Becky Types

What I want to achieve in my 27th year!

Saturday, April 21, 2018

On the 20th April I have been on this planet for 27 years. Can you believe it?!
I don't think I do, nor do my parents!
I really do wish I was seven again, having no cares in the world except which Spice Girl doll I wanted - I opted for Posh in the end, FYI!
Now, I'm 27 and having to budget every week, pay bills, pull weeds up in the yard. Adult stuff.

Every year on my birthday, I guarantee I will take a couple minutes to reflect on what I have achieved in my life, and to be honest it always gets me down because I feel that I haven't managed anything. Anyway, enough of that because this is why I am creating a list of things I want to achieve before my 28th birthday, a whole 365 days to go!

Being consistent on my blog

Even though I rebranded my blog (new name and all) in 2016, I had actually started four years ago this month! Back then, I was pretty consistent with my writing and would just talk about anything and everything, right up until I got a 9-5 job. Soon I found myself coming in from work, plonking myself in front of the TV and occasionally fall asleep.

If anything, since being with Andy and telling him how I use to love writing on my blog, it was he and my mum who told me to get back into it. I'll write another post about how I got back into it, as I hope it will help others.
This year I want to post every Saturday and at this present time I have more drafts than published, so I think that's a start and this will be my third consistent post!

Get back into Yoga

One of my New Year's resolutions was to start Yoga at home. Previously I had experienced Yoga within a field surrounded my trees and the rain and also at a staff conference.
At the moment, I feel much more comfortable in my own space following a YouTube tutorial. However, I have this feeling that sometimes I have no idea whether I'm doing it right, so eventually would like to join a group once I've mastered the basics.

Throughout January, I managed to do unwind for bed every Tuesday by completing five minutes of Yoga with Adriene on YouTube. When the cold weather in February arrived, I was choosing the warmth of my bed over a yoga mat on the cold floor and by March I was on the road for work.
My aim for this year is to get back to doing my Yoga Tuesdays.

Go on Holiday 

Even though I've had mini city breaks (York, Bath, London) with Andy, a true holiday is one abroad, right?  The last time I was in a hot country, relaxing by the pool was to Ibiza in 2015, before that it was 2009! I very rarely go away.
I would love to go abroad somewhere warm this year, even if it's for a couple of nights in Europe. Money is a bit tight at the moment for me, so this isn't a priority on my list of achievements at the moment.

I can only yearn for this type of view again - Ibiza, Spain.

Learn a new craft

I like to think I'm a creative person - drawing, pottery, traditional stain glass, sign writing (not blowing my own trumpet or anything), but there is one craft I've not quite grasped the love for. Knitting/crocheting.
Last time I attempted to knit, I tried to make my own chunky snood with the help from mum. However, I was getting frustrated when I kept dropping a stitch but not realising until it was too late...

Last weekend, Andy's sister-in-law was showing me the blanket she was crocheting for her lounge.
I was fixed and she made it look so easy! Didn't help that she had never crochet in her life and simply watched a video on YouTube! I've been looking for a blanket for my lounge recently, which is chunky knit and in a certain green which will tie in with the curtains.  I've looked at every shop I can think of and some of the prices of the blankets are... high.
Do you have any recommendations on guides I can follow?

Finish reading at least one book

For a book lover like myself, I'm incredibly bad with not finishing a book. I suppose it's because if I like a story so much, I just don't want it to end so I stop reading.
But when I've counted at least 14 books which have book marks in the middle, it's quite silly and I've not even counted the books on my Kindle!
My aim this year is to finish these books, even if it means starting again and for every three finished, I may treat myself to a new book that I can stop in the middle of.

Get back into my photography

As well as my blog taking a hit since leaving the hotel industry (I loved having the odd days off rather than a weekend), my use of the camera slowly deteriorated to a point that the camera spent more time in its bag than out of it!
But I want that to change and recently my confidence has increased for me to feel comfortable in using it in public, even Andy tells me to bring my camera if we're going somewhere for the day.
Now that my mojo for blogging has returned, I will need to use the camera more for the photos.
A win-win situation!

