Been sailing, part 3…

We spent two and a half days in Cowes and I was very sad to leave it. However leave we must. So my Husband took me back to Gosport and dropped me off at the marina so I could get the train from Portsmouth harbour, so it was back on the Gosport ferry for my last trip, and on to a train home.

But before that I want to share some more pics.


Me wearing another of my tops and using my bag. This was in the shower block at East Cowes.


Coiled ropes!


Watching my Husband on Kooshty motoring up the harbour as he sets off for home. He’ll take 3 days as he’ll not do it in one go.


I love this picture. I was sitting on the Gosport ferry and thats our boat in the centre of the picture as he sails away!

And thats the end.

I enjoyed our little holiday very much and look forward to hopefully getting more confident and maybe going further.

I hope you don’t mind that the last 3 posts haven’t been about sewing, but this is my other passion.

Been sailing, part 2…

I last went to the Isle of Wight about 15 years ago and hated it! Have never felt the desire to go back. Oh wait tell a lie, have been to East Cowes twice on a boat but only saw a small bit of the town and still wasn’t very impressed. So the feeling that I wanted to go to the Isle of Wight took me by surprise. I think it had more to do with wanting to sail again and Cowes being the nearest to us. Anyway I was excited and anxious to go there.

Once we’d arrived, and I’d like to say what a good job my Husband does of getting the boat out of and into its berth on his own. I am still no use on the boat, I’m just company and the coffee maker. So hats off to him! So back to the story, once we’d arrived and freshened up we took a walk into the town of East Cowes, and found a very lovely esplanade, with fantastic views over the Solent and looking over to the main land and also of Cowes. We had a walk along the esplanade and watched the coming and going of all the nautical activity.

The next day we took the chain link ferry or the floating bridge over to Cowes. I loved this! I have a very weird love of these ferries that take people on a very short journey (in order to avoid what would otherwise be a very long car journey) to the other side of a river. And I get so freaking happy, I think my Husband worries about me a bit…

Here’s some pics of this wonderful thing. Its full of these interesting little art works that I loved.





They’ve put a lot of effort into making it fun and quirk for the time it takes to get from one side to the other is probably less than a minute. However it takes cars as well as foot passengers and you probably wait longer to set off than it takes to cross, so these quirky little art works give you something to look at, if you don’t want to look at whats going on outside on the water. Seriously though I can’t tell you how much I loved this!

Once in Cowes I discovered a town full of charm and wonder. Cowes also has a fantastic esplanade which we spent two days walking up and down, with a lot of sitting and enjoying the views.


Above is a wonderful place where we had a gorgeous lunch one day. The old shop front is just beautiful.


Love the sign.



The sea does like to try and get on land here. It was pretty much hight tide when we arrived and this is how it goes.


I love the colour of the rust.


I think this is called Egypt point, which is a nautical navigation mark, I believe.


We found a pub with an even better view than the “Still and West” in Old Portsmouth. This was in Gurnard which is just along the esplanade from Cowes. We sat here for about an hour and a half just watching the sea and the boats and the clouds, it was really so peaceful. Didn’t want to leave…


Been sailing again, part one…

Husband and I had two weeks off back in September and so we trundled off to the Solent again. He went first taking our boat to Gosport and I hopped on the train the next day and met him there. I can’t tell you how much I love going to the Solent and the areas around there. I love love love Portsmouth and I love how getting from Gosport to Portsmouth is a little ferry ride away via the Gosport ferry. I love that if you live in Gosport and you have no interest in boats (but why wouldn’t you?) your day to day life still depends on getting on a boat to get you quickly from one side of the harbour to the other. Its the same in Cowes on the Isle of Wight, but more about that later.

Here I am in Gunwharf quays. It was really hot when I arrived and stayed like that for a couple of days which was nice.




I do love a sunset picture with boats. Taken from the “Still and West” pub.


