Tub on the Run


4 Comments

Dartmoor walks in the sunshine

What an absolutely gorgeous day!  After torrential rains and storms like I have never seen, the sunshine was such a warm relief today.  I’d already planned to meet up with H from Slimming World and go for a walk on Dartmoor.  I wanted to take my camera out for a bit.  I didn’t get the chance to go out during the week.

Lots of other people had a similar idea, and there were plenty of kayakers out on the River Dart.

SAMSUNG CSC

We also crossed paths with these couple of beauties:

SAMSUNG CSC

Both were sporting their shaggy winter coats, so I imagine they were probably a bit toasty.  It won’t be too long now before all the foals are born.  I was surprised how close we managed to get to them.

We wandered up a little further, hopping over tree roots and successfully avoiding slipping on mossy stones, then decided it was time to turn back as it was getting close to lunchtime.  We drove to Buckfast Abbey for one of the best roast dinners I have had in ages.

SAMSUNG CSC

We didn’t have a look around too much, as it was a bit of a shame to waste the sunshine.  Even the bees thought so.

SAMSUNG CSC

After lunch, we dropped H back home.  The only thing is that I swear so much sunlight has caused a sensory overload and I am tired.  Good tired though, not the miserable kind of tired.

This week, I am looking forward to not being away and I will be making a concerted effort to leave work at work.  Let’s aim for a better work-life (and maybe blogging) balance.  I also foresee a return to running (fingers crossed!).

 

Advertisements


18 Comments

I have the best sister

A long time ago, when my sister and I were first talking about hen parties, I specifically said that I didn’t want “just a night out on the town” (I can do that whenever, and honestly, clubbing in my home town is rubbish – I miss my uni town for that), and that there were to be no giant inflatable penises, or penis straws, or L plates, or general hen party tat (no offence to those who have thoroughly enjoyed hen parties like that, but it’s just not for me).

Yesterday marked three weeks to my wedding, and therefore, my hen party (or my bachelorette party to any Americans out there).  I knew a couple of very small details in the run up – that it was going to take place on or past Haldon Hill, and that there were cocktails at some point.  I had been told to bring gloves, wear boots with an ankle support, and dress as if we were going to Dartmoor.

At 9:30am, my sister appeared with her two best friends, picking up me and N.  When we were in the car and belted up, I was provided with a clue.  I’m not very good at clues – I’m a better logic thinker than an abstract thinker.

My clues!

My clues!

We turned off up Haldon Hill, and my immediate thought was that we were going to Go Ape!, which is effectively an aerial assault course.  I’ve done it before and loved it, but thought it was probably a bit chilly at this time of year.  Well, it turns out it wasn’t that anyway.  As we waited for the rest of the party to arrive, we all togged up and then when everyone else came, we headed over to Segway!!  It was AMAZING!!  Segways move depending on your weight distribution – lean forward to go forward, lean back to stop and/or move backwards, and stand still to stand still.  Do you know how hard it is to actually stand perfectly straight AND still?  It’s quite hard to start off with.  I found the initial training quite hard, and definitely settled more into it when we went around the forest.

I don't think I was being told off, but it looks like it!

I don’t think I was being told off, but it looks like it!

Time flew by when we were on these and before I knew it, we were heading back to base to grab some lunch.  Lunch was a picnic on the murky peak of Haldon Hill, but the weather did nothing to dampen our spirits.

From there, it was off on a treasure hunt around Exeter.  In teams of three we set off, each starting at different points around the course.  N, H, and I are all surprisingly competitive, so took it very seriously and started powering our way around the city looking for the clues, determined to get the answers right and be the first back to base.

With a handful of questions to go, we spotted my sister and her two friends in the distance.  We made some fairly shoddy attempts at hiding from them, but they eventually spotted us and it turned into a race of two teams.

My sister in the pink in the middle ground

My sister in the pink in the middle ground

Sadly, we weren’t the first team back – my sister’s team did actually beat us home.  However, once the team of my friends appeared and the marking of the answer booklets was done, it turned out that we had won!  Our prize?  Truffles.  They were gorgeous!

From Exeter, it was a mad dash home to get ready for the next part.  At this point, I still didn’t know what we were doing, but I was told we needed to wear nice clothes, so I changed into my jeans, a blue top and my wedding shoes (they need breaking in!).  It was quite a rush getting ready, but we managed it.  H knew where to take me, so off we toddled.  We met the majority of the party outside Spoken, a cafe bar.  It was time to make cocktails!  We had a long table, lined up with Collins and Martini glasses, with spirits, mixers and other ingredients at one end.

