May - Bank Holiday

No we weren’t dreaming - actual sunshine on a bank holiday gave us plenty to get excited about as we planned out a long weekend of entertainment, socialising and relaxing in Jodie’s office - A.K.A The Garden Hammock

After what has felt like years of making and clearing up our own food, what better way to start the weekend than getting dressed up; heading to the pub and having a sharing platter of Chateaubriand with Beef chips and scrummy cocktails to help it all down! For the first time in many months it felt like the world was a little more normal.

Given the promise of cocktails, Matt was responsible for booking the taxi to and from The Old Post Office, where our dinner awaited. Jodie started getting a little nervous when she got home from work and was told that the taxi had not yet been organised. “I’ll order an Uber” said Matt much to Jodie’s protests, including but not limited to “I’ve never been in an Uber”, “are Uber’s safe?” and “what is an Uber?”. Unfortunately Matt forgot that Barnsley is a small town where Uber’s do not exist, unlike Leeds where calling a taxi firm is considered retro! After a frantic few minutes a taxi was located and date night was back on track, it did not disappoint!

Seemingly this was a weekend of indulging ourselves - with a trip to Harewood House on Saturday for the Great British Food Festival we got ourselves ready and met up with friends Ste and Amy. Straight away we were greeted by the artisan market full of sweet treats, cheese and bread with a long list of stalls to return to a little later once we’d hit up the hot food stalls for a spot of lunch.

After a good amount of umming and ahing we both settled on the Lebanese loaded fries which were covered in paprika, marinated chicken, tomato and yogurt - with portion sizes that never seemed to go down, whilst Ste and Amy went traditional with a steak sandwich. Alongside all the food there was live music, food demonstrations and merchandise stalls - garlic plate and peeler, anyone? After dragging impressionable Jodie away from most of the sales people we headed to bag some swag for tea once we got home. The breads and cheeses were gorgeous as were the fudges. The Red Onion Relish from Reet Yorkshire Food was delicious, the only disappointment being the brownies which were ok but unfortunately probably not worth the price tag. One thing we did both leave with though was bright red, tingling skin due to the weatherman promising a warm yet cloudy day but delivering a scorching hot, cloudless one instead. Not that we are complaining but we were underprepared on the suncream front and so too was Harewood House as there was a real lack of drinks to purchase - unless you were into Moonshine or Gin, of which neither is well known for it’s hydrating properties! All in all a fantastic day despite the stinging shoulders in the shower.


A Quieter day was planned after a busy Saturday. With the sun back out we took our beautiful pooch Taco for a stroll through Locke Park before settling back down in the garden for a lazy afternoon on the hammock. After a nap or two under the Green Gage Tree in the garden, the day was finished with a quick yet refreshing bike ride. Jodie runs a dog walking service called [Pawsome Pets] and we decided to use the opportunity to cool down and see how her empire was taking shape (more on that another time!)


What was this… sunshine again?! On a Bank Holiday Monday too no less! With afternoon plans to meet up with Jodie’s brother and partner we woke up and had a drive over to Pot House Hamlet so Taco could stretch his legs - and stretch his legs is just what he did! He had the biggest smile all the way around, exploring the woodland, fields and little paths before we made our way back for a quick scoot around the garden centre. A bounty of fresh herbs were purchased from Pineapple Sage (never heard of it!) to Lemon Balm and has led to us googling how to use such herbs and Jodie researching pestles and mortars to go alongside the garlic plate!

In the afternoon we headed to the pub to meet up with Ryan and Christine for late lunch, drinks and a catch up. We laughed all afternoon and it was just the tonic. Why is it that sunshine and a day off feels like the ultimate luxury?


With both of us back at work we decided to make the most of the day before the kids came back home with an evening trip to York for a spot of shopping at York Designer Outlet before heading in to the city. The first shop that Matt found was the Haribo shop and after finally deciding on what treats to give to the kids when they returned and which ones Matt was going to squirrel away into his personal stash, Matt dropped Jodie off to audition for Supermarket Sweep in Dr Martens. A quick drive into the city and a wander around the walls was essential before we headed to Ceasar’s Restaurant for some amazing Italian food. After having both the starter and main we skipped out on dessert - even if it was tiramisu, a dessert that Jodie discovered for the first time 3 weeks ago and has obssessed about ever since!

That night it was agreed that we had both had an amazing weekend together full of smiles and sunshine; family, friends and food. Happy times!

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