Tuesday, 22 February 2011

February does bring the rain

Had lunch with my siblings at Nappa Bar on Sunday.  Still fighting over the chips!  Janet always seems to be driving home in heavy rain and today was no exception.

Had my hair done on Monday with my daughter's words "Mum, you're not a teacher any more" ringing in my ears.  However, no great changes to my appearance this month! 

On Tuesday took the bus to town.  Free fares are a real bonus.  Schmied around but only bought a birthday card but I did get a decent sized spray sample of new perfume by Balenciaga.  Anyone wondering about birthday presents need look no further.

On Wednesday. Val and I took a picnic, which we bought in Marks and Spencers, to Harlow Carr Gardens where we dined in style, joined at our table by a very tame robin; the difference in what could be seen growing and flowering from last week was astonishing. 

Not wanting to pay the extortionate prices for coffee in Betty's, we drove on to Knaresborough before remembering that we were attending a meeting at Leeds Civic Hall that evening:  Leeds. City of Sanctuary.  As both sets of my grandparents came to Leeds to escape the pogroms in eastern Europe and other family members fled nazi Germany, I was interested to hear more. 
An excellent and informative speaker, Duncan Wells, gave us the facts (and fibs) about refugees, asylum seekers and illegal immigrants, followed by Hasan, a refugee who gave us an insight by telling his story.  Some of the details surprised me, as I am sure they would you.  There were representatives from the churches, synagogues and schools but, surprisingly none from the chinese or islam communities.

Bought raised beds from Aldi's to solve the problem of poor soil at caravan garden.  Couldn't have been more excited if I'd bought a designer handbag!
Raised Border
Also bought two spirally things.  Thought we would try to get the kids growing green beans this year.  The sunflowers were good fun but we had to wait ages for something interesting to appear.

Found a new store:  The Range which does indeed have a range of houseware and garden products at reasonable prices as well as a cafe.

Ellie made Challah at school and a beautiful challah cloth to grace our table on Friday.

Woke up to snow on Saturday.  Thought that was behind us.  Ate at Raja's to celebrate Val's birthday; Good food and convivial company. http://www.rajasleeds.co.uk/ voted one of the 10 best Indian restaurants in the UK.

Went to hear Joy talk on being a Yorkshire Blue Badge guide.  The event was organised by the HSFA (Holocaust Survivors' Friendship Association). 

There is a new version of South Riding and I identified (and checked on the internet) filming locations at Bridlington prom and beach and the 'Shacks' at Skipsea, which have had to be moved back from the edge of the cliffs due to coastal erosion.  After a bad storm, filming had to be moved to Acaster Malbis, near York.  The 'shanty town', as we named it is reached by a pleasant walk from our favourite ice cream parlour Mr Moos. 

 Too late - they've gobbled up the icecreams before I got my camera out

The phrase "best laid plans" springs to mind when reviewing our outing on Monday with the kids.  We had planned to go by bus to the museum and play with the interactive exhibits.  It was too cold to stand around at bus stops so drove to the town centre and parked nearby only to find that the museum is closed on Mondays, even in school holidays.  Oh well, we saw the skaters in Millennium Square and went for a coffee and muffin in Casa Mia.

Trying out rice recipes this week and made stuffed peppers; not bad for a first attempt.

Just to add,  my current reading matter is One Day by David Nicholls.  Although an enjoyable read, I am making slow progress.

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