Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Back Home and a Giveaway

Back home after a fun holiday in Yorkshire. Visited castles, country houses, gardens, rock formations, a gorge, caves, villages, abbeys, churches, cathedrals, moors and dales, museums, tearooms and the beautiful town of Harrogate where we based ourselves. Must not leave out the world famous Betty’s Tearooms in Harrogate and our last night at the beautiful home of friends who recently moved to the area. Wonder why I felt exhausted. I did not even turn my computer on for 24 hours – that says something!

I have just loaded 436 photographs, many of which I plan to post as I am able.

It rained for 8 days out of 9 but we did not let this spoil our holiday, nor the disappointing accommodation. Thinking we were going to be staying in a mews cottage we found we were staying in an apartment. Somehow booking through a ‘holiday cottage’ agency the word apartment somehow slipped past my brain.

Why was the accommodation disappointing?

1. We scraped the side of our car as soon as we arrived trying to park in a garage (compulsory as there was nowhere else) through a door that left only 2 inches either side of our car and 4 inches at the back when the up and over door was closed. Neighbours parked at an angle on the hard stranding either side of our entry position.
2. The advertised ‘courtyard’ was only a small back yard.
3. We had a ground floor apartment (4 floors in all) in a large old town house above a guy who played drums to accompanying music at 7.0 am and 11 pm sometimes.
4. There was a pub opposite, an RAF club 2 doors down and an ex-servicemen’s club next to that. With the ban on indoor smoking the smokers drink outside even in the rain.
5. The house was situated on a large roundabout that connected 4 main roads.
6. The drains overflowed and smelled bad when there was torrential rain.
7. Kitchen cupboards dusty and full of ‘stuff’, jam making things and much that one would never use on holiday but lacked some of the basic things I needed.
8. The advertised ‘dining room’ was a small space set as a walk through between the kitchen and bathroom, the bathroom door opening almost on to the table.

1. Large comfortable sitting room and bedroom with comfortable four poster bed and 11 foot ceilings.
2. Tall, double sided American style fridge-freezer.
3. A separate study area that I found useful for dumping my photography stuff and papers, maps etc.
4. Could walk into the centre of the beautiful town of Harrogate.
5. A large supermarket less than 5 minutes walk away.

We found out from neighbours that the owner had originally owned the whole house and then converted it into separate apartments, living on the ground floor herself until last Christmas when her husband died when she moved. I was not surprised to hear that as it felt more like it had been someone’s home than a holiday let. There were many oil paintings and watercolours on the walls and the impression was that it had once been an elegant place

So I will be posting on many aspects of Yorkshire as and when I can but for now I am coming up to my 300th post so am offering another GIVEAWAY. Leave a comment and let me know if you want to be entered for the draw. I will draw the winner on the 31st August. If you win you will need to let me have your E-mail address and home address: See details below:

Cath Kidston is a very popular and modern London designer

I bought this little bag which is a Cath Kids

from her junior collection

I thought it would make a nice little hanging bag for make-up

but of course you may have much better ideas yourself

There will be an extra surprise inside

that I bought especially for the winner while in Yorkshire

This is the tearooms in the Cath Kidston shop in Harpenden

It is fitted out with Cath Kidston cushions and table coverings

Harpenden is a very upmarket area and when we were there the place was full of

Mum's and children straight from school

We visited when at Janie's as it is a 10 minute car ride from her home

A Pub

Houses on the Green

My Best Wishes to all who enter - I wish you could all win


Anonymous said...

Barbara, it was very informative to read about the pros and cons of the place you stayed in. But I'm looking forward to your lovely travelogue when you have your photos sorted. The bag is darling, but you don't need to enter me into the drawing :-)

Elizabeth said...

Glad to see you safe back home!
I really think that the holiday let was not well described to you.
Is it worth telling them- and letting future tenants know?
I really look forward to seeing pictures of all the interesting places you visited.

