Eek! I’m Saving For A Mortgage (Well, A Deposit!) & Welcome To My Brain

Okay, time for a bit of a change of direction on this blog – it’s going to once again become my main blog and I will eventually bring back my reviews so it’s all centralised in one place again.

But in addition to books I’m also going to start blogging about other things including saving money – mainly as in the last few months I’ve decided I want to buy a flat (rather than rent).

I’m currently back with my parents thanks to my previous landlord deciding to sell the flat I was in but this has freed up a considerable amount of my income which has been being diverted into my savings account (well, I call it a saving account – it’s actually several accounts – a help to buy, one regular saver and a current account (which pays a higher rate of interest than most savings accounts).

So I’ll use this blog as a way of making sure I’m always doing something to increase the amount of cash I have available to put away towards this including saving tips I find and ways to earn extra money.

I’ll also use this blog to talk about the books I love, any interesting days out or places, photography and anything else I can think of – in other words welcome to my brain, I’m a little bit random! 🙂

The Bristol Shaun In The City Roundup #3: The Final F-Ewe

Call off the shepherds, the sheep have been found.

Yes, the Bristol Shaun in the City trail has come to an end and I am extremely late in posting this but I couldn’t resist finishing up and posting the final f-ewe hehe.

First up is the Brunel trail… backwards 🙂

Brunel Trail

Bloomin’ Gorge-ous by Professor Alice Roberts, located at Christchurch Green
Bloomin' Gorge-ous

The Shear Speed Helter Skelter by Gav Strange, located at The Mall Gardens
The Shear Speed Helter Skelter

And now we’re on route to my favourite places in Bristol – trust me it’s in the background (although you can’t actually see it as I’ve managed to crop it out hehe) whilst we admire…

Wish Ewe Were Here by Josh & Aimee Williams, located at Avon Gorge Hotel
Wish Ewe Were Here by Josh & Aimee Williams

Now that’s more like it – the Clifton Suspension Bridge in the background and a Shaun up front and personal…

Baa-lloon by Jenny Urquhart, located at Sion Hill
Baa-lloon by Jenny Urquhart

A Sheep’s Eye View by Paul Bowles, located at Clifton Observatory
A Sheep's Eye View by Paul Bowles

And then we went across the bridge… the one and only Clifton Suspension Bridge – I mean how can you not take a photo of the view – especially when it was so nice. Shame about the maintenance work though!

Clifton Suspension Bridge

On the other side of the bridge we meet…

Isambaaard by Tim Miness, located at Clifton Suspension Bridge
Isambaaard by Tim Miness

Flora by Brittany Molineux, located at Ashton Court Estate (by Golf and Cycle Hub)
Flora by Brittany Molineux

And now for one I’ve shown you before, also at the Ashton Court Estate. This was taken during the Bristol Balloon Fiesta.

Buttercup by Vivl Cuevas, located at Ashton Court Estate

Buttercup by Vivl Cuevas

Going off the Trail

A week or so later I was back on the trail to sweep some of the missed Shauns from across the centre, starting with…

Lamb Chop by Duncan Craig, located Outside Bristol Bus Station
Lamb Chop by Duncan Craig

Maisy and Friends by Lucy Cousins, located Outside Bristol Children’s Hospital
Maisy and Friends by Lucy Cousins

Now for the first of two really local ones…

Melonie by Phil West, located at Fountain Square, Staple Hill
Melonie by Phil West

And look out for the TARDIS when we visit…

Buddleia by Sarah-Jane Grace, located at the Warmley Waiting Room
Buddleia by Sarah-Jane Grace

Southbank Trail

Those central and local sheep all wrapped up it was time for a new day of Shaun hunting and this trail took us through Bedminster and up to the home of Bristol City football club – Ashton Gate Stadium. So without further ado lets begin with…

Championsheep by Timmy Wilmott, located at Ashton Gate Stadium
Championsheep by Timmy Wilmott

Posy by Gabrielle Ruffle, located at Riverside Garden Centre
Championsheep by Timmy Wilmott

Jasmine by Liz Clayton, located at 291 North Street
Jasmine by Liz Clayton

A brief panic where the thought occurred “is the swimming pool closed on a Sunday.” Fortunately, yes is the answer and it was time to get out violins out for…

Shear-lock Holmes by Laura Cramer, located at Bristol South Swimming Pool, Dean Lane
Shear-lock Holmes by Laura Cramer

And finally…

Shaunnus Romanus by Ian Marlow, located at Victoria Park, Somerset Terrace entrance
Shaunnus Romanus by Ian Marlow

Farmyard Flock

Moving on our attention must turn to the farmyard flock – 1 hour 20 minutes to find just 3 sheep … unless you discover the little shortcut, well little is an understatement (it cuts out a large loop!)

