Tag Archives: York

Baking, parkrun and planning

It’s Easter weekend which means I have 4 days off!  Yay!  The man of the house is working most of the weekend, his one day off is tomorrow, so what was I going to do with Adam, and myself?

First was a trip in to York city centre to the York Chocolate Festival.  We’ve been to the Chocolate Festival for the past few years but after last year, which I didn’t think was particularly good, I wasn’t sure I wanted to go again.  This year was much better than last year!  They even had a booklet with activities for the kids, I almost wished I’d picked one up and dragged Adam round the city centre to find the clues 😉  Anyway, with all that chocolate on display I could have spent a fortune!  I didn’t.  I decided I would buy some chocolate dipped honeycomb from a company I haven’t seen before – it is gorgeous!!! – and that would be my only purchase.


We got home at about 2.30pm after deciding to get the park and ride bus back to Tesco and then walk home from there.  For some reason the “city” buses are on a Sunday service for Good Friday and Easter Monday but the park and ride buses are following their usual weekday timetable.  Not that it makes much difference for the park and ride service as they are approximately every 10 minutes regardless of which day it is, they just change their start times on Sundays.

Anyway, after we got home I decided that I wanted to do some baking.  I was only going to make a crème egg brownie but when we were in Tesco I saw a pack of 11 mini bags of mini eggs which were on offer, buy two packs for £5.  Well, on 11-pack was £4 so it seemed silly not to take advantage of getting 11 more mini bags for £1.  So, what was I going to do with the mini eggs except make a mini egg brownie and some cupcakes with mini eggs on top.  Then, while I was looking for the brownie recipe online, I found a recipe for mini egg rocky road.  So that was added to my baking list.

The recipe for the brownies came from Jane’s Patisserie, she has so many great bakes on her website go check them out!  I took the basic recipe (Easter Brownies) and adapted it to fit the eggs which I had – mini eggs (lots) instead of all of the different types of mini egg.  For the crème egg brownies, I did the same brownie mixture and just pushed the crème egg halves on the top.
The mini egg rocky road recipe (in the Tupperware box in the middle) came from She Who Bakes.  I only had a small Tupperware box to put it in so I made half the recipe and it fit in the small, low Freezer Mate beautifully.  Next time, I’ll make the full amount and split it between two Freezer Mates as it went down a storm!


That is too much sweet, chocolatey goodness for this household to handle so I decided to take it to parkrun with me this morning.  I still have some left but the runners and volunteers didn’t let me down.  This mornings parkrun was a little soggy, to say the least with 3 or 4 HUGE puddles in the first 500m.  I was shattered by the time I’d finished my first 3 minute run interval after running through them.  I had wet feet and even a wet bum!  The alternative was to run through the muddy, boggy grass and at least my shoes stayed clean 🙂

That brings us on to this afternoon.  Planning …  We are off to Disney World, again, later this year so I have been doing some planning for our trip.  Deciding where to eat, which parks we want to visit – Adam has decided he’d like to go to LEGOLAND as our “extra” this year.  As we are going for a shorter trip, we can only add one “extra” rather than two.  We are also hoping to find the Tupperware Visitors Centre 🙂  Not my idea, even though I have wanted to go for years.  My husband said to me a couple of months ago “Fi, do you know that Tupperware’s head office is in Orlando?”  Well, duh!  Of course I do/did.  I just never suggested visiting because I wasn’t sure he’d want to.  Now he’s suggested it, however, we’re going!

What are you doing with your long weekend?  Do you have time off or are you working?  Is it just another day?


Walking, lots of walking

This past weekend, the sun finally shone and was warm enough for me to take off my hoodie and agree to go for a long walk on Sunday with my husband and son.  It was lovely.

We took a picnic and walked from home down to the river.  We then walked along the river path to Bishopthorpe and then on towards Acaster Malbis.  We stopped short of Acaster Malbis and crossed over the bridge to have our lunch.

After lunch we walked from Naburn to Fulford where we stopped off at the Designer Outlet so I could go to the loo, before carrying on to Milennium Bridge to get an ice cream from the Two Hoots ice cream boat.  The queue was really long, we waited 30 minutes, but it was worth the wait for a blueberry ice cream – yum! (the photos of ice cream and the ice cream boat are from Friday when it wasn’t as busy)

I actually remembered to start, and stop, my Garmin for our walk and, in total, we walked 18km in 3 hours 32 minutes!  No wonder my feet were sore!

