Home from home

As you know I love camping and last week I had an extra special trip because I went away with my sister, Jacky, in her camper van to the beautiful Yorkshire Dales. I have been looking at camper van videos on Youtube constantly for the last few years as I am hoping to buy one when I retire (after learning to drive of course!) so I was very excited to be staying in one.

Dales camper van 5

The van is a custom conversion which was made for her by the previous company she bought a van from and is based on a standard van with a fitted out interior.

Dales camper van 3

There is a small seating area, with table at the entrance and then a kitchen and storage area with fitted units and a double bed across the width of the van with lots of storage underneath.It has a working sink and also has a portaloo so it was real luxury compared to being in a tent 🙂

Jacky is an experienced van owner, this being her fourth one, but she had not done a lot of camping in it since getting it in August as she had mostly used it for festivals. This was also a test of how it would work with two people and the conversion of the living area for a single bed. It was lovely to see the cushion I made for her in situ as well.

Dales camper van 1

We stayed at a beautifully located campsite, Woodend Farm , just outside the village of Austwick in the Dales.Below are the views from our pitch, we also had electric hook up so had lights and heating! Real luxury 🙂

Dales camper van 4

Dales camper van 6

Dales camper van 2

I can heartily recommend the site as it was very well maintained with amazing views across the valley and a little stream running through it. It would be great for kids to play in the summer as there was lots of space and being a working farm there were lots of sheep. The whole of the Dales is covered in sheep in wonderful dry stone walled fields so I felt very at home.

Dales sheep 1

Dales sheep 2

It is an area I have visited before, we camped there quite a few times when the children were young but I have not been for about 15 years. The weather was brilliant, we had three days of sunshine and so were able to go for lots of walks, mainly to see waterfalls as we both love those.

Dales waterfalls 12

Dales 6

Gordale Scar was our first trip, the gorge leading up the waterfall is really beautiful with impressively large rock walls and a babbling stream which leads into a cleft in the rock where a waterfall tumbles down.

There were lots of adventurous people climbing up it, Jacky went much nearer than I did and you can see her in the middle picture. I am have not done much off road walking in the last year due to the arthritis and I didn’t want to fall.

Dales waterfalls 8

Dales waterfalls 9

Dales waterfalls 13

The views were just stunning, couldn’t believe that the weather was so good. We even stopped and had ice cream at the little refreshment van on the way out it was that lovely.

Dales waterfalls 11

Dales waterfalls 11

That afternoon we went to Malham Tarn, owned by the National Trust as Marsden Moor is, and very similar in scenery to our local reservoirs. We saw a little deer there in among the trees and lots more sheep.

Dales 13

Dales 12

The next day we went to Stainforth Force, another impressive, though lower waterfall where I did manage to slip on these rocks and fall into the shallow bit on the bank in the picture below.

Dales waterfalls 7

Dales waterfalls 6

Dales waterfalls 5

Not too injured but very wet we spent some time in a cafe at the nearby Langcliffe Park caravan site drying off and had a little wander admiring the vans and their beautiful views across the valley.

Dales 1

Dales 2

Dales 3

One of my early retirement plans before buying the house in Spain was to live in a static caravan and I just love them. I may end up buying one yet, so many lovely reminders of childhood holidays and nowadays they are very luxurious.

After going back to the van and changing (one of the advantages of having your house with you!) we climbed up the hill to Catrigg Force. The path took a bit of finding and it was a steep climb but well worth it as the waterfall is located in a wonderful glade and comes crashing down from the moor above into a deep chasm. This time I stayed safely above the rocks while Jacky went exploring!

Dales waterfalls 4

Dales waterfalls 1

Dales waterfalls 2

Dales waterfalls 3

A really brilliant break, it was lovely to spend time with my sister and we both really appreciated the time away from work. She is a primary school teacher and works very long hours in a school with lots of challenges so it was great to just unwind, go on lovely walks, sit and play cards and games in the van at night and generally enjoy life. There were some beautiful sunsets and skies and we just loved all of the gorgeous walls with their moss cladding.

