Just a very quick entry to my little online weekend diary…I love rounding up what we’ve been up to so that I can look back and remember our adventures!
I do hope you had a good weekend, whatever you were up to!
Just a very quick entry to my little online weekend diary…I love rounding up what we’ve been up to so that I can look back and remember our adventures!
I do hope you had a good weekend, whatever you were up to!
I do love it when the weekend starts early! And this one did as we recieved surprise (ish) visitors in the shape of the lovely Claire and Matthew. On their way to a wedding in the North, they joined us for our ritual Friday PieDay supper (Shepherd’s Pie this week!) as well as great chats, and much reviewing of Rightmove (at least we’re not the only ones who are addicted!).
Saturday began as usual with a wake up call from Cooper, followed by a dog walk. Then after a quick coffee we decided to walk into town for Brunch. We opted to do a little shopping and browsing first and as we’d not popped into our favourite Otley gallery in a while, went to see what treasures were to be found in the stunning Old Grammar School Gallery. As usual, there were lots of gorgeous things to spy and we had a very nice long chat with the proprietor who actually used to go to school in the building our house is now in!
We’d been eying up the incredible paintings on show there by Sheryl Ashton….the very large one in particular is a big favourite of ours but unfortunately beyond our budget (though still a steal for such amazing work!). So, when it was pointed out to us that there were a few of her original works to be purchased un-framed, we eagerly leafed through the browsers and found a stunning painting by her that we both adored….and at uncommonly decisive speed, Adam snapped it up to bring home! We’re very excited about framing and hanging it, and adding to our home!
For our brunch we headed to the pretty little Victoria Plum Tea Rooms. We’re hoping to try all of the tea rooms in Otley (there are a great many!) but this one had caught my eye with its quaint frontage and yummy sounding menu. Feeling pretty hungry I chose a double fried free range egg bap, with a double choc mocha alongside. Adam went for the toasted tea cake followed by a home made scone….all of which was seriously delish!
The afternoon saw more errands, shopping and dog walking, along with a light supper and some slobbing in front of the TV!
Having enjoyed our extra hour’s sleep, Sunday brought more adventures as we received more visitors! Friends Sam and Ellie live not too far away from our new home, so they came over to see the new place and explore Otley. After a cup of tea and a catch up, we headed to the Craft Market at the Courthouse, then the monthly Farmers’ Market in the square. Sam and Ellie are foodies too, so we all enjoyed snooping around the stalls and buying up lots of treats and yums. They kindly treated Cooper and Digby to their favourite hand made treats, and we all shared some tiny Dutch pancakes called Poffertjes which were seriously yummy!
I found a new favourite stall though….the Convivial Yorkshire Crisp Company were there with lots of different flavours to try! Most notable were the Henderson’s sauce flavour which is SO good, and the Chardonnay Wine Vinegar flavour which are most unusual and very tasty. As a crisp connoisseur I can certainly recommend them, and will be munching through a great many I dare say!
Lastly, we all got a huge bap filled with hog roast and stuffing to bring home with us, and yummed those up along with some of the sweet treats.
After that we took a dog walk together to work off some of the eating; Sam and Ellie loving to see Cooper and Digby playing and running at the park. Then after one more cuppa for the road, they set off home and we spent the rest of the afternoon and evening getting some more slobbing in…and eating a whole tub of the crisps in my case!
My name is Emily and I’m addicted to dog videos. Yes, my Facebook timeline is full of them and now I’m sharing them on my blog too. I make no apologies for this….surely only the most heartless person can’t crack a little smile whilst watching a dog fill up a dishwasher?
So, because Monday is the toughest day of the week, I thought I’d give you this sure-fire pick me up in the shape of my (current) favourite poochey vids….
All these dogs want is to be friends…the cats however would just like some peace and quiet!…
Here’s a husky puppy learning some life skills as he attempts to get out of a fruit bowl…
This guy reminds me of my Digby dog, who bounces almost as high despite his little legs!…
Serious respect for this little one who won’t be intimidated….
And the piece de resitance…
Enjoy! And have a good week!
OK, so I’m a big Elvis fan. And I’m just as big a fan of shoes. Ergo…..I clearly need me some blue suede shoes!
I suppose a small obsession began when I first saw The Shoe Embassy stall at Old Spitalfields Market…they have the most wonderful collection and it happens to include some super lush blue suede numbers. And ever since, I’ve spotted different pairs here and there and thought how much I *want* some….although them not being the most practical choice I’ve yet to make a purchase.