In other news, Adam and I ran/walked at parkrun for the 3rd week in a row 🙂  This week I beat him, mainly because he decided he’d had enough after 3.5km and decided to walk while I kept running.  I finished in 34:10 which is the fastest time since coming back so I’m happy with that.  We also increased the running interval to 2 minutes 30 seconds.  We won’t be at parkrun next week due to another commitment and the horses are using the racecourse the week after but we’ll be back at York parkrun for their 200th event on 28th May 😀

Floods in York

I’m sure most people have heard about the floods in the North of England this week.  We weren’t at home when they came on Saturday/Sunday as we had gone down to my parents’ for Christmas and only came home yesterday (Monday).  Looking at the coverage on the news I can honestly say that in the 14 years we have been living in York I have never seen the river so high and I’ve never seen the Foss break it’s banks.

The River Ouse floods every autumn/winter and the pubs and flats along the river flood every year with the water going into the carparks of the Skeldergate properties on a regular basis as they are right on the river.

We went for a walk in to the city centre today and I took some photos of the river and the Knavesmire (race course).  The water isn’t as high today as it was on Sunday but it’s still pretty high.  I don’t think we’ll be doing parkrun this week as we usually run round the inside of the barriers of the race course.

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Adam’s First 10K

It’s that time of year again, the Run for All team rolled in to York for the last 10K of their calendar for 2014.  I have taken part in every one of them since they started in 2009 and this year my son, Adam, decided that he would like to run it with me.

Adam has only been running since last August/September when he started doing parkrun with me.  Earlier this year we took part in the Royal Family 5K at Disney World and he completed the R U Taking the P? 5K in June.  His best time for the parkrun is 32:21 but he has been consistently finishing at around 33 minutes so I thought he’d easily do about 1:10:00 as we always run intervals rather than the whole 5K.  My PB for 10K is 1:09:50 which I set at the Great Yorkshire Run last September and I have gone under 31 minutes for a 5K but that was hard work so I don’t think I’d be able to finish a 10K much faster than my PB if I ran it on my own.

Anyway, we went with a friend of mine to the racecourse for the start of the York 10K this morning with a goal of running 4:1 minute intervals and aiming to finish anywhere between 1:10:00 and 1:15:00.  The queue for the toilet, as usual, was really long and we were still standing waiting for a toilet to come free when they started the run.  That was fine, it takes about 20 minutes for all of the runners to cross the start line anyway so we knew we had time to get there before they told us it was too late.  As it happened, we joined the masses with plenty of time to spare and crossed the start line with lots of people behind us at 13 minutes after the gun.

This year my friend, who I ran with last year, hasn’t done any training and was carrying a back injury so she was aiming for a much slower time of 1:30:00 but she wanted to start with us and see how far she could get.  We started out relatively slow, for us, and completed the first km in 7:20 with the 2nd km taking 7:30.  After we left my friend, Adam picked up the pace considerably with the next 3 km being completed in just over 21 minutes.  The km splits for 6 and 7 got even faster with the fasted split of 6:23 coming at the 7 km mark.  Adam decided he wanted more of a walking break in the 8th km and consequently the time went down a bit.  It also didn’t help that the course had an “out and back” part to it, you know where you run up a road and then have to turn round and run back down it while other runners are going the other way.  As we could only run on half of the road, it was harder to get round slower runners/walkers so I am blaming that for the slower split too.  Adam came home strong though with a final split of 6:26 😀

Avg Pace
Summary 1:08:39.1 9.97 6:53
1 7:19.5 1.00 7:20
2 7:29.8 1.00 7:30
3 7:04.3 1.00 7:04
4 7:01.3 1.00 7:01
5 7:00.6 1.00 7:01
6 6:41.4 1.00 6:41
7 6:23.5 1.00 6:23
8 6:51.0 1.00 6:51
9 6:33.8 1.00 6:34
10 6:13.9 0.97 6:26

The official time from Run for All was 1:08:34.  I have a PB 😀

I am so proud of my boy.  I wish I could persuade him to run longer splits because he has the potential to go so much faster and run away from me one day.  The splits from 2 km were his pace, not mine, and when he gets the confidence to keep running rather than rely on the interval timings I won’t be able to keep up.  His pace is so much quicker than mine but, at the moment, I have the endurance which is why my 5K PB is faster than his.  I would also like to point out that Adam only runs/trains at York parkrun so the furthest he has ever run before today was 5 km and he only ran once in July due to parkrun being cancelled for the Tour de France and horse racing.

