Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Medieval Market

Today there is medieval market day in Chesterfield. There is one every year but I've only been once before, when I worked as an au pair.

In Chesterfield there is a market two or three times a week, many of the stalls today were just like the ones that are usually there. In addition to those there were some stall owners that were dressed up in medieval-looking clothes, some stalls for charity, many more vans selling food than usual, some stalls doing tom-bolas (I won a bottle of wine) and quite a few selling home-made items.

I even saw a cheese stall with some Norwegian brown cheese! 

Just in front of the Crooked Spire there is the "proper" medieval part. My favourite part. I wish the rest of the market was as authentic looking as that. It's just three tents and you can learn a bit more about the weapons and medicine that they used in the old days. 

It's nice that they do special market days instead of just the usual ones, there is such a good vibe to it all, so many happy families just pottering about the market. 

Friday, 19 July 2013

VIP Visitors

My mum and sister came to visit me for a few days earlier this week, it was very nice to see them especially as my sister is headed to USA this autumn for a year, so even if I go back to Norway on holiday in the next year I won't see her.

The weather has been great while they've been here, sunny and close to 30 degrees, perfect weather for a holiday. They arrived Sunday night so we just had some dinner together before they headed to the B&B across the road for some shuteye. 

On Monday we headed to Sherwood Forest, home of Robin Hood. None of us really knew if there was anything to see there or not but of course we've all heard of Robin Hood, who hasn't with all the films and TV series about him?

We had a nice walk in Sherwood Forest, apparently you can get walking maps in the visitor centre there but we just followed the signs towards the giant oak. When we got to the giant oak mum paid for my sister and I to do some archery with a longbow which was really fun. If you're going to learn archery, what better place to do so than Sherwood Forest? It was quite fun and it turned into a little competition between my sister and I. She won. Not that I'm surprised, she's great at anything she does.

On Tuesday we did some shopping at my sister's request. How my mum managed to produce someone who loves shopping is beyond me! I finally managed to find some nice summer tops though so I was quite happy as well. Then in the evening we went and saw Despicable Me 2 which was awesome!

Wednesday we went to the Peak District. We walked from Baslow to Bakewell via Chatsworth. It's a lovely walk but I think it's better when it's slightly cooler, we walked during the hottest part of the day and all I wanted to do was jump into a river or lake to cool down!

My mum and sister left on Thursday morning. It has been really nice to have them over, definitely a benefit of living in the UK rather than Australia! 

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Death du Jour

The second book by Kathy Reichs did not disappoint. It was just as exciting as the first one if not more.

They did not have this book at the local library but instead of getting them to order it for me I decided to check my luck at the Oxfam store instead. It would have cost me 80p to order it, which would have been cheaper, but I would have had to wait for it to arrive, instead I was lucky enough to find it at Oxfam for £1.99, much cheaper than new at a bookstore.

In this book Dr. Temperance Brennan is working on some ancient remains as well as getting a lot of separate new cases. It was interesting to find out how they would all get wrapped up. In some places I was sure I knew how it would end, and who was to blame and then there was a surprising twist to change it all.

Since Kathy Reichs actually works as a forensic anthropologist she can use a lot from her real life in the books, but I hope her life isn't as dangerous as it is in the books… Death threats, assaults, people breaking in… It all makes a book very exciting but would be terrifying in real life.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Déjà Dead

You know the TV series "Bones"? Ever since I started watching it several years ago I loved it! Then I found out that the series is loosely based on the life and books by real forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs, so then I wanted to read the books but I just never got around to it. There are a lot of books by Kathy Reichs, and I wanted to read them in the order they were written and every time I was thinking about starting to read the books the bookshop or library didn't have the first book; Déjà Dead, in stock. 

The other week I got Chesterfield library to order it in for me from a different library, it cost me 80p, slightly annoyed by having to pay as I didn't have to do that when the library in Norway ordered in books for me, but it's heaps cheaper than buying it new so it was fine.

If you have watched the TV series "Bones" and you want to read the Kathy Reichs books; don't think about them being connected in any way!! The only similarity is the main character having the same name and working as a forensic anthropologist, their personalities are not even the same. The first few chapters kind of dragged because I kept thinking it was going to be the same characters and setting etc as the TV series, it's not.

Do not think it's going to be like the TV series when reading the books!!

Once I stopped thinking about "Bones" the book got much better, and I struggled putting it down. I've not read a lot of crime but I think I will have to start reading more, I tend to be pleasantly surprised when I do read it. It's really gripping and kind of scary… One problem with reading it is my overactive imagination when I try to go to sleep… 

I like that Kathy Reichs is actually a forensic anthropologist in real life so she knows what she's writing about.

I am now addicted to Kathy Reichs and I'm going to try to read the rest of her books!

Thursday, 11 July 2013


I went to Blackpool on Tuesday. I've been wanting to go since I heard about the place, especially since people seem to have very strong opinions about Blackpool, mostly negative. I wanted to know what people talk about when they talk about Blackpool, when they compare other places to it what does it mean, and I wanted to know why people were always so negative about it.

The weather was absolutely beautiful when I went, the sun was shining and it was nice and warm. I hadn't realised how much I missed the smell of the sea until I smelled the saltiness of it when I stepped off the coach. I wish I had stayed overnight or at least late to see the Blackpool illumination, which seems to be the only positive thing people associate with Blackpool, but it will have to be another time.

