Monthly Archives: May 2015

Happy Friday 08.05.15

Flapjack Sleepy_pups Walking Windmill

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Thank goodness that this has been a “short” week and is now almost over. It has been a really tough week for so many reasons, so I’ve had to dig very deep to come up with my Happy Friday list. Literally just about everything that could have gone wrong has done – and more besides – so here’s hoping for a much better weekend.

Anyway, here’s what I managed to come up with which have made me happy this week –

1. We had a lovely weekend in Norfolk for the Bank holiday – and the weather was very kind to us!

2. One thing that D and I did which we haven’t done before is go out for a long walk by ourselves, leaving G and B at home with their revision. Although it is always lovely to go out as a family, of course, it also felt very special that it was just the two of us – and the three dogs, obviously! We did one of our favourite walks around Burnham Overy Staithe and the sun shone almost all the way round.


3. Having the time to read a magazine, cover to cover – what bliss!

4. Our fire pit arriving! We have everything crossed that the weather stays fine this weekend so that we can finish off the area of the garden where this is going to go, then we can try it out.

5. My (or should I say “our”?) new workstation. We decided a couple of weeks ago to put an area on our landing to better use than housing a storage hamper, and have instead removed this and installed a small desk and a new computer. This is for both me and B to use, and we really love it.

6. Sleepy puppies! We took them out for such long walks at the weekend that our evenings were much more peaceful than usual, as they were absolutely exhausted and just slept. Too cute!

7. The gorgeous spring lambs which we came across whilst completing the treasure trail – they were so beautiful and very inquisitive as to what we were up to as we searched for a clue.

8. Flowers in the house. We currently have lots of fresh spring flowers around – mainly daffodils and tulips – which I absolutely love.

9. Chips at the village pub. We popped in on Sunday after our long walk for a drink and some chips and they were the best! They still had the skins on, and there were plenty of small crunchy bits as well as the larger ones, so they went down very well.

10. Planning my birthday meal. It’s my birthday next week and I’m having a small dinner party the evening before – a girls night – which I’m really looking forward to, but one of the parts which I really enjoy, as well as the night itself, is the planning. The menu has now been decided!

Puppies Workstation Dan_pups 20150502_153433~2_resized


Who did it???

Despite all the odds, we have just been lucky enough to enjoy a beautiful, sunny Bank holiday weekend in north Norfolk – our favourite place, as you know, if you have read my previous posts. We always go out for plenty of walks while we are there, as we are simply spoilt for choice for stunning places to exercise the dogs – and ourselves! Our favourite haunts are Brancaster beach, Holkham beach and pine woods, Wells-next-the-Sea and Burnham Overy Staithe. This weekend, though, I decided to “spice it up” a little with a Treasure Trails mystery, to keep us entertained on our walk.


If you haven’t tried a Treasure Trails hunt before, they are great fun – and I absolutely love them! You can buy a trail online at – there are over 1200 self-guided themed treasure hunts all across the UK to choose from – and either download it instantly or request for it to be posted to you. Each trail is either a murder mystery, a spy mission or a treasure hunt, so, by solving the clues, you will be uncovering a murderer, completing a mission or discovering the location of missing treasure – what could be more fun? In a nutshell, it is an imaginative way to explore areas of the UK, following simple directions, cracking the clues and finding some interesting sights and facts along the way.


So where did this fantastic idea begin? Well, Treasure Trails started in 2005 in Cornwall when a Treasure Trail was written around the founders home town for a charity event –  this was so successful that he decided to write more trails around Cornwall and sell them at craft shows. Someone who had completed one of the trails then entered him into the Cornwall Tourism Business Awards, in which the silver prize was won. This then led him to believe that perhaps they could be written for all areas of the UK, for plenty more people to enjoy!

We have previously completed trails in Burnham Market in Norfolk and in Melbourne in Derbyshire, both of which were treasure hunts, but, this time, we opted for a murder mystery, which involved a longer walk and the challenge of discovering both the murderer and the murder weapon. We chose the trail around Burnham Deepdale and Brancaster Staithe, with the brief of solving the mystery of the murder of Captain Johnathon C Gull (see what they did there?).  We followed the directions and solved the clues as we went along – the answers to the clues were located on buildings, monuments, signs and memorials, each one allowing us to eliminate suspects and weapons, to leave just one of each. The directions were perfectly clear and we really liked the variety of clues – sometimes we had to look out for images, sometimes dates on buildings, other times we had to count letters or words on signs to solve the puzzle. The trail booklet also provides snippets of information about the area as you go along, which is a bonus.