Get one room finished in the house

I've lived in my house for five months now, owned for over a year and there are still small things to do. Painting the kitchen table, put in a shower curtain so I don't flood the bathroom and change a door which has the bottom missing, amongst a few others.
I want to aim to get at least one room finished this year and it shouldn't take that long as there are only three rooms in this tiny home!

There we have it, have you got anything you want to achieve this year? Maybe you have recommendations for some more books I can add to my collection.

Becky Types

National Trust: Southwell Workhouse

Saturday, April 14, 2018

As you slowly walk up the path towards this baronial building within the town of Southwell, Nottinghamshire it's hard to imagine how the people who lived here felt. Imagine walking through the doors, knowing that you would never be able to speak, see or hear from your family members again.
Mothers separated from their children. Wives separated from their husbands, including those who were elderly and infirm.

Southwell Workhouse, Nottinghamshire
Southwell Workhouse, Nottinghamshire
Southwell Workhouse, Nottinghamshire
In 1824, local parishes surrounding Southwell sent in funds to build a workhouse which would house the destitute rather than each parishes providing individual support for the poor.  The Workhouse  then in turn influenced the New Poor Law of 1834.

It was built for around 160 inmates where they lived and worked in a strict and segregated environment. The workhouse founder, Reverend J.T Becher, ran the rural workhouse to run a harsh regime which was aimed to act as a deterrent. However, Becher also had in min the moral and temporal welfare of the community and therefore helped them equip themselves, the inmates, for a better life outside.

The New Poor Law was disbanded in 1929 and the workhouses were handed over to the local authorities, subsequently Southwell was used to house the poor, homeless and elderly. It was then used as a residential home for the elderly until the National Trust took ownership.

I'm currently in the process of tracking the history behind my cottage. I discovered that when the prison at the village I live in closed, the inmates were sent to Southwell.

When you first walk round and see the empty, cold rooms it really makes you sad that there were no comforts. No pictures, blankets or personal belongings. Inmates even had to share bedrooms, up to 20 per room. Inmates had a bed and a peg for which they hung their uniform on and that was it.

Daily chores included laundry, stone breaking and string pulling to name a few and you would not get paid for this.
If you were caught playing cards, you would miss out on a meal of gruel and bread.
It sounds incredibly tough but if anything, they were teaching you skills which could in turn help you gain employment in the world. That was the aim of Southwell Workhouse.
They would take the destitute in, train them and send them back out for a second chance, even children.

We all know the Victorian era where children were sent to work in the mills, collecting scraps under the chunky machines, to me the workhouse at Southwell would be much better than that.

Within a dormitory at The Workhouse

The Kitchen within the Women's quarter

Throughout the rooms, Southwell currently have a display on. Struggle for Suffrage: Workhouse Women and the Vote, is on display until Tuesday 30th October 2018 and is celebrating Women and Power and is a textile response to the stories of women who lived and worked at The Workhouse and the Suffragettes 1918 Votes for Women. The pieces were created by the local community textile group. Some of the pieces were incredibly moving, my favourite was the one in the laundry room.

Old fashioned laundry mangle

Textile piece for the Struggle for Suffrage display
I would really recommend visiting Southwell Workhouse if you're in the area. Just like any other National Trust house, they also have a children activity so that they can understand what life was like in the Workhouse, including a dressing up room.

Tips for visiting

If you do visit, don't forget to visit the coffee shop which can be found round the back of the Workhouse. They do a range of cakes and sandwiches and you can also purchase The Workhouse crockery.

Enjoying a cuppa
The first room you go in a video plays, this will help explain the New Poor Law of 1834 through the eyes of The Workhouse owner. Your journey will then continue to the Laundry room where a volunteer will explain the layout of The Workhouse.
Take your time with your visit and never shy away from asking the volunteers questions, they have a passion to be there and stories to share.