Dales 5

Dales 7

Dales 4

It has been a very cold and wet week here, as for most of the country, so I have spent a large majority of the time very damp as I have started doing my placement visits. Much as I enjoy this part of my job standing at freezing bus stops is not fun so I have appreciated working from home today in the warm and dry.

I am hosting a Christmas ornament making session on Sunday for the Wool and Wine group which will allow me to finish off a couple of things. Despite my best efforts I am still going to be rushing to finish everything in time, thank goodness I made some ornaments in Jan.

I hope that you have a good weekend ahead, take care and thanks for visiting.

Scotland the beautiful

The holiday to Scotland seems a while away now that we are gearing up for the new term but I am planning to go back next year as well for more exploring. I have been to Scotland a few times before but not for about 14 years and the beauty of it never fails to amaze me.

Scotland campsite 6

We stayed just above Loch Lomond for the first three nights in a lovely campsite which is right on the West Highland Way. There is our lovely green tent with wonderful views over to the hills.

Scotland campsite 3

Most of our fellow campers were walking the 90 odd miles of the way so we just saw them arrive early evening and then pack up and leave the next day. We did feel sorry for them the mornings it was raining!

Scotland campsite 1

The campsite is called Beinglas and I can highly recommend it, very lovely with a bar and restaurant and well equipped shop and a little river running through it.

Scotland campsite 2

Scotland campsite 4

Scotland campsite 5

The main access bridge to the site had been flooded but Ellen did a brilliant job with going up and down the slightly bumpy back access road.

We stopped en route at a the gorgeous Lowther Castle in Cumbria, another Victorian castle build which is now a ruin with very creative gardens within its walls and beautiful parkland which is slowly being restored.

Scotland Lowther 1

Scotland Lowther 7

There were some lovely little follies and architectural treasures all around the park.

I love these hydrangeas in the picture above, they always look like they have butterflies landing on them.

Scotland Lowther 18

Our first day was a trip to Lochgoilhead for a wander which was just gorgeous,it was a slightly cloudy day and I just loved seeing the clouds hanging over the hills.

Scotland Lochgoilhead 3

There were some beautiful plants on our walk and interesting moss and ferns on the walls and lots of mussel shells.

Scotland Lochgoilhead 14

Scotland Lochgoilhead 13

We visited the old church as well. I love the decoration on the gravestones and the rusted ironwork.

Then it was back to the campsite for the last BBQ of the year in the UK, I have however just booked my flight to Spain where I shall be spending both Christmas and New Year 🙂 so I will be having a BBQ on Christmas Day after a picnic lunch on the beach.

We went to Scotland specifically to see my friend Sue who has partly retired there, she is living in the most gorgeous cottage, not quite in the middle of nowhere but about 2 miles from the main road in the forest with amazing views.

Scotland Sue 2

Scotland Sue 1

It was lovely to spend the day and night with her, especially after a slightly damp end to our camping, the wood burner in the cottage was much appreciated!

We also managed to pack in a bit of a tour of Scotland to see some of the National Trust for Scotland properties so I will be back later in the week with some pictures of those. I hope that you have all had a nice weekend, take care and thanks for visiting.

 

A tale of two airports …. and a staycation

Well if you were expecting to see photos of lovely Krakow I am afraid that I will have to disappoint you, at least for the moment, as sadly we didn’t get to go on holiday. It was a very simple but unrecoverable error as we went to the wrong airport and so missed our flight 😦 and were unable to rearrange things to go later.

90% of the time we fly from Manchester and this holiday was booked from Leeds Bradford and despite us both checking the times on the boarding passes about 8 times as we had made a mistake before and nearly missed a flight to Spain we did not notice and did not realise until we got to the wrong airport.

