A brief emergence back into reality…

Hello and apologies for my lack of blogging recently. It’s not looking to improve over the next couple of weeks either as I have entered into the challenging process of writing my dissertation. So far I’m over half way through it, with just over 7,000 words written into an introduction and two chapters. All that’s left is the final chapter which I’m currently researching and then the conclusion. I’ve actually really enjoyed researching it and the writing up bit hasn’t been that much of a chore. Without my family and friends there’s no way I’d be feeling as happy with it as they’ve been incredibly supportive and don’t complain when I send off a chapter for them to read over. In fact, so far the feedback has been positive and they appear to find it interesting to read, which is always a bonus!

I’ll give you a quick little update of what’s happened over the past few weeks in between writing my last undergraduate essay and this dissertation.

  • I went to the National Archives in London with uni the week before we broke up. It was a fascinating trip and I loved being able to handle the original government papers. I found it really useful for my dissertation research, although some documents I couldn’t access because someone else was using them. The only negative about the trip was the length of time spent on the mini bus. I’ve managed 48 hours on a coach to Croatia but 9 hours cramped into what was essentially a glorified school mini bus was not comfy. It took us longer than expected to get to London due to traffic and given that I’d been up since just before 6am, having only had a few hours sleep the night before as I was finishing off my final essay, I was a tad grumpy. Also I get really travel sick and there was no windows to open for fresh air. I wasn’t sick, just felt nauseous which I think is far worse, but I did see some wonderful wildlife when I was gazing out the window – several Red Kites and some Muntjac Deer – I thought that was pretty neat and I live in a fairly rural area.
  • I spent the last two weekends of term in the caravan with my parents. The first weekend I travelled to Chirk to visit them before my Mother’s Day concert at the Palmhouse, Sefton Park. We stayed at Lady Margaret’s Park  which was beautiful. Very peaceful and the walks were fantastic. We must have walked well over ten miles on Saturday as we walked the dogs along the canal and then we left them in the car to sleep whilst we walked over Pontcysyllte Aqueduct in Llangollen. I’ll admit it was pretty terrifying but I got some fab photos. The concert went really well on Sunday but it was boiling in the Palmhouse. It is essentially a massive greenhouse and when it’s slightly sunny outside, the temperature just soars inside. Mam and Alan loved the concert though.
  • The second weekend I moved out for Easter and travelled to Bury, Manchester to meet them. The site was again wonderful – a very good dog walk and there was a steam train which went passed the site a few times a day. Everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy their fortnight holiday, especially the dogs. Honestly Mabel and Marvin were on their best behaviour! Then we came back and they’ve turned into disobedient doggies again. I blame the rabbit season. Being Lurchers, it is in their nature to hunt, and Mabel was trained before we adopted them to hunt rabbits. It’s difficult but we are making progress with them.
  • Anyway the two weekends out from Liverpool were just what I needed. I feel like I haven’t stopped working since the start of March on essays etc but the hard work does appear to be paying off. My Capital Punishment essay received a first, which I’m absolutely ecstatic over. I just really hope the final essay and my dissertation also do well. I’d hate to fall at the final hurdle. When I get back to uni at the end of the month, I have two days between my dissertation deadline and the exams being released (history are lovely and give us seen papers), so I fully intend to chill between those days – catch up on my tv and blogs, spend some time with my friends without going for a library visit… Just to reset my brain as I’ll then only have two weeks before my exams and then it’s all over! Three years of hard graft and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it.
  • When I returned home, I’ve had the joy of insuring my car. That’s right nearly two years after I passed my test, I’m finally driving again. There was no point in paying over a grand to be insured on Mam’s car while I was at uni because I’d hardly get the chance to drive it, but because I’ll hopefully be driving to Peterlee for the majority of the next academic year, I needed a car. My grandparents bought a new car last month and they’d promised me their old one once I’d passed my test. It’s a lovely red Suzuki (called Susie) and I’ve driven quite a few times over the past week and a bit. Mostly with Mam as a comforting passenger, but I did my first solo drive on Saturday evening and I’m going out again on my own tonight. Everything’s going well but my goodness car insurance is ridiculously expensive – the cheapest I managed to get (including breakdown cover) will cost just over £1,100 overall as I’m paying it in monthly installments. Some wanted to charge me nearly £3,000!! The joys of owning a car.
  • This week is the start of my social life again. I’m out tonight to finalise the Queen’s Guide Award trip I’m doing with three others from my Senior Section unit here. We’re going to London on Sunday so we just want to get all the details clarified and deal with paperwork etc. Tomorrow I get to spend some time with Mam and then in the evening I’m out with my best friends for a much-needed catch up. I’m also heading out for lunch today after I visited the Lit & Phil to get some more books for my chapter with one of my best friends from primary school. I’ve had a wonderful time since coming home fitting in seeing my family, including my cousin who was over briefly from Ireland, between working hard on my dissertation. On Good Friday after mass I’m going to my Auntie’s for a big family meal. I’ll get to see my Aunt and Uncle who live in Alnwick and my cousins with their 9-month daughter. I honestly can’t wait!

