Beauty

Spacemasks

20170629_161723

My boyfriend often tells me that I stress & worry too much. He says I need to relax more but that’s much easier said than done! I’m the sort of person who worries that they worry too much! So When the lovely Harriet from Spacemasks offered to send me one of their masks I thought it was well worth trying.

20170621_165955

Spacemasks are eye masks that are intended to aid relaxation. They only have two ingredients (essence of jasmine and iron powder) so you know there aren’t any nasty chemicals lurking inside. To use the mask you simply put it over your eyes and pop the clever little loops over your ears. Within minutes your mask will start heating up ready to relieve tiredness, eye strain and puffy hayfever eyes. The heat will last for roughly 15 minutes but the out of this world calm feeling you feel will last much longer! 

20170629_161001

The mask starts to heat up as soon as you open the packet because the oxygen molecules in the atmosphere react with the mask’s iron particles in a natural heat exchange. Proving that beauty and science are perfect partners.

20170711_094901

I used my mask after a particularly hectic day & I must say I was very impressed. The first thing that struck me was the beautiful aroma coming from the mask. It wasn’t an overpowering scent but smelt very soothing & relaxing. It was the kind of scent you might expect to smell at a top spa. I lead down on my sofa as I gently placed the mask on my eyes & fitted the loops around my ears. The heat on my sore eyes felt so soothing and relieved a lot of my hayfever symptoms. Before I knew it I had drifted off to sleep. When I woke up I felt so rested and peaceful. I even slept better that night too.

20170629_161245

Each mask is single use but you don’t necessarily have to throw it away after use as you could use it as a regular eye mask in bed if you don’t already have one.

20170621_165909

It’s safe to say that I really enjoyed using my Spacemask & will definitely end up buying some. If you want to try Spacemasks head to http://www.spacemasks.com The masks are priced at £15 for a box of 5.

20170629_161421

Advertisements
Standard
Travel/Lifestyle

A Guide To Cruising For First Timers

IMG_20170528_143536_712

It’s that time of year when everyone seems to be planning their summer holiday, panicking that they haven’t booked yet or suffering from holiday blues if like me you had your summer holiday a bit earlier than everyone else. My boyfriend, Jon and I hadn’t had a proper holiday for a little while until we went on our cruise. This was mainly due to my health (for full details read my post here). So after an eventful few years we decided to book a holiday together as we knew we needed it & deserved it. We wanted a holiday that would be interesting enough to keep us entertained and I really liked the idea of seeing lots of different places so a cruise sounded perfect for us. Going on a cruise was a fantastic experience for us both but there were certain things we wish we’d known before we went, so that’s why I decided to write a post about cruises for anyone who hasn’t been on one before.

20170507_143548

Once we decided we definitely wanted to go on a cruise we started searching online for the best deals & once we found some that we were happy with we decided to go to a travel agent to get some advice. If you haven’t cruised before then I thoroughly recommend doing this. Our travel agent was really helpful as she’d been on several different cruises before & could not only tell us a lot about what to expect but could also price match the cruise we wanted. Flicking through travel brochures can often be a lot easier & more pleasant than trawling through loads of different websites too. To begin our search we used the Planet Cruise website as we could compare lots of different cruises all in one place. Planet cruise is a great place to start so that you can get an idea of what to expect for your money.

20170510_135019

We decided to go on a P&O cruise around the Mediterranean for 14 days and our ship was called Ventura. Our destinations were: Alicante, Barcelona, Marsaille (was supposed to be Cannes), Florence, Rome, Cartagena and Gibraltar. We choose P&O because we’d heard good things about them plus we didn’t need to get on any flights. Instead we could just board the ship in Southampton & set sail from there. Some of you may prefer to fly in order to miss out on some of the sea days. Sea days are when the ship is traveling to your next port & you are out at sea so you can’t get off the ship. Sea days are good for relaxing & exploring the ship but personally I wouldn’t want too many of them. On sea days the ship is obviously much busier than when you’re in a port so meal times can get quite busy, as can pools & other public areas.