We were completely successful all the way around – until we came to the final clue! Arrgghhh! We looked and looked and couldn’t find the map we needed in order to eliminate the final suspect. However, Treasure Trails also have this covered. You can, if you get completely stumped as we did, text the reference number and clue number to them and they send the answer back to you. Be warned though – you can only do this three times! Fortunately, we only had to do this at the end which enabled us to solve the mystery – a satisfying feeling for all!


So we had a great afternoon. It’s always good to get the children away from screens and spend time together outdoors, and these trails involve us all working together, negotiating, solving problems and following directions, along with learning about and appreciating the local area. We find that, due to constantly searching and scrutinising, we look up more and take far more notice of the area around us. For example, although we have walked the coastal path countless times, we noticed several houses which we haven’t spotted previously!

Thank you, Treasure Trails, for a great experience. We’re already looking forward to the next one!

Happy Friday 01.05.15

Bluebells Lemon_cake Ploughmans Salad

Another week has somehow rolled by, so it’s Happy Friday time again. Here is a handful of things which have made me happy this week.

1. Last Friday, I met a very good friend, Lindsey, for lunch, and we tried a new venue! We went to The Jinnie Inn at Rolleston on Dove, and had a lovely meal. I opted for the Ploughman’s lunch, which is a really unusual choice for me, but I had seen it being served to the adjacent table and it looked delicious – and it was! Lindsey chose a salad, which she also really enjoyed, so I’m thinking that it may be a good place to try on my birthday in a couple of weeks. It was lovely, as ever, to catch up with Lindsey and get up to date with each other’s news – a great start to the weekend.

2. What’s better on a Friday night than a takeaway? I was out and about until later than usual last Friday, with my car having been serviced, etc. so we decided to go for the easy option of a Chinese, so we had a lovely family night in – takeaway, a new episode of Modern Family and a new gin to try (that was for me and D only!).

3. It is firmly revision season in our house right now, with B’s exams looming in just over two weeks, so that means that I am on duty providing regular drinks and cakes for the workers! I made a tasty lemon drizzle cake last weekend, which everyone seemed to enjoy – so much, in fact, that it didn’t last long at all.

4. One of my favourite flowers, along with tulips and lilies, is the bluebell, and I am so thrilled that our garden is absolutely full of them at the moment. I did notice that there were quite a lot when we viewed the house last spring, but I was worried that the puppies might have destroyed any chances of them reappearing, but there are so many – just beautiful.

5. Talking of gardens, we have actually been doing this quite a lot this week ourselves, as we have developed  our plans for the top end of the garden. We had several leylandii trees cut down last Sunday, as they were serving no particular purpose, and were actually making that area quite dark and shady, so their removal in itself has made a huge difference, but we are now looking forward to opening it up a little more and developing it into a fire pit area. The gravel and fire pit have been ordered, so we are really looking forward to getting the work done and toasting our first marshmallows!

6. One of the things that has made me so happy  this week is the fantastic customer service which I experienced from Thinking Slimmer. I used one of their Slimpods four years ago – if you haven’t come across them, you listen to one of their 10 minute hypnosis sessions, available as a download or on CD, every day, and it retunes your mind to help you create healthy lifestyle changes. I decided that I wanted to start listening again (our holiday is looming!!) but thought that I would have to buy the programme again as I had had it downloaded onto my old phone, so no longer had it. However, they provide such fabulous customer service, that they put a new copy of it into my account immediately so that I can download it again.

7. “Peter Kay’s Car Share” definitely fetched smiles – and laughs – to us at the weekend. I had heard Peter Kay talking about it on Radio 2 on Friday and thought that it sounded like an interesting concept – all six episodes were available on BBC iPlayer from 9pm on Friday, but then are being shown on normal BBC channels this week as well. We have always loved Peter Kay and this really didn’t disappoint. If you haven’t seen it, you really should take a look – Peter is excellent, but Sian Gibson, who plays the other main role, is fantastic.

8. We had a really productive couple of days last weekend, getting lots of jobs done in both the house and garden, which is always satisfying and makes me happy.

9. A delicious salad I made last weekend was yet another highlight. I had heard it mentioned on a vlog a few days previously, and thought that I would give it a try – it was spinach, strawberry and blue cheese, and I drizzled it with balsamic vinegar – so simple but super tasty!

10. The final one for this week is that I am always happy when we have a weekend in Norfolk to look forward to, and with it being a bank holiday weekend coming up, that means that we get three days and nights there, which will be so lovely.

I hope that the weather is kind to everyone and that you all have a fabulous weekend.