Sunday, October 22, 2017

Weekend in Cheshire

As I said previously, Lee and I were away in Cheshire in September. At the beginning of the year we scheduled in a few weekends to go camping. We managed one - back in May, in Derbyshire. We had to cancel another date in July, and then this weekend in September was the last one. It was fine, we were both free to go wherever. Except, I had some dental surgery at the very end of August and still wasn't feeling 100%. I was basically fine, but easily tired and in need of comfort. I wasn't relishing the idea of sleeping in a cold tent and I said so to Lee the weekend before.

We had been planning to go to Cheshire to meet up with a friend of mine and her partner and kids, so we started looking at hotels and Airbnb to see if we could find something. Obviously, camping for 2 nights would've been really cheap, but we knew we'd have to spend a little bit more in all likelihood. Then I happened to see this listing for a motorhome in Cheshire, about halfway between Knutsford and Holmes Chapel. It seemed like the perfect compromise - a bit like camping, in a gorgeous quiet place, but with the extra comfort I needed. Lee booked it and talked to Karen via message quite a lot. Karen and her husband's motorhome is only just over a year old, so they are obviously quite protective of it!

We arrived about 3pm and met Karen and she showed us round. Most of the park is lodges and static caravans, but there was a small area for tourer caravans, handily really close to the toilet block. We were parked under an oak tree, meaning that conkers kept falling off and hitting the roof! We relaxed for a bit, and then as I said previously, tried to go out to eat, but were scuppered by the traffic. We cooked our barbecue stuff on the grill instead, watched a film, and got cosy in the motorhome. The lounge at the back pulls out into a huge bed and they had provided a mattress topper which made it really comfortable. I slept really well!

On Saturday morning we woke up to a lot of Weather which soon cleared, had cereal to eat and then set off to meet Helen and her family. I've met the kids before but never her husband, so that was nice. We went to Tatton Park which is huge. We had lunch all together and then they went down to the farm while Lee and I pottered around the shops and then had a nice hot chocolate in the Gardener's Cottage. We said bye to Helen and co and then headed to Alderley Edge, because I've just always wanted to see it. It's footballer land and you can tell, it's quite posh! We went into the Alchemist for a drink - I had a really yummy espresso cocktail called a Melbuccino, I'd recommend it! Then we headed back to the motorhome, where we relaxed by watching a film.

We went into Knutsford to eat in the evening, to the place we hadn't been able to get to the night before. We went to Jack Rabbits American Diner and we both liked it. As soon as we arrived we were greeted pleasantly and seated. We ordered some drinks and then were warned food was taking a little longer as there was a big birthday party in, which is really nice to be told. I ordered a Long Island Iced Tea which was different to others I've had but was really nice, almost bitter.

We ordered a starter to share, then Lee had a chicken burger and I had macaroni cheese. My dental surgery means I'm having to eat fairly soft stuff, and it's taking me a long time to eat anything. The food arrived quickly though, despite the warning. I also asked for a cocktail recommendation and the really nice waiter suggested a Pornstar Martini, which I've not had before although I've tasted Sam's. I said yes and I wasn't sorry - it was delicious!

We decided to not have any dessert as we had cake back at the motorhome. We headed back there to watch another film and relax. We both really like doing that. It was a bit colder in the motorhome so we put the heating on - it's really fancy, it comes out of the edges of the walls so it's like central heating! Really cosy.

On Sunday morning we packed everything up and said bye to Karen, who told us to tell all our friends about it. I definitely will - the motorhome had everything you could need and it was a lovely place to stay. I would definitely go back! If you've never used Airbnb before, you can get £25 off your first trip by using my referral link here.

We stopepd by the Trafford Centre on the way home to go to Wagamama for lunch. Lee had never been so I wanted to take him. We both had teriyake donburi and a bunch of sides to share. It was delicious and a really lovely way to end our weekend! Here's to more camping next year than we managed this year - but the motorhome was lovely.

Here's some photos:

My view from the lounge in the motorhome. The kitchen had everything you'd need

The lounge - really comfortable and cosy

Tatton Park on Saturday - I spotted this gorgeous truck for pulling a fairground ride

This coach was used in the coronation of George V!

I liked this sign in the shop

The mansion house. I can't believe how blue the sky was when it had been such awful weather earlier in the day

You can't see very well but there were deer all over the park, there are two under the tree

The Tudor Old Hall

I'm glad we went down to look at it

My Melbuccino in Alderley Edge. 