20170510_115601

Before you set sail you’ll be given details for your cruise personaliser, which is a website all about your cruise. It will give you information about packing, maximum weights for your luggage, your itinerary, how to book excursions and more. It’s worth knowing that if you choose to set sail from Southampton you’ll be allowed a much more generous luggage allowance than if you choose to fly. With P&O you can also take drink on board with you, including alcohol & soft drinks.

IMG_20170428_115731_207

Getting to Southampton was pretty easy for us as we’re only a couple of hours away but if you live further afield then you can choose to take a coach rather than driving. We had parking included in the price of our cruise but this is something to consider if you do decide to drive.

IMG_20170522_145521_421

You will be given a time to arrive at the terminal by your cruise operator and generally you do have to stick to this time but we arrived just over an hour early & they did let us through. So it’s worth trying if you are a little early.

IMG_20170517_142212_113

Once you’re on board the ship will seem overwhelming at first but you will get used to it after a few days. There are maps located all over the ship to help you if you do get lost & you can also ask a member of the crew for help.

IMG_20170524_091800_667

Every day on our cruise we received a newspaper called horizon & this publication tells you about all the events & entertainment happening on board that day. For example it will tell you what shows are on in the theatre that evening as well as handy information such as restaurant opening times. This newspaper is delivered to your cabin each evening ready for the next day.

IMG_20170527_234457_190

When our ship arrived in a new port it docked quite early & people were generally allowed to disembark from around 8am so it’s worth being up early to make the most of your day. Our ship left the ports between 4-6pm each day with the exception of the last port (Gibralter) when the ship left at 1pm. Before you set sail you will have the option to book excursions around each of your destinations. As we hadn’t cruised before we booked excursions for most places but found that we didn’t really need to unless the port was a long distance away from the place we wanted to visit. For example we needed to book an excursion to Florence because the ship docked in Livorno and it was an hour & a half coach journey from the port to Florence. That journey would have been far too expensive by taxi. So if the port is close to the town/city then you don’t need an excursion as you can do the same activities that the excursions offer yourself.

IMG_20170521_104109_717

P&O like guests to be quite smartly dressed and have dress codes in most of the restaurants. The dress code each night was either evening casual or black tie but you could avoid dressing smartly if you wanted to by just eating in the buffet restaurants. For evening casual my boyfriend wore a polo top & chinos with smart shoes & I either wore a dress, skirt and a smart top or trousers and a smart top. For black tie my boyfriend wore a tux and I wore a cocktail dress or smart evening dress. There were 4 black tie nights over the course of our 14 night cruise. Personally I really enjoyed getting dressed up for dinner & hogging the mirror for an hour to do my hair & makeup (Haha, sorry Jon!) If you can’t look & feel your best on holiday then when can you?

IMG_20170518_103000_437It’s also worth knowing that the large majority of passengers on board a cruise ship are (how do I put this?) over a certain age. The vast majority are in their 50s/60s/70s and beyond. I’m only pointing this out because I know that this would seriously bother some people. It didn’t bother us too much but it would’ve been nice to talk to some other couples our own age. However we did talk to some really lovely older couples. If you’re after a young party atmosphere then this might not be your cup of tea!

All meals are included in the price of your cruise with P&O but you have to pay for all drinks (excluding water & fruit juice at breakfast) on board. This can get quite pricey over two weeks so I recommend stocking up on your tipple of choice from a shop in one of the ports or bringing some with you. The prices of drinks on board are about the same as most bars. For example cocktails are roughly £5 each, mocktails are £2.65 each and soft fizzy drinks are about £2.50 each.

IMG_20170527_111808_395Our cruise had a great variety of entertainment on board in the evenings including singers, comedians, dancers and west end theatre style shows. I would advise that you arrive within plenty of time for these shows as the venues do fill up very quickly! I highly recommend that you do see the theatre shows on board as they are amazing & will really add something special to your holiday. One of the shows we watched was all about musicals & featured music and dance routines from many different productions.

