Timeless Thoughts of a Snowy Alton Towers

Timeless Thought Link Up

Timeless Thoughts is a monthly linkup run by Tara and Georgie.  To participate in this link-up, bloggers can document about topics they find unforgettable in their past or present. It can be a thing, a hobby, an event — write about it on your blog and join the link-up. Doing this will allow bloggers to get to know each other and to travel down various memory lanes together!

Find out more here! Join in this months Linkup over at Georgie’s blog.

 

My Memory

 

Alton Towers Trip - Sun Shinning

 

The memory I’ve decided to talk about is the time we went to Alton Towers for Easter… and it snowed. It’s not that unusual for it to snow in Britain around March/April any more, and has become more frequent in recent years. This was back in 2008, so it wasn’t that common and you also don’t expect to go to a theme park and have snow appear out of no where! It really was a total freak weather front that moved in.

 

The Journey

Our first sign of danger was when it suddenly started hailing on the first trip up and they weren’t small hailstones. We’re talking golf ball sized chunks of ice bouncing off cars on a motorway. As you can see from picture 1, the motorway slowed right down because visibility was terrible. Then not long after it was all rainbows!

 

Yes, it did really snow…

After seeing that rainbow we thought we were in the clear. The sun was out, the weather had calmed down… yeah, riiight.

Alton Towers Trip - Snow

 

Alton Towers was covered in snow, although most of it had melted due to the brilliant sunshine that appeared after. Again, we were sure we were in the clear…

 

Alton Towers Trip - Posing in the Snow

 

As you can see by the number of plushies I’m holding; we’d been in the park for a while by this point. I was pretty smug at the amount Chris had won at this point (and I have since learned this was NOTHING in comparison to what was to come) and because it was snowing. I normally hate snow, but the park was well kept and salt was everywhere so didn’t need to worry about slipping over. Instead it was just very surreal and fun!

 

What We Did

For anyone not in the UK, Alton Towers is a theme park resort in the West Midlands in England. We were living in London at the time so it was quite a trek, so we went for the Easter weekend and stayed over in a hotel for a night. I’d never been to this one before because my nearest one to London was Chessington World of Adventures which was so much closer in comparison. There was also Thorpe Park, which I still have never been to, which was closer than Alton Towers. Chris, being from Scotland, had been to Alton Towers as it’s the nearest big one (outside of Scotland) to him as a kid. This was pretty early in our relationship so we were at the stage of ‘show me yours, I’ll show you mine’ and so I took him to Chessington and he took me to Alton Towers – I still prefer Chessington and he still prefers Alton Towers 😀

Because the weather was so on and off again it meant some rides were closed the first day, or were just too wet for us to even consider. So we went on a wander around the park, exploring, taking photos and generally mucking around. We came across some weird piano playing nun that was riding around and we hit loads of amusements. I found out that Chris not only LOVES them and has a competitive streak a mile wide – but he’s also bloody brilliant at them! We had so many plushies we, umm, sort of filled the car on the way back 😀 I’d never had someone win stuff for me before, so I was so excited and had more fun doing the arcade games than going on the big rides.

 

 

Mini Golf

We both love Mini golf so before we left on the final day we headed to the crazy golf course to play a round or two. I think this may have been the first time we played together and now we play pretty much any where we go if we can. I’m absolutely terrible at it and Chris normally wins, but it’s great because neither of us care about winning. It’s the fun, the messing around, the total fluke shots that happen and generally just unwinding.

 

We had the course to ourselves as well, probably because it was still cold and a bit icy out as you can see from the photos. So we could take our time, muck about and not have to worry about catching up to anyone or getting in anyone’s way.
The funny thing is, I don’t really remember any of the big rides. We went on some, and there were a few I refused to go near (I’m scared of heights), however, it was the small things and the novelties of the whole weekend that just made is so special. It was a lasing memory that we made and that we’ll keep forever. We always remember the hailstones and every hail storm we see always gets compared to the Alton Towers one to see if it can be beaten in craziness.

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

My Jewellery Box: Treasuring the Memories

Inside my Jewellery Box

Today I’m taking you on a trip of my jewellery box and treasuring the memories they hold. I had some items in mind when I was planning this post, and then I went into my actual box and found so many more I had forgotten about! ‘Treasure’ is my word of 2017 (full post coming soon, I promise!) and so this idea for an entry fits perfectly with that. As a Libra I love pretty things, and that definitely includes jewellery. It’s something that has been a part of my life since I was a kid, and although I grew up and moved away from things like studs and yellow gold, I still have a range of items I love to wear. I’m also a Pagan, so most of my jewellery features gemstones and these items are more than just accessories to me. They’re a powerful part of the way I handle life, using specific gemstones for different moods and experiences. I’m often found wearing rose quartz, my birthstone, as it represents healing, peace and love. Likewise, if I need some luck you’ll probably find me wearing a piece of tigers eye!

