Month: September 2015

The end of the season. Peaks, Lakes, Snowdon.

End of the season

While Nikki’s cousin Mark was visiting, we popped into Chester’s Grosvenor Museum.

Nothing unusual there, we go there all the time, to take part in the Chester Globetrotters meeting.

But that’s in the lecture theatre, and this time we decided to actually peruse the museum itself.

An amazing exhibition called End of the season, talked about North Wales holidays in the late 60’s, 70’s and early 80’s.

All about how they became an institution, but inevitably fell by the wayside.

Most of my childhood holidays were off this kind, so I found it fascinating.

Made me think though. The adventure season is coming to an end.

Pretty much from the beginning of April, until sometime in September each year, I celebrate what I call the UK adventure season.

I still go on overseas trips, but I try to do as many adventure weekends away in the UK as I can to make the most of the UK weather.

And I realise that this years is coming to an end…

So, the final 3 adventures I did, are captured in brief bellow. Have a a look and see what you think.

Remember, April isn’t far away, and its just a question of getting out and doing it.

Return to Hartington Hall YHA and the Peak district.

Walking around Castleton

Earlier in the year, I visited Hartington Hall youth hostel (a solo trip, I walked from Buxton).

At the time I went, while Nikki was Skiing.

I enjoyed it so much, that we decided to visit it together and have a weekend in the lakes.

Most of our weekends, begin with a walk.

The reason for this is simple. Instead of a 2 day weekend break, we normally take the Friday off, get up really early and do the first of 3 walks then.

We found a cracking circular walk on walking world that took in Mam Tor and Castleton among other places.

Reaching the top and catching site of paragliders was pretty amazing.

Hartington village in the evening

We leave the walk, and make for Hartington, and our home for the weekend.

The little village is really nice, and on Friday evening has a van which sells chips.

With a bag of chips, I sit by the lake/pond in the centre of town.

After checking into the youth hostel and getting cleaned up, we have dinner and a few drinks in the hostel bar.

The Hartington lollipop

Our second day, and we choose a walk called the Hartington Lollipop.

I wasn’t too enthusiastic, and considered it a bit of a “filler in” type of walk.

I couldn’t have been more wrong, we wandered along rivers and meadows, and the weather was fantastic the whole time.

Watts Russel Arms

We stopped along the way at this little pub called the Watts Russel Arms (strange name, but brilliant pub).

Inside, the landlord had an extensive book collection for guests to look at, which he talked me through.

It was so nice, that we stayed for a 2nd drink.

Wandering back through the fields

Farther along, we reached a spot which seemed vaguely familiar.

Then I remembered. Last year I went to the YHA association AGM and gave a talk on social media for walking groups.

After lunch, we’d gone out on a walk and Graham and I had extended it. I remember realising I’d lost my wallet at a rest stop.

When I came back (to an area packed with walkers) it was still there.

I gave the children who found it £2 (which apart from cards, was all the money that was in it 🙂

Wandering back through open fields, its a perfect day and I’m looking forward to another evening relaxing with Nikki.

Hartington hall YHA

Our room was quite cosy, but with central heating and an on-suite bathroom for £32 per night represented amazing value.

It’s one of those things where although the room is really nice, I spend practically no time in it apart from sleeping and getting ready, as I’m always out either walking, dining out or drinking in friendly pubs.

After a quick shower and changing into Rohan Goa’s (well I did anyway) we head into town, have dinner in the Devonshire Arms and a couple of drinks later at the Charles Cotton hotel.

Monyash village

But nothings perfect, and now the disappointing part.

After a fantastic breakfast at the Youth Hostel, we head out for the day.

This time were doing a walk from Monyash. I hadn’t been here, since Frank and I walked the Limeston way all those years ago.

Back then, we’d walked all day and arrived at the campsite. We couldn’t find anywhere to book in, until we found a sign that said “go to pub”.

We found the farmer in the pub, paid him and went back to set up our tent.

Back at the pub, we had dinner. It was so busy that I remember we had to eat it on plates standing up.

In the morning, there was a cafe that served breakfast. With far too many customers to fit inside, I’ll always remember a lovely Sunday morning with perfect sunshine and about 30 people sitting out on the flags drinking tea and eating bacon butty’s 🙂

Appalling weather

But in actual fact, the place was rather empty. The circular walk we had planned just involved walking through fields in appalling weather.

