Stop the car!!!!! MomentsΒ 

I live in such a beautiful part of the world, it’s easy to photograph. I have so many moments where I am screaming “stop the car!!!” And leaping out to take a photo. 

Tonight’s sunset was a truly beautiful one! As I drove from my house to my mothers I had to jump out of the car and take some pictures!!!

The clouds were so low but the sun was still so strong that it wasn’t total coverage fog, it was the same as when you are flying on a plane through the big fluffy cottonwool ball clouds. Like they had just fallen from the sky and landed on the hill sides. I wish I could have taken more photos but I was alone 😦 but here’s what I could get safely. 😁😁

A trip to Edinburgh, crazy few hours.Β 

My husband works all over the UK. August is one of the busiest months of the year so he is often working over the weekend. When he told me he was headed up to Edinburgh for the day Saturday, I took the opportunity to spend some extra time with him but also take in the sights. I took my 14 year old niece along for company too!!

Our alarm rang out at 4am, I started to regret my decision and wondered how much could I really get done in a day….. Maybe staying in my nice warm bed would be a better choice?!?  The traveller in me screamed NO!! Get up lazy bones!!! 

So up we got and made a half hearted attempt at making myself look presentable, we bundled into our car and off we went on the three hour trek!!

Once I shake the sleep off and start to feel more human less Zombie, I really love this time of day. Watching the sun rise in our beautiful countryside is always worth being awake at stupid o’clock. 


Once we arrive in Edinburgh, I start to feel excited!! I have been before but never in summer. The smell of the yeast and malt that fills the air instantly transports me to Christmas time which was the last time we were here. I am reminded of gingerbread latte and twinkling lights. This time we had the Fringe and Tattoo atmosphere. It gives the city a totally different and exciting feel!


My earlier blogs will tell you that this year we are trying to lose weight and get fit. The lose weight is going ok, the get fit …..hmmm not so well!! I mention this because we park the car near the job, and I say … “It’s ok we will walk into the centre!!” Off we go! We follow the well sign posted tourist attraction signs. Forty minutes later we are standing below the castle and my face is resembling a tomato!! Three miles down already and it’s only 8.40am!!


There is a great mix of high street shops and boutiques here. I love it. We are coming back in October for a week so will be looking forward to spending some more time exploring the shops. For this day however it was about cramming as much into the hours we were there as possible and remembering I am with a forteen year old who may not like the same things as me. 


After giving the fourteen year old an appropriate amount of shop time, where I felt incredibly old as most of the styles were from my teenage years in the 90s so if the fashion has come around again …. I must be old lol!! Moving swiftly on!!!!

We had only a couple of hours left and I had read somewhere that deep in old town was in fact the grave of Tom Riddle the name that inspired one of my favourite authors to name a villain in her book …. Voldemort in Harry Potter. I am such a massive fan so of cause we had to go see!! By this time we had clocked up seven miles and the old hips were singing a bit, did we let that stop us?!? Of cause not!!!!!

After another couple of miles, we arrived at Greyfriars Kirk and its famous gravestones. It wasn’t just the appeal of the famous grave. 


It was also my addiction to graveyards. I don’t know why but I find something so beautiful in the old headstones, some lavish and well crafted almost transport you back to that time. I love the history in those old graveyards and this one had some great examples. Including the caged plots that prevented body snatching and grave robbing. 


There is a folk tale that within Greyfriars that it has a poltogiest oh and a ghost dog called Bobby, the poltogiest can be found in the oldest part of the graveyard. Locked up only accessible if you pay to go on the tour, a fact that has me a little skeptical, and when we reach this section there are plastic skulls with lights for eyes on the entrance and I am not convinced. Either way I had a chance to snap and image through the gates without being attacked!!


We passed the last hour before being picked up here, it was peaceful and interesting. I snapped a couple of great pics and though brief, our time here made my excitement for our return trip in October much higher. Edinburgh has so much more to share with me. Can’t wait!! 

   

Farm gurl in training – shearing sheep!!Β 

This weekend we packed our camping things into my husbands van and we made a trek up to Bonny Scotland to spend the weekend with some friends at their farm. 

Let me start by saying, I am NOT a camper, I’m accused regularly of being a snob. This is not the issue. It’s not like I deem myself “too good” to camp out, just that given the choice between a comfy bed with amenities in a nice hotel or a sleeping bag in what is essentially nylon ball with a door. I choose bed every time. I have to defend this preferance. ALOT.   


However if I was ever to give in and take the plunge it would be to spend time with the wonderful people I did this weekend. I am so glad I did. 

You may have read my blog about lambing with the Brown Family well here we are back again with them, but this time we are on their new farm in Scotland and we are shearing sheep. 


The drive to Scotland was beautiful, we live in an already breath taking area but the beauty of Scotland’s landscape isn’t lost on me. It’s raw beauty is worth the drive alone, the farm is actually in the middle of no where, so like those houses on the hillside that you say,

How cool would it be to live there, no one around for miles!!!