Sparkles the Unicorn by Emily Golden, located at Horfield Common
Sparkles the Unicorn by Emily Golden

Fans of bake off will love this one designed by the artist who draws all of the pictures showing the bakers bakes in the bake off. So it’s only natural Tom designed…

Star Bake by Tom Hovey, located at Boston Tea Party
Star Bake by Tom Hovey

Primrose by Henning Lohlein, located St Werburghs City Farm
Primrose by Henning Lohlein

The Final F-Ewe

And so we’re almost at the end of the trail – a final push to find the final f-ewe, numbers 69 and 70. With lots and lots of stamps Number 69 was…

Frank designed by Royal Mail, located at Broadwalk Shopping Centre
Frank designed by Royal Mail

And now *drum roll please* for number 70…

Two Hoots by Maria Burns, located at Snuff Mills Park, River View
Frank designed by Royal Mail

So that’s it (all be it rather belated) all 70 of the Bristol Shaun in the City sheep, across all the trails (and a few that aren’t exactly on trails). Not to mention the bonus Shaun’s in the mall designed by local schools.

If you’ve missed any of this series or want a recap you can check out my previous posts – part 1 and part 2. Together with this post they form a complete list of the Shaun’s involved in the Bristol Shaun in the City trail!

The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta 2015 (In Photos)


Last weekend I went along to the annual Bristol International Balloon Fiesta – it’s an extended weekend full of ballooning and fun and yesterday was exceptional. The fiesta, which is now in 37th year reached Ashton Court’s capacity and for the first time they had to turn people away at the gates. It has to be said it’s not hard to see why – the best weather and conditions, the best balloons and the best fun.

This is the Bristol Internal Ballon Fiesta 2015!


Not my kind of thing but the fiesta plays host to a wide range of rides suitable for all tastes and thrill seekers. From merry go rounds, tea cups and dodgems to the likes of Air and Joker for those adventurous types who want to experience a splash of danger.




If food is more your thing there’s more than enough to keep hunger at bay from the traditional burger, pizza and chips to full roasts, currys, ice creams, sweets, fudge, drinks…


Oh and this apple and cinnamon crepe was lovely… 🙂

Apple and Cinnamon crepe

Just be prepared as with all these kinds of things it’s not exactly cheap!


Okay, okay – not really what the fiesta is but. But. But.

They were everywhere, on virtually every game stand there this year, one of the prizes on offer was a minion so couldn’t really miss them out could I?

Win a Minion


You’ll see more about this later, but Shaun in City was of course present at the Ashton Court estate, here’s a sneak peak of one of them!


Plane Aerobics

This year we had lots of activities in the sky including this incredible plane demonstration…


Where they…






Plane walking

The Hot Air Balloon Mass Ascent

Okay – so the fiesta isn’t really about any of those things – it’s a celebration of hot air balloons, the opportunity to witness and be part of a mass ascent of hot air balloons at one of the biggest balloon fiesta’s in Europe. Going up in one of those things must be pretty awesome ordinarily but going up as part of a mass ascent at the fiesta has to be pretty spectacular.

The fiesta was trying out a new way of letting everyone know whether the balloons would take to the skies this year. A chimney would erupt smoke and the colour of this smoke would be the outcome. Red would mean no go, amber meant the balloons would inflate but would not be allowed to take off. And Green would mean we’re good to go.

Given the wind but warm weather I was half expecting it to go amber but….

The smoke, it went green! As it did at all 7 launches this year – good weather at all launches for the fiesta is unheard of!

Anyhoo, We were good to go and this is what happened next!

