Family Reunion Weekend

Things have been so busy around here lately that this space has been a little neglected – there have been plenty of ‘happy’ things occurring, but I just haven’t had time to write them down! However, I was determined to write a post this week – not the usual Happy Friday one, but a quick round up of our very special family reunion which took place last weekend.

One of my cousins on my father’s side has been working on the family tree for eight or nine years, and it was this that prompted our meeting. The weekend had been planned for months and we were so looking forward to it, not simply because we don’t often all get together, but because my sisters and I have two cousins who we had never met before at all! One aspect to point out about our tribe is that we are a family of pretty large age gaps – there are three gaps of over 14 years between siblings within the close family, which partly accounts for the fact that we haven’t all met – plus geographical differences, with one of my ‘unknown’ cousins living in the north of Scotland, whilst the other is based on the south coast of England.

It was decided that Cumbria would be the best place to meet, as it was pretty close to halfway between these extremes, and also happened to be where my father, his two brothers and parents lived for many years. The timing worked out perfectly for us, as G had an exeat on Friday, and B was also due to come home for the weekend, so we set off at lunchtime, picking B up on the way, arriving in Dalton-in-Furness at about 5.30pm. We immediately met up with one of my sisters and her husband, my cousin who had been working so hard on the family tree (he has gone back well into the 17th century, which is a huge achievement), his wife, and one of the cousins whom I had not previously met – he is the oldest of the cousins, whilst I am the youngest, so there is a 30 year age gap between us!

fi_ian

We were all staying in the same hotel, so we had a lovely meal together on the Friday evening – and started to sample some of the 35 gins on offer there!

gins

We woke up to the most beautiful morning on Saturday – my favourite type of weather – thick frost, bright blue skies and glorious sunshine. This was perfect, as we had planned to climb up to the Hoad monument – or ‘the pepperpot’ as we affectionately used to call it, this being our marker to show that we were ‘almost there’ when we used to visit my grandmother when I was a child. The walk and the views from the top were stunning – we really were so fortunate to have such a beautiful day for it. We enjoyed a cup of tea and a biscuit at the top before heading back down to collect another of my sisters who was arriving by train.

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My third sister, her husband, and also my other cousin and his wife from the south coast arrived, so we then had a good pore over the whole family tree. It is an amazing and fascinating piece of work, which is fantastic, but it also makes us want to find out more – the ‘whys’, if you will, as to our ancestors movements and decisions. We were also presented with a small part of the tree which showed our ‘direct’ relatives, which is very special – I can’t wait to get this framed and give it pride of place somewhere in our home. Following this, we all went on a walk around Dalton, seeking out houses that our parents and grandparents had lived in, which was so interesting.

tree

By this time, it was beginning to get a little dark and cold, so we retreated back to the hotel, where we took over the lounge for a few hours, chatting, getting to know each other – and sampling more of the gin and wine! We then had another lovely evening meal and more drinks together, at which point it was decided that we should try to make this get-together an annual event, which would be fabulous – and I, apparently, have the task of organising the next one!

family

Sunday saw us all going our separate ways once more – we visited the Dickensian Christmas Market in Ulverston, which was absolutely lovely, then gradually headed back down the country, stopping off at D’s childhood home of Bolton-by-Bowland, and then to see some friends in Lancashire.

market market2

It really was such a special weekend. We can’t thank Phil enough for doing all the work on the family tree and then organising the reunion – it couldn’t have gone better. However, it also reinforced to me just how important family is. Of course, our little unit of four, and then my sisters and their families, are, and always have been, incredibly important to me. But meeting the cousins – one of whom we don’t see very often at all, the others, as I said, whom we had never met, really brought this home to me. Although we had not met, we got on so well, and found that we had so much in common, and I absolutely love the feeling that my ‘family’ has now been expanded.

As Michael J. Fox said – “Family is not an important thing, it’s everything.”

What an amazing experience – and roll on next year!