Willow said...

I'm so glad you're home! I've missed coming by to visit and see your photos.

Sometimes it's hard to 'read between the lines' when looking at internet holiday rentals. Is there a place you can send comments?

I'm looking forward to seeing your Yorkshire photos!

Adrienne said...

Welcome home, Barbara. I'm glad there were some positives among the negatives during your holiday. I enjoyed the pictures you shared and look forward to seeing more of your trip. Please sign me up for your give-away. What a wonderful bag! And I love surprises - especially if you choose them.

Charm and Grace said...

I came over this morning wondering how you were doing and now this evening I see that you're back. Yay!! Sounds like your trip had ups and downs but was beautiful. That's life, really, isn't it. The little houses on the green were pretty. Hope you don't give your computer an attack with all those photos!! Oh, and the Cath Kidston bag would be a nice treat (loved seeing her tearoom) ...if you could stack the giveaway in my favor I'd really appreciate it. Just kidding.

Glad you're back!

becky up the hill said...

I'm across the pond, but love Miss Kidston, have two of her books..love to be entered in your drawing..thanks and enjoy your blog very much!

Knitting Mania said...

What a great "catch up" post Barbara...well even though you were a bit disappointed in the apartment, (the bedroom looked lovely), it sounded like you still had a wonderful Holiday. Can't wait to see more photo's.

Congrats on 300th posting, wow can't even image that...count me in on your lovely give away...love the tote!!!!! I hope I win, I hope I win...

Linds said...

It is great to see you back again, and I didn't for a moment, think that you would let the diabolical weather stop you from getting out and about!

a woman who is said...

300th post, wow that is amazing. Count me in on that adorable bag. As always looking forward to your pictures...

As you were close to Janie’s did you get to spend a lot of time with Oliver?

My goodness Pudding Toes is getting to ready to walk any minute!

Vee said...

Welcome home again!

I enjoyed your working through the negative/positive aspects of your accomodations. The photos you show are lovely. And, anyone who doesn't complain about all that rain is to be admired. I am positively moldy here and despising rain to the max. (BUT! The good news is that it's sunny today.)

Congratulations on your 300th post! The giveaway is wonderful. Wait until all the Cath Kidston fans show up! She is a delightful designer and I have admired her things since I first her of her via bloggers.

Vee said...

I'm too tired to even correct that last response, but not to tired to say that I now see my error. LOL!

Teresa said...

I am glad you are back home and posting. I missed reading new entries on your blog. That apartment does look lovely, Barbara. I wish you had not had the disappointment of the noise, smoke, rain, accommodation set backs and car incident. But all in all it sounds as if you had a good time and I am looking forward to the photos and stories you will post.

Cath Kidson? Was that the designer of an apron you had on in an earlier post? The floral pattern is so pretty.

I would love to be entered into your giveaway. Please put me in your drawing.

Welcome back.

ellen b. said...

I want to go to that tearoom. Welcome home. You don't need to enter me in the drawing but I'll be back to see more photos and who wins. Blessings...

Patsy said...

I am so glad your home missed you. ENTER ME.

Barb said...

Welcome back home. I can't wait to see all the wonderful photo's.

300 posts- WOW! I can't even imagine that.

Have a wonderful rest of the week.

Amongst The Oaks said...

Hi Barbara,
I can hardly wait to see the photos from your Yorkshire Holiday. We went through that area a few years ago and it was beautiful. So sorry your car was damaged.
I'd like to be entered in your giveaway, and I LOVE the Cath Kidston bag. I think I need to go back to the UK so I can have tea at her shop. The tearoom is so pretty.
Thanks, Laura

meghs said...

Hi Barbara, I'd love to be entered in your draw - the bag is so pretty. My husband & I are heading to the UK again this Sept/Oct for a holiday to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. Only my second time but himself has been many times. The lovely photos you put up on your blog have given us many ideas of places to visit - thank you.

