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.

 

Stokesley and Helmsley, North Yorkshire

I sometimes wonder how coach companies make up their trips. The other month I did a trip to Richmond and Durham. The Richmond stop was 90 minutes to take in the market. As the market comprised of about 5 stalls and the town was tiny I chose instead to spend it wandering around an old castle. Much more fun. Stokesley was similar but sadly without the castle. This time we were given 2 hours to spend there on market day. The thingI’m beginning to realise is that unless it’s a special kind of market (xmas, craft fair etc) they are all pretty much the same. Stokesley is a beautiful town but there’s nothing there to see. The centre comprises two streets of shops mostly tea shops and charity shops. It passed the time but not sure I’d want to go back.

We had three hours in Helmsley on the other hand and yet I could easily have stayed there two days! Again the idea was market day and shopping but the town also has a castle, abbey ruins, a bird of prey sanctuary, Duncombe Park house and the walled gardens all for visiting. I’d never heard of the town until I saw it on the brochure yet its only an hours drive. I wish I could drive so I could go back. It doesn’t have a train station and very limited buses from York. I may have to work out for myself a long weekend there.

I loved the shops – here there was a variety. Lovely gift shops, art shops, antiques and so many tea shops (this is not actually  a bad thing). I ended up spending an hour and half wandering the castle ruins (quite a lot for something 1000 years old) and the shops and had a pleasant afternoon. Again though this was sold as a market trip. I wonder if it’s me that’s unusual and all people are interested in is markets and shopping? I’d personally rather have a mix of things. If you are able I’d highly recommend this town.

Travelling the UK the A-Z way

A couple of years ago I set myself a fun challenge to see if I could visit a city, town or village etc in the UK starting with each letter of the alphabet. I had a bit of a break in travel but have been making up for it lately. I’ve noticed when writing this list up I’ve pretty much stayed in England so maybe I need to re-name it and then try and do another using Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland and Eire???

There are a few letters where I’m struggling to find somewhere so any recommendations would be most grateful 🙂

I’ve made a few other lists that would take a bit longer- a place from each County in the UK and again in each of the Western Countries of Europe. There’s no real reason behind it except a bit of fun and a way of seeing a bit more of my own country and Europe.

This is where I’m at so far:

A – Ambleside, Cumbria

B – Bourton on the Wold, Gloucestershire

C – Chester, Cheshire

D – Durham, County Durham

E –

F – Flamborough, East Riding of Yorkshire

G – Grasmere, Cumbria

H – Haworth, West Yorkshire

I- Ilkley, West Yorkshire

J –

K – Keighley, West Yorkshire

L – Leicester, Leicestershire

M – Moreton on Marsh, Gloucestershire

N – Nottingham, Nottinghamshire

O – Otley, West Yorkshire

P –

Q –

R – Ripon, North Yorkshire

S – Stratford, Warwickshire

T –

U –

V –

W – Windemere, Cumbria

X –

Y – York, North Yorkshire

Z –

 

An afternoon in Leicester

My friend recently moved back to Leicester after being away for many years. I decided to have a coach trip down for the afternoon. But what do we do when we need to fit in a good catch up, entertain a 3 year old and it’s the day before payday??? Hmm maybe we didn’t choose the best day.

A quick look around Tripadviser showed there were actually lots of things to do when you’re at the right side of payday but we settled on looking at the Jewry Wall and going to see the new King Richard III exhibit (and bones)

Jewry wall museum is a lovely (and free!) little place on the outskirts of the city centre. Inside there are some original mosaic Roman flooring that has been found as well as original Roman wall murals. And outside the wall itself is part of a discovered Roman baths – the outlines of which can be seen in the photos below. It’s tiny and doesn’t take a huge amount of time to wander around but it is very informative and there’s a good little spot for children to play, build their own mosaics and colour. A good way to pass an hour.

With promises to see if we could find more castles and princesses for our young friend we wandered towards the Richard III visitor centre. While dithering over whether our funds would stretch that far our own little explorer decided she was going to visit the Cathedral instead. Her instincts proved great for us as it turns out that’s where the actual remains of Richard are buried (on his own sheepskin blanket according to the guide). The visitors centre is divided into one floor documenting the War of the Roses and the other floor the history of the dig as well as the original grave site. But as we only really wanted to see the bones we decided to leave it for another day.

Things we didn’t get chance to see – lots of other museums, botanical gardens and the one I want to see when I have actual cash – the Space Centre

A spiritual Day Out

The other week I attended a number of spiritual workshops over in Shepley, Huddersfield. Lots of crystals, angelic meditation and interesting results.

First up we had aura sprays. This is something I’ve never given much thought to in the past. We started with a meditation in which we were invited to meet our angel. My first thought was of Gabriel simply because I like the guy who plays him in Supernatural (me? shallow? sometimes…) but during the meditation I started thinking about Uriel instead. Not one I remember knowing about (my angel knowledge is a bit rubbish something I should probably work on)  but he stands for new ideas and knowledge and helps heal resentments and forgive people. All things I need as I go along my own journey.

