Here is what I got up to in May.
Enjoyed several sunny bank holiday weekends
There is something so simply cathartic about a spending a sunny day enjoying a picnic in the park. On more than one occasion this month, we packed a blanket, made a pit stop for ice lollies and headed to our local park for the afternoon.
Armed with a book, laying on the grass and feeling the warm sunshine on my shoulders made me very thankful to live in such a beautiful part of the UK. We also made friends with plenty of puppers as they came over to see what goodies we had on offer, with one in particular snaffling a Scotch egg from the packet with no shame whatsoever. Luckily, I was just delighted to have a canine for company as its mortified owner apologised profusely!
We had planned for a day at the beach earlier in the month but a vomiting teenager waking me up at 1am put paid to that. Luckily, she was fine after a day or two and the rest of us managed to dodge her germs! Adam and I also headed to the stunning town of Llangollen in Wales for a day to enjoy Sunday lunch with family then pop by to see friends for a coffee. Driving through the green Welsh countryside on a sunny day is a pretty fabulous experience!
Celebrated my birthday
May is my birthday month and this year, I officially hit my mid-thirties. I always book the day off work (who wants to be cooped up in the office on their birthday, eh?) and the weather was in my favour so Adam and I decided to take an impromptu trip to Lytham St Annes. The girls had decorated the living room with balloons and left me some lovely gifts and cards to open – I’d been truly spoilt!
Megan and I enjoyed an afternoon at Manchester spa a few days later thanks to a Groupon deal. I’m not one for spending lots of money on pampering in general so these deals give me the chance to indulge without depleting my bank account too much! Come to think about it, that’s actually a lie. This is the third spa day/massage that I’ve booked via Groupon this year alone and is becoming a bit of a habit!
My eldest girl and I rarely spend much time together these days so it was a welcome treat and we enjoyed a full body massage and eSpa facial each before chilling in the pool and steam rooms. With our phones hidden away in the lockers, it gave us chance to really talk and was great for both the body and soul.
Oh, and there was cake too, lots of cake!
Went on the Flying Scotsman
It’s no secret that I have a love – scratch that, borderline obsession – for all things stream train related. When the Flying Scotsman came to visit my hometown, Adam kindly bought me tickets to take a trip behind the famous engine as a birthday treat.
Adam doesn’t quite share my enthusiasm of locomotives so my dad came along for the day instead. We were up bright and early on the Sunday morning and waited at the East Lancashire Railway in Bury for the famous engine to make its much-anticipated appearance. Unfortunately, my dad had hurt his leg the day before and was struggling so I drove him home shortly after our trip (after a reluctant visit to the hospital that evening, it transpired that he’d been hobbling around with a dislocated kneecap all weekend. Ouch!).
The tickets gave me ‘Freedom of the Line’ on all other trains for the rest of the day so Adam became my
hostage dutiful partner in geekery for the afternoon. The smell of the engine and the noise from the Flying Scotsman was quite something! I even managed to drag him along the transport museum for a nosey. Sadly, the Orient Express is out of my budget so I’m already looking at tickets for the Tornado next time it comes to town.
Volunteered at the Pankhurst museum
My boss gives all staff 16 hours a year to spend volunteering for a charity of their choice. This is something that I’d been wanting to do for years but never quite seemed to find the time. There are so many good causes that I want to be involved with, however, I decided to get it touch with the folk over at the Pankhurst Trust in Manchester to see how I could help.
Given that it’s been 100 years since a limited number of women were granted the right to vote thanks to the bold suffragette movement, it also seemed a rather fitting charity to choose for 2018. After going along to a volunteers induction day and learning more about what they do, I spoke to the volunteer coordinator and we agreed that I’d be best placed in the heritage centre.
Last Sunday, I started my very first shift in the museum on Nelson Street, which was the home of Emmeline Pankhurst and her family, and was absolutely overwhelmed to be standing in the very room where the WSPU was formed in 1903. I also met some brilliant other volunteers and spoke to so many visitors on the day from all around the world.
It really was a privilege; so much so that I’ve decided to volunteer there long-term on my days off and will be writing a dedicated blog post soon to encourage others to do the same, along with the history of the centre, the charity and the wonderful things they do for our community. You can find out what they’re up to and how you can help here.
That’s all folks! How was your May?