It was David’s birthday on Monday! To celebrate the day, he wanted to visit a nature reserve to test out his new telephoto lens. So we got up early on a bright August morning and headed up the motorway to … Continue reading
Category Archives: Birthday
I don’t know about you, but March 2021 has seemed a long month to me. Though the evenings have been getting lighter there has still been a chilling nip in the air during the day. March however, is a great month to witness the start of spring, from the birds beginning to sing, to the garden finally waking up. Here are a few pictures of the unfurling plants in my yarden.
March is our anniversary month, and this year was our 15th year anniversary together. David and I celebrated it by sharing a tasty curry.
March is also the birthday month of both my mum and brother Daniel.
The 23rd of March this year was also a National Day of Remembrance. I took the time to remember my dad, Graham who we said goodbye too nine years ago on 28th March 2012.
David had a few days off work in March and we spent many of his days off by walking around Sefton Park. On one occasion, I spied a little grebe on the lake and Riley enjoyed the warm springlike sunshine.
Sadly, I’ve not done any reading this month at all!
Since I am back at work two days a week, I’ve spent the days in between by catching up on some series. I’ve been enjoying Netflix’s The Queens Gambit, ITV’s Unforgotten and David and I have both been having a laugh to SyFy’s Resident Alien.
Having been living together in our home now for the past eight years, some of the paintwork in the rooms are looking a little tired. So to make a start on the project of sprucing up the interiors we decided to paint the easiest room in the house, the bathroom. We decided on a medium grey to replace the purple we had on firstly. It only took us a few hours to do two coats of paint and the result is a fresh, cleaner, more modern looking style. What do you think?
I celebrated Earth Hour by switching off my lights for an hour on the 27th. This WWF campaign is to spread awareness of our carbon footprints. By using less light and energy this reduces harmful Co2 emissions.
I’m not sure what prompted Liverpool City Council to install 11 light art fixtures as part of their River of Light during lockdown, but in need of some stimulation, David and I with a nervous Riley in tow, spent a couple of hours walking around Liverpool’s waterfront.
It’s been a year since the UK was plunged into the first lockdown. How have you coped? It has been a struggle for many. From having too much time on your hands and the boredom and frustration that brings, to working from home and all the pressures it adds to the mental state. Finances have been hit hard and businesses have suffered. Not being able to travel and every day melding into one. It has been a long, dark year but hopefully we can recover and regain some semblance of normality in the coming months ahead.
How have you spent March? What are you most looking forward to getting back to doing?
A Year in Photos – 2020
What an unprecedented year 2020 has been! From a stormy beginning to the new year to a global pandemic the likes no one had seen in a hundred years. We were told to work from home or be furloughed. The roads were quieter and the air felt fresher for it. Then we were allowed out but it wasn’t for long as we were soon all told to stay at home, again! People lost their jobs, their homes and small businesses suffered. It has been a year of struggle and stresses untold. Every day blended into one and mental health issues took its toll. Now Christmas is upon us but there’s not much cheer to be had. This year in photos has been the hardest blog to write. How has your 2020 fared?
Our 2020 started off slowly with lots of walks with Riley. If I knew what lay ahead I would have gone on more adventures.
Our aviary welcomed a new friend in the form of Nova, a Star finch.
If I’d have known that this was the last time I’d see a live concert at the Philharmonic Hall, I would have made an effort to enjoy it more. However I was less than satisfied with this performance of Mahler’s 2nd Symphony.
With all the uncertainty around lock-down it was nice to escape for a while. A favourite RPG of mine which I last played in 1997, had been remade and was released in time to save lock-down.
Social distancing meant that we didn’t see family as much as we would have liked. So we had many family quiz nights to catch up and have a much needed laugh.
Sadly we had to say goodbye to Evie, the family cat who passed away aged 18.
Once Covid-19 lock-down restrictions had been relaxed, we took a day trip to The Lake District. Wild swimming at Beacon Tarn was a reset button to all the anxiety of the year.
A visit to a local sunflower maze with family was enjoyable, even though the sunflowers themselves had passed their best!
One of the best days of 2020 was when we took a visit to Buttermere in The Lake District. The weather was perfect, just like a summers day!
Like many who had plans this year, I had to cancel my birthday holiday to Scotland. I settled for a walk at Formby Beach with David and Riley instead.
