Sunday, 28 August 2016

My Birthday and Raby Castle

Last week was my 28th birthday eek, I'm getting older. Over the last few years, the boyfriend and I have started a tradition of going away for my birthday. This year, I wasn't sure if we could carry on the tradition since we've purchased the house. Yup, we had enough in the budget for a few days away, it's meant staying local. The itinerary has included visiting the Boyfriend's Mum, who lives a mile outside of Barnard Castle. It's lovely peaceful retreat living with views of sheep and rolling hills. The second part has included two nights is Gothic literature's favourite North Yorkshire seaside town of Whitby.

Great views while doing the washing up 
Despite it being a not a huge distance from Newcastle. It's amazing spending time with the boyfriend, and getting away from the role of projecting managing and an official painter and decorator.


We left Saturday, afternoon to meet his Mum in the nearest train station. On the way, we stopped off for a light lunch that filled me up. Afterwards, we headed to her house, where we sat catching up with each other on all the latest events. For her, the biggest surprise was finding out about the house.

Saturday night we headed into the Barnard Castle for an Italian meal that we've been previously it was lovely. This time, the meal was reasonable but not as delicious as the last time we went.

I did fall in love with the restaurant d├ęcor paralytically the beautiful ornate chandeliers and the faux brick wallpaper with the slight Victorian arch leading to the bathrooms.

Sometimes I forget I wear glasses,  I 'm starting to wear my glass more  often.   My outfit Cardigan and skirt thrifting. Vest top and leggings Primark. Doctor Martins, can't remember.  Necklace Obsidian, Bantery 


Well, Sunday was my birthday, the day was a simple affair with no fuss and a few birthday messages from my social media accounts. To be honest, birthdays don't install me with the excitement as the used when I was a kid. I'm not sure if it's because I'm getting older. However, it still was a lovely day.

Finally finding some signal, I suggest itinerary a couple of places his Mum who stated they weren't interesting. She recommended visiting Raby Castle as it was the best local places of interest to see and was only a short drive.

Raby Castle

I've past Raby Castle, many a time with my dad when we've been venturing into the middle of nowhere. I've alway been curious to see what's inside.

The Castle is 14th century fortified castle surrounded by 200 acres of deer park. and the castle is surrounded by a small moat.

Originally, the Castle grounds was manor that was the Neville family. In the mid-1300's John Neville started rebuilding the manner into a fortified Castle with permission from the Bishop of Durham. The Mother of King Edward IV and Richard III, Cecily Neville was born in Castle. The Nevilles had always been devoted Catholics, 

In 1559, Charles Neville along was a leader in creating a rebellion in the North against Elizabeth I in support of the Catholic Queen, Mary of Scots. The rebellion failed and Neville escaped into exile while other rebels were executed. As a consequence, the Neville lands were seized by the Crown, and in 1625 Sir Henry Vane the Elder purchases the Castle and extensive grounds.

 The Vane family throughout the centuries carried out renovations thought out the Castle of adding a Georgian gothic style entrance hall and the octagonal drawing room. ( Source )
Unfortunately, photographs weren't permitted to be taken in the interior of the Castle (She grumbles, I get frustrated when you are unable to photograph because of a whatever reason. ). Some of the interiors were amazing a lot of house had variations of styles from Victorian Rocco inspired lounge, Georgian Gothic Revival great hall, arts and crafts stairway and 
medieval chapel painted with medieval inspired in the chapel .


After walking around the interior and ogling at the many fireplaces. We went out to walk around the back of Castle around the Victorian battlements eagerly photographing everything where possible.

Here are some of my photos of the exterior. The weather starting to look very ominous with cloud but it did create an interesting impact on a couple of my photos. I find the grey cloudy weather produces the best light for photographing.

I think the best think of the day was getting a couple of good photos of me and the boyfriends.

While walking around the Victorian battlements you could see the deer around the grounds. One of the most interesting was a white deer that made think of the White Hart legends. The Celts believed White stags were messengers from the other world. For Christians, the white hart was Richard II adopted the white hart as his emblem with a jewelled crown around its neck.

Afterwards, we had a walk around the 18th-century gardens which look like a very quaint English gardens with a rose garden (very English), a kitchen garden and a small water fountain. Coincidentally, the sun decided to grace with its presence.

In the last couple of years, I've started like taking photos of bees and other bugs. I've been wanting photograph butterflies these have been very elusive as the tend to be very flight and dislike being disturbed. Where I have a number of bee shots in comparison to butterflies their so chilled out when collecting pollen from my experience as long you respect their space the not bothered. When I was fortuitous to get not just one but serval good shot of the butterflies in the garden I was stoked it definitely made my birthday along with the carrot cake.

Not one but two butterflies in photo

The boyfriend looking slightly too happy cutting the cake

Returning back from the Castle, we sat down for a cuppa and some carrot cake.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Is that me ?