 

 

 

Rings

Rings

I threw this picture up on instagram as a sneak peek for this post and wow, you guys loved it so I figured I’d start here. I don’t wear rings that much, I find they get loose and I don’t want to lose them, so they tend to be for special occasions only. The exception is my engagement ring (below).

Starting at the top is my pink sapphire and diamond white gold ring, a special 21st present which I’ll go into more detail a bit later. The blue sapphire silver ring was a random purchase on my first holiday with my parents after the break up of my first long term relationship. I was in a mess, no idea what was going to happen next and we popped into a little antique shop somewhere in Devon and I fell in love with this. It represents a particular time in my life and how I grew from those events. The bottom ring is beautiful shades of amber on white gold or silver (I’m not really fussy which!), and was one of the first things he bought me on one of the first holidays with my fiancé about 9/10 years ago.

 

 

Engagement Rings

 

Yes, plural because I’m a special clumsy kind of girl 😛 We’ve been engaged for 7 years now, and last year I managed to break my first ring when my fingers swelled. I didn’t notice and the break got worse, eventually it was so bad that a replacement was needed. My lovely fiancé is a sneaky little bugger, and even being in hospital with gall stones didn’t stop him from tricking me into trying on his mum’s ring to get my ring size. He put a tonne of thought into it, choosing amethyst which is a personal stone for us and I opened it on Christmas day 2016.

 

pink sapphire

Pink Sapphire

As I said, my pink sapphire ring has a very special memory attached to it. The ring was a 21st birthday present from my nan. My grandad died before my 18th birthday, so I never got to celebrate by 18th or 21st with him. My nan passed away several years ago now, so I treasure everything she gave me. The matching pendant was also for my 21st from my parents.

 

Maltese Star

Maltese Cross

Last year I said goodbye to my last remaining grandparent, my dad’s mother and this Maltese Cross was one of the gifts she gave to me when I was younger. I looked it out and wore it to the funeral, and now it sits among the other treasured memories in my box.

 

Pendants

Pendants

I’m always wearing two pieces of jewellery, and a necklace is one of them. I’m not a big fan of big bulky necklaces, so I have various pendants (as pictured) that I hang on simple thing chains. The image above features some of my favourites; at the top is the first necklace my fiancé Chris ever got me, green chalcedony, then the purple heart is stunning lavender jade, the red one is beautiful ruby and finally a gorgeous dainty amber heart.

 

crystal chip stone bracelets

Chip Stone Bracelets

One of the things anyone who has met me will say is that I am always wearing these. It is one of the ways I ensure I have gemstones with me all the time. I tend to wear 2-3 most of the time, sometimes 4 at most on my right wrist. My go to ones are opalite, rose quartz and amethyst (the white, pink and purple ones in the picture). Also featured are red coral, yellow calcite, fluorite and malachite.

 

Jade and Green jewellery

Earrings

Whether I’m wearing earrings or not really depends on a few different factors; did I remember? 😛 Are my ears sore? Is it pointless? I tend to wear them if I’m going out for a few hours/the whole day or a special occasion/event rather than just around the house or to pop to the shops. I very rarely wear studs any more, I don’t like how they feel and this picture represents the type of earrings I tend to go for. Once again, gemstones like the green jade on the right feature prominently. Often in chips like those ones, sometimes something a bit more elegant. I like a splash of colour, and whimsical cute things like the other two pairs on the left. Gemstones are always preferred, but I find myself draw to colourful small beads and little stars and such. I have a cute pair of sea horse ones, for example.

 

Blue Topaz Necklace

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Necklace

I am told every year that I am terrible to buy for by my fiancé, however, this is just one of

the many precious pieces he has added to my jewellery box over the years. He has a fantastic eye for beautiful items and knows my style perfectly. For those who don’t recognise the name, Charles Rennie Mackintosh is a famous Glaswegian artist and architect. As we live in Glasgow, and Chris knows I love art and Scotland, this was perfect.

