Life On The Right Track

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I am really excited about today’s Stroll on Sunday, because it was so good, but I am finding it difficult to find the right words to describe and tell you guys about it within the space of just one post. I will have to try. This is a journey you shouldn’t miss.

We basically did a day of traveling around, from the car to a train station, to getting on a steam train, to getting off to eat, then back on again, to then get back in a car to go home. I sure am tired after all of that. Tired in a good way though. I say that, as it was just a day filled with having a laugh, and exploring the train world. I have been on trains about three times in my life, but I can’t really remember those other two journeys I have taken, although I know one was in Austria. However, I think I am likely to remember this one for a long time, and definitely for the right reasons.

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The photos above are the before shots which I took whilst waiting for the train to come into the station. Just standing there was a task because it was so warm, but I shouldn’t complain, not yet anyway, as the day was deemed to just keep getting warmer as the hours went on. Thankfully, I didn’t let that stand in my way. Not one bit.

I do have to say though, it is a very British thing to moan about the weather, whether it is hot or cold, we will always find a reason to moan. I am not sure why we do it, but it must give us some sort of satisfaction.

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If you couldn’t tell, the two photos above are me trying to be artistic with my photography. I am trying to improve on how I take photos and seeing beauty and creativity from anything, even if it is my mother’s hands holding the brochure for the railways station, or different people boarding the train.

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It was my stepdads idea for me to quickly run to get this picture. If it wasn’t for him, I probably wouldn’t have gotten the shot, which incidentally is my favourite from today. A round of applause to Ivan there for that one.

 

On the return journey we managed to nab a seat in a separate carriage. One where you can shut the door. I tell you now, it feels like you are on the train to Hogwarts, or at the very least someone of importance. Either way, it is such an amazing feeling.

Oh and yeah, it was my mom’s birthday as well. She had a great day, and that is all that matters to me. I am so glad today was such a success. Love you mom and I hope you enjoy your Gluten Free cake!

Chloe Lauren x

I Need Your Help!

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Kedelston Hall, a billionaires fantasy of a home, or anyone’s fantasy for that matter, is a place where you could very easily get lost, or in this day and age, get run over by passing cars entering and exiting the property.

I don’t think I have ever seen a National Trust property this big, at least not from what I have shown you. It is what I will describe in the coolest way possible for someone who is not cool, as being OTT (over the top), and you are about to see what I mean. It is genuinely crazy how much is going on, that I find it a bit too much.

The photo below is actually of the back, which is odd, because it looks just as extravagant as the front of the building, but unfortunately I don’t have that photo. You will just take my word for it.

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I thought it must have been a fashion statement to have a lot of Roman ideas incorporated into the house, because of how much of that was there, but apparently it just the idea of one of the owners, who was interested in Rome.

Every room had some relevance to Rome, especially the three photos I have from inside, including the Ballroom which was made to look sort of like the Pantheon.

Why? Is that just to show off? Let’s be honest, it probably was. It’s like saying, ‘oh look I have money, and I am going to show you all that I do, by making my mansion like home look like I live in Italy, during the Roman Empire, although I am British’.

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Oh before I go, I have a serious question to ask you all, one that I thought I would ask now, ahead of time.

As you know, in a months time I will be going away to Tenby in Wales, and wondered if you would like me to do a Stroll on Sunday post but a week edition, which will show you my entire week away. What do you think? Maybe I could do it a different way, but I want to do something that you guys will be interested in so please, I need your help with any ideas. Plus, I will need to think of other posts that week. Perhaps I might have guest posts that week.

Chloe Lauren x

Times Are Changing For Me

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Today has probably been one of the best days I have had all year, not just because of where we went, but also because of how I feel. I don’t think I have felt this good in a long time. Usually, I get very stressed before leaving the house but there was nothing, not one problem, everything was ok. I actually found myself smiling for most of the day, and even finished by dancing in the back of the car. I’m not sure if my parents saw me doing that, but I really got into the songs I was listening to. Clearly it was what I would call a perfect day.