Have you visited Southwell Workhouse, what did you think? You can find more information, including events happening at the property on the National Trust website.

Becky Types

First Spa Day: My Top 6 Tips

Saturday, April 07, 2018

A spa day.
A well deserved, in my case, relaxing day. A whole day to sit back and let someone push the knots out of your back. No stress, no interruptions.

However, when you haven't been to a spa day before, i.e. me,  you end up stressing prior to going because you have absolutely no idea what to expect or take.
So you end up turning to your good friend, Google. You know that despite you being in your 20's, the internet won't know that this is your first time. It won't judge you, but my God was it useless!

I searched for absolutely hours, nothing.
In the end I turned to someone I trusted and knew, who had been to spa.

Once I had gotten over the initial nerves, which was helped by the copious free servings of mint tea (this is the only tea I know which calms me right down) it was such a lovely experience.

In all honesty, when we arrived it wasn't as bad as I thought but while lying on the bed it made me think. Let's make a list of everything I wanted to know, to help others and put them at ease.

What to wear
This was the first on my mind and actually it's quite easy.
A swimming costume or bikini will do, as long as your comfortable and you're given a robe when you arrive. You will need some flip-flops or sandals to walk around the building, and some places sell these if you don't have any.
I noticed some people had a spare costume to change into, which I would highly recommend. You don't want to be lying in a wet costume on a massage table.

Don't take a big bag
Because I had no idea before hand what to take and I also had this brilliant idea that I would go to the gym, I took a huge bag with me.
This wasn't a problem for me as I like to be prepared for all eventualities, but what I did't think about where the locker sizes.
Imagine, a huge bag (one you would use for an overnight stay) stuffed, along with boots, a big handbag and my coat and scarf... I felt like I was stuffing a sleeping bag into a small hole. Playing Tetris with my things.
So, do think about what you will need and pack light and small!

Do a tour of the Spa.
You may not want to do this when you first arrive. You just want to get into the day, but I would highly recommend this especially if you've never been to the spa before.
This was an option for us but we didn't go for it nor was it offered on our arrival. However, just as we were leaving our last treatment, the therapist pointed out an area of the Spa we didn't even know existed! We were honestly gutted as it had heated pool beds, warmth!
Take that quick tour so you can get the most out of your day.

Stay hydrated
This may sound like an obvious one, but it is so easy to lose track of how much you drink especially in between treatments.
When you go from sauna to pool to treatment, your body is losing a lot of water due to the sweating.
Yuck I know, but it's good to sweat!
Some spas will have water available, maybe even some fruit tea and water on hand but take a water bottle with you.
We noticed that the water coolers in the spa where incredibly warm and not refreshing in the slightest.

Take a book
In between treatments, this is your time to relax even more.
Leave your phones locked away in your bag and take a book or a magazine. Something to take your mind into another world.
I've been struggling to get back into reading recently and I knew that if I had time by the pool, I would use this time to read.

Stay over
When you find out you have to be at the hotel for 9am, it's a good idea to book a stay the night before especially if you have a long way to travel.
I would also recommend seeing if you can stay either at the spa or locally. When you're that relaxed, you will feel incredibly tired as well as refreshed. Also, if you're a resident you can stay long in the pool!

Well, that's all that I have to share.
Now that I have been and experienced a spa, I would love to go back and I feel that I now will be more prepared for it.
I hope you found this useful, do you have any tips for a spa day? I would love to hear them!

Becky Types

March Favourites

Saturday, March 31, 2018

It's been a while since I did a monthly favourites, in fact I don't think I've done one since rebranding.
However, it was The Prosecco Diaries who mentioned on Twitter that by doing favourites, lists or roundup posts it will help me get back in to the swing of all things blogging, which I really want to do!
So without further ado, here are my March Favourites.