So bad in fact that after a drink in the pub at the halfway point, we just walked back along the road to our starting point.

Peak District campsite

On the way, I saw this, which lifted my spirits.

I dont know if you can see, but its a recycle bin that’s meant to say clothes and shoes.

Instead, someone has rubbed our some letters and the sign now says “clothes and hoes” !

But this kind of mixed fortune is what makes a weekend away that bit more fun.

And as you’ll see from the following section, considering the good look we’ve had throughout the adventure season, we’ve more then compensated for the bad luck we were due.

Lake district Bank holiday.

On Scafell hillside

Our next trip is back to the lake district and the beautifull town of Keswick that Lee Sawbridge introduced me too 25 years ago.

We’ve had some good and bad luck with camping over bank holidays in the lakes previously, but were confident this time it would be ok.

The campsite on the lake at Keswick is without doubt the best one I’ve stayed at in this country.

Up early on Friday, breakfast and coffee in the car, we head for Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England.

We’d had a good crack at it earlier in the year, but the weather had turned us back.

So looking at the weather above, it wasn’t sunny but it was quite nice for the UK.

And it lasted for about the first 20 minutes of the walk, then the heavens opened for the rest of the day.

Top of Englands highest mountain

I like to think I look “windswept” in this photo on the top.

But I’m told by Nikki I just look bedraggled and soaking wet.

I’m not one for standing on top of peaks and chatting so barely a minute later, were off back down the hill.

Keswick Campsite

Back to our camp-site.

We didn’t have the spot we wanted and the ground was soaking.

Like I said, fortune is overdue to give us some bad luck !.

But when the cloud clears, you can see the view from our front porch on the tent.

It’s a lovely site, as you can see, there are quad bikes and boats parked so its all about adventure.

A new restaurant in Keswick sells Mexican and Tapas, (Bar Es) so there was no real question where we were going for dinner.

Couple of pints in the Royal Oak (which for 20 years I’ve known as the Keswick Lodge) for old times sake.

Wainwright exibition

The following day, we head out early and get breakfast at a cafe in the town.

We wander around the shops, and I see a shop selling axes and other bushcraft stuff.

There’s an exhibition on at Keswick museum about Alfred Wainwright, one of my heroes so we spend a couple of hours in there.

In the photo above, you can see Wainwright’s “haversack” and tweed jacket which he wore on his 13 year exploration of the lakes.

If you were seen out in gear like that today, you’d be called a lunatic and told to go home !.

Derwent water lake

At lunchtime we decide to wander around the lake.

Not exactly Anapurna, but a nice walk all the same, and a stop at the halfway point of the Mary Mount for a drink (a pint obviously).

Keswick cinema

We head back into town for a treat at the Keswickian chippy (probably the best in-shore chippy in the UK).

Nikki wants to get ready and relax before dinner with a glass of wine in the tent.

I realise there’s an old cinema there, so have other plans.

With the Man from Uncle showing 20 mins later, I take my leave off Nikki and head off to watch the film (its a small place, and after paying my money, I’m given something that looks like a bus ticket 🙂

Film was quite good, and all the better for being shown in a traditional cinema atmosphere.

I head back, get cleaned up, and this time, its Italian for dinner and a few drinks around the town.

Back down the hill to Keswick

Up early, we have breakfast on the hill, as we head for the peak of Skiddaw. A cracking mountain that overlooks Keswick.

I’m really looking forward to it, as last time I was hear, I met Sir Chris Bonnington (one of my personal heroes and one of the proudest moments of my life).

A lot steeper than I remember (but last time we broke the trip up with an overnight at Skiddaw house).

On top of Skidaw

Another foul day, but ultimately, we reach the top.

Dinner and drinks again in the town, up early the next morning (thanks to the numb skull we were camped next too), we pack our gear and head for home.

Long weekend in Anglesy and Snowdonia.

Lakes around Trefan

I honestly think that if my brother lived in France, I’d see more of him.

It’s one of those classic situations, where my home town of Manchester is so “near” that something comes up and I can always go “next week”.

In fairness though, I also think the pace of life, is much faster now (or feels that way) than its ever been. I finish work for the weekend on Friday evening sometimes, and in a blink its Sunday morning !.

Brilliant news, was that David and his lovely wife Leigh had got a cottage in Anglesey for a week, and invited us to join them for the weekend.

