Last year

We were sitting on a balcony, looking out over a lake in North Yorkshire. A glass of wine, a comfy chair. The hotel had cabins as well as rooms, all made of wood like American or Canadian log cabins. We had been out for the day to the Yorkshire sculpture park and had driven from there North and East so we could drive over the massive suspension bridge over the river Humber. We then took the road West through Hull and back down towards Otley and the river Wharfe where we had a meal in an italian restaurant overlooking the river, we had a delicious fish meal with pasta and salad, I still remember it. Finally back to where the hotel sits a few miles outside of the town of Shipley. We only stayed a couple of nights, but it was warm and friendly. I would go again, as soon as we can after the virus has faded into a distant memory (hopefully). I need a break. But only when it’s safe.

Almost three years ago


We visited a pub in September 2017 called the bleeding wolf which is on the A34 pub just North of Stoke on Trent in Rode Heath.

This is something I’ve missed doing in lockdown, just going out and visiting places outside the city. Enjoying the countryside. The feeling of freedom.

But even now I’m luckier than many people. I do have a home and food and water. I can afford to pay for things I need. I keep reflecting on how things could be so much worse here. I hope you are all safe and well.




I took this photo of Thai figures and Buddha in the Thai restaurant we go to. They looked friendly and warm. The way they are placed in traditional dancing poses must give the owner good memories of where she came from. Dressed in beautiful clothes, with high hats. We need more variety in the world. We should not be scared of what is different, whether it’s skin colour, or sexuality or gender or size or shape or mind. These figures show that life is fascinating and fantastic should we care to share it.

Lunch in the mist

I just wrote a blog post about taking my sister out to lunch at the Red Cow at Werrington, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. But I fell asleep and pressed the wrong button, so the description and information disappeared!

I was trying to say the view from the restaurant is wonderful and the food was great. Hot, tasty, delicious.

The leaves that are remaining on the trees are sparkling with copper, gold and bronze, the fields are still green.

Anyway I’m posting this now because I’ve dozed off again three times already.

Thai food


The restaurant where we have Thai food is friendly and interesting. Over the years we have got to know the restaurantier well and she cooks the food we like.

It’s lovely to be welcomed back and feel that we have made a friend. It has now become a situation where I won’t post on trip advisor because you are not supposed to be friends with the restaurant. Its hard not to put on a review because the food is really good, but I follow rules and don’t like breaking them.

One thing that does bother me is when people reserve a table and then don’t turn up. They don’t always ring to cancel. There have also been occasions where they order take aways then don’t collect.

Having spoken to the owner of the restaurant it does seem that some people don’t like her being there because she is foreign. I think their behaviour is wrong. She is a talented cook and she should be allowed to go about her business without having such problems.

I do feel ashamed of people in this country because we are not always fair.

Meal out.


You know the story, turn on Instagram and you get photos in a restaurant of beautifully prepared food. Tasty, colourful, edible, delicious.

The trouble is that my photos are usually empty plates… I don’t remember to take a photo until the food is half eaten. Sometimes I take a photo of an ornament or a reflection in a mirror. You don’t have to keep to the rules if you don’t want to. I’d rather show an empty plate which means that I enjoyed the food rather than a pretty picture…..

More sketches


More sketches. These are of the restaurant by the river in Otley (finished), a pine tree outside the wizard tea room at Alderley Edge on the way home where we stopped for lunch. A woman and her dog sitting outside at a picnic table at the wizard tea room.

We travelled about 140 miles on that day so I was desperate fit a sit down and it was good to sketch while we were waiting for our food. A similar thing happened at the restaurant. We had a bit of a wait so I sketched the view  but the food arrived before I could finish it so I added a few details when we were on the way home.