Cities in the dark #Blackpool

I have a new job that involves lots of travel. As glamorous as that sounds I spend lots of time on the train and have only really been seeing new cities at night on the way to the hotel and again on a morning on the way to an office.It gave me an idea though to pass the winter of capturing some sights in the dark on my trusty mobile starting with Blackpool.

Blackpool brings with it mixed memories. I haven’t been in six years; the last time was  agirls night out that ended after we rounded a street corner just in time to see a man get run over by a bus. A man so drunk he sat there laughing & joking with his friends while a bus reversed several times over his crushed legs which a ‘helpful’ person kept screaming at the driver to stop; start; go back; no wait wrong way.Not the fondest of memories! I’ve wondered since what happened to him.

On a happier note are the Illuminations. Despite the fact that the website says they are all switched on they weren’t on my visit.A little bit gutted as I wanted to see the Dr Who lights – they have a Tardis and some Daleks. For us and many other 70’s kids Blackpool Illuminations guaranteed a day out to the seaside. Every year dad would come home and off we’d go to drive the Golden Mile and if flush with cash have some fish supper and during times of financial hardship then mum would pack a night picnic. A much nicer memory than the other one 🙂

My friend often comments that she finds that the further North you go the more people will stop and talk. I found on this trip that Blackpool folk fit that category. I had a lovely chat about old self employment dreams of running my own guest house and what it takes to run a tea shop (my other dream) when your business is dictated by the seasons. Another conversation started after I realised a woman was wandering around glued to her phones map app just like me. So much for only teenagers being glued to their phones.

I left this time with fonder memories and a renewed desire to spend my retirement by the beach even if it was freezing cold and raining most of the time.

 

A Walk in the Woods #Leeds

I had a plan to cheer up a friend. A wander around Rodley Nature Reserve in Leeds followed by a trip for coffee in nearby Horsforth. Lack of planning on both our parts meant we went when the Reserve was actually closed so opted for a wander down the nearby canal. What followed was a lovely 7 mile walk and discovering some joys of Leeds we had never seen before.

We started walking down the canal in the direction of Shipley (if we’d have kept walking another 10 miles we’d have got there!) marvelling at some of the houses, amazed by nature (we must have stood watching geese fly and then land in unison on the canal for ages – just mesmerising) and just marvelling at the beauty of the landscape.

We stopped at the Moody Cow steakhouse in Apperley Bridge for lunch (very nice highly recommended) before deciding to stay off the canal and try the Calverley Millennial Walk. This turned out to be part of the Pudsey link for walkers. Again a  reminder of how beautiful nature can be when left alone. Scattered around the walk are various historical remnants such as a medieval forge which sadly we didn’t get to see this time but hopefully when better prepared we can see much more.

Hope you enjoy some photos

EuroDisney (Nov) 2016

I wrote a blog on this page a year ago saying I’d been stuck in too long and needed to start getting out and about again. Then barely did anything. I’ve written on one of my other sites about having money problems and learning to budget and so with those lessons learnt I am going to try again and get out more 🙂

To start with by the end of the month I should have booked a short trip away to EuroDisney for November. My son is grown up and my friend doesn’t have kids so it’s a grown up having fun event and a pre-cursor to hopefully going to Orlando in 2020.

I’ve actually been a few times. One of the things on my bucket list is to see all the Disney parks in the world (I’m just a big kid at heart). So far I’ve been to Paris, California and Orlando. At the time of writing that leaves Hong Kong & Tokyo still to do. I’d have to do a lot more budgeting and saving up to reach those so they are on my ‘Someday’ list.

I’m still to this not sure how I managed to go to some kind of Disney park yearly but while my son was growing up for nine years in a row I did it. Despite being a single parent I saved up and we got to go to one of them every year. At the minute I can’t seem to get from one month to the next without running out of money. If I could go back in time I’d pay attention to how I actually managed to budget so well 🙂

I don’t care if you’re 4 or 44 there is something for everyone at these parks. I happily buy into all the shmaltz and cheese. I love the rides. I love the kids faces when they meet characters. I’m not so keen on how every other food stall is a McDonalds but you can’t have everything!

If I can be really well behaved I am thinking of either a mini-trip to Amsterdam or Edinburgh mid-way through the year but I really will have to get in control and save properly to manage both. But we’ll see. I’ve been doing my de-cluttering. I’ve sold some old books and DVDs on a cashback website. I’ve put some other bits on local Facebook selling pages. Every little helps when you’re holidaying on a budget.

Fingers crossed now I can keep this page more updated and get to see some wonderful sights in the coming future 🙂

Cologne and Dusseldorf Germany

I haven’t been able to get out and about much recently but at the end of last month I managed to finally get away with a National Holidays Xmas markets trip to Germany.

The trip involves a days travel each way and two days of sightseeing and Xmas shopping. In light of recent terrorist events security was at a maximum crossing the Channel but the coach operators handled it well and in the end depsite an extra wait that part of the jorney was smooth. Coming back not so fun as we got caught up in the storms that had been raveging England and moved onto the Continent. Our return ferry crossed on some of the worst choppy seas I’ve encountered. We had actually missed our designated ferry due to border control. A blessing as it turned out as the original one got blown of course and eventually landed two hours after our later one!

Dusseldorf we found to be nice and pleasant but quite small. We probably didn’t need to spend as long as was planned there. Cologne has much more to see and do as it’s quite a big city. We were told that many of the buildings were bombed during the war which was probably why everything looked like it had been built in the 1970’s.

Our end conclusion was that as nice as the towns were once you’ve been to one Xmas market you’ve probably seen them all. Each one sold pretty much the same things as you could get back home in Leeds (although possibly a bit cheaper). Overall though we had a fab time and would highly recommend it

Quiet retreat to Glastonbury

Has had a lovely few days in Glastonbury. It was a lot smaller than I expected. I think I saw it as being quite a big town however on arrival the main part of town was no nigger than a high street similar in size to one of the suburbs near me in Leeds. This just added to the charm for me though. It’s a charming little place and there is a lovely calm atmosphere.

I’ve also never met such a bunch of friendly people but had to laugh at the lack of taxis. We are so lucky in Leeds and big cities to have such a huge service with lots of cars while they have maybe 3 in total taxis all operated by seperate self employed people. And despite advertising themselves as 24 hour services they stop working once the pubs have shut and won’t do a pick up at 6.15 because “its far too early” lol.

Loved the peace & quite so much that on an afternoon trip to Wells city we found it too busy and it wasn’t a particularly busy place. Re-inforces my feelings that I need to move out of Leeds even if just to a nearby town. The peace & quiet also allowed me to have a proper think about future ideas and come up with some kind of plan for my own life and how I want it to go. 

We were there for three days and went to see the Abbey which includes the Holy Thorn tree said to have been planted by Jospeph of Arimathea on arrival from Jerusalem in Jesus’ time. Cuttings from this tree have been re-planted in several other towns. We also had some quiet meditation time at the Chalice Gardens complete with paddle in some healing waters and went to Wells city to see their cathedral. Here are a few pictures.

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