Every other store facing the sea is an arcade in Blackpool, and although I found out I love the 2p machine when I was in Scarborough I don't understand why there had to be so many place offering it. People seem to associate seaside towns with arcades in the UK and I can understand why, I just don't understand how it started and why… 

When you go to Blackpool you can see that it has been the way it is for ages. The piers are old, the buildings are old and some of the rides at pleasure beach are old. There are some lovely old lampposts and benches there but other ways you can tell it's old is the paint peeling off, rust showing, wood falling apart (slightly worried about the piers). I can understand that maybe Blackpool feels like this is part of its charm, that you can see it's old by letting the rust show a little, but it also makes it look like no one looks after the place, like it's becoming a ghost town. It's not like they don't have the money, random very modern things are being thrown up on the promenade. 

The piers are kind of like carnivals or fun fairs, they've got rides and games and the stall holders try to hassle you into playing their games. I think my favourite thing about the piers are the old benches along the edges of it and the little buildings on the North Pier.

I also went to Pleasure Beach, I liked that instead of having one set ticket price I could pay for a "cheap" ticket that didn't include any of the rides, just so I could go in and experience the atmosphere and see what it was all about. It was like any other amusement park really… Not much to say about it, I've got a feeling it wasn't very busy when I went since it was in the middle of the week and not during a school holiday, and I'm very happy about that. It's very cramped as they've tried to fit a lot of rides into a fairly small space, I can imagine that during summer holiday you probably struggle moving around.

Then there is Blackpool tower, I went up it as I've heard they've got a glass floor that you can walk on and I wanted to check it out. Disappointed after "the Edge" in Melbourne I really hoped it was better than that. When I got up in the tower the glass floor is right outside the lift. It's only part of the floor so that if you don't want to walk on it you can avoid it. The glass was much clearer that it was at "the Edge" and I quite enjoyed standing on it and looking down.

Blackpool was an experience… I would like to go back and see the illuminations at  night but other than that I'm not bothered at all, if I go to the seaside I much prefer a beach without the tourist traps and people nagging me to spend money every 5 meters. I can see why most people have negative opinions about it.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

More Moving Drama

A few weeks ago Joe and I got a letter through the post from the letting company basically saying that when our contract runs out in October we have to vacate the premises as the owners of the property wants the house back. 

As my friend Nicky pointed out; maybe this is why I've been feeling like this is temporary and I haven't really decorated the place, although the latter is also because of a lack of funds and inspiration. Maybe I somehow knew something like this would happen, or it might just be because I've been moving around so much in my life that I struggle settling down in one place, maybe it's a mixture of both...

Of course Joe and I were both upset by this as we had hoped to stay longer, but I am focusing on the positive side of things. The gas and electric bill is already quite high at the moment, of course since it's (supposed to be) summer we don't really have lights or heating on, imagine what the bill would be like come winter! It's a big old house and the few times we have had the heating on in the evenings there hasn't really been that much of an improvement. Even when it's nice and warm outside the house remains quite cold. I'll admit I kind of miss the properly insulated Norwegian wooden houses, maybe I should have one of them built in the UK?

I have decided to not worry too much about anything regarding the move until the end of August, but there are of course things I need to do and think about before then. I need to make sure I save money for a deposit and first month's rent for a new place. I spent a lot of money furnishing the place we have now so of course my savings are much lower than when I first moved back to the UK, and if I can I would like to not dip into them but rather use what I'm currently earning, which isn't much even with all the overtime I've been getting.

When I decided to move back to the UK I did think about moving somewhere other than Chesterfield, but, while I was still in Norway, it was rather difficult to look for a job and place to live in a different country. Should I move to a different part of the UK when October comes? And if so where? I need to decide this before the end of August so I know where to look for a place to live and whether or not to hand in my resignation and look for a new job elsewhere… Having to look for a new job again is probably my biggest worry about moving somewhere new, what if I can't find a new job?! As I noticed with this place, getting an application approved for a house or flat is difficult without a job.

I'll admit I have been thinking about being an au pair again. It is just such an easy way to start out somewhere new. Not that I really want to work as an au pair, but I don't really want the job I've got now either; it's a means to an end. If I work as an au pair again I will have a job and place to live and I can use the money from it to take an evening class and get a qualification in something that I can use to get a job after I've been an au pair. Not that I know what that something might be mind you…

If I work as an au pair I could also take driving lessons in the evenings. I have decided that it might be time to get a licence, I can manage without one, and I don't mind not having one, but there are so many more opportunities for everything if I have one; more jobs I can apply for, I can get in the car and drive somewhere for a day/weekend/week, and I can get in the car and visit friends without worrying about bus and train times. It would probably take me 20 years to be able to afford to actually buy a car though. I will probably get a licence for an automatic if I get one, I know, I know, if I get one for a manual I can drive both, but with everything being on the other side of the car and all the rules and regulations etc it would be nice to make driving just that tiny bit simpler! If I want to I could always get a licence for a manual once I've been driving for a while and have gotten used to it…

Anyway, I'm getting a off topic...

Another thing I have to think about regarding moving in October is the furniture I've bought for this place. Oh, the furniture!! If I get a new place I need to get someone with a van to move everything for me, if I decide to work as an au pair I need to sell it all, it's a heap of hassle either way!

And if I do decide to stay in Chesterfield; do I find a place on my own or share again? Do I share with Joe again? If I keep the job I have now I will probably have to share with someone as I can't really afford a place on my own. Relying on overtime is a bitch.

Okay, so maybe the not worrying about anything until the end of August wasn't exactly true….


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