We were really upset, me more so than Mum who was very calm about it all, but nothing could be done in the end so we came back home from the airport a short while later. We did then have a lovely staycation, the weather was beautiful and we were out every day and as a bonus my wonderful daughter Ellie came over on her day off to take us out which was great for Mum as she wasn’t expecting to see her this trip.

So Krakow will have to wait until next year, meanwhile I can show you some more of the delights of the Peak District and Lancashire! We had two great trips out involving museums and textiles which I will post about separately but these are from our trips to the cute little village of Uppermill and the local canal walk.

Uppermill 1

Uppermill 2

We went over the border to one of the loveliest little villages in Lancashire full of cute houses and gift shops and walked along the canal to Greenfield then up to a beautiful reservoir that I haven’t visited for years, Dovestones. It was a gorgeous day as you can see by all the sunlight reflecting on the water and through the trees.

Dovestones 1

Dovestones 2

Dovestones 3

Dovestones 4

Dovestones 5

The following day we had a good three hour walk along the canal with the great excitement of watching a boat go through the locks.

This part of the canal is a dead end at my village and with 10 locks along a short stretch of water it doesn’t get much traffic so it was fascinating to watch this boat go through.

We are so lucky to live in such a lovely place and despite the disappointment we had a great week, and we did manage to get the right airport at the right time at the end of that week to get to Spain where I had a very relaxing two weeks in (mostly) glorious sunshine.

I will be back later in the week with some textile loveliness for you from our trips, in the meantime take care and thanks for visiting.

Domesticity and friendship

I have so far managed to have a lovely weekend with lots of both of these things. As I mentioned last post I now have every weekend to myself and that has meant time to catch up with lovely people and the energy to do more than just everyday cooking.

We had a lovely bauble making evening, everyone opted for the style where you cut into the bauble and insert sections of fabric. Rosemari was on a roll and made three in the end and we are continuing with this next weekend at Sharon’s house so may well make more.

Nov baubles 1

She brought her own fabric with her as her house is decorated in lots of blues and aquas so she wanted her baubles to go with that. I think they are gorgeous and love the way she has fussy cut the bird here.

Nov baubles 2

I just made one as I was busy instructing and sorting food . I later added some little jewels to each side, this will be a new addition to my tree for this year along with one of Jenny’s stockings, I am getting on well with the second batch.

Saturday morning my wonderful friend Kerry came up, I have not seen her since Caldicot so it was brilliant to have a catch up and eat nice food.I made my favourite pumpkin soup from Delia Smith’s recipe and an amazing focaccia bread with rosemary and thinly sliced potatoes. It was so good I am going to make more today!

We also went for a walk, the first bit of leisure walking I have done since August.Thankfully I feel a lot better and really miss my little walks around the village so it was great to get out and enjoy the autumn views and say hello to a few sheep.

Nov sheep 1

Even though this picture has focused more on the fence in the foreground rather than the sheep I still love it as it shows the misty sunlight, I am so lucky to have all this beauty five minutes from home.

Nov walk 1

Nov walk 2

Nov walk 3

I am going to the Remembrance Sunday service later on today, there is a special service in honour of the fact that it is 100 years since Armistice. The village, like many other places has been decorated with poppies and they have the names on them of everyone who was killed in the Great War.

This amazing installation at the Tower of London commemorates the 888,246 British and colonial lives lost during this war but we also remember the lives lost from many other countries of men, women and children from all wars.

Poppies

Much of what we do as re-enactors may be seen as promoting or glorifying conflict but I have always seen our roles as more about education about the history of war in the hope that this understanding will help avoid future conflict. Next year Ellie will be involved in lots of events around the Second World War as Clumber Park was involved in that in many different ways so she and her team are planning lots of things to commemorate their involvement.

I hope that you have a very lovely week ahead, take care and thanks for visiting.

 

Under a cloudy Shropshire Sky

We had a lovely time at Farmer Phil’s festival with my sister. As we were there from the Tues we went for a couple of long walks up on the hills where we could see the beautiful scenery.

