Category: The click tick list

The Click Tick List – Photograph Duddo Five Stones

I love it when something on my list gets done so easily! When I updated my list last year I added a visit to this stone circle into the mix because I adore an ancient monument and it’s in Northumberland where we visit often, so I figured it would be easy to do. And it was!

We spent my birthday in a lovely country hotel near Alnwick and took a drive to find this 4,000 year old ring of stones.

And although it was very windy the sky was a bright and a beautiful blue with lots of sunshine making the taking of photos a dream.

The position of this circle is up on a high ground so it gives you a wonderful view of the surrounding landscape. To the south are the Cheviot Hills.

The stones are sandstone which has become eroded by the weather over the years leaving the deep cut channels.

There were originally seven stones and you can see the gap to the west of the circle where the two missing stones would have stood.

Oh yes a little dog in the photo too. Gav was hiding behind that large stone because I asked him to get out of my shot but the pooch crept back in….

And of course it wouldn’t be right to leave this place without a self timed photo.

It was only a quick visit but this reminded me of how much I love to do this kind of thing. As long as the walk from the car isn’t too long. We used to trek about all over looking at monuments. Really glad I added this to my list and now crossed it off!

Click Tick List – Photograph 100 Gardens – Orto botanico di Pisa

When we went to Pisa to see the Leaning Tower we also wandered through town and popped into this University Garden. Said to be the first botanical garden attached to a ‘University’ and formed in 1544 although not on this current site.

It was worth visiting but did seem a little run down. The specimen beds seen in the photo below didn’t have many specimens in them and there were overgrown neglected paths and areas.

But like I say worth the visit anyway.

And we came across this very interesting screen…..

Looked like it was protecting this pine tree from the sun!

And there was a small area with annuals and a sweet wildlife ‘hotel’.

Loved that brick gateway.

Not the best we have seen but another added to my total!

Click Tick List – Photograph 100 Gardens – Villa Reale di Marlia

Sharing another wonderful visit to a Tuscan garden today. Full of character, follies, pools and even a disused swimming pool, the gardens of Villa Reale were a treat. And the amazing thing was we only saw four other visitors while we were there.

Even the walk from car to garden was even lined with cyclamen.

Perfect vista looking towards the main villa.

The garden itself was sprawling and beautiful with different areas such as the potted citrus garden below.

The light of course was amazing with that blue sky contrasting the greens and architecture so well.

A pretty knot garden tucked away at the side of one of the many buildings on the estate.

Sculpture and urns, topiary and fountains it was all packed in.

Along with the largest Hibiscus I’ve ever seen!

Truly lovely afternoon spent meandering and of course another added towards my 100!

Click Tick List – Photograph 100 Gardens – Boboli Gardens

Florence. A truly beautiful city packed with culture (and people!) and a garden from the book. So we had to pop along and visit it right?

The gardens stand behind the Palazzo Pitti and have a long history. They are also vast so we took a photo of the map to help us with our orientation.

Home to amazing sculptures, some were part of a modern exhibition, beautiful buildings and incredible architecture.

And the views out onto the landscape were just as pretty as everything inside.

Oh and we became statues ourselves for a moment……. We are the two on the left!

This last area of the garden was our favourite as it was more in keeping with a herbaceous border. Filled with Dahlias and other perennials.  Gav caught me taking this photo with my phone. I let him wield the big camera that day.

A lovely few hours spent in a very lovely Italian garden.

The Click Tick List – See the Leaning Tower of Pisa

You know when you get an idea, maybe it’s something that you have had in your head for ages like seeing one of the amazing sights of the world.

And you get to actually see it one day and it was sort of a disappointment? Well, the day we saw the Leaning Tower of Pisa was not one of those days! HA!

It was just as wonderfully quirky at I’d imagined.

I mean. Look at it. It’s crazy.

And beautiful.

And even better when the sun shines on that marble and limestone.

I could talk about its history, how they tried to correct the lean while still building it and at several times over the next several hundred years but the internet can fill all those details in for you. I simply want to remember how amazing it was.

Such a great day and I’m happy to have crossed it off the list.