Stranger swimming in a freezing lake

Not wanting to wast a single minute of the weekend, we once again took Friday off work, had toast and coffee in the car, and headed straight to North Wales for an exciting day walk.

On the way, we stop at Fitzpatricks cafe in Bethesda which along with its amazing food and atmosphere, was really popular with bikers, as it had a motorbike in the window.

From here, we continue to the Ogwen valley but the cloud cover is really bad, so we decide on a low level walk, around some lakes.

Our first circuit was around Cwm Idwal, where we spotted a woman in a bathing costume swimming in the lake (I thought for a moment that we might have to rescue here, and wasn’t really sure how we would do it 🙂

We move to our 2nd lake, Llyn Ogwen with superb views of the Ogwen valley and Treffan where there are superb hills, which I’m determined to return and climb (so much so, that I bought a special map from Fitzpatricks).

We briefly make a stop off in Bangor and have a revelation.

Most of the places I go back to and visit, are much more run down than they were when I was last there x years ago.

In this case, the whole town has been done up, and the grim pub I remember visiting is now an up market shop !.

Our home for the weekend

With the days adventures complete, we drive across to Anglesey to meet up with Dave and Leigh. The cottage can only be described as superb, with en-suit rooms, massive tv, opulent kitchen, and an amazing view across the straits back to Bangor.

Dinner by the ocean

We get showered and changed in our beautiful room, then spend an hour catching up with David & Leigh.

There’s a nice pub nearby on the waterfront, so we head to the Gazzelle for dinner.

After an amazing chilli and brilliant company we head back to the cottage. Everyone is going to bed, but I realise that the original Fast and the furious film is on ITV, so I decide to stay up and watch it.

It’s been that long since I watched normal tv, that I’d forgotten, its stops every 25 mins, for the adverts.

I just couldn’t deal with that, so I went to bed !.

South Stack lighthouse

I get up bright and early, and start work on various projects on my laptop (the wifi coverage was superb).

A bit of a lazy morning, we decide were going to visit South Stack lighthouse (a favourite venue of my mother when she was alive).

The first leg, was arriving at the RSPB sanctuary on the top, overlooking the lighthouse (we had some really nice coffee).

The place has special meaning for Nikki and I. We came here 3 years ago with the walking group.

I think its the first time’s we realised we were fond of each other.

Sea cliffs

When we walked down to the lighthouse, and crossed the bridge onto the Island, I saw this spectacular view back across the cliffs.

Top of te Lighthouse

I get a bit sick of constantly being charged to visit National Trust sites (I know they cost money and all the rest of it, but sometimes I’ve paid £5 to visit a farmyard and get a cup of coffee).

When I was told there was an entrance fee for the lighthouse I wasn’t impressed.

But I thought it was just to be allowed on the Island. I didn’t realise you got a tour of the whole facility (including a walk to the top of the lighthouse), and they had a really good museum as well.

On the way back, we nip to the supermarket to get supplies for the evening.

Dave and Leigh are here for a whole week, but we’ve only got one day, so we leave them to go back, so we can continue exploring.

We find a nice pub and have a couple of drinks, then since were on holiday, visit the town of Menai bridge and get some chips.

Walking around Menai bridge

We follow a path through some woods to the coastline of Anglesey.

Years ago, I camped out between the 2 bridges for nearly a week with a budget of £15. All the memories come flooding back.

Menai Bridge

As we continue along, we pass under the Menai bridge, and I get the photo I’m delighted with.

Back to the cottage, we cook dinner and have a relaxing evening.

Spectacular view from Anglesey

In the morning, its breakfast on the terrace, and up early for me and Nikki.

Dave and Leigh are going to get the train up to the top of Snowdon.

Nikki and I area going to walk up, using a route we’ve not used before (well, we’ve walked down it, but never up).

From here, we’ll all meet up at the cafe on the top. Quite an exciting co-ordinated plan, and I’m really looking forward to it.

Walking to Snowdon

We were worried about congestion, as the tour of Britain would be passing through here on the same day, but needn’t have worried.

We park up in Llanberis and hit the trail.

I’ve given us two and a half hours to get to to the top, and I realise three and a half would have been better.

Like the Para’s marching to Goose Green, we blast off up the hill (well, kind off. I was puffing and panting for most off it).

Appaling weather

Cloud cover is very low that day, and within an hour, it looks like this.