During the summer, on a walk with Riley, I spotted the Google Maps car. Fast forward to the end of the year and during a search I spotted Riley, Mum and I on Google Maps!
With the country in differing Covid-19 tiers, there seems to be less hope and cheer this Christmas. Whoever you celebrate the season with, I wish you all the best.
I’m keeping everything crossed that 2021 will be a kinder year to us all!
I wish you all good health and happiness for the new year ahead!
Thanks for your continued support,
A Year in Film 2020: Advent Calendar – Day Fifteen
It’s day fifteen of my Christmas film advent calendar. Tonight’s film is:
Christine’s rating: ✩✩ David’s rating: ✩✩
When his uptight CEO sister threatens to shut down his branch, the branch manager throws an epic Christmas party in order to land a big client and save the day, but the party gets way out of hand…
An office party gets out of hand in this Christmas comedy from 2016, watchable.
Have you seen this film? What did you think?
Thanks for reading!
A Birthday Visit to Formby Point
2020 has been a disappointing year for so many, David and myself included. For my birthday this year we should have been holidaying in a loch-side cabin in Scotland’s Trossach’s National Park, but due to Covid-19 restrictions, we made the best of a difficult situation and spent the day at Formby Point. No trip to the beach is complete without an excitable Border Collie in tow. We may not have seen any red squirrels in the woods but we certainly made the most of our time at the beach, even seeing a few mermaid purses. Here’s a few pictures from our trip.
How have you been coping in 2020? Have any holiday plans changed/cancelled?
Thanks for reading, and keep well,
Goodbye 2018…and Hello 2019!
Happy New Year from Christine, David, Artie and Riley! Here’s hoping 2019 is a year full of love, laughter and friendship!
It’s taken a while but below find the annual video sharing the most memorable moments of 2018. Here’s hoping 2019 will just be as wonderful!
I want to thank you all for coming on the journey with us!
Thanks for all your support,
A Year in Photos – 2018
I can’t quite believe it’s that time of year again. As December comes to a close and 2019 draws ever closer, it’s time to look back at 2018. And what a year 2018 has been! David and I have been on a wonderful adventure together. Below find 12 random pictures that highlight what a fantastic year 2018 has been!
The year began with a seven mile walk at Gisburn Forest, in the Forest of Bowland, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It certainly blew the cobwebs away and set the tone for the rest of the year ahead.
Desperate to get out and catch as much winter sun as we could, David and I embarked on a 10 mile circular walk of my much loved Derwentwater in the Lake District.
The highly anticipated exhibition of China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors opened at Liverpool’s World Museum. I visited in March with David and then again in September with mum.
I was over the moon when I completed my first 500 miles in the #walk1000miles challenge. I only had another 500 to complete, which I accomplished in July!
With the weather hotting up David and I took yet another trip to The Lake District. This time we walked towards Bleaberry Tarn for a blissfully warm wild swim.
June for me is undoubtedly all about The Wildlife Trust’s 30 Days Wild! This year was extra special as I managed to blog every day. We spent a wonderful month visiting many new nature reserves and even managed to squeeze in a short break to The Lake District, where we waked alpacas along Derwentwater.
The highlight of July was having my friend from California, USA come to stay with us for a few days. As requested, we visited the Lake District for what turned out to be a rather soggy hike around Rannerdale Knotts.
We took a trip down to see Dippy the Diplodocus at Birmingham Museums. This free exhibition was a little bit different from our other days out this year.
A wild swim dream came true this month when David and I took a short break to the Highlands of Scotland. I managed to bag three swims! It has whetted my appetite to visit again in future.
As a birthday treat I, along with David and my mum took a visit to Liverpool’s newly opened Cat Cafe. We seemed to be a magnet for naughty, hungry kitties.
The Lake District has played a heavy part in 2018. Imagine my happiness when we discovered that Riley could manage the two hours travel up to Cumbria. (He suffers badly with car sickness). Our first visit with Riley tagging along was to the serene Rydal Water and Grasmere.
December is all about the excitement of Christmas. My favourite picture from December is undoubtedly Riley with Santa Paws.
Let’s hope 2019 will be another kind year!
I wish you all good health and happiness for the new year ahead!