My Long Island Iced Tea. I really should learn how to make these

And finally my Pornstar Martini, with its little shot of prosecco on the side. 

Friday, October 20, 2017

What I Wore September 8th

Near the beginning of September Lee and I were away in Cheshire. I'll write more about that later, but here's what I wore. I bought the skirt and top off Lolly and, like her, think they look perfect together. The skirt is from Interrobang Art and I love the patterns they have. I had one skirt from them but I sold it as it was a bit short for me. This one is longer, though.

The sweater is from Hell Bunny I think, it's maybe more cream than it looks in photos? It's really soft and stretchy and I love the retro pattern. I also love the glasses pattern on the skirt.

I wore this all day, including to go out. We wanted to go out to eat but when we set off we ended up getting caught up in the traffic from this accident, where thankfully no one was hurt, it just meant that the M6 was shut and there were people everywhere. We ended up going back to the motorhome we were staying in and cooking there instead. It was fine, though.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Books of the Month - August

I really didn't read much in August either. I tried to get into two books and discarded them, and the others took me a while to get through. I will struggle to meet my goal of 80 books this year, but that's okay. 70 would be fine so I'll aim for that! Here's what I did read:

Jess, Chunk, and the Road Trip to Infinity. I liked this except for the fatphobia. I wrote more about this here

Under the Udala Trees is a very sweet novel set in Nigeria against the backdrop of the Biafran War, about a girl who isn't straight, and the relationships she has. I liked it a LOT.

Murder on the Orient Express. I read this for my online book club and kind of liked it, I thought some bits of it were just really strange. Everyone in the book club felt the same. Poirot isn't as his best here, but I've been watching the David Suchet TV programmes which are much better.

The Sewing Machine by Natalie Fergie. I heard about this when Natalie attended Grrrl Con in June. It's really good, a really decent debut novel. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Films of the Month - August

I had another slow month filmwise - there seemed to be tons of TV on that I wanted to watch instead. For instance, I watched Broken, with Sean Bean playing a Catholic priest in a Norther town, and Trust Me, a drama with new Dr Who Jodie Whittaker playing a nurse who steals her friend's medical certificates and poses as a doctor in Edinburgh. Both really good dramas, I'd recommend them!

I watched just four films in August, and all of them were when Lee and I were away in my mum's caravan. We thought beforehand about what we wanted to watch, and watched them on Lee's laptop. We watched:

Ghostbusters - the 2016 remake. It's great, I've only seen it a couple of times but I really like it. All the women are great but I think I like Abby the best. Melissa McCarthy can play me in the movie of my life. 

This is a ridiculous film but so funny too. I particularly like the joke about playing the "Isle of Lucy" festival. 

We'd been watching In The Thick of It, the TV show, so we decided to watch the film. I've not seen it before, Lee has though. I liked it. James Gandolfini was really good in it. I'll probably watch it again

We've not seen this in literally years. It's so depressing, but so good. Jack Nicholson is excellent in it. I want to watch Girl, Interrupted again now as it's sort of the women's version of this film isn't it. 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

What I Wore 27th August

I bought this dress from everything5pounds last year and I've only worn it once, even though it's really lovely. So when I was packing for the day after Paul and Lianne's wedding, I knew we were going out for lunch with Lee's dad, stepmam, my mum and stepdad, and thought this would be perfect.

It's easy to wear, I love the chiffon sash, and I like wearing horizontal stripes since popular thought says fat people shouldn't do so! I'll have to wear this again soon. I took this photo after our drive home.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Wedding in the North East - end of August

We went to yet another wedding at the end of August - the fifth of six we'll be going to this year! They've all been different and it's been lovely to see so many happy couples. This time it was the turn of Lee's friend Paul, who Lee has known since they were 17/18. We don't get to see him very often but every Christmas he comes to Lee's mam's house beforehand to join in our family Christmas which is always hilarious and lovely. We've only met Lianne, his now wife, once, last Christmas, so we were really pleased to be invited to the wedding.

It was held in Gateshead, where Paul and Lianne live, at a really lovely country house. We set off from our house around 9am and made our way up the A1. We stopped for some breakfast and still managed to be in plenty of time. We spoke to Paul and then went outside for the ceremony. It was really lovely, they said some really lovely vows to each other. There was champagne and photos on the lawn and then we went inside for food. It was yummy - I had spiced cauliflower soup, roast chicken with dauphinois potatoes and red wine jus, and then treacle tart with lemon curd and marscapone. It was so good, I could eat it again right now!

