Carsington Water

Last week I went on a trip to Carsington Water, a reservoir in Derbyshire. The sun was out but it was a very cold day and the black clouds were gathering. The purpose of the visit was to see what the visitor centre could offer as an educational resource. It had very good  interactive displays and lots of information about where our water comes from and how it is cleaned for household use. I found it informative and fun as an adult but I feel sure it would be equally so for children.

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Holiday on the Scilly Islands.

Christmas is over and the advertisements on the television are all about where to go on holiday. This is not an easy decision as holidays can be very expensive and yet we feel that we must have one to unwind from our increasingly stressful lives. Last year I was very lucky to be able to revisit the Scilly Islands, a place I had not been to for 28 years. Sometimes it can be disappointing going back to a place you have fond memories of as inevitably places change.

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Yarn Bombing in Derbyshire.

Yarn Bombing, yarn storming, knit graffiti is an activity that has really taken off in the last few years. It involves placing knitted, crocheted or felted items on railings, lampposts, trees, fences, bike stands and park benches. These items are left for the enjoyment of all who walk past them and they often disappear to find new homes where they continue to give pleasure. One of the most famous in this country has been achieved in Saltburn on the pier, details can be found here.

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Fashion Revolution Day

The first Fashion Revolution Day will happen on April 24th 2014. It will then be a year since the Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh, which killed 1133 garment workers and injured over 2500 more. The idea for this day came from Carrie Somers from the Company Pachacuti in Ashbourne, Derbyshire. Carrie has written a blog which tells how she first got the idea and what the plans are for the first Fashion Revolution Day.

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Whitby, a Town Worth Visiting

I recently spent a few days in Whitby and thought I would share some of my photos. While there we had a real mixture of weather but this is Great Britain! The first day was reasonably warm for October and so we went to the beach at Robin Hood Bay.October sunshine at Robin Hood Bay.

October sunshine at Robin Hood Bay.
The tide was out and there were plenty of rock pools to investigate and sand to dig.
The beach at Robin Hood Bay.

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Rat Bags

I recently discovered Rat Bags, a company making items out of sail canvas while on holiday on  the Scilly Islands. I love to visit countries like Italy where you still find small shops with the artist or maker working at the back, producing their handmade goods. It is rare however to find this in the UK so on this recent holiday to the Isles of Scilly I was really pleased to discover a shop called The Canvas Shop in Hugh Town, St Marys, where you can see the handmade items being made. The company is called Rat Bags and they make practical, colourful, bags, hats and clothes out of traditional canvas.

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Handmade Books

I love handmade books especially those that are a bit different in their construction where the book itself is a work of art as well as having interesting content. Last June I went on a holiday to the Island of Santorini and was fascinated by the small bookshop in OER. I regretted not buying some very small books made like matchbooks housed in a handmade matchbox. so once I got home I ordered some from HERE.

Small books from Santorini
Small books made to look like matchbooks.

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Derby, Peace and Justice Festival.

Derby is having a Peace and Justice Festival on Saturday September 14th. There are several venues around the city centre where things will be happening. There is plenty going on at The Guildhall from 10.00am-10.00pm, details can be found HERE.

There will also be activities in The Quaker Meeting House, St Helen’s Street, Derby DE1 3GY.

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An afternoon in Pachacuti, Ashbourne.

Last Wednesday I spent a couple of hours sitting in Pachacuti , a Fair Trade shop in Ashbourne,  Derbyshire. I had not gone there to buy anything although I was very tempted. On a previous visit I had left with three hats, two tops and a pair of shoes! Here is a photo of the shop and you can see my little suitcase outside!Pachacuti Shop in Ashbourne Derbyshire.

Pachacuti Shop in Ashbourne Derbyshire.

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William Morris Designs and Standen House

William Morris said “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful” I think this is something worth considering in these times of excessive hoarding and shopping. Today it is so easy to spend money,  that there is great danger of buying, without considering if we need an item, or if it is something that will make our homes more beautiful.

When I had my first home in the 1980s William Morris designs were popular and I can remember having curtains and cushions in his fabric. I was therefore really interested in visiting the National Trust property Standen House in West Sussex. The house itself was designed and built for James and Margaret Beale as a weekend retreat. James was a solicitor who was involved in the opening of the great rail terminal at St Pancras.

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