I’m so sorry not to have found the time to blog for a few weeks but I have been soooo busy. A poor excuse I know!
We have been on a road trip in Damnvan1 to the Lake District, Cumbria. It was cold, sunny, windy, clear, crisp and fun. We walked, talked, drank wine, ate too much and had fun! We struggled to take down our pop up tent ( Where Benji dog sleeps) and I’m sorry I didn’t film our hilarious efforts for YouTube. We travelled to the Yorkshire Dales which were awash with Bluebells, we had picnics, and scoured charity shops, we watched old DVDs and had fun.
I have also been having much fun crafting! More about that next time!
Another busy busy week. Not that I’m complaining as, fortunately, all is good.
I took Damnvan1 out of winter storage this week. I am very fortunate in that friends let the camper van live in their barn, so it has been warm and sheltered all winter. This year she did however need a new battery and a minor repair- all down to age I’m afraid. She’s not too old and low mileage but I keep thinking about changing/upgrading her. Shshsh! Don’t tell her! I might keep her forever!
This week I’ve also been on a felting course which was free! I like free! It was a two hour introduction course, very relaxed and very informative. We were supposed to make an egg, which I did and then got bored. I went onto make a small piece of felted Textile which is destined to become a Wild Woman! More about that at a later date!
Thats all folk see you soon!
Last weekend Hubs and I had a sneaky weekend away in the Lake District. As you know dear reader we love the Lake District, Cumbria. We snook away without Benji dog ( he had a holiday with Grand Children) and went without Damnvan1 who is awaiting a service and minor surgery.
We stayed in a pub which served great food and a fine pint of real ale!
The weather was unexpectedly kind to us especially on the Sunday morning which was cool, crisp, misty and perfect walking weather. We walked across the fields to Hawkeshead village and enjoyed the delights of a good coffee shop (and bakery, but don’t tell anyone about the pastries!)
On the way home we crossed Derwentwater on the very old chain car ferry. It’s a slow but efficient ferry that saves miles of road driving. It’s always exciting driving onto a ferry, requiring breath holding as I head down the “gang plank”
We waited for the ferry to return to us as it appeared from the other side of Derwentwater through the mist.
We returned home to warm up our lovely stone cottage. This property loves to be lived in! It gets really cold when empty but the stone retains heat when warmed up. Log burner lit, dog collected, wine poured, bliss!
Ive just spent a great week end in Madeira with four girl friends. We chose Madeira to celebrate our twenty years of friendship. We go away twice a year for a long weekend but we usually have destination UK. This particular weekend was special so we went to a 5* Hotel called The Vine. My room was very modern, very chic with a stunning wet room and the best toy of all- remote controlled blinds. I am easily impressed!
We didn’t know when we booked, but it was Carnival time. On Saturday night there was an amazing carnival parade through the streets of Funchal. We thought that we would eat street food and then catch the Carnival at 9pm. Little did we know that the viewing points would be full to bursting the whole length of the parade. The crowds were six deep every part of the way. In fact we were forced to watch the whole parade as we couldn’t cross the road to our hotel anywhere!
The parade contained floats, lights, scantily clad young women with impossibly long legs and neat bottoms, and very load music. A happy time, cheerful crowds and piped music everywhere completed the late night. We collapsed onto our high thread count sheets in our hotel room, with glass bathrooms and rainforest showers. Joy!!
These photos are not the best and I’m sorry that there are no scantily clad ladies!
On my recent adventure to Norway I was lucky enough to visit The Igloo Hotel in Sorrisniva. This trip was arranged whilst we were docked in Alta and was a journey of about 45 minutes by coach.
The Igloo Hotel was AMAZING. It is possibly the most awesome place I have visited, and I’ve visited a lot of places! The structure is entirely ice and lasts from approximately November until it melts in April. Each year it is rebuilt and has a different theme. This year the theme was (appropriately) Ice Age.
On entering the Igloo Hotel I was struck by the beautiful blue misty light. Which helps to explain the poor quality indoor images-sorry! There was an entrance hall with various spaces or wings off. One wing had 10 bedrooms, including a Bridal suite with a four poster bed. The beds were covered in Reindeer skins for cosines as EVERYTHING was ice.
There were carved animals including a Mammoth, Siber toothed Tiger, Bears and People. There was a beautiful ice chapel and an ice bar. The ice bar was very well attended and I sampled the local blue drink which was very warming whilst sitting on an ice bench at an ice table! They did say that we could take the ice glass home with us…..
Outside in the snow a few Reindeer were waiting patiently to give someone a sleigh ride.
Today was our first craft class on board the lovely Cruise ship” Balmoral “. We have cruised with Fred Olsen many times. This time it was a working holiday as friend K and I were teaching crafts On board during the cruise. This particular cruise was to North of the Arctic circle and along the coast of Norway, very exciting.
As you lovely readers will know, we have been working hard on the crafts to take with us. We arrived on board with a large suitcase, various shopping bags and a serious overflow of crafty supplies.
We are always very apprehensive about our first class and think that no one will turn up! But they did! 20 ladies arrived eager to tack and chat. Today we were making small tote bags using the iconic Liberty fabrics.
There were ladies who maintained that they hadn’t sewed for many years and girls that had never sewed at all. We chatted and sewed and it was quickly time to finish the class as lunch beckoned. It was a delight to see ladies finishing their bags in the various lounges around the ship. Good marketing for our next class.
That’s it! Two suitcases packed full to bursting and ready to go. Tomorrow I’m off to meet a cruise ship in Southampton and sail to Norway. It’s not all holiday as I will be working my passage teaching crafts on board. One of the cases is full of the handcrafts that we will be using on board. We have Liberty fabrics, up cycling and re purposing crafts. We have some gorgeous truly vintage fabrics to upcycle.
I am on a steep learning curve and one thing I’ve just learned is not to choose crafts that take up a lot of space. K my crafty friend who is helping out, also has bags of stuff we can’t manage without!
We should have enough free time to explore a little of Norway and if we’re really lucky we will see the Northern Lights. I’m not sure of Internet access but I’ll try to blog in various venues. I’m actually trying to change the way that I take photos. Really I want to move from an old fashioned camera to my phone. The cameras on phones are so good these days but I have to work out how to transfer images from phone to iPad. I’m sure it’s easy but…….. I will take lots of pictures and report back as soon as I can-promise!
Life is assuming a normal rhythm after a difficult summer. But what is normal? Mum has gone, summer is waning, Hubs has gone walking and Benji Dog has a sore head! I seem to be overcome with the urge to sort out everything. Now this is NOT normal! I have discarded most of my clothes, no not the ones I’m wearing!. I have sent six bags of older clothes to local charity shops. The ( spare ) wardrobe can now breath. I haven’t even started on the main wardrobe.
Hubs has gone on a long planned holiday with the ” boys” I use that word in the loosest sense. He has been lovely this summer whilst I retired to my cave to mourn. He even bought a new spare bed when the Grand children found it didn’t work as a trampoline. This is maybe what has given me the urge to sort everything out or maybe it’s a reaction to loosing Mum.
Benji dog had a visit to the vet yesterday at vast expense. It’s seems that whilst running through undergrowth up the hill he has torn the skin on his forehead and got an infection. He’s very sad but I’m not sure if that’s because Hubs has left him behind or he feels sorry for himself.
I have been looking for my craft mojo and think that I might have found it, probably hiding under the broken bed. I have found mountains of wool. Well not found it, I always knew it was there. I have collected it all together and sorted out a new project for when the current one is finished. I have put it all into one of those bags where you suck the air out for storage. OK the Hoover sucks it out!
Whilst clearing out the wardrobe and looking for my craft mojo I accidentally weighed myself. I will say now more just bring on the lettuce. Now THAT is normal!
I recently went away with my Darling Daughter and Gorgeous Grandson in Damnvan1. We were travelling to Criccieth and decided to have a picnic lunch at Dolwyddelan Castle near to Betwys y coed. I have wanted to visit this castle for some time. It was built in the 13th century by Llewelyn the Great prince of Gwynedd and North Wales.
We had a fine picnic sheltering from the rain in Damnvan1. The castle consists of just one ruined tower but to explore further seemed a good idea. We all needed the toilet so we walked up the hill towards the castle entrance. Luckily on the right just as we arrived at the entrance ( or so we thought) were two clearly labelled ladies and gents loos. We used the facilities.
When we came out of the toilets we were accosted by a guardian of toilets in the form of an angry woman. She shouted at us that they were NOT public toilets and we shouldn’t have used them. Too late! For all intents and purposes those toilets appeared public, clearly labelled ladies and gents. We did suggest that she should put up a notice stating that they were private. She replied that folk only ignored notices. As we were in a no win situation we aborted our exploration of the castle and returned to the sanctuary of Damnvan1.
After all we have our own toilet in Damnvan1 !
Hubs and I are still hanging out in Keswick, Cumbria. The weather is absolutely beautiful, we have been so lucky. Tomorrow we need to go home to check out my aging Mum who is not very well. Next week we plan to come back! It would be easier if we moved up here but that’s not possible, therefore we max it out using my Campervan. Happy days.
This part of Cumbria suffered badly in flooding last Winter. There is evidence everywhere of flood damage including many bridges damaged beyond repair. This Is the remains of a foot bridge that we normally use. Many footpaths are temporarily re routed but no one seems to know how long for. This diversion adds about half a mile to our normal walks so it can only be helping me to get fitter!
Today’s walk took us through Bluebell woods and down to the Lake edge of Derwentwater. We then walked along the edge of the lake to Lodore Falls hotel where we picked up the launch back to Keswick. Another fabulous day out.
Whilst we’ve been away I have started another knitting project. Watch this space for more information but it may take some time!