This is exactly what the Browns new farm looks like. Driving up the long road to the farm, the van bounces along like that scene from Ace Ventura. We don’t have a comfy car with great suspension, we have a Vauxhall van with naff suspension that makes me feel like my stomach is about to come out of my mouth!!! Sorry Vinny Vauxhall but it’s true!! 

The comical scene that waits me is worth the trip, Marie Brown one of my oldest and closest friends does not do anything by halfs, she says camp and she has every possible thing you could need to do it. Including twinkle lights, a must for any party in my opinion!! 

There are seven adults standing over a six man tent complete with three bedrooms and a living room with a carpet. There are no instructions for said tent and only a couple of us with any clue about how a tent goes up!! Cue at least an hour of hilarity that can only be equal to that of a Three Stooges movies, up goes our home for the next two nights, with minimal input from me. I imagine many divorces are a result of putting up tents!!!

Now I know what you are thinking, you are at a farm, why don’t you sleep in the house. Well it’s been empty for a while and well …… That’s just how we roll!! Apparently ….

After a fun evening filled with a lot of beer and laughter. We retire to our tents to get some rest for the adventure ahead.  


So after a some what freezing night in the tent we headed out to work, we were all supplied with coffee and bacon butties by Terry before we started!!! He is Marie’s dad and I think we all adopted him total ledgend!!! 

We started my clambering to the top of a hill, jumping a stream. Anyone that knows me will confirm how unlike me this is!!! I broke two nails climbing on my hands and knees to reach the sheep, not going to lie, cried a bit at this I have been growing them for ages!! *sigh* never mind let’s move swiftly on!!

At last we reach the top the hill and Gwen the sheep dog sets off to work.  

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It never fails to amaze me how passionate Ian, Maries husband, is about farming. It’s a hard job that is a lifestyle, you live and breathe this life and he still has such a passion for it. It must be amusing to him us townies showing an interest in his lifestyle but we do love it. We love spending time with them. 

This time of year the heat and the bugs can be a danger to the sheep, if their fleece gets too big and they get stuck on their back, they can die. So shearing is an important part of looking after the wellbeing of the sheep. It’s more than just wooly jumpers. 

Ian the professional showing us how it’s done. 


It’s back breaking hard work. It’s a fantastic skill to see, quickly and expertly removing the fleece it’s obvious that Ian has had many years experience. We were on hand to help …. I maybe hindered but Nikki, one of our party, was a dab hand helping to pull the sheep out and pulling them into position which is bloody hard work and some of them were as big as her!! My husband Ben also pitched in and for a city boy he did well. Between them it was a smooth assembly line. 

The wool when it’s removed is rolled up and sold on but not for a great deal. There is something very pleasing about the smooth lines and the sheep shaped wool that’s removed. 

Ian told me some farmers burn the wool rather than sell it in protest to the poor prices paid for the wool. I can understand it. There is a LOT of work that goes into running a farm, do we really appreciate it? Do we do enough to support our British farmers? 

Me having a go. Then Ben and one of the final sheep. 


Ben really got the bug and he and Nikki helped to worm some lambs too, I was amazed watching my husband who has been born and raised in the city take control of these lambs. Nikki on the other hand equally amazing at it she looked very at home in this enviroment and you can’t help admire a girl that can really kept up! No pink or blue jobs here!! Yes I realise I loose some credibility for mentioning my broken nails but it can be gurl power with awesome nails!!! 

They worm the lambs every six weeks or so because of the bugs in the grass the lambs eat it keeps the insides healthy. They also are regularly sprayed with fly spray to stop them living in the wool. 

​ This life is so different to the one so many of us live in the corporate world, dealing with targets and money and sales. Farming has its own stresses and it’s unbelievably hard work but I can’t help feeling envious of the time spent outdoors with animals. 

Many hands made light work so we were able to get out and do a little touristy stuff in Ary too. Hopeful Ian was pleased with the help getting his jobs done, I don’t mean my limited efforts more the others lol!! 

Our weekend was a mear glimpse into their life, but I loved it. It was helped along by great company and a lot of laughs. After the unbelievably bad start to 2016 laughs have been rare. I hope we can do it again soon. 

Here are some other shots from the weekend. Xoxo

Tourist in your own town!

I am very fortunate to live in a beautiful market town. Barnard Castle in the North East of England. 

While the world has some truly awesome sights to share with us, I can get my tourist fix on my own doorstep. 

It’s true to say there would always be someone that would love to live where you do. For me I love USA. I would love to live a while in Manhattan and while this seems like a pipe dream, I can easily escape through the photos and blogs of the people out there sharing their every day lives with us through blogs and social media. 

The Internet has made the world a lot smaller. I get to see what a beautiful bagel artist (can’t believe there is such a thing but there you go) sharing multi coloured bagels and fillings, see the customers and the neighbourhood they have their shop. It makes me feel like one day I could be eating one of those whole enjoying the sights and sounds of New York. 

I like to think that somewhere, my clumsy words and photographs that I love to share so much would reach someone dreaming of traveling in Europe and England. That they may stand I front of the Castle here and think of my blog and Instagram. That would be awesome. 

