Monday, 26 May 2014

Hollywood, Campervan Drive Across America

During our most recent World travels we drove across America, from Los Angeles to New York City.
Well, I say we drove, but it was actually Mr.R who did the bulk of the driving.
Well, I say the bulk of the driving, but apart from about an hour where I drove, and that wasn't 60 minutes consecutively it was a few minutes spread out over a couple of days, it was Mr.R who did all of the driving. Poor thing.

For our road trip from Los Angeles to New York we hired a vehicle. A campervan so that we could sleep when and where we wanted, and in theory save money by not having to stay in hotels.
However, we didn't sleep in the campervan as much as we could have. There were many reasons for this including not being able to find anywhere suitable, or more often than not we just wanted a proper bed and more importantly a bathroom with lots of hot water so we could get clean and relax after a day spent driving.
The campervan we hired was from an Australian company based in Inglewood in Los Angeles.
This company is a campervan rental business with a difference, all of their vehicles are old vans with interiors that have been converted into a campervan, and the exteriors are all hand painted by local artists.
As you can see from the photo below, the van we hired is not a typical campervan.
This was photographed when we stopped off at the tiny church at Centre of Continental America, near Lebanon, Kansas.

Where we went today. Centre of continental America.  #campervan #van #chapel  #igonly #instaonly #instagramonly

This campervan is definitely one of the more unusual vans we've ever driven.
What's the most unusual vehicle you've ever driven?

Boots, Derma Care, Hydrocortisone 1% Cream

Cold Sores
Boots, Derma Care, Hydrocortisone 1% Cream 

When I am extremely tired I sometimes get a cold sore.
Thankfully I don't get them anywhere near as often as I used to when I was younger. I'm not sure if I'm less tired, or my body is just used to less sleep.
Now I only get the occasional cold sore, but even one cold sore every now and then, is one too many.
Cold sores are horrible, they are painful, unsightly, and I always feel as though my whole body is suffering and not just my lip where the cold sore sits angrily throbbing.

Boots, Hydrocortisone 1% Cream

Anyway, over the years I have tried every cold sore treatment available, with varying degrees of success.
I've tried various cold sore soothing creams, as well as a few other things including ice-cubes, silver, and even Tiger Balm. Actually Tiger Balm works well, but it's inevitable that it gets in your mouth, and it tastes nasty.
I've never found any long-term relief with any of the creams specially formulated for cold sores. The cold sore creams don't really help clear the cold sores up any sooner than leaving them alone does.
However, I have found one treatment that works the best for me, and it does come in a cream formulation, it's Hydrocortisone cream.
Hydrocortisone cream is excellent for cold sores, or at least it works for me.
It's more traditionally meant for eczema and dermatitis.
I'm not telling you to dab it on your cold sores - I'm just saying it works well for me. It stops the throbbing pain pretty fast after the first application, and it seems to help heal the cold sore much quicker than if I leave it to heal naturally.

Boots, Hydrocortisone 1% Cream

In the past I've only managed to buy teeny-tiny tubes of Hydrocortisone cream, usually a couple of milligrammes, apart from one time I purchased a huge tube from a chemist in Italy somewhere, but recently Mr.R popped out to our local Boots and came back with a much larger 15g tube of Hydrocortisone 1% Cream. Excellent!
Not that I need anywhere near as much as 15g of Hydrocortisone Cream, being such a large tube it will definitely last for ages, but it is also useful for other things such as insect bites and spots.
No doubt it will be out-of-date long before the tube is empty. At least that's what I'm hoping because that would mean I haven't been plagued with too many painful cold sores.

Boots, Hydrocortisone 1% Cream

Do you suffer with cold sores?
What treatment do you find effective for you?

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Lurcher Love

Our lovely Lurcher, Barley, makes every day a good one.

Ears!  I wanna nibble 'em.  Luckily for him I am still full from my lunch.  He usually looks away when I try to take his photo, but this afternoon he moved towards me and looked deeply in to the lens. ☺️ #blog #blogger #blogging ©http://laurasdiatribe.blo

I felt like writing a proper blog post today, but because I only had about an hour of sleep last night, my brain is struggling to think coherently, so instead I thought I'd share one of my recent photos of our gorgeous rescue dog, Barley the Lurcher.
Usually when I take photos of him he sighs and either looks away, or moves right away from me. He's camera shy. But this time he came right up to me and looked intently into the lens. I think, as I was using the front facing camera on my phone, he was interested because he could see himself on the phone screen.
What a handsome boy he is.
Do you have a dog that brightens your day? Tell me about him/her. 

