Travel the UK by train – Derby

Hoping to make this an ongoing goal and not just say done at the first trip! We had tried to train to Alnwick but ended up driving, so this is the first proper train trip of the year I do believe!

Derby was ace. Taking the train down saved lots of hassle.

Plus on the way back we had LOADS of cool snacks from our adventure to munch on on the 4hr journey.

Where to next? (I’m thinking Dover, but we shall see!)

Catch a fish: DONE!

While down in Derby for our friend’s lovely wedding, we opted to make a extra-long weekend of it and jam-pack the trip full of fun in the Peak District.

On the Sunday, we booked in at a caravan park with a fishing pond and camping pods (basically wooden tents). I found a website for a fisherman, Peter Lax, who would teach us how to fly fish and take us out on the lake to put our new-found skills into practice.

We spent the morning learning casting techniques, about the different types of flies to use, how to choose them, and when to use each type. He even had tiny vials with samples of real flies/larvae for us to look at!

We had some bacon & egg rolls and coffees in the cafe, then spent the afternoon fishing on the lake.

We tried with flies that floated on the top of the water (and were shaped like mosquitoes), and with some that sank under water (similar to fly larvae).

Within about 10 minutes, I managed to catch my very first fish ever – a brown trout! Beginners luck for sure!

Since we were fishing on a lake with brown and rainbow trout, wherein we could only keep the rainbows, we set the wee brown trout free. Peter had taught us how to bend the barbs down on the fishing hooks so that the fish won’t get snagged too badly, and taught us how to use surgical pliers to get the hook out without hurting the fish.

S managed to catch TWO brown trout, and ALMOST caught a rainbow but it wriggled away before we could net it.

Despite some intermittent rain, and ‘rods down’ at the first sight of lightning, I had a great fishing experience!
An amazing day, and a very nice way to enjoy the outdoors in Derbyshire, if I do say so myself!

(Peter also liked the idea of us catching some fish for our dinner – and thoughtfully bought us some rainbow trout just in case. We cooked them up on a portable fire outside of our camping pod. It was extra delicious after a day out fishing. Thanks Peter! Tight lines!)

October catch-up


Onwards and upwards in October!

Started the month with a win – the last BBQ of the year (perhaps? who knows!) at our friends’ new flat to celebrate a pal’s birthday. I’m not big into birthdays, so was nice to just hang out and chat and laugh and be outside with good friends. Followed the weekend up with family dinner at S’s folks with our niece and nephew. <3 I aspire to be as good and kind and interesting and loving a parent as S’s sister & her husband. They’ve got that parenting stuff on lock.

A happy kid! Bakewell tart, bakewell pudding, and scone w/jam&cream!
A happy kid! Bakewell tart, bakewell pudding, and scone w/jam&cream!

Went to a friend’s wedding in Derby and made a holiday of it! Ticked off lots of boxes – went by train, rollercoastered at Alton Towers, fishing, pod camping, hill walking in the Peak District, Bakewell tarts in Bakewell!, and some much needed respite from our 9-to-5s. Expect some rapid-fire posts of ‘completions’.

Mega-sads on the house-front again this month. Saw a beautiful house in the neighborhood near where S grew up. Needed a lot of work and there was LOTs of interest on that one… The following weekend, we saw another beautiful house that we definitely wanted – but as we walked up to the open viewing the owner said they’d already accepted a verbal offer. Gutting! Have an offer in on another perfect house; not getting our hopes up; closing date next week.

I bought winter boots and a cool bag in Derby, so +2 on my ‘bin 30 things’ goal. Lame. We’re having a bake sale / book&dvd sale at work though end of November so will hopefully get rid of all my donate-ables there. Overall at -18…

Alton Towers - Oblivion 'Don't look down!'
Alton Towers – Oblivion ‘Don’t look down!’

Another 1.5hrs karaoke under our belt! And +4 flavours of Wings! (That’s 3.5hrs, and 8 flavours so far.)

Beekeeping was AMAZING! Will post asap.

Signed up for the Edinburgh Christmas 5K Fun Run, to support the SSPCA. Have got S to chum me along. Excited to tick off my ‘run a race’ and support animals!

Contemplating a glassblowing course – will start saving pennies. Also looking for somewhere to donate my hair (we have Locks for Love in the states, but can’t find an equivalent in the UK?). And looking into donating blood/marrow donor list in the UK; used to do this a lot in the states but haven’t looking into it since moving to Scotland.

Poem front is still struggling… I finished one called Butsudan but it still needs polishing.

As for paleo and cutting 30lbs progress – we’re still doing ‘lazy paleo’ (ie. have cut grains, dairy, etc for the most part, but ate like normal at our various outings). I was doing a lot of stretching to learn to do the splits, but managed to pull/strain my quad muscle so have stopped for a while. Been getting totally battered in my basketball games as well; need to toughen up! That said – Edinburgh Kool Kats senior women are currently undefeated! And I’ve been running home still even though it is getting crazy dark and rainy, so there’s that.


John Burnside, The Asylum Dance (amazing!)
William Letford, Bevel
Helen Ivory, Waiting for Bluebeard
Jorie Graham, P L A C E
Philip Gross, Later

Haruki Murakami, Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman

Son Lux – Lost it to Trying (whole album is streaming on NPR. Amazing stuff! Thanks Mike for the rec)
Foxes – Youth (she’s also feat. in Zedd’s Clarity which is ACE.)
Daughter – Amsterdam (vid from Field Day, which we went to last year!)
Haim – Don’t Save Me (Cyril Hahn remix)
Santigold – Disparate Youth

Also, old news now, but I watched this movie Life in a Day which made me cry and cry and feel amazing about humanity and life. It’s available to watch in full online!

See you in November!