The Click Tick List – Sail on the Grand Canal

This is one of those things that I added to my list because it felt easy-ish to accomplish, after all Italy isn’t too far from me yet it also felt like something that I’d never do. Perhaps this was because I couldn’t see us parting with the money to hire a gondola!

Enter then the Vaporetto. A water bus.

When we were planning our summer trip to Tuscany I added a day trip to Venice into the mix. It is not close but it was closer than Leeds so I thought we could make the train journey and I could cross something off my list.

The ride on the Vaporetto was the main event. And Gav did an amazing job of planning where we should get on and off the bus and then how to spend the rest of the afternoon. It worked out great.

We visited Venice on another day trip about 20 years ago and I admit that I didn’t like it all that much. Yes, it was beautiful and quirky but oh so crowded. Still I wanted to go back and take that boat trip and I am so glad I did because I fell in love with the quieter streets and the bridges, oh the bridges!

But this story is not about the bridges. This story is about the canal and all its beautiful buildings lining the waters edge. We hopped on board at the train station.

Loved that traffic light in the picture below!

Seeing the city from the water was perfect and I guess this is how it should be viewed.

Managed to snap a reflection of us while we were docked.

After thirty minutes or so we came to the San Marco basin where the canal opens up into a bigger area of water and where we disembarked.

The building in the below photo is the Doge’s Palace with the domes of San Marco’s Basilica in the background.

And to finish us off one of the perfect little bridges. Oh yes, the large white bridge at the top of this post is the Rialto Bridge a spectacular and grand example which has shops actually on it!

So there we go a memorable trip on a water bus that can be crossed of the list!

The Click Tick List – See the Terracotta Warriors Exhibition in Liverpool

I stumbled on the information for this exhibition quite by accident earlier in the summer. Somewhere in the depths of my memory I knew I’d heard of this archeological find but didn’t know much about it.

We headed off last weekend to see what it was all about.

This was the first time in over ten years that the Warriors (they have been called the Terracotta Army too) have come to the UK and the curators at the World Museum in Liverpool have put together a stunning exhibition.

Both breathtaking and terrifying we walked alongside the stories of how the sculptures were made and buried with the Emperor to protect him in the afterlife.

The detail was remarkable, each figure lifesize and unique. They estimate that there are 8,000 soldiers plus horses and chariots. They are still excavating this tomb that was discovered by chance in 1974.

I would love to see them in situ (just search instagram or the internet for an idea of the scale of this tomb) but I know I’ll never go so this will have to do.

Well worth the visit.

Click Tick List – Sew an Item of Clothing

At some point in my teenage years I made a top and trousers for a school class. As far as I can remember that was the first and last time I made clothes.

I’ve been following Elise’s sewing exploits with interest for a while now and decided that I could add another hobby to my ever growing list!

Adding this onto my list was one way to make sure I did it.

I signed up for a free trail over at the Creative Bug a few months ago and one of the classes was to make Shirt No 1 by 100 Acts of Sewing. This was the top that I’d seen Elise make so I downloaded the pattern and slowly, step by step began.

I have to say that this is a great pattern for a beginner. Only two pieces to cut and the neck, hem and sleeves to finish. I complicated it by following one of the variations show in the class as I really wanted to use that orange material with the linen.

I was perhaps half way through making the shirt above when I saw this grey spotty fabric and had to buy it for another shirt.

Unfortunately, however beautiful that grey spot is the material was way too thick. It doesn’t drape as you really need a shape like this to do. But I still love it and I’m sure it will after some washing it will soften up.

I think that I have always steered clear of sewing clothes because I know it isn’t easy. I know that often it is trial and error because a pattern you buy will not fit you exactly and it can be very frustrating not to understand where you went wrong, or rather where you need to adjust the paper pattern in order to get a better fit. Google is always a good friend in these circumstances although another class that I watched at Creative Bug was a pattern drafting class and this gave a wealth of information and was full of tips and tricks for getting a better fit.