DSCI0059

George, the manager at Spoken, went on to show us how to make a Cosmopolitan, a Tom Collins and a Vanilla Alexander.  We made one, drank it, and then got shown the next.  I will admit that the cocktails were strong with a capital S, and it became a challenge to remember what went into the cocktails, especially the last one – the Vanilla Alexander.

Hen night cocktails

At this point, it was getting increasingly important to get some food to soak up some of the cocktails.  We were a little late appearing at the Mexican, but they were very good with us despite our lateness.  The food was plentiful and delicious (even through my drunken fug). and I left feeling a bit more sober than when I arrived, despite my friend topping up my Malibu and lemonade with white wine…

My sister organised the whole thing, and I am so grateful to her.  She did such a good job – there was something for everyone, but everything for me and it was the best day I have had in such a long time.  I feel very touch to have such good friends and family, and I feel honoured to have a sister like P.  She rocks.  Thank you P 🙂


6 Comments

Day Trips – Exeter and Dartmoor

I am thoroughly enjoying my week off so far.  My only concern is that it seems to be galloping by far too quickly for my liking.  I’m trying very hard not to think of the fact that I have no holiday time booked between the end of this week and when mother-in-law gets married in September.  Fourteen weeks between now and then.  Scary!  I do have a couple of things to look forward to though, so it’s not all doom and gloom.

Yesterday, M and I headed in to Exeter.  My car needed its MOT test and a major service, so we dropped the car off and walked into the city.  It was a pleasant day, and we stopped off at the cathedral green to work out our plan of attack.

Exeter Cathedral

Exeter Cathedral

Memorial on the green for Lee Rigby

Memorial on the green for Lee Rigby

The plan was to wander about, window shopping until lunchtime.  We headed into our usual haunts, with me half heartedly looking for a nice dress for mother-in-law’s wedding (no success).  Lunchtime came, and we made our way to Yo! Sushi.  I have wanted to try sushi for a long time, and have said to M about eating at a Yo! Sushi when we’ve been in Cribbs Causway in Bristol.  He’s never been too keen, but somehow his arm was twisted this time.  It was a great experience – lean principles in action.  I had no plan of what to eat, and just picked anything I liked the look of.  It was great!  I didn’t have lots of fish, as I am not the biggest fish fan, but I enjoyed the bits of fish I did have.   Safe to say, I am a Yo! Sushi convert.  I’m not sure I’d chose that over Wagamama, but it could be a tough call.

This year, the Royal Albert Memorial Museum reopened, after a long period of refurbishment.  I hadn’t been in since my final year in sixth form, when we were studying William Blake in English Literature, and conveniently there was an exhibition for Songs of Innocence and of Experience.  That would have been [groan] 11 years ago.

A cultural Tub

A cultural Tub

As children, Mum used to take my sister and I there on a regular(ish) basis.  There were things that I was keen to make sure were still there, like Gerald the Giraffe, and the Egyptian mummy.  They were there!

Elephant next to Gerald

Elephant next to Gerald

Sadly, news came in whilst M and I were wandering around, that I was likely to have to sell a kidney to pay for my car’s repairs.  Oh well, it’s only money – you only life once (thank goodness – it would be too expensive to do so multiple times!)!  After a really enjoyable day out, M and I settled down to watch the latest series of True Blood (my love, next to Spartacus).

Today rolled around too quickly.  My sister, Mum and I were going to spend the day together, but Mum had overexerted herself yesterday (they had gone out for a bike ride for the first time this year) and stayed at home.  My sister, P, picked me up, and off we headed to Dartmoor.  P is a slave driver great support in my battle with the bulge and beat me encouraged me up two sizeable hills.

074

I jest, it wasn’t that bad, and I did actually mutter that the masochistic side of me thought it would be great to walk up this hill.  Me and my big mouth…

We walked all the way to the top

We walked all the way to the top

Now, I didn’t truly appreciate how steep that hill was (the picture doesn’t do it justice!), and had to take several rest breaks on the way up, but the view from the peak was amazing.

I thought the rocks in the middle ground were at the  top of a big hill...

I thought the rocks in the middle ground were at the top of a big hill…

What was also very nice was the Dartmoor foals.  Everything seems late this year (maybe due to the weather), and the foals don’t seem to be an exception, though these guys aren’t brand new.

101 110

In our attempts to get a little bit closer to the ponies, we ended up in blanket bog, and I sunk my foot quite deep into one puddle.  Thankfully, P did the same (misery wet feet love company).

Bog bodies!

Bog bodies!

I really enjoyed my day out today, even if I am now so windswept…

windswept and out of puff

windswept and out of puff

… that I am dreading brushing my hair later.  I feel it will be a conditioner and comb in the shower jobbie.