Afterwards we were then given a pendulum, some essential oils, small crystals and water and got playing. I managed three sprays in the end – one to attract love, one to guide me on my path and one to attract the home I would like to live in (ideally in a place surrounded by like-minded people).

After the break we then moved onto manifestation. I loved this the most. Whether you want to be spiritual and do this with crystals and meditation or you have different beliefs and choose to skips those parts it’s a pretty fun way to think about what you want in life. In its simplest terms – it’s cutting up pictures of what you want and sticking them to a cork board. Me and a friend couldn’t get over how enjoyable it was to simply sit for a few hours playing with scissors and glue like we did as children.

Our final part of the day will appeal to some and not others as we had a talk about Atlantis, angels and crystal skulls. More meditation including an attempt at a past life followed by some healing. It’s an area I know little about but was fascinated with and want to explore more of. I’ve picked up a couple of Diana Cooper books so that’s my reading for the next few weeks

One thing I asked for was abundance. Ideally an abundance of love and money (who doesn’t). What I’ve noticed is that this is happening but not as I may have thought it. It may be my body language is changing as I welcome positive changes but I’ve noticed an increase in strangers talking to me, I’ve felt lighter in myself so this may be projecting outwards towards others. People keep giving me small gifts. Even though my monthly food group has a no birthday gift policy (there’s 8 of us it’s too expensive) last week I was given a few pressies. I’ve been invited to join in new groups forming and the funniest was during a time of great trauma (I ran out of teabags! For anyone who knows me this is bad). the next day a friend arrived complete with tim of tea. Whether these things happen all the time and I’m only just noticing I don;t know but even love in small doses lifts the spirit

I’m also finding coppers and 5 pence pieces everywhere. At the workshop I was told Tigers Eye crystal is good financial luck and if you carry some in your purse it will never be empty. This is certainly true as these small coins are currently everywhere! Hopefully the small love will manifest into a larger one and mr Right will turn up and the pennies will turn into pounds but what I am receiving at the minute fills me with joy.

I will be attending a crystal healing course at the end of July to be able to do more of this for other people as part of moving towards being a (spiritual) life coach. maybe I’ll see some of you soon for to play with the scissors and glue 🙂

Tetley gallery – Leeds

So I said I was going to get out more and this week I finally got around to visiting the Tetley art gallery in Leeds. Opened in 2013 it’s situated in the building that once housed Tetley brewery for over 200 years. An interesting landmark for me as living in the South of Leeds it’s a place I’ve passed on my way to the city centre as a child and on my way to work for far to many years to admit. I was intrigued to see what they had done with a building I have seen so much of.

I enjoyed the current exhibition Painting in Time by various international artists. I got to see my first ever Yoko Ono piece which was exactly what I expected of her (wacky and made no sense to me but still fun). They have a further exhibition on that commemorates the tetley brand with artists incorporating it into their work.

The gallery has loads to do for all the family and also holds art classes for adults. There is also a lovely find in their bar/restaurant. Out of this world food and reasonable prices. We ended up spending 2 hours relaxing the day away before looking around.

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Let’s get travelling

Whilst doing a blog for my other page I promoted this one and realised I haven’t updated it since October! That’s quite bad. It’s been a challenging six months financially but I hadn’t realised just how much that had affected me getting out and about until now.

So seeing as I love challenges I’ve made myself an A-Z list of places I can see in the country. I’ve also borrowed my son’s 1001 things to do in Britain and made a list of all the fun stuff to do in my home town of Leeds so it’s time to shake off the winter blues and go see what’s going on in the world and share some of it with you.

Incidentally if you want to see a travel (of a kind) blog based on football head over to https://danwhitephotography.wordpress.com/

He’s ‘doing the 92’ challenge of all the top 92 football stadiums in the UK.

Right I’m off to go find somewhere to start my return to adventure 🙂

Flamborough Head – Yorkshire Coast

Last week me and mum decided to have a day out to the seaside. We settled on Bridlington as mum has arthritis and we wanted somewhere with a fairly flat terrain. I haven’t been there for about 10 years and it seems to have changed so much and not for the better. Seaside towns just don’t seem to be what they used to be 10 or 20 years ago. There just wasn’t anything there to see or do. So after the obligatory fish and chips we decided to have a drive down to nearby Flamborough. I haven’t been here in maybe 30 years or more. There’s not a lot there either – just a cafe, lighthouse and the benches that overlook a truly beautiful sea. Yet I enjoyed this so much more than Bridlington. Never sure why biut I could sit and watch the ocean (and the lighthouse light) for hours. We’d picked an unseasonly warm day to go too. More tea and mother/daughter chatting. If you ever want a relaxing few hours you couldn’t pick a better place
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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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Relax in the Lake District

I’ve never been very good with birthday parties and more and more recently I’ve preferred to spend my birthday away from home on some kind of trip. This year we went to the Lake District. Despite not being very far from my home town of Yorkshire I had never been there before. As I don’t drive  a spot of research I picked Windemere as a good place to stay, it has a train station and is a central point for many buses to other villages around the Lake. Photo’s below show Windemere, Bowness and the view from the boat cruises there and Grasmere; home of William Wordsworth and site of some of his greatest inspiration.

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