20.6.18

Yorkshire Roadtrip | Hooks House Farm

Having the freedom to almost stay where we want and to not be limited with my boyfriends van is wonderful, however hygiene is important so when we went to Whitby this weekend we spent three nights in the van. Two of those nights were spent pulled up somewhere as we travelled through the night. First from Lowestoft to Scunthorpe and then from Scunthorpe to Whitby.
When we got to Whitby it was too late to find somewhere so we pulled up outside a church and slept there for a few hours.

Waking up we then drove to Hooks House Farm. My boyfriend had called to see they had space for us, which they did so we went there, had a shower and then spent the day in Whitby and Goathland

Despite seeing photos of this campsite before hand I didn't really expect the view to be as beautiful as it was. 
Surrounded by countryside and quite possibly one of the quietest campsites I have ever been on, all you really hear is the sound of bird and sheep on the nearby fields.
In fact it was so quiet that we ended up going to sleep at 7.30pm and I didn't wake up properly until 12 hours later! 
The showers and toilets were really clean (I hate showering at campsites but felt perfectly fine and comfortable here so that says a lot) and although we didn't need to use the sink area I was aware that this was available to wash up any cooking pans and so on. 

The only odd thing is camping on the wonk as the campsite is on a hill. I'm not sure how comfortable this would be if you were in a tent and not able to go onto some of the flatter parts but I kind of like the kookiness of it. 

The views are absolutely stunning but due to our early sleep we didn't go for a walk to explore the area a little bit more. However my boyfriend has been there before and told me it is lovely and well worth it. 
If we went back to Whitby or in that area I would definitely want to stay here again. 

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19.6.18

Five Things | Classic Films I've Finally Watched

One of my favourite things about my relationship, other than the person I am in a relationship with of course, is how relaxed and easy everything is.
There has never been an overwhelming pressure to impress or to live up to any sorts of expectations.
It straight away felt comfortable.
Cooking meals from fresh ingredients from the local fishmongers, various fresh juices (my boyfriend doesn't drink and I'm not a big solo drinker) an incense stick smoking on the sideboard, candles lit around the hot wood burning fire, the cushions on the back of the sofa plump and a soft blanket for us to cuddle under.

We don't really watch any tv series together as the days we see each other aren't always regular, but we do like to watch films together.
We've been watching a lot of classic films together which we find on various entertainment networks, films which have dated over time but with improved quality thanks to watching on a high dynamic range television.
We've watched films that I haven't really thought about watching before due to them probably being a bit too dark or something that maybe I'm not particularly interested in.
However, it seems my boyfriend has great taste in films and even though some are films I would have avoided in the past I'm glad I gave the films a chance as I surprisingly enjoyed them!

The Godfather

1972, classic Gangster crime film staring Marlon Brando and Al Pacino. I watched Gangster films in Media Studies in high school and I really enjoyed them. I think maybe the reason I struggle to watch them now is because I tend to pick them apart, to look at the lighting, to focus on the Femme Fatale, the angles...all the pieces that make a good gangster film.
Because it was such a long film we did have to break it up and watch it in two parts. I didn't quite expect to be as enthusiastic to watch the second part the following day but couldn't wait to get home from work and to get settled. 
We're still halfway through the second in the trilogy which we are a little slow at watching but I'm looking forward to watching all three.

Schindlers List

We'd been discussing the history of Poland and the Polish and we searched for Schindlers List and despite struggling to find it at first we eventually did and settled down to watch it.
I have to admit that at first I found it a little boring, and it took me quite a while...a long while really...to understand why Schindler was this hero and why he was so well thought of...until it became clear.
Well there were tears at the end and a big feeling of "What am I doing with my life when one man can do that?!"

Road to Perdition

Yes, this big Tom Hanks fan hadn't watched Road to Perdition until recently. I had tried to watch it previously but couldn't get into it. It definitely helped having my boyfriend watching it with me. I think I was slightly annoying and asked a few questions in the beginning. I think also the reason I had struggled before was because I hadn't really seen Tom in that sort of role before so it took a while to get used to it.
It blew my mind though and had me more convinced that there is nothing that man can't do.

Braveheart

We are going on a roadtrip in Scotland next month so my boyfriend suggested we watch Braveheart to have a look at the scenery.
Again, this is a film that's not really my style...I'm not that into fighting and I'm still wondering if Mel Gibson was the best person to cast as William Wallace...those eyes of his were pretty distracting and he needed to be a bit more rugged I think.
Anyway, I surprised myself by really enjoying it and not only has it made me appreciate why some Scots are as passionate as they are about their country, it has also made me look forward to visiting Scotland even more.

