Giants of Rock | Minehead

Giants of Rock – sounds great already, right? – is an annual adults-only rock festival hosted by the one and only Butlins. I promise, this is not a joke post. Butlins really does host a rock weekend.

You think of Butlins and, like me, you probably think of the seaside, family holidays, cheesy music and a place as far away as humanly possible from several thousand rockers. You’d be right, because Butlins is an awesome place for a family holiday, but did you know they also regularly hold live music weekends just for us grown-ups? And they’re incredible.

At the end of January, Matthew and I, alongside Mark and Kat – also known as Matt’s brother & brother’s girlfriend, good friends, best man & maid of honour, which ever tickles your fancy – jumped into the car for a 5 hour car-ride down to Minehead. We booked this weekend away so long ago, on a bit of a whim really, after visiting Matt’s mum and her foster children during on of their family holidays at Butlins. All four of us are child-free and loving it, so whilst Butlins (and the prospects of music, drinks and swimming) is forever enticing, the idea of spending a long weekend around many, many children is not. All they had to do was throw in “adults-only” and “rock music” and we were sold.

The music was, obviously, the highlight of the entire weekend. Surprisingly, though, the surrounding area came a very, very close second and that’s what I want to share with you today.

Minehead Butlins Beach Sunset

The Butlins resort we stayed in was in Minehead – almost 300 miles from our home city. It’s down in Somerset (which is also kind of near Wales), so even the car ride was a thing of beauty. I’m a bit dramatic when it comes to nature, I guess you’d say. I can’t quite control my excitement with how overwhelmingly and sincerely beautiful I find everything. It still baffles me how people can pass rolling hills and not look at them in awe, but that’s a story for another day. So, when we rocked up at the resort and head down to the nearby beach, I was blown away.

The beach seemed to start right at the base of a huge cliff, before winding all the way over mounds of huge rocks, around the bright green fields of a nearby golf course and into rolling hills in the distance. It went on forever.

Minehead Butlins Beach SunsetMinehead Butlins Beach Sunset

We went for two walks on the beach. One walk was full of fog and an orange sun that made the whole place look warm (even though it wasn’t). Even in the fog, it was incredible. During the second walk, we caught the sunset before almost being caught in the high tide. You bet we practically ran back to safety.  I could have walked up and down that beach for days… but only minutes away was the Butlins resort calling us back with an itinerary full of rock music and how could we turn that down?

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Have you ever been to Minehead or Somerset? I wish we could have explored a little more but, this time, we paid for the music and not for the nature!

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Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

Currently, I Am… | #10

Hi, friends! Ah, I’ve missed you. It’s been almost a whole month since I’ve shown my face on my lovely little blog, but it’s definitely been well deserved. The first few weeks of 2017 were filled with coursework and university deadlines, so The Rose Quartz had to take a bit of a backseat. Don’t worry though, I thought about you every day!

After that, I had a few days of beautiful nothingness and relaxation with Matthew, before me, him, his brother and his girlfriend went off for a 4-day bender to Butlins for the Giants of Rock festival. That, I tell you, was flipping fantastic and I’ll be talking a lot more about that the next time I’m around! We saw some incredible bands and some really impressive musicians – it was mind blowing, really. As well as enjoying lots of music, the nearby beach was just beautiful. We spent a lot of time walking around and taking pictures – you know what I’m like.

Butlins Minehead

My “Currently, I Am” series is always a great post for when I return from a pretty long break. I haven’t posted one of these since November, just after Trump managed to find his way into an incredible, ridiculous position of power. Coincidentally, this one comes just after his inauguration and the reinforcement that his new found power is taking America down a horribly familiar, slippery slope.

Anyway, let’s not talk politics. Let’s have a bit of a catch up!

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Currently, I am feeling

…oh, well, a lot of different feelings actually. I’m gunna quickly take you through them, otherwise this could go on for a very long time. I’m feeling excited and nervous about my wedding day – I get married in November and there’s a lot of exciting plans to be made! I’m feeling anxious, unprepared and lost with regards to my future career prospects – I’m graduating in the summer, with no passion for my degree or field of work in any way. I’m feeling tired, because sleep is alluding me – that’s probably because of all these FEELS.

Dan Feels Gif

Currently, I am watching

…Daredevil S2. We recently finished Jessica Jones too, which was unbelievable. Kilgrave is one of my all time favourite villains! He’s easily Marvel’s best on-screen baddie. His ability to manipulate people, simply by talking to them, is a really clever way of avoiding “not-another-fight-scene”. Daredevil is also picking up. The first season started off incredibly dull, picking up towards the end. The second season started a little slow too actually, but it quickly sorted itself out and now me and Matthew are both really enjoying it.

Since my last catch up post, Westworld finished too. That was one of the best bits of television I’ve ever seen. Highly, highly recommend.