Getting the balloon’s ready
Setting up the ascent

Cold Inflation
Cold Inflation

Almost there

Almost there

We have lift off…
We have lift off


Off goes another

And we’re off








Uni Bristol Balloon


Balloon Burner

Some of these balloons can carry up to 14 passengers





Peekabo Penguin!
One of the two penguin balloons exhibiting at this years fiesta…
Peekabo Penguin - Hot Air Balloon

And here’s the other one – oh what a pair! 🙂

Penguin Balloon


And as the light started to fade to a soft glow the ascent came to an end…


The Night Glow…

But the day hasn’t come to an end just yet – on the Thursday and Saturday nights – the balloon fiesta has a unique feature. A feature that is one of the fiesta’s biggest draws and it’s called the Night Glow.

The Night Glow is in a word beautiful, a combination of music and balloons – after inflating the balloon teams use their burners to light up their balloons in time to the music – it’s something that’s really hard to show you with pictures…

Night Glow

Night Glow

Night Glow

So how about a clip instead (no copyright infringement intended!) 🙂


And the night still hasn’t quite ended, next up is the fireworks…

Night Glow Fireworks

Night Glow Fireworks

Night Glow Fireworks

Night Glow Fireworks

Night Glow Fireworks

I hope I’ve given you a taste of what the Bristol Balloon Fiesta is like, maybe you might like to come next year. It’s not the kind of thing I could go to every year as it is one of those things that doesn’t really change much from year to year, but on a day with goo weather it provides an exceptional day out for a very modest amount – did I not mention if you walk to the fiesta it’s completely free of charge. They do however charge for parking – so walk if you can!

July Favourites

Inside Out

Inside Out
I was so, so, so very tempted to write a full review of Inside Out but I resisted as I think I would have just ended up rambling about how good it was. Suffice to say it was good, very good. So good in fact I wanted to go straight back in and see it again. I couldn’t as it the was the last screening of the day but yes, first class Pixar – a story that is at once touching and has the ability to make a whole cinema screen burst out laughing.

It beautifully shows how important our memories are at helping to shape our personality in a way that will engage with young and old alike!

Shaun in the City Bristol Trail

If you read this blog at all you’ll know that the Shaun in the City trail is now in full swing and that there are some b-ewe-tiful sheep scattered around Bristol. I love these art trails so much as they take you to places you might not have seen before at the same time as showcasing some fab-ewelous pieces of art.

I can’t really pick a favourite as I keep changing my mind! But I do really love Dolly!

Dolly by Julie Vernon

Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire

The Harry Potter Re-Read #4: Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire

My Harry Potter re-read continued in July and it’s fair to say it’s my book of the month – probably has something to do with it’s one of the few books I read in July (it’s a big book and I’m not the fastest of readers).

But of course it’s also a wonderful story and one of my favourite in the series – big up Winky and Dobby!

The Bristol Shaun In The City Sheep Roundup #2

The Shaun in the City Bristol trail is now in full swing and the sheeps are looking Baa-rilliant (hehe).

Welcome to my second sheep spotting round up – this is going to be a little shorter than my last one, as this only covers one week (*ahem* one day *ahem*) of rounding up these beauties – so is a little more manageable 🙂

This week I picked up the remaining straddlers on the harbourside trail and completed two of the harder trails – the Heritage and Downs trails.

So lets get down to it and round up those sheep…

Completing the Harbourside Trail

Life Aquatic by Martin Kiszko & Nick Park, located at Bristol Aquarium
Life Aquatic by Martin Kiszko & Nick Park

A little pitstop… huh? Well, at the moment very near Life Aquatic is the Bristol Whale project – an art installation made up of plastic bottles – it’s too good to let pass without a photo 🙂

Bristol Whale Art Installation

Okay, focus Jesse, focus…

Onto one of my favourite Shauns…

Dolly by Julie Vernon, located at Anchor Road (outside Hargreaves Lansdown)
Dolly by Julie Vernon

I mean look at that detail!

Dolly by Julie Vernon

Well, that’s it for the Harbourside Trail – so lets move onto something a little more taxing – the Heritage Trail. To start this trail we have to walk back on ourselves a bit towards the Bristol Hippodrome.

Heritage Trail

Baa-wulf by Peter Lord, located at the Bristol Hippodrome
Baa-wulf by Peter Lord

Another little diversion before the next Shaun, I mean a building such as Bristol Cathedral can’t be passed without showing you what it looks like… before it started to rain!!!

Bristol Catherderal

This of course was on our way to bow down to…

King Arthur of Lambelot & Excalibaaar by Huncan Daskell, located at College Green
King Arthur of Lambelot & Excalibaaar by Huncan Daskell

Wow, another diversion but come on, shame about the clouds but the view from *erm* nearby Cabot Tower can’t be turned down.