On the pontoon at the marina. This dress came into its own in the hot weather. I can’t tell you how much I love it. And the bag is proving to be pretty damn useful too.


Lovely night time view of the Spinnaker tower form our boat.

We spent about 4 days in Gosport/Portsmouth and then we moved onto Cowes. Now this is the bit that is a major achievement for me. Although I have sailed a couple of times now at Eastbourne, sailing on unfamiliar waters is a different story. It was only a 2 hour journey from Gosport to Cowes but I was still quite anxious. There is just so much traffic out on the solent. There are boats everywhere! Big ones, little ones, fast ones, slow ones. EVERYWHERE! You have to keep your eye on the ball at all times. You can be sailing along quite happily and if you’re not paying attention you look around and there’s a bloody great container ship coming up behind you. However we do keep an eye out so we saw the bloody great container ship when it was still a way off, but boy do they gain on you fast.


I sort of relaxed into it after a while and started to take some pictures.




I think taking pictures helps take my mind off it all, so I do tend to take a lot…


I Love this one above.

And below is our little boat in her berth at East Cowes marina.


She’s usually pretty much one of the smallest boats in the marina, but we love her.


Can you spot her in the above picture?

Just realised I have many many more pics I want to share so will break this up into two or more posts.


Barcelona baby!

I do apologise, I haven’t done much sewing lately. One reason is that I’ve not long come back from a ten day trip to Barcelona. Now ten days might sound like a long time to stay in a city that is often a destination for hen and stag weekends but the hubby and I like to immerse ourselves in a place. Last year we had ten days in Florence. Florence is much smaller than Barcelona and we just about managed that. And I knew I’d cope better in Barcelona as its on the coast. I just can’t be far from the sea anymore, I get a bit weird if I am!

We had a fabulous time and totally immersed ourselves, eating where the Spanish ate drinking where the Spanish drank  and walking where the Spanish walked. Could really tell the difference when we wandered into the more touristy areas. Which on occasion we had to do.

We rented an apartment this time, and what a fabulous idea. So much better having the freedom to come and go as you please, stock the fridge with whatever you want, but best of all not having to get up really early in order to make it to breakfast before ten o’clock. As my husband has discovered after 24 years together, I like a slow start to my mornings. I have to get up very early when I’m working so on days off I like to take my time. I digress, what I was meaning to say before going off on a tangent was that the apartment was in a very busy side street with lots of locals living around us and going about their day to day activities. which means quite a lot of late night noise too. But it was great as we really felt like we got to see some Spanish life.

As this is a sewing blog I will tie some sewing in to this story. I have now made ten lovely short sleeved tops and I was very happy and proud to take all of them with me. Made packing so much easier as I knew what I was taking. I also took four dresses and a couple of jersey tunics for the traveling. I am a notorious overpacker, can’t help it.

Here are my tops and dresses in the wardrobe in Barcelona :0)

Here are my tops and dresses in the wardrobe in Barcelona :0)

I pretty much wore everything, as I changed on two or three evenings before going out.

We did an awful lot of walking, which is really the only way to see a city. On one of our walks we explored the Gothic quarter and we found some quite interesting shops.

This figure was outside this shop.

This figure was outside this shop. Its just a little bit creepy!

I loved these figures. Interesting shop with lots of unusual jewellery. some of which I think was made on site. Wanted to go back and have another look, but couldn't find it again.

I loved these figures. Interesting shop with lots of unusual jewellery. some of which I think was made on site. Wanted to go back and have another look, but couldn’t find it again.

Loved this dress. Vintage shop, same street as the above shop. This area was a bit like the lanes in Brighton, which can be  like a maze if you're not familiar with the area. Hence not being able to find the street again...

Loved this dress. Vintage shop, same street as the previous  shop. This area was a bit like the lanes in Brighton, which can be like a maze if you’re not familiar with the area. Hence not being able to find the street again…

Another gorgeous shop window. Jessica Rabbit springs to mind with that red sequinned dress.

