Tuesday, 31 July 2012

More Suffolk

With the sun out, out came nature too

 including many bunnies - Dusty was happy!

sea cabbage

 plenty of thistles

beautiful views across the mere

macaroons from a local shop (the chocolate mint was the best one)

colourful houses in Thorpeness

The boating lake looked beautiful, and soon was full of people in boats

For Dad's birthday we went to The Dolphin in Thorpeness - I always enjoy sitting in their garden, and the food is fabulous

Hubby had the sardines, caught that morning!

Later we shared Dad's cake, chocolate of course... (so good!)

We had a lovely walk in the park in Woodbridge

and Dusty certainly enjoyed himself - here with his bottle of water - he prefers to drink it from the bottle!

More about our trips to some amazing churches later x

Monday, 30 July 2012

Break away

Well, our time off is over, boo!  We've had a lovely couple of weeks together (& with Dusty of course), and we were lucky enough to also have several days of sunshine finally!  Whilst the rain is now back the best days were whilst we were in Suffolk.

My parents joined us for a few days too & we all had a great time.


Lots of lovely long walks with the dog

Dunwich beach - the cliffs have been falling into the sea for many years now

The Rest, Aldeburgh

Adnams Brewery, Southwold

St Edmunds Hall (a tiny theatre), Southwold

The craft huts at Yoxford Antiques Centre - each one holds a different craft persons crafts for sale

Iron sculpture in their gardens

Pub lunch at The Ship Inn, Dunwich - they have amazing, fat chips :)

More tomorrow :) x

Friday, 20 July 2012


I LOVE to travel by train.  Whilst it's not really very romantic these days on the modern trains (think cramped, often noisy (people talking on mobiles), hot and sometimes dirty), I have fond memories of the gently shaking and noise of the old train tracks which could shake me to sleep.  I even have a memory of getting into an old type of private carriage with my Grandma as a very little girl.  Then there's those wonderful memories of Amtrak and our 5 weeks touring the USA.

One of the items on my 2012 To Do List is to travel by Steam Train, I yearn to do it, it's that romantic nature of mine again, that yearn to have a few hours travelling through time, and of course, the Agatha Christie addict in me would revel in it!

I'm still planning on managing that trip somehow, but in the meantime I have a vintage photo to share with you of when our village used to have it's own station...

© Copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

So cool! Have a lovely weekend. x

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Time off

Hubby and I are currently enjoying the first of two weeks off work, hurrah.  Whilst not really a chosen holiday (Hubby's work have a 2-week "close-down" every July), we're certainly making the most of it & relaxing :)

The weather is pretty much wet wet wet still, which means those outside diy plans aren't happening, but we did manage some garden work on Sunday - everything has grown sooooo much!  We're also off to Suffolk for a few days and taking my Mum & Dad with us this time to show them the places we visit.

I've been having fun with my new smartphone apps...

and Hubby's been Japanese-beer-shopping :)

See you some time next week, hopefully with lots to share. x

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Independent Shops - Part 2

Friday was another trip into the city (obstensibly for a haircut); however it also meant visits to another couple of great independent shops.

Rockaboom is a record shop that I've mentioned in the past.  It's really Leicester's last surviving independent record shop, and has plenty of new-release vinyl on sale (& some second-hand), making it a must stop-off for Hubby who never comes away from a city visit without a trademark Rockaboom bag in his hand.

They've been about since the mid 80's (I believe), and Hubby always has a chat with the owner Carl about music they're playing and selling.  They also sell plenty of cds and local concert tickets too.  All in all a friendly, well-stocked (if they haven't got it, they'll try to get it for you) record shop that we hope will always be there!

The other independent shop is just a few steps away from Rockaboom, on Hotel Street you'll find Ye Olde Sweet Shoppe...

This wonderful, tiny shop hasn't changed much from when I was a child - you can still buy deliciously vintage sweets (rosy apples, rubarb & custards, pinapple chunks, pear drops, etc, etc), and still ask for them the way you used to "I've have a quarter of..." and the person behind the counter will get down the large jar of sweets & measure them out into a scale then pop them into a small white paper bag.  Nostalgia galore people!

Once again, long may they reign! x

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Rain Rain Rain

Yes, it continues to rain pretty much every day in the UK :(

Floods are everywhere, and despite having 250% (!!!) more rain than average, and more rain in certain months since records began (!!!), some companies have only just lifted their hosepipe bans! Typical Britain really :D

Living in the UK you'd think we'd be used to rubbish weather, but you know, we NEVER are!  We talk about it all the time, because it has such an impact on us, usually going from one extreme to another, and these days often at full tilt without the usual Seasons the way they were when we were kids.  It can ruin the best-laid-plans, and stop some plans altogether - just think of all those things that are dependent on the weather.