It’s all very nice when mountaineers answer the question “why do you climb” with “because its there” but the reality is its nice to have something to look at as well, and this wasn’t doing much for me.

Anyway, we have a date with destiny (well, David and Leigh actually) so no time for contemplation.

Then Nikki mentions that the trains have been going up every half hour at first, but we haven’t heard one in over an hour.

And then, 150 metres from the top, I get a text from Dave.

The f***ing train has broken down (my words, not his) and his train (behind it) has been cancelled.

Back down the hill we go at a much faster pace.

We get back to Llanberris, and I get to see the the ramblers bar at the Padern lake hotel, the mountain photograph ship and Pete’s Eats.

All the things I remember from my youth.

The end of a brilliant weekend, and the end of another fantastic UK adventure season.

Near and far, the search for adventure continues…

Adventures at home.

Ok, so I haven’t updated the blog in a while.

As most of you know, it’s what I call adventure season at the moment (and about to come to an end).

Basically, adventure season, is the time between the beginning of April and the end of August.

I still do adventures outside this time, but for the last 5 years (and mainly the last 3) I try and get away on as many weekends for trips away in the UK, to make the most of the weather.

I’ve been on about 13 weekends away this year, and it’s been fantastic.

Just for a change though, I’ve decided to talk about the adventures I do at home. This is a list of some of the things I’ve done in the last 6 weeks.

Like everything else on this site, I don’t say this to brag, it’s put up here sincerely, in the hope it may provide inspiration.

Music Train.

On the Music train

Glenn organised an evening on the Chester music train.

Not exactly as fun as it looks on this picture on their website, but certainly not a dull evening.

The basic idea, is that you get on a train, and some folk musicians “entertain” you.

Its a normal running train (so basically a bit uncomfortable, and doesn’t have a buffet trolley) that goes from Chester to Plumley.

When it arrives in Plumley, we get off and have a couple of hours in the Golden Pheasant pub, where the musicians perform.

We have a few drinks and a nice meal, then its back on the train and more hi-jinx as we thunder back towards Chester.

Overall, a pretty interesting evening with good company (including Glenn).

If you go yourself, take some drinks for the train.

Trip to the Theatre.

Theatre - Dog in the night time

Known locally as a man of the arts, I’m sometimes frustrated that my home – Chester (that quaint British city/village) has no theatre (and that the new one has cost £40,000,000 so far !).

So I usually end up going to the theatre either in Wrexham or Liverpool.

I saw an advert for a play called “The curious incident of the dog in the night time“.

Nikki and I went to the Liverpool Empire to watch it (earlier in the year, we’d been to see 3 other plays in Liverpool so I’d grown to like it there).

I won’t spoil it, but the story was really engaging, and they had amazing visual effects using among other things, 6 light projectors.

Specialist catered Barbecue.

Catered Barbecue.

There used to be an advert for cigars some years ago. The slogan went “Castella for the man that thinks that little bit bigger”.

Nikki and I were invited to her friends Barbecue. When we got there, I expected Derrick to be flipping burgers and Marie to be tossing salad with wooden spoons.

Instead, they were socializing with everyone, and had hired Big 5 catering, to do their barbecue.

Big 5 were courteous and professional the whole time, the food was delicious and they cleared everything up afterwards.

Brilliant weather and a fantastic afternoon.

* Big 5 is just their name. They don’t actually make Lion burgers or anything like that.

Noel performing at Alexander’s open mike night.

Noel singing at Alexanders.

It’s important to have friends (I’m incredibly popular, so I have hundreds).

A friend from work called Noel (a front end developer) owns a Guitar and likes to play at venues.

Since he was playing at Alexander’s, on the open mike night, I decided to go over and hear him perform.

He turned out to be really good, and while there I realised 2 other friends from work had turned up with the same idea.

Wine tasting at Urbano32.

Wine tasting at Urbano 32

Most Sunday evenings (as the weekends drawing to a close and work/the need to wash clothes/putting train sets away, hovers on the imminent horizon) we go out for a drink and something nice to eat.

Our 2 favourite venue’s for this are Artichoke or Urbano32.

While out in Urbano32, the manager there (Claire who I’ve known for years and previously worked at BT with Dan and his henchmen) mentioned they were doing a wine tasting evening.

Cork’s out is our normal wine tasting venue of choice, with the excellent Tom. But why not try something different we thought, so immediately signed up.

