Saturday, 19 July 2014

It's raining.....'s pouring!
What a way to start the Summer Holidays with a massive storm.

Last night I was woken, well when I say 'woken', I jumped out of my skin by the biggest clap of thunder and Biblical torrential rains. The storms rumbled around for at least the 3 hours I was awake. So I had a lazy start to the holidays - a lie-in and chance to catch up on the missing hours of sleep.

I then had the delights of going through Sophie's wardrobe - her figure has changed so much in the last 6 months so with that in mind, she has an epic shopping trip planned for Monday! No doubt I'll have an empty purse and will be worn out by the end of it. I need to go through Sam's clothes too but can not face that today - one child is enough!

Before the storms arrived, we had been enjoying some gloriously hot, sunny weather.

I've continued with the swimming, signed up for a season ticket and can now comfortably do 32 lengths in just over 30 minutes. It's apparently half a mile so I'm quite happy with that for now.

The garden is beautiful and thankfully it's still looking okay this morning after last night's rain. A few of the grasses look a bit flat but my sweet peas and sunflowers are still standing tall.

I'm so glad the sunflowers are in full bloom before we go away on holiday - I would have been disappointed if I had missed them.

And my sweet peas are brilliant this year, so much so that I could give a friend a posy.
The car smelt divine all the way to our coffee date.

All our meals have been enjoyed down at the bottom of the garden - it feels like you are on holiday when you eat outside.

I have been giving some consideration to next years holiday plans. We're considering France but we're not sure how far South you have to go to get guaranteed sunshine without the soaring temperatures of say Greece. I've been to France with school as a child but am otherwise clueless. There's plenty of time to research - we want to probably ferry it and then drive, doesn't have to be coastal but would otherwise have to have a pool for the boy! Something to look forward to.

So let this years Summer holidays commence - 6 1/2 weeks of no real routine - heaven. We're off to Cornwall for a few days soon to see Mum and Dad and celebrate my Granny's 91st Birthday! Then we have our week in Majorca to enjoy and Sam's 12th Birthday. Then it's home and the odd day trip out and about. I intend to enjoy every minute, September will come around far too quickly.

Have a great Summer - Cheers!

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

A simple Sunflower

I was given 4 sunflowers by a friend at the end of May - we potted them on, put them in a sunny spot and hoped for the best.

Well they grew - taller than me (which is not difficult to do!)

And over the past four days the first one flowered.
If you are a regular follower of this blog you know we had sunflowers at our wedding, so a favourite here. The seeds I planted straight into the soil did absolutely nothing, so next year I must remember to pot some up inside first if I can hope to match this year's success.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

He's back!

The wanderer returned!

Sam came home from Camp on Thursday absolutely shattered, so much so he dented his 100% Attendance record and had Friday off school to recover. He had a great time - 4 days outside in the fresh air! I think the school has it sussed - basically walk them miles every day, knacker them out completely, then they're all too tired to mess around. 

We've had lovely weather whilst he's been away - I even went swimming! Shepton is very lucky to have it's own Lido - a hidden gem. My legs have suffered badly from shin splints whilst running, so bad that I've had to stop, so I thought I might give swimming a go. I was quite proud of my 24 lengths as the last time I swam was on holiday last year. Admittedly Jeff swam 40 in the same time but he does go every day and I have to start somewhere.

Breakfast have been alfresco - such a treat.

I took the day off yesterday and went to Bath with a friend - it was so lovely to mooch, chat, have coffee, chat, have lunch, chat..... you get the picture! I treated myself to this fab spotty cosmetic bag for holiday and I couldn't resist the 'Fault in our Stars' Soundtrack.

The garden is flourishing in this gorgeous sunshine and for the first time in 4 years I have flowering sweet peas which smell divine.

Our Summer SALE is still on - ends on Friday so go treat yourself to a bargain whilst you can.

Have a lovely weekend.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Weekend round up

I'm not a huge reader - I need time to be able to read as once I start, I don't want to put the book down and I'm just too tired to do that on a normal day. Reading a book is now relegated to the holidays or the Summer when I can completely commit! I recently read 'Fault in our Stars' - a Sophie recommendation. At the time I had no idea it was be made into a film, I just enjoyed the book - a beautiful, sad, love story. So when Sophie wanted to go with her friends to see the film, I tagged along too.

The last time I went to the cinema was 2 years ago to see One Day (where does the time go?) - I then had read the book first so knew what to expect. I knew Fault in our Stars was going to be sad but ...... If you do go to see it take a box of tissues with you. It is sad but it is also a love story and very true to the book. 

Saturday was a pottering at home kinda day - then on Sunday I went and had a mooch around the Frome Independent Market.

 It's a great market - always busy, great stalls, delicious food and a fabulous atmosphere. It's on the first Sunday of every month and well worth a visit if you are local.