Still, this feature is all about *wants* and not *needs* so here’s a round up of blue suede shoes I’d like to add to my shoe rack…..
These are the ones that started it all off! I actually have a pair in the Amber which is a gorgeously versatile tan shade. They are super comfy and go with anything. I love the cross between brogue and pixie boot! Now I just need their blue counterparts!
For a more boyish, less pixie-like brogue though, I’m loving these, also from Shoe Embassy. They’re adorably vintage looking, but with (if my other Shoe Embassy brogues are anything to go by!) the benefit of incredible comfort and seriously hard wearing.
Hello! How gorgeous are these?! The shade is amazing, as is that beautiful detail at the vamp. I adore the heel and vintage feel of these. Imagine them with a wiggle dress at a wedding or cocktail party! Lush!
If that vibrant indigo isn’t your bag, these navy stunners are a treat. I love a t-bar, and not just because it reminds me of dressing up in my Nanna’s shoes from the fifties as a little girl…they are mega practical and comfy to boot!
Now what could be lovelier than a pair of stunning blue suede *boots* I hear you cry! Well, a pair of blue suede boots that will actually fit your legs in, that’s what! These J. Crew boots are all kinds of wonderful….they have that Puss In Boots appeal for sure, and I think they’d look amazing with a tweed mini skirt. Plus they’re available in two calf sizes, so that those of us with normal sized legs can get in them! Love!
And saving the best till last…..how about these?!?! I literally gasped when I saw these. Look at that hounds tooth panel! Look at the pointy blue toe! And the laces! I die.
This weekend saw some more adventuring for us….we decided to check out nearby Harrogate to see what it has to offer, and also look at some potential areas for us to live. It took us just shy of half an hour to drive there this Saturday, and there are LOTS of lovely shops I’m happy to have nearby (but not TOO nearby!). We wandered around the town centre for a while, I made a stop off at M&S (in need of new undies!) and we browsed some of the other shops, including a charity shop where I found a lush Jaeger coat for just £15! I think Harrogate is a good contender to keep us!
We made a mental note to come back and explore the Royal Pump Room Museum and Turkish Baths soon, and then finished up at Bettys….that seeming the right thing to do on our first trip to Harrogate! We actually have a Bettys Tea Room just fifteen minutes away from where we live in Ilkley, but Harrogate is where it all started and so we opted to have lunch in the gorgeous Montpellier Bar there.
First we ordered two of their Viennese style coffees, which are made with their own roasted beans, steamed milk, honey, cinnamon and fresh whipped cream….absolutely delicious! Then we chose the soup of the day (sweet potato) which came with huge hunks of crusty home baked bread, and the smoked salmon which was absolutely divine on the home baked wholemeal bread. The ambience and service was just wonderful, and very much reminded us of beloved cafes in Europe. We’ll be back!
Before leaving I just had to pop into the shop, where I bought a pretty box full of macaroons and a Yorkshire Rarebit Scone to take home….we scoffed them all with a brew as we relaxed in the afternoon!
On Sunday we drove just ten minutes away to Golden Acre Park to walk the dogs and meet up with some local friends. It’s a beautiful park anyway, but with all the autumnal colours bursting forth it was all extra special! We wandered all round the park before taking a pit stop at the little cafe for hot chocolates and red velvet cake….well, we had worked up our appetite by then!
On the way back to the car we took a turn around the lake and the little bit of remaining model railway…the park had been a very early theme park in its Victorian hay day…I wish I could have seen it in all its glory!
In the afternoon we did some more exploring, taking a drive around some more of the areas we’ve been looking at houses in. Then we walked at the beautiful tarn near Adam’s parents’ new house, popping in to say hello to them on the way back. I’m loving walking at the moment (at least when it’s dry!)…the trees look stunning against the blue skies, and there’s something about this time of year that makes me want to be outside, despite the chill.
Hope you’re enjoying Autumn and had a great weekend too!
So it seems we’re actually getting an Autumn this year, huh?! I feel like this time over the last couple of years has just been a single step from summer into winter, but I’m currently finding it a lovely in-between. I know some people find it a pain choosing what to wear at this time of year, but I’m loving it….whilst I’m always sad to say goodbye to my Summer wardrobe, I’m very happy not to have to start layering up too heavily yet, and I do like to dip into my wardrobe and find some long lost treasures to play with.
