Monday, 23 May 2016

A Bonnie Weekend in the Peaks

Your eyes are not deceived, you didn't misread the title - we really did take monster van off for a weekend, and she actually behaved herself (!) allowing us a very bonnie weekend indeed :) This is the first trip in Bonnie where we haven't had some mishap or other, you do expect it with older ladies such as B, but it just felt like a continuous ordeal before - culminating in last year's fire of course....

Anyway! Pastures new, refurbished, and well-behaved Bonnie - here she is.

We drove up after work on Friday night, and after a night camping outside one of our favourite pubs  we headed further north on the Saturday to Castleton with the aim of climbing Mam Tor. Now I'm not particularly great with heights, or particularly fit, so was a bit apprehensive but the whole walk was just incredible - here are some of the highlights.

Then to top it all off we stayed in the most beautiful campsite that night, looking up at Mam Tor (the pointier peak on the right below). We sat in the sun and cooked fajitas with a bottle of wine - perfect. 

The blanket I made for such outings got its first outing - we certainly needed it as it was rather nippy in the night!

The next day we packed up and headed south, to the Staffordshire part of the national park. This was heading back to my roots really as my Mum's family are from this area. We did a walk not too far from where she grew up, which was really nice, starting off in the village of Onecote and enjoying a circular walk through the noticeably quieter Staffordshire fields - more overgrown and livestock filled, which added to its charms of course. We did nearly get eaten by the very hungry sheep in the picture below...

And we finished the walk visiting the church where my parents got married, nearly 35 years ago. This was a really special moment for me - I've seen pictures of all of my family lined up around this church and visiting it with my own husband did make me a little bit teary eyed. I'm a bit soppy really!

Monday, 9 May 2016

Italian Interlude

Seeing how we seem to never find time to go away (!) we ended up spending bank holiday weekend in beautiful Pisa. We have an Italian friend who went to uni there, so we met him and he showed us the sights (and the best places to eat).

As silly as it sounds, I did not expect the tower to actually lean. It looks really wonky!! I always imagined it was always some how exaggerated in pictures. But, there you go. We weren't very good tourists - we didn't actually go up the tower, in the cathedral or visit any museums/galleries. We just enjoyed the sunny Spring days and wandered around, accompanied by the occasional gelato. The streets were beautiful, wide and spacious surrounded by tall buildings, it felt a bit frozen in time really.

This beautiful square is home to one of the oldest universities in Italy, we were reliably informed that some pretty great parties also take place there!

There were of course Roman baths...

Beautiful views along the river...

And cobbled streets... all very Italian!

And we returned to England to discover that the sun had followed us home! I hope those of you in Blighty have been enjoying the bursts of Spring...