Cabot Tower View

Back on ground level we come across…

From Dusk ’til Shaun by Sneaky Raccoon, located at Brandon Hill Nature Park
From Dusk 'til Shaun by Sneaky Raccoon

Up the brutal hill known as park street we must now go – heading to Bristol museum, where we’ll find two Shauns, the first of which is all lit up like…

Arabian Lights by Nigel Leach, located at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery
Arabian Lights by Nigel Leach

Baaack to the Drawing Board by Nick Park, located at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery
Baaack to the Drawing Board by Nick Park

And then there were dinosaurs, I mean come on – I HAD TO LOOK, I haven’t been here in ages! 🙂


Soooo… after 3 visits back and forth into the museum because 1) I didn’t realise there was two Shaun’s there and 2) I forgot to check one of them off on the app I got moving onwards and upwards towards…

Thunderbirds Are Go by Thunderbirds, located at Bristol Grammar School
Thunderbirds Are Go by Thunderbirds

Rex by Beth Waters, located at the Royal West of England Academy
Rex by Beth Waters

Flock ‘n Roll by Carys-ink, located at the Victoria Rooms
Flock 'n Roll by Carys-ink

And with that we come to the end of the Heritage trail. But the day was still *kind of* young and I wanted more – I headed up another hill of death otherwise known as Whiteladies Road, past BBC Bristol until I came to the start of the Downs trail.

The Downs Trail

This trail takes you onto the Downs (surprise!) and into Westbury-on-Trym – there’s quite a lot more walking involved than on the other trails (and a steep hill or two) and far less interesting landmarks along the way but none the less – here we go, starting with…

Tutti Frutti by Laura Fearn, located at 167 Whiteladies Road

Tutti Frutti by Laura Fearn

Ram-ble by Bett Norris, located on The Downs
Ram-ble by Bett Norris

Shaun of the Jungle by Martyna Zoltaszek, located at the University of Bristol Botanic Garden
Shaun of the Jungle by Martyna Zoltaszek

Bumble by Marie Simpson, located at The Downs
Bumble by Marie Simpson

Bristol Beauty by Cassie Derby, located at 25 Canford Lane
Bristol Beauty by Cassie Derby

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter, located at 156 Henleaze Road
The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

Groovy Baby by Emily Ketteringham, located at 110 Coldharbour Road

Groovy Baby by Emily Ketteringham

Groovy Baby brings us to the end of the Downs Trail and funnily enough to the end of this post bringing the total sheep found to 48 of 70.

If you want to catch the first 31 Shauns in my sheep round up check out the roundup part 1. And don’t forget this art trail is raising funds for the Wallace and Gromit Grand Appeal, the charity which supports sick babies and children from Bristol, across the region and further afield.

You can find out more about Shaun in the City on their website.

One Pot Chickpea & Spinach Curry For 1

It’s been a little while since I posted a recipe post but I have a feeling this will change very soon. What with the Bake Off starting… Tomorrow! (8pm BBC One in case you’d forgotten hehe)

I had so much fun baking along with the show last year I’m tempted to do it again this year.

Anyhoo, back to todays post – this is my second attempt at this Chickpea and Spinach curry, I tested it out on Sunday and went without too many hiccups – it’s similar to something I used to have back home and it tastes just as nice!

This recipe is *ahem* based *ahem* off the BBC Good Food recipe, the original you can find here – all I’ve really amended is the quantities to make it suitable for one.

One Pot Chick Pea Curry For 1

You will need…
Vegetable oil
half a red onion, sliced
2 garlic gloves, chopped. Finely – we don’t want large garlic chunks in our curry, no siree!
1 mild red chilli, sliced as thin as you can – I left the seeds in as I like the heat but you can leave them out.
1/2 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garam masala
2-3 chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
100g chickpeas, rinsed and drained (I used half of a tin but you might want to use less)
100g baby spinach leaves (about half a bag)
naan bread or rice to serve.

Ready? Then Let’s Begin
Don’t let the long ingredient list make you think this recipe is going to take forever. There’s even no curry paste to make (or buy from the shops). It’s a true one pot curry – even more so if you opt to serve with naan bread.

First things first, let’s get those ingredients choppody chopped and heat up some vegetable oil over a low heat in a wok.


No wok? No problem – I used a frying pan, does the job as far as I’m concerned hehe! 🙂

Into the oil goes the red onion.

Sizzling red onion

Once the onion has softened it’s time to throw in the garlic, ginger and red chilli. Give it a stir and let the mixture cook for about 5 minutes. The smell at this point is divine!

Happy? Let’s add some spices – in fact lets add all three – cumin, tumeric and garam masala. *whispers* I don’t bother to measure these out but made sure to put roughly equal amounts. Obviously the more you add the spicer the end result.

After a few seconds it’s time to add the tomatoes and tomato puree and let it simmer for 5 minutes. At this point I added a bit of water as the tomatoes I used didn’t have much juice to simmer with!

We’re on the home straight – at this point add the chickpeas (which you’ve already rinsed and drained, right?) and about 300ml of water – you can use the tin the chickpeas came in and fill it about three quarters.

Chickpea Curry

Let this simmer for 10 minutes and add in the spinach – it looks like quite a lot when it goes in…

Spinach goes in

But just you wait a few moments and a bit of stirring and it becomes this…

Chickpea Curry

Season to your taste and serve with rice or naan bread.

A very simple recipe, quick enough for a midweek meal and tasty to boot!

One Pot Chick Pea Curry For 1

The Bristol Shaun In The City Sheep Roundup #1

It’s officially started, the Bristol leg of the Shaun in the City art trail.

On the 6th July the remaining 70 large painted Shauns appeared all over Bristol (the first 50 appearing in London earlier in the year). Spread across the city in a range of themed trails which makes fab and affordable days out for youngsters as well as kids at heart.

With this in mind this is The Bristol Shaun In The City Sheep Roundup #1: Temple Trail, Harbourside Trail and a few extra Shaun’s thrown in for good measure. A few did get missed off the Harbourside trail but I’ll pick these up later.

Before we get on, this series of posts is going to be very photo heavy with not a lot of words! With that little disclaimer out of the way here we go…

Ready? Sheep Spotting app installed and map in pocket Lets kick off with the Temple Trail which starts from, anyone? Temple Meads Train Station. 🙂

Temple Trail

Alright Me Babber, created by Susan Taylor, located at Temple Meads Station Approach:
Alright Me Babber

The Bristol Express, created by Tim Sutcliffe, located at Temple Meads Station Approach:

The Bristol Express

Great West Shaun, created by Tim Sutcliffe, located at Temple Quay, Temple Back East
Great West Shaun

Rosie, created by Jaqueline Anne Harper, located at Valentines Bridge, Temple Quay:Rosie

Bingo, created by Orla Joan Handley, located at DAS House, Quay Side:

Sheepish, created by Wayne Hemingway, located at Temple Church Gardens:

Willow, created by Rhiannon Southwell, located at St Mary Redcliffe ChurchWillow

Oh and if you’re wondering what the church looks like (it’s pretty impressive in real life) here you go…

St Mary Redcliffe

And now keeping an eye on things making sure us sheep spotters don’t get carried away please be upstanding for…
Justice Lamb, created by Mike Ogden, located at Queen Square

Justice Lamb

King of the Carnival, created by Lou Boyce, located at Queen Square

King of the Carnival

And that concludes the Temple Trail 🙂

Bonus Shauns

These Shauns are part of other trails but I came across them on route to find lunch so nabbed them on route! Starting with…

Bagpuss Shaun, created by Peter Firmin, located at Cabot Circus

Bagpuss Shaun

TV didn’t always use to be available all day and it appears this Shaun is having a nap…

Please Stand By, created by Timmy Willmott, located at The Broadmead Podium
Please Stand By

Shaun on the Cob, created by Katie Wallis, located at 78 Broadmead
Shaun on the Cob

Cecila, created by Laura Ashley, located at The Galleries

Knitwit, created by Adrian Barclay, located at Castle Park (aka grazing outside of Bristol Pride)

Lily, created by Laura Cramer, located at Lower Castle Street

Woolly Wonderland, created by Vicky Harrison, located at St Nicholas Market
Woolly Wonderland

And the last of the bonus Shauns (for now anyway)…

Honey, created by Amy Timms, located at St Stephens Church

On route to the …

Harbourside Trail

This is probably one of my most walked routes around Bristol, I walk a small part of it every day before work and this trail follows the entire beautiful trail around Bristol Harbourside, which includes the SS Great Britain and Aardman Animations. Ready? Good – on we go 🙂

Beach Boy, created by Mike Ogden, located at Cascade Steps

Beach Boy

Green Poems for a Blue Planet, created by Martin Kiszko & Nick Park, located at Bristol 2015 Lab
Green Poems For A Blue Planet

Air Fleece, created by Jacqueline Anne Harper, located at Canon’s Marsh Ampitheatre (or near it anyway!)
Air Fleece

On the Waterfront, created by Abigail McDougall, located at Hotwells Road
On The Waterfront

And onto the Pump House (previously the Pump Room) who have a similar design to the last time round, introducing…

Jarsberry Ram, created by Simon Tozer, located at The Pump House

Jarsberry Ram

Sgt. Shephard, created by Shaun in the City Team, located at Baltic Wharf
Sgt. Shepherd

And now onto the building which houses one of my favourite ever companies (and always sends a slight thrill down my spine when I go past it on Gas Ferry Road) – the home of Wallace and Gromit, Morph, Shaun the Sheep, Chicken Run – it can only be Aardman Animations where we find…

Lotus, created by Richard Starzak, located at Aardman Animations

The Pirate Captain, created by Mike Ogden, located by M Shed
The Pirate Captain

Looks like he might have his eye on the Matthew…

The Matthew

A slight diversion from the trail to locate…

Bahhbersheep, created by Gav Strange, located at Wapping Wharf

And back on track we now find…

Shaun Bean, created by Nigel Leach, located at Narrow Quay
Shaun Bean

I did miss the last two Shaun’s off of this trail as the light was starting to go but I’ll get them soon, but to finish off this trail I have to showcase this…

The Energy Tree

It’s called The Energy Tree and is located outside of @Bristol. Its leaves are made out of solar panels and can be used to charge phones and mobile devices using the electricity the tree generates. Oh and it’s also a WIFI hotspot! It was designed by artist, John Packer and Demand Energy Equality and was built by John with the help of recovering addicts from the Bristol Drugs Project.

Cribbs Causeway

Last weekend as the Harbour Festival was on in the centre I decided to venture further afield for a spot of sheep spotting – these sheep are from the Cribbs Causeway area.

Bee-Dazzled, created by Sunny Warrington, located at The Mall at Cribbs Causeway

Shrek Shaun, created by DreamWorks, located at The Shaun in the City Shop

Shrek Shaun

Whilst at the shop you can’t not take a look at the Shaun’s painted by local schools, they might be smaller in scale but they could easily qualify for a place on the trail. Let’s take a look down at the farm…

Down On The Farm

Oh. My. Gosh. Isn’t Sea Diving Shaun adorable! LOVE IT! 🙂
Down On The Farm

Down On The Farm

Down On The Farm

Okay, back to trail Shauns and we move onto my favourite one so far, doesn’t he look scrummy…

Fab-ewe-lous, created by Carys-ink, located at The Mall at Cribbs Causeway

Starstruck, created by Richard Williams, located at Bristol Parkway Station

So that’s my first Shaun in the City wrap up post – we’re now about two weeks into the trail and so far I’ve found 31 of the 70 scattered around Bristol.

The Bristol trail continues until the end of August, after which there will be an exhibition with all 120 Shauns from both the Bristol and London trails on the 12th-20th September in Cribbs Causeway. A week later on the 24th-27th September all 120 Shauns will be in a London exhibition in the Covent Garden Piazza.

Then all 120 Shauns will be auctioned off to raise funds for the Wallace and Gromit Grand Appeal (the Bristol Children’s Hospital charity) which supports sick babies and children in Bristol, across the south west region and further afield.

For further information please visit the official Shaun in the City website and don’t forget to check back here for the next Shaun In The City Sheep Roundup.

The National Trust Bath Skyline Walk

Lately I’ve spent a lot of weekends venturing out of my flat only to pop to the shops and maybe a walk round the block (and that doesn’t amount to much of a walk around here) so for this weekend I was after something a little bit different.

And then I remembered that Rachel Ward quite often posts pictures to Twitter copying the user @NTBathSkyline. Now I LOVE Bath and so naturally wondering what this was about I did a bit of investigation this week.

This is the National Trust Bath Skyline walk, a 6 mile round walk through the fields and woodland lying to the side of Bath with amazing views which overlook the Georgian city.

