summer scenes #4 | a weekend in Ingleton part 2…

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Hey evryone, what with all the exciting things going on this summer, looking at these photographs it feels like an age since I was in Ingleton, but it is barely even a fortnight. Today I’ve got the second lot of my snaps from our quick get away. If you missed the first lot take a read here.

wpid-img_20150809_195345.jpgWe woke up Sunday morning to a really rather early but surprisingly generous full cooked breakfast, then checked out and head out to explore the town of Ingleton itself a little bit. The weather had taken a turn for the worst but it was still fairly mild, and the rain held off so we were happy.

Ingleton is a tiny place. With one street dotted with a few gift shops and one or two cafe’s but the views of the surrounding countryside are beautiful. We couldn’t have spent a whole day in Ingleton itself but it made for a very pleasant morning walk before we decided to get adventuring once more, this time heading to Ingleton White Scar Caves.

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White Scar Cave, in the Yorkshire Dales, is the longest show cave in Britain. A guided tour takes you about an hour and a half and includes, two underground waterfalls, stalagmites, stalagtites, and all the caving facts you could need. The caves remain a constant 8 degrees all year round regardless of the weather outside so be sure to wear something warm, and like with the waterfall trail sensible shoes are a must! Oh, and those glamorous hard hats? They aren’t just for show, a lot of the tour involves walking through passage ways with very low, natural formed ceilings, they call one stretch the ‘gorilla passage’ you can guess why! Entry to the caves is only £9.50 for an adult, and a beautiful guide book, filled with photographs much better than mine is only £3 and makes a nice momento.

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After all that adventuring, I was hungry again, or at least I told myself I was hungry again when we saw the cake counter at Frumenty & Fluffin! There was Salted Bannana and Chocolate Cake, Strawbery, Lime & Coconut Cake, Rice Crispie Cakes, Shortbreads, Strawberry Tarts, Banoffee Pie, Apple Crumble Bars and so SO many more to choose from. I was in cake heaven (also known as vegan hell). I couldn’t resist and went for Toffee Apple Cake with a pot of Lady Grey, and Rick had a Banana Milkshake and their best selling scones with jam and cream. This was definitely one of the best cafe’s I’ve been in in a while, and not just because it looked like my dream home! I just about managed to finish my cake (Rick didn’t) which meant the drive home was a sugar filled hyper active one!

Speaking of driving, for the first time in my entire life, I got behind the wheel of a car. I went forwards, backwards and round. I’m think I’m more than well prepared now for my first lesson in September. In fact I might just take my test and save myself a whole load of money!

We left Ingleton pretty early and headed home. We wanted to stop off and explore some of the towns on the way back but it was a Sunday afternoon and most of them were closed apart from the pubs, and neither one of us could face any more food!

We did briefly stop in Gisburn which is just up the road from me, for a walk and a play on the zip line. I’d put up a video of the young man playing, but he has threatened to retaliate by putting one of me up – in slow motion!

And that was the end of our little holiday! I hadn’t even been away from home for 48 hours but it felt like we’d been exploring for a week. I was so relaxed afterwards. When you can’t afford a real summer holiday, or a full week in the sun at any time of the year, you can start to feel a little claustrophobic, but for me this year, the summer has been packed with so many wonderful moments away from reality, i’m (just about) staying sane!

Live life & take a weekend away x

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summer scenes #2… a new home, bbqs, cocktails and cats…

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A few weeks a go I went to visit some good friends of mine down near Guildford, and was once again lucky enough to have a whole weekends worth of good weather to enjoy the good company in.

Ellie and Ollie have recently bought their first house together. They are my grown up friends. Real jobs, real house, and a very real wedding coming up that I am beyond excited for. They’d only moved in a fortnight before our visit, so we enjoyed making the house feel like home, by creating lots of very happy memories in it.

After a pretty long drive down for Tom and I, and long days at work for them, Friday night was spent nibbling on a table full of food, drinking pimms in the garden, and catching up before things turned competitive with a game of cranium. A game I’d never played before which revealed I’m crazy speedy at solving anagrams (probably because I’m so crazy rubbish at spelling, that my first drafts tend to be one long anagram needing to be solved before I hit publish!).

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We woke up Saturday morning to sausage sandwiches (veggie for me, meaty for them)cups of tea and a whole summers day to be filled at our leisure. We didn’t fancy travelling far, as we wanted to make the most of their garden with a mid afternoon barbeque before heading for a night out in Guildford that evening, so we stuck to their local area.

North Camp is only 10 minutes away from Guildford on the train and a mere half an hour to London – but not many people seem to know that yet, so keep it between us. It’s the type of place that in 5 years time will be full of independent coffee shops, and commuters, but for now, it has a small high street and a real lovely community feeling. To be honest unless you have friends that live there, then you’d have no real reason to visit, but we spent a lovely hour or so strolling down it’s very small high street and diving into it’s charity shops, before stopping off at The Tea Shop Around the Corner for a Latte and a Belgian Bun the size of my head. I love finding little gems like this, that are gorgeous cafes made for the people that live there and not trying to fill a niche to attract the latest hipsters or tourists. The coffee was good, the people were lovely, and tucked away in the corner was a small gift shop area where I picked up the card below to stick on my kitchen wall. Ok herbivore humour, I admit, might be a little hipster…

Then we headed back for our mid afternoon barbeque, where many burgers and sausages were burnt because we accidentally got a little distracted by cats and… well… alcohol. Luckily though my vegan options were safe, which I think is probably the only time anyone has EVER been jealous of a vegan at a barbeque.