 

 

Happy Friday 11.11.16

Well, it’s been a while! The last few weeks have been so busy, with our Caribbean trip, half term breaks and then catching up with real life, that I haven’t had any time to post any updates here. So, better late than never, a little round up of the highlights of the past few weeks:

  1. Obviously, our trip to Grenada has to come first! G and I had an absolutely lovely time – to say the least! We spent most of our days lying by the pool reading, making the most of the 30 degree heat, with regular dips in the water. Unfortunately, the sea was too rough while we were there for us to be able to try out our new snorkels, but we had lots of fun on G’s birthday present inflatables – I have to say, the unicorn was incredibly comfortable and relaxing! We did take two trips out whilst there too, which were really fun – one a jeep safari and river tubing, then another into the capital for the market and a visit to the House of Chocolate.
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2. G also had a fabulous 16th birthday while we were there. We woke up just before midnight and had a little midnight feast and some birthday cake to begin the celebrations – before quickly going back to sleep again! We then had our jeep safari and river tubing trip during the day, which was great fun. The festivities then continued when we returned to the hotel, with a surprise delivery of a  bottle of champagne and a beautifully decorated table for dinner, which was ended by the staff singing happy birthday and presenting her with a celebration pudding. I think that she had a pretty memorable 16th!
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3. Another highlight of our trip was meeting the lovely “Goats on the Road” – a Canadian couple, Nick and Dariece, whose blog and vlogs I have been following for about 18 months. They are digital nomads, spending their lives travelling to various countries around the world, funded by their blog income and different house/pet-sitting opportunities. They have spent 5 months of each of the past 3 years staying in Grenada, which is how I originally came across them, and I was really thrilled to spot them when we  went for our regular Sunday afternoon drink at The Aquarium Bar, just along the beach from our hotel. I had a quick chat with them and they were so lovely!
4. Although the week went very quickly, it was still nice to come back home to our ‘boys’ – D and B. And to find that autumn had well and truly arrived! I made the most of the natural seasonal findings to decorate the table beautifully for D’s birthday meal – and it’s still there two weeks later!
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5. D and I had some beautiful autumn walks the weekend following our return. It really is such a gorgeous season, and it was lovely to get out in the fresh air and enjoy it.
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6. Due to the fact that the children had different half term breaks, I then had a week with B at home after G had returned to school, which was so nice. We didn’t do an awful lot, but had a lovely time together, going for walks, playing games, watching films, etc.
ben
7. Fortunately, Bonfire Night happened on B’s last night at home before returning to school, so we made the most of it by going to a great bonfire and firework display at Rolleston, before coming home for sparklers and some mini fireworks. Lots of fun!
bonfire
8. A simple thing that has brought a lot of smiles to us this week has been our new ‘retro’ phone. We had intended to get one for so long, but I eventually got around to it on Friday and we love it – especially that old-fashioned ring!
phone
9. I had a lovely surprise one morning earlier this week to wake up to find everything covered in frost! I absolutely love cold frosty mornings with blue sky and bright sunshine, so I made the most of it with an early morning dog walk – just beautiful.
frostywalk
10. My last one for this week is the lovely day that I had yesterday on our annual Christmas shopping day. We went up to Cheshire Oaks, and I managed to get some great presents, so I really feel that I have made a good start now – and had a great day!
Happy weekend everyone!

Happy Friday 14.10.16

Well, last week turned out to be a pretty quiet one, hence the lack of blog post – not a bad week, but just not too much happening, but there have been plenty of things to make me smile over the past few days, so here goes:

  1. The weather has definitely changed over the past week or so, and now feels truly autumnal. I have still been loving the bright sunny days, especially good for dog walks, but I’m also pretty happy that it’s got chillier, as it’s the perfect excuse to cook some delicious seasonal fare. The highlights have been the butternut squash soup with cheese and herb scones, and the pear and almond cake – yum!
food soup
2. To go along with this, we have lit the woodburner a few times now, and it’s lovely to make the sitting room all snug and cosy with it – I do love cold evenings when we’re tucked up warn inside in front of a fire – as does Honey!
fire
3. I had a lovely afternoon out with D and G last Saturday at the fabulous Derby Theatre, watching a production of Sondheim’s ‘Sweeney Todd’. It was exciting, gruesome, totally captivating, and performed absolutely fantastically by the entire cast. A wonderful afternoon’s entertainment.
4. Sunday then saw us heading down the M1 to meet one of my university friends at Bletchley Park. It was a great location in which to meet and catch up with each other, but also a fascinating place to visit. We could have spent much longer there than we did (so will probably return at some point), but we did manage to see a lot, so I would definitely recommend it if you have even the slightest interest in British history during the Second World War.
bletchley
5. I met up with a friend on Tuesday night for one of the great deals that is the ‘cinesupper’ at Quad in Derby. We had a lovely catch up of each other’s news over a meal, then watched ‘The Girl on the Train’, which was so good. There were a few moments when we both had to look away from the screen, but I was pleased that it was so well done, as I had loved the book when I read it.
6. A quick mention this week has to go to two of our dogs – Tilly and Honey – as they have been so, so cute with each other. Normally, Honey tries desperately to be friends with Tilly, who sadly doesn’t want to know and displays her ‘grumpy old woman’ side towards the poor little Honey, but this week they have been cuddling up together beautifully. It may not last, but it is nice to see in the meantime.
dogs
7. I was very pleased to get my first proofreading assignment back this week, and even more satisfied with the 84.4% mark that I got for it. Now at least I can make a start on Module 2 before we go away.
8. The past couple of weeks have seen us doing plenty of brainstorming, thinking and discussing plans for the house. We have considered all sorts, from moving to get slightly more space, to staying put and having a loft conversion done, to a full blown extension as well as the loft conversion. We have an architect drawing up plans as we speak, so we can then take it from there – exciting!
9. I had a great night yesterday when I went to see ‘Guys and Dolls’ at Lichfield’s Garrick Theatre. This has long been one of my favourite shows, since being one of the stagehands when it was performed at my school many moons ago, and I just love everything about it, so I was really looking forward to watching it again. And, as always, it certainly didn’t disappoint – fabulous performances again made it a great night out.
10. I will be AWOL again next week, I’m afraid, as I will be in the Caribbean from Monday onwards, just for a week. I am taking G away, back to our favourite hotel in Grenada, where she will celebrate her 16th birthday. Such a tough job being the chaperone! We are so excited, so I am sure that my next blog post will be full of gorgeous Caribbean holiday scenes!

Happy Friday 30.09.16

 

 

Well, how we got to the last day of September so quickly I’m really not too sure, but here we are! The weather has definitely felt more autumnal this week, which I am pretty happy about – much as I absolutely loved the long summer, I am definitely ready to embrace the boots and jumpers now required (well, for the next two weeks anyway, until G and I fly off to the Caribbean for our little holiday!).

Anyway, the highlights of the week:

  1. First this week has to be the gorgeous snowberries that I bought last Friday. I always buy fresh flowers when I do my weekly shopping on a Friday morning, so I opted for these beauties last week – they are so pretty and even G commented on how lovely they were when she first saw them
snowberries
2. We had an absolutely lovely weekend away in Norfolk, starting with a coffee trip on Saturday morning to Stiffkey Stores. It is ridiculous that we have not been there before, but we will definitely be going again. It is a beautiful little place, with a great range of really unusual cards, books, gifts, homeware, etc., as well as making extremely good coffee and chocolate brownies! A great way to start the day.
ss3 tray ss2 ss1
3. We then did a lovely seven mile walk on Saturday afternoon, around Ringstead. The weather was really good for walking and it was perfect for the dogs, as the majority of the route was on tracks, so they could be off their leads. The sea views at one point were fabulous, but a highlight has to be that you can stop just over halfway through the walk at The Gin Trap for a gin and tonic – or any other beverage of your choice!
4. Sunday was another lovely day. We had a potter around Burnham Market, where we bought G a beautiful necklace for her birthday which is in three weeks time, then stopped off at Briarfields for a pre-lunch drink. We went there a few times during the summer and sat outside on the lovely decking area, but this time opted for the comfy and cosy area near the inglenook fireplace. The fire obviously wasn’t needed, but I can’t wait to go back when it is lit – although I think that it may be a very popular spot!
dan
5. G and I had a trip to Ripon on Monday afternoon, as Ripon Grammar school is an option for her sixth form years. We had a great journey, and then were made very welcome at the school – we had a really interesting and useful talk with the headmaster, who was lovely, then were shown round the school and boarding house. We really loved it, and the academic potential there is great, but it is going to be a hard decision, as G loves her current school so much.
georgie
6. More progress has been made on sprucing up the bathroom this week. I have lost count of the number of hours that I have spent scrubbing the grout between the tiles in the shower area, as it was awful. However, I found some amazing spray online which I used this week – I literally sprayed it on, left it for half an hour, and all the grout is completely spotlessly white. Incredible! I have also painted the mirror, so now all that remains is for D to put up the new blind and towel hooks.
7. I have seem similar photos to mine below on social media this week, but it really was worth capturing just how incredibly beautiful the sky was on Tuesday evening. Definitely no filter needed!
sky
8. I’m not sure what inspired me, but I decided to make some blackberry jam on Thursday. I haven’t made any jam for a while, but it is so easy, and I love these cute jars I found to put it in. It was pretty good on my toast this morning!
jam
9. As I haven’t been able to do any more of my proofreading course this week, as I am waiting for my first assignment to be marked, I have made use of my free time to write the content for my website, so hopefully we can get that up and running soon.
10. The last one has to be the very, very naughty but extremely delicious cinnamon bun which I bought whilst shopping this morning and ate before writing this post. A Friday treat!
bun
B comes home later today for the weekend, so it will be lovely to see him and catch up on what he has been up to for the past couple of weeks. G is “on duty” at her school open morning tomorrow, so we are going to pop along to see what she is up to, but other than that, we have very few plans – which is nice!
Have a great weekend, everyone!