IMG_20170516_092049_600

I think that’s about it for now but if I think of anything else I’ll add it in later. If you have any questions then please feel free to leave a comment or tweet me @KateIsCoveting. Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

Standard
Awards & Other Bloggers

Blue Sky Tag

I know that tag posts might not be for everyone but personally I really like them because you get to know the blogger behind the blog & they’re fun to write!

IMG_20170323_210333

There are 4 rules for taking part in the blue sky tag: 1. Thank the person who nominated you. 2. Answer the 11 questions they asked you. 3. Tag 11 people. 4. Ask them 11 questions. Simple!

I was nominated for the #BlueSkyTag by the lovely Claire of http://www.mamavoom.com so big thanks to her!

Q1: How long have you been blogging and why did you start?

A1: I have been blogging for nearly two years now but I haven’t been very consistent due to illness. I started blogging because I love writing & photography and I wanted a new hobby. I have continued to blog because I love the blogging community and all the new friends I’ve made!

Q2: What is your all time favourite movie? 

A2: Ooh this is a tough question! One of my favourites since I was younger was always Titanic. Yes I know it’s cheesy but I’m a sucker for romance. Kate Winslet is also one of my favourite actresses.

Q3: Lipstick shades – Nude or bold? 

A3: Definitely nude! I’m a huge fan of a nude lip. It suits everyone & is really easy to wear.

IMG_20170304_194154

Q4: Who is a woman that inspires you?

A4: I have two groups of women who inspire me. Firstly the Suffragettes because without them we wouldn’t have the level of gender equality that we take for granted today. Some of these women were working mothers who still found the time & energy to campaign. The second group are my fellow female bloggers. You ladies inspire me everyday with your wonderful posts & your amazing photography. I’m very pleased to say that many of you are now friends.

Q5: What was the last book you read?

A5: I’ve just finished a book called The Dressmaker by Rosalie Ham. It’s a brilliant story all about fashion, love, hate and revenge. It’s set in Australia in the 50s & is full of interesting complex characters. I highly recommend it!

IMG_20170324_122837

Q6: Early bird or night owl? 

A6: Definitely a night owl, which is kind of annoying because my partner is an early bird!

Q7: What was the last concert you went to? 

A7: I haven’t been to a music concert for a little while. My last was probably Rebecca Ferguson in Cardiff with my boyfriend a few years ago. Shortly before that I went to see Pink with my best friend at the O2 in London.

Q8: Where would you go if you could visit any country? 

A8: There are so many places that I’d love to visit but very high up on my list is Canada. It looks so beautiful there. My uncle lived there for most of his life & he loved it.

IMG_20170320_152224

Q9: How many lipsticks are in your handbag right now? 

A9: Only one lipstick but I also have a lipgloss & a lipbalm. The lipstick is by No7 in a shade called honey bloom. The lipgloss & lipbalm are both by Elizabeth Arden.

Q10: What is your favourite makeup brand? 

A10: This is definitely the toughest question on the list! I absolutely adore makeup & I love so many different brands. I like a mix of high street and high end brands. Some of my favourites are: Benefit, Clinique, Estee Lauder, Bobbi Brown, Rimmel, Barry M and No7.

Q11: What quote do you live your life by?

A11: “When it rains look for rainbows & when it’s dark look for the stars.” I love this quote because it completely sums up what life is about. We all need to appreciate the little things and be grateful for what we do have.

20170311_143834

I hope you enjoyed reading my answers. I will tag 11 people on instagram so head over to my account (@KateIsCoveting) to see if it’s you. If you haven’t been tagged please feel free to take part anyway!

Here are the 11 questions I’d like you to answer:

1. What would you say is your best quality?

2. What is your favourite place that you’ve visited?

3. Do you prefer lipstick or lipgloss?

4. Do you have any pets?

5. Are you more of an indoors or outdoors sort of person?

6. Who would play you in a film about your life?

7. What is your favourite memory?

8. What’s on your wishlist at the moment?

9. What TV series are you addicted to right now?

10. What is your favourite Disney film?

11. Any tips for aspiring bloggers?

Thanks for reading!

Kate x

Standard
Opinion

Celebrate Love Everyday!

