Deep Hull

Deep Hull

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Day 10 #100HappyDays

I didn't get chance to post yesterday so this is yesterday's choice of a happy moment.  I was feeling a bit fuzzy headed during the morning at work and as it was such a lovely sunny day I decided to pop out and head for the river bank.  Parking up in the local leisure centre car park, I had discovered some steps leading to fields and the river a while ago so over I went.  The first sight that greeted me was the lovely cheery buttercups.  So here they are.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Day 9 #100HappyDays

Came home to my dinner cooked by Mason.  Very nice pasta sauce son!  'Scuse the lion onesy in the background of the photo - it's Mason's not mine!

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Day 8 #100HappyDays

It's hard work this trying to be happy malarky!  After a restless night I was really tired at work today, put that together with the usual crap month end shenanigans and I've not been at my best.  After doing some shopping, I was home late and had promised to make a vegetarian Thai curry for tea.  It was very nice but may need a tweak or two to perfect it.  The two boys then had to rush out to meet friends at the cinema so I was left to wash up and clean the kitchen.  It's now 9pm, I have only just sat down and this sofa looks like the best thing I've seen in my life right now, never mind today!

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

I'm back..with #100HappyDays

I've really neglected this blog but keep thinking that I should get back on track with it because I do enjoy looking back through older entries.  So with that in mind here I am.  I'm not promising anything mind!!

So, I kept on seeing posts on Facebook and Twitter with the #100HappyDays hashtag and firstly thought it just another rather inane social media craze but it appears that there is a bit of psychology behind this one.  The idea is that you photograph something every day that has made you smile or feel happy (or even just made you feel less miserable than you normally do I guess).  This can be anything at all, yesterday for example I was watching the bees busying about in the garden and that was the moment I chose to tweet.  You do this for 100 days funnily enough! Apparently, if you make an effort to look for things that make you happy, in time you will find that things come to you without you looking for them.

I'm usually quite a happy and positive person generally I think, but I feel I've been well walloped with the Sh***y Stick lately and that has drained my happiness somewhat!  We've had such unneccessary delays on the lease of our shop and have missed out on Easter, Bank Holiday and now will also miss out on Father's Day sales, this has been incredibly frustrating and stressful for Patrick and to a lesser extent me (more on this story in a separate post).  I've just discovered some rot in my house, Dry or Wet rot is under debate at the moment but either way it's a bit of a sum of money I'm going to have to find in order to have it rectified.  There has been various other things too and all of this negativity lately has worn me down, so that's what prompted me to join in with this. 100 Happy Days.

What I thought yesterday as I was counting on my fingers through the days to work out that I was up to day 6 was that I could use this as a reason to get blogging again.  Just a short blog post each day with my happy moment and a short explanation of the reason behind it.  Twitter obviously is limited in characters so not always easy to convey the story behind a photo so my blog is ideal, plus I keep forgetting which day I am up to so this might help me keep on track!

I'll start off by posting the first 7 days of photos here and as I've completely forgotten today and so don't have a photo, starting tomorrow it will be one per day.  The camera on my phone is not great sadly so don't expect National Geographic style nature photos!!

Day 1 #100HappyDays. Tues 27th May - Knit Now subscription I've deleted the photo from my phone but it was a picture of my Knit Now magazine that had plopped through the letterbox during the day.  I'd had a really rubbish day and the weather was cold, rainy and miserable. I was very downhearted due to still hearing nothing about our shop lease.  I was desperately searching my mind for something to feel happy about and this was all I could come up with!

Day 2 #100HappyDays. Weds 28th May - grateful for my lovely mum.  Again, another wet, cold day during which I just felt completely fed up.  I visited my mum after work and this was my happy moment.  My mum Annie, is 93 and is in the early stages of Vascular Demetia.  Some days she is rather vacant...or on Planet Annie as I like to think of it.  Other days she isn't so bad but both my sister and I have noticed a marked deterioration over the last few weeks with the 'Planet Annie' moments being more often than her real world ones.  However, she is still here with us and that's a good enough reason to be happy as far as I am concerned.