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You can’t really blame us for getting distracted by Sylvie though can you? I’m not a cat person by any means but seriously LOOK at her… Well I say her, Sylvie doesn’t actually belong to Ellie & Ollie, so she might not be a she, and she almost definitely isn’t actually called Sylvie, but that didn’t seem to bother her!

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That night we headed into Guildford which I’d never been to before but instantly reminded me of York (which I say about basically any nice city that has a historic feel to it).  We were aiming to be on the last train home, so we were going for classy cocktail night rather than drunken debauchary. I’ll let you decide based on the photos at just how classy we managed to stay!

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First up we went to the gorgeous Thai Terrace for snacks and something a little exotic. Don’t judge me, but I can’t really remember what it was I ordered… I want to say maitai but really who cares? It was delicious! As were the cashew nuts! And the terrace itself was beautiful. Unfortunately it had clouded over, so we couldn’t make the most of the views, but I loved the garden feel to it, and imagine it would be stunning on a clear day. I’d also like to head back their to try the food. I LOVE Thai, so if you’re reading this Ellie and Ollie, that’s not so much of a hint but a command!

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After that things began to get a little bit blurry, I vaguely remember bumping into a girl dressed as a penis, and visiting the largest pub and liveliest weather spoons in Britain, but all that really matters is we made the last train back, after an amazing night out!

Sunday morning was a chilled out affair of cookery programmes, tea on tap, and packing away before a long journey home.

It was such a lovely weekend and not just because the weather held out. When friends are so happy it quickly becomes infectious and not only that but Ellie and Ollie seem so settled. A year ago being faced with that level of contentedness might have terrified me, or sent me on to a jealous spiral, convinced I would never get to where they are. I’m still MILES away from buying a house or settling down, but seeing them made me realise how I feel like I am exactly where I need to be right now. There is no rush for me to own property, or to make a drastic career choice, I’m on my path and moving at just the right pace.

Thank you so much to Ellie and Ollie for welcoming me into their new home, and to Tom for being the designated driver for the weekend! Have you visited any friends this summer? What are their home towns like? I love to hear about the smaller places, you wouldn’t make a conscious effort to visit but are actually packed with their own charm.

Live life & make a house a home x

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Where the devil have you been…

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Hello everyone! How are you? It’s been more than a little quiet around these parts lately, in fact it has been deathly silent. I’d apologise for that, but I’ve just been to damm busy having an amazing time. What’s that hashtag? #Sorrynotsorry.

You may remember a couple of weeks ago, I posted about a project I’d been working on called ‘Back of the Bus.’ After months of planning and stressing, and countless sleepless nights last week, we quite literally got the show on the road!

It was an incredible week. Professionally speaking, I learnt SO much, and I can safely say all the stress and worry was worth it, I now feel so fired up and ready to take on the next big thing (or at least I will be once I’ve slept). Personally, it was filled with moments I know I will remember forever, like when we took the dancers in to a dementia care centre, and they performed for the residents, as I stood there watching (and crying) I knew it was a really special moment. Then of course there were the lovely people I got to work with from the company! Java dance we’re such an amazing bunch of lovely talented people, I wished everyone I shared public transport with was like them!

The show itself, as I hope you can see from the pictures was fantastic, and the audiences absolutely loved it. A lot of people left having seen their hometowns in a completely different light, which is exactly what we were all aiming for. One of the things I hear alot in this job, and generally where I live is ‘nothing happens areound’ere’ so to be able to not only say ‘actually yes it does’ but to also say ‘and what’s happening is as good as the big cities’ is fantastic!

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Speaking of amazing things happening in big cities, I hopped straight off a bus full of dancers, and onto a very early morning coach to London, for British Summer Time Festival in Hyde Park, and to see two of my favourite women in all the world… Lucy and Taylor Swift.

It might have taken seven hours on a coach, but it was definitely worth it. Heading to a festival, even if it is only for a day, is a perfect way to step out of everything that is going on in life and really forget about it. Something which when you have been crazy busy, even if it is in a good way, I always feel is important to do so that you really get that head space to just let everything sink in.

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I won’t lie to you, not only did I shake my rather sizeable bum off to Miss Swift, I also cried. Several times. I think a combination of having had an insane and exhausting week, seeing Lucy for the first time in seven months, and genuinely relating to basically every word Taylor says (apart from the ones where she is introducing her super model best friends) was just too much for me. Oh, and the cider probably contributed a little bit to that too!

Sunday and Monday were much more chilled out affairs. Sunday took the shape of a mid morning brunch, followed by a wander around the Welcome Collection museum (also known as the Museum of sexology) and an amazing dinner at The Gate (a full review to come). And then on Monday I caught up with the incredibly talented Leo, wandered around the shops in Angel before getting back on the coach and arriving home, late, exhausted but extremely happy on Monday night.

Since then life has taken a more normal looking shape. It feels so odd to be back at my desk, working my way through admin after everything I’ve been doing lately, but again I’m welcoming the slower pace. It was also the new boys birthday last weekend, which I missed so I’ve been catching up with his face and planning birthday treats.

Looking towards the rest of summer, I’m excited for Manchester International Festival, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, seeing friends, and generally crossing my fingers and hoping for good weather. Here on the blog I have so much to catch up on, including an interview with Sally, the creator of Hello Little Lovely, and a thousand and one ideas that have been piling up over the past couple of weeks. I’m going to be taking a step back from posting three times a week – what with the sun, and life getting a bit busier, I want to make sure that anything I do post has had serious time and thought dedicated to it.

But enough about me! What have you been up to? I’ve got one very full unread bloglovin’ feed, and an inbox to match, so if you’ve not heard from me in a while, I hope you can understand why!

Live life & take something off your plate if need be x

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