Thursday, March 05, 2015

Driftwood and Weather

The cold winds shook the caravan, just a hundred feet from the beach and the North Sea we could have easily have been lost adrift at sea in a life raft with the caravan moving around as it was, even though it was anchored to the ground and we were in fact quite stable.
We were cosied up inside, the fire on, a glass of wine or ale in hand, laid on the seats and covered over with a duvet, watching a movie, loving every minute of our long weekend away at our holiday home by the sea.
That night we cuddled up together as it was very cold in the caravan, even with the little heater on in the bedroom, we didn't care, we loved it!

The next day was just as windy, we ate when we wanted, cheese and biscuits here, a sandwich there but we wanted a cooked meal. Unfortunately we were missing a few things to cook a bigger heartier meal, which we would have to wait until the following day to get, when we were to be joined by Caron's nephew and his girlfriend.
It didn't matter though, it was Saturday and the club/restaurant was open. by now it was raining as well as windy and we got ready with a slight dread at the thought of the five minute walk to the restaurant in such miserable weather and could have quite easily stayed in our caravan until the following day but we wanted a meal and a few drinks and to see what was going on.
The site was holding the International Beach Fishing Championships and for a cold spring weekend the site and the Bar were busy, the barman (new to the site for the upcoming holiday season) noted we didn't look like we were there for the fishing, we were not wearing all weather fishing gear and stinking of sweat and salt for starters.
We ate and inevitably we got drunk, we watched the awards ceromony for the days fishing competition and then we watched the classic rock covers band before heading back.

It was a new day and it started off with plenty of sunshine, later we were joined by Dan and Sammy, we visited the supermarket as they had a car, we got supplies and then spent the night getting merry and playing a party game I had got her for Christmas called A Game of Wine, much fun was had.
The following day we ate breakfast and lounged around, enjoying having nothing to do and nowhere to go, after we were showered we decided to take a walk and get some fresh air, we all got wrapped up and ventured out but within 10 minutes the sunshine was gone and the bad weather was back. We headed straight back to the caravan and watched as the rain gave way to a heavy but short lived snow storm and then sleet. Dan and Sammy left for home a little later and I read for a bit, then it was bright again, so Caron and I decided to head back out for a walk on the beach.
It was still a little cold and breezy but we walked hand in hand keeping an ever watchful eye out for interesting stones, fossils and juju. We came across a few nice big pieces of driftwood and if I could have then I would have taken them with me, they were interesting and could have been made into something beautiful for the home, a lamp stand or a shelf perhaps, sadly we couldn't take them with us!
We had another cosy night in watching tv before retiring to bed knowing the next day we were heading back home to Hedon and our flat and that we would soon be back at work, but we made the most of our time at our retreat on the last day relaxing and reading, with the sun shining once again!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Holiday booked, but it's the caravan for us this weekend!

So our holiday abroad for this year is booked and after spending a long time in the travel agents trying to decide where we wanted to go, we chose the place we initially liked the look of from a brochure before we had even set foot in the place, typical!

So now Caron and I are going to be visiting Madiera at the beginning of June. It's kind of a shame that we both couldn't stretch our budget to a few hundred pounds more  and go to the Greek Island of Skiathos, a place I visited a few years ago for my friends Mark and Sarah's wedding. The reason it's a shame is because Mark (my best mate) and Sarah will be working at the same resort for six months later this year so it would've been nice to have my friends there on holiday with me, even better is that Mark would have been pulling/serving my beers to me, what more could I ask for. Alas, it's not to be......unless I somehow found enough money from somewhere for a second holiday this year, unlikely!

This weekend Caron and I will be going to our new caravan holiday home for a long weekend for my birthday, looking forward to it. It's even better because Dan (Caron's nephew) and his girlfriend Sammy are joining us for a couple of days and we always have fun with those two!

In other news, I'm moving shifts at work, back to my old shift for three months to cover whilst someone is on long term sick, it'll kind of be a bit of a nice change although it's messed a few things up which I had planned, so a bit of rearranging and booking of days off was needed. Fingers crossed it doesn't end up being a permanent move though!

