50 Things part 8

26. Butterfly House

Hot and humid day in Leeds, why not go to Tropical World? Well, the clue’s in the name, it was almost unbearably hot. Butterflies everywhere, chasing each other around. Beautiful.

Flowers outside Tropical World, Leeds.

Flowers outside Tropical World, Leeds.

I love the meerkats but can’t help feeling sorry for them. They’re so hardwired to be on the lookout that they must be living on adrenaline stuck in a glass box surrounded by constant ‘danger’. They seem to do the sentry thing halfheartedly and there’s nowt else for them to do. Poor things, just for our entertainment.

27. Lakes

Being chauffered around beautiful mountains, lakes, scary passes (especially Hardknott). Throw in a 4 star hotel offer (Low Wood Bay) and the most comfortable bed I’ve ever slept in. Bliss. We also looked for several neolithic stone sites mentioned in Julian Cope’s Gazetteer, but forgot to bring the OS map so managed not to find any of them. windermere

We did find the Blackwell arts n crafts house, which was beautiful. Am now musing on how to incorporate some into my own. First step DECLUTTER.

28. Massage

A birthday present from a friend. Home visit, massage, job done. Thanks Rita.

29. Isle of Lewis

I’ve wanted to visit Callanish stone circle for years. Maybe having my birthday on the summer solstice has given me my interest in standing stones. They’re also usually in beautiful places and I remember leaning against one at Stonehenge thinking it was amazingly big when I was 10. Such a shame what they’ve done to it now. Little did I know that Callanish has 3 circles within walking distance of each other, plus on Lewis they seem to be everywhere. As were golden eagles, beautiful beaches, rainbows, Harris tweed, art galleries, fields of buttercups, stone age buildings. Not sure why there is so much pampas grass blowing in the wind (let’s not go down the Comic Strip presents route).

Pampas blowing in the wind on Lewis.

Pampas blowing in the wind on Lewis.

We visited an amazing bothy built on a cliff edge, attended an art opening, sewed some more of Jasia’s wedding quilt (ongoing for 4 years now) and did a lot of laughing. Thanks to Helen for the marathon drive, and for taking us to the Real Food Cafe in Tyndrum. Perfect pit stop.

This year has involved catching up with so many old friends and reminiscing, but I’ve decided that that needs to be balanced by looking forwards, making plans and new memories. There are still 31 things on my list to fit in this year, which is becoming more of a challenge than I expected. A good one though 🙂

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50 Things part 4

  1. ‘Making’ by Thomas Heatherwick

I treated myself to a beautiful book by the man that designed the Rolling Bridge at Paddington Basin. It’s so simple, effective and beautiful. Free to visit if you have a bit of spare time in London. You can walk across it, watch it roll up and marvel at the geometry.

Making book

Making book

The Rolling Bridge.

heatherwick_studio_lightbox_rolling_bridge

  1. Krakow visit.

What a lovely place. Poles seem very proud of their country, which makes a pleasant change from English cynicism, my own included.

I can’t recommend Travelzoo enough- really cheap offers in decent hotels. We also got a trip round Auschwitz which I’ve been meaning to get around to. There’s nowt I can say to express the impact and my sheer inability to believe what humans can do.

Anyway, on our tourist itinerary were the salt mine- very impressive; many churches and Nowa Huta, the Brutalist social realism dream.

Detail from St Francis church

Detail from St Francis church

My favourite church was Church of St. Francis of Assisi which is covered with Art Nouveau wallpapers. I thought one of the stained glass windows featured a man with a huge afro, but on reflection I think that was a shadow inside his halo. I’ve no idea- there’s no guessing what Polish words mean. The Lord’s Ark is pretty special too, built by volunteers, with it’s bit of moon rutile, shrapnel and a stone from the tomb of St. Peter in the Vatican.

I won’t bore you with meals we had, but there’s plenty of very good veggie food in Krakow, particularly at Pod Norenami and Czerwone Korale.

  1. Sowing seeds seedlingsI mean to do this every year, but April comes around and I’ve not flexed my green fingers. So this year I’ve sowed some sweet peas courtesy of Katie JH and some poached egg plants and they’ve germinated! It’s like magic. I am the proud nurturer of some baby seedlings. I sincerely hope I don’t kill them.
  1. 1965 is a fine vintagetree 1965I treated myself and a few fine friends who are 50 this year to necklaces made from 1965 pennies.My friend Stuart has been making jewellery from old coins for many years and selling them at festivals, but he’s finally got a shop in Hebden Bridge- shameless plug for ‘Not a Full Shilling ‘.

    All handmade by a lovely man.

50 Things part 2

Mr Tom B has requested the full list because he ‘can’t be bothered to look every week’. I think such honesty should be rewarded so ‘ere you go Tom. There’s some blanks for unexpected events and the list may be subject to change..

1. Buy a magnum

2. Meal at Prashad

3. Habitat Garland

4. Buy a car

5. Watch Breaking Bad series 5

6. Krakow

7. Visit Katie+ quilt museum

8. Red Ladder theatre show

9. Budapest

10. Ragdale or Champneys with old schoolmates

11. Kneehigh theatre Rebecca

12. Womens Holiday Centre Horton

13. Luxembourg to visit cousins

14. Bonfire in garden

15. Butterfly house when they’re hatching

16. Sow some seeds

17. Forbidden Corner

18. Get a gardener

19. Orgiva

20. Walk to Goldenacre Park along Meanwood trail, at rhodedendron time

21. Tea at Sketch in London

22. Cream tea in London with family

23. Party

24. Beatherder

25. Isle of Lewes- lots of stone circles

26. Picnic at Armscliff Crags

27. Day in garden hammock

28 Castlerigg stone circle

29. Ambiente for tapas

30. Barcelona

31. Xmas with dad and Paddy

32. Fantasia at Kirkstall Abbey

33. Body mudpack + shower in Rita’s lovely bathroom

34. Go up a Fjord

35. Cheerful Chilli

36. Dough

37. Curry with Calderdaleites

38. Visit Rich

39. Aura photo

40. Visit Nik in Chesterfield

41. Reflexology

42. Yorks Wildlife Park

43 See some puffins

44. Massage

45. Visit seaside

46-50. tbc