Historic buildings, car kerfuffle, doggie discourse and movie marathons

Monday 8thWittenham Clumps, Oxfordshire:

I secretly dreaded visiting my eldest sister and her two young children. I feel too young to deserve the title of ‘Auntie’. My niece insisted on having he picnic by the river, so guess what?  We all sat on the rug that was too small by the river.

After a pleasant picnic with the view of the occasional canal boat, we walked about three miles under the dazzling sun. We also saw the site of a former Iron Age fort.

Overall it was one of the most exhilarating walks I’ve been on to date. Also when I say ‘we’ in this post I’m usually referring to mum, dad and I.



Sunday 14thCinema critique:

We went to see the new Jason Bourne movie. The other week we saw Tarzan because we were too late to see The Man Who Knew Infinity. Tarzan was action-packed and more entertaining than I thought it would be. Anyway, Jason Bourne had its moments but the plot was pretty much clear by the half way point. I don’t know the franchise well but the characters seemed a bit flat compared to earlier movies I have seen. However, I do want to find out more about the character Heather Lee.

Saturday 20thThe car journey:

I enjoy long car journeys now that I don’t get car sick. More so on ones involving motorways rather than narrow, winding, pot-hole ridden country roads as its therapitic to me because it gives me headspace.

We passed a can with the name ‘Caulfield Contractors’ and my mind immediately snapped to the Life Is Strange protagonist Max Caulfield.

Once we arrived, we let Ollie (our 10 month old golden Labrador) down the surprisingly extensive garden of the cottage. Ollie learned the hard way that no, you shouldn’t try to cross the grid covering on the pond.

My dad and I stayed up until 3:25am watching the Rio Olympics, mostly for Mo Farah, if memory serves correct. I’m very proud of Team GB’s cycling and rowing achievements. My favourite sport to watch was the indoor women’s volleyball, then women’s hockey. Japan put up a good fight against Russia in volleyball, they seemed to have such quick reaction times!

Sunday 21stPainting, movies and Chinese: 

Understandably I awoke around midday.

We went potter painting in the early afternoon and I chose a mug. I tried to paint the tattoo design I’m considering and filled the remaining space with a forest, birds, fire and an ocean.


That day we watched the 1988 movie ‘Big’. I loved it. Tom Hanks was a convincing young boy in an adult’s body. His character (Josh Baskin) was truly endearing. I recommend all the movies we watched this week.

3/4 of the way through, my dad and I had to leave to meet my sister and her husband for dinner in town (Sheffield). Long story short, if you don’t want mediocrity, don’t eat at U Buffet.

Monday 22ndKedlestone Hall and pottering about Derby:

Possibly the most interesting day of this holiday so far, despite the rain. We like going to English Heritage/National Trust kind of things so we planned to go to Hardwick Hall but it was closed so we ended up going to Kedlestone Hall instead. This also gave me the opportunity to get a taste of Derby as I’m considering universities.

We were unanimous in believing it was the best house we’ve visited so far. I would place Churchill’s Chartwell house a close second. What I liked about Kedlestone was how you could imagine the people who would’ve been there in the 18th/19th century. The rooms and grounds were quite beautiful. It gave me inspiration for stories I’ll never be able to write the way I picture them. And I loved a lot of the paintings displayed. Most notably, the one of a nun(?) by Philip Delazlo I think – we asked a member of staff about it because I’ve been appreciative of art ever since I took GCSE art. Hated the course but loved creating. The way the artist captured the light in the nun’s eyes and made the portrait look so authentic blew me away.


On the way back we dropped by Derby and soon concluded I would not like it there.

Back at the cottage, we watched two movies: 17 Again and Ender’s Game. At first I dismissed 17 Again because I’m not a big fan of Zac Efron. But I ended up throughly enjoying it, as I often do when there is a high school element. There were so many hilarious moments and also some poignant ones. Ender’s Game was a good concept though it felt like it was a bit lacking like most sci fi films I’ve watched. The ending didn’t seem logical to me but I liked Ender’s character and the teamwork aspect.

Tuesday 23rd Longshaw fail trail:

I got up at 7am in order to come with my parents to the appointment with the architect. It was kind of interesting because he was friendly and gave funny anecdotes, e.g. that time he accidentally set himself on fire, subsequently stumbled into a river and broke four ribs in the process. His son brings a fire extinguisher whenever he’s near a fire. (Sidenote: at this point I abandoned the kitchen dining table because a massive fly or wasp came in.)

Shortly after the appointment we all went to meet my sister and brother-in-law at Longshaw (a National Trust place). The walk itself was fine to begin with…I chickened out once we got surrounds by heather, bees and were trudging up a narrow muddy path in 27 degrees Celsius with no breeze. While mum and I waited in the shade on a millstone for the others’ return, Ollie clambered on too, only for his hind legs to go off the end which was quite amusing to us.

I also briefly talked to a nice lady in the toilets because she had a pretty dog (maybe a Staffy). She said they were 15 and noticed our dog. Ollie seems to get more admirers than me!

Eventually we were all able to go to The Three Tuns pub. The food wasn’t very nice and I was worried the sausages were undercooked and could give me food poisoning but it’s been 24 hrs and I’m fine luckily.

It got eventful on the way home (aka cottage in this case) as my brother-in-law, who we’ll call H for the purposes of this blog unwittingly got the car stuck on a ridge when he was turning it around. Most of the neighbours don’t like us.

When my sister – who I’ll call J – and H left, we watched About Time,- British rom-com drama. Probably my least favourite movie of the holiday so far. Humour ours but the the plot didn’t really progress. I just like some of actors in it, i.e. Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy, Margot Robbie.

If you’ve got any fun movie recommendations, please comment below and I hope you’re having a good summer.

Notes: Since I don’t have access to my notes or good wifi here (my parents and I are holidaying at a cottage near the Peak District) and I keep a journal anyway, I thought why not post the highlights of August so far? Please click ‘like’ if you like this post/style so I know whether to write a part two. I wrote this first draft in the morning as I’m usually tied up later in the day. Sometimes it’s actually refreshing to get up before 10am…or 11…or 12…or 1. (Shh don’t judge me, it’s summer.) And the featured image and photos are mine.

Song: Young Volcanoes by Fall Out Boy (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZvHkOAtUYQ). Tough choice; I can think of so many songs I associate with summer and Fall Out Boy is the band I mostly listen to when I’m in a good mood.


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