Linda said...

There's almost always a good and a bad about renting places. I think you managed to have a good time in spite of things like 7 AM drummers. I was in York many years ago and loved it.

fitty's pinky rose cottage said...

Hi, Good to know you are back and I am a lurker.. been reading your blog for few months already.. I love your posts about your country and see so many wonderful pictures in here..

and do count me in your giveaway.. i am a fan of CK!..

have a nice day!

Sharon Goemaere said...

Congrats on your 300th post Barbara!Loved your photos here!Please enter me in your drawing...I'd love something from across the pond.Blessings~Sharon

Judy said...

Things aren't alwys as they appear to be when reserving accommodation...we also found that out this past weekend! But I see you made the best of your situation..as did we. I look forward to your photos.

Congrats on your 300th post!

Susan said...

Congratulations on your 300th post. I thought it was neat how you shared the pro's and con's. Please enter me for the drawing the bag looks lovely.

Paula said...

You are a trooper. I am pretty picky about noise and I don't know if I could last with a drummer living above. I bet your glad to be home.
Please, pick me, pick me LOL
Truly, I love the bag.

Barbara Jacksier said...

You should write a travel guide. Your pros and cons were terrific. I can't wait to see all of your photos. And I'd love to be entered in your contest.

Barbara Jacksier said...

You should write a travel guide. Your pros and cons were terrific. I can't wait to see all of your photos. And I'd love to be entered in your contest.

Linda aka Crafty Gardener said...

Hi Barbara, you are back from your travels once again. And Oliver is 2 now. Our grandson is 14 months old and we have been looking at wooden train sets for him for Christmas or for his next birthday.
We are having a rainy summer and I haven't spent that much time in my garden, well not as much as I usually do. 300 posts is a wonderful milestone to reach. And you are such a lovely lady to offer a giveaway to celebrate.

Sara at Come Away With Me said...

Hi Barbara! Sorry your accommodations were a disappointment, but that there were at least some good things...you obviously did make the best of it. Of course I am looking forward to more photos of your gallivanting!

No need to enter me in the give away; but that is a charming little bag. It appears Cath Kidson is into florals...very pretty. And I think it's great that her shop includes a tea shop where mums and kids can stop after school...and of course perhaps pick up something like your pretty bag.

Mike said...

How gracious of you to list the positives! I would write to the booking agency and complain. It certainly has been wet. Look forward to seeing more photies Barbara.

La Tea Dah said...

I would love to be entered in your drawing. And I look forward to the pictures of your holiday!


Mmm said...

That's so funny--my wife has the exact same bag already! My mother gave it to her.

BTW, I love Yorkshire and am looking forward to more of your lovely photos.

Jeanne said...

Blessings my lovely friend.
I am so happy you had such a great vacation.
Enjoy your summer days.
They have almost vanished.

Carolyn said...

I really enjoy reading your blog.My husband and I had a lovely trip to England in May and we hope to go back again.I would love to be entered in your draw!Carolyn

Lorrie said...

Barbara, your vacation sounds like a mixture of good and bad. It's all about attitude, isn't it? Yours is always so positive.


Anonymous said...

Hi...I loved reading about your trip to Yorkshire & Harpenden. I was always a huge fan of James Herriot's novels (All Creatures Great & Small,etc) & was thrilled when I was able to visit Thirsk, the village where he lived & worked. I drove up from London & went through his surgery, home, etc & loved it. I also stayed 2 weeks in Harpenden & found it very 'upscale' & trendy. The shops are fantastic though, as is the close proximity to quaint villages & London. I'm an American but LOVE all things British! Please enter me in your giveaway...THANKS!! Sue in Florida

Anonymous said...

welcome home! loved looking at your photos. I adore Cath, too :)

Would be great to be entered in the giveaway!

london southern belle

my email is londonsouthernbelle[at]gmail[dot]com

Anonymous said...


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