Just lately I’ve been thinking about a a story I wanted to write with vague hopes of becoming a published author. It’s a comic- sci-fi fantasy and I started the planning phase for the story about 4 or 5 years ago. It just popped into my head again out of nowhere, probably because of my desire to actually write a book and a yearning from my creative side which tends to get pushed into the recesses of my mind by my lazy side. 
Maybe if I actually follow through with this I could have a story published which people might want to read, maybe it would sell well enough for me to build my ultimate man cave, ideas for which I’ve started collecting on Pinterest. That’s a fantasy in itself but in the near term I better start working out some
story ideas!

The pictures are ones I took in Skiathos, showing two of my favourite taverna's, Stamelos Bar and Portobello bar.

Monday, February 02, 2015

Finally visiting my birthplace - York

To say York is the city where I was born, it's a real shame I hadn't properly visited the great and scenic city before!

I had done a booze cruise down the Ouse before, kind of a works night out and I had run a 10k around the city center a few years back, in fact that was when I realised I needed to come and pay a proper visit!

Caron and I chose to take the two hour bus ride from Hull which wasn't too bad and late on the Sunday morning we arrived in York, We didn't have to check in to our hotel until 14:00 so headed to Lendal Cellars for a beer in a subterranean vaulted cellar. It was a beautiful, gothic environment to enjoy a pint of ale or a glass of wine in Caron's case. Not only that, it was very warm on what was a very cold day!

We then headed back out into the cold to explore a little more, meandering the city streets checking out the shops and more potential watering holes. A short while later we discovered The House of the Trembling Madness, set on three floors, the ground floor being a shop selling all kinds of craft ales and beers, a visual treat in itself, shelf upon shelf of tipples from all over the globe. The basement was again beautiful in itself and this floor was dedicated to spirits from here and there. The top floor was a fantastic if small bar and looked wonderful in it's medieval environment, the crap taxidermy adding to this with great effect. We stayed for a pint but as it was full to the brim with people from all over the world eating and drinking we had to settle for the little bench at the top of the stairs to rest our feet.
We had to move on of course and headed back out to explore the streets, taking in the famous shambles, a small collection of higgledy piggledy buildings down a narrow street which transported you right back to the middle ages. 

We had to check into our hotel of course and it was time to head there. We wanted to make the most of our time and have a proper night of it, so after checking out the room and dropping our things off we headed back into the center and two a great but overly expensive bar called Missoula which had it's own terrace overlooking the river, far too cold to make use of at this time of year though so we took a seat by the window. 
We later visited the pubs along the river, the ones you see in the news every few years because they have flooded, and the marks where there on the walls in the pub (the Kings Arms I seem to recall) showing where the river level had reached over the years.

We walked again visiting a few more places before finishing our evening in ....................... drinking wine before walking back to our room.

The following day my lady wanted to do a bit of shopping so after checking out of our hotel, off we went again, at least it was more opportunity for me to take photo's, after grabbing some things here and there we needed something to eat and paid another visit to ......................... for lunch, Caron having................... and me choosing ............... and I got a fantastic ...................... a fantastic concoction of IPA, whisky, ginger ale, lemon and ice presentd in a metal tankard, very refreshing.

After our lunch we visited the National Railway Museum for an interesting if slightly geeky look around, although it did provide some great photo's!

Finally it was time to get our bus back home to Hull, a great couple of days!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

One From Dublin

You may have heard that the Guinness in Dublin tastes better and you would have heard right!

We have just returned from a two day mini break to this wonderful and vibrant city and if we could, we would return tomorrow.

It was early in the evening as our coach pulled up in front of our hotel for the next two nights, the ....... .......... The end of a twelve hour journey which had started early that day with a taxi ride to the bus station to join our coach and onwards to Ireland. After a long coach journey and a trip across the Irish sea on the ferry, our hotel was a sight for sore eyes (perhaps sore bottoms would be more apt) but there was no time for relaxation as our time in Dublin was limited and we wanted to make the most of it!