So that’s all that’s not been reported recently. I do intend to get back into regular blogging once my work load reduces, as I have quite a few ideas currently on the back-burner. Mind, the site does still get a handful of views each day, which always brings a smile to my face knowing that somebody, somewhere in the world, has stumbled across GeordieGiraffe and is having a gander. So thank you for that.

 

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What’s occurring

  • As I mentioned in last week’s ‘Feel-good’ post, my life for the next couple of months is going to revolve around uni. After my loss of confidence last week, I’ve had my pep-talks from my family, friends and tutor, and everything is back on track, although I do still have mild panic moments. This is just the normal have-I-left-it-too-late panic, and while I know that I haven’t left it too late, I also need this background concern to remain in the background to let me know that I can’t ignore it any longer. That’s what got me into my panic in the first place.
  • Anyway, I’m one essay down, with only one left to do (by next Wednesday), then it’s just my SALA portfolio to be handed in, apply for my summer job, and write my dissertation. Third year may be manic, but apart from last week, I think I’m dealing pretty well with it all. I’ve broken all my tasks into bitesize chunks which I cross off once complete as a visual reminder of what I have achieved and what’s left to do. Add to that the copious amount of incense sticks or oil burning going on and my room is a clean, organised, and peaceful area to work in and I’m much better with giving myself sensible breaks/work periods/goals. I then tend to reward myself as I go along (usually with an episode of Castle).
  • I also use exercise as a way to relax and clear my head. I’m going swimming at least two mornings during the week and go out for short runs several times through the week. I managed to injure myself on Monday (apologies for the slightly gross photo I instagrammed, but I had to show you just how bad it was). I kicked the wall whilst on my final lap – no biggie, I’ve done it several times – only this time I chipped part of my toenail and skinned the top of my toe! Just from kicking the wall. It bled for the most of the morning and since I’m allergic to plasters and my blood doesn’t clot as quickly as it’s supposed to, I had to resort to wrapping a cotton pad around my toe. It’s a bit better now – no more bleeding unless it gets caught – but it needs to get back to normal in time for summer sandals!
  • I went home briefly after class on Tuesday and returned this afternoon as I had to sort out some paperwork for my PGCE, I had my birthday present of tickets to see Miranda Hart at the Metro Arena and a funeral to attend. My next door neighbour lost her battle with breast cancer last week and it was her funeral today. We’ll all miss her in our neighbourhood and that was shown in the turn out to her funeral. I donated to breast cancer research with my #NoMakeUpSelfie – I’d been nominated and I thought it was a fitting way to mark the celebrations of her life – spreading the word through photos in a harmless and fun way and I know Brenda would have laughed at it. Mum and I thoroughly enjoyed Miranda Hart last night. It was so funny and honest. It worried me a little bit how relatable I found her show! Overall I had a wonderful stay at home, it was just the refreshing refuel I needed, but it’s back to work for me now.

What’s occurring

  • It’s been a fairly hectic week and I apologise for how late this post is! Admittedly, I don’t think there is that much to report – the majority of my week has been a mix of uni, research and work – not that different to usual really, but I’ve done a fair amount of research recently.
  • The Senior Section trip to Newcastle went really well! Everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy it and if you follow me on Instagram, you’ll have noticed that food and markets were the main features of the weekend, accompanying the gorgeous historical backdrop of Newcastle and North Tyneside. It was a busy weekend, but we did everything on the itinerary! I’ll be planning the next two overnight trips over the next couple of months.
  • My class on Monday was a tour around St George’s Hall, Liverpool, with a local historian. It was really interesting. He knew pretty much every little detail about anything and everything to do with capital punishment in the UK – including match details on the day of the trial. It certainly made for a memorable day trip and I’m still loving all my modules this semester. Let’s hope this continues seeing as I have two essays to write this month!
  • I will be getting back to doing a couple of other posts over the next week or so (other than my usual ones I mean). For a start I received my first set of freebies in the post on Wednesday from the lovely people over at Fair Squared as a thank you for this review. I will review them all in due time! I’ve got a few reviews in mind of some of my current lifesavers and I’m cranking up my beauty regime after being told that I have early signs of aging. I’m 21! Although I had to laugh as my recommended skin care regime was: wash, tone and then moisturise. Essentially exactly what I’ve been doing for the past eight or so years, I just have to remember to do it twice daily…
  • I’m another step closer to getting onto my course next year. I’ve got to call Occupational Health on Monday to finalise that paperwork and I popped into the primary school I’ll be doing my KS2 observation in May. I had to finalise the dates for that and I wanted to see the school/meet the staff etc, just to get a feel of the place. I honestly could not be happier with it! I was very lucky to get it as I struggled to find anywhere back home, but one of the girls in Oxfam has a friend in the school and it went from there. It’s all about connections really. That and sheer determination.
  • I went out on Thursday night – first with the HisPol society and then met my housemate for cocktails in Aloha. It was a cracking night and I’m really happy that my housemate and I met up – it’s been ages since our last night out and we had a hoot! This week I’ve felt very comfortable with my outfit choices. I know that probably sounds weird, but after a couple of weeks being poorly and thinking predominantly about warmth, it’s been fun to just dress for my mood. I’m particularly loving thin scarves snuggled around my neck, especially when I manage to pin my new Alice in Wonderland brooch artfully into the tangle.
  • My running is improving! I know it’s been a bit hit-and-miss what with being ill and/or super busy, but I was really chuffed with my run yesterday and I’m out again with Hannah for our run in the park tomorrow. Any recommendations for comfortable necessities for my 10k would be greatly appreciated.
  • I didn’t completely bomb my gobbet practice from last week. I got a 2.1 which is amazing given I had very little background/additional information to put to the document other than what we’ve learnt in class. It was definitely the confidence boost I needed. Now to just keep improving and absorbing as much information as possible!

What’s occurring

What a busy week this has been so far! It’s not at all what I was expecting it to be like either.

  • I had a fantastic weekend at home, although if you follow me on twitter you may have noticed that my train journey to Newcastle was anything but smooth. It was lovely to see my family again and I thoroughly enjoyed my visit home. On Saturday I went to the Train to Teach roadshow which my grandparents had read about in the local paper. I’ve been receiving emails from Teach since last spring, yet not once had I heard about this event. I strongly recommend that if you are considering becoming a teacher, you have a look on their website here and try to attend one of their roadshows. Seriously it ended up being the best thing I did. I’m going to do a separate post on this though once I can confirm certain news through the dreaded system that is UCAS.
  • It was wonderful to be able to get some cuddles with my dogs as well. Marvin has grown so much in the two months we’ve had them! Both Mabel and Marvin have really come out of their shells – they can be such characters (and little toerags). I walked them quite a few times and I can’t wait to be at home properly as I know I’ll be taking over some of the walking duties. It’s so peaceful – when I’m not worrying about where the dogs have run off (honestly the slightest movement and they are off! Marvin chased a doggie bag down the beach yesterday…). I’m also a dab-hand at cleaning the dogs up after a walk since our field has turned into a mud bath (but at least we can see the field underneath, unlike some unfortunate areas of the UK).
  • Trains featured a great deal for me this past week (again tied up with Saturday) but thankfully only Friday went a bit botched. Everything else has been fantastic – I even got free coffee in Transpennine First Class! Trust me, that is a major achievement.
  • However, I now seriously need to get back into studying mode. My dissertation research has been placed on the back-burner for too long now. From now on it has to be properly prioritised!
  • Another thing that I have to get back into is my running. Part of the reason for this neglect is simply because my uni timetable keeps getting affected by strikes. I have no objection to the university striking, as it is a valid upset, but I do object to them constantly choosing a two-hour slot which affects my lectures. Every single strike this month has affected my timetable in some way. If this continues, I will make a comment to the admin – third year is the most important in the undergrad degree! My running has been affected by this because it disrupts my usual timetable and gym times. I’ll be hitting the pavement/treadmill again very soon.

Nobody’s perfect

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll have noticed that my weekend has been fairly eventful to say the least. I went home on Friday for the weekend as I had tickets to see Jessie J on Saturday. The whole weekend was lovely as I got to see my family again, but there were a few little snags along the way. To be honest, it’s a miracle when there isn’t any.

On Friday I took my suitcase with me to lecture because I was going straight to the station once class finished. The second hour was a bit of a pain though as our usual lecturer was temporarily replaced by one of my least favourite members of the department. I can’t concentrate on him and just took notes from the PowerPoint, rather than all the other stuff he mentioned. The uni bus to town was heaving, but I made it to the station with plenty of time to go and get a Costa mocha and brownie (my little treat). I asked if I could reserve a seat for my train back while at the station because I had been unable to online, but alas the train remained a free-for-all. For once my train to York ran rather smoothly, we had a lovely ticket inspector and the large hen party stayed in the carriage behind me. I took advantage of this comfort (remarkable for Transpennie) and had my picnic (including homemade boulders and banana bread) whilst reading.

Chilling with my homemade goodies and novel

The drama, however, began when I arrived at York. I had been slightly worried because I only had thirteen minutes to make my connection, and given how unreliable my trains usually are, there was a possibility of a platform dash. I checked the board on the platform to see where my connection would be pulling in (the Liverpool train actually made it in on time!) and was told that there would be an additional fifteen minute delay due to signalling issues at Doncaster. As far as I was concerned, that meant that I could nip to the loo (rather than the train alternative) and wait on the platform. Yet the longer I stood waiting, the more the train was delayed. The train was meant to arrive at 15.48 and the board eventually stayed on being delayed until 16.34 before simply saying ‘delayed’. In other words, ‘I’ll turn up when I feel like it’. The major frustration though was that two other trains which were delayed for the same reason, arrived within thirty minutes of their intended time, one of which was originally due after mine! The board eventually said that it would be due in at 16.42, nearly an hour later than intended, and that it would only be calling at Newcastle. Then five minutes before it was due it suddenly moved to another platform, meaning we all had to traipse over the bridge. When we arrived, yet another train going to Newcastle had managed to get in before mine and it hadn’t been effected by the delay! We were all slightly narked by this, but got on board the train (it did eventually arrive around 16.40), to be told that it would take roughly fifty minutes to get to Newcastle.

But that wasn’t the end of the fiasco. When I got onboard, it wasn’t obvious which coach was which, and after inquiring in two carriages, it appeared that the carriage my seat was reserved in, didn’t actually exist. Thankfully, due to the cancellation of stopping in Darlington and Durham, there were plenty of seats to sit in. By this point my phone had nearly died, but that wasn’t an issue because I’d updated my family and it was meant to be plain sailing from there. And it would have been as well, if not for the ‘trespasser’ on a bridge in Chester-le-Street. We suddenly stopped in the middle of the countryside, to be notified that we would be delayed further (the conductor made a lovely little joke about how well we were doing to stay on time) because no body was allowed anywhere near the area due to the nature of the situation. Looking back, it was a bit amusing because it got people talking in the carriage, although we were all thoroughly ticked off. After about twenty minutes we started moving and when we went past Durham (which was jam-packed) we thought we were home sailing. Until we stopped about five minutes later to be told that due to a traffic accident on the A1, the police had been delayed to the bridge and were stilling trying to deal with the incident. In the end, the train ended up being an hour and forty-five minutes delayed. I wasn’t in the best of moods, but I’m getting full compensation for the journey and my dad was picking me up to go visit my aunt.

Aside from that minor irritation, I had a wonderful evening with my family. There was lots of laughter, exchanges of gossip and family goings-on and a fair bit of food. It was definitely what I needed to cheer me up after the day I’d had. When I got home around midnight, my mum and stepdad were pulling up from the birthday party they’d been to. They showed me the transformation that is currently underway in my bedroom – my stepdad has turned my storage cupboard into a proper set of stairs to get into the loft (making it easier to get to everything and I get to use it as storage). This does mean that everything that was in the cupboard was in my bedroom, leaving me to sleep in the spare bedroom which is tiny. We had a bit of an issue with the cat in the attic, but after twenty minutes, lots of scratches and the cat carrier, we had him downstairs again.

Getting to my clothes was fun

Some of my stepdad’s hard work

After a breakfast of bacon and fried egg sandwich (or ‘wear me sandwich’), my mum and I went to visit my grandparents, who celebrated their sixty-first wedding anniversary the day before. It felt like ages since I last saw them and we spent a fair bit of time there chatting. From there, Mum and I went to New Look because it never feels like a trip home without a peek in the store. I bought a couple of things in the sale for uni, including a rather snazzy crop top for nights out. We went to Sainsbury’s to get presents for my stepniece’s third birthday. She was already getting a Disney Princess kitchen from Mum and my stepdad, so I bought her some items to accessorise the kitchen as well as her Christmas present because they had the toys reduced. By the time we eventually got back in the house, I only had time to clear a path to my wardrobe, get out the clothes I wanted to take back to Liverpool and jump in the bath before I was back out on the metro to town.

I met my friend at the Gate and we went for food at Frankie and Benny’s. We hadn’t spoken properly since my birthday weekend, so it was a great catch up and the food was really nice. It’s our usual food place when we have a catch up as we are yet to have a bad meal there. From the meal, we walked over to the Metro Radio Arena as I had invited her to accompany me to see Jessie J. I got the tickets for free from my cousin who won them at work and we were dead close to the stage, but had the comfort of not being in the standing area. The support acts were decent enough. After queuing in possibly the longest que (it has very nearly the length of the venue), we arrived during the DJ act, which got the crowds spirits up. There were a couple of long pauses between acts and the DJ came back on between Lawson and Jessie J. I was a bit disappointed with Lawson as they didn’t sound as good as I expected.

Jessie J, on the other hand, was epic! I could happily have had even more of her performance instead of Lawson. She seems such a genuine, honest and modest person. The whole tour was themed around living life to the best that you can, focusing on positivity rather than the little niggles that happen along the way. What I thought was really clever was that she used little videos to fill her costume changes connecting with the songs that would follow in that ‘act’ as it were and they portrayed this overall message in some way. The final video was all about being Awake, showing/accepting Love, using Instinct, having Values and being full of Energy … in other words ALIVE! I found that really clever and actually a brilliant message to give, especially when you consider how much of a role model she is. I’m certainly proud to be a Heartbeat. There wasn’t a bad moment in the whole of her performance, the energy was fantastic and everyone in the audience was loving the show. I loved the fact that she kept telling the crowd at the front of the stage that she couldn’t see them, because they were too busy trying to film/photo her. It proved a point that technology these days has taken over slightly and I’m pleased I only took occasional photos because I found I focused more on the show and enjoyed it a lot more. Jessie also made a point of saying that she wasn’t perfect after spilling her water on the stage due to her dancing then sang ‘Nobody’s Perfect’ which is one of my favourite songs from her debut album. Alive, her second album, follows along this motivational side and it’s definitely going to be a heavy feature in my workout playlist. She is proof that you can be happy outside the mould of society so ‘just be true to who you are’!

I had another ‘trespasser’ moment when I was trying to get home. But I eventually got back and after watching Strictly with Mum, it was a leisurely nights sleep while the clocks went back an hour. We had a light breakfast on Sunday as my stepdad was cooking my favourite home-time meal – roast chicken with all the trimmings. We spent the morning at Tynemouth market and while there was plenty of things that caught my eye, I resisted the temptation as I’ll be going to two Christmas markets and a Vintage Fair within the next two months. Mum and I spent the afternoon while my stepdad was cooking lunch putting my stepniece’s kitchen together. We didn’t find the instructions until we’d put it together because they were in with the stickers. We had a right giggle whilst doing it and my lunch was superb. Alongside the chicken, we had homegrown peas, cabbage and carrots, as well as cauliflower (ours weren’t quite ready), bubble and squeak, roast potatoes and finally the piece de resistance – my stepdad’s sausagemeat stuffing. It was well worth sacrificing my usual Sunday morning fry-up.

I managed to see my stepfamily before I caught my trains back to Liverpool which was fantastic. I can’t believe how much my stepniece has grown up! Aunt Del was perfectly happy to play chef before Mum drove me to the station. We had been a little concerned about going in to town as it was Darby day, but thankfully the match was in Sunderland, so I didn’t meet any football fans (an unusual miracle for me) and the trains back to Liverpool were a lot less eventful. My train to York was a bit late coming in, but due to several delays (I’m guessing from the start of the storm) my Liverpool train was also slightly delayed. I found a seat near the rack and shoved my case in. Given that it was an unreserved train, you’d have thought people would have the manners to leave seats for others, especially given how busy it was, but the couple who sat near me still tried to use an extra seat each for their luggage. Some people just have no common sense or decency. I was back in my scouse house not long after eight and was unpacked and reading in bed by ten, ready to start again with uni.

It was a wonderful weekend home, and although I’m not going back until Christmas, my mum is planning to come down at the start of December and I’m going to be pretty busy with assignments. In fact, that’s what I’m going to crack on with now, seeing as I didn’t really do much over the weekend. It’s these little indulgences that get me through the busy, at times tedious, uni moments!

Giraffes and Geordie vs Scouser

Fridays = dictators, Communism, skype and guides. Such an eclectic mix that is going to be repeated roughly every Friday up until Christmas. I honestly love my timetable (now that it’s all sorted) and the modules/elements that I’m studying this year.

This particular Friday had a few other twists added into it, because who wants every week to be the same eh?! Anyway, I received yet another birthday present from the girls in history – best way to start a Friday lecture really. The gifts are lovely and I was, as I always am, blown away by their generosity. They got me a giraffe scarf (I now own three different ones), an alphabet ring (something I’ve been debating on buying for a while down at the market) and a giraffe letter-opener/bookmark (believe it or not I’ve wanted something like this for a long time). All in all, I was one very chuffed lass. Class went on as normal and like I said, I am really enjoying the courses so far.

Beautiful birthday gifts

When I got back in the house, the postman had been and I had two more deliveries waiting for me. As I’m going to see Jessie J next week back home, I thought I would use the voucher I got for filling in a survey to purchase her new album to learn the words before it. The album is brilliant! Much better than her first, and I quite like listening to that one at the gym. I also received the cover that I purchased for my tablet. I’ve been eyeing it up for a while on eBay and it was reduced to half price so I treated myself to it last week. Unfortunately it is just a bit too snug for my tablet, so I’m going to attempt a bit of D.I.Y. on it when I go home. It’s too cute to not try!

Thank you Postie!

So that’s the giraffe bit of the post, now for the Geordie bit. I’ve been planning this since the summer, and it was finally my evening at Guides. I organised the evening around a Geordie theme because the girls all love it when I teach them new words and vise versa. Plus Newcastle is a pretty nifty place so I wanted to educate them a bit more about the area. The opening game was ‘Ship Shore/Captain’s Coming’ (depending on who’s running it!) that I tweaked to fit my theme, so it became ‘Swanhunter’s’ (the shipbuilding place near where I grew up). This went down pretty well, but the girls didn’t want to play it too long so we moved on to the next part of the evening. I’d made each patrol a tourist guide parcel of the most frequently requested leaflets back when I was at work and they had to use that information to plan a trip to the area. For the Senior Section, this was a chance for them to say where they wanted to go in February when we are going to Newcastle. Thankfully, most of what they wanted to do, I’d already intended to show them. I got the impression that this was the favourite part of the evening for everyone. The final bit of the night was ‘Translate the Geordie’. I’d come up with a list of words with my mum the night before and the Guides had to guess what they were. For the most part this went down well, although I think the list was too long. For the most part, they did pretty well. Proof that my Geordie phrases are being understood in meetings! Looking back, I’m really pleased with how it all went, because I’ve learnt a great deal from that one meeting.

Peddle power and sore bums

I finally managed to go on my cycle ride with my Grandad. We cycled along the Quayside onto Lemmington. My whole journey covered just over 35 miles as I had to travel to and from my grandparents house.

I had a wonderful day out with my Grandad as we had lovely weather and enjoyed each others company. Grandad told me an awful lot about the local history as we cycled along the 72 Hadrian’s Way route. I found it fascinating and fully intend to make the trip again with Grandad and hopefully with Mum. We made a turn-around at the Keelman Pub in Lemmington to refuel before we made the return trip home. Due to the amount of hills on the way, we decided to take the Coast Road route back as it was mostly on the flat.

Still it was the longest route I’ve ever done on my bike and I certainly felt every bump on the way back. Mind, I didn’t feel the pain the next day which was a surprise given how tender I felt once I got off my bike!