Adam is now asking if we can do the Great Yorkshire Run in Sheffield in September.  Well, I was going to run it anyway, so sure.  He is also looking up the dates for the Yorkshire based Run for All 10Ks for next year with a view to taking part in Hull, Leeds and York 10Ks in 2015.  Well, we need a challenge and if it will keep him going to parkrun, I’m all for it.

York 10K collage


Another Virtual Walk Update

I looked at my Virtual Walk directions this morning and realised that I haven’t done a proper Virtual Walk update since 2nd January.  Yes, I did mention it in my 101 in 1001 update in March but apart from that, nothing.

And, yes, I have directions for my Virtual Walk.  I am walking from York, being my home city, to Walt Disney World.  I am measuring it “as the crow flies” which is a grand total of 6,882 km (4,301 miles, approx) and that is quite far enough, thank you.  But, I am plotting it on a map too.  I walked from York to Clifden on the east coast of Ireland, I can’t remember how far that was, and then I got directions from Google from Mary’s Harbour, NL, Canada to Animal Kingdom (because that is the park we always visit first).  I chose Mary’s Harbour because it was kind of a straight line from Clifden to there on the map.  The distance from Mary’s Harbour to Animal Kingdom is 4,334 km so I started plotting my route and distance travelled in North America once I’d walked 2,548 km.

Anyway, since my last update in January I have walked another 700.07 km giving a total of 5,775.84 km completed and 1,106.16 km to go.  I have now completed 3,227.84 km in North America and have now left Jersey City, passed through Newark, NJ, gone around Philadelphia, PA on my way to Baltimore, MD.  I then went through Washington DC, I should have stopped to have a look around, to Richmond, VA.  I am now in North Carolina heading towards either Durham or Raleigh.

OK, that’s it.  I’ll try to give a better update next time and maybe find out some information about the places I’ve “walked” through.

Weekly Photo Challenge: 2012 in Pictures

I haven’t done a photo challenge for a while and I’m not even sure I have enough photos to make up all of 2012 so I hope I have enough to show the best of the year.

The Olympic Torch came to York

The Olympic Torch arrived in York yesterday afternoon/evening and stayed overnight until it left on the train this morning on its way to Thirsk.  My son and I went to see it on its way in to town down Tadcaster Road and we had a great view.

After the torch had gone past, it was a short walk over to the York Racecourse for the stage show, promoters’ stands and to see the torch come to the stage to light the cauldron where the flame would burn overnight.

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It was amazing to see and, although my son and I didn’t really watch the show or go to any of the stands, it was worth being there to see it.  The one thing which spoiled it a little for me was that although the organisers had put up large tv screens for those of us at the back to be able to see the show and the torch as it came in to the race course, the sound wasn’t very good so we couldn’t hear what was being said unless we were directly under a big screen.

The Torch then left York this morning on a train from the National Railway Museum to continue on it’s journey around the UK.

Other websites which have more information, and pictures, about the Torch in York are:


We played tourist in our own city

Last weekend my step-daughter, Becky, came up to York for a visit.  She hasn’t been up here for a few years (except for about 30 minutes when we got back from Disney last year) and this was the first time she’d driven herself.  So, we all had a day off we decided to go and be tourists in York.  I love my city and I know that there are lots of things to do but we never seem to go and enjoy it the same way as tourists do so this was a chance to try something new.