On the evening, there was a 2 course meal and 2 white’s 2 red’s and a sparkling wine. All for £20 each, which I thought was superb value.

Their director of wine talked us through the different wines, and when the tasting glasses were empty, we bought a bottle of one of them, they were that good.

They’re doing another one on the 10th of September and were looking forward to that already.

Boat trip and my first Hen do.

Lisa Hen Do.

My friend Lisa from Phonak was getting married.

Lyndsay Lomax, my friend who now lives in Switzerland was coming over for the Hen do, so I arranged to meet her for an hour before the Hen (which would be a cruise on the Princess Diana boat along the river Dee in Chester).

Nikki joined us later, then the fun really started.

Turned out, 2 of Lisa’s guests had been forced to cancel. There were 2 tickets going to this great event, and she asked if Nikki and I would like to go.

I was a bit nervous as I’d be the only man (and I was dressed for an afternoon around Chester, not a special occasion).

But these people are friends I’ve know for years I reasoned, and although I’ve been on the boat before, I’ve never been to a party on 1.

As it was, a fantastic night out, with really good food, brilliant company and the Phonak girls even brought a selfie stick with them.

Lisa and Phil got married yesterday. Due to family commitments, I wasn’t able to attend but I sincerely wish them every happiness in the future.

Lunch in West Kirby and live Comedy evening.

Nikki and Cousin Mark.

Nikki’s cousin Mark comes up to Chester to see her every now and then, and we’ve become firm friends.

Couple of weeks ago, we took him to the Wro in West Kirby for lunch, then walked over to Hilbre Island.

Afterwards we had coffee at a small place there, and I realised it was right next to Sarah’s Mum’s old house (I place I spent many happy times, in a previous life).

From here, we came home and got ready then back to Alexander’s.

£10 seems a lot, but the 3 comedians are on for 3 hours and its hilarious.

“When my girlfriend moved in with me, there were so many shoes lined up, it looked like the outside of a mosque”

“Why do people criticise David Beckham because he’s thick !. Nobody criticises Stephen Hawking because he can’t play football”

Chez Jules film & dinner.

Breakfast at Tiffany's

In addition to not having a theatre, Chester doesn’t have a cinema either.

But as the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention.

Those cool guys at the very authentic French restaurant Chez Jules have started to do a dinner and film evening in the upstairs of their establishment.

Nikki and I had never seen Breakfast at Tiffany’s so decided to go.

2 course dinner then they turned the lights down and the film began (which was good, as I had been concerned about the clinking of cutlery).

During the performance, they discreetly refilled drinks so nobody got thirsty.

I’m still not sure if I liked the film or I didn’t (although Audrey Hepburn was incredible).

I really enjoyed the subtle combination of food, drink and film all put together though.

Take the stairs by Rory Vaden.

Take the stairs.

I always try and read on the train to work and coming home each day.

I remember reading somewhere, that what we call a PHD is basically knowing the general details of what’s accumulated in about 50 books.

An average book can be read in 5 – 7 hours. So, at 1 hour a day, that’s a book a week.

So, imagine your a van driver and want to get a job in a music shop selling violins and pianos. Your fascinated by it, but just dont know much about it.

We’ll, in 1 year, you could accumulate a man-in-the-street PHD on musical instruments.

The most recent book I’ve read is called Take the stairs by Rory Vaden.

His basic premise. Success is never owned, its only rented. Self discipline and doing some things you dont really want to do, is the only key to real success.

I thought it was fantastic, I’ve learned loads from it and now I’ve read it, I gave it away to someone at work, with instructions its to be given away again, each time its read.

Theatre in the park.

Theatre in the park

Ok, ok, so enough moaning about not having a theatre or cinema.

Well, each year they do theatre in the park and this year, we decided to go.

I took this photo early on before it got dark, but later, it was completely packed.

We had good seats that were under cover, but it didn’t rain much anyway. We also took a picnic and a bottle of wine.

The production was the Merry wives of Windsor. It had been made with a 70’s theme which was really stylish (at the end in the “countryside scene” they even had Pifco torches).

Although 500 years old, you could really connect with the story (the guy who worries if his wife still loves him, the old night, who’s the oldest swinger in town).

Expensive but highly recommended.

Ex Machina, Automata, The Machine.


 Speaking of things that are highly recommended, my old lodger Nathan came around and we had a couple of pints.