I’ll start off by saying Happy Valentine’s day! Whether you’re spending today with your partner, best friends, family or colleagues I hope you have a fab day. This post is about love in all its forms and why I think it’s important to show your loved ones how much they mean to you everyday rather than just once a year on Valentine’s day.

Whilst I am a romantic person I do find the whole idea of Valentine’s day a bit odd. It’s not because it makes me feel lonely or depressed but because I find it odd that each year the retailers dictate to us that we should make huge bold gestures to show our partner that we love them on a set day. We are overwhelmed with slushy adverts at the beginning of February making us feel both envious & anxious at the same time. Why put so much pressure on one day to be the perfect romance? I believe that everyone should show all of their loved ones how much they are loved on a regular basis. This doesn’t have to be telling somebody that you love them (but I’m sure they’d appreciate it!) We can show love in many different ways & sometimes a really small act is all that is needed.

The actions you take to show people that you love them will be different for every individual & I’m sure you can come up with some great ideas for specific people but I thought I’d make a list of ideas to give you inspiration:

  • Write a letter or card telling that person how much you care or thanking them for something they did. You could even make the card yourself to give it an extra personal touch.
  • Buy them a gift. People love receiving random gifts (I know I do!)
  • Take them out for a meal or you could invite them over for a home cooked meal.
  • Paint or draw them a picture. This could be of their favourite place or maybe their pet
  • Offer to fix or mend something
  • Pick up the phone and have a proper chat. Set aside enough time to have a really good catch up. A lot can happen in a week, month or longer.
  • Pass on a favourite book for somebody else to enjoy
  • Go and see them! Nothing beats seeing someone face to face
  • If you’re good with words you could write them a poem, song or story.
  • Help out with chores without being asked. I’m sure all Mums would appreciate this!
  • Give a compliment. This really can make somebody’s day
  • Make a special packed lunch for somebody going to work or out on a day trip. Personalise the selection with some of their favourite foods
  • Go for a walk with them in a favourite place
  • Have a picnic together. A picnic at night under the stars can be really romantic (just remember to wrap up warm!)
  • Offer to go with them to a hospital appointment or something they are feeling nervous about.
  • Ask how their day was. Ask how they are REALLY feeling and give them time to talk about their feelings
  • hold hands
  • Write a list of reasons why they are amazing

As well as showing loved ones how much you value them you could also do something nice for a stranger. Something as simple as holding the door open can mean a great deal. There is too much sadness in the world already so let’s try to spread more love and happiness. “Be the change you want to see in the world” and “Throw kindness around like confetti” are two of my favourite quotes.

So just to sum up, I don’t dislike Valentine’s day at all. I think it’s great if it gets people to express their love when they normally wouldn’t but I do think we should all make an effort to show our love more and not just to our partners but to everyone that we care about. After all life is short & you can’t tell them once they’ve gone.

Feliz día de los enamorados (that’s Happy Valentine’s day in Spanish. It never hurts to learn something new!)

Kate x

Standard
Disability and Illness

Chronic Illness, Disability and Me

I’ve been thinking about writing this post for a long time now so I thought it was about time I finally got around to writing it. It’s taken a long time to pluck up the courage to write this post because it’s extremely personal to me and I’ve been worried about how people may react to it but that’s no way to live…so here goes! This is my story of chronic illness & disability.

After spending 18 months working in a job I absolutely loathed you can imagine how elated I was when I finally got offered another job. I’d been working as a care assistant in a dementia care home on minimum wage (the minimum wage was £6 per hour at the time) working 12 hour night shifts. The job itself was extremely challenging as you can imagine. The large majority of the patients had dementia which meant they were very confused so would often lash out. I was punched, kicked, scratched and spat at countless times. It didn’t help that most of my colleagues and manager were foreign so they would often speak in their own language leaving me feeling alone & like an outsider. You get the picture…I was extremely glad to be leaving. I was offered a job as a health care assistant at my local hospital in EAU (emergency admissions department-twinned with A&E). I thought this was going to be the start of a new life…and it was but never in the way I imagined!

