Devonshire Weekend Away

Wow! What a weekend!

After years of saying we’ll plan a weekend away, we finally succeeded and we hit the jackpot.

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#madeinyorkshire (or the majority of us were)

Devon was our destination of choice, not for any particular reason other than it’s a lovely county and we felt fairly sure they would have a large enough house we could hire for the weekend. We booked through air bnb and although you can never be entirely sure what you are getting I was pretty certain it would tick all the boxes.

It did not disappoint.

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Turning into the grand drive we were giggling with excitement and couldn’t wait to run inside and grab our rooms. We were greeted by some of our party who had already arrived (and obviously already taken the best bedrooms) and ran about the house exploring. It felt like a maze, endless rooms of ridiculous proportions, completely over the top for a weekend stay but just what we wanted.

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Corridor to the dining room
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Drawing Room

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Katie and I were sharing and chose the chapel suite with a view over the side lawns towards the folly.  Yes we had our own folly! The perfect space to call ours for the next few days.

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Room with a view

Returning downstairs we were greeted to glasses of wine and cheese and I guess you could say it all escalated rather quickly from there.

By the time the London party had arrived we probably on the other side of merry and although I can’t recall at what exact time we all thought it a great game to swap clothes and run around the house collecting obscure and ornate objects to place on the games room table… It was only after spending about half an hour shut inside a dogs cage I realised we were all absolutely obliterated.

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Not my best angle!

Needless to say the quiet and sophisticated Friday night drinks did not happen and I do hold Thomas partially responsible for the eccentric drinking games.

We woke the next day with absolutely stonking hangovers but to a beautiful day, 30 degrees, sunshine and not a cloud in the sky.  We breakfasted on the lawn and the majority decided that a swim would be the perfect hangover cure.

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Breakfasting in style
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Off for a dip
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Dogs encouraged!

Yes we had dogs! The gorgeous Roo and Rupert who were luckily small enough to be easily picked up.

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@roothecockerpoo puppy looking unbelievably adorable
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Puppy Love! I want one!

Rupert, obviously oblivious to his stature even tried to take on a couple of swans before being luckily resuced by Sonny.  Yes, we even had swans. They settled by the lake near the boathouse… because where else would swans reside darling?

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Our resident swans

My random fact that I always say when the conversation arises is the only legal place to kill a swan in the UK is Worcestershire.  The queen actually still owns all of the swans and only recently has this crime been pardoned of treason.  My friend has reliably (or perhaps not so reliably) informed me that the country of Worcestershire was exempt from this rule following royal pardon.

However, having finally just googled this after years of being gullible and telling everyone of Worcester’s royal exemption, this does not appear to be in the least bit true; likely my friend and subsequently myself have been spreading complete and utter nonsense for the last 10 years.  However, as it now appears to be a good yard to spin, I will continue to tell people my utterly useless and completely fictitious fact about swans.  If anyone knowledgeable in the area ever reads this then please contact me to let me know, I would love to know the details.

The rests of the day we played in the sunshine and pool, including a rather competitive game of water polo.

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Action Shot!

We whiled away the rest of the day eating and drinking (mainly drinking), playing rounders and even partaking in the odd yoga session.

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Cobra position
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Luncheon on the lawn
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Joined at the hip #besties

Close your eyes and picture the most idyllic setting to settle and read a book.  Is it here?

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English Summers…

After an amazing day, fuelled by hair of the dog (or puppies) it was time to get ready for dinner.

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Gorgeous girls

We took meals in turns and Clemency and Jolyn had taken it upon themselves to cater for perhaps the most highly pressured meal of the weekend.  They excelled, a delicious joint of ham with all the trimmings, cooked to perfection!

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H-am-azing!

They had laid the dining table beautifully and fit for the finest of dinner parties. The most impressive thing about the dining room was the balcony overlooking it.  We had our very own minstrels’ gallery overseeing the dining table below, obviously the perfect stage for an excitable game of charades (involving finger puppets) following dinner.

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The perfect dinner

After dinner and games it naturally descended into prosecco pong and needless to say some more sore heads followed in the morning.

The little time we had in Devon felt like an oasis.

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Spot the gender difference
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England can get sunshine!
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Bat and ball
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Sleeping off the hangover under the trees

And like Devon knew we were leaving, the glorious weather ended and we spent the morning of our drive back exploring the rugged and beautiful Devon coastline.

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Could almost be a Jack Wills advert!
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Best friends

Such an magnificent weekend with the most incredible friends.

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Same time next year? x

Having a ball

This weekend finally feels like the start of summer.  Long nights, warm days and endless fun!

Saturday night I was lucky enough to be invited to a Hunt Ball in North Yorkshire. Being from Yorkshire I love it but don’t often get to venture out from my local dales to East Riding. Visiting my friend Becky is one of these opportunities.

Everybody always loves a ball, especially me.  Any opportunity to dress up and have a dance is obviously one of my favourite occasions.

 

Our party had organised two tables and although the plan was to rotate around each course, after the champagne reception and a few bottles of wine I don’t think anyone had any idea where they were meant to be…

As dinner was finishing the band announced their arrival by entering at the top of the marquee and playing their jazz ensemble between the tables to the stage.  Instantaneously everyone got up to dance until the small hours of the morning.

The disadvantage to having a fairly large event in a small place in the country is all of the surrounding taxis were fully booked.