Tuesday, 20 May 2014


Many moons ago we went to India for the first time. It was 2002.
We returned to India on our most recent World travels, but the photos on this blog post are from our first trip.
India. Our first trip, 2002
Unfortunately I was very unwell during our first trip to India, and so, despite planning to stay for a good few months travelling around the country, we left much sooner than we'd intended.

India.  Our first trip, 2002

India.  Our first trip, 2002

It's because I was so ill, side effects of the anti-malaria drugs I was taking, that I hardly remember much about India from that time.
That's why, as I sat messing about online this afternoon, I started to flick through our old travel photos. When I found the India 2002 photos, it brought back a few memories, nice memories, that were not of me feeling crap. And so I thought I'd upload a few of the photos on a blog post.

India. Our first trip, 2002

India.  Our first trip, 2002

India.  Our first trip, 2002

As much as I've travelled, I always seem to remember things incorrectly.
I remember historical sites or places, bars, restaurants, train journeys, flights, bus journeys, food, and people etc. but I usually mix them up.
Thankfully Mr.R has a much better memory for recalling events accurately, but as he is currently enjoying an afternoon nap, and therefore can't help me, I shall just add the photos and not include exactly where they were taken. Having said that, with some of the photos it's obvious where they were taken - the Taj Mahal in Agra for example.

India.  Our first trip, 2002

India.  Our first trip, 2002

I'm not going to write in detail what I thought of India from our first trip, other than to say I liked it, the country, the people, and the food.
Having visited India again recently, I now have much more to say, but that's not for this blog post.

India.  Our first trip, 2002

India.  Our first trip, 2002
For our first trip to India we were mainly in the North of the country, having flown in to Delhi, and not being able to travel much further because I was so ill. I wouldn't mind but it wasn't as though I was ill with Delhi belly.
Oh well, it could have been much worse, as I've read, and been told by medical professionals, that the anti-malaria drugs I was taking had caused some people to commit suicide, such was there awful side effects.
Oh, but that's depressing, and not particularly relevant to this blog post, which was supposed to be a couple of lines of text and a few photos of India.
Typical me, I've rambled.......
So I think that's enough now. More than enough.

India.  Our first trip, 2002

India.  Our first trip, 2002

India.  Our first trip, 2002

Have you been to India?
Where did you go? What did you think of it?

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Serious Warning about Drinking Alcohol and Pregnancy

Drinking alcohol may completely change your life.

Funny sign we saw outside a pub in Blackpool. 

Actually I'm pretty sure it's sex that produces babies, but then again the most fertile couple I've ever known were serious drinkers, so maybe alcohol increases your fertility and can cause pregnancy. ;)

They, by whom I mean the medical profession, say that not smoking, or being overweight, as well as eating a healthy diet, and not drinking alcohol to excess is the best way to conceive a baby. 
I'm not sure that they are correct.
Of all the people I have known who were trying to conceive, it was always the healthy ones who had trouble, while the people who smoked, ate crap, and drank lots of alcohol were able to get pregnant easily.
I think a lot of the government guidelines are just guesswork, and implemented as yet another way to try and control us.
Ha! I only intended to post the photo of the pub blackboard along with a couple of sentences, but as usual I've rambled on, and wandered slightly off topic.
Oh well, I blame the government for making me feel the need to rebell. ;)

Disclaimer: Just to make it clear, I am not suggesting that anyone becomes an alcoholic in order to conceive. ;)

Has alcohol increased the size of your family? And I don't mean increasing waistlines from the calories of the booze. :d 
Or is that too personal a question? Hehe! 

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Stripping - Wallpaper

We've lived in our house for about a year now, but we still haven't done anything to the interior decor.
Most days we don't notice that the house doesn't look how we'd like it. We're usually too busy, doing what I'm not exactly sure, but messing about online is definitely one of the reasons why we don't see the horrible walls.
One of the main reasons the walls look so unsightly is that when we purchased the house it needed to be fully rewired, which left great big chases, from floor to ceiling, down almost every wall in the property.
Another reason the house isn't looking its best is the wallpaper; pink flowers and swirls are not something we like.

Stripping!  Wallpaper. Yuck!

