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Saturday, 26 January 2013

Adventures to see the Lion King Musical...

Luke and I were given tickets as a birthday present to go and see the Lion King musical whilst it was on tour in Manchester, we had had them booked for a few months and I had been really looking forward to seeing it. There was heavy snow forecast but there was no way I wanted to miss this amazing show for a bit of snow.

After leaving work at lunchtime yesterday, Luke and I drove across the Pennines from Bradford in West Yorkshire to Bacup in Lancashire. In our infinite wisdom, we decided to avoid the Calder Valley schools traffic and drive via Denholme, Oxenhope & Hebden Bridge over the moor tops.

It was so beautiful on the moortops, the snow still undisturbed and thick, white in all directions as far as the eye could see. The wind was blowing hard and drifting the snow over the dry stone walls and onto the road.

Long Causeway between Denholme & Oxenhope

We arrived safely at my parents house in Bacup, but as we arrived it was just starting to snow very gently, as the forecast had predicted, but as you know "The show must go on!" and we were not missing it.

An hour or so later we left for Manchester, the snow was getting heavier but as we reached Manchester it was just a bit sleety rather than snowy, but I was too excited to see the show.

Our seats were in the centre of the Grand Tier, right up at the top with the really steep staircase, which when you stood up made you want to hold onto something tightly, there was a BIG drop. We had an amazing view of the stage though. 

When the show started there was a WOW heard across the theatre, the costumes were absolutely fantastic. I loved the Gazelles they were my favourites, they danced across the stage so elegantly and realistically. I also loved the giraffes and the way the birds glided through the sky and the elephant was just AMAZING (it was a shame that it only came on stage the once at the beginning). It made you feel as if you were in Africa, with the sunrising over the plains and brought back happy memories of my time travelling in Malawi about five years ago. The story and the music was nothing new or unexpected but the costumes and the atmosphere that had been created made it an amazing musical, that is a must see!

The amazing show had made me forget all about the snow until we were leaving the theatre at 10:30pm, but this was when the real adventure truely began. We had to get home to Bradford and my dad to Bacup.

Crawling slowly out of Manchester the snow was getting thicker and thicker the higher we climbed, the roads were moving just as long as you could avoid stopping you were ok. On the M62 just past Birch Services the four lanes of traffic had come to a standstill, we were there over an hour!

The M62 at a standstill

It was frustrating sat watching the traffic flowing freely on the other side and a few snow ploughs passing in the other direction. The snow still falling steadily we wondered if the traffic did start moving whether the car would actually move. 

Snow plough

After long enough waiting, we decided that we should pray and praise God for all his goodness and it was only five minutes later that the traffic started moving. PRAISE GOD! We did need a little push to get moving but thankfully two nice Asian men came to help us get moving again. After this it was a continuous steady slow driving pace all the way over the Pennines without another hitch. Who says prayer does not work?

The problem had been several cars and a few lorries had got stuck on the Rochdale sliproad and the motorway had been shut but the Highways Agency were there helping.

Rishworth Moor

We eventually arrived safely home at 2am, very tired and ready for our beds. We were really hungry so late night cheese on toast was needed before going to sleep. The last time I remember being awake that late with Luke was the night he asked me out on our first date. 

Our back garden with 8 inches of snowfall covering the blemishes

My dad was still not quite home, he was still stuck on the A56 near Rawtenstall, but got home half an hour later.

THANK GOD that we all got home safely, even though it had taken us three and a half hours, it was worth it. Also thankyou to those men who helped give us a push when we got a little stuck, thankyou to the Highways Agency and local councils for snow ploughing and gritting the roads so we could get home and thankyou to my little reliable car.

Our bed was much appreciated last night!

Monday, 21 January 2013

A Few Snowy Thoughts

This morning we have woken to a heavy overnight snowfall of about 4-5 inches. It looks so bright and beautiful!

The snowfall was forecast but it was also forecast on Thursday and Friday evenings when we had very little over night snow so I thought it was a media hype but no, we have lots this morning.

I work for the NHS in Outpatients and so have to go to work whatever the weather.

The commute this morning was amazing, as quick as normal if not a little quicker. There was no queuing traffic, people who did not have to travel had made the correct decision to stay at home but yet there was enough traffic in the main roads to churn up the snow to mix with the grit. It was quiet and peaceful and the scenery so was nice to get out before it was disturbed.

Some pearls of wisdom:
1) SKODAS are amazing cars, my little Fabia has always got me to work reliably up and down hills in the snow
2) MERCEDES are rubbish in the snow, I passed a few this morning wheel spinning or being pushed - I drove smugly past in my little car
3) 4x4 drivers - you can still slip and slide on snow like anyone else, please be sensible and patient!!!!! Oh and NO OVERTAKING in the snow!

Thankfully it did not snow much throughout the day so I am now safely tucked up back at home :)

Saturday, 19 January 2013

A cold, snowy day in Bradford

The last few days in Bradford have seen the start of the wintery weather arriving, with snow falling on and off over the past week. I dislike snow when I have to commute to work as it makes the journey so slow, but thankfully the major snowfall started last night and I do not need to go to work until Monday.

The view from our kitchen window as we went to bed last night - A WINTER WONDERLAND

We watched the snow fall gently outside as we relaxed with the fire on listening to my favourite CD at the moment "The River Instrumental Vol 1 Knowing You" by Robert Stearns. It is amazing reflective music, which helps me meditate and find space in my crazy life to think!

Snow collecting on our bench...
...and on our front gate

I love snow (when I do not have to travel in it!) and I think God created snow to show us the beauty of His creation during the dark winters days. It certainly lifts my soul when it snows as everything feels brighter and more beautiful.

I considered going for a snowy walk this morning but instead had a snug day at home with the fire on, listening to my meditative music and making a DELUXE CHOCOLATE CAKE.

My deluxe chocolate cake

Our house is filled with the fragrance of some beautiful hyacinths my dad gave us as a Christmas present, they are in full bloom and absolutely stunning. The best I've ever had.

Beautiful in full bloom Christmas hyacinths
Christmas hyacinths

This evening we will make the trek across the white city of Bradford to the house of some good friends, where we will eat dinner together with chocolate cake for dessert.

Perhaps tomorrow I will adventure out and go sledging in the park?

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Newmillerdam & Sandal Castle

I wanted to share some of my favourite photos from today's adventures to Newmillerdam & Sandal Castle nr Wakefield in Yorkshire.

A beautiful winter walk...around a lake and...around a castle!

Newmillerdam Boathouse

A walk in a golden wood

Reflections and birds in a tree

Beautiful reeds growing in the lake

A tree's reflection

Mushroom Sculpture

Red berries


Our path

Tree roots

Can you see 2 hiding ducks?

Late morning sunshine over Newmillerdam

Sandal Castle

Views from Sandal Castle to Emley Moor

Silhouetted Sandal Castle

My husband at Sandal Castle

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Happy New Year.....

Happy New Year to all my readers, I really hope 2013 brings you hope & happiness!

Here's to 2013.....where will this blog take me next?! Any suggestions will be considered....?

A new years resolution I have is to do more regular blog posts especially on Ruth's Ancestors.

Do you have any New Year's Resolutions.....? I have a few but perhaps I'll leave that post until tomorrow (or later today!) as I am feeling sleepy now.

Blessings to all for the coming year, I am excited to see where 2013 takes us.

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