Category Archives: Friends

Crafty Saturday Afternoon!

I had a really unusual afternoon.  I spent it painting pottery at Renaissance Crafts!

Let me elaborate…

I’m a member of meetup.com and one of the groups organised pottery painting near to where I live.  I was fascinated.  I’ve never tried it before.  To be honest I’ve never really fancied it but I thought ‘what the hell, if it is terrible then I never have to do it again!’.  I’ve been trying a lot of new things recently, some of which I’ve enjoyed, some not so much but for me, life is about new experiences.

I love meetup because you get to do things you wouldn’t normally do and meet new people too.  I used to find myself in the position where there were things that I wanted to do but my friends weren’t interested so I’d either end up doing it alone or not at all.  That’s where meetup worked for me.

Anyway, I digress as I’m so often prone to do (this entry is taking twice as long as normal to type because as I’m writing, my cat is nuzzling and dabbing me for fuss!). I was telling you about my afternoon.

The shop was tucked right out of the way and it took about 20 mins to find!  The friend who had volunteered to come with me works in the town but she didn’t know where it was either!  When we eventually got there everybody else was inside.  They were all really chatty and friendly which is always a plus point!

There were shelves of pottery to choose from.
There were shelves of pottery to choose from.

The shop was cute.  There were shelves full of pottery and you got to choose what you wanted to paint.

I had already looked at the website and I knew that I wanted to paint either a puss cat or a Dalek! I couldn’t find a cat so I settled on a Dalek. I was very happy with that indeed!

The tables were well set up with brushes, paints, water to clean your brushes and a plate showing how the colours would look when they had been fired in the kiln.  You could also buy teas, coffees and snacks too which was great.  Prices of the pottery ranged from around £5 to £20ish for the bigger pieces.

....before I got to work on him!
….before I got to work on him!

It is great fun and very absorbing.  I concentrated so hard on my multi-coloured Dalek (Donald) although there was plenty of time for conversation and giggles! All in all, I had a fantastic afternoon.  I wasn’t sure what to expect but I’m glad I gave it a go.  It was great to meet new people and I loved the painting.  What a lovely way to spend a Saturday afternoon!  I’d definitely do it again.

Well set up with all that you need for a fun afternoon!
Well set up with all that you need for a fun afternoon!
How the colours will look when they are fired in the kiln
How the colours will look when they are fired in the kiln
Donald is taking shape!
Donald is taking shape!
Ready for the kiln!
Ready for the kiln!
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Basking in the Sun

Spring is definitely here, not just on it’s way, it has ARRIVED!! Not a moment too soon as far as I’m concerned. Winter seemed especially long this year.

There are many things I love about Spring but lazy pub lunches, time spent basking in the sun with friends (or loved ones), complete with large helpings of good conversation. It doesn’t have to be deep meaningfuls (though it can be), you can just set the world to rights between you. Bliss!

That’s exactly how I spent my Sunday! I’ve only lived in this area for a few months so I’m quite reliant on friends to suggest different places. Of course there is always Google but it’s much better to get a personal recommendation.

Sunday’s jaunt was to Upnor and a pub called The Pier.  I discovered later that it has mixed reviews on Tripadvisor, one complains about the ‘clutter’ in the pub.  Clutter?  I thought it was delightful!

One review on Tripadvisor mentioned clutter but I loved the inside!
One review on Tripadvisor mentioned clutter but I loved the inside!

The menu is extensive with many things that I could happily eat.  I’m definitely dragging hubby here to sample some of the tempting cuisine, maybe even ma and pa-in-law too!  The thing is, when I find somewhere I like, I just want to share it with everybody!  I guess I’m just that kind of caring sharing gal!

So anyway, I digress, menu was good.  I was a bit disappointed that they only do baguettes Monday – Saturday but after asking if they had something ‘baguettey’, the guy behind the bar recommended a ploughmans.  Now would be a good time to tell you that I’m usually a bit suspicious of that kind of thing.  A bit too much greenery for my liking, although recently I’ve been discovering a love for all things veggie-like as they are good and by good I mean fresh (no limp lettuces here please!!) and well prepared.  Now those are the key words aren’t they?  as long as they are good.  Veggies and salad so often get it wrong for me but I decided to take a risk (go me!).

I’ll let you make your mind up:

Ploughmans - I'm usually a bit fussy about salad but this was lovely and fresh
Ploughmans – I’m usually a bit fussy about salad but this was lovely and fresh

That’s right, it was DELICIOUS and not too heavy either.  Often if I eat too much at lunchtime it just makes me sleepy.

So after lunch and setting the world to rights, we went for a wander along the beach which was nice, a bit muddy (I almost lost my shoe!) but nice. 

I set aside thoughts of how much these stoopid, pretend trainer-type things cost me/if this sticky mud would come off in the wash/if said pretend trainers would be ruined in the wash.  After all it was a beautiful day, the sun was shining and all was right with the world!

That said, I think I’m going to be investing in some proper walking shoes quite sharpish..

You can't see the mud in this picture!
You can’t see the mud in this picture!
The beach was surprisingly empty..
The beach was surprisingly empty..

*EDIT:  You will be pleased to know that the sticky mud did come off and the stoopid, pretend trainer type things have suffered no lasting damage!