Currently, I am reading

…The Great Gatsby. Can you believe I’ve never read it? I also recently read Tim Burton’s The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories which was a super interesting and super quick read. It’s worth it though. The title story was one of the longer short stories/poems in the collection and it actually made me feel pretty sad. Poor, Oyster Boy.

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How have you been? What have you been up to recently?

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You can read my previous post here.

Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

A Night at Napoleons Casino

I went to a casino for the first time yesterday! Just down the road from me, smack bang in the centre of Hull, is a wonderfully fancy looking building, home to Napoleons Casino. Alongside a handful of other lovely Hull bloggers, I was invited to try out the casino and restaurant. Of course, I head out in my fanciest dress – super excited for the new experience and super nervous to meet some new bloggers! Everyone was incredibly kind, so not only did I get to try out something new but I also was able to meet some lovely, local bloggers.

Here’s something you may not have considered, ever… If you put a group of bloggers around a table, in a stunning restaurant and in front of some fantastic food, what do you get? “This lighting is terrible for photos”, “There’s a shadow”, “What app do you use to edit your Instagram photos!?” plus a whole load of selfies, angles and tweets. When there’s only one of you (generally that’s me on my billy bob!) you don’t realise.

A Night at Napoleons Casino in Hull

Anyway, on arrival, we were escorted to the bar for a drink, before being seated at our table. Thankfully, the table was tucked away in the corner so we could all snap away without bothering anybody else – and trust me, there was a lot of snapping away because this place is gorgeous.

The highlight, for me, was the food. I quickly decided that I’ll be going back but living so close is just an extra bonus! Being a vegetarian is a bit awkward sometimes, especially if you’re visiting a new place, but Napoleons had some fantastic options for me to try. To start, I had strips of melon with a blackcurrant sorbet and pomegranate. My favourite course was the main – a mushroom and ale pie, wow. It was so rich and delicious that I instantly tried to find a similar recipe on Google. I need to make this myself! For dessert, I had my all-time favourite pudding which is pavlova topped with fresh fruit. How beautiful does that sound? It was one of the most incredible meals that I’ve had in a very long time.

A Night at Napoleons Casino in HullA Night at Napoleons Casino in HullA Night at Napoleons Casino in Hull

With very full bellies, we were then escorted to the casino floor for a crash course in Blackjack, Three Card Poker and Roulette from the wonderfully helpful Ash. He thoroughly talked us through each of the games, with a few cheeky practice games, before letting us loose into the real world. I felt like a little girl with pocket money. I didn’t know where to spend my £5 chip! Roulette was the best option for us all, we thought, and we head straight there. It turns out I’m pretty lucky – I won £17.50 on my first spin!

Me and Matthew have already decided that we’ll be going on Monday to try out this package for ourselves. Yes, it was so good that I’m going to go again within the space of a week.

A huge thank you to the staff at Napoleons Casino for having us! 

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Have you ever been to a casino?

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You can read my previous post here.

-Morgan

Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

July

So, it’s August. How did that happen? Am I getting old? The weeks and months seem to be passing by super quickly recently.

Soon, summer will be long gone. That sounds a little pessimistic but, even though we’ve only had a handful of summer-worthy days, once we hit the end of August, autumn is well and truly on its way. I don’t mind. I’m looking forward to my autumn just as much as I’m enjoying my summer. Obviously, I’m completely not grouping my absolute nightmare (for my mental health, that is) of a job in with that sprout of happiness. I’ve only got to deal with that until the end of September and then,we can try and pretend like it never existed!

July Monthly Catch Up

July was a busy month! It had some incredible moments and I celebrated some big days with Matt, including a couple of snippets that will become lifelong memories. It bloody dragged though. Yes, it’s all well and truly shocking that we’re already in the 8th month of the year, but July felt like a lifetime!

My blog continues to feel fantastic and I’m loving the online community recently. When I first started my blog, it definitely felt like more of a group of friends. It’s completely my fault, but I drifted away from them and I followed a path into pristine, white flat lays, statistics and stress. I’m now trying to squeeze myself back into the WordPress community, hoping that I’m not long forgotten! It’s been nice, so I’m looking forward to continuing that throughout the rest of August (and beyond, of course).

