Friday 29 April 2011

The Royal Wedding

As you can see, I had a good seat at the Royal Wedding - on my setee in front of the telly.
We really enjoyed the occasion and the whole morning.

We loved the dress, the bridesmaids, all of the lovely outfits and the very Britishness of the morning.

11am is very early to start on the champagne though!!

I hope you enjoyed it.

Thursday 28 April 2011

Further wanderings around the Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Come with me for a further look around the YSP. As well as the central visitor area, there are
acres and acres of grounds and parkland - much of it with good disabled access - to roam around and enjoy.
The current exhibition by Sophie Ryder sits well in the gardens and car parks and really does enjoy the big spaces.

These bronzes are huge, and much loved by the kids that visit the park as well as the adults.

Of course you have to share the park with the residents.

There is currently a film exhibit inside the pretty little church. I love the weathered patterns on the door of the church.

Once across the lake, you can climb the Seventy One steps (number confirmed by hubby). I love that David Nash made something so practical but also so emotive. The path is made from coal mined locally.

The steps take you up over a beautiful hillside and through the wood.

Its worth the climb for the views, and also the current wonderful display of bluebells.

Many of you have said that you may call in when passing through the area at some point this year. Its well worth it as it is situated 2 minutes from the M1 motorway so easy to get to. As they only charge £4 for the car park and no admission charge, even if you only stay an hour, you get your moneys worth. There is a good planner HERE which tells you the best bits to visit depending on the amount of time you have to spare. And as Rob Ryan wrote in my comments when I did a blog on his brilliant exhibition here last year, the cafe at YSP is now his motorway service station of choice in the north!

Water for Elephants

As I mentioned in yesterdays post, I managed to get freebie tickets to see "Water for Elephants". This is the kind of film that I would have missed before I used to get the freebies. I am so glad we saw this - it is a beautiful film. It is the story of a young man who is orphaned and has no where to live in America in the depression years. He ends up joining a circus as a vet.

It is beautifully shot, and you don't know which way the story is going to go - it keeps you guessing. We loved it, and the elephant is gorgeous.

Go see it.

Wednesday 27 April 2011

A Frugal Swap

I was pointed in the direction of MrsYappyDog's blogswap by one of Michela's very rare posts(!!) and so I duly signed up, then forgot about it until my swap partner emailed me, and even then, I couldn't remember signing up! Poor old Elizabeth must have thought I was insane! Anyway - we swapped several emails and our frugal gifts, and here is the lovely lovely parcel that I received - all the way from gorgeous Brittany in France.
This postcard made me want to hop straight on a ferry across the channel. I love Brittany, it is such a pretty and colourful place.

I am sat with a cup of this delicious coffee as I type! I love a good cup of real coffee.

And look at this beautiful patchwork - and what gorgeous fabrics. It is supposed to be a coffee mat, but I dont want to put anything on it. Its beautiful.

Same with this gorgeous heart - now hanging on my wardrobe and fragranced with French lavender. Really beautiful. Many thanks Elizabeth, I love everything you sent. To see what I sent Elizabeth, click over to HERE.

As part of the deal, I have to give you my frugal tips. Here goes.

I think it makes a difference if you enjoy being frugal and "make do and mend" which I certainly do. I hate going to the shops and I love to get value for money. I also love the benefits it brings like peace of mind from having no debt and being that little bit "greener" etc

The Moneysavingexpert website changed my life. I realised that I was not a freak! I love the Forums - particularly the Moneysaving Old Style and the Freebies Forum. I never realised you could get so much for free! We are all going to the cinema this evening to see a movie for free (Water for Elephants) thanks to the freebie forum. Not only do you get to see movies for free, but you get to see them before everyone else does. One year, I got all of my Christmas presents for free! (apart from the kids ones). It was hard work, but very enjoyable and frugal.

I love to make food from scratch - even as far as picking the blackberries from the bushes. I spent a lot of time with my maternal grandparents when I was younger and learned a lot from them. Frugal was a neccesary way of life for them - and they lived a lovely life.

I have had times in my life when I didn't have to watch what I spend as much. I don't know if it is coincidence or not, but these times were the unhappiest in my life.

One of the biggest money savers for us as a family has been to reduce the holiday budget by investing in a tent - and at the same time discovering that this is the best kind of holiday EVER! I love holidays and discovering places and camping lets me do more and more of this. Ive done all the plush and lush hotels in a previous life - I once had a very corporationy job that let me travel 1st class and stay in some of the best hotels ever and I can honestly say that I am far happier under canvas in a field.

Monday 25 April 2011

Jaume Plensa @YSP

On Good Friday, hubby and I took ourselves off to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park (one of my fave places) as I had heard that they had some new exhibits. One of the new exhibitors is Jaume Plensa and I have to say that the pieces are just stunning.

The sculptures in the open air are large and the outdoor space suits them very well.

These 2 large heads are amazing. Their gaze seems to follow you where ever you go. They are made of mesh. They are having an evening opening session soon where they are lighting up some of these sculptures at dusk.

How on earth someone makes these is beyond me. I think they are beyond brilliant.

Although I managed to get shots that make it look as if no one was there, this wasn't the case - it was heaving with folk so I'm going to go back soon for a better look. The exhibition is on until the end of September.

These metal words suspended in the underground gallery tinkled as the children couldn't resist moving them.

We didn't get round all of the exhibits in here, but these illuminated ones were stunning.

They are huge.

These were made of Alabaster and they looked like holograms - as if the faces were projected onto the stone, but they weren't. The carvings were unbelievable.

This is certainly and exhibition you need to catch if possible.
It costs £4.50 to park at YSP and then everything else is free - such fantastic value. Most of the exhibits are suitable for disabled access too

I'll show you some of the other exhibits later.

Sunday 24 April 2011

Tip Toe through the Tulips....

I took my Mum to RHS Gardens at Harlow Carr in Harrogate for her birthday on Saturday. We had a lovely day. We managed to miss the horrendous thunder and lightening that the rest of the county endured and we tip toed through many beautiful tulips and got so much inspiration for our planting next year.
Come tiptoe, through the tulips with me........

Friday 22 April 2011

Temple Newsam

Yesterday, we had cause to be in Leeds in the morning, and with the weather remaining gorgeous, we decided not to dash home, but to visit one of the old houses in Leeds that we have never visited. Temple Newsam is a fine Jacobean/Tudor house. It was a bit hazy when we arrived, but still really hot.

The house and surrounding parkland are now managed really well by Leeds City council. Its only £6.40 for a family ticket for 5 people to look around everything. On this occasion we only paid to park as it was too nice to go in the house, but we will return another day for a look inside.

I loved the prose which wrapped all around the front of the house.

and I had a sneeky peak inside one of the rooms, it looks really interesting.

The DQ and I spotted a clearing in the misty distance where we imagined Mr Darcy would ride up to the house.

and then we discovered that he had actually come calling, and look what they did to him!!! They are heathens in West Yorkshire!

The big stable block houses a nice tea room and gift shop (for the many school visits!).

It also has "Home Farm" which is housed in gorgeous old farm buildings right next to the house.

The gardens and greenhouses are kept really neat

With plenty of colour!

We had a lovely long walk through the park and the woods, and came to what I supposed would have been the workers cottages in the village of Colton.

Very sweet cottages.

And proper looking old farms.

On our way back to the car park, we found a duck who had 11 ducklings.

Definitely a place to visit again, and only 20 minutes from home.