Thanks for your continued support,
My Birthday Swim 2018
For my 42nd birthday next week I want to go for a swim, but I am having trouble choosing the right one. So I need your help in making the decision. Below, find a selection of four swims, two from Snowdonia and two from the Lake District. Which one would you prefer?
I attempted to swim in Llyn Padarn for last years birthday but found that it got busy later on in the day. If I was to go back again this year I would go much earlier. Perhaps see the sunrise?
What better than to revisit the place where my wild swimming bug was born. Another one for an early start as the area gets busy. Do you know of any easy walks nearby? We’ve walked the circumference of Idwal and Ogwen in the past.
The Lake District:
A perfect autumnal walk to Todd Crag would be a good accompaniment to a dip in iconic Windermere.
Angle Tarn (Langdale)
I first saw this swim/walk on swimmingthelakes, I didn’t know there was more than one Angle Tarn! This tarn is not far from Stickle Tarn which we visited in June. It has a similar look to Stickle.
Which swim would you like to see me do next?
A Year in Photos – 2017
Phew! What a year!
I think 2017 has been a wonderful year for David and I! What an adventure 2017 has truly been! I will think back at all the wonderful places and sights we have seen and feel blessed we were able to share them together! Here’s my twelve pictures that sum up our 2017!
2017 started with an eight mile walk around Coniston. We took a detour to visit Banishead Quarry.
Not everything was plain sailing in 2017. We suffered five deaths in our aviary. Poor Tarn, a Blue Faced Parrot Finch was one of the hardest to bare.
I treated mum to a special birthday afternoon tea at Liverpool’s Jam restaurant.
Riley enjoyed many walks with David and I in 2017. None more so than at the beach!
I embarked on my first wild swim of the season! Crummock Water, was choppy, chilly but exhilarating!
June was all about The Wildlife Trust’s 30 Days Wild. Part of the month long celebration we took a trip to Claremont Farm on the Wirral to pick our own strawberries!
July was a fun filled month. We went wildlife spotting at Mere Sand’s Wood, took a visit to Birmingham’s Big Sleuth and had a two nights stay in the Lakes. A ten mile walk around Beda Fell and Angle Tarn Pikes was exhausting!
Following in much the same vein as July, August seen many more days out. Partaking in my my first Welsh wild swim was simply outstanding!
The dawn of autumn saw David and I head towards Morecambe and Leighton Moss RSPB Nature Reserve in search of more wildlife.
I surprised myself by completing the #walk1000miles challenge some two months earlier than expected. I completed on the 8th October 2017. 1000 miles + has been walked to date!
The only highlight of this dark, dreary month was a theatre visit to The Liverpool Empire to see the 10th Anniversary of War Horse.
December is again undoubtedly all about Christmas. This year David and I played host to family for Christmas dinner. I have to admit it’s been a very tiring month! Here’s to a more relaxing start to 2018!
I wish you all good health and happiness for the new year ahead! Let’s make 2018 a year to remember!
Thanks for your continued support,
The Vivian Quarry Trail
It’s taken me a while to get round to writing about our most recent day out. As a treat for my birthday David and I planned another walk. My intention was to take a stroll around the Vivian Quarry overlooking Llyn Peris and then embark on another Welsh wild swim at Padarn. However it was only the walk we achieved, I couldn’t find a suitable, peaceful site to swim from at Padarn.
After an early start, we arrived at the car park for the Llanberis Lake Railway around 10am. Parking was a very reasonable £4 for all day. From here there are a number of walking trails you can take around Padarn Country Park. After a quick pit-stop, David and I headed towards the Vivian Trail which would take us past old barracks towards a viewpoint overlooking the Vivian Quarry and Llyn Peris.
The Vivian Quarry is part of the larger Dinorwic Quarry which was the second largest slate mine in it’s time. It has now become the back drop to the Dinorwic Hydroelectric Power Station. Tours of this engineering feat can be booked from here.
Our walk took us through woodland, the path creeping steadily upwards past disused quarry buildings and old barrack houses where the quarry-men would live in spartan conditions.
We spent a good four hours walking the path and taking pictures. I definitely see another visit to the area in future as there are many more paths yet to be explored. We returned to the car and went looking for a suitable place in which to have a birthday swim at Llyn Padarn.
Unfortunately all the beaches were full with canoeists so I forgoed a swim, until next time!
Have you visited Llanberis? What are your memories of the area?
Thanks for reading,