A Busy Year

2017 has been a busy year for me. It has brought a lot of changes, some proud moments and some big challenges, but it’s been a great year.

The year started with my first exams since leaving school in 1999. It was really nerve wracking, but I did well and was really pleased with my results. I also had interviews at universities in January, and was delighted to be offered a place at my first choice, the University of Huddersfield, to study architecture.

In February, we celebrated my 34th birthday and QWeb’s 4th birthday. Our company is still doing well and we’ve been busier than ever this year. Read more

Back to School

It’s been a busy few months for me. I went back to school in September. I’m currently studying an access course in engineering and applying to study architecture at university. Exciting!

It’s been difficult adjusting to studying again after so many years away from formal education, but I’m enjoying it a lot. It’s good to be doing something interesting and challenging, and it turns out I actually like having a proper routine.

I’ve got my first round of exams next week which is a bit nerve wracking, but I think I know my stuff, so hopefully it’ll all go well. I’ve also got a couple of interviews with universities lined up which is even more nerve wracking. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping for the best. Wish me luck! Read more

Becoming a Driver

I posted about my first driving lessonĀ back in May, and since then I have passed my driving test and I’ve been driving on my own for a while now. I was super proud to have passed first time šŸ™‚

Feeling like a driver took me a lot longer than passing my test. Throughout my last few lessons I still felt like a learner, like I needed my instructor’s guidance, even though he wasn’t really helping me very much by that point. I was driving independently, he was just in the car with me and occasionally giving me tips and advice about driving in general rather than talking me through how to handle situations as they happened. Read more

My first driving lesson

I had my first driving lesson the other day. I’d never driven before in my life. In fact, the closest I’d come was when my dad handed me the car keys, when I was about nine years old, and asked me to turn the car radio on. We must have been having a barbecue or something. I followed his instructions, but turned the key too far and started the engine, which was pretty scary considering I was only a little girl.

This time, as well asĀ managing not to panic and burst into tears, I actually drove the car. I was super nervous to begin with, but my instructor was great, and before I had chance to worry about how scary it was going to be, I was driving along. It wasn’t as scary as I had expected it to be, and although I made a few mistakes, I think I did pretty well overall. Read more

Moving House

We’ve lived in our current house for over three years, and it’s really too small for our family. The girls are growing up fast and it’s past time they had more space. Until recently, our budget just wouldn’t stretch to a bigger house, especially while we got our company off the ground. Things have improved a lot lately and we’re ready to make the leap.

I’ve been looking at houses online for a few months while we made sure our finances were in shape and thought about what we wanted from our new home, so I could getĀ an idea of what was available at what price. I saw a coupleĀ houses that would have been great for us, but there weren’t many. I decided we were ready toĀ stop browsing and start seriously considering houses around the middle of January. Read more

Stone Circles

Over the last few months I have developed an obsession with stone circles. I have visited fifteen, if you include Stonehenge, which I saw as a child. We’ve made several trips to remote moors, hills and fields across the north of England to visit these megalithic monuments.

Most of the circles we’ve visited have been in Cumbria. This is because there is a greater concentration of stone circles there than in Yorkshire, where we live, although we have seen a few closer to home. We’ve also visited henges and standing stones, which are from around the same period in history as the stone circles. Read more

A Very Potter Trip

Back in July we celebrated the girls’ birthdays with a very Harry Potter themed two night stay in London. It was pretty amazing, so good in fact that I am condensing the highlights of the trip into a one day mini trip with my sister, as my christmas present to myself. I’m so excited about the trip that I thought I would share it with you.

The main event on both trips was/will be the Warner Brothers Studio Tour, a trip behind the scenes of the Harry Potter movie series. If you’re a fan of the series, this really is a must visit. It includes exploring the Great Hall, Dumbledore’s office, Snape’s classroom and the Gryffindor dormitory among others. You also get to walk down Diagon Alley and along Privet Drive, and there are thousands of props and costumes on display including the Knight Bus. Read more

Settling in

We have spent the last few weeks unpacking, getting settled into our new house and making it a home.

Our new kitchen is amazing. There is so much more usable space than our old had, which makes it a lot nicer to cook in. The electric oven produces crispier food than my old gas one. I haven’t got used to this hob though, while it is gas like my old one, it seems to be a lot hotter. This is useful for boiling water but not so good for simmering soups. My last attempt resulted in a thick, stodgy paste. Yum. Read more

Moving house

We had a bit of upheaval this week. Our landlord suggested we take a look around his other house last weekend and see if we would prefer to move into it. We had a nosey round on Saturday and took very little time to think about it. It was on the next street over, and had a huge garden. We decided to move in immediately.

Monday was the first day we moved some of our things over. I spent the day sorting and organising some of my stuff, and when Ric got home from work we rushed some dinner, loaded the car and dumped everything in the new living room. By the time we were done it was 10pm so we put the kids to bed and sat down to relax. Read more

Yorkshire Lavender

I have been to Yorkshire Lavender twice this summer and really enjoyed it. It is a herb garden, obviously focusing mainly on lavender, but there is a huge range of other herbs too. They also have an amazing selection of herbs and plants for sale, including some rather unusual ones that I haven’t seen elsewhere.

Some of my favourite unusual herbs were those that looked like a regular herb but smelt of something totally different, such as ginger rosemary, lemon curd thyme and basil mint. There were also pineapple sage and tangerine sage, although they looked rather more like mints than sages. Read more