In the spirit of practice and trying to weave making clothes into my normal life I have made a list of what I think I’ve learned from these two sewing projects –

  • I need to develop more patience and accept that I’ll have to rip out seams to get something right.
  • Read the instructions about types of fabric best suited to the pattern.
  • I need to actually make more stuff! It’s no good just watching videos. To improve and get better I need to make clothes.
  • When I make this top again add a couple of inches to the length.
  • Watch the neckline on the top too. They are both fine but I think I’d prefer it less wide at the tops of my shoulders.
  • Remember the tip about turning up a hem to avoid ‘bubbles’.

Here’s to slow fashion, practice and general creativeness.

Click Tick List – Update – Watch 50 New to Me Films

I had a lot of fun updating my list a couple of months ago and I have already managed to cross one of the new items off. I’ll write about it next week when I’ve snapped some pictures.

I wanted to pop in here today and share my experience so far with one of the simpler items from the list. Watch 50 new to me films between June 2018 and December 2019. I say simpler but that was only in theory because I regretted adding this t the list about five minutes after I hit publish. I am very boring when it comes to new films. I like what I like. Gav always struggles to get me to watch eight films with him when his film a day challenge rolls round in November.

But you know what? Life is funny and a couple of weeks ago, when I had a Monday off work, I sat and watched one of my favourite films on Netflix. Notting Hill.

This didn’t count of course because they have to be new to me films but it was the catalyst for a new routine of film watching. Most of what I’ve watched so far has been well within my comfort zone, romantic comedies, but I have ventured into action and drama too.

After watching about three films I decided I needed to document this experience. I ‘borrowed’ Letterfolk’s concept for their passport collection. I have followed them on instagram for a while and love their humour, ethics and products. This is what they say about these little books –

     At the heart of the Passport Collection is the challenge to experience more. Each                   blank page represents a new memory, a new adventure, a new invitation to go do.

So far it’s going well and as of today I’ve watched 11 films! What strikes me as odd is why I haven’t been regularly watching films all these years. I used to watch lots as a teenager when video was the new thing. Actually I used to watch lots in my twenties and thirties too. Maybe my love of the laptop replaced movies…… eek.

I’m finding that by watching new ones regularly I can compare them. I love that they are making me think, even the ‘sappy’ rom coms and I feel like my movie appreciation is going to grow. Of course I won’t be telling Gav that he’s had it right all these years…..

That said I am finding it hard to rate the films (I added a score out of ten to the list). But I’m doing it anyway. I think it will be interesting to look back and see what I thought was worth an 8 and if I still agree with that in five years time.

Anyway I’ll stop rambling now and go switch on the Netflix!

The Click Tick List – Photograph 100 Gardens – Kew Royal Botanic Gardens

Anyone who has been here a while knows that we love a trip to London so when my colleagues bought me afternoon tea at Kew Gardens as my leaving present we couldn’t have been more thrilled.

We wanted to visit in the summer to get the most from that world famous garden so went at the beginning of June. I’d been once before with my sister when my older niece turned sixteen…. she’s thirty two now! SO a revisit was almost like going for the first time.

We were not disappointed. In fact Gav was downright impressed. Here are a collection of photos from that afternoon.

The Palm House.

The rose garden was amazing. Here is Gav wandering onto one side of it. Above is Rosa ‘Lady Salisbury’.

Didn’t get the name of this one……. But is is so beautiful.

Rosa ‘Gentle Hermione’. Love how it fades with age.

Rosa ‘Wisley 2008’.

And Rosa ‘Jubilee Celebration’.

We meandered over to have our afternoon tea in The Botanical restaurant. It was delicious.

And then a general mooch about. There is so much to see you can’t do it all in a day so we headed to what interested us most.

They have a vegetable garden and also a very clever and interesting area set out in plant families. The photo above is the Euphorbiaceae bed. Some families have surprising members and it was an enlightening walk.

Some of the flowers had there muslin bags over them I’m guessing to protect the fertalised flowers. Ingenious yet pretty and it make you realise how much planning and looking after these kinds of gardens need.

The Rose Arbour.

Tomatoes.

The we went to climb up to the treetop walkway. Another clever idea.

And the view from the top was great. You can see the newly restored and recently re-opened Temperate House.

And before we left for the day we stopped inside that glasshouse.

Absolutely amazing place and we will be back again I’m sure. So worth a visit.