apart, and we meet up in a town halfway. I had a ten mile drive to get there and it was glorious. The sun was shining and it was very warm. There were daffodils everywhere, and trees full of blossom, some white and some pink. I drove through pretty little villages and open countryside with lovely scenery.

I’ve known my friend for a long time, since we first started school together. I love chatting to her because she knows and understands me and she was there in my childhood. There are lots of things we can remember together, and sometimes she will remind me of something that I’ve forgotten, and she’ll even tell me things from my childhood that I didn’t know! Things that she had noticed herself. What a blessing to have a friend like that. She’s very wise and it’s a joy to chat to her. She gives me very good advice that I try to follow because I know she’s right. I will look forward to our next meeting.

I hope that the lovely sunny Spring weather is here to stay. The world is so much brighter when it’s warm and sunny.

A mitred square

Friday, February 13th, 2009

I had a very creative day today. I took a days holiday from work and went to a Creative Craft Show with some friends. It certainly was creative and very inspiring. There were stalls and demonstrations of all sorts of crafts. I got ideas on cardmaking, jewellery making, machine embroidery and knitting.

I could have spent a fortune at the stalls because there were so many exciting products, but I was careful not to get too carried away and managed to find some good value items that were a bit different.

As I was looking round, I saw a piece of knitting made up of squares where the stitches went round a 90 degree angle! I’d never seen anything like it before and it facinated me. The angle showed up well because the squares had been done in multi coloured yarn. As I was looking at it and asking the knitters about it, they told me that there was going to be a workshop later in the afternoon where I could be shown how to it.

By the time I’d finished walking round I was tired and needed to sit down so the workshop was just at the right time. A lovely lady called Sue gave me yarn and needles and instructions and I knitted my first mitred square! Now all I have to do is think of something that would look good knitted in them!

A double decker bus ride

Saturday, November 22nd, 2008

A group I belong to went out on a trip today. Instead of hiring a coach, we hired a double decker bus! It was exciting! I haven’t been on a double decker for several years. The last time was when I was on holiday in Dorset and I went to Lyme Regis and also on a trip to Portland Bill on an open topped double decker.

I was the first one to get on today as I was the only one at my stop, so I sat upstairs in the front seat – where else! There was an amazing view. We travelled on roads I know well, but usually I’m driving so I have to concentrate on the road, and in a car there are high hedges either side of me.

The bus seemed to be really high, but I expect it was normal double decker height, but as we were so high up we could see right over the hedges and had a wonderful view of the countryside. We saw sheep, donkeys, old farm machinery, lovely views of different coloured and patterned fields. We saw into gardens we’d never seen before. When we went through a small town, we were so high up that we could see into the windows of the flats above the shops! I enjoy travelling by coach because you get a better view, but this double decker was so much better than that. And of course it reminded me of when I went to school. I’m glad we had our double decker instead of a coach. It was fun.

These are the two double decker buses that I travelled on when I was on holiday in Dorset a few years ago.