Day 3 #100HappyDays. (Thurs 29th May - Mason tidies his room!) Son number two is home from University and we've had some discussion about his plans for the summer. He's going to try to get a job in one of the local bars or shops.  He's a typical teenage/young adult really who often spends all night online and then all day in bed!  I had nagged him a bit about the state of his room and as usual he was procrastinating.  However, after me taking him out to tea to Pave bar across the road from our street, where he handed in a CV and got a reasonably positive response, he came home and started to tackle 'The Pit'.  This made me very happy!

Day 4 #100HappyDays.  (Fri 30th May - Patrick and I celebrating the news that our lease is ready to sign). We got news from the landlord's solicitor this afternoon (our bugger has gone on holiday and didn't bother to let us know that no one would answer our emails all last week!).  Aforementioned news is that the landlord has approved our signage for the shop, which was the final sticking point for the lease and the solicitor asked if she could now send the lease over for signature. Patrick naturally said a big fat Yes!  Please do!  So hopefully next week, when our solicitor gets back from his holiday, Patrick will sign the lease and we should hopefully get our keys very soon.  This set us up for a very nice weekend.

Day 5 #100HappyDays. (Saturday 31st May - Patrick and I went to Farthings Steak Emporium in Beverley to celebrate our 8th Anniversary of our first date which is 1st June).  I can hardly believe it has been 8 years!  My life has changed a lot since meeting Patrick, I drink a lot more for starters!!
Day 6 #100HappyDays. (Sunday 1st June - watching the bumblebees and just enjoying nature whilst we wait for the bbq)  Sunday was a lovely day, nice weather and very relaxing.  In the morning whilst cooking breakfast we were privileged and overjoyed to witness a daddy blackbird teaching his offspring to look for food.  At first we thought it was a pair of blackies but I didn't think the colouring was right for a female, then I saw daddy hop over to Junior and feed him with a worm or bug that he had picked up and realised what was happening.  Junior followed dad around the garden a bit and then was escourted to a hiding place under the bushes whilst dad flew off.  A few minutes after and Junior popped out, poked up his head and was looking around, probably wondering where dad was with his breakfast!  Dad swooped down and fed him again and then disappeared again.  We watched them for quite some time and eventually Junior decided he was bored under the bushes and flew up onto the garage roof, looking for dad again.  I was a bit concerned that he was vulnerable to the neighbourhood cats so kept an eye on him and after a little while he flew off.  I was thrilled to have witnessed this and if I had thought to take a photo, it would have most definitely been my photo for today.  I didn't though, so the picture is a rubbish one of an unknown shrub in next door's very overgrown garden which was absolutely buzzing with bees all day long and into the evening.  We also watched a little mouse eating from the bird table.  Patrick had gone to put some bread crumbs on it and as he reached it, a little mouse nibbling away just stopped dead and froze, eyeballed him for a while and then scurried down the fence and under the bushes.  All of these little lives going on in our world, what a lovely thought.

Day 7 #100HappyDays.   (Monday 2nd June - both my boys home together)  Michael came home from University in York yesterday so joined Mason and now I have both of my boys home together.  Not for long though!  Michael is planning on returning to York after a week or so and also has an offer of an internship for the summer down in Oxford. 

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

50 Years Young

The end of June saw me reach the milestone of my half century, how on earth did that happen?  I was only 21 last week surely!  The day before my birthday, my lovely work colleagues managed to trick me out of my office whilst they decorated it with balloons.

They then presented me with a lovely thoughtful gift of a Red Letter Day voucher for a brewery tour and pub lunch at one of my favourite places, Cropton which is based at The New Inn in Cropton, North Yorkshire.  We just so happen to have a cottage booked there for a week in November so I have been able to book our treat for that week.  Needless to say both Patrick and I are really looking forward to that.

Since last year I had been umming and ahhing about whether or not to bother with a celebration and if so, what to do. I don't like a fuss really but felt that I should do something, afterall 50 is a pretty big milestone so I decided to have a small party in my house for family and close friends.

