Friday, 15 August 2014

Where has the week gone?

Time has just whizzed this week - nothing exciting to report just general goings on. 
I did manage to get early pickings of some blackberries - I looked back at the blog and it was late September last year.

So I made this delicious apple and blackberry cake again (recipe here). Trouble is I'm the only real cake fan in our house and it's far too tempting.

I guess the main thing we've done this week is help move Jeff's Dad out of the family home. Twenty years of stuff and 1000's of books, need I say more. I must confess I feel the urge to sort, tidy, dust and de-clutter my own house after the last few days. The house he's moved to is perfect for him - smaller, cleaner and now full of a lot less stuff but still full of 1000's of books!

I've also been picking and packing Christmas orders, going out to organised trade customers and today I've been shopping. Today Sam had his annual shopping trip to Bath. He hates shopping but has to get school trousers and shoes so whilst I have him as a captive audience, I try to get some casual stuff too. A coat, pumps, jeans, tops, school shoes, trousers and socks later - I am bankrupt! He is at that really awkward age/height/size of not fitting into children's clothes anymore but not really into adult sizes either - so it's a case of getting what fits regardless of cost. I'm exhausted!

So back home to peace and calm and an hour out in the garden with a coffee, to rest my weary feet. The weekend weather doesn't look too bad although getting colder - autumn is in the air.

Have a lovely weekend.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Normal life resumes.

No sooner are we back from holiday and the trips to the unit resume to pack orders, followed by the necessary visit to the Post Office. Morning outings to Tesco for the food shop and cooking, washing etc all fall into routine -sigh!

We did have Sam's birthday to celebrate and add a little cheer. I can't believe he's just turned 12 and is now as tall if not a little taller than me! Time is going by far too fast sometimes.

The weather has been pretty mixed on our return. We have just about turned all the washing around but the trail of Hurricane Bertha fell on my poor pots - my poor sunflowers.

The veg plot however has thrived though in our absence.

The pumpkin is still with us. I think it's probably as big as it will get now but hopefully we can keep it going until Halloween!

We've had an abundance of courgettes, beans and the last remaining pea pods to harvest.

So we've had beans for tea every night and (minus little visitor!)

I've been thinking up as many ways as I can, to cook courgettes.

I've had the joy of picking numerous posies of sweet peas - they smell divine.

When we have had a burst of sunshine, I've been sat out topping up the tan and making the most of it. I hate to mention it but I must say, I think there is the beginnings of an Autumnal feel to the air.

My poor sunflowers certainly look Autumnal - although that is probably down to my neglect whilst away, rather than how they should be now.

So normal day to day routines have resumed, although thankfully in a lazy way as we are still on school holidays. In fact we are at the half way point, although I always feel the last weeks seem to go by much quicker. I will have to start thinking about shoe and uniform shopping and do I dare mention, Christmas prep! eek!!

Well the sun has just made an appearance so I will go make the most of it before the next shower arrives - have a good week.

Friday, 8 August 2014

What a wonderful week!

We have just returned relaxed, refreshed and batteries recharged after a wonderful week away in Puerto Pollensa, Majorca.

It was a return visit to the Puerto Azul Hotel as we had such a fabulous time there 2 years ago. There is a new manager at the helm and improvements had been made to the rooms giving them a modern makeover. 

The one downside with any poolside holiday is the sun lounger routine. Thankfully here the loungers were chained up until 9am so there wasn't the ridiculous 7am 'grab a lounger' scenario. You still had to be around by 8.30'ish to get your 'spot' but as my 2 insisted on being the first in the pool every morning, it wasn't a problem.

What we enjoy and have come to realise we need, is good old family time together with no interruptions.

Our days were spent poolside,

and our evenings were spent in the seaside town of Puerto Pollensa.

I spent my week on a lounger, swimming in the pool (20 lengths every morning) .......

reading, people watching, drinking coffee......
  basically doing nothing at all and I loved every minute.

 I love the fact I don't have to think about food - meal plan, shop, cook for a whole week and I actually managed to lose 1/2 a pound.  I've come home feeling completely relaxed and refreshed.

I love how the children become closer when away - none of the walking 10 paces ahead, not wanting to have anