Monday, 28 April 2014

A little trip to Bath, UK

Well, I wasn't going to let Sam have all the fun while he was away in India so my momma and I took a little girls trip to Bath. I'd never been before but it very quickly became one of my favourite places in England. This city is well worth a visit. We were only there for 2 nights and although we still saw and did quite a lot there was so much more we missed. Everything I saw and did I knew Sam would love too so I'll definitely be back with him at some point to get to know this cute place better! 

We stayed in 'Laura's Townhouse Apartments' which have a couple of buildings in the city with wonderfully decorated apartments. This was ours below. It was great, although the building is so old & they wanted to keep it that way they have no central heating installed. They did provide heaters but we ended up putting all three in one room when we were hanging out in there in the evenings. Bit chilly but I'd stay there again - just take a blanket! It's self catering but there is plenty of food places to go or do what we did and cook yourself a lamb dinner one of the nights! yum! 

The apartment was in the centre of the city. As we walked out of our front door we could just turn the corner to see Bath Abbey. It was really something. On our last day there we sat inside for a while taking it all in. 
We were also right next to the Roman Baths but didn't fancy paying for an overpriced ticket. I heard a tip that if you go into the Pump Room restaurant next door you can see them from there. Maybe I'll try that one out next time. 

We happened to stumbled across the 'Bath Brew House' on our day of arrival. I only crossed the road because I could see it was the type of place that served real ale and knew Sam would appreciate a photo but as I walked over I noticed the menu and it sounded too delicious to pass by so we popped in for lunch and was not disappointed! This is definitely worth a visit if you get the chance to go to bath and if you're a fan of real ale or have a husband who LOVES it then this is the place to be. The variety on tap is endless. I can't wait to take Sam there. I have a feeling it will be a long lunch!

Another secret little place we passed by a few times was the 'Chapel Arts Cafe'. Again, we only went in because we couldn't decide where else to have lunch and it was getting late afternoon. This is a hidden gem for sure! It's all vegetarian which to a big meat lover like me does not appeal! But I actually didn't even notice until after I had ordered, the menu just sounded so good! After eating this I was so full but they had amazing looking cakes I would have devoured if I'd had the room. This will be a place to come back to again next time! 

To finish off our girls trip we found this 1940s cafe tucked away up an alley called 'Bea's Vintage Tea Room'. It was amazing inside, everything seemed genuinely vintage and obviously had a lot of thought and love go into the collection. We had brunch here and loved it. Even the staff were dressed the part! 

If you're planning a trip to Bath then these places are the ones to be. We said after our trip how lucky we were to find such good places to eat. Nowhere we went was a disappointment or money wasted. 

Other than eating (!!!) we walked around the town shopping. They had a great mix of vintage, charity and high street stores. The great thing about Bath is that you can walk everywhere. We didn't find we needed the car at all. We found a car park & paid to be there for 48 hours. Sorted!

The little hourglass on the tray is a tea timer that lets you know when your loose leaf tea is brewed and ready! Brilliant!

Other things we did or things to do next time:
Thermae Bath Spa, Fashion and Costume Museum, Jane Austen Museum, Sally Lunns, San Francisco Fudge Factory, Real Italian Ice Cream Co, St Michael's Cafe!

Really, just visit and see for yourself the wonders this place has to offer!

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Sam in Kolkata: Part II

Another project they visited was the 'Good News Children Education Mission'. Everyday a school bus picks up street kids, piles them into a bus and takes them to 'school'. The kids are washed, they get given a uniform for the day while their other clothes get freshly laundered, they are given a meal and are taught lessons in English and other subjects. The littles get nap-time too! How sweet is the photo below??!
This is an amazing project that gives street kids a chance they would never get. Everything is free for them; they are looked after, cleaned and given a little education. Sadly after each day is over they are taken back to the streets but it's amazing that they get this little bit of love and hope everyday. There are a couple of projects like this and sometimes when a child is old enough and they've received a certain amount of education they are offered a place at a boarding school in the city, again free of charge where they'll receive a good education and possibly be able to go on to university and get good jobs. Thankful that God sends people out to do this kind of work. Sam loved this place and the kids he got to know.

Another amazing project is 'ConneXtions'. This was set up for ladies who needed a way out of working on the streets in the red light district of Kolkata. This place offers these women a job. They are taught how to sew and make things to sell and gives them new hope for their lives. Not only does it take women who have been in that situation but it takes women before they can get themselves in that position so it's really saved so many lives. Sam and the team were able to talk to them and really understand how much good this project brings. It was beautiful to hear about when I was able to talk to Sam and he bought me home one of their blankets which is currently over our bed. Its a really special thing. Everything is hand sewn from old sari material. You can see some examples of how beautiful they are below.

I was so glad that Sam got to experience a part of India. It was a really good trip for him and he bought so much back. It was so wonderful being reunited with him after such a long time.

Friday, 25 April 2014

Sam in Kolkata: Part I

I cannot do this trip justice as I wasn't there but I wanted to share a few pictures and a couple of short stories of some of the amazing projects that are currently happening over there.

Sam went to Kolkata, India at the beginning of January for two weeks. He works for an organisation called BMS who train up and work with people for overseas mission. On this trip a team was sent out to Kolkata to see the sort of work and projects that BMS are involved in. 

Enjoying some street food! 

They visited a few churches while they were there. Sam and a few others got the chance to share their testimonies and preach. Other than visiting churches they got to visit some of the villages. One particular village they went to was one near the Bangladesh border. They met this family who said they'd never seen white people visit their village. This family invited a few of them in but had so little they needed help from the neighbours to make cups of chai for everyone. After stories were shared they discovered the daughter of this family walked two hours a day to go to university and she's hoping to get enough money to finish and start her master's degree. The team were able to pray with them and make sure it was set up so this family could have regular visits, receive bibles and more support.

More short stories coming up in part two tomorrow...

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

She returns

Hello again!
A little blog absence I know. I wasn't planning it but it really did me good to get focused and re-inspired. Since my last post back at the end of January so much has happened. Sam returned from his work trip to India all in one piece thankfully and I will share a little here at some point mostly as a virtual memory box here for us but also so you can have a peek into what he got up to. I've been travelling a bit around England and just returned from a trip to Scotland; my baby sister got married, I've had craft stalls to prep for and in-between everything else its been parties, dinners and all sorts. I'm not complaining though - life couldn't get better at the moment! 

I've been juggling two jobs recently - both of which I've loved - but I guess it left me no time to get crafty or update the blog. I ended up being too shattered after the days work I couldn't get myself in the mood to do anything else. One of those jobs has finished now which is great for me because I now have a ton of time to get on with the things I really want to do! Also Sam got promoted at work which has been a HUGE thing for us.

Life has been crazy busy as per usual but so much has been happening for us it's all been a bit of a whirlwind roller coaster of sorts, some of which I'll share here at a later date. 

Feels really good to type again! :o) Thanks for sticking around!