I'm very lucky to have a fella who cooks, so Patrick offered to cook the curries.  Three HUGE curries, enough rice to feed a fairly large Indian village and other nibbles like pakoras, bhajis and samosas there was a fair old feast awaiting our visitors.  I had bought wine and best of all a 36 pint cask (along with a hand pump) of one of my favourite beers, Jem's Stout from local brewers Great Newsome, this is a family run micro brewery and we had beer from them for Patrick's 50th birthday too.  Their service and helpfulness is second to none and I really would recommend them if you're having a party or whatever and want a cask of ale delivering and setting up.  It was a lovely evening and I enjoyed having the people I love around me.  I'm quite irritated with myself that I didn't take more photos though.  My two sons had disappeared back upstairs, being the antisocial brats that they are, before I thought to get the camera out but here are just a few of friends and family.

Me and my man

Donna & Pete, Dave & Beverley, Jenny with Patrick and Me with Paul
Two of my best friends Justine on the left and Debbie on the right
The Ives (what IS George doing?)
Ray & Chris (left), Harry & Janette (right)

I must recount the story of the Bain Marie so it doesn't get forgotten in the midsts of time.  I had borrowed slow cookers from family members so that we would be able to keep the food warm once it was cooked and ready to serve and Patrick's sister Coral had a borrowed 'Bain Marie' which she offered to us to use for rice.  Well, with a bain marie, you fill the base with hot water and the dishes of food then sit in that and stay warm - easy peasy.  All was under control in the kitchen so Patrick sent me off upstairs to get myself changed and prettied up ready for our guests to arrive.  I hereby place it on record that as usual Justine was first to arrive at 6pm prompt but I digress, back to the story I go.  Whilst I was upstairs getting ready, Patrick decided it was time to fill the 'bain marie' with the hot water and using my large 2 litre jug began to do just that.  One jugful in and it didn't seem to even be halfway there so another jugful goes in.  It's during the pouring in of this second jugful that Patrick hears the trickling sound of dripping water and realises that the 'bain marie' isn't a bain marie at all and that four litres of water are now pouring out of it, all over my kitchen floor!  What's more is that it's actually an electrical hotplate that he's poured water all over!!  Luckily there were no parts for the water to seep into, it was a smooth stainless steel plate and the water had just run off it and under the frame which the food dishes rest on.  By the time I came downstairs looking gorgeous, he had cleaned it all up, which was just as well because I would have flapped and panicked.  I was able to see the funny side which if I'd been there and having kittens about the mess, I wouldn't have done.  Coral, when later tackled about this and informed that it wasn't in fact a bain marie found the whole thing hilarious and just said "No, I know it's not a bain marie but that's just what I call it".  Not much you can say to that really is there?

Monday, 22 October 2012

A Massive Big Catch Up

Oh My Word, I have been so neglectful of this blog and I'm quite disappointed in myself because I do this primarily for myself because I enjoy looking back through it from time to time.  It's surprising how you forget how you felt until you read your own words back.  So, I think I'd better try and bring things up to date as much as possible.  So much has happened that I'll have blog in installments to bring myself up to date.

First up, back in May we went to a fantastic food and beer festival in Ludlow, Shropshire.  It was held in the grounds of Ludlow Castle and rather than me trying to remember and describe it all, I'll just point you in the direction of this fabulous blog post by Patrick.  He does a great job of telling the tale and below are some photos that I took on the day.

Next event up was our annual summer holiday.  Instead of the usual cottage stay, we had opted for a boating holiday on the Norfolk Broads and off we went in mid-June.  The weather had been horrendous in the weeks leading up to our holiday, rainy, windy and just plain horrible but actually, during the week we were away we were pretty lucky and it only rained briefly one afternoon, it rained every night but we were tucked up and cosy on the boat then so it didn't matter. 

I have to say that my feelings now, four months on are still  "Least said, soonest mended"!  Let's just say that I didn't take to it and was very nervous driving the boat all week.  On the way down, we stopped off in Kings Lynn at Beers of Europe for supplies of our favourite Belgian Ales to take onboard.  The place really is a beer lover's paradise and we spent rather a lot of time (and money) in there!  We stayed in Norwich overnight and visited some of the lovely pubs there before driving to Stalham the next day to pick up our boat.  After a (very) short drive / sail (not sure what to call it) out of the boatyard and a quick tutorial on how to moor up, we were on our way.  I can't say I really enjoyed the week on the boat, although I wouldn't say I hated it either.  For me, it was just a stressful experience and I wouldn't want to do it again.

