Thursday 16 May 2024

We loved the Yorkshire Dales ........

Happy Thursday to you .......

Well I think it's Thursday!  I'm having a little trouble keeping track of the days at the moment.  We only really need to know what day of the week it is if we're on the move and need to be in a particular place or campsite.  That's vanlife for you!

Last time we spoke we were off to the Yorkshire Dales.  Oh my goodness, what an amazing place.  We spent seven days surrounded by stunning countryside, dotted with beautiful little towns and villages.
Our first stop was a lovely little campsite, Meadow Falls, just outside of Ingleton .......  just look at that view!

The village was lovely, we wandered down there and found a fantastic little Italian restaurant ......

There was also a great little pub just round the corner from the campsite called The Marton Arms which I would highly recommend if you're ever in the area.  They're only open Wednesday to Sunday though at the moment, and on Bank Holidays.

The food was amazing ........ 

Braised Cumbrian Lamb Shoulder, tenderstem broccoli, dauphinoise potatoes and a minted lamb jus ..... yummee!

It wasn't all good food and nice wine though, we did do a bit of walking to burn off some of those calories.
We were really lucky with the weather whilst we were there, so we went off to find the Ingleton Waterfall Trail ....... a 4.3 mile circular trail that takes you through beautiful woodlands, across stunning countryside and as close to the edge of two rivers where possible to get great views of the waterfalls

The woods were filled with bluebells and wild garlic, and the smell was amazing.
The waterfalls weren't bad either considering there hadn't been that much rain recently .....

And this was a welcome sight about half way round the trail ........  

Our next stop was Hawes, a little market town in Wensleydale.  One of England's highest apparently, at 850 feet above sea level, and of course, it's home to the delicious Wensleydale cheese (food again!)

We had a stroll around the town, did a spot of shopping and found a lovely place to eat ..... The White Hart Inn .........

Fish this time ...... halibut, king prawns, mussels and samphire served on a bed of sauteed new potatoes with a roasted lime and white wine veloute.  
This was soooo good.  We had just been on another walk and I was very hungry but ........ OMG!!!  
We will definitely be back there.  We've already decided we are coming back to the Yorkshire Dales, in fact we've booked both campsites we stayed at again for later in the year.

The walk we did whilst we were in Hawes was to the Hardraw Force ..... the highest single drop waterfall in England. Not only that, it's also famous for 'that scene' in the film Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, where Maid Marion spies Robin Hood bathing under the waterfall

Sadly no Kevin Costner on the day we were there but, the waterfall was still worth watching!

With our little stay in the Yorkshire Dales over, we headed north for the Scottish leg of our adventure.
We've spent the last couple of nights in a little place called Moffat in the heart of Southern Scotland ....... famous for it's toffee apparently

And then this morning, we were back on the road again heading further north.  

We're now in Perthshire, in the central Highlands of Scotland, in the village of Killin.  
We've got blue skies and sunshine, perfect for an afternoon stroll I think!

Thanks for popping by ..... enjoy the rest of your day.

Cheerio until next time  .......

Monday 6 May 2024

We're slowly heading North ..........

Happy Monday ........

I hope you're enjoying the Bank Holiday weekend if you're in the UK.  We've been lucky and had some sunshine which has been nice.   

We're still enjoying 'van-life', learning new things everyday.  We've had a couple of minor things to deal with along the way, but nothing that Google and Facebook groups couldn't cope with.  The heating decided to stop working one night but we managed to sort that out and fingers crossed it's now OK (hoping we won't need the heating that much now ..... it is May after all!)  Then last night the freezer wasn't working as it should ..... the ice cubes for the gin weren't frozen!!!!!! 
Again, it was Google and Facebook to the rescue, and we decided that we might have had a little too much in the freezer (it was pretty full!).  So, we re-jigged things, we're on chicken for dinner this evening,  the wine coolers had to come out and we sacrificed the jumbo ice cube tray just to see if our theory was correct. 
This morning everything was fine.   Freezer working as it should, we just need to use some of the stuff in there so I can get the wine coolers and ice cube tray back in there.  A G&T without ice is just not right ...... thank goodness the tonics had been in the fridge!!! 