Happy Friday 23.09.16

Woah, these weeks are passing by so quickly – it is very weird to think that we will be in October in just over a week’s time! All the more reason for me to collect my happy memories, so here is this week’s list:

  1. We had a lovely family picnic and walk in the Peak District last Saturday. The weather was perfect for walking – blue skies, sun, but not too much heat. G was still in Duke of Edinburgh mode after her expedition the previous week, so got her map out and planned us a lovely route, which was just perfect.
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2. We don’t do this as often as we should, but we had a delicious Sunday roast the following day. We had roast pork, which is definitely not my favourite meat, but it was totally worth it for the crackling, which was so, so good (as were the ‘porkshire puddings’, as we call them).
3. D bought me a beautiful bunch of flowers home last Friday, which have really brightened up the bedroom this week – gorgeous!
4. I forgot about this one from a couple of weeks ago, but I’m saying that it counts, as it is not yet up on the wall! While we were in Norfolk, B helped me take some photos on the beach of natural objects in the shape of letters, which I then printed out to put in this frame below. I had seen and loved the idea but wasn’t sure how it would work out, but I’m really pleased with it.
love
5. I have been ploughing through my proofreading course this week, and have completed my first module, which has now gone off to be marked. I’m under way!
pr
6. I had a lovely couple of hours meeting a fabulous friend for coffee on Wednesday. It was great to catch up – we literally never stop talking when we are together – and so we are now planning a way to celebrate 2 decades of friendship at some point next year. One to look forward to!
7. I have made more progress with the bathroom this week, having stripped and painted the wall. I have bought some small bits and pieces for it – new flannels, light pulls, hooks, etc., and I am definitely much happier about it, so am now in no rush to get a whole new bathroom anymore.
8. I am loving the fact that “the nights are drawing in”, as they say. Much as I adore the long days of summer, I am always ready to make the house cosy by this time of year, lighting lamps and candles, and getting the blankets out, etc.
cosy
9. G and I have been thinking about our upcoming trip to Grenada this week, and so I have emailed off with our ideas for things we would like to do while we are there, so we will hopefully have these arranged soon. It’s coming so quickly!
10. Simple things – we had a delicious chilli con carne last night, which had been “doing its thing” in the slow cooker all day. We haven’t had chilli for so long, so it tasted particularly good, especially with taco shells!

So we are off to Norfolk tonight for the weekend, which we are so looking forward to. Have a great couple of days everyone!

Happy Friday 16.09.16

Well, what amazing weather we have had this week. Although I was feeling that I was ready for autumn, I certainly wasn’t going to complain about a little more summer, so the heat this week has been a real treat.