Ok, so today we went to Canons Ashby (weird name), which was a last minute pick, the place I wanted to go to was in the same area as the Farnborough air show, meaning we would have been stuck in traffic. Going to Canons Ashby was a long journey though in itself, as a lot of the roads leading there were closed off, but eventually we got there, mainly because we are rebels, and found a way around it.

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The owners of the house were left in debt, so the inside is not as fancy as others I have shown you before, but I would say it is probably one of the best.

Sir Charles Dryden inherited the house at the age of 19, and had to leave Oxford University to help with recover from the debt. He even refused to marry until everything was back to normal. It took him about 30 years to do so, making him about 47 when he finally got married, but hey, it’s never too late to fall in love. Although, back then it was more about status then love.

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This is my innocent childlike face. I had to use it because of being caught out. I kept saying it was too hot, so my stepdad told me to buy ice cream, but I insisted that wasn’t necessary. Obviously, I gave in and bought some, but instead of normal, I went for a double.

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Just a few months ago, I was talking about how things were not going well, and how I felt so lost, but now, I feel as though things are really turning around for me, and my life is beginning to get back on the right track. It’s amazing to see how far I have come in this amount of time, and I just have to say I am thankful for all of the great comments and positivity I have received recently, because it does help and I do really appreciate it.

Thank you!

Chloe Lauren x

I Call This Living On The Edge!

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Today was a great day for weather, not too much sun, and not too much rain. It was perfectly imperfect, which is what I live for. I didn’t want to come home burnt to a crisp, because the sun decides today would be the day it would be hot. No way! It was just the right balance for me.

Anyway, you don’t want to hear about my problems with weather, you want to see where we went today. Well, with one week left of our membership for the English Heritage, we went to a place called Witley Court, which was once one of the most loved houses in the midlands, but now, stands as a ruin, after a fire in 1937. Shame really, because of how gorgeous the outside of it is. I can only imagine what the inside would have been like. It would have been beyond amazing to have seen it.

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The fountain seems to be the main event at this place. Every hour, on the hour, the fountain goes on, and for twenty minutes, provides such a spectacle that once it’s over, is over (but it’s on again an hour later, so not really).

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Due to the house being in the state it is, you find yourself mainly walking around the gardens, which I will tell you now, is bigger than what I remember from the last time I was there two years ago. There are so many pathways, and shortcuts, as well as longer walks. You could get lost, but then easily find your way back, because they all lead to the same place.

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My favourite walk was around the lake. I always find that I love those walks, because of the wildlife you end up seeing. As we got closer to the lake, we actually saw a lot of bees, and dragonflies just going about, doing whatever it is they do. Me and my mom were interested in the blue dragonflies in particular, because they were totally different to the ones we had seen before. It makes me feel as though, I am not as cultured as I once thought.

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Ok! This is by far my favourite photo from the day. I was quite impressed with how it turned out. I went all out for this one. I crouched down and took it from a lower angle. Yeah, I did that for you guys. I call it, ‘Life On The Edge’, because that is what I was doing, living my life on the edge.

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Chloe Lauren x

Britain Is At War… But Only For One Night

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Last night we went to Blists Hill, a Victorian town, which for one night only was remodeled to look like Britain during the War years, making it Blitz Hill.We experienced music, fashion and customs from the era, as well the air raid which seemed to go off every half an hour.

I wasn’t in the War (obviously) but every time I heard the blast of the raid, my heart was beating so fast from the shock of it. It makes you realise how truly frightening it would have been to actually have been there, knowing what that sound meant, and what was about to happen. I can only imagine the effect it would have had on people, but yet I saw a lot of people last night, who were possibly just young children at the time, who found it reminiscent and didn’t mind it at all. It was such a special sight.


From even the very beginning, as you walk through the gates, there were people dressed up in the proper 193os and 40s attire just because they could, as well as a special performance from the three girls below who were singing songs for the period. They weren’t the only performers that night. In the restaurant, there was a sing along set from a group called BluZone, who took on some very popular classics from the time, some of which I actually knew.  I sang along. Fancy that!