The Birds

Well, there I was saying classic films I enjoyed but this was hilarious. At the end we both looked at each other and said "Oh. Is that it?" as we expected a lot more from it. It felt like there was no resolution or no reason behind it all. 
It's one of those films that you hear a lot about and is a classic but isn't an all round great film..in my opinion. However, is well worth a watch for the awful dated affects and ridiculous acting...as well as the fake blood. 

What are your favourite classic films?
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Yorkshire Roadtrip | Goathland

After spending the morning in Whitby we got back in the van and stopped at a beautiful little village in the Scarborough district of Yorkshire.
Goathland was the setting for 1960s based tv series Heartbeat. Various buildings from the show are noticeable as you walk around, as well as three cars which are parked outside the row of shops.

We were both quite tired and I felt it was rude to be in Yorkshire and to not have a cup of Yorkshire tea. We stopped at the little cafe and had a teapot to share and a slice of cake each. My boyfriend went for chocolate cake and I went for lemon drizzle. At first I regretted my choice when I looked at his slice but as soon as I took a bite of the lemon drizzle I was pleased I went with that.

After we had a look at the shop next door we walked down the hill to the train station.
Charles is still really into steam trains and although he wasn't with us we still had a little look around the train station and I took some photos to send over to him.
It was such a beautiful little station which is on the North Yorkshire Moors railway, servicing steam trains.
Goathland railway station was used as the location for Hogsmeade railway station in the Harry Potter films, and the line filmed for Harry's journey.

There was a cute stream running beside the train station and I went for a little walk next to it. There was a bridge leading to the train station which to me looked like the area Pennywise is based in IT. It did make me a laugh. 

The landscape and atmosphere in this village is beautiful. I could have spent a long time there relaxing and walking around but as the day was getting on and we'd had little sleep that night before after travelling from Scunthorpe we then went to the van and headed to the camp site. 

I would definitely visit this village again. I especially loved the fact that sheep are walking around everywhere, grazing on the village green and surrounding moorland.

It was the exact kind of place you would imagine when thinking about a traditional, typical village. 

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18.6.18

Custom Star Map | Review

Charles is absolutely Titanic mad and with his birthday in June I knew all of his presents would be Titanic Themed in some way. With various books and a model I wanted to find something that was a little bit different too.

When Modern Map Art got in touch and asked if I would review one of their Custom Star Maps I knew exactly what I would go for.

How It Works

We use an incredibly detailed star database with hundreds of thousands of stars, and find what the sky looked like at an exact time and place in history (or future!).

There are various options available when it comes to the style of the posters. Black, white or grey background, border or no border, different fonts, and what details you want written at the bottom.
Sizes start from 8x10 up to 24x36.
You can choose whichever location, date, time suitable for your special memory. It was a little more tricky for me as I had chosen the date and time that the Titanic sank however couldn't select the North Atlantic Ocean so instead researched the nearest country and town to the sinking and selected the night sky for that particular area on that date and time.

You can choose whether or not to have the consolations on the map which looks really nice however for this theme I felt wasn't suitable.

After designing the map it was delivered quickly and the packaging was perfect. I do worry when buying posters online but there was no need to be worried.
The poster is great quality and looks particularly special when framed.

I framed it and then wrapped it ready for Charles' birthday. His reaction as he unwrapped it said it all as he didn't expect such a unique gift, especially as it is personalised and it based around something he is really interested in.

I'm really pleased with this product and would highly recommend for a special gift for a loved one, friend or family member.


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13.6.18

Five Things : Car Checks Before a RoadTrip

I'm really excited to be going on a roadtrip to Scotland next month. In 2016 I went on a roadtrip on the East Coast of Northern Ireland with my brother and it was one of the best holidays I have ever been on so I am really looking forward to doing similar, with my boyfriend, in Scotland. 

When we went to Ireland we flew over and then hired a car so other than organising the car hire and insurance we didn't really have much to organise and to check before our trip. However, with Scotland we are going in my boyfriends T4 so there are various things we will need to check before we leave.





Checking car fluid levels

Information on how to check the fluid levels for your car will be in your handbook, or is something that can be checked on Youtube if you are not sure what you are looking for. Low or empty fluids can result in breakdowns and further damage to your car so it is important to check the oil, brake fluid, windscreen wash and coolant before any long journeys. Also to keep spare fluid in your car to top up during the trip if necessary.


Lights and signals

Before your road trip, and get someone else to help too, it is important to check your lights and signals work. Get someone to stand at the front of the car whilst you check your headlights, fog lights, indicators and warning lights. These also need to be checked at the back of the car. If these are not working then the bulbs could need replacing or there could be a loose connection which would need to be checked at a local garage.

