thank you Helen for drawing this

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Welcome to Ali's blog. A blog that has absolutely nothing to do with juggling monkeys. It doesn't really have anything to do with much, just me rambling on about random things.

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Saturday, April 17, 2010
Me again... I was bored and decided to google my name as I suddenly realised I hadn't since getting married and having a whole new name and what did I discover? A book has been written about me! The Dewey Decimal System of love - Behind a french twist and sensible clothes, forty-year-old librarian Alison Sheffield hides an extravagant nature.

I'm a little disappointed that "my book" lists my age incorrectly, and that it is "one of the worst books ever written." according to the first Amazon reviewer. But it amuses me that there's a fictional character out there with the same name and career as me. From reading the blurb, she too prefers to be called Ali, though she seems to spell it differently (Ally, but that never made sense to me when abbreviating Alison with 1 l and an i).

Given the length of time its been since my last post, I doubt anyone will actually check this, unless they see it via Facebook I guess. Maybe I should email people to tell them I've blogged. Anyway, I'm making no promises that I'll actually start blogging again, I just thought that by blogging now I could at least say I didn't let a whole year go by without blogging. Just over 11 months, yes, but not actually a year.

So, I'll just quickly catch you up with life since last May:

Summer - Matt got rushed into hospital after collapsing, spent just over a week there with something undiagnosed to do with his heart. Never did get to the bottom of it, put it down as one of those things. Very scary time there for a bit.
Autumn - Got married
Winter - Got bored with snow! I know, how is it even possible?

And that brings us to now...

I'm currently in the middle of a week off work (well, nearly a week, and an odd one at that as it's Thurs-Tues, but still). We thought maybe we should do something since Matt was still off Uni (oh, that's something for Autumn that I missed, he started Uni) for Easter. Camping sprung to mind and I thought maybe we should go to the Lake District.

So, Thursday morning dawned and we hadn't really sorted anything (I'd been at work till nearly 9 the night before and we had some visitors, so we didn't pack after I got back). Suddenly for some reason (most likely because we're lazy) neither of us knew if we could actually be bothered to go and anyway, thought the weather might be bad in the Lake District. However, I thought we really should do something. So I sat in bed with This Book and looked for places not too far away that looked interesting and that might be okay even if the weather was awful (something I wasn't so sure about with the Lake District.

Anyway, I plumped fairly randomly for Mother Shipton's Cave and the petrifying well. in Knaresborough with the added possibility of also going to Ripon to see The Tramp Museum that's not actually a Tramp museum.

We packed rather quickly as we'd wasted a significant portion of the day with the whole "Shall we go?" malarkey. Looked up campsites, found several that looked okay, tried to phone one, got an answerphone, and figured we'd wing it, how many people would be camping in this weather?

I'll skip over the journey, which was uneventful, we arrived in Knaresborough and located Kingfisher Campsite, the campsite I'd decided upon as being our first choice. Booking in was fine, it cost more than we think you should pay for a campsite (£13 a night for the two of us), but I think that's because we both have unrealistic expectations, it was cheaper than all of the ones that had their tariffs listed online. Once we reached the tent field I really didn't think the £13 was that expensive, given that we appeared to have an entire field to ourselves. The rest of the campsite was fairly full of caravans, but it seems no one else agreed that tent weather had begun.

Anyway, we didn't get a lot more done on Thursday, simply set up camp, cooked chili on our Trangia and went to bed.

Got in the car and headed out for Mother Shipton's Cave and the petrifying well. Travelled about a mile, maybe 2, when the car started making a horrible noise from one of the front wheels. Pulled over and phoned the AA. After about 45 minutes the very very nice man came and had a look. He took the front wheel off and felt around under it, removing a stone that had become lodged. I felt a bit rubbish that we hadn't known to do that ourselves, but I'd had no idea what the noise could be, I thought something had fallen off or something.