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Some of the buildings were decorated especially for the occasion. The one below is for what I think is the WI, otherwise known as the Women’s Institute, who played a big part during the War, doing things that were essential. They helped with evacuees, raising money, knitting, a skill which was really needed at the time, as well as growing vegetables, to keep the Country fit and strong.

These weren’t the only women who played a huge role, a lot of other women were taking on the jobs that men couldn’t do because of fighting elsewhere, helping to keep business going, but also to stay on track. Oh and let’s not forget about the WRENS, the Women’s Naval Service at the time, which last night I think I got recruited for. Oops!

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This is me sitting inside a very tight air raid shelter reading a women’s magazine from the time. How an entire family would fit into this, I have absolutely no idea. I know it was never about comfort, but still. It was either sit extremely close together uncomfortably or possibly die. Harsh but true.

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Blists Hill is one of my favourite places to visit anyway, but last night was interesting, especially to see the War up close, not in the same way as others have though granted. I have always found it fun to learn about. Maybe next time I will do a post on Blists Hill as it usually is, the Victorian life.

Chloe Lauren x

A Lot Can Happen In A Year!

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What was I doing this time last year? Well, just about finishing with my remaining coursework, as well as being done with all of my exams. This was about the time I was starting on my journey to becoming a better me. I was also probably still devastated by the idea of my school at the time shutting down, and having to go at it alone, without my friends being around, but I did it. I can even look back now, and think, I was worrying for nothing.

So, a year has passed, and a lot has changed. It’s weird to see what I have achieved in that time, because even I didn’t realise how much I had done up to now.

I have been to another school, and ended up leaving because it wasn’t for me. Some people saw it as a failure, but I saw it as a positive because I finally did something for me, rather than staying for others. I reached over 600 blog followers since starting my blog in October and am currently doing a writing course which is going extremely well. In fact, I got 100% on the module one test, which I am seriously proud of. Another thing I am proud of is being asked by a company to do a post for them, as well as being part of a companies writing team of bloggers. Oh and I am getting ready to volunteer at a cafe in my town. Yes, I did that. Me! The person who was once too afraid to leave the house on her own.

Things change for the better!

So, I thought it was time to reminisce and take you back to 2015, to show you some unseen and possibly embarrassing pictures of me, with an appearance from my mom and my friend Becky, to show what I was doing this time last year. Here we go:


The first two photos are from when me and my mom went to an art gallery, and just had to try on the detective hat. I felt like Benedict Cumberbatch, or Robert Downey Jr, dependent upon whether you prefer the TV show or the movies. To be honest, my mom looks more like she fits the role than me. #ChloesMomForFemaleSherlockHolmes

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These next few photos come from a place called Ray’s Farm, which is a normal farm, but at the same time isn’t, because it has a large walk which features a lot of wood carvings, like the one I am sitting on below (it was seriously comfortable). Oh and most of them were based on fairy tales like the one where I am attempting to pull the sword out of the stone. Obviously I did it, because of my strength (I didn’t even get close).

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I asked Becky if I could use this, and thankfully she said yes. So, here you have Becky as her usual self, and who accompanied me and my parents to RAF Cosford. It was one of the best days I actually had back then. I loved it, and wished it didn’t have to end. Most of my best times have been with Becky, and I am so glad that after all of this time, I still have her.

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Maybe I will do something like this again at some point, and maybe go even further back than a year. Trust me, there are more photos like these of me, probably worse, but you will have to see.

What Were You Doing This Time Last Year?

Chloe Lauren x


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A Big Place! An Even Bigger Challenge!

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Hey Guys,

The other day me and my mom took a trip to Birmingham, because I was desperate to see what the library was like there. You know, because I am a huge book nerd, and I had heard nothing but great things about it. However, as someone with anxiety, just the idea of going was frightening. I forced myself to go, and it ended up being a great day.

When we got there, we had no idea where we were going, as we hadn’t been there in years. For me, that was when I was still in a pushchair, so how was I supposed to remember what it was like? Easy, I wasn’t! Thankfully though, we met someone who pointed us in the right direction, but even that was only vague, so we had to ask others also. It was unbelievable just how helpful people were being to us. They had no problem with giving us a hand in finding our way around this city I had barely seen before.