Tyres

Make sure you are aware of the tyre pressure before you go on your roadtrip and make sure they are at the set levels before you leave. This is worth doing a couple of weeks before you leave so you can keep an eye on the levels to make sure there is no small leak or puncture.
The tread on tyres should be at least 1/16th or 1.6mm, if the tread is less than 1/12th or 2.5mm it is important to consider replacing the tyres. Car tyres in Wakefield are available in various sizes from Ossett Tyre House, for long journeys tyres are likely to wear down more quickly so replacing them should be considered.


Tax, MOT and insurance

Without stating the obvious...making sure your car is taxed, with an up to date MOT and that the insurance is appropriate for the journey you are making. 
Did you know you can temporarily add other drivers to your insurance? This is something worth doing for long journeys and roadtrips to combat tiredness and even so that everyone gets to experience the same on the trip.


Power and USB points


Last year I had a nightmare journey to Liverpool due to a fuse that had gone in my car and resulted in not being able to use the cigarette lighter power or my USB to charge both my phone and my SAT NAV. It was an interesting journey which I didn't think I'd end up reaching. 
Due to this I always check I am able to charge my phone or my SAT NAV before a long journey by checking both of these parts in the car. 
Keeping a spare power pack in our car is also worth doing incase your phone battery is low and you need to use Google Maps or in case of an emergency. 

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12.6.18

Sunday's #16

With Charles turning 9 on the 14th of June I decided to treat him to a special day out the Sunday before. I have a rule that when it comes to their birthdays, the weekend I have them whichever side of their birthday is the weekend I celebrate with them. 
I gave Charles the option a while ago of what he wanted to do and he asked if we could hire a boat out as he wanted to be Captain for the day. 
Who knew hiring a boat was such a stress. So many places to look all with various options and a whole range of different prices for the same boat and hire time. 
I ended up hiring a boat, along with my mum, from 10am until 3pm...thinking we had enough time to then drive where we needed to be, a 2 hour boat ride, an hour for lunch, then 2 hours back. And that's how our day ran perfectly. 

It was chilly in the morning but soon managed to brighten up. 
I drove for the first part of the journey, with a little bit of boy help, then we moored up (which I am still good at from my sailing days *smug face*) and had the picnic I had prepared the night before...which also included Charles' chocolate birthday cake he requested. 

Driving back my mum's partner drove the boat and me and my boyfriend relaxed at the back. It was lovely all being together in that space but also being able to have quality time with him. He makes me laugh so much and after feeling quite depressed the last week it was definitely what I needed. 
Charles had a longer go at driving and did amazing well. My Titanic mad boy would make a superb Captain one day. 

After we brought the boat in we drove through Norfolk and stopped to get some bits for dinner and I treated everyone to an ice cream. 
After having a late night and busy day the day before my boyfriend came back and napped and the boys both relaxed. I sat on the sofa for the evening until the boys were ready for dinner and did the rotas for work.

After the boys were fed, showered and in bed I made a curry for me and my boyfriend and we watched some of the 2017 IT. I have already seen it but for some reason found it scarier this time. 
I ended up falling asleep on the sofa and then went to bed before the film had finished. Definitely deciding now that the boys really shouldn't watch it yet. 

It was an absolutely lovely day and Charles was so grateful for being treated to the boat.
Thank goodness for the weather!
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11.6.18

Sundays #15


Despite having this big plan of moving in and being super organised and tidy and minimalist I am still living in piles of stuff and lots of muddled mess.
My mum offered to come round this Sunday morning to help us out and to spend time with the boys. However as the weather was so nice I suggested us going out to the local Owl Sanctuary and to the adjoining indoor flea market and antiques shop.
I had this thought of putting a new unit in my lounge to put my hi-fi on but was quite specific with what I wanted and what I had in mind.

We had a look at the ducks, turkeys, guinea pigs and owls and then looked in the antiques shop.
Although I didn't find exactly what I had gone there for on that day, I did find a painted, old ladder which I am now using in my bathroom as a towel rail, and also a dressing table style mirror which had also been painted up, so I was pleased with my purchases.

My mum treated us to an ice cream and we drove home so she could get back to her house.
After this I went shopping with the boys. We popped to get some bits for dinner and also needed to get food for lunch which we decided would be a picky lunch. It was a lovely lunch we went for and both boys ended up trying something new which was good!

We had then planned to watch a film together but both boys were engrossed in their tablets and I ended up having a nap on the sofa.
The rest of the night was dinner, bath, and bed routine and pretty relaxed. I went to bed early as I was shattered, even though we hadn't really done anything too busy.

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