First of all we went on the Wheel of York as it is something that my son and I have wanted to do for a few years.  The Wheel used to be at the National Railway Museum but they took it down a couple of years ago and a new Wheel was put up either at the end of last year or the beginning of this year, I can’t remember, and will be there until 2013.  It cost £8.50 each and I have to say it was worth it.  The capsules are quite small and fit 6 adults comfortably, as there was only 3 of us there was loads of room.  Unlike the London Eye, which is  huge in comparison, the wheel moves quite fast and has a commentary about York and what you can see from the Wheel.   The Wheel stands 60m high so it doesn’t take long to go round one revolution and you don’t see everything the first time round but don’t worry, the Wheel goes round about 5 times so there is plenty of time to see the sights including the Minster, River Ouse, Knavesmire, Terry’s factory (now closed) etc.  One bonus for us is that if we want to go again, we can get 25% off the tickets by showing the tickets we bought on Saturday.

After the Wheel we wanted to go into the Minster but unfortunately it was being cleaned after a dinner the night before so wouldn’t be open until the afternoon.  That was OK, there’s still lots to do in York including the Castle Museum, National Railway Museum, Yorkshire Museum and, of course, shopping and eating!  We didn’t want to go into any of the museums as my son goes to them quite a bit with SNAPPY.  So, shopping and eating.  I also went in to the Tourist Information Centre as I wanted to get tickets to the show that is being held at the Knavesmire when the Olympic Torch comes to York on Tuesday 19th June 2012.  They are free and we live fairly close to the Knavesmire.

Next was lunch and then we wandered round the city centre and saw that there was a Continental Market in Parliament Street.  I love York’s markets and go to the Farmers’ Market every month.  So we ventured in to have a look at what was on offer and, although I wasn’t planning on buying anything, I did.  Finally, we arrived at Minster Gardens and decided to have an ice cream while we waited to be able to get in the Minster – I wish I’d taken a photo of my boy, he got in a right mess thanks to the sun and the wind.

The Minster is an amazing building and I often take photos of the outside but I haven’t been inside since I went with my late mother-in-law about 9 years ago.  It costs £9 to get in but if you are a York resident you can get a Minster Card for free.  As they don’t get any funding from Government, I don’t think that £9 is too bad a price.  The windows are beautiful.

You can go up the tower too but we decided to leave that for another visit.  I have also discovered some school resources which you can download and print before you visit.  I wish I’d discovered them before we went, it would have been fun to do a treasure hunt or trail.

All in all we had a good day and even got back to the car before it chucked it down with rain!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Today

This week’s photo challenge asked us to post photos that we have taken today, not those taken previously which would fit the theme.  Fortunately, I was planning to take some photos today of the Immovable stone block which has been in front of York Minster since the early hours of Monday and is going to be taken away in the middle of the night on Sunday (I think).

Here are a few of the photos which I took of the Minster

The Immovable stone

and a performance – their theme was “home”.

Sitting down “at home”

Painting the side of the house

Playing Grandmother’s footsteps

Other weekly photo challenge posts which you might enjoy are:


Weekly Photo Challenge: Indulge

This week’s weekly photo challenge is Indulge and the daily post blurb said the following:

Indulge. When we think of the word indulge, food often comes to mind, but indulging isn’t always about food. You can indulge in moments, feelings, emotions, places, and more! It can be a private moment rocking on a hammock, watching a movie on a work day, eating that second piece of chocolate cake, reliving a memory, fantasizing about the future, or treating or pampering yourself.

How can I do a post about indulge and not include food?  It’s not possible!  So, I am including food but I’m also going to include a couple of other photos too.

My first indulgence is Disney.  You know me by now, if I can get Disney into a photo challenge I will 😉  We don’t live in a big house, we don’t have fancy cars and we don’t eat out a lot so any spare money we have goes on our big expense – Disney holidays 😀  So, what sums up Disney for me?  Everything, the characters, the cast members (staff), the rides and the people I go with (my family).  Our last big indulgence was a trip for my 40th birthday and my stepdaughter’s 25th birthday so I am including a photo of all of us on our last trip:

Happy Birthday, Becky!

Up next?  My next indulgence is that I live in one of the best cities in the UK.  Yes, I am biased but considering that we chose to move here rather than staying where we were born (or, in my case, where our parents settled down) I think it is an indulgence.  The photo I have chosen to represent my adopted home city is the “Heart of York” window of York Minster.

The heart of York, York Minster

York Minster

Finally, I have to include food and that food has to be cake.  So, here is a slide show of my favourites from birthdays at Disney to cakes I have made:

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