Warburtons Giant Crumpets
I'm probably pretty late to the party, but my word these things are amazing! I never use to like crumpets and found the texture quite.. spongey and weird.
But after coming across these large crumpets at work, I am now converted and look forward to smothering Nutella on them at the weekend!
Depending on what supermarket you shop in, they are currently 70p-80p.

Jane the Virgin
When it was first aired on E4 Jane the Virgin was one of those programmes that was also my guilty pleasure. Though at the time I wouldn't be too sad if I missed an episode, no would I go out of my way to catch up.
However, when I had more time on my hands looking for a job, I came across the satirical romantic comedy on Netflix. Since then I am the complete opposite and look forward to my Saturday evenings. Catching up with the goings on of Jane (played by the lovely Gina Rodriguez) and her fashion style is one that I'm particularly jealous of.
I love how this is based on a telenovela and really makes me want to find a real Spanish Telenovela!

If you have't given this programme a go, do it! I've read somewhere that the book Jane writes in the programme can actually be purchased from Amazon. Have you bought it? Let me know!

There are many new artists coming to light in the music industry but sometimes, actually no. It's ALWAYS great to hear classics that take you right back to your childhood.
I managed to grab hold of the latest MTV Rocks CD at my local Tesco for £10 and I have not been disappointed! Three CDs of Pop Punk tracks from Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance and Blink 182.
Even Check Yes Juliet sung by We The Kings is on there and took me right back to my MySpace days.
Since then, I've been belting it out in the car recently.

There we have it. It's not a huge list but it's a start and will hopefully get me motivated to write more.
Let me know what your recent favourites are, maybe you have a new topping for the crumpets for me to try?

Becky Types

English Heritage: Stonehenge

Saturday, February 24, 2018

It is believed to be one of the wonders of the world. Constructed around 3000BC and standing at 13 feet tall, it is no surprise that it is visited by 800,000 people a year! Located in the hills of Wiltshire, Stonehenge is now owned by the English Heritage and is one of the most famous landmarks in the UK and a British Cultural Icon. 

Five years ago I was working in a small village in Wiltshire and promised myself that I would one day return to visit Stonehenge.
Fast forward to November 2017, and I finally got the opportunity while also visiting one of my favourite UK cities, Bath.
Even though it is solely owned by the English Heritage, the surrounding fields are owned by the National Trust which in turn allows members of the Trust, free admission to the site - bonus!

When we arrived, we had the choice of either going into to the visitors centre or head straight up to the field. We chose the latter, as we could see that rain clouds were forming and wanted to get up there quickly. Thankfully there was a shuttle bus to take us up, didn't fancy the long walk in the cold, well.. 1.5 miles to be exact.

After a short drive we arrived at the top and realised how incredibly windy it was, but this didn't deter the visitors and if anything it felt less busy than we expected it to be. Great chance of getting photos without people getting in the frame.

We then caught the shuttle bus back down and popped into the visitor centre which was lovely and warm.  It was really informative and fascinating to see the artefacts that they found on the site during the excavations. There was a virtual room which made you feel like you were in the centre of the monument, it was great and the guides are really helpful and passionate when sharing their knowledge.
I would love and hope to return in the summer or even for Summer Solstice, just to see the sun align with the Heel Stone - I can only image that this would be an incredible experience.

Thinking of going?
Here are just a few tips for your visit:

  • Pre-book your tickets. This will guarantee your visit and you also get an online discount!
  • Majority of the site is outside, so wrap up warm in the winter.
  • Take full advantage of the shuttle bus - If you don't fancy the long walk a shuttle bus is available.
  • Your ticket includes a look into the visitor centre - have a look at some of the artefacts they found!

Fancy it? You can find more information and book tickets on the English Heritage website.

**I would like to lastly mention that I have not been endorsed to write this post, I have done this on my own back as I thoroughly enjoyed my visit and wanted to share this with you**