Anyway, here are some other things that have made me happy this week:

  1. G completed her bronze Duke of Edinburgh expedition last weekend, so it’s good to have that “ticked off” the list now. The weather was predictably very wet for the first half of day one, but then improved, and was perfect for the second day, so the girls had a good time – although were very, very glad to get home, showered and into comfortable beds!
  2. As D and I therefore had the house to ourselves, we took the opportunity to get some jobs done. We had been planning to get a new bathroom fitted but that may be postponed for a little while, so we did some remedial work on it, and I have been painting it this week, so hopefully it will last us a little longer.
  3. As  it was such a beautiful day on Sunday, and we had to head into the Peak District to collect G at the end of her expedition, we decided to make the most of the day, so went for a lovely five mile walk around the Wetton area. The views and houses around there are stunning, and the dogs loved it too, so it was such a great trip out.
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4. Following on from last week’s “social engagements”, I had lunch with another friend on Monday, which was lovely – always good to have a proper catch up over some delicious food.
5. I did make a couple of cheeky purchases this week – just things for the house, which I saw, loved and couldn’t resist. I haven’t yet decided where to put them, but I will!
candles
6. I finished a book that had recommended to me by a friend this week, which I had loved!. It was “Turning Point” by Freya North. The beauty of it was that it was set in two locations – British Columbia in Canada and North Norfolk – and there were so many references to places that I know so well in Norfolk, that it did make me smile A LOT when I read them. If only my friend had warned me how sad it is as well though!
7. The weather this week has meant that early morning walks have been happening again, as it has been too hot for the dogs to go too far during the daytime, but I do love being out early – the light and atmosphere are so different and it is quieter too, so they can run around crazily on their own.
wellies
8. Lottie and Honey were trimmed yesterday so now look so smart and beautiful – and extremely cute!
pups
9. Last night was Speech Day at G’s school, which is always such a lovely evening, celebrating all the fabulous things that have gone on throughout the year. It was especially good for us this year, as, now that D is a governor, we had reserved seats on the second row, so had a great view of everyone and everything – especially G collecting her academic prize!
10. The final one for this week is looking ahead slightly, to tonight, when B comes home for the weekend. We are all very excited to see him and have a proper family weekend again – hurrah!

Have a great few days everyone!

Happy Friday 09.09.16

Well, the transition back to reality after the wonderful summer holidays has now happened, so new routines are being established and early mornings are again the norm. However, there have still been plenty of highlights from the past couple of weeks:

  1. We ensured that we made the most of the last days of the summer holidays, enjoying another ten days in Norfolk, then a couple of days at home, before G went back to school. We had a lovely day out meeting friends at Rutland Water, where the children all went on the Aqua Park, before enjoying a picnic lunch and then back to our friends’ house for a quick drink.
  2. After G had gone back to school, B and I went for a lovely walk with the dogs at Poppy Wood. It was really good to have a couple of days alone with him before he went back to school, so this was a special trip.
poppy3. It was G’s turn to cook last week, and so she made us a delicious tapas feast on Thursday night, with meatballs, prawn and chorizo skewers and spicy squid – truly yummy!
tapas
4. Whilst in Norfolk, I had collected a lovely piece of driftwood from the beach, which, with the help of a chisel and hammer, I turned into a tealight holder, which I absolutely love!
driftwood
5. We had a very lazy, but fun, family afternoon on Saturday. We spent most of the second half of the day snuggled up in the sitting room, as it was pretty rainy, watching our new favourite family TV programme, Hustle, playing board games and eating snacks – a great way to spend a wet Saturday.
6. As it was B’s last night at home on Sunday, we went to the Cuban restaurant in Derby for a meal. The children loved the huge selection of tapas, and we had a lovely evening.
dang fiben
7. This week has been a productive one, and I have managed to achieve just about everything on my “to do” list – making appointments, booking accommodation and trains for the holiday G and I are taking next month, touching up some of the paintwork in the house (still plenty more of this to do!), etc., etc. I do love ticking things off a list!
8. The beautiful lilies I bought last week at Lidl (£3.30!) have made me very happy this week – they are huge, such a vibrant colour and smell amazing.
lilies
9. I had a lovely lunch – and well overdue catch up – with a good friend yesterday. We had a great natter over a delicious Thai meal – fabulous!
10.I still have plenty of things that I want to do around the house, but it is nice to be able to start forming some kind of plan to do these things, and I am now also able to begin my proof-reading course as well, so this is very much a week of looking forward to all the positive things happening shortly – always a good feeling.

