All Counties Craft Challenge Diary – 28th August 2016 – Birthdays, Beaches and Borders

Well, hello my chums. How has your week been? If it’s been anything like mine, you will have been celebrating Birthdays, Beaches and Borders.

What do I mean by this nonsense? Allow me to explain.

The week started out with a lovely breakfast with me old mate, Julie.

All Counties Craft Challenge Diary

It was lovely to catch up but I feel that we will both remember it as the time that we were told that the restaurant had the wrong type of eggs for poached eggs. Is there such a thing as the wrong type of eggs?! Anyway, long story, we had scrambled – apparently they had the right sort for that. Lol.

Next it was off to see my sister as it was her birthday so I made a quick trip back to my home town to wish her a happy birthday. It turns out that she was off to the beach that I had just come from!

Beaches always give good sunset so it would be remiss of me not to share the one that I had with you.

All Counties Craft Challenge Diary

Good job really as there was a snack-tastrophe on the drive there.


Serves me right though as I should know by now that things need to be secured before setting off. Especially snacks!

Also managed to have a lovely breakfast in the morning which I then turned into some cool digital art.

Anyway, back to the actual plot – if there is one – it is also the four month Birthday (well, technically anniversary) of the All Counties Challenge! A third of the way through – can you believe it?!

Proud that it’s still going strong though and super glad that you’ve helped raise over £5k for Mind so far. Long way to go, both in terms of achieving the target and in terms of mileage so Maisy and I will be motoring on for another 8 months.

Please don’t forget that you can donate via my just giving page –

So, two birthdays and one beach down, and it’s only the start of the week!

A quick pit stop in Peterborough to collect more of the postcard colouring books created by Create and Cract to help raise more donations for the challenge and it was off for a brief stopover in order to get some chores done as I was running out of undies!


Defo worth the stopover though as I got to spend the night in a forest during a hot couple of days and managed to get this lovely view.

Creepy Forest

Unfortunately I had to leave this calm isolation behind and head out on the road.

This time it was off to Derbyshire to meet Kathleen.

Kathleen would be leading this week’s workshop in Clay Cross, kindly arranged by the good folk at

Now, if only I could find a group of ladies that would be interested in attending a creative workshop…

All Counties Craft Challenge Diary

Behind me?

*turns around* Oh, there you are! Ok. Start!

Oh, you already have, lol :)

Well, there was no stopping this lot once they got started. They rustled up a bevy of beautiful projects but before long it was all done. About half of the cake and a third of the biscuits had been snaffled – which was good going as I’d picked up these beauties and Kirsty had bought in some delicious home made cake and brownies so there was loads!

Time for the Maisy shot – smile!

Naw, lovely lot.

Right, time for some more driving as I began to make my way up north to Stranraer to get the ferry to Northern Ireland next week.

Had a quick loo break at a very exciting location …

All Counties Craft Challenge Diary

… but made it more exciting by picking up some snacks!


Maisy and I crossed the England/Scotland border after nightfall, making us feel a little like smugglers, and ended up at Gretna Green at around 11pm – time for some kip!

Morning came waaaay too quick. Boooo, *shakes fist*, however it was made slightly more bearable by the fact that I was containing the journey started yesterday and heading out to stay at a secret coastal area for a couple of nights whilst I get things ship (ferry) shape.

Also this lovely breakfast made my rumbly belly sigh with joy.


It was quite a drive from Gretna to New England Bay – oh, not secret now is it – but we eventually pulled in and had ourselves a breather before I headed out to explore.

Now, if only I could find the lovely quiet beach that they advertised…

All Counties Craft Challenge Diary

Behind me? Again?!

*turns around*

Oh! *falls in love*

Wanting to capture the moment I whipped out the camera and started shouting directions at the landscape.

‘Yeah, baby, that’s it, work it for me!’

It did! Take a look…

Even the shadow wanted to be in on these.

Anyway, I’ll maybe get another stroll on this in the morning before work (to walk of some of these snacks and breakfasts) and take some more pics but for now I had better sign off and let you get on with your day/evening.

There we go, birthdays, beaches and borders – make sense now?

Hope you enjoyed this update and the rest if the challenge.

I’ll be in touch again soon of course with more from Maisy and me.

Bye for now.

J :)

8 thoughts on “All Counties Craft Challenge Diary – 28th August 2016 – Birthdays, Beaches and Borders

  1. Hi John I so enjoy your posts, you should really consider writing a book about your travels when they are over, your photos are amazing. Hope you are enjoying everything as much as your followers are. xxx S.


  2. Hi John, I look forward to your reading of your motorised adventures in Maisie. Your demos of the ScanNcut on C&C always prove inspiring, it is great to learn a new side to this fabulous machine. Congrats on your fundraising thus far. Safe journeying xxx


  3. Hi John,

    Just a word to say thank you very much for a lovely day on Saturday at Clay Cross my friend and I really enjoyed ourselves very much, although our energy levels gave out about which normal for use. Would thank evryone who have help with everything to keep you on the road. Kathryns demos everything was great and all the goodies I never expected so much. Hope you arrived in Scotlan safely. Many thanks again.

    Margaret and Jenny.


  4. Beautiful scenery, and breakfasts, especially the digitised ones, less fattening. Well done on raising £5,000 so far. Hopefully, it should grow even quicker now you’ve got to such a good figure. Enjoy Ireland. Anne x

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sounds like you’ve had a very busy week, John. Glad it’s going well for you and pleased that your fund is growing for Mind. Loving your photography and scenery. Have a great week and take care! xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi John

    Another packed week including a very packed workshop, a week packed with snacks and snaps (I have never considered digitising my breakfast… Am I missing out on something fun here?!). A birthday, some overdue laundry (had to laugh) Two lovely beaches and an impending ferry trip (fingers crossed for some calm seas). Wow!

    Congratulations on reaching the £5k mark- woop woop!!! 👍👍👍👏👏👏 That’s just brilliant 😆

    Take care, big hugs, T x

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I look forward to your long updates John….you are a writer as well as an artist. I love your Cezaniste breakfast picture too….That cafe that couldn’t do you poached egg? I bet they buy liquid egg that comes ready mixed….great for omelettes and scramble but you can’t poach or fry it!

    Liked by 1 person

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