These things come in cycles I know, but seriously, someone up there needs to turn that tap off, fix that leak, come on, please.  It's getting out of hand and so many people have lost so much, even lives have been tragically lost!

We're even now getting explanations on the news and radio as to why the rain keeps coming (I found this one interesting - that darn jet stream).

Things can always be worse (and are worse in so many places we know), but I'm hoping that perhaps the weather will start to get better soon, and it'll perhaps cheer people up too. x

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Ladies Day - 80's music

I've had a date in my diary for months, Smooth Radio's Ladies Day at Leicester Racecourse with my good friend H.  I'd got my outfit planned, a gorgeous vintage 50's style dress, with a yummy frothy petticoat, a pretty wrap, and a peony and butterflies for my hair.

Then the rain continued to fall!  They had no choice but to cancel the racing, the ground was waterlogged, however the music (three 80s bands) would go on.

After much discussion and the prospect of lots of mud, we decided to not dress up so much and that wellies would be needed! I wore my sundress and bought some wellies that morning - shiny red ones that reminded me of being 5 again...

those dark clouds kept rolling in but thankfully we didn't need our raincoats

the event was sold out, all 7000 tickets, but because of the weather (and lack of racing) many didn't show up - thankfully they're insured - and we're getting our money back (isn't that nice of them!)

We still had a great time and couldn't wait for the main entertainment to start

me & H,
 ok, so as it turned out we didn't need the wellies, but still!

Heaven 17 were up first, they were slightly before my time, but I knew a couple of their songs, mainly remembering the fantastic "Temptation" from when they re-released back in 1992 (ah, dancing to it at our Christmas school disco) - watch/listen to it HERE ...

Heaven 17

Followed by the fabulous Belinda Carlisle, she looked gorgeous and sounded no different than in the 80s (ie fantastic)!  and I was thrilled that I remembered all the words to her songs :) (I'm a big fan of the Go-Gos too) - check out her music videos HERE

Belinda Carlisle

The show finished off with a long set from the amazingly awesome ABC (Martin Fry) - what can I say, I'm a fan!

One of their albums 'Lexicon of Love' is one of those albums that stay with you, full of brilliant songs that last the test of time (we have soooo many copies of it it's daft)! 

They didn't disappoint, singing so many favourites including "Poison Arrow", "When Smokey Sings" and finishing with "The Look of Love" - if you don't know them, check out some fabulously 80s videos HERE - seriously :D

Martin Fry - ABC

It was all over by 7.30pm, and whilst it wasn't quite the day we'd planned for, the music was AWESOME!  x

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Collecting - vinyl (Hubby)

Ok, so this isn't my collection, this one is Hubby's.

He LOVES music and records specifically.  He'd already started his collection in the 80s, long before I met him; however since we've been together over the last 18 years his collection has multiplied by 6 times at least.  I encourage it - it's something he loves and it brings him such joy, to me that's enough.

Many of his buys are charity shop finds, some are 'hand-me-downs' from friends who no longer want their records, and then there's the wonderful fact that slowly more and more record companies are putting out new albums on vinyl too, hurrah.

His storage space is on our top landing, in an Ikea expedit shelving unit/room divider.  Which is now about full!  I have some space in it too, I have a budgeoning collection of movie soundtracks, and also some wonderful vintage jazz.

We definitely need to have a rethink on the storage! x

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Sunny Suffolk finds

We brought home more great finds from the weekend in Suffolk.  At the vintage bazaar I got lots of vintage buttons and some beads at 50p a bag :)

I also found a lovely pink glass vase (with its flower frog which is unusual to find) and some glass jelly moulds

also some glass decanters & jars (which I plan to use for Christmas pressies with a bit of a twist - I'll explain nearer the time)

And some books, PG Woodehouse and Jane Austen audio & another Agatha Christie paperback (to add to the collection)

And Hubby came away with LOADS of lovely vinyl, especially great when most were between 25p - £1

he even found a few for me, I LOVE my jazz & these two below are awesome - we took the LP-to-go so got to listen to them whilst at the caravan which was so cool - and I take back what I said about the speaker not being great, in a caravan it sounds fantastic (must be those 10foot high ceilings that made it not so great) - I cannot recommend it enough for a travelling record player!

and we also found these great language LPs from the 1960s :)

Another great weekend of charity shop finds, keep them coming please. x