Friday 3 April 2015

Sunshine, Ice and a Slice

Last weekend we hired a car and went on a road trip to Manchester to spend some time in Simon's homeland and enjoy one of his Christmas presents (more on that later!)

Even though I'm very fond of the North West I'm forever taking the pee out of the weather which really annoys Simon. Maybe it's just me but almost every time I'm in Manchester the weather is cold and wet. 

This weekend we were blessed with the most gorgeous Spring weather so I was happy to eat my words and let Simon take me on a spontaneous adventure to Pennington Flash Park.

Simon isn't always the most enthusiastic about getting out and about in the sunshine or instigating day trips so I couldn't help but check his pockets for a jewellery box.  I got a bit giddy when he took my hand and pulled me off the path to a quiet patch of grass - Ahhh was he about to propose?!  

Turns out he was just pulling me away from an oncoming cyclist!

No sparkly jewellery was discovered but we had a lovely morning strolling round the massive country park. My coat was left in the car and I loved walking about with my denim shirt to keep me warm. It feels so great to know the cold days will soon be behind us, wandering about without the restrictions of a coat made me feel so happy and free.

One of the greatest joys of going Sunday walking is checking out all the dogs we come across. Trying to decide what type of dog we may be able to get when we become house owners is something we love to discuss. 

The canal runs through the park so I enjoyed a good nose at the boat we walked past, I quite fancy the idea of living on a canal boat!

After all that walking, a slice of cake was needed and there was only one place I wanted to head - Bents, a huge garden centre that I'm literally obsessed with. Every garden centre we've visited since just disappoints me. It's all about Bents!  The food at Bents is a little expensive but worth every penny. The cake counter is always full with so much choice we tend to hold up the queue.

Simon chose a caramel slice which was way too big for one person but he just about managed to eat it all! I've never seen such thick caramel!

 I embraced my inner child and picked a butterfly bun.

Slightly off topic but how cute is my T-shirt? It came in this month's "My Little Box" and I loved it so much I put it straight on!

After an enjoyable day relaxing we were more than ready to dive into the evening's thrilling entertainment.

When Simon was living in Manchester he developed quite a love for ice-hockey and, despite not being able to find anyone to share his passion, he would quite often drive to the arena to watch a match on his own.

I thought it would be a great surprise to get him tickets for the Manchester Phoenix for Christmas so we went along to enjoy the penultimate game of the season.

I've never been to watch ice hockey but as a teen I really loved football and would head to Carrow Road at every available chance to watch Norwich City play.  I got pretty obsessed, supporting the Canaries passionately, until I took a part time job on a Saturday, could no longer go and so grew out of it.  These days football annoys me!

So I was quite intrigued to see how much I'd enjoy watching some live sport again and was excited for Simon to make a welcome return to something he used to love so much.

I will admit I was a little nervous heading into the ice rink, Simon had teased me with stories of having to quickly duck to avoid getting hit by flying pucks and I definitely didn't want to be hit in the head by one of those!

Seating was general admission which meant we got to sit wherever we liked.  It was really nice to have the freedom to sit where we fancied, and I like the fact you could switch seats half way through the game for a different view.

Nothing could have prepared me for how cold it was!   I was wearing three layers but my feet still turned into ice blocks.   Luckily there was plenty of (really reasonably) priced hot refreshments on sale including Hot Chocolate which I ordered with cream and marshmallows.

As the lights turned down and the players came on to the rink I was really excited to hear the opening beats of 2 Unlimited "No Limits" thumping out of the speakers.  I knew immediately I was in for a great night!

Ice hockey is played in three periods lasting 20 minutes each with a maximum of 12 players on the ice at any time, they frequently switch in and out.  The game was thrilling, really fast paced and the skill of the skaters was a complete joy to watch.   The only problem was my eyes being able to keep up with the action, I daren't blink in case I lost sight of the puck.

The atmosphere during the game was electric and reminded me of what I used to love about football.   The most passionate supporters had drums that they played throughout the game and everyone was chanting and singing their support.  It was very easy to get swept along with team pride.

The game finished with a 5 - 1 win for the Manchester Phoenix and it's safe to say that ice hockey has found itself a new fan.  I had such a fantastic time and it's so lovely to find something else that Simon and I can share together.   I'm just gutted there isn't an ice hockey team in Newcastle.

I had a great weekend of sunny adventures and new experiences - definitely my favourite kind of weekend!


  1. I'm a huge ice hockey fan - it's where I met O! He's a massive Manc Phoenix fan! We watch a team in the league above this called the Braehead Clan. There used to be a Newcastle team up until about 3 years ago! Was so sad when they left!

    PS the cake looks awesome!!

    Lou x

  2. What a wonderfully romantic weekend! I'm still daydreaming of getting a dog too! Oh and did you know that there's an ice hockey team in Whitley Bay? Perhaps you could support them?
    Rach x

  3. Looks like you had a wonderful weekend away - and perfect weather too. What Rachel said re: Whitley Warriors - they have quite a following!

  4. What a lovely day, I love casting off the shackles of winter wear but that it's still cold enough to be ordering hot chocolate!
    Lots of love,

    SilverSpoon London

  5. It sounds like you had a lovely weekend! There isn't much better than exploring somewhere new (especially if the sun is shining!) and good food.


  6. Sounds like a lovely day out, ice hockey is always good fun Lucy x


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