365 Day Blog challenge Day 54 – Canal Walk #365daychallenge

The weather this week has been bleak and miserable but I’m full of energy and wanted to do something on my day off that was a bit more than the usual shopping and cleaning but that wouldn’t break the bank. I decided to go for a walk down the canal. I started at a point that’s quite near my home and set off in the direction of Leeds city centre. It’s not the most scenic route. It’s far nicer walking the other way as you can see on my travel blog (link below). That way if you walk for 127 miles you get to Liverpool on the west coast.

The mile walk to the city centre would have once given you all the mills the city was famous for but now it’s mostly broken up by the train station, hotels and businesses. There’s even now a thriving bar/restaurant section. So not as pretty as the other direction but it was good to get out of the house, blow away some mental cobwebs and get a bit of exercise.

Canal Walk Leeds to Kirkstall



365 Day Blog challenge Day 20 – Favourite holiday 365daychallenge

Sticking with yesterdays holiday theme I thought I’d write about my favourite holiday. While I had been to Euro Disney in Paris (for 2 days) I went by coach and ferry and it didn’t feel like a trip abroad. So in time for my

30th birthday I packed up my young son and we went to San Francisco and Anaheim. At the time in the UK if you were a single traveller looking at a package deal you paid an extra supplement for being on your own. Travel agents then wanted to charge me further by adding in the cost of my son. So effectively I would pay for him as an adult. I decided to price up what I wanted on the internet and got my perfect holiday saving £1000!! As a single parent that’s a lot of money. So I had a week in San Francisco in the super hot June sunshine. We went to museums, shopped, my son got his first ever Build a Bear (it wasn’t available in the UK at the time or if it was at only a very few select places), we saw our first wrestling match after a shop keeper saw my son’s hat and told us about a show the next day. It was wonderful


A funny memory; our flight didn’t get us in until 10.00pm. We were tired and ready for the hotel after around 15 hours of flights and connections. Getting in the taxi to the hotel the song ‘Get Down Tonight’ started playing and totally unplanned we and our driver all started singing along and doing the same chair dancing! Just a funny, you had to be there moment I still think of.


The second week was Anaheim. Now in England we have a good infrastructure with trains even if it is over prices and some train companies always late. I assumed I’d find the same in America and could book my connection when I got there. Boy was I wrong. I  got my tickets for Amtrak (and quite cheap if I remember) but there was no direct train. We had to keep getting off the train and catching coaches so the journey would join up. And the trip took 13 hours. However this turned out to be a wonderful day. Whether bus or train we went through so much of California and got to (briefly) see places that we wouldn’t if we’d flown. I’m sure one stop was in the middle of a farm! We went through the mountains, fields, cities, by the sea and so much more.


So arriving in Anaheim. This was a week for my son. Nearly every day was a theme park – Disney, Knott’s Berry, Six Flags. The best bit was my 30th birthday. We spent the evening watching the firework display in the park pretending it was something Disney had put on especially for my day. I think it’s one of the best birthday’s I’ve ever had and the whole 2 weeks has stayed in my mind more than some of the more recent one. It’s a trip I will always treasure.

Getting out more…

A few months ago I decided I needed to get out more. I’d just got a new job with a bit of extra cash and so it seemed like a good idea to re-start life in a few different ways. 

Well so far I’ve mostly pottered around the country; sometimes through wortk and sometimes through coach trips but that’s it. I’ve done nothing else. Looking back at various things I’d done over the last few years I realised I’ve only been to the cinema four times in two years. For someone who used to go twice a week that just shocking. Actually twice a week is shocking too but I had a monthly pass so got my monies worth (or not depending on the film) but I digress.

It’s all got me thinking – what is “getting out more”? Tweny years ago this woud mean more pubs and drinking and while I still could do with some of that I want to talk to people, meet new people and chat in a  civilised manner. So how do I do that in this age of technology and people being more interested in their phones (or so it seems). Therein lies my problem. 

I’ve made it my mission to see at least 6 films at the cinema next year. That won’t fix the problem but it’s better than waiting for DVDs and just talking to myself. I have a few female friends who will happily sit in pubs on their own with a drink and a book. I’m the type of person who won’t go in a pub unless  know someone else is there already. I was that fashionably late person for years for that very reason. So start small; baby steps – I will spend more time in coffee shops looking cool, mysterious but approachable 🙂 And probably not my local supermarket cafe or Mcdonalds. Not being snobbish but it’s not normally the place for lounging away an afternoon even if their teas are cheaper. 

I’ve also been looking through our sport and social catalogue. I’ve found a craft club which looks interesting but I carry enough junk around with me on a working day without adding knitting needles and wool. That’s a maybe. Then right at the bottom I saw we have a dance group! I do love me some Strictly Come Dancing so I’ve emailed them to see what kind f dancing and is there any lessons. Now though is it “getting out more” if it’s still on work premises?? Do I have to revise my wording? 

I was going to some book clubs but had to give them up as they clash with my new work hours. I might look for another one or maybe I’ll reset up an old one I used to do with a friend. I haven’t looked into that properly yet. But what else? What do people do these days??? Time to get my thinking cap on. Any ideas most welcome

Bluebells at Middleton Park – Memories

According to Metcheck website today’s Bank Holiday is meant to be the only day this week with sunshine and no rain so I made sure to treat myself with an afternoon out at Middleton Park. I was originally going to follow one of the heritage trails that they have but got sidetracked by trees and bluebells.

I have many missing memories from my childhood thanks to the years of depression but picking flowers in the woods is one I do remember and cherish. Me and my dad would go to Middleton Park and pick the bluebells. This was over 30 years ago so I don’t think it was illegal then and it was only maybe once or twice a year so hopefully we weren’t responsible for their scarcity now. Wandering around the woods allowed me to follow the words of Ekhart Tolle and Adyashanti (Falling Into Grace – book) by being in the now, not thinking about anything except where I was and the trees and flowers and just stop for a while to take in the beauty of nature.

It’s so easy to get caught up in daily stresses and for me last week was a bad week at work with helping my colleagues work their way through two deaths that sometimes I think we forget to just stop and smell the flowers. The park was filled with thousands of bluebells and just one of the most beautiful landscapes I have ever had the pleasure of witnessing. Who needs to travel miles when you have beauty and relaxation on your doorstep


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