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So, what did I get up to in July? (If you missed last month’s monthly catch-up, you can find it here):

PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENTS AND MEMORABLE MOMENTS:

  • I went to a beautiful hotel in Scarborough with my mum called Ox Pasture Hall Hotel. I reviewed it on my blog, and it’s probably one of my favourite posts.
  • Matt graduated! It was such a good day. After all the formal celebrations, we went to the pub with his brother and brother’s girlfriend. We had a cracking night!
  • It was also Matt’s 22nd birthday in July. We had a beautiful day at the beach.
  • I popped into Hull’s Folk Festival on Hull Marina. Me and Matt had an ice-cream, basked in the very hot sun and listened to the folk music.
  • I had one of the best days of my life. Me and Matt went to Sewerby Hall (which was lovely) and then we walked down to the cliffs – we found a little spot under some white cliffs, overlooking the crystal clear sea… it was incredible.
  • I went to a vegetarian restaurant called Hitchcocks.
  • I spent the day at North Landing with Matt, my mum and my dad. So pretty!
North Landing Flamborough Photography

My parents on the beach at North Landing.

ENTERTAINMENT:

  • In July, Pokémon Go was released. That was a wild ride. I went completely mental for it at the start… I felt hugely nostalgic and I really enjoyed the catching element of it. Eventually, a couple of days ago, I kind of got over it. Until the game introduces trading and local battles (like you’d presume a Pokémon game would include), I doubt I’ll be taking it seriously again.
  • Me and Matt re-watched series 9 of Supernatural in our full re-watch of the show. We’re currently on series 10 now, and recently watched the epic 200th episode show. If you’re a fan, I’m sure you know the one I’m talking about.
  • I got sucked into the drama of Marina Joyce.
  • With hopes of getting fit, I’ve started using Xbox Fitness. Using the Kinect, it follows my movements and tells me where I’m going right and where I’m going wrong. I even get achievements so that’s a massive incentive, too.
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was released! Yey. I have my copy. I’ll be reading that tonight and tomorrow.

BLOG:

I’m very happy with a lot of the posts from July. Some I look back on and think “meh”, but c’est la vie.

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How was July for you? What was your highlight?

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You can read my previous post here.

-Morgan

Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

My Day in Photos | North Landing

I used to go to North Landing quite a lot when I was a kid, or that’s how I remember it anyway. Maybe I only went once and my childhood memories are kidding me, maybe I really did go all the time – either way, it’s a lovely place and I was proper chuffed that me, Matt, my mum and my dad ended up there this afternoon.

North Landing is a rocky, pebbly, sandy beach in Flamborough (near Bridlington) with lots of caves to explore when the tides out. Today, the tide was pretty high (cue Blondie’s “The Tide is High” stuck in your head all day) so we didn’t get to explore the caves at all. No worries though, because the views were gorgeous. I absolutely love the cliffs at North Landing – I’ve never seen anything like it. They’re uniquely shaped and bright white, so you can’t really beat that.

North Landing Flamborough PhotographyNorth Landing Flamborough PhotographyNorth Landing Flamborough PhotographyNorth Landing Flamborough PhotographyNorth Landing Flamborough Photography

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We started the day with a BBQ on the cliff top before heading down a very, very steep cliff edge to the rocky beach below. There was so much going on today. We saw jet-skis, groups of people exploring the caves at high tide, and even a group of teenagers throwing themselves off of cliffs. My mum couldn’t look and – rightly so – she said her kids would be absolutely grounded if she found out they were throwing themselves into the sea. The smaller cliff they were jumping from was about 25ft which was pretty daunting on its own, until we saw a group of them start jumping from the mega cliff at the other side of the bay… I’d say it was easily double the height of the smaller one. Someone even back-flipped off of it. If they were my kids, I’d be freaking out big time. It was insanely dangerous. You could even see the jagged rocks just beneath the surface of those crashing waves. That’s a giant fat nope from me.

😂North Landing Flamborough Photography

After exploring the cliffs and the rocky beaches, we climbed back up to the top and had an ice lolly over-looking the life guard training exercises below us.

North Landing Flamborough Photography

I slept all the way home and, as soon as I walked through my front door, I threw my coat and shoes off and went to bed. I was absolutely knackered. I woke up 3 hours later and, to be honest, it feels like it’s Sunday. That’s good though because at least tomorrow will actually feel like a bonus, extra weekend day!

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What did you do today?

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You can read my previous post here.

-Morgan

Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

10 Things I Hate About Summer

When summer arrives, so does the stereotypical British moaning. We’re great at that, you know? The weather seems to be a real conversation starter in the UK.

Being a bit of a typical Brit, I do (admittedly) moan about the weather quite often. When I’m cold I forever miss the sun and eagerly await it’s return, yet when the summer sun does arrive I realise how easily I burn and how much I despise being warm on an evening. It’s not just the weather though. Despite absolutely loving the summer as a whole, there are plenty of things that I just can’t stand about the warmer months.

Related: 10 Things I Love During Summer

10 Things I Hate About Summer

That damn wind…

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Melting ice-creams and ice-lollies | When you’re cooling down with a frozen treat, it’s such a pain when it starts to drip down your fingers… It’s gross and sticky, making the entire (what should be enjoyable) moment a bit crap.