It being milder than I’ve found it as this time in the past couple of years (despite moving North and being warned of the temperature difference!) I’ve been able to wear some things I haven’t in ages, and put together lots of new outfits. I’m loving getting use out of my short sleeved jumpers…they’re too warm to wear in Spring and I need sleeves in Winter! And I’ve been re-finding lots of skirts for them to go with, along with my uniform of thick tights and boots.
Of course, all this re-discovery in my wardrobe doesn’t stop me from looking elsewhere, and so here is a round up of some pieces I have my eye on to see me through the transition from warm to cold…..
The foundation for an Autumnal outfit as far as I’m concerned is a darn good pair of boots. It’s proven (by scientists and me) that if your feet are warm, the rest of you is more likely to be too. I have an amazing pair of Shoe Embassy brogue boots that have seen me through all seasons for the last few years….they’re fleece lined for extra warmth and I’ve never had such a comfy pair of boots before. I’m constantly complemented on them, and I know that my next pair will be along the same lines…..most probably these….
Working upwards, it’s some super soft and cosy tights next. I’ve been a big fan of Heat Holders for ages, and was delighted when they brought in some new shades in their range of tights. The black and navy ones are super all-rounders, but its my purple and brown pairs that come into their own at this time of year….
With thick tights and boots I think the next thing needs to be a short skirt. Unsurprisingly, the shops are full of heritage tweeds and such as usual at the moment, but I’ll never complain….as much as I love all things bold and bright, I just adore the cosy feel of a lush woollen tartan…..
It’s fair to say that I get serious wear out of my Aran sweater all year round, but I love wearing it over skirts with boots at this time of year most. A short knit with a cute skirt is just adorable I think, and oh so Audrey Horne a la Twin Peaks!….
I’m currently watching Mad Men, and amongst the very many outfits I’m coveting (mostly Joan and Betty!) Betty’s riding jacket is getting a lot of my attention. I have a gorgeous vintage tweed jacket with corduroy trim that a very dear friend gave to me, and it’s getting LOTS of wear at the moment. I wouldn’t swap it for the world, but as you can’t have it (!), here’s what I’d pick as a spare….
And because even when it’s drizzly and chill outside, there’s always room for a pretty dress, I’m currently eyeing up this treasure which I know would see me through right until Spring. It actually comes in three different tartans, all stunning, but this one is just divine in my opinion and the perfect antidote to the post-summer blues….
Last of all, one final cosy cover up…. The perfect cherry red of this woollen cape is such a pick-me-up and would pair beautifully with those checks. You need to see it in its full glory though on the model, hence the extra photo of the camel version….
So here’s to kicking through the fallen leaves, hot chocolates and another excuse to shop!
Hope you have a lovely Autumn!
Last Saturday, despite the drizzle and chill, I went along to join in on a local photo walk. Adam had heard about it at camera club when Tom came along to tell everyone about his Yorkshire Photo Walks. We signed up right away and headed just down the road to Gallows Hill Nature Park where Tom was hosting a free introductory walk to start the season off.
It was a good excuse to explore the park, which it turns out is just across the river from where I walk the dogs most mornings. It’s a beautiful place, even when it’s grey and wet. Tom filled us in on how the walks work and then dished out a little piece of paper to each of us, on which was written a theme for us to base our photos on. I got ‘fading summer’ as a title for my photos, and so off I set!
Tom came around to each of us as we took photos, to find out more about us and to offer help. This free taster session was just an hour long, but usually they’re two hours and at the end everyone goes to the pub to review the shots they’ve captured. There’s a Flickr group too where everyone can see what other people have been up to during the walks.
Anyway, I thought I’d share a few of my photos from the walk. I enjoyed spending a whole hour just trying things out and playing with my camera (it’s a Canon G12 in case you’re interested!), and I’m quite pleased with the results.
Tom runs regular photos walks right across beautiful Yorkshire….there are night time walks and even a full weekend of walks you can join in on too. Each walk is usually about £15 and you can see the full list of those coming up here. You don’t need any special equipment for most of the walks….I just took along my compact camera (and iPhone!) but of course there were people there with DSLRs and tripods and whatnot. I’ll be tempted to take along a film camera on a sunny day. There are some walks just for SLR users, but everything is set up to cater for all different abilities and the people there who have been to lots of the walks all rave about what a great teacher Tom is.
I’ll look forward to updating you when I’ve been on my next Yorkshire Photo Walk!
Despite still having lots to do as we settle into the house, we’ve been enjoying spending our weekends exploring our new locale….especially with the new added benefit of a car!
Adam finished work at lunch time on Friday as he had some time to take in lieu, so we drove to nearby Ilkley to walk the dogs down the river and scope out all that the town centre has to offer. We found lots of lovely shops, The Veggie cafe that we’re dying to try out, and our nearest Betty’s Tea Rooms which I hope to visit before long!
On Saturday we took an early morning walk on the gorgeous Otley Chevin, the foresty hill that overlooks the town. The dogs love it up there as there is lots to sniff and explore, and the views are just stunning on a gorgeous day like Saturday.
After breakfast we drove to Kirkstall Abbey to meet my Brother-in-Law and Sister-in-Law and our little niece Clementine. There’s a monthly Deli Market there with dozens of wonderful food and drink stalls set up inside the beautiful ruins of the abbey. We did a circuit to see what we might like, then bought up lots of goodies….for our lunch we bought a yummy free range scotch egg and incredibly delicious pork and gammon pie from The Blue Pig (as well as some of their sausages for another day), plus some gruyere and rosemary straws. There was a huge amount of sweet stuff to choose from, and we came away with a Chai Spiced flapjack from Oat Cuisine (top prize for their punderful name!), a Vegan Columbian Coffee Tiffin from That Old Chestnut, fudge courtesy of Aunty Emily’s (another great name!), and our first ever Canadian Nanaimo bar from Fayre by Alley. We were also in need of marmalade, so we bought some amazing Orange and Cardamon Marmalade from Hummingbird Preserves. The abbey is well worth a visit in its own right, and I’m sure we’ll be back with our cameras…..and we’ll be no strangers to the Deli Market too I’d imagine!
We popped to Adam’s Brother’s for a cup of tea and niece cuddles, plus some fussing of their two gorgeous Staffies. Then we drove to nearby Arthington to look at a house for sale….we’re not strictly ready to move yet having only just arrived, but I’ve not stopped thinking about this place since Adam found it on Right Move and he eventually decided that the only way to shut me up was to take a look! I’m glad we did….it’s good practise for when we start viewing properly….but in reality it wasn’t quite the dream home I’d thought it was. We shall keep on looking though!
It being a month since we’ve moved here, we decided to celebrate with a meal out at a local vegetarian restaurant on Saturday night, then it was an early night for us after a busy day!
On Sunday we had our friends Craig and Shelley over for morning coffee….we’re delighted to be living so near to them now, and that we’ll get to see them more often. After a quick catch up we all walked to the Designer Craft Fair in the Otley Courthouse to peruse the pretty things, then made our way to the Farmers’ Market in the square. As usual there was lots to tempt us and we came away with full bags….Mornington House‘s scrumptious jams (strawberry, raspberry and damson), Butterscotch and Rocky Road slices from the amazing Yummy Yank, half a dozen huge free range duck eggs and a bun filled with delicious free range hog roast and stuffing from Happy Hogs to bring home for lunch.
After scoffing, Craig and Shelley headed home for some sort of sporting race or match or something, then shortly afterwards Adam’s Dad arrived as he’ll be staying with us this week. He and Adam’s Mum are also making the move up from Hitchin later this week (he’s meeting with builders and things whilst Liz sorts out the movers) and we drove over to their new place to have a little look around the nearby High Street in the afternoon.
I cooked up a roast leg of lamb with all the trimmings for supper, followed by a fruit crumble and custard. The perfect way to end a lovely weekend!
Hope you had a lovely weekend too!
Hello! From Yorkshire!
Yes, a month ago today we made the move from Hitchin in Hertfordshire, all the way up to the little market town of Otley in West Yorkshire. It was a horrendous move….we collected so much stuff living in such a big place in Hitchin, especially with all the wedding things. Plus it was our first move with the dogs, who have a lot more luggage than you might expect! Still, they were as good as gold during the move and really did us proud.
We’re finally getting sorted in the new place though, and have a place for most things and most things in their place….it has been a great opportunity for some serious sorting though and we’ve had lots to Freecycle, donate to charity shops and box up for the car boot sale. And hopefully the next move will be much easier as it won’t be so far away….we very much intend to stay in Yorkshire as we have so many friends and family here, not to mention the fact that we’ll be able to afford a much nicer house than in pricey Hitchin!
We’d not been to Otley ever before our move day, and hadn’t even seen our new house! With such a busy summer we just couldn’t get the time together to do a proper scout as we usually would, and were lucky enough to have some family and friends view a few places for us. Our dear friend Craig actually came to see this place and said we’d love it….and we do! Thanks Craig!
Otley is a lot like Hitchin really. It’s a market town with lots going on, but also has the advantage of quick and easy access to the countryside. My morning walk with the dogs is just perfect….we’re a few moments away from a playing field which we walk through first, then a little river side park before we get to the gorgeous formal gardens (and playground!) and then wonderful fields for the hounds to race around, as well as lots of places for them to dip into the river….Digby has even had his first proper swim (so proud!)! We’ve seen Kingfishers along the river and I’m told you can see otters if you’re out early enough too….fingers crossed!
Being a little more remote we decided we’d finally have to get a car, which means we can explore other places for our walks too. We’ve taken to driving to the stunning Chevin Forest, just two minutes away, for our afternoon walk. The dogs love exploring all the winding paths, and we adore the views from up there. There’s even an ice cream van waiting at the summit, which is a great treat after the climb! The Chevin is actually thought to have been an inspiration for some of Turner’s paintings, and I love having that connection!
We’re hoping to explore some of the nearby places too before long….I love Skipton and the Dales which are now very close, and then there’s the Keighley Railway (famous for appearing in the Railway Children!), Bronte country in the pretty village of Haworth, nearby Ilkley and its Darwin Gardens and stunning moorland, plus more of Leeds which I love for food and shopping.
There’s plenty to do in Otley too, and we’ve been enjoying getting to know it. There’s a regular market which I’ve been going to for our fruit and vegetables, plus a monthly Farmer’s market which is just wonderful, and a craft market in the Old Courthouse. There are stacks of tea rooms and plenty of good pubs….all of which we have vowed to try out, although that may take us some time!
Adam has joined the Otley Camera Club, which is celebrating its 75th year, and we’re hoping to find local dance classes and an archery club too. I’ve been loving all the gorgeous galleries in town, and there’s a Sunday car boot within walking distance, plus several more we can explore in the car. We’re looking forward to some upcoming events as well….there’s a science fair and beer festival very soon and a Victorian fair at Christmas, plus food festivals, arts events and all sorts in the new year. Oh, and we checked out the Vintage Transport Extravaganza too which was super!
We’re celebrating our first month here with a trip to the wonderful sounding vegetarian restaurant, The Cheerful Chilli, up on the Chevin tomorrow night….it’ll be such a treat to have so much to choose from for a change and I’m looking forward to trying it out! Then it’ll be more exploring for potential places for us to settle down in….the plan is to buy a place within the next year, so we want to get a flavour for where in Yorkshire should get to keep us!
That’s all for now, but I’m sure I’ll have lots to share about our new town soon. Have a lush weekend!
As we prepare for our house move next week, I’m in a serious packing frenzy and the house is full of cardboard boxes, bubble wrap and packing tape. I usually get pretty excited about packing, and I did at least enjoy bundling up the first few boxes of books, CDs and fragile treasures…..it gets boring fairly fast though, and trickier and trickier as the house gets further into disarray! So I was thinking that a distraction was in order, and that perhaps if I had some fun stuff to pack with, I’d get excited about it again. And what better distraction than shopping……
Check out these super cute packing tapes! Adorable aren’t they? I’d be a demon with the tape gun if I had these, and I bet the moving men would take extra special care with our treasures too!
I have a collection of label makers of course, but just think how productive I’d be with the DYMO LabelWriter 450! It comes with proprietary DYMO label software and enables you to create and print address, shipping, file, folder and barcode labels…..and at a speed of 51 labels per minute! Unpacking would surely be a breeze if I had this baby to get organised with!
Of course packing and moving calls for a lot of lists. I don’t need much encouragement to list really, but I’d list all day on this adorable little note book. It’s even got a Cooper dog look-a-like on it (one of his nicknames is Bambi!).
New home means new stationery. Obviously. Maybe I’ll wait until we’re in our ‘forever home’, but I really do fancy some proper headed writing paper. I’d keep it in my correspondence box and write on it with my dippy pen before blotting it like I’m in a Dickens novel.
Actually we’ve already told most people who’d like to know our new address, but still, it’s a nice excuse for some fancy cards, right?
And what to put on the back of the envelopes?1 A personalised stamp of course! This one has a picture of Digby dog on it, so it has to be this one.
Aaaanyway…..I suppose id’ better get back to the *actual* packing…..
Wish me luck!