DSC_0879

I started working in the busy department and was eager to learn. We saw a wide variety of patients suffering from different medical conditions including: overdose, kidney failure, heart attacks, cancer and respiratory problems amongst many other things.

The 1st October 2012 will stick in my memory for the rest of my life as that day changed my life forever. It started as a normal day. I was working the late shift at the hospital and we were very short staffed so I was even busier than usual. Half way through my shift I had to assist one of the male patients to the toilet. He’d been on the ward for a week so I’d got to know him and he was laughing & joking all the way. On the way back I was assisting him back to his bed when suddenly he went quiet and jolted upright. He fell backwards onto me. As soon as it happened I felt & heard a crunch in my back & legs. I cried out & another nurse came to help me and assist the patient back to bed. I was in a lot of pain and my whole body felt weak. I started feeling nauseous too so I asked the sister in charge if I could go home but she refused. The sister said we were too short staffed already so I would not be allowed to go home early. She said I would probably feel better at the end of my shift but this was not the case at all. When it got to home time the pain had only got worse, I was feeling even more nauseous and I was finding it much harder to walk. I collapsed on the sofa as soon as I got home but when I tried to get up to go to bed I found that my legs were too weak to stand up and the pain was so excruciating that I was crying & screaming in pain. I attempted to go to A&E but I couldn’t walk far enough. I had to roll onto the floor and crawl to bed that night but I didn’t sleep because the pain was the worst I’d ever experienced. I knew something really bad had happened but I didn’t know what so the next morning I phoned in sick & called my GP. My doctor wanted me to see him but as I couldn’t get there I got a home visit a couple of days later. I was completely bed ridden. I needed assistance to go to the toilet & I was having to have bed baths.

DSC_0999.JPG When the doctor came to see me he said he thought I might have a disc protrusion (also known as a slipped disc) but I’d need an MRI scan to confirm this.So almost a month later I had an MRI scan and it did indeed confirm that I had a disc protrusion on my left side but my disc had also trapped some nerves going down into my left leg so this caused Sciatica. 

My parents had to help me out a lot as my partner at the time (now my ex) was useless. He was very selfish and uncaring. His behaviour was the final nail in the coffin and it eventually caused us to break up which was definitely for the best! The breakup ended up being a bit messy but it still worked out for the best. I couldn’t be with such an uncaring heartless d*ckhead anymore so I moved back in with my parents.

It took a long time for anything to really happen but eventually I was referred to a clinic. This clinic was hopefully going to refer me for some treatment but unfortunately this didn’t happen. The guy I saw was completely uninterested in helping me. He said just leave it a while and it should get better on its own. My back & legs didn’t get better on their own so I spent a year living in agony being unable to work or go out. I eventually got to the stage where I could hobble with a crutch to the loo by myself or get to the sofa but that was it. After a year of suffering I was eventually given an injection in my back called an epidural to help with the pain. The injection worked after a few days. The pain got better & I started walking again with help from a physiotherapist.

DSC_1000

I was making progress and I started looking for another job as I couldn’t go back to the hospital as they had dismissed me on grounds of ill health. Jobs were hard to come by and even when I did find something suitable I would get turned down because of my medical history & the fact that I still wasn’t in “perfect” health.

I went on to meet my current partner, Jon who is such a lovely guy & helped me to find a new job. He took me to my interview with a small local media marketing company and to my surprise I got the job! I was offered the position of receptionist and I took it. I started off on part-time hours then eventually went full-time once I was back to full health. Everything seemed to be going well, I started doing some work in accounts and got a small pay rise so that I was no longer on minimum wage.

On the morning of the 2nd March 2015, I woke up to the sound of my alarm as usual but I was horrified to discover that my legs weren’t working and I was in horrendous pain once again. I called my GP again and after months of tests and scans it was confirmed that it was my disc and nerves playing up again. My health condition wasn’t properly treated so unfortunately my illness came back. I went back to not being able to walk properly, had to hobble using a crutch again and had to give up my job again.

After repeatedly pleading with people to help me I was finally referred for an operation. The operation on my back took place in early November 2015. The surgeon promised I would walk out of the surgery and be back to normal. However things didn’t go as planned. The surgeon couldn’t do what he needed to do so I was still in the same position as before. I left the hospital in a wheelchair. A sure sign that the surgery had not gone well. After the operation I was back to not being able to walk, go to the toilet unaided, get upstairs, sit down on my own or go out. Every single thing I did I need assistance. I couldn’t even lie down without help. Every movement my body made was agony. The pain is so horrific that no words can really describe it.

Months past & my surgeon tried one last time to fix me by giving me another epidural in my back. This time the injection was really painful & unfortunately it didn’t work at all. Not even a tiny improvement. After no success with the epidural the surgeon said he wouldn’t perform any more surgery on me but he did refer me for hydrotherapy (it’s physio exercises in water). Hydrotherapy did help me to improve a bit but I didn’t improve enough in my allotted sessions so my sessions were stopped.

DSC_0880.JPG

As of now (June 2016) I still have to use a crutch to get around the flat or short distances and I use my wheelchair for further distances as my legs/back are too weak & painful. I have constant pain all day everyday & I’m taking several different medications to help but unfortunately none of them help enough with the pain. I don’t attend any physio sessions as I’ve been told there’s not much more they can do for me but I do do my own physio exercises at home as often as I can. I’m not at work at the moment due to my very limited mobility, constant pain & other medical issues but I’d love to get back to normal & have a job again. I try to fill my days with tasks & activities so that I never get bored even if that just means doing the washing up whilst perched on a stall or writing my blog. I know that there are lots of people out there who are in a worse position than me so I know things could be worse and I do try to keep positive as much as I can but sometimes things are really tough so I do get a bit down & start thinking negatively. My condition isn’t likely to get better anytime soon but I’ll keep working at it. I’d also like to say a big thankyou to my boyfriend, Jon who’s been such a great support to me in every way & I know that this situation isn’t easy for him either. Hopefully I’ll get better one day & stay better! Once I’m better we’ll be taking that long overdue holiday!

DSC_0878.JPG

Thankyou very much for reading. I hope this has given you a bit more understanding & empathy towards disability & chronic illness. If you’re going through something similar or have a long term health condition then please let me know in the comments 🙂

Kate x

 

 

 

 

Standard
Travel/Lifestyle

Our Mini-Break Escape to Cornwall

20160313_133350.jpg

Some times too much is happening all at once and you decide you could really do with a little break and that’s exactly what my boyfriend, Jon & I did. I’ve been having bad mobility & health problems for a long while now & they still don’t seem to be getting better despite having surgery & hydrotherapy. So as you can imagine this is very irritating and hard for both of us. Plus Jon had a few months of doing really intense overtime (12 hours a day for 13 days. He only had one day off every two weeks!) My diary was full but not because of a hectic & happy social life, it was full of hospital appointments, hydrotherapy sessions, visits to the doctor etc. Basically neither of us had anything to look forward to & both felt exhausted so we thought it would be a great time to book a mini break, especially as spring was on the horizon we were hoping we might get some good weather!

DSC_0535.JPG

After trawling through websites & brochures we decided on Cornwall as we’d never been there together but had both been there once with our parents when we were younger. With a mix of luscious countryside & beautiful coastline, Cornwall seemed like an obvious choice. We stayed at the John Fowler St Ives Holiday Village in a gold standard chalet. If you’re in need of a break too then I suggest looking at the John Fowler website as they often have deals/promotions available. We got Gold accommodation for the price of the Bronze, so the frugal part of me was very satisfied indeed. I’ve included some pics of our accommodation below. We were very happy with it & it’s the best we’ve stayed in at a holiday camp/park like this.

DSC_0539.JPG   DSC_0542.JPG  DSC_0543.JPG  DSC_0544.JPG   DSC_0545

 

I only had a couple of little niggles with the park itself & the first one was the path. We were supposed to be in the disabled friendly area but the path was so uneven that it proved to be a real nightmare trying to get a wheelchair over it. Even if you weren’t in a wheelchair I thought this could prove to be dangerous as it was so easy to trip up on the slabs. Secondly we were unable to use the swimming pool at all during our three night stay (Friday, Saturday & Sunday) because there was maintenance taking place. I know that these things have to happen sometimes but it was just really unfortunate that it took place while we were there. We were offered the chance to use the pool at their sister camp but that was a fair way away & it’s not quite the same when you have to get wheelchairs & crutches organised in the car before you can even set off. We were looking forward to having the convenience of a swimming pool being really close without having to drive anywhere but unfortunately that didn’t happen.

20160311_193002.jpg

On our first day when we arrived we decided to go and explore St Ives. I must say it’s a really beautiful place but not the best for disabled people. Jon really struggled pushing my wheelchair around due to all the uneven slabs & cobbles plus the large majority of shops/cafes had stairs up to the entrance. But aside from that we really enjoyed watching the harbour especially as it got darker & all the lights from the shops reflected on the calming sea. The fish & chips we had for our tea gave Jon the energy he needed to push me back up the hill to the car park! St Ives boosts a really beautiful beach which is popular with dogwalkers, couples & families alike. The town caters for young & old with a variety of local & branded shops (Cath Kidston, Joules, Crew & FatFace to name a few plus a LifeBoats shop), cafes, restaurants, fish & chip shops, pubs & bars. On a hot sunny day if you find yourself yearning for a cool sweet treat then I recommend Willy Waller’s Ice cream parlour for a good wide selection of different flavours of both ice cream and milkshakes, toppings & sauces. We both opted for the Toffee Honeycomb; it was creamy & sweet with a great full flavour & pieces of toffee fudge.

DSC_0564.JPG  DSC_0567.JPG

On Saturday morning we woke up early and decided to take a trip down to Land’s End. The online reviews of the place weren’t all that great and most of them said it was tacky but nevertheless we decided to give it a go for ourselves to see what we thought. When we arrived it was pleasingly quiet for a weekend. The brisk sea air whistled around us and the sun glistened down. It was a beautiful day & we were pleased to be by the coast.

20160312_141531.jpg

DSC_0586.JPG

Land’s End has good disabled toilets, ample disabled parking & paths are good enough for wheelchairs plus with baby changing facilities & attractions for children it makes an ideal day out for families and people of all ages. There are a few little shops on site selling west country favourites like fudge & cider plus clothing & souvenirs but I wouldn’t say these or the children’s attractions make the place look tacky at all as the buildings look like small cottages. We purchased some delicious clotted cream fudge as a souvenir and because we both have a massive sweet tooth especially for fudge, toffee or caramel. We toured around the site stopping to take a look through the exhibition detailing those who have made the gruelling journey from John O’Groats (Most northerly point in the UK) to Land’s End (Most southerly point in the UK). From one to the other it’s approximately 874 miles depending on the route and most people take on this challenge to raise money for charity.

The most famous attraction of Land’s End is the sign. You can pay to have your picture taken next to the Land’s End sign & they post it to you but we just decided to get a few snaps & selfies of it on our phones.

DSC_0578.JPG

When we started getting hungry we decided to treat ourselves to lunch at the Land’s End hotel which was onsite. We both went for paninis (great minds think alike!) & they were both thoroughly delicious. To drink Jon had a pot of tea & I had a non alcoholic cocktail which was absolutely amazing & didn’t last long at all!  The food & drink was made even better due to the great view we had from our table. I love watching the sea as it feels so calming & relaxing plus it’s so beautiful.

DSC_0586.JPG DSC_0595.JPG     DSC_0592.JPG

I didn’t see any of the rooms but the bar & restaurant area was decorated so beautifully. It was classy but very modern I only wish I’d got more photos but I didn’t want to spend too much time on my phone plus moving around isn’t that easy for me at the moment.

DSC_0588.JPG 20160312_124355.jpg  20160312_134110.jpg

We got back to the chalet just in time to see the Rugby Six Nations match between England and Wales (I’m English & Jon is Welsh). Things were only tense between us for the last few minutes of the game but when England won I was rather chuffed! England went on to win the Six Nations 2016 and they got the Grand Slam! We spend the rest of the evening playing cards together & cuddled up on the sofa watching tv.

We spent the morning and afternoon of Sunday exploring the region via train. We got on at St Erth station and went to Penzance as well as St Ives. We both enjoy travelling by train as we’re country bumpkins and don’t do it that often. Taking a stroll along the coastal path in Penzance was lovely especially as we had such lush weather. In fact it was so sunny that I caught the sun a bit on my face (that’s what I get on the first day I don’t apply my SPF containing BB cream! I’m very fair so can’t afford to not wear SPF on my face unlike Jon who almost has Italian colouring). Penzance was nice but didn’t appeal to us as much as St Ives or other places did & I think this was because it was much bigger & didn’t have as much charm or character.

Monday was our last day & the day we went to The Cornish Seal Sanctuary in Gweek. The sanctuary rescues sea life animals such as seals, sea lions, penguins & otters that are in need of medical attention. They provide excellent care for these animals & nurse them back to full health if they can in the hope that the animals can one day be released back into the wild.

20160314_114531.jpg 20160314_114532.jpg 20160314_114535.jpg

When we arrived the lady on reception kindly let us drive down into the sanctuary (this was because I’m in a wheelchair and there would’ve been a few steep hills for Jon to push me over). The sanctuary offers this option to all disabled people outside of the summer months when the site train doesn’t operate otherwise in the summer the train will pick you up. We arrived just in time to see the grey seals being fed which was amazing but also rather amusing to see. Feeding time at the seal pool consists of young and old battling it out to get as much fish as they can whilst also trying to stop the seagulls from pinching any. Watching the seal’s feeding is very similar to watching a group of hungry shoppers gathered round a trolley waiting for all the items to finish being reduced, then once the assistant has finished they all pounce! A seal named Ray is fed separately because he has brain damage (see above pic) but apart from that all the seals must work to get their fair share of fish.

Sea lions, otters and penguins were the other animals we saw being fed.

20160314_121154.jpg 20160314_142437.jpg

I’m pleased to report that the staff kept the enclosures clean and well maintained plus the staff were all very knowledgeable about the animals & gave talks about each species at the sanctuary before feeding times. Extra information about the animals is dotted around on boards or you can ask the staff questions or if you buy the souvenir guide it contains more information plus it includes some discount vouchers & activities for children. On site there is a play area to let the children burn off some energy plus a gift shop and cafe. The Cornish Seal Sanctuary was a great day out and I would advise that it’s best to visit when the weather is fairly good as the large majority of attractions are outside plus as with most places it’s also best to visit outside of peak season. Opening hours are 10am – 5pm everyday except Christmas Day and last admission is an hour before closing. The cost of admission plus profits from the gift shop & cafe goes towards the treatment & care of the animals, who all seem to be well looked after.

The seal hospital is well worth a visit especially if you want to see gorgeous seal pups. It’s seal pup season at the moment so you can also see seal pups in the pools right now. As with most animals the babies are definitely the cutest!

As well as sea life creatures the sanctuary is also home to rescued farm animals including horses and goats who happily reside on a grassy hill.

Something children will particularly enjoy is the interactive rock pool where children are invited to ask as many questions as they like plus they also get to touch the animals, which includes a starfish and crab.

The sanctuary also has an exhibit about conservation & the environment which makes it very clear that litter is a huge problem on our coastlines, especially for animals such as seals. Maybe if those people who do drop litter didn’t then sanctuaries like this wouldn’t need to do the charitable & amazing work they do and animals could carry on living their lives unharmed and uninjured.

Overall we had a great day at the sanctuary and we would definitely go back there. For further information visit http://www.visitsealife.com/gweek

20160313_133313.jpg

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed my post. Let me know what you thought if you’ve been to Cornwall or The Cornish Seal Sanctuary

Kate x

P.s Happy Easter!

20160314_155643.jpg 20160314_155626.jpg

20160313_163804.jpg    .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Standard