Well, G is off on her DoE expedition this weekend (we have everything crossed for better weather for her then during the practice!), so D and I have some time to ourselves. We haven’t planned anything yet – but it will probably involve some kind of sorting or organising at some point, so wish us luck with that!! Have a great weekend!

Happy Friday 19.08.16

Well, I’m not sure where the sun has gone, as I have woken up to grey, overcast skies and actual RAIN this morning, but we have had a lovely week in the beautiful weather, so I can’t complain – and it is good for the garden!

Here are the highlights:

  1. We had a wonderful family day out to Warwick Castle last Saturday. D and I last went there in 1997, so it was a first for the children, and it was great. The weather was lovely, which meant that we could wander around, have our picnic, watch the trebuchet and jousting displays and complete the tower and ramparts walk in the sun, as well as doing one of the organised tours of the state rooms, which was really interesting. It really was such a good day.
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2. I did a little bit of furniture restoration again this week, which I am so pleased with. We were given four old wooden garden chairs a little while ago, to chop up and use as firewood, but when I looked at them properly a couple of weeks ago, I discovered that they were actually in quite good condition, just very unloved and neglected, so I decided that I would try to give them a new lease of life. I painted them white, and then made new cushions with some lovely fresh, striped fabric. I bought a new white tablecloth for our old outdoor table as well, so it now feels like we have a complete new set of garden dining furniture, which we have since used a lot this week, for the grand total of £30.
chairs1
Chair2
3. To follow on from this, we have really made the most of the beautiful weather this week, spending a lot of time out in the garden – we have had two firepit evenings and have eaten a lot of our meals outside, which we love to do. The lunch below, for example, was delicious – homemade guacamole with crackers and crudites – and it was made even better by eating it al fresco!
guac
4. We have been reaping the benefits of our thriving herb garden again this week – our roast lamb on Sunday was adorned with our rosemary, and then we also made fresh mint sauce to accompany it, as we have huge amounts of mint – and there are only so many mojitos we can drink!
5. We had another nice day out on Monday, meeting my great friend, Hettie, and her two young children, at Carsington Water. Again, it was a lovely day for a picnic, in beautiful surroundings, and G and B did a great job of helping entertain the little ones.
carsington
6. We have come up with a new possible career option for G this week – comedian! She has been so, so funny this holiday, so quick-witted and absolutely hilarious that she has had me and B holding our aching stomachs and in tears from laughing so much.
7. B once more came into his own last night when he made us a delicious turf and surf meal – it was so good, especially the prawns, which I am generally not a huge fan of, but it was all just so tasty.
meal
8. I have been loving doing Lucy Wyndham-Read’s workouts this week – she does quite short routines which focus on different areas of the body, so you can choose whichever areas you wish to concentrate on, and then do a few as they are pretty short.
9. As well as eating out in the garden on many occasions this week, we also spent one afternoon playing board games out there too, which was great fun. A lovely way to while away an afternoon!
10. We are definitely hoping that the good weather returns again, as we are off to Norfolk today for another ten day stay. D can only be with us at the weekends, but we will still have fun, and try to make the most of the last couple of weeks of the summer holiday, which is passing far, far too quickly.
Have a great weekend!

Happy Friday 12.08.16

Another couple of weeks have absolutely flown by, with plenty more “good stuff” going on, so here are the highlights:

  1. G and B had a fabulous 11 days in France with their exchange family. They were looked after well, had great experiences of French life and had lots of fun doing different activities with the family, so it was a very successful trip. But it was also absolutely lovely to get them back home again on Monday night!
  2. One thing that has made this school holiday such a joy has been that G and B have been getting on so well together, which makes for lovely, calm days – better for everyone!
  3. A couple of weeks ago (already?!?!), D and I had our annual trip to CarFest – but this time without the children which did feel very strange. It was our first time at CarFest North, having visited CarFest South for the past four years, and the venue – Bolesworth Castle – was absolutely beautiful. As this is an equestrian eventing venue, they put on some show jumping displays, which were a very welcome addition to the daytime events, and were great to watch. The weather was very kind to us, and, on the whole, the music was good (“Faithless” though?? Really? What was that – apart from being very painful on the ears! Just awful!!), especially on the Sunday night, when the atmosphere was at its best.
CF1 CF2 CF3 CF4 CF5 CF64. I had a very successful – and also pretty speedy – trip to Ikea last week, managing to find exactly what I wanted without being distracted and coming away with far more than I had planned!
5. I had an extremely productive week whilst the children were away, making the most of the opportunity to tidy, sort and organise various areas of the house and garden that had been neglected a little of late. I completely sorted out B’s room, which is only a very small space, but it now looks lovely, and added some finishing touches to our bedroom, re-covering the cushions on the bedding box and adding some word artwork, amongst other things, so I was very pleased.
Box Wall
6. D and I had a lovely lunch at Barton Marina on Saturday, as a reward for sorting out the garage, dumping lots of rubbish at the tip and (hopefully!) selecting the “shed” we are going to use as a gym/summer house in the garden. It was a beautiful day, so it was lovely to sit outside in the sun by the marina.
BM1 BM27. We followed this with a fabulous day out in the Peak District on Sunday. Again, the weather favoured us – it was beautifully sunny but with a breeze, which was great for walking, so we had a picnic, a circular walk which included sections by the river and then up and down some hills, ending with tea and cake at the tearooms – a perfect trip out!
PD1 PD2 PD3 PD4 PD58. Wednesday saw us heading off on a shopping trip to get the annual “school shopping” done. This was very successful – we managed to get all stationery and uniform requirements (I think!) so I now just need to start sewing labels on again!
9. We were very thrilled, and extremely proud, to find out this week that G has been awarded an academic prize again for her school work this year. These are highly coveted prizes, as they do not give out many of them, but she definitely deserves it for all her hard work this year.
10. We had a lovely day yesterday, visiting one of my university friends, Abi, and her boys. It was great to have a proper catch up, and fantastic to see the boys all getting on so well and playing cricket together. I love the summer holidays for being able to meet up with friends!

So that’s been about it for the past couple of weeks – apart from D and I also celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary! Where did those years go? Crazy – but all good.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Our Norfolk Holiday

The reason for my absence over the past couple of weeks is that we were away on a fabulous holiday in Norfolk for 12 days. For the first time in 11 years, I was able to go away without my laptop and didn’t have to work at all, so had 12 days pretty much “off grid”, which was bliss. Plus we just had the most amazing time! The weather was incredible – hot, sunny, with blue skies every day apart from the day we had to drive home – we were so lucky.

So here’s a little round up of the best bits, in verbs and photos:

  1. Having breakfast at one of our favourite eateries – Creake Abbey – on our first morning.
  2. Walking along Brancaster beach to see the beautiful seals.
  3. Drinking tea in the garden.
  4. Playing tennis as a family, which we did many times.
  5. Walking the dogs in the early mornings and evenings.
  6. Kayaking at Burnham Overy Staithe – the kayak turned out to be a great investment!
Kayak1 Kayak 2
Kayak 3
7. Drinking prosecco in the garden at sunset.
Sunset 2 Sunset 1
8. Playing with the dogs and B one evening on Brancaster beach.
Bran 2 Bran Lottie Bran HoneyBran 3
9. Visiting Muckleburgh Military Museum with B.
Muck
10. Watching the waves crash on the stony beach at Salthouse.
11. Eating brunch in the garden on many mornings.
12. Eating out at various local restaurants.
Orange food 2 Orange drink1 JS 2 JS 1 Orange food 1
13. Walking through the woods at Sandringham.
sand 3 Sand 1 Sand 2
sand 4
14. Picking strawberries and gooseberries.
Strawberries
15. Drinking Pimms in the garden in the early evening.

Pimms

16. Walking around the lake at Holkham Hall.

Holkham Holkham B Holkham G Holkham D17. Swimming together in Hunstanton.
18. Enjoying a barbecue on Saturday evening.
19. Walking to the amazing beach at Burnham Overy Staithe to eat a breakfast of sausage and bacon rolls.
BB walk BOS beach BB Georgie BB Ben Breakfast beach
20. Jumping in the straw left behind by the combine harvester in the field behind our house.
21. Eating ice cream at Drove Orchards.
22. Sitting on top of the straw bales in the field as the sun began to set.
Bale Bale 3 Bale 2
23. Looking forward to going back again for another 10 days at the end of the month!
Bran 1