Another gorgeous shop window. Jessica Rabbit springs to mind with that red sequinned dress.

Have to be honest here, neither my Husband or I were particularly keen on the Gaudi stuff, the unfinished temple, Segrada Familia is if you ask me a complete eyesore! It is truly grotesque. Sorry Barcelona, I think your favourite son actually went a bit bonkers when he came up with the idea and plans for that place. The only place of his we did like was this one Casa Mila, otherwise known as La Pedrera ( the stone quarry).

Visited it on our second to last day, as thought we ought to some thing of Gaudi's.

Visited on our second to last day, as thought we ought to see something of Gaudi’s.

We also rode Funiculars and Gondolas/Teleferic, or cable cars if you will.

Me in a cable car coming down from Montjuic.

Me in a cable car coming down from Montjuic. Fabulous views over the city.

Opposite our apartment was a tapas bar, not just any old tapas bar we were to discover but the TAPAS bar to end all tapas bars! When we first turned up at the apartment and I looked out from the balcony I saw this

And thought, well that looks interesting...

And thought, well that looks interesting…

That evening when we came back from our first trip out, the place was buzzing with voices and the sounds of cutlery on plates,  bottles being opened and laughter. There were people milling about on the street outside and someone doing a piece to a camera about it. Boy was I intrigued. What was all the fuss? The next evening we were back at the apartment by about 6pm and we had a little rest before going out again, and I was sitting in my favourite place, the little balcony, and from about 6:30pm I watched as a queue formed outside, and by the time they opened at 7pm the area outside the tapas bar was full of people. So my curiosity could take it no more and I asked my husband to google it and we discovered that its a place you HAVE to visit if you are even remotely interested in food. Its called    “Quimet & Quimet”. Click on the link to read more about it. The place is tiny though and fills up quickly, it looked a little intimidating and we put off going there till the fourth day, when we managed to get in on the lunch time session. And O.M.G was it worth it or what. I’ve not really experienced proper tapas before and well this has ruined me. It was exquisite, I’m not what you would call a foodie as such, but I do appreciate when flavours and foods work together. It was a truly fabulous experience. We spoke to an American couple for whom this wasn’t their first time and they said it was legendary and they come every time they visit Barcelona. I still can’t believe how lucky it was that we were staying opposite this place, I don’t think we would have known about it otherwise, its not exactly on  a main street.

We had three plates of tapas each and then we had three puddings, one each and one to share. This was probably the most expensive meal we had out there but so worth every penny.

Me enjoying the ambience inside Quimet & Quimet.

Me enjoying the ambience inside Quimet & Quimet.

This was after they closed the doors at about 4pm, if you’re already inside you can carry on eating and drinking but they let no more in. I promise you when we arrived it was packed and we had to wriggle our way in.

The festival of the saints or La Merce festival started while we were there and so we went to watch some of the opening ceremony. And found this little fella on our walk

Wouldn't fancy the food bill for him!

Wouldn’t fancy the food bill for him!

Part of the ceremony are these giants. Very impressive.

Part of the opening ceremony are these giants. Very impressive.

The evening ended with a fabulous firework display on Barceloneta beach. I don’t have any pics of the fireworks, I’d rather watch and enjoy than try and get photos.

Barceloneta beach at dusk.

Barceloneta beach at dusk.

On our last day we took another cable car ride that comes down from Montjuic and takes you to Barceloneta beach. View from the cable car over one of the harbours.






Some of the yummiest Sangria I've ever had!

Some of the yummiest Sangria I’ve ever had!

You can’t go to Spain and not have sangria, that would just be rude!

I had to get myself a souvenir, and found this beautiful handmade leather bag. Made in Barcelona, you could see the workshop at the back of the shop.


And so that concludes my holiday to Barcelona. I would totally recommend a visit, but take comfortable footwear as you will do a lot of walking.