We dumped our bags after briefly checking out our room then headed out of the hotel looking up and down O'Connell Street trying to decide which direction we were heading.

We soon ended up crossing the Liffey and entering a lively and photogenic area of bars and restaurant's, choosing not to enter any of them until we'd found the famed Temple Bar and checked out the area enough to settle our curiosity.

Temple Bar ended up being our first port of call and straight away we were onto a winner,it was very busy with people from all over the world sat or stood around talking and mingling and drinking pint's of Guinness mainly but also ales, lager's and wines. Bands were playing Irish folk, pub classics and popular songs, a musical theme which ran through all the pubs it seemed. It had to be Guinness for my first choice of drink and wow, what a revelation a taste sensation, and so it went until after two more when we decided to move to somewhere slightly quieter for something to eat.

Some good food in the next pub and then we moved on to one or two more pubs before the long journey (and the Guinness) started to take it's toll and we headed back to our hotel.

After breakfast we headed out again for a stroll around the shops and onto the Guinness tour, three hours of everything Guinness including learning how to pour the perfect pint of the stuff, a wonderful morning ending around lunch time at the top of the Guinness factory with a cold pint and an excellent panoramic view. 

We left around lunchtime and headed for something to eat before going back to the temple bar area for another pub crawl before going back to the hotel for an early night and an early get up for a rather rough crossing of the Irish sea back to Hollyhead, and homeward bound on our coach.

So if you haven't tried Dublin then I highly recommend it!

I played about with this photo I took in Dublin and quite liked how it turned out!

Friday, October 03, 2014

Book and Beer

In The Old Ways Macfarlane examines the routes that mark - and in many cases lie submerged within or beneath - the British landscape. And not just the British landscape, but Spain and Palestine too. He draws out the connections between pathways and stories, reflecting on the different kinds of thinking and writing there have been inspired by travelling on foot.

Macfarlane is a lyrical, eloquent writer, whose portfolio of interests encompasses art, geology, map-making, poetry, environmentalism and adventure. As he goes about this he is guided by the spirits of many who have gone before him; perhaps the most significant of these is the poet Edward Thomas, with the artist Eric Ravilious another.

This is both a book about journeys and a journey in its own right - into the past, but also into the self. It is scholarly, informative, moving and thought-provoking. All I can say really is wow, what a beautiful and inspiring book, makes me want to get off my arse and go for a walk. The beer was good too :)

Sunday, September 21, 2014


Well after a hectic set of shifts it was nice to finish work on Saturday morning knowing I was heading to my girl and our caravan at the seaside.
A 45 minute bike ride in the fresh morning air (although not quite enjoyable after a 12 hour night shift) wasn’t too bad and the early morning countryside wildlife was nice, spotted plenty of rabbits, 3 pheasants and a deer on my journey to our seaside retreat.
After getting up at lunch time I was in the mood for a beer and my gorgeous lady had a few drinks in ready for my arrival. A few beers later and I was feeling like my weekend had begun. Later we drank some lovely wine, a French Muscadat and watched National Treasure (a personal favourite of mine) before going to bed after a cosy evening in front of the TV.
After getting up to a cup of tea and a fantastic Bacon sandwich courtesy of Caron, we headed to the beach for a long walk with the dogs, a very windy day but satisfying nontheless.  We walked maybe just 15 minutes up the beach before heading back, wrapped up warm against the wind, all the while Bob and Dottie scampered about our feet and played chase with each other, often with brief interruptions in play to investigate a foreign object and/or smell. I meandered along with Caron eyes firmly set on the sand with childlike excitement at the thought of finding a fossil amongst the many pebbles and rocks, sadly the only discovery was made by the dogs as they came upon the grim remains of a Seal carcass, Caron and I both feeling a pang of sadness at the poor creatures demise.
Later I cycled back home where Caron met me later for a few more drinks and another chilled night in front of tv before Caron headed home to prepare to get up for work in the morning. 
(Photo is of the same beach but taken a few weeks previous)