A little while after that the evening guests turned up, which included two of Lee's brothers, his brother Andrew's girlfriend Sarah, Lee's mam and stepdad, and my mum and stepdad! They all sat with us in the conservatory which I'd chosen as it was cooler than in the house itself, and it turned out we were right next to the vegetarian buffet so got first dibs. That was delicious too. Afterwards there was dancing which included a lot of punk and ska and was a lot of fun.

It was Photo An Hour on Instagram, organised by Jane and Louisa, so I have quite a lot of photos. I didn't get one of my dress though - I was wearing Scarlett and Jo, though! Here are my photos:

8ish and I was up bright and early to get into the shower. I was thrilled about it, as you can tell

Setting off from our house just after 9am. There was some traffic around the exit for Leeds festival, but other than that it was okay

10am and we were somewhere on the A1. Lee was driving.

11am we stopped for breakfast - a vanilla latte and sausage sandwich for me

Noon and we were all ready for the wedding. I'm even wearing make up

Nearly 1pm and I was drinking Pimms just before the ceremony

2pm, I took this photo of Eslington villa. It was gorgeous!

3pm, stealth photo of the bride and groom and their parents

I also took this photo of the best wedding guest, the inflatable dinosaur

4pm ish, Lee at the wedding breakfast.

My dessert looked stunning! 5pm, I think, although times are a bit woolly after this.

I had my face painted! It looks lovely doesn't it?

This was the STUNNING cake. There was a Moomin theme running through the wedding

Lee and I around 8pm ish. I was a little bit drunk by this point.

Lee never dances so the fact that he was dancing was just so nice.

This was dancing to Bad Manners I think

I smudged my head when I wiped away some sweat and was cross about it. 

Finally, the last song we stayed for - the Toy Dolls' Nellie the Elephant. We had this at our wedding - twice! So we knew Paul would have it too. We were all dancing. 

We went back to Lee's dad's after the wedding, although he and Lee's stepmam were already in bed! They were nice enough to leave the door open for us - they live in the kind of place that you can do that!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

What I Wore August 24th

On August 24th Lee was still on holiday, and we had to take my grandma to Whaley Bridge so that she could get on a canal boat. She was travelling through 51 locks and the Anderson Boat Lift over the course of a week, it looked like a really fun holiday. She is 91 but it seemed like they would look after her, all food was provided and stuff. She was sure to have a lot of fun just watching the world go by.

We went into a restaurant in Whaley Bridge and I had the WORST customer service ever. My food arrived, after 35 minutes, undercooked and cold, and a little bit congealed. I sent it back while Lee and my grandma ate theirs, but when it came back again, it still wasn't right. The waiter was really rude and while I'm never nasty to waiters, I had just had it. I told him there was no reason, in a restaurant with only three tables being used, why food should take 35 minutes and not be right, and for it then to take a further fifteen minutes and to STILL not be right. I walked out, refusing to eat it or pay for it. Lee and my grandma finished their food and then the waiter had the audacity to put my food on the bill! Lee argued with him and didn't pay. I know that the majority of waiters are busy, underpaid, and so on, but there were seven of us in there and there was just no excuse.

I was really upset and cried, and then I was hungry and upset and cried two more times. I just wanted to get home and sleep. Lee looked after me and my mum was really sympathetic on the phone. I wanted tro share this story because I look perfectly happy in this photo. Lee took it when we got home, so I'd been crying and had a terrible headache. What you see on social media isn't true, it isn't the whole story of someone's life. I tweeted a bit about being upset and got so many lovely responses of support. I talked about it to a couple of friends and felt better. I shared this photo on Instagram but didn't mention anything about my bad day. I didn't mention anything on Facebook. So only by following me on more than two platforms would you start to be able to form a picture of my day, and even then you wouldn't know what exactly happened.

Remember, you're living the soap opera of your own life, but you're only seeing the highlights reel of everyone else's. No one's life is perfect.

Anyway, I hadn't worn this dress in ages so I put it on. It's getting a bit bobbly, but it's really comfortable and I love the floral pattern. It's really old from Simply Be. Perfect summery dress!