 

 

 

Labradorite necklace

Labradorite Triple Moon Goddess

I can still remember when I opened this beautiful gift box to find this lovely necklace by Masters of Tincture in it. My long time friend Tracy had sent me it as a surprise and I had no idea it was coming. I absolutely love labradorite, and so while the necklace is a bit bigger than my usual style I fell in love with it. It goes fantastically with corsets and is a lovely reminder of a very treasure friend.

 

Labradorite Set

My Best Friend’s Wedding

My best friend, partner in crime and fellow Pagan, Haley, picked labradorite as the stone to accompany her wedding. As one of her bridesmaids I picked up this beautiful set of earrings by AngryHairJewelry and the lovely pearl necklace by Peelirohini. They have been worn many times since, will be worn many more times and are a great reminder of a magical day and friendship.

 

Japanese Luck

Both of these were bought for me from Japan by my dad, who studies Iaido (the way of the Samurai) and follows a spiritual path. This is something we have in common with how we see the world, so he got me these two items on different trips. The coin is a lucky Japanese coin (I added the ribbon so I could wear it around by wrist) and the beads are lucky beads from a temple that very rarely opens to the public. As he had the unique opportunity to visit it he kindly bought something back for me.

 

Bracelets

I tend to prefer chip stone bracelets as they’re loose, so other bracelets like these two are better for me as they aren’t too tight in design. The green one was from our very first holiday, a cruise, as a couple and the amethyst was a valentines day present from Chris.

 

Turquoise set

Handmade Beauty

The final items I’m showing to you today are these gorgeous handmade beauties by a talented and lovely friend. Haley (a different one from the aforementioned bride!) had the earrings sitting in her online store and I fell in love with them. My mum got me them as a gift, and at the same time Chris contacted Haley and commissioned the matching bracelet.

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed taking this trip through my jewellery box and memories with me. Jewellery is a gift that lasts, that can be kept for generations and handed down with memories attached. Stories of loved ones that never truly leave us. It’s never too late to start building a collection to keep for yourself, or for your loved ones and a fantastic site for doing just that is Invaluable. Their jewellery section has a diverse range of items for everyone, and what I really like about it is that they even have a ‘loose stones and beads‘ section so you can pick something truly unique. You can either put it in an old piece as a replacement for a lost stone, or get something truly special commissioned.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

5 Holiday Traditions [5 Fandom Friday]

5 Fandom Friday - Holiday traditions

New Bauble Each Year

After hearing others talking about this one I decided I wanted to start it from next year; then we realised we got a new one last year in our stockings and Chris’ mum got us one this year too! So that tradition is officially started!

 

One Present on Christmas Eve

This is a tradition that we’ve both had separately since we were kids, so of course we’re keeping it as a couple! You get to pick one, just one, present from under the tree to open. It’s not as easy as it sounds! As a couple we do have an additional rule; the other person is allowed to veto one or two presents if they’re extra special surprises.

 

Star Wars Cinema Trip

This is brand new from last year, and is most likely going to happen this year. As Chris has been ill and in hospital we haven’t been able to go see it, so we’re going to see it when we’re down in London for New Years. Last year we went with my dad, and we’re doing the same this year. Since there’s many more Star Wars movies to come (WOOT!) I can see this becoming a yearly tradition.

 

Stealing Meat from the Carving Board

This is my personal one which I have been doing since I was a kid, and have subsequently done every time there’s a roast being carved. It started at Christmas though when we had big family gatherings at my nan and grandad’s house and while the adults served the food up, we kids would do little jobs like take stuff to the table. I’m not sure if it was my dad or my grandad – or both 😛 – who started it, but they’d sneak me bits of meat as they cut the roasts.

 

Pigs in Blankets

When I was a teenager my grandad decided to add something new to our Christmas dinner; pigs in blankets. He’d seen it somewhere, tv, newspaper, I don’t know but he was doing it and enlisted me to help. It is one of my fondest memories of my grandad before he died when I was 17, and I try to make pigs in blankets every Christmas. Sometimes not from scratch/by hand as he did, but we have them each year and not just because they taste awesome.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Memories are just a memory (Things are looking up)

Memories

There! You see I did get to use the title after all… sort of 😉

I may be a little hyped up on coffee right about now. I had some after waking up from a nap feeling really yucky and while I do still feel sleepy, the coffee and food helped a lot. So instead of heading to bed here I am right now writing a pretty damn perky blog entry. The positive mood is not just down to the caffeine though; it’s a general feeling that hit me yesterday when I realised how much better I was feeling. Physically I’m not doing so good – ear/sinus infection & my dodgy knees playing up – but emotionally I’m good. It’s the first time since the start of this god forsaken year that I have felt happy and confident. I still feel guilty considering what happened to Az… how can I be happy when something so horrific has happened? I am still mourning him, I probably always will because the loss of a loved one – human or animal – never truly leaves us.

