We took a mini city break to Durham over the Spring Bank Holiday, and I’ve done a mini scrapbook for it. I used a random little note book I had been giving free at an old job, I think it was just a little sample we were sent, but it’s fun because all the pages are different colours.
I’ve got a new(ish) printer, the Canon TS8152 which I do like quite a lot. I bought some new photo paper from W. H Smiths which I’m not crazy about as it’s quite thin so tears a bit when I cut it. And this little scrapbooks are quite hard to work with because you have to print out tiny photos.
I used some of the ephemera I had collected over the weekend, such as note paper from the hotel, receipts, and train tickets. I also used my 1 inch circle hole punch and went to town on my Durham Cathedral brochure. This time around I left a sensible amount of space to write in as I never really have much to say, but feel I should write some stuff!
I did it! I completed the Leeds 10km!
It was tough at times, it was very hot and we were under the direct sun for much of the run. The last 200m was quite enjoyable though, I’d run through the finish line of any race! I’m very glad I did this, I feel like I’ve achieved a goal that a few years ago I would have thought impossible for me. I also raised over £200 for St Gemma’s Hospice which supports people with terminal cancer. And I got a little medal!
I signed up in December (or possibly early January) when it all seemed very far away and tried to start my training. It was difficult to know how much training to do, but a 10km is a walkable distance and I was running about 5km a few times a week so I was in better shape than a lot of people. Winter was cold and rainy, and there’s an annoying lack of street lights where I live. I managed to maintain a reasonably consistent regime.
I struggled in Spring as the weather was still terrible, with regular heavy rain but slowly increased the distances I was running and did a few 10km before the race. I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to go the distance.
In the run up to the big day I felt that there was a lack of information coming from the race orgnisers. St Gemma’s sent me a fundraising pack and said the event organiser (Run For All) would send my race pack. My ‘race pack’ turned out to be my bib (the race number I needed to pin to my top), with no accompanying letter or instructions. Two days before the event I received an email from them with some more details about when to arrive and where to go. But, to me, that’s too short notice.
For the most part it was fairly obvious, but we had been split into three groups based on estimated finish time and each group had a different assembly point and start time. In the ‘green’ (slow poke) assembly area there were many reds and blues hanging around and people didn’t seem to have got the message about the different groups. We were also told to get to our assembly points at 8:45am, but we didn’t cross the start line until 9:40 and it was never clear what you were supposed to be doing for those 55mins. After going to the toilet there wasn’t much to do but stand in the hot sun.
I feel like I’m complaining a lot, these are small issues but they annoyed me. As a first time runner I needed some more clarity in what I was to expect on the day.
But I am very glad I did the run. I got my medal, and a goody bag with some protein bars, cheapo chocolate, and protein drink all courtesy of ASDA, the chief sponsor. We were also given a free T-shirt. No fitbits though, shame. I received a tank top to run in from St Gemma’s so that’s what I wore on the day. Once that’s gone through the wash I’ll frame it along with my medal and bib.
We decided to visit Durham Castle on Saturday afternoon, and rocked up about 2pm to wander around. Although it turns out you can’t do that. You can only look around on a guided tour so we walked around the corner to the visitor information centre to buy our tickets (£5 each) only to be told that the 2:15pm tour was fully booked but there were two places left on the 4:15pm. So we had a couple of hours to wander around Durham before returning for our tour.
Our tour was done by a very confident Durham University maths student, who did a good job of taking us around a few key rooms. The Castle is in use as student accommodation so there are plenty of areas we couldn’t look around as they were student bedrooms. We also weren’t allowed to take photographs inside for the same reason. It was a little strange being shown the great hall and it’s portraits of University patrons while some poor students were trying to do their revision.
The Castle dates from C11th, construction start in 1072 under the orders of William the Conquerer. Modifications and alterations were added throughout the Middle Ages and beyond. We saw a little chapel with carvings that indication to illiterate worshipers where to stand. That room has incredible thick walls to protect against assault on the Castle. We also saw the Black Stairs which were added in 1660 by Biship Cosin who was the last Bishop to make major changes to the Castle before the University took over.
I took my Analogue Camera with me when I went to Durham recently so I could shoot some 35mm photos, and here’s how they turned out!
We also went to Beamish which is an open air ‘living’ museum, where there is an 1820’s colliery, a 1940’s farm, and a 1900’s town etc. Here are the pics I got back when I got the film developed.
Our stay in Durham was at the Hotel Indigo. When I was looking up hotels I was a little surprised at how few came up but lucky for us Hotel Indigo was one of them. We paid £207 for two nights at the weekend for a decent sized double room. It’s all quite jazzily decorated with microscopes, and scientific and astronomical pictures around the bedroom. My one critique (of this hotel and every other I’ve stayed in) was that the pillows were super uncomfortable.
Around the rest of the hotel are more prints, as well as tiling, and stained glass. The building used to university offices and that is apparent in the stained glass designs, as well as the coat hooks that were dotted around. Our included breakfast was pretty decent, there was a continental buffet as well as a hot food menu. We didn’t go for dinner in the hotel restaurant as it was a Marco Pierre White Steakhouse which I didn’t think would be great for veggies. But overall it was a great stay.
We spent the Spring Bank Holiday in Durham which has some lovely old buildings combined with Greggs and Pound Shops. It is also over run with obnoxious students. But anyway, we only really had one day in Durham and spent the morning in the Cathedral. This is an impressive building from the 11 century and home to shrine of St Cuthbert. It has been expanded several times over the last few centuries and boyfriend was concerned that they’d never be able to fill it for the services. Still there were quite a few tourists like us wandering around.
You aren’t allowed to take photographs inside but you can get a glimps of the interior via this nice Lego reproduction on display in the gift shop. Yes there is a gift shop, and cafe, and toilets all of which are pointed out to you several times while you’re there. We also paid £7.50 each to look around the ‘Open Treasure’ exhibition. This houses various artifacts from the cathedrals history, as well as allowing you to see the old Monks dormitory and kitchen spaces. We spent a good few hours there before heading off for some lunch.
Another mini-break, this time to Durham and Beamish! I’ve never been to Durham, it’s not huge but it has a Cathedral and Castle. We’re only going for two nights so I don’t need loads of clothes, and I’m clearly over packing! The weather has been HOT but has cooled a little leaving me in a quandry as to what to take. So I’m taking jeans, shorts, and a dress. Also a long sleeve top, two t-shirts, a cardigan, and a hoody. And then underwear, PJs, shoes, a day bag, toiletries, camera, and a book.
This includes what I’ll wear to work on Friday and then wear to travel to Durham, so it’s three days worth of clothes. So it’s not quite as crazy as it seems. Below is my travel outfit and the Blacks City 30 bag I use for these little trips.
We took an enjoyable day trip to Hebden Bridge on the May Bank holiday weekend, and finally getting around to writing about it.
We started with lunch, or course, at Green’s vegetarian cafe. Boyfriend got a mezze, and I got a tofu sandwich which was pretty yummy. The cafe is very cute, and it’s our go-to place in Hebden (erm…we’ve been there twice).
After a stroll through town, we decided to go off the beaten path and walk along the canal (along with everyone else…). I was pretty gosh darn tired after doing a long run in the morning, and it was hot, so I was flagging a bit. So we headed back, and walked through Calder Holmes Park to the train station and enjoyed all the cherry blossom (my favourite thing ever).