Yesterday, as I sat playing about online, I glanced up and said to myself 'I can't stand to look at that wallpaper for a day longer', and with that I had the sudden urge to jump up and rip the wallpaper off of the living room walls. So that's exactly what I did. 
Well, sort of. What I actually did was tear off a small section of wallpaper, by small I mean not quite all of the wallpaper that was, and partly still is, covering the chimney breast.

Stripping!  Wallpaper. Yuck!

My sudden urge to rip off the wallpaper was mainly because I wanted to see how difficult it was going to be to strip, or hopefully how easy it was going to be to strip it off.
The wallpaper is as you can see from the photos, a very thick embossed paper.
The design of the wallpaper is not to our taste, in fact we don't like wallpaper at all, no matter what the design. It wouldn't make any difference if the wallpaper was seriously cool, abstract, one-of-a-kind, handpainted, or any other description you can think of - we just don't like wallpaper.
What we do like is beautifully painted white walls.
I know some people may find white walls, well, dull, but we like them because they are anything but dull, they are uplifting, fresh, and light. And white walls help make your bits and bobs stand out, not that we have any as we gave away everything we owned when we went off travelling, but that's a different story.
Thankfully I was able to strip the wallpaper quite easily, just using my thumb and finger nails. I didn't want to make the walls damp, or use a scraper, because sometimes I'm heavy handed and I didn't want to damage the walls.
I had help as I ripped the wallpaper off of the chimney breast, not from Mr.R who was busy cooking our lunch, but from our gorgeous dog Barley. Although Barley loves paper, he's more interested in eating it than stripping it off of the walls. So he wasn't really much help, but I thought it was nice that he wanted to be involved.

Stripping!  Wallpaper. Yuck!

Unfortunately, even before I began to tear the wallpaper off of the living room wall, I knew that having the beautiful plain white walls we would like was not going to happen. The walls are not in good condition, and I'm pretty certain that in most of the rooms it's only the wallpaper that's keeping the plaster on the walls.

Stripping!  Wallpaper. Yuck!

So, when I started to rip the wallpaper off of the chimney breast in the living room, I was quite pleased that it was only the top heavily embossed layer that came off. The thin layer underneath is still on the walls, and that's where I'm leaving it. It is as I said helping to keep the plaster on the walls.
We are in no mood to mess about re-plastering walls. Many many years ago when we lived in London we completely renovated our huge house, and neither of us particularly want to get our hands that dirty ever again. Ever.

Stripping!  Wallpaper. Yuck!

Now that I have, more or less, less actually, stripped the wallpaper from the chimney breast, I am left wondering what to cover it with.
I'd love to paint it white, but it would look rough. So, I'll have to think of something else.
Or more likely I shall just leave the wall as it is. It doesn't look that bad. Obviously I am joking - about it looking bad, not about leaving the wall as it is. I'm a happy procrastinator.
But I don't really notice it, well, only when I look up from using the internet. And that's how this mess started, so I definitely won't be making that mistake again in a hurry.

Stripping!  Wallpaper. Yuck!
What's your favourite wall covering? 
Wallpaper? Paint? Or something else?
I'd like to hear what you love for your interior design.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Siberia Rhubarb Saison, from Ilkley Brewery - Review

We recently stocked up on lots of bottles of craft beer, which we purchased from a lovely booze shop in Grantham, Lincolnshire.
One of the beers was Siberia Rhubarb Saison 5.9% from the Ilkley Brewery, in the Yorkshire spa town of Ilkley.

I'm not quite sure what to say about this beer, it's slightly confusing.
Judging from the label I'd say it's aimed at the American market.
Judging from the taste, I'd say I didn't get much rhubarb flavour. Maybe my taste buds were having an off day when I tasted this beer?
Mr.R enjoyed this ale, he said, it had interesting flavours, a good feel in the mouth, the rhubarb gave it a slightly tangy feel, and it had a yeasty undernote.
He also said it was expensive, for £3.40 for a 500ml bottle. I agree with that, it's pricey for what it is.
I didn't particularly like it, but then I'm contrary, if I tried it again I may love it.

Lunch.  #blog #blogger #blogging © #IlkleyBrewery #beer #ale #realale #rhubarbbeer #SiberiaRhubarbSaison

I hope you found this review of Siberia Rhubarb Saison 5.9% from Ilkley Brewery, incredibly insightful, and more importantly seriously helpful. Hahaha!
Oh dear, maybe I'd drank too many beers before writing this post.
What's your favourite beer?