I love nature.Β 

When I am our taking photographs with out a doubt it’s the landscapes and natural beauty that I love the most. 

History and architecture would be a close second. A couple of years ago I was fortunate to stand above the clouds as the fog rolled in. My husband, who had been driving back from a job, ran in to get me bundled me into his van and we chased the photo.  

It was beautiful. It was before I had bought my big camera so we used our phones as so many people do and then promptly forgot I even had the image. 

This week I have been home sick and trying to distract myself from the pain I have been sorting through my photos on my phone …. All 7000 of them πŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚. I came across these images again. I am so fortunate to live in such natural beauty. 

This is what I love about blogs, particularly lifestyle ones that show how it is to live in different parts of the world. My shopping shoes and culture meter may need a top up from the city every now and again, I mean who doesn’t love a trip to NYC or Rome or London … Or even Derby. This is still true but nothing for me beats living out here in the countryside. 

Here are a couple of images from around here including the fog. πŸ™‚ 


Black and White

I love black and white photographs. I don’t know why but even the artwork I am drawn to moody blacks and greys. 

I feel like the images are more dramatic. I have been looking back over some of the older photos I have taken and I have a lot in black and white.

I have had a bit of a rough week. I haven’t been well so pretty much on bed rest, nothing much to do but spend some time on my photographs and creating some art. 

My heads been so full of the stress of work recently. When something happens that puts it perspective you feel pretty stupid for allowing that stress to take over. You health is so much more important. 

So I thought I would share a few photos with you. I am a little loopy on pain meds so apologies if they at net great πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚….. 


Sunday’s Fundays

Sorting through the thousands of images I have on my many memory cards, I am so longing for another holiday. 

There is so much beauty out there and I want to see as much of it as I can.

I wonder how many of you are out there this Sunday evening wishing for a different Monday Morning.  

I had a great weekend spending time with my hubby before he left me to work away this week. The weekends are so precious to us, so Monday mornings and to be honest Sunday evenings are rough. 

Now as I edit a couple more images and make plans to share them with the social media. I wonder if one day that Sunday feeling with ebb away, on the Monday morning I wake up doing what I love all the time. Sharing beauty through images and art.

ROME, ITALY. 


Washington DC and Philadelphia. 

Where else can I go, what will be our next adventure. Only we are truly in control of our happiness. Make it happen. 

Xoxo

Beauty and travelΒ 

The summer time always makes me want to travel. Sunshine and blue skies always seems like a waste when you are rushing around working and doing normal life stuff. 

We don’t just stop to appreciate it. 

I am doing a bit of a push on editing some of my images in my spare time at the moment. We are very blessed to have travelled as much as we have and we still have so much more to do. I don’t know if I am ever going to be any good at photography but I love doing it so much it almost doesn’t matter. 

Dreaming of doing something isn’t enough. Dreams are a wonderful thing but I want to do it. Talk is cheap. Actions speak louder than words. It’s time for change in my life again. Losing my cousin this year should make us realise life is too short. It’s not always about the big things, it can just be taking that extra time to relax. We are here for such a brief moment of time. Will you look back and think, I am so pleased I stressed out about my job or will you remember the laughing and adventures. 

Yes indeed talk is cheap it’s time for action!! 

Excuse or exercise??Β 

This weekend we had friends from the city here for a visit. I love to see the area as a tourist again as it reminds me how very lucky we are to live here. 

It was a weekend of letting our hair down and I will admit we had a couple of treats but we also exercised to! We took a lovely long walk around the area and it got me thinking …. Perhaps now is the time to add exercise to my weight loss journey! 

I am not a natural athlete, I was the one lagging behind tripping over my two left feet in PE at school. There isn’t a sport I enjoy or activity I want to do a lot of (other than dance) so how do I get this started without giving up after the first week?!? 

Well my motivation has always been Gavin, to do something positive in his memory so I am using that same drive to help me stay motivated here! 

I did a work out tonight and for the first time EVER I was able to plank and do some burpees!! I realise to those of you that work out a lot that might sound nuts but being so big it always hurt my hands and I couldn’t jump up well!! I keep saying it’s not always about the big goals and it isn’t. This week my weight stayed the same and after a few food related treats I deserve that! But being able to work out more comfortably, I will take that as a win! These little goals add up! 

I am moving into week 9 with a new incentive! What will I be able to do another month down the line ?!? 

I love the meme that says,

No matter how slow you are running, you are running circles around those sitting on the couch! 

The one that is more relivent to me is the one that says 

If I am running you better run too, I am likely running away from the zombie!! 

If today you are reading this thinking about trying to start healthy eating! Do it now, if I can anyone can! I truly mean this.  I have a fairly bad food addiction. I’m still not perfect, I make mistakes but the most important thing it to keep trying. Never give up, I learned that from the most amazing person I ever knew, my hero, my warrior – my cousin Gavin, cancer took him from us but he fought with everything he had! We all can learn from that! We all should learn from that! 

Until next time! 

Here are some shots from my walk this weekend πŸ™‚