Anyhow, since my last post we've done a few more miles.  
We went from Dorset back up to the Cotswolds and stayed on a lovely campsite in Cirencester.  Both hubby and I love this area but it was our first time here ..... won't be the last!! 
Apparently, Cirencester is known as the 'capital of the Cotswolds'.  It's a lovely market town with amazing places to eat and it's fabulous for shopping.

The campsite I think, is actually part of the Bathurst Estate,along with the Cirencester Park, just on the outskirts of the town.  It was a lovely easy walk through the park right into the centre

 We had a good old mooch around, 

Lost the other half in here .......

well, actually it was more like in here ......

Then we found a little Tapas bar for lunch ......

OMG!!!!! ..... the food was amazing ........

We really enjoyed Cirencester, but hey it's the Cotswolds, what's not to like!

From there we headed to Broadway, and guess what ..... the sun came out!!!

Finally we had blue skies and it was warm. 

We got a pitch by the railway track overlooking the countryside ......

and in the evenings we watched the sun go down ......

I do love this place .......

From there we headed north to just outside Chester for a few nights.  Spent a day in Liverpool where we met up with Lauren and Alex, and then we've spent the Bank holiday weekend relaxing and visiting family.
Tomorrow we set off on our travels again, heading for the Yorkshire Dales.  Hopefully the nice weather will stick around and we can get to explore the area a little bit.  There's also a rather nice looking farm-shop on the way that I wouldn't mind stopping off at!

Thanks for popping by ...... enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Cheerio until next time .........

Wednesday 24 April 2024

We're on a road trip! .........

Hello there .........

OK, so this feels a little weird.  It's been such a long time since I blogged, and it's even longer since I actually did any crafting so, I haven't really had anything to share.
There is a reason for that however, life has changed a little over the last few months, let me fill you in.  That's of course if there's still any of you out there reading this.

You may, or may not, remember that hubby was made redundant last year, and although he did look for a new job, nothing seemed to quite hit the spot. 
So, to cut a long story short,  after a lot of late night discussions,  and many 'shall we do this' or 'maybe we shouldn't do this yet' conversations, we sat down, did some research and all the sums, and finally decided to turn this into an opportunity to do something we've been planning to do ever since we bought the motorhome ........ we're taking a year or so out to do some travelling in it!!!!  
Not sure where we'll end up, no real plan or route as such, we're just going to see where the road takes us!!

Let's face it, we're not getting any younger, and if we're going to do it then now is the time, whilst we're both relatively healthy.   Both kids are settled, have their own places and don't really need us that much so why not! (I do miss the grandkids though ...... thank goodness for video calls!) 

So, we spent a couple of months making lists,  organising stuff and packing the van ....... I mean what do you really need for 12 months on the road!!!  Time will tell if we got it right, although we're not doing too badly so far.

We packed up everything else in the house, and it's all gone into storage ...... boy! there was a lot of boxes.  
I won't deny that it was all a little scary the day the removal men came, and I did have a wobble or two, and wonder whether we were doing the right thing.
But, on March 16th 2024 we locked the front door for the last time, handed over the keys, said our teary goodbyes, and started out on Remi's longest trip yet.

Thankfully it was a lovely morning.  Blue skies and sunshine, which was perfect as we were on the early morning ferry.

It was a little sad to be waving goodbye to our little island but, we will be back, at some point I'm sure.

It was our first time on the new boat too which was exciting ...... it's lovely, and its so BIG!!
We had a great crossing. 

We're currently in our 6th week of  'van life' and we're loving it!
So far we've been to Newark in Nottinghamshire.  Our first port of call for Remi's annual service.
We had a walk into the town and down by the river


And look what we found ....... what a selection!  That was the wine sorted for the next few weeks anyway.

