Well, that’s it today – the end of the school year for G and B, and almost holiday time for us – thank goodness! But before we jet off on Monday, here are a few of the things which have made me smile this week:
1. The Rhubarb Elderflower Gin Coolers that we made last Friday night. I made the rhubarb syrup during the day, so that we just had to mix the other ingredients in the evening, and they really were fabulous! I absolutely love rhubarb in all its forms, and I’ve been drinking gallons of elderflower cordial this summer, so it really was the most perfect combination.
2. I went to Surrey on Saturday to spend some time with a really close friend who has recently returned from ten years of living on the continent – and we had such a lovely day! Obviously, the M25 “car park” meant that I arrived over an hour later than intended, but we then made the most of the rest of the day – by doing very little! It was just what we both needed – a day of catching up, wandering around Weybridge, finding a lovely riverside pub for a much-needed drink, followed by an ice cream from a gorgeous Italian deli – a truly great day.
3. I do love to eat outdoors, and the children and I managed to do this on Sunday whilst D was out at work. It was gloriously sunny, and I had one of my favourite summer meals – spinach, strawberry and blue cheese salad – followed by a bit of time out on the parkland behind our house. We really were so lucky, as it absolutely tipped down with rain about 15 minutes after we came in, but we were very glad that we’d made the most of it while it was warm and dry.
4. I have no idea how I have got to the age of 41 and not watched “The English Patient” but somehow this had happened. So, when my great friend, Hettie, mentioned this recently whilst we were watching Ralph Fiennes star in “Man and Superman”, we decided that this had to be remedied, so she came over on Monday evening for a movie night. It’s not often that we stop talking when we are together, but this film had us sitting in almost complete silence for over two and a half hours – it really is a beautiful film, stunning in so many ways, with a totally compelling storyline, breath-taking scenery and first class performances. A very lovely way to spend an evening.
5. Books! My friend, Emma, who I visited on Saturday, gave me four books that she had finished with when I saw her, then Hettie had very kindly bought me a book for our holiday, so I feel that I have lots of great reading matter to keep me going. I do love having good books to look forward to.
6. Finally planning a range of activities for when we have two French exchange children over for nine days in August. This has been making me feel a little stressed over the past few weeks, as we don’t know them and have no idea how competent they are in English, so I felt that I needed to plan a full itinerary of activities to keep us all occupied, so I’m very pleased that I now have this sorted – and the Tesco vouchers are on their way!
7. My to-do list this week has been pretty varied, with a combination of work, things to do to prepare for our dog/house sitter arriving, last minute things to buy for our holiday (travel sickness wristbands we felt were a must for our deep sea fishing trip!) – and almost everything is done, which is always a good feeling.
8. The email I received yesterday morning saying that our dog/house sitter had arrived in the UK (as she lives in France). We can’t wait for her to arrive on Sunday, then we can talk her through everything, hand over all that needs to be handed over – and then leave our gorgeous dogs in her capable hands for two weeks!
9. B has been away (again!) all week in Northumberland, presumably having a great time (he’s never a great one for communicating when he’s away from home!). The trip sounded amazing, with visits to York Minster, various Roman forts, rock-pooling at the beach, Bamburgh Castle, zip wire activities, Leeds Amouries Museum – not to mention the early morning daily runs! But we are really looking forward to having him home tonight.
10. My final one today is my fabulous husband, D. We have been together since meeting at school, and he really is perfect for me – he is so supportive, kind and hard-working (I honestly think that he may just sleep for the entire two weeks that we are away, as he’s been working so hard!). I just feel so lucky that we found each other when we did.