You might have noticed that I had a bit of a break from blogging at the beginning of last week, that was because it was James’s birthday, so we took a couple of days off work to relax and to celebrate his birthday. We decided to head out for a trip on the day, and for his birthday last year I bought him gift vouchers for the North York Moors Railway to travel on a steam train from Pickering to Whitby and back. James loves trains and when I was younger I always visited the National Railway Museum in York ( I think this will be our next day trip!) to travel on the steam trains, but James hadn’t been on one so it seemed like the perfect present. Life got a bit hectic between last April and now though, so this was the first opportunity we had had to use the vouchers, so his birthday was a great excuse for a visit.
Choo-choo! Here is the steam train that took us from Pickering to Whitby, posing for a photo opportunity at Whitby station! Doesn’t it look impressive!
And a few more shots of it before it left Whitby. The journey was really nice, it lasted well over an hour and it was a really relaxing way to travel. I was hoping for a bit of pretty coastal scenery though…just lots of trees! We did pass the dining train on our journey though and that looks very luxurious! We may take a trip on that some time but it is pretty pricey!
Although the train journey only boasted a view of trees and moorland, the view as we came in to Whitby harbour was very pretty, and look at the blue sky! We got a lovely day for our visit!
Here is a shot of the harbour as we are taking a breather half way up the 199 steps to the churchyard and Abbey! More blue skies and good views!
And here is a shot looking the other way over the town. Whitby is such a pretty place! One of my favourite places to visit but it is a long way from where we now live!
And here is the church at the top of the steps! This is the churchyard famously haunted by Dracula in Bram Stoker’s novel.
And here is a shot of the Abbey. We didn’t pay to enter the Abbey grounds this time as we made a visit to it a while ago and we were short on time, but you still get an impressive view from the churchyard.
And back down the steps again! Here is the view from the other side of the harbour, you can see how high up the church is! Unfortunately you can’t quite see the Abbey from here though.
And after a busy day of shopping and eating fish and chips, here is a shot of the birthday boy on the train journey home! We were both exhausted and close to nodding off on the train! We had a lovely day though so it was all worth it.
And here is a quick summary of the presents that I got for James! The first one is this wonderful selection of teas from Whittards. James loves tea and likes all different varieties so this seemed perfect. These are all boxes of teabags but I did get him a little tea infuser that looked like a teapot, also from Whittards, because he likes to drink loose leaf too, and we didn’t have an infuser at home, he just had one at work.
As always, I went for a lot of handmade gifts, but none of them were made by me for a change! As a crafter, I love to support other crafters who run their own small businesses – particularly when they can provide a craft that I can’t do myself! So the rest of the presents that I bought were all from very talented individuals who made everything to order specially for James! The first item that I bought was this adorable custom drawing of me and James from Love Cynthia – it looks so much like us! I sent Cynthia some photos of us and told her a bit about us so that she could get an idea of what we were like. I think she did a perfect job of recreating us and this is how we spend most of our evenings! I’m busy crafting and James is playing video games of on his tablet. I think it’s really cute and James was thrilled with it, he could identify us as soon as he looked at it!
The second custom made item that I bough him were these hand painted Converse from Jennifer Design Custom. James has worn his last pair of Converse to death so I thought it was time he was due some more! However, being a crafter, I couldn’t possibly just buy him an ordinary pair! I scoured Etsy for some hand painted Doctor Who ones and I was spoilt for choice! But overall Jennifer Design Custom had the style that I was really looking for. The detail in the painting is amazing and it looks so realistic it could almost be a photograph! Her shoes were little more pricey than others that I looked at but I knew I was getting good quality artwork as well as a good quality product – these are genuine Converse and are finished with a waterproof coating so the design is completely wearable and won’t get destroyed on one outing, plus you can also wipe them down with a damp cloth if they get dirty. These were held up at customs for a little while so I was worried they might not make it on time but in the end they arrived with a week to spare!
Even the card that I chose was a custom one! James loves penguins and I was thrilled when I found this penguin silhouette card from Tillyanna on Not on the High Street! It was featured at Valentine’s as a Valentine’s card but it is blank inside so it made a great birthday card with out initials on it. I think James really appreciated the little extra touch of the personalised card.
So overall we had a wonderful day and even though I didn’t make any of James’s presents this year they were all personal and perfect for him. Happy birthday James! I better start planning next year now!