Rather than talk about it I’ll share my favourite photos from the day (I think I picked the right day to go as my Hay fever didn’t cause me any grief! :D)

Lets start with a few snaps of the roughly 1 mile walk from the centre to the start of the walk on Bathwick Hill, past a canal and up a hill.


Bathwick Hil

And then the walk begins and we see the first of many views (apologies for my lack of photography skills at this point!)

NT Bath Skyline View

How about a picture of a raindrop???


And then another view of the city…

NT Bath Skyline View

A bit of a wooded walk…

Wooded Walk

And some flowers…



And then a bit more walking…


And don’t forget the animals – you’ll pass cows, sheep and a um, dogs and cat rehoming centre…


Ahh, yes – I think I promised views…

NT Bath Skyline View

It’s only fair you get to take a break – you’ve been walking for a while now…

Take A Break

And admire the view…

NT Bath Skyline View

But don’t forget to take a (very) short detour and visit Sham Castle!

Sham Castle

The walk is now almost over, but have you got time for one more view?

NT Bath Skyline View

Of course I was in Bath and so with a mere half hour to spare before they closed I popped into Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights…

Mr B's Emporium of Reading Delights

And happily bought these…


I guess this is really another reason I really should just move to Bath 🙂

I Miss UK Cinema Intros

A bit of a random post for you today but hands up if you remember cinema intros – you know those little introductions that used to play just before a film was about to start.

Sometimes they told you of the rules of the cinema and others they just said to enjoy the show but for a long time now they seem to have disappeared – until now…

Or until I plugged the info into old faithful … YouTube! Don’t ask me how they found their way onto their but they have and so now I want to share with you the two cinema policy trailers / introductions I remember.

Without further ado – enjoy the show! 🙂

Showcase Cinemas Policy Trailer (National Amusements)

Enjoy The Vue (Vue Cinemas)

Told you it was a bit of a silly post but I couldn’t resist!

In Which I Finally See Billy Elliot The Musical

This has been a long time coming. A very long time coming.

Billy Elliot has been on my list of musicals I’ve wanted to see for years, always there but another show kept turning up and taking it’s place when looking at what to see next. Shows which might not stay in the West End long enough for me to see them if I don’t see them right now.

But for the first time although Billy Elliot wasn’t the only show I wanted to see (dying to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and watch Les Mis again) but it was the musical I was most desperate to see and fortunately the tickets matched my budget at the right time (which was lucky as I booked the ticket quite last minute for me!)

So last Thursday I made the coach trip to London, went for a little wander along Victoria Embankment and saw a familiar bridge.

Millenium Bridge

And then walked on said familiar bridge…

Millenium Bridge

Fortunately there were no dementors around 🙂

After a bit of a rush back I was outside my favourite London theatre – the Apollo Victoria Theatre….

Apollo Victoria Theatre

*ahem* fortunately this just across the road from the Victoria Palace Theatre. I was ready for the show to begin…

Victoria Palace Theatre

Billy Elliot if you didn’t know is the story of a boy who discovers he wants to dance but set against the strikes in the mines a boy who wants to dance isn’t the kind of thing that goes down particularly well.

It was amazing. Perfect. Brilliant. Superb. Incredible.

Okay, okay – I’ll stop now.

As you might have guessed Billy Elliot is much more dance heavy than other musicals, I mean what other show will you see police and miners in an epic dance battle with young girls and Billy having a ballet lesson in the middle.

Talking about the young cast, they were superb and brought a fun and bright side to the show – and I have to give a massive shout out to the boy who played Michael (I wish I remembered his name!) – he was so much fun – I can’t picture the show without him! 🙂

Which brings me to another point that the show has elements which would fit right at home in a modern contemporary story – it shows the miners strikes from the eyes of a young person and how they effect the whole family.

I’ve been listening to the cast recording for months already so I knew the music was superb but seeing the show really brings it to life.

Oh and don’t ignore the seats at the front of the theatre because of their restricted view marker – I was in seat B22 which is the very front row on the left side of the stalls. It’s marked as restricted view because of the very high stage but really – the view is fine and for little more than £20 you can hardly go wrong.

Though I’m sure I kept catching several members of the casts eye – though I hope I’m imagining it! Eek!

Overall, an awesome show – if you haven’t seen it – what are you waiting for?