Recently, a lot of bloggers  have discussed their personal battles with their physical appearance. For me, I've  felt low when I've been reminiscing through old photos it's made me feel  very conscious of current body shape. Over a year ago. I had gotten to ten stone. I felt happy until I suddenly gained two stone, and  now, weighing twelve stone meaning my BMI is in th obese category since  I'm 5ft 1.

My body shape is a pear  like most British women meaning a slimmer upper body  compared to a lower half of big hips, a big bottom, large thighs and saddle bags. I'm more of a muscular hourglass,a pear bottom and muscular calfs. On a positive note, I  seem to carry  my weight well but I would love to be ten stone again. 

Sometimes it's hard to believe how active I used to be as a kid,  I was always very active I cycled, rode horses and swam. I stopped being active, I went into a slump since struggled with fluctuating weight. When I was a student, I never ate so well I lived on veg broth, tinned sardines, yoghurt and fruit. I also had gruelling days of working in eleven hours shifts gaining experience being on my feet every day. I failed my first year, also I had a lot of personal issues going on as well, me being my worst enemy, I struggled with my dyslexia as I have issues with sequencing and unable to retain information definitely not what you from a surgical nurse. I don't reget doing it. 

I'm quite fortunate that most of  my clothes still fit be reasonably well, but I tend to prefer stretchy fabrics. A couple of my skirts are slight too tight it's kind of depressing I no longer feel comfortable wearing them. I still aim to lose the weight somehow.

I've cheered up to tonight as I received some photographs that were taken last week for an event I've ended up being involved in organising. They made feel more positive about my body images. 

So a couple of months again, I suggested to the Manger of Bensham Grove. I've blogged about this place a few times, it's where I go for sewing classes, I just love the place. Anyway, I'm wondering off topic, so I suggested about holding a goth or alternative event, so I didn't think much of it. About a month ago, we had a meeting about what the event will be and potential ideas. Today, we've had another meeting with one of the Trustees and finalising ideas for the events. Instead, the event turned into a seasonal mystical themed event with independent crafters, workshops and beverages. 

Doing some of the photos were fun, one my said they would come and be a "model"( I don't really see this as modelling or anything more a bit of laugh). So, she dropped as she was busy with work, it was a shame. It was fun having dressed up in my goth finery that hasn't seen the light of day for centuries. The manager had lit the Garden with lanterns and the house looked beautiful it felt  very fairy tale. The photo was taken just during Twilight when the sun set. To try and create a mystical, and spooky feel. 

Below are some of my Favourites. 

This was the picture that has been chosen to advertise the event:

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

DIY: Hair Clips

I've been developing a bit  of an obsession with hair accessories, the collection hasn't been  too expensive. The only problem, I'm having is finding things I like. 

My growing collection of hair clips.

I bought a cheap pack of hair clips for 39 pence from Home Bargains,  with the intention of making more hair clips. 

I purchased black butterflies with plastic gems attached to their abdomens; they were so pretty and  love butterflies. I bought the pack from eBay for £1.85  a pack of 50. The pack were an amazing  bargain and good quality for the money. 

The clips were so easy to make, I applied super glue to the wide side of the clip and stuck the  butterflies on the clip. I gently held for a minute using the tip of my finger and placed on a flat surface to dry. I recommend leaving them for fifteen minutes to dry.  I adore them, altogether cost twenty-three pence to make. I've seen similar ones in Claires Accessories for £3.50. 

Sunday, 7 August 2016

This Week

This week has been a paradox as it's gone both slowly and fast. I've dedicated most of my time to the house or running errands for the house such as getting paint. Otherwise it's been a  mundane week. 

Everything started off at full steam and things have seemed to grounded to a halt. The shoddily installed ensuite bathroom was stripped on Tuesday morning,  I had the kitchen designer come out,  and the sledgehammer blow after hearing the quote for the bathroom. This week is the first time in my life where I've felt like a proper adult with a mortgage and now responsible for a house. Also, an unexpected point was the boiler, so now the boiler needs replacing now. I'm still awaiting the kitchen quote. I booked the date for the bathroom installation.  So on Wednesday, I had a break from everything as it got too much. 

At least on the brighter side this week, I found Wilkinson's (for non-UK readers it's general house good store) do their own cheap magnolia paint five litres for £10, and whiter than white for £6. It's saving me some money, and the paint makes a very good undercoat. On Friday, I visited B&Q (a hardware superstore). I stocked up on more Rustoleum gloss black liquorice  paint as it was on sale for two for £24, and I got some beautiful wallpaper for £2,  Which made me revise the bedroom design, after, consulting the Boyfriend and receiving  his apathetic blessing I can wallpaper our bedroom. Unfortunately, B&Q sold out of  the wall paper, but I've  found a couple of places have stocked this on the internet. 

I turn 28 this month and  not feeling too bothered about it. While chatting with the boyfriend, on a night we decided to go to Whitby for a night or two and visit his Mam in Barnard Castle, which won't blow the bank. I looking forward to it to the break. I'll be posting about the Whitby Trip.  

Taken in Feb 2013

Life Update.

Hi, it's been a very long hiatus, not to say the least. Since my last post, a lot happened in October. I had a death in the family ...