But you have to go on living, looking to the future rather than the past. That has been a very hard lesson for me to learn, especially as I have a photographic memory and can picture unhappy memories in a flash. It isn’t a flash back, it’s just a memory in great detail. I remember the first time I was bullied when a kid stuck pencils through the hole in the school chair when I was 5. I distinctly remember 5 years later when I stepped oddly on a stone while walking to Churchfields park and had my first hypermobility caused injury; a hairline fracture in my ankle. What I don’t remember is which ankle it was because that was the first of many ankle/foot related injuries that eventually stopped as my foot became strengthen through years of physiotherapy and wearing sports support bandages for years on end. My first day at St John Rigby and the years that followed, making crazy friends who are still with me to this day. The good memories and the bad memories. Then Hayes, Leeds and the last six years with my amazing fiance.

I’m tearing up as I think back over all this – but they aren’t tears of sadness. It isn’t my depression raising it’s ugly head. They are tears of joy, of understanding of being able to lay some demons to rest. Why has all this suddenly happened recently? It’s been a stepping stone of different stages, of long term and short term events that have built me back up from rock bottom. I’m far from perfect, far from healed and as I have always known, my depression will still be there. You can’t wash away all the bad things, you just have to learn to handle them with the help of others.

I’m probably feeling even more philosophical tonight because I just watched the first episode of the new Rizzoli & Isles series which starred the actor Lee Thompson Young. For those who don’t already know; the actor was found dead this week from apparent suicide. The details are still a mystery but it does seem that it was depression that led to his death. I know how it feels to feel that bad, that alone and that powerless. I am fortunate that people have been there to help me up, to support me and kiss away my tears. I will always be grateful to those people. When I hear that someone was unable to stop the pain and felt that their only option was death… it breaks my heart. It’s one of the reasons why I always offer people a shoulder to cry on, a listening ear and I speak openly about my problems. I’ve even heard someone crying before in a toliet at university and asked if they were ok. I know it sounds stupid but my hope was that the girl might register that even a stranger could care about her, that she wasn’t alone.

Since officially being accepted for honours I’ve had to sit and twiddle my thumbs, waiting for my academic profile to be progressed onto the next year. It has apparently been fixed, however, until mycampus (the system) has been updated after a major error happened, I won’t know for sure. It means I’m stuck waiting to find out what classes I actually have as no one has confirmed anything with me at all. I know I have creative writing both semesters and in semester 2 a course called “humanities in the classroom” which includes a work placement. I only know this because I had to apply separately for both of these. So I have no reading lists, which is a good and a bad thing. It means I get to read whatever I want to read – currently the Iron Druid Chronicles – but it also means less time to read stuff before the beginning of term. I’ve also heard that one course – the vampire literature one – may not even be happening this year *cries*. This means I may need to find another course from somewhere as well… but I will know nothing until mycampus is sorted. I am hoping – just like everyone else – that this will be the start of next week.

Wow.. this entry is going on for ages. I still have two more points to get through before I finish and head to bed. The first goes with the general feel of this entry; the future. Next wednesday I have my first physio appointment and I’m hoping praying that they can actually offer me something useful. This will be the third time having physio on my knees… having is actually the wrong term as the previous ones didn’t actually do much apart from show me how to do exercises and send me off to do them. The one in Leeds spent most of his time lecturing me on how I wasn’t standing/bending/moving correctly. Dude, you try having this condition and then tell me it’s easy to re-teach your entire body to stand/move/bend differently. Guilting someone into fixing their body when they cannot help it – my body thinks what it is doing is the natural normal behaviour of a body – doesn’t HELP. Anyway… rant over 😛 I was supposed to be talking about how I noticed this week my sudden vocabulary changes from “if I do creative writing, my novel/protagonist will be…” to “my novel/protagonist is going to be…”. No honours went losing out on the chance to start down the official creative writing road and while it is scary, it is damn exciting too. I can’t wait to get started!

And the last point finally; work and how well it has been going, and then that rant stole the show. Everyone is really friendly, and the only down side is the lack of stuff to do sometimes. However, the next few weeks will see that changing and I’ll probably find myself wishing for the good ole quiet days.