Shropshire 2018 3

Shropshire 2018 4

At the top of one of the hills we came across two wind blown trees which made for great pictures against the cloud backdrop. One of them was a Rowan tree which brought back lots of childhood memories as we both went Rowanfield Primary School where our uniforms were the colours of the tree.

 

There were plenty of sheep including this cute one who had very deer like ears.

Shropshire 2018 2

We also saw a llama, there were actually three in a garden on the way back from our first walk.I think Jacky thought I had lost the plot when I suddenly shouted, ‘llama’, but she saw this cute little one just as I spotted it as well, they were so friendly.

Shropshire 2018 9

The weather was variable but luckily Jacky had bought a lovely fire pit so we had toasty nights watching the flames. The last evening was beautiful sunshine and I spent some time taking pictures of the sun peeping out from the clouds as it set.

 

I have been busy at work since I got back doing clearing which is dealing with those who have not got the A level results they expected but have managed to finish the Steampunk jacket for the Lincoln event, with four days to go! A minor miracle and I will post pictures of that later in the week.

Meanwhile take care and thanks for visiting.

Natural beauty

Ellie and I have just come back from our long weekend camping in North Wales. Originally we were booked into a re-enactment at Conwy but our group had to cancel so we thought we would make the most of the opportunity for a visit to some of the National Trust properties in the area.We stayed at  Conwy Touring Park which was a lovely site with great views.

Since it was nice weather for most of the time we not only got to visit several properties but also go for a walk in the mountains in Snowdonia. We saw such beautiful places so I thought I would share some of them with you.

First we visited Erddig , which is a house that dates from the early 1700s and it has been beautifully restored after falling into a ruinous state in the 1960s. The formal gardens were gorgeous and I particularly loved the less formal borders with thistles, poppies and lilies.

Erddig 2

Erddig 3

Erddig 4

Erddig 1

On Saturday we drove into the Snowdonia National Park to an area known as Cwm Idwal which is also owned by the Trust.

Cwm Idwal 1

Cwm Idwal 2

It was a perfect day for walking, cloudy but not wet and the clouds added to the dramatic scenery. We had a brilliant walk round the lake and then a picnic by a waterfall, just perfect!

Cwm Idwal 3

Cwm Idwal 4

Cwm Idwal 5

In the afternoon the sun came out which made the wonderful Bodnant Gardens look fantastic. The house is still in private ownership and the gardens that surround it are just gorgeous with the most beautiful views towards Snowdonia.

Bodnant 1

Bodnant 2

Bodnant 12

Bodnant 13

We really loved the hydrangea bushes, the heads were all at different stages of flowering and it was amazing to see the colours develop on these blue ones, so beautiful!

Bodnant 10

Bodnant 9

Bodnant 11

A great weekend and I will be back later in the week with some of the lovely interiors from these and the other places we visited.

Meanwhile I am working on some more Steampunk stuff as I want to update my outfit. We have been dressing up in the evenings at events and here is a picture taken by my lovely friend Silke at Tatton.

Alison Steampunk - Tatton - small

I love my top hat and am awaiting a new skirt, gloves and choker that will be delivered this week.I am decorating a pair of boots and velvet jacket with lace to add to my collection of outfits.

Take care and thanks for visiting.

 

 

Just beautiful

Hello everyone

I had such a lovely walk yesterday and thought that I would share with you these pictures of the beautiful flowers, I am so lucky to live here, we are surrounded by glorious countryside and it looks fantastic at this time of year with all the rhododendrons in bloom.

Rhodedrons walk

Rhodedrons 2

Rhodedrons 3

Rhodedrons 4

Rhodedrons 5

Rhodedrons 6

Rhodedrons 7

Rhodedrons 8

I hope that you are all having a lovely weekend, have successfully cut out another shirt and will be sewing it up this afternoon. Hoping that the weather will be kind and allow us the first BBQ at home of the year!

See you soon and thanks for visiting.