Stickiness when you’re really warm | This is the worst. You know when you’re so hot you skin is just sticky to the touch? The heat makes you all sweaty and it’s an absolute nightmare when trying to get some sleep. I find it completely impossible to sleep without covers too, even in the summer, so I’m screwed.

Sunburn | If you’re one of those magical people that don’t burn, I envy you. I could be outside for 5 minutes and come home with a tinge of pink. Even if I lather myself in sun-cream, I always burn.

Wasps | Wasps are the most pointless creatures on the planet and I hate them. Unlike bees, which have a purpose and are pretty sweet, wasps are nasty buggers that live to cause pain. If I see a wasp, I leg it in the other direction (I wish I was kidding). They terrify me!

Too hot for a bath | I live for baths. They make me feel better when I’m sad, poorly or tired but they also amplify my happiness if I’m having a great day. Getting in a hot bath after a hot day though (especially when you’re sun burnt) is brutal. I’d much rather get a super quick shower which means I don’t get my bath-fix until the sun goes away.

Wind | I don’t wear my hair up outdoors because I’m self-conscious about my ears – weird I know – but this means that my hair is completely vulnerable to the wind and I hate it. Even the thought of the wind blowing my hair about makes my blood boil. I’m sure those of you with long hair can completely relate…

Crowds of people | I can’t deal with crowds, at all. They spook me so I avoid them as much as I can, and I’m pretty good at avoiding things. In the summer though, everywhere is busy. When the kids are on their school holidays, even the normally quiet gems that I frequent are full of other humans.

Being a bug magnet in bright clothes | I don’t tend to wear many bright clothes for some reason so when I do I always feel quite pretty. Then, the bugs turn up and ruin everything. Thanks, bugs.

Unexpected and unwanted storms | Nothing ruins a day out in the sun quite like an unexpected storm…

Feeling guilty when you want to stay indoors | I think this is definitely the worst thing about summer. Although me and Matt adore being out and about in nature, we also absolutely love spending time indoors – playing games, listening to music, baking, watching a film etc. If we’re set on having an ‘in day’, we close the curtains so the blue skies don’t judge us.

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What’s your least favourite thing about summer?

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You can read my previous post here.

-Morgan

Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

Putting Hull On The Map

I’m a Yorkshire girl. I was born in Hull nearly 22 years ago and I’m still here. I’m here by choice too! I finally moved out of my parent’s home almost 3 years ago when me and Matt decided to move in together. We had all sorts of plans, actually… We were primarily thinking about moving to Wales, yet we stayed in Hull because this is simply where we wanted to be.

Putting Hull On The Map

The Deep, Hull – I was lucky to catch that blue sky!

Hull used to have a terrible reputation – some of the criticism was fair, most of it was not. I think Hull is one of those places that you can really only truly love and enjoy when you live here. Passing through doesn’t give you enough time to explore, and there’s really plenty of places you can do that. You can walk through the historic old town, taking in lots of pre-Second World War original features, whilst being only a 10 minute walk from the beautiful fountain of Queens Gardens or The Deep (the world’s only submarium, a landmark centre for marine research and the voted ‘best family place to visit in Hull’). If you wanted to stray from the city centre, there are entire portions of the city renowned for their food and drink too.

Recently, Hull has began to make more of a name for itself. No, I’m not talking about Hull City, sorry! Hull won the title of UK City of Culture 2017, an award given every 4 years to a city that demonstrates the belief in the transformational power of culture. In 2017, the city will celebrate 365 days of cultural activities and, in the meantime, there’s a lot of city-wide preparation (we’re talking so many building sites!). I’m sure it’ll be worth it though.

As well as the City of Culture title, thousands of people recently participated in the world-famous artist Spencer Tunick’s “Sea of Hull” installation. Every participant stripped bare, painted every inch of their body blue and head into the streets of Hull completely starkers in the name of art. As you’d expect, it made the national news and it even trended on Twitter. The final photographs will be revealed when the Ferens Art Gallery re-opens in 2017.

If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, you may already know one of Hull’s residents! Young Ned Stark, who’s making fans freak out in Bran’s flashback scenes, is played by Hull-born actor Robert Aramayo. When I saw the news that Ned Stark was returning in series 6, I didn’t know whether to be more shocked that he’d return via flashbacks or that a kid I went to secondary school and college with was playing him! After moving to New York to study at the Juilliard School of Drama, known for its prestigious alumni, I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot more of him too.

I’m so happy that Hull is finally starting to be recognised by the rest of the country, even if that recognition did start because of a bunch of naked, blue Smurfs lying in the the middle of Hull’s city centre roads.

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Have you ever been to Hull? Have you even heard of Hull?

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You can read my previous post here.

-Morgan

Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills