Blackpool Dungeon

We spent the last Bank Holiday of May playing in Blackpool with our friends and their son. It was a lovely day, and we did everything that makes a seaside resort like Blackpool great; played on the beach, wandered along the front by the prom, played in the arcades and had a mooch around the shops that are full of the tack you only ever find at places like this! Fluorescent googly eyed donkey, anyone?

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The highlight, however, was a trip around Blackpool dungeon. I was initially apprehensive, the last time I visited the dungeons in York I was genuinely terrified and wound myself up awfully about it. I was 23. This time was different though. When you’re accompanied by a 5 year old you simply have to man up. There was one section when he clambered onto my knee and the room was plunged into darkness. I felt a small hand grab mine tightly and realised that I was not allowed to be a wuss anymore, I wasn’t 5! After that I really enjoyed the experience, even the parts with freezing water being sprayed at you! If you get the chance this summer, I seriously recommend that you hunt down one of those 2 for 1 vouchers for cheaper entry (that seem to be EVERYWHERE) and get yourself there. Plus you get an incredibly flattering photo like this as a souvenir!

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Playing Outdoors: Clougha Pike

If you had told me 10 years ago that I would spend a chunk of my weekend climbing a hill (and actually enjoying it) I’d have laughed in your face and, most probably, judged you heavily for not knowing me at all. Yet last Saturday I found myself scaling Clougha Pike with Jonny. The whole expedition only took us 2 1/2 hours but I definitely felt the burn the next day!

Clougha Summit

The weather managed to stay fine for us, which was lucky considering the incredibly boggy nature of a stretch of the ascent! We drove to Jubilee Tower, parked up and started our trek. Aside from a few disinterested sheep, we had the hillside to ourselves. During the course of the ascent I learnt two things; 1 – ALWAYS pack tissues on a walk (the prospect of a one-finger-to-the-side-of-the-nose nose blow just wasn’t cutting it for me!) and 2 – I am nowhere near as fit as I thought I was! Jonny assures me that my ‘walking fitness’ will improve with more practise, but I’m not sure if that’s a ruse to make me walk more or not!

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We saw a range of wildlife, ranging from ringed plovers and partridges to caterpillars that resembled huge bushy eyebrows. I need some serious photography practise to get some good shots in future though, that or stick my gorilla pod in the rucksack to avoid wind-swept shaking attempts at capturing wandering birds.

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Just the thought of spending time walking, for pleasure, is something I seriously used to scoff at. Now I’m the proud (not so sure if I am proud of this yet) owner of an actual grown up waterproof, a wind proof padded jacket and walking boots. Not to mention the waterproof socks and buff I purchased after the walk. I am now one of those people I used to mock heavily. Part of me (and it’s a growing part) thinks this might not actually be a bad thing!

A Scottish wedding

Last weekend Jonny and I were lucky enough to be invited up to Scotland for a wedding. With only 30 guests, and taking place in a beautiful ruined castle, the wedding itself was stunning! I wore a floral wrap dress with sturdy tan ankle boots, ready to play on the local beach after the ceremony.

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The beach was incredible, with miles of white sand and clear sea. Definitely not what I had expected!

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The bride and groom had set up party games on the sand, with a coconut shy, boules, croquet and plenty of Fentiman’s fizz to keep us refreshed.

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We were very lucky with the weather and it turned out to be a glorious day (which was fortunate given the number of men in kilts with bare legs!)

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It was a genuinely brilliant weekend. Even the horrendously hungover 2 hour walk down the beach on the Sunday was made bearable by the scenery.

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We’re already planning a trip back to the area to explore the gorgeous beach further!

Mary Berry Fan-girling

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At the end of April my lovely Mum treated me to a trip to the Good Food Show in Harrogate! As part of the day we got to watch my cooking idol Mary Berry demonstrating in the supertheatre.

We arrived super early and were lucky enough to get to see Mary opening the show. Being in the front row meant I was treated to a bake-off wink from the lady herself as well!

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The show itself was fantastic (if a little hectic towards the afternoon.) There was plenty of opportunity to taste and sample along the way, which we took full advantage of! Our final purchases included elderflower gin, venison salami and delicious Yorkshire baked pies.

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The highlight, however, was watching Mary Berry from the second row in the supertheatre. She put on a genuinely hilarious show and made two dishes from her latest cook book. One of which, the meditteranean vegetable salmon en croute, looked so good that I made it for dinner the following day!

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It was one of those occasions where you genuinely impress yourself with your cooking. I honestly felt like a little bit of a domestic goddess! The salmon definitely tasted better than it looked (turns out my pastry-based art skills are somewhat limited!)