You should have seen my face the moment I saw the building, I was in awe, and quickly taken back by the architecture. I am not usually a fan of modern buildings, but this was breathtaking, especially in person. I can honestly say, this is the biggest library I have had the pleasure of seeing. It has about 9 levels to it, with each level dedicated to different things that are going on, including a gallery on the 3rd, which at the moment is featuring everything Shakespeare. A bit further up, you have two terraces, one the Discovery Terrace, and the other, The Secret Garden, both of which offer a different viewing experience.

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The inside was HUGE, which I should have seen coming really, with what I just said was included in the building. We literally went from one escalator to another, just traveling up, and up, and up, just like Willy Wonka does with Charlie and his Grandad in the Glass Elevator. What I am trying to say is, it was magical in a way.

The next three pictures are taken from The Secret Garden, which is on the 7th floor of the building. It was a perfect place to sit down, and look out at the views of the area around us. This wasn’t even the top, and what you could see was far across the city, probably even beyond. It would have been more awesome if I had brought my copy of the book The Secret Garden.

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When we left the library, we went for a walk around the area, looking for a place to have lunch. We could have gone in the library cafe, but we weren’t sure if they did Gluten Free, meaning we had to look elsewhere.

Our walk took us past other buildings, all of which must have had significance, especially the one in the second picture below, which if I remember rightly was a sort of War Memorial.

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I noticed a sign for one of the museums in the area, and told my mom to look there, because I thought they were bound to have a cafe inside. I was right, but there wasn’t just one, but two cafes inside. We ended up going into the bigger of the two, not knowing where the other one was, had our usual tea, as well as our lunch, which was a bit more than I could chew (pun intended).

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By about 3pm, we were ready to make our way home, which wasn’t as easy as we thought it would be. It took us a while to figure out where it was we were supposed to get back onto the tram we came on. You would think we would know! Once again, the people around were helpful, but could have been quicker to tell us, because we were standing around for what felt like forever.


I was just nervous to travel there, worried I would get in a panic, either on the way or on arrival, but I was fine. Sort of! I did it though, and that is all that matters. Another couple of times with my mom by my side, and I think I might be able to make it there on my own. Now that would be a challenge for me.

Where Have You Been That You Didn’t Expect To Be As Great As It Was?

Chloe Lauren x


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Yes! I’m A Little Bit Competitive!

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Hey Guys,

Today was just perfect. I know, that very rarely happens anymore for me, but it really was. I am actually really happy for once, which definitely makes a change.

We went to Sunnycroft today, an ‘Estate in miniature’ as it is as classed as being. It literally is what it says on the sign, miniature, but miniature compared to other places we have been and seen before, and not miniature like me and my mom, because we really are small. I do have to say though, it may be small, but it is probably one of the best houses we have been to by far. There was so much to offer, especially today. We went on our usual walk obviously, but also, there was a craft exhibition going on inside of the house, as well as lawn games outside. It was genuinely so fun!

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This is the outside of the cafe, which as we all know, are the places I could spend my entire life at, drinking tea and eating cake. Couldn’t you?

Instead of buying cake to accompany my tea like I usually would, I ate one of the brownies which my mom had made last night. Pretty amazing stuff and Gluten Free which my mom is loving at the moment.

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After my tea, we ate our lunch on the grass and once done, me and my stepdad played a game of Badminton, followed by my mom. They both didn’t stand a chance, but I let them believe they did. I am not competitive at all. Actually, maybe I am a bit. I think they were being just as competitive as I was though, although at first they both said not to score, but I could tell they were.

Me and my mom also went on to play a game of Jenga, as well as a bit of bowling. Basically, we spent most of the afternoon laughing.

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Look at the concentration on my face, whilst I also eat chocolate ice cream at the same time. That is a skill.

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My stepdad, Ivan, took this photo at the perfect moment, just as the tower was falling down. Thankfully, in my moms direction.

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Once again, I put on a face that just says, ‘I am so ready for this.’ I really don’t know why I do these faces.