I love the Flea the best - I'm always tempted by something and this week was no exception.

The afternoon was spent in the garden making the most of the sunshine. Sam helped pick some peas for tea. He has a limited palette due to a condition 'Heightened Senses'. He has always struggled with tastes and textures and when younger was often sick, so became reluctant/unable to eat a variety of different foods. I'm hoping if he grows various vegetables, he might feel a little more willing/able to try!?!

Peas are one of the three vegetables he does eat already, although it took nearly 5 years of 'trying' to get there. He wasn't so keen on the raw peas as the flavour was too strong but did eat them cooked. We're going to try beans next, if we get any! 

I'm going to miss Sam - as this morning he's off to camp for the week. The school have been very good about his eating - we've had a chat and he's gone off with some emergency supplies in case he needs some extra energy. We've gone through the menu and tried some of the foods he'll be having, like butterscotch Angel Delight in an attempt to help him fit in like everyone else. He'll be fine, it will be me who sits at home worrying and if he ends up living off bread for 4 days, so be it. 

Have a good week - although it will seem a rather long one for me x

Thursday, 3 July 2014

This week is all about peas!

I'm celebrating because for the first time in 3/4 years I have managed to grow 'flowering' sweet peas.
Last year I had plenty of greenery but disappointingly only one flower late September but this year I have flowers......

The stems are really short but there is a flower, which smells divine.

I did treat myself to these off the market too - another one of my seasonal favourites.


Not only do we have sweet peas but actual peas too! And plenty of them.
There is nothing better than eating fresh peas straight from the pod.

I mixed these with a little dressing, mayo and mint and they were delicious.

I'm amazed actually how productive our little veg patch is, although I do think it is at risk of being taken over completely by the pumpkins or should that be triffids!! They've grown 3m already - they better produce some pretty good pumpkins too.

In the working world I've been busy sending out your  SALE orders....

.....with early morning trips to the Post Office thrown in for good measure.

I've also found a company that prints your Instagram photo's into actual paper copies.  I love digital photography but do miss actual photo's and worry that a whole chunk of time and memories will go amiss because I don't have physical photo's in a book to look at. I always made albums, which the children still enjoy looking at but from Sophie at the age of 7 and Sam 4 (they're now 14 and 11),  it all stops and all those memories seem missing some how. I know they're on the computer some where but it's not the same. My long term plan is to go back through the year's and make some mini albums of printed photo's to capture those missing years and I plan to print recent photo's a lot more often

Here's the sort of thing I'm talking about - this fabulous picture of Jeff and Sam captured one evening in Wells, which would be forgotten in amongst the copious images stored on the computer. It is a little daunting but when I find a pocket of time, I WILL get it done!

Friday, 27 June 2014

My one regret.... that I didn't travel enough when I was younger. I have a real yearning to see more of the world and wish I'd done more before I had real responsibilities. Don't get me wrong I've been lucky - I went to France twice with school and managed to persuade Dad that the German trip was educational! I went on a cycling holiday to Holland and went to France again with University. It was in my 2nd year in University I flew for the first time at the age of 20, when I went on an exchange programme and lived in America for a year. I also worked and saved hard to go inter-railing around Europe for 6 weeks in the Summer of my 3rd year and promised to return to all the places I briefly visited. So I didn't do too badly but.....

I then met Jeff and we both settled into work, house, responsibilities etc and holidayed on a different Greek Island every Summer until we honeymooned in Majorca and then had children. Holidays were then very much here in England until 2 years ago when we ventured as a family to Majorca, followed by Ibiza and there has been no going back. Only I want to travel more and have to be patient!

I want to go to Italy and tour the wonderful cities, I want to go to Paris and Barcelona and return to Prague. I want to go to Corsica and Island hop around Greece. America and Australia are on that wish list too. Sadly money isn't in huge supply, such that we can just go and the thought of 'traipsing' around various Italian cities is Sam's worst nightmare. With the children still in school and Jeff a teacher, the only time we can go is when everything is at it's most expensive. So that's were the patience comes in.

Now I'm not wishing my life away but once the children have left home in 6 years time (if they do!) then we will be able to holiday 3 weeks earlier than the state schools so hopefully it will also be cheaper. In 4 years time Sophie will be taking her A-Levels and Sam his GCSE's during the same year, so IF they wanted to still 'be seen' with us, we would be able to go away earlier then. I have made Jeff promise me that in our retirement years we will travel to all the places I long to see and so I have plenty of time to make lists, to research wonderful places and save up, so that when we can go off travelling I have it all worked out!!

I hope all those going off on a GAP Year or Summer adventures before University have the best time and see as much of the World as they can. I will certainly encourage my 2 to do that if they chose. 

Best I do some work and get saving!! Have a lovely weekend.