Luckily ever a practical family my hosts way around this was to load us into the horse lorry at the end of the night and we winded our way back through the country roads (with some hairy moments!) to the farm.

As always on my return despite having had a delicious three course dinner I was starving and to my sober horror realised I had got back and single-handedly eaten an entire bag of kettle chips and a pack of scotch eggs!

The next day was spent retelling stories from the previous nights antics, taking a beautiful walk around the farm in the sunshine and ended with a delicious Sunday lunch al fresco.

There is nothing better than a weekend spent with friends in the gorgeous Yorkshire countryside, amidst fields of gold.

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Cursa de Bombers: Firemans Run 2017

Since 1999 the Bombers de Barcelona (Firemen to you and me) have been running an annual 10km around the city and this year we joined them.

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#losangelesdecharlie

Picking our kit up the day before from the Olympic stadium atop the beautiful Montjuic, we were treated to magnificent views of the city we would soon be running around. Having left it too late to register, I was luckily allowed to sign up that evening otherwise the three of us had been planning ways for me to jump the barriers and join mid-race. Thankfully we did not have to resort to this.

The morning of the race, we watched everyone arrive and leisurely joined the start line which was luckily within minutes from where we were straying.  The atmosphere was fantastic; a sea of neon orange and dance music awaited as we took our places.  I was a little apprehensive as it had been a little while since I had done any exercise at all and I was relying on my basic level of fitness to carry me through.

We made good time in around 55 minutes in mid twenties heat but in retrospect I should have perhaps done a practice run as when I finished I was the same colour as my t-shirt and my muscles remained in agony for the following week.  Millie and Katie sweetly went at my pace… but I could tell they found it a lot easier than myself and could have gone much faster. Cheers guys!

We were absolutely amazed that as difficult as we found it in the heat, the local firemen not only completed it in full firemans gear, they beat us and had enough energy left for a fireman’s lift! Impressed is an understatement… I think I need to find myself a Spanish fireman.

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Dog Days

Every now and again you need a break and a relaxing weekend at home is just the thing!  I am lucky enough to call Yorkshire home and nothing is more perfect than a cold dog walk among beautiful scenery, followed by a pub lunch and an afternoon with a drink by the fire.

The dales truly are beautiful and for my brother-in-law’s birthday we headed up to the village of West Burton for a walk near Aysgarth falls and lunch at the Fox and Hounds.

At this time of year the weather is totally unpredictable and we were lucky enough to catch the last of autumn, a little sunshine and even a scattering of snow on the peaks.

The following week my aunt was visiting from Gloucestershire and we were back in the Dales visiting the beautiful Appletreewick.  This is one of my favourite villages, from winter walks to summers spent free swimming in the river and getting eaten to pieces by midges, this village is the perfect country escape.  Settled between the hills in Wharfedale and especially popular with cyclists, Appletreewick is one of the few villages that still has two pubs: The New Inn and The Craven Arms.  Today we lunched at the Craven Arms which was delicious as always, accommodating to dogs (in this instance we had three!) and of course had the essential open fires that make pubs in winter so irresistible.

Yorkshire truly is the most incredible county, with breathtaking views.  We drove back as the sun was setting and bathing the valley in a golden glow, the perfect end to a winter walk.  Naturally the only thing left to do once home was to snuggle up next to the stove and watch the rugby.

Me, Myself and Di…

This first blog post is to tell you a little more about myself.  I’ve been thinking of setting up a blog for a while but decided with a recent holiday to Cannes and my favorite season autumn in full swing, I just couldn’t resist any longer.

This blog will be my diary… My friends appropriately call me Bridget following multiple incidents at University and my less than adequate skiing ability.  In this, I plan on sharing the good, the bad and all the lumps and bumps that sometimes, or in my case very often, come from having fun.

Sometimes these lumps and bumps can be physical.  I am the most accident prone person I know and have retained the title of ‘falls champion’ among my peers…  I still have a scar on my leg that refuses to heal.  I obtained it last year from forgetting to let go of a rope swing, hitting a tree and falling onto some rocks in an old mill pond; just your average day really.

belizeAnything and everything I get up to from climbing lampposts in Birmingham to being robbed of my entire suitcase and passport on my first evening in Barcelona (needless to say I didn’t have travel insurance)… this blog will tell it all.
I’m not sure I could count the numerous airports I have run through to catch a flight, not to mention Singapore when I guessed my flight time… unsurprisingly I missed it.  It was a rather expensive mistake but lesson learned and now I (tend) to check my flights.  I am lucky enough to have had the opportunity for a little travelling; given that I struggle most days to not walk into walls this has obviously posed some issues:

  • Being locked out of my hostel in Chang Mai and scaling the wall to get back in
  • Getting stuck on an extremely remote island in Indonesian Borneo without enough money to leave
  • Leaving my phone at a locals house in Guatemala the day I was leaving for the states (without having applied for an ESTA)
  • Accidentally booking a hostel in the red light district in Bangkok and taking my friends to a sex show… long story
  • Leading my friends through a Vietnamese market on mopeds: chaos
  • Arriving in mexico with no money and being unable to take any cash out so borrowing pesos from the hotelier to buy some water

Before you ask, yes I am a natural blonde.  And yes, it’s true; we certainly do have more fun.

So this is me, this blog will contain anything and everything I love and I can’t wait to share it with you.

Di x