Sun, sea, sailing, not much sewing…

I didn’t do much sewing in July, for a couple of reasons. I had some time away with my husband and I started exercising again. Its taken me a little while to get back in the swing of exercising and being able to sew on the same day, but I’m getting there.

However this post is about my little holiday with my Husband. I’ve lived by the sea all my life but its really only the last 10 or 15 years that I’ve truly learned to love it. I can’t be away from it for long, I get a bit antsy if I am. Last year we had 10 days in Florence, and whilst I loved it I couldn’t help but feel something was missing. I can just about see the sea from my house if I kneel on the back of my sofa and look out the side window. And I can see it whenever I leave my house, so long as there’s no mist/fog. I find it reassuring just knowing its there. So when I have a holiday I generally like it to be near the sea. Now don’t mistake this for beach loving, I’m not particularly fussed about lying on a beach and trying to tan ( I don’t). I do love walking along the beach and will love a paddle if its warm enough, but I also love a good stomp along the beach when its blowing and the seas rough. All in all I just love looking at it. Love it love it love it!

If you’ve been reading this blog from the beginning you’ll know we have a boat. Nothing fancy, but still its a boat.

Kooshty, our little boat.

Kooshty, our little boat.

Her name is Kooshty, which does not in any way resemble my sailing experiences! I tried it for a good 4 years before I chucked in the towel. I’d had one too many bad weather experiences and plenty of wind in the wrong direction (its just no damned good when its coming from the direction in which you wish to go, which is what it usually does). And I finally had to admit to myself that I didn’t enjoy it. The Husband was disappointed but understood.

I still love the boat and have no problem whatsoever sitting on her in a nice comfy marina. Marina life can still get lumpy (thats a sailing term for rough) and we had at least one night of strong winds howling through the rigging and the boat rolling around in its berth, so much so that we might as well have been at sea! However when my husband takes her away I still like to go and join him if I can.

In July he made his way down to the Solent and moored Kooshty in Gosport Premier marina. Its quite a nice train ride for me to Portsmouth harbour station and then a short ferry ride across the harbour entrance to Gosport. Takes about 3 hours (train journey not ferry) and I am reunited with my sailor hubby and our boat. I love the marina at Gosport, it has fabulous views and lovely little cafe/bistro which also has gorgeous views from its terrace.

Doesn't get much better than this!

Doesn’t get much better than this!

Or this. Great view of the Spinnaker tower.

Or this. Great view of the Spinnaker tower.

My husband and I spend most of the time over the other side though in Portsmouth and particularly Old Portsmouth. Just love standing on the beach there and watching the coming and going of the big ferries and little yachts.

Big ferries like this Brittany ferry.

Big ferries like this Brittany ferry.

And taking pictures of dramatic sunset skies.

Like this.

Like this.

And green rocks.



I won’t lie, there also happens to be a pub, the Still & West, with the best view in the world (Ok slight exaggeration ), and we do like to sit by a window and drink beer and watch the coming and going of the water vessels from there too.


Picture taken from Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth looking over to Spice Island in Old Portsmouth. You can just about see the Still & West on the right next to the ferry. when the big boats are coming out of the harbour they can sometimes look like they are heading straight for the pub. Fun!

sometimes the sky looks very dramatic, and I took an awful lot of pictures of it this time. Here’s just a few…


Look at those gorgeous clouds, and a Brittany ferry coming out of port.



Love it. I took loads more pictures of the clouds but they are all very similar, so I won’t bore you with them all!

Now for some of the sea views.

The colour is so vibrant.

The colour is so vibrant.

Had to take a pic of this crazy lady standing in the middle of pier type platform. The sea was quite rough this day, lucky she wasn't washed away!

Had to take a pic of this crazy lady standing in the middle of pier type platform. The sea was quite rough this day, lucky she wasn’t washed away!

I love this pic. Something about the bicycle and the lamp post.

I love this pic. Something about the bicycle and the lamp post.

Well I think thats about it for now. I spent 5 days with the boat and husband and loved it.