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When we were done, about two hours later, me and mom ventured into he house, where we saw rooms filled with people doing different crafts, including one to do with lace, which I apparently have a talent for. Who knew?

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This isn’t really relevant, but when I was writing up this post, I had ‘Big Girls Cry’ by Sia on repeat. It is still on now probably. I don’t know what it is, but this song is so good, and if you haven’t heard it yet, you have to.

I really hope all of you had as good a day as we did. If not, there is always tomorrow, which will be better.

Chloe Lauren x


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It’s Heating Up At Hanbury Hall

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Hey Guys,

Finally! We had a hot day here in the UK. Oh and when I say hot, I mean absolutely boiling. Well, boiling by our standards anyway, especially mine. And when I say finally, I obviously mean, why? I hate the heat. Hate is a very strong word, so instead I will just say, seriously dislike it with a passion. Better? Thought so. Anyway, I wouldn’t have minded it so much as long as there was a bit of a breeze to accompany it, but there was hardly anything at all, apart from a little bit here and there.

I guess I should mention where we went today then. What you are about to see is Hanbury Hall, built and made a home for the wealthy lawyer, Thomas Vernon back in the 18th Century. We are talking about one the men who helped bring this Country the first of the King George’s, by being part of the National party that backed him up. It was either George I or a man who was part of a birthing scandal. I bet you didn’t know that!

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This cute little second hand book shop was filled to the brim with some great finds, including the book I ended up going home with, ‘My Booky Wook’ by one of my favourite British comedians, Russel Brand. After I had my lunch, I actually began reading it, and within literally the first page, I found myself internally laughing, a bit too much. He is very open about his previous addictions, I will tell you that much now.

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We took a long walk around the area to see what we could find. Well, it wasn’t the longest walk we have done, but it was by far the hottest day so far here in the UK, so it definitely did feel like it. I’m still recovering from it right now. However, forget at the pain for a moment, and just look at the beauty that I found. This is why I love walking!

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The house itself had such gorgeous decor, as well as a huge mural which was hand painted and depicted the connection between Earth and Heaven, by showing Hermes, the Messenger God, passing a portrait on to another God. It always makes me wonder how they manage to paint these murals so well, and not make one noticeable mistake. It must have taken so much skill.

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If it’s still hot tomorrow, someone remind me to wear shorts, or at the very least, three quarter lengths. Oh and I hope you all had a great day also, because I will admit, the heat isn’t as bad as I made it out to be. As long as it doesn’t burn us, we are fine.

See you again soon!

Chloe Lauren x


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Shake It Up With Shakespeare

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Hey Guys,

Welcome to Charlecote Park in Warwick, near Statford-Upon-Avon. Actually, Stratford-Upon-Avon, if you didn’t know, just so happens to be classed as being the home of one of the most famous play writes in the world. Maybe you’ve heard of him, William Shakespeare. In fact, it was the anniversary of his death recently, so this post is more topical than I originally thought. Go me!

I have had only good experiences with everything Shakespeare. In my first Secondary school, every year, we would preform a Shakespeare play. It was a way to introduce the new year 7s into the school, without being too overwhelmed. Oddly, drama was one of my strongest areas, although in reality, I’m not that confident, but put me on a stage and I seem to be perfectly fine. Weird!

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Now we venture into the house and family museum. The moment you walk into the main Hall, the first thing you notice is artwork, and only artwork, it is literally covering every part of the walls. That’s the thing about the rich back then, they just wanted to show off just how rich they were through how they dressed up their home, even if it means showing off things they probably didn’t care about.

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After wandering aimlessly around the house, we took a walk around the grounds, where we saw part of the river. I picked up a stone and was going to throw it in the water, but my step dad got in the way and I accidentally hit him instead, only on the back though. He is fine. Well I hope he is, after all he did buy me 5 new books today!


Here we have the church which is situated just around the corner from the house and park area. I went in through the back way, and thought I got stuck, because I couldn’t get back out, but it turned out I was pushing the gate the wrong way. It was a one way system, so that was a bit embarrassing.

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Chloe Lauren x

QOTD: If You Could Spend The Day With Any Person From The Past, Who Would It Be And Why?


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