Anyway, we then progressed to the cave, it cost £14 for the two of us to go in, but that possibly included the parking, as the sign seemed to imply it should cost £12. Anyway, I did enjoy the petrifying well, looking at the things that had been turned to stone, fairly impressive that it can do it in just 3 months for small teddy bears. We kind of wanted to spend longer there to justify the money, but although it boasted a large estate you could walk through, it wasn't terribly wide, you couldn't go for a wander or anything really, just walk to the end and then back. So we stopped for lunch, then decided to head for Ripon.

It turned out to be good that we didn't linger for longer at the petrifying well, as I'd assumed the museums in Ripon would be open until 5, but in fact they shut at 4. So we got there in time to see two out of the three museums. We found ourselves opposite the Police one when we parked, so we started there, then on to the Tramp one (Workhouse being it's official name) we ran out of time to make it to the Courthouse Museum, but since one ticket is valid for all 3 museums for a year, we might just have to pop back later in the year. I have to say, considering the cost, you get more for your money with the 3 Ripon museums than you do with Mother Shipton's Cave, though with the cave you do get much nicer scenery for your picnic.

As we headed back to the car, we stopped in a camping shop to buy some meths and ended up buying a new tent instead! Well, we had been trying out Matt's low-profile 2 man this weekend, but really decided we couldn't do a proper holiday in it, it only worked if we had the car parked next to us so we could live out of the car, which might not always be possible, so one with more space would be ideal and we bought one we can stand up in, hooray, I hate trying to dress lying down.

On the way to Ripon, we'd noticed a sign for Ripley advertising its world famous Ice-cream, so we thought we'd better try that on our way back, well, it would be rude not to, wouldn't it? So we arrived in Ripley and bought an ice-cream each, they were sadly out of butterscotch sauce :-( but they did have fudge to dip it in! And it was the kind of crumbly fudge I love, so Matt went back in and bought some for me after ice-cream, yay.

We wandered over to Ripley castle, stopping for a look in the local church on the way. The castle was closed, so we thought we'd get a cup of tea instead, since we wondered if the headaches we'd been developing were caffeine withdrawal. Sadly, the tea room was closing too, so we figured we'd try to make tea back at the campsite.

Nothing more interesting for Friday. Just some driving around and sitting around the campsite.

Time to head back. Another slight incident with the car, this time as we were driving along a rather large stone (about half the size of my fist, so small rock wouldn't be exaggerating) hit the windscreen, it scared me quite a bit, seeing it fly at us and also hearing the impact, thankfully it didn't do much other than cause a nick). Anyway, we carried on until we got to Nottingham.

On the way there'd been an accident causing delays on the M1 around Nottingham, so we'd come off to drive through and realised we were passing the entrance to Warhammer World so I said if Matt wanted we could pop in on the way back. He was very keen on this plan. However, coming back, we thought we could be clever and come in from the higher up junction and drive down to it, retracing our steps, instead of having to double back. Obviously, that didn't pan out all that well. After both getting desperate for a wee, we stopped in a pub to use their facilities and phone people we knew who were likely to be sat at their computer, we got the postcode in the end, only to discover that that postcode was still showing in recent destinations in the Sat Nav anyway! Quite how long that thing keeps them I don't know. It turned out we'd been sort of near it with our route off the M1, but we'd gone too far. Anyway, found it in the end. There turned out to be a doubles tournament on, so it was fairly busy, but we had a look around, Matt seemed to chat with a few people and we got a burger. I looked at Stompers as much as possible to get some ideas for how to paint mine. I think I might actually get started on it sometime soon. Though I've kind of been trying to do more quilting when I want to be creative, painting miniatures is fun, but it's nice to have a finished product that has some sort of purpose. I'll have to actually play a game or two so that I do feel my miniatures have a purpose other than sitting around looking cool.

And that was the end of that, we're back in Leicester, I contacted Autoglass, but from the size and description apparently the dent is only cosmetic.

Now I've broken my blog silence I will try to post little and often, but I know I suck, so probably I'll see you again in another year.

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