He advised me to watch a film called Ex Machina. It was science fiction, featured Robots and drew heavily on Alan Turing’sartificial intelligence test.

There’s 3 good reasons to start with. I watched it and thought it was excellent.

One thing I’ve started to do now, is put the films I like into the Internet Move Database. It will recommend other films you might like.

Completely different, but on the same theme, it advised Automata and The Machine.

I watched them both and I enjoyed them as well. 3 cracking films, 3 great evenings.

Moonlight Flicks, outdoor cinema.

Watching Moonlight Flicks

Sometimes you try things and they’re a bit crap.

Drive is a film I’ve wanted to see for a while, and it was showing as an outdoor event at Chester Roman baths.

When we got there, it had just started raining, so loads of people put up umbrella’s.

We were given headset so we could hear the film and the screen was ok.

The actual film itself was quite good. A modern slant on the getaway driver with a conscience and Brian Cranston from breaking bad was in it.

The problem was, the other people. There were people taking pictures with flash, talking loudly, just getting up and wandering off, then coming back 10 minutes later and having a stand up conversation and blocking the film.

When I watch a film, its not for an evening out, its to immerse myself in the film.

The other people were dis respecting the film in my view, if they just went because all their friends were going, stay at home next time.

I know I will be.

Eating out.

Coffee with Lyn & Vick

Well, in the last 8 weeks, I’ve had 3 Italians, 2 Curry’s, 2 Mexican meals, 7 traditional meals in pubs and 3 steaks.

Oh and I’ve been to the chippy twice.

Nikki’s sister Lyn came over to visit with her husband Vick (were all going to Japan together in about 2 months).

We took them to Koconut Grove, El Gato Negro and Artichoke for Nikki’s mums birthday.

Oh, and after we all did the Baker way, we took them for coffee to Joseph Benjamine.

Koconut Grove is my favourite curry house in Chester, since the sad demise of India Flava and Asia Fusion. However, somebody needs to talk to the owners. As good as the place is, it has a daft name.

El Gato Negro is based in the Bluebell, the first restaurant I ever visited in Chester. I like it there as they do traditional, Italian, Tapas and Mexican so there’s something for everyone.

Artichoke. What’s to say, its excellent in every way I can think off.

Good Cinema.

Mission Impossible 5

I don’t go to the cinema as often as I used to ( I watch a lot of stuff, but usually at home).

Sometimes though, there’s a film I really want to see. At that point, there’s really only 1 way to watch it.

On the cinema, as god intended.

Went with Dave E and Glenn to see Mission Impossible 5. It must be hard to make 5 films and each one is even better than the other 1 but that’s what they’ve managed to do.

The opening scene hanging of the plane was incredible and the motorbike chase in the top 10 action sequences I’ve seen since my first trip to the cinema.

While on a trip to Keswick, I realised they had a cinema there.

While Nikki went back to our tent to read, before we went out for the evening, I nipped into the cinema to watch Man from Uncle.

Really stylish and filmed in an authentic 60’s style (a bit like watching Life on Mars where you really feel like you’re in dreary Manchester of the 70’s.

Bad Cinema.

Thats how I felt when I was watching it

Terminator Genisys delivers 2 amazing feats of cinema.

Make Emilia Clarke (brilliant in Game of thrones) look bored through a whole film.

Make Jason Clarke (no relation and fantastic in the Chicago code, the best Police series I’ve ever seen) give a poor on screen performance.

Both of these 2 are naturally gifted performers. To get them to under achieve must take some really hard work from the director.

Arnie could never act, but now someone decided he should try really hard.

Oh, and if you build up a tense moment, then crack a joke, its funny.

If you fail at this and the tension doesn’t happen, the audience just feel sorry for the poor bugger that’s got to crack the joke.

The picture above captures superbly how I was feeling while watching the film. Best forgotten about.

Work on the house.

Once corner of my loft

 On top of all this, I’ve been continuing with the renovation of my house.

Phase 2 is almost complete (there are 3 phases altogether), and the loft/spare room on the 3rd floor should be complete in a few days.

One small addition I’ve made, is a “retro” corner. It has a black book case and black chair in a corner by the window where I sit and read.

Most of the furniture in my first house when I was 25 was black, and this is a tip of the cap to that.

I’ve also got a new futon, a comfortable “creative desk” to work on and I should be able to put up my train set permanently.

Both at home and away, the search for adventure continues…