We headed off to the Cotswolds next for a few days just to get back into the swing of van life again.  Then it was off to the Cheltenham and Gloucester area for what ended up as a very wet Easter weekend.

Next was Wells and Glastonbury in Somerset.   Wells cathedral was pretty spectacular .....

Hmmmmm ....... not sure they would let him play that!

We stayed at few nights at Longleat, right next to the safari park.  Then it was off to Salisbury for a couple of days to meet up with some friends, which was lovely, before heading down to Dorset.  

We're currently on the Dorset/Hampshire border at a really nice campsite called Back of Beyond.  It's our first time here but I can tell you, it won't be our last.  
It's so peaceful (Adults only), the site and all it's facilities are fab.  And, the weather is finally coming good ......... oh no, maybe I shouldn't have said that!!!

The weather hasn't been too kind to us since we came away ....... we've been through two storms, seen day after day of wind and rain,  and it's been so cold!  We even had hail at one point!  Lucky I brought my thermals with me.
The weather didn't stop us getting the BBQ out though ......

When there's fillet steaks on the menu its the only way to cook them

Perfect, eaten inside the van, with a nice bottle of red.  I can get used to this van life!

Sorry there's not more pictures of the places we've been so far.  Hopefully that will all change as time moves on.

We're starting to head North again at the weekend.  Cirencester, and back to the Cotswolds.  Broadway this time, one of our favourite places.  A quick stop off to see family again and then it's up to the Yorkshire Dales, and we're heading for Scotland sometime around the middle of May.
And that's as far as we've planned up to now.  We do have to be in Norfolk for the beginning of July but that's a while off yet so we can take our time and enjoy the journey!

I am hoping to blog a little more frequently again now that I've made a start, and you never know I may just start to craft a little once things settle down.  I have brought a craft stash with me albeit a basic one but, you never know, the old mojo may appear somewhere along the way.

Hubby also wants to keep a record of our trip, places we've been, our favourite spots, places of interest etc.,  so if you're interested in coming along with us watch this space and I'll let you know when its up and running.

Thanks for popping by ....... enjoy the rest of your day.

Cheerio until next time (hopefully it won't be as long a gap!)

Sunday 24 December 2023

Merry Christmas ........

Happy Christmas Eve ........

The shopping's done, the presents are wrapped, and we're off to the panto this evening ....... oh yes we are!!  It's Christmas!!!!!! 

Before the festivities begin though, I thought I'd share with you a little project that I made recently. 

Over the last few years I've been asked to make some very special cards for Christmas for an old work colleague of hubby's.  'The Christmas Quest' has been a regular event, in fact, I think it was the 20th one this year.  
They always seem lots of fun, and it's always a pleasure making the cards. 

Here's a quick look at this years ........

Christmas trees done using a triangle aperture stencil from Sweet Poppy Stencils, and Distress Oxide inks in festive reds and greens .....

I dotted White Enamel Accents over the top to give a snowy look.

A pretty festive wreath ......

Heat embossed in gold onto black cardstock,  and then coloured using metallic paints

Lots of paint splatter onto the background too.

Next, you have to have twinkling fairy lights at Christmas ........

Die cut from glitter cardstock using an old Penny Black die and layered with silver mirri card ..... very festive!

And last up, a little robin .....

This little guy is one of my favourites from Penny black.
Stamped onto white cardstock, and coloured with markers and Distress inks. 

A little simple masking, Distress inks and a bit more stamping to create a winter background, and then finished off with some die cut foliage and a sprinkling of glitter.

All the letters and numbers were die cut using the Spellbinders Be Bold Alphabet dies.

Well, that's it from me, thanks for popping by. 
I'm off now to check my lists .... twice!  Catch up with any last minute jobs, and then get ready for this evening.  
We're out for a early meal with Lauren and Alex, and then we're off to see Aladdin ...... oh yes we are! 

Merry Christmas everyone!