celebrations, fEAsting, mEAndering, out and about

Oh, we do like to be beside the seaside…

in Scarborough


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Last weekend we stayed in Scarborough to celebrate my better half’s 60th birthday.  I cannot believe he has reached that number it does not seem real and worse still I won’t be far behind!  We went with both daughters and their partners and stayed at the Shorehouse Luxury B&B on the South Shore.

We spent many years in Scarborough when our girls were little – so it was a bit of a trip down memory lane for us.  We used to stay in a little self catering flat belonging to a friend but wanted the luxury of having everything done for us this time and I can certainly recommend this tiny boutique style Bed and Breakfast – our host Zoe could not have done any more for us to make our stay a relaxing and pleasant experience.  On the Saturday night we arrived back from the Theatre to find the cake we had brought, together with cake knife, plates and champagne glasses waiting in our room and a box of chocolates from Zoe as a birthday gift.

Early on the Saturday morning after a mammoth breakfast provided by Zoe we all walked across the Valley Bridge and into town winding our way down one of the narrow streets to the South Bay to catch the  open top tour bus round to the North Bay for a walk around Peasholme Park and a look at the renovated outdoor theatre.  Sadly I think I personally preferred the old style one with the banks of grassy seats and the more theatrical feel of the stage across the lake.

After stopping for a hot chocolate we caught the bus back into town browsed a few shops then had the most wonderful lunch at Taylors Bookshop Cafe.  We had a Ploughmans  with 3 different cheeses and celery sticks, coleslaw and homemade chutney and freshly baked rolls.  After lunch we went back down to the Harbour for a wander along the pier and after doing all the usual seaside things including a quick gamble in the Amusement Arcade we walked up to the castle on the hill above the bay, stopping on the way to look at the grave of Anne Bronte in St Mary’s churchyard.  Anne died here in 1849 aged 29 of TB and she now boasts a new headstone correcting the mistake on the original one after 164 years!

Tired and hungry we then headed back down to the harbour, (thank goodness it was all downhill at this point) and dived into one of the local cafes for fish and chips, bread and butter and a large pot of steaming hot tea before dragging ourselves back up the hill again for the last time to the Stephen Joseph Theatre in the round to see Time of My Life by Alan Ayckbourn.  It was a very pleasant way to end the day.

We all had a great time and must remember to treat ourselves again soon and not wait until a major birthday.


drEAming, random thoughts, trEAsure

International Thank You Day…

Yesterday I arrived home to find two ‘real’ letters on the mat.  You know the ones I mean, handwritten with a stamp – not typed and franked or one of those dreaded Mail sort letters.  I was so excited to open them I could barely wait while I had removed my coat and put my bags down.

 Simones Picture

The first one is this lovely card from Simone over at Linden Grove.  A while ago she promised to send a hand written note to anyone who emailed her with their home address and I had actually forgotten all about this.  So imagine my surprise on opening the envelope.  The picture as you can see is of a girl with her cat and I am not sure if Simone remembers that my cat Tiger, who is sadly no longer with us, is very similar to her cat Gizmo.  Tiger lived to the ripe old age of 22.  He was older than my eldest daughter at the time. She was only 18 when he died in 1998 and was about to go to University the next day.  The reason for such a long life?  I put it down to wonderful home comforts, good food and a life of Riley!

Here is Tiger – my daughter has most of the photos of him as they were inseparable so I apologise for the poor quality as they are pretty old. Tiger 6 Tiger 5

Now link through and see Gizmo.

My second letter was from my sister in law who enclosed a slide of our first car a Citroen 2CV.  It was one of the bright blue ones but as we didn’t have a camera in those days I didn’t think we had a picture of it anywhere in our collection so I am really pleased to have this.


Our second car was a blue and white deck chair stripe limited Edition 2CV called the Beachcomber. We bought it new on August 1st and it was the first of the A registrations if you can remember that long ago.   It was my absolute favourite car and I cannot believe even now that we let it go.  We would all pile in each year to go to Scarborough for our weeks holiday (for my overseas readers Scarborough is a typical Northern seaside resort with Harbour, amusements, beach with beach huts and cafes and a little train that runs through the park and along by the promenade).   I think everyone thought we had hired it especially for the seaside!


Our third and final 2CV was a red and white Dolly.  Since then I have had the more conventional Citroens, the AX (all white) and Saxo Desire (all black) and yes it is a bit of a ‘boy racer’ car but no teenager in their right minds would steal it for joy riding as the number plate ends in MUM.  Now I am not one for personalised number plates myself but the AX just happened to come with this registration plate as at the time it was registered in Bradford and since then I have just kept rolling it on.

Anyway back to the letter (as there is a point to all this if I can remember what!).  The reason my sister-in-law was writing was because in her clear out (it seems we are all doing the same at the moment) she had come across not only the old slide but also a letter I had sent to her in 1986 after she had been to visit us because she was going through a messy divorce.  She has sent me a copy of this letter in which I tell her how much we enjoyed her visit and that we would always be there to support her whenever she needed us.  She once again expressed her thanks for my kind words and being so thoughtful.

 It is little notes like this that can have a big impact on us.  I remember being at a friends funeral years ago and as the friend died suddenly and quite young, late forties (well that is young to me now) the church was packed.  Many of the people he had known gave a short address and expressed their sadness at his passing but each had a story to tell of the many things that he had done.  Unbeknown to a lot of us he was a member of quite a few different groups and worked tirelessly for the Save the Children Charity.  I remember thinking at the time how lovely it would have been if he could have heard what we heard – how everyone thought so much about him.  So often we do not tell people how much they mean to us when they are alive and we really should not wait until the funeral when they are no longer there to hear such nice things being said.

Since that moment I have always tried to let friends know how much they mean to me and when I discovered more recently that January 11th is International Thank You Day, which is all about appreciating the many blessings and the wonderful people in our lives, I now sit down every January to write a letter to a different friend each year and tell them how much I appreciate both their unique personality and their friendship.

So if you are reading this Simone thank you for your lovely card it will of course be displayed for a long while on my mantel piece and then it will be carefully placed in my treasure box so that I can always remember this day and your friendship through our blogs.