Still, we got lots of photos of ducks, geese and swans :-)

And Patrick did get to relax some of the time.

 That's this post done and dusted.  I'll try to post again before the week is out to get us a bit more up to date.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Beer Festival

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I volunteered to help at the Hull & East Yorkshire CAMRA beer festival this year and I have to say, I had great fun.  It was being held inside the Holy Trinity Church in Hull's market place which is apparently the largest parish church in the UK.

I arrived on the Thursday at around 5:30 ready to start my shift on the handpulled beers bar at 6pm not knowing what to expect really.  Luckily I already knew either to talk to or by sight a lot of the other volunteers and of course I know the Committee.  Having signed in and been given my festival staff tee shirt (a bright orange number) featuring the name of one of the sponsors Great Newsome Brewery I toddled down to the bar - a very, very long bar.  It was nice and quiet for a while so I could familiarise myself with the layout, all beers being alphabetically by brewery, it was easy enough to negotiate.  Once people started arriving, it was all about keeping an eye on who might be waving a glass in the air for a refill and not keeping people waiting too long.   I soon got into the swing of it.  The church setting was stunning as was remarked upon by a large number of the festival-goers and with the added advantage of keeping the beers nice and cool and the disadvantage of us volunteers being absolutely freezing!!

Patrick arrived at around 8pm and had a good mooch around whilst waiting for my shift to end at 9pm when I could join him for a couple of beers.  I had enjoyed a half of something that I can't remember for the life of me now whilst working and as soon as I was able to get away, I made straight for the Gravity Bar area where the stronger beers are dispensed straight from the cask.  I was aiming right for Brass Castle Brewery's Bad Kitty, a chocolate/vanilla porter that I have been hearing great things about.  I wasn't disappointed, it was wonderful. I didn't have anymore to drink after that, up for work on Friday and all that!

I also worked the 6pm to 9pm shift on Friday evening, this time on the tokens and glasses desk.  This was very hard work and I never stopped once in three hours.  I think three hours is too long for that task personally, having now experienced it.  There is a constant queue of people coming in, needing to buy tokens to exchange for beer and pay a deposit for a glass as well as the people who are bringing back tokens to cash in and wanting their deposit back on the glass they have returned.  Lots of people didn't know the drill so having to explain the system and work out how many tokens they wanted/could have and giving change because almost everyone had notes rather than pound coins was all a bit mind boggling and I really felt exhausted at 9pm.  We had started to run out of the more popular beers too so a few people, having paid to come in and then bought tokens were a bit miffed and were coming straight back to cash in their tokens in disgust.  This is a problem every year really, a successful festival obviously wants to have sold all the beers by the time it finishes but customers want to be able to come in and have a choice of all the beers in the programme.  You simply cannot have both of those things and I really don't know the solution, or even if there is one. 

Patrick's friend Paul had come along so after my shift I went to find the pair of them.  I had a few beers, chatted to a few people and generally relaxed and enjoyed the rest of the Friday evening session.  The beers I had wanted to try had all sold out but I enjoyed the ones I had instead.  By Saturday morning there was only 9 casks left out of 85 and those sold out before 1.30pm.  That is a successful festival and thanks must go to the hardworking Committee and volunteers, most of whom did much, much more than my palty two shifts.  And of course the church itself because there is no doubt at all that the surroundings made the festival much more accessible and interesting to the general public.  There were a lot of people who had never been to one of our CAMRA festivals before and if we've managed to convince a few of them that cask beer is good stuff, we'll have done our duty!

I'll leave you with a few photos from inside the church and I think you'll agree, it's beautiful, even if the photos were only taken with my phone.  (I do hope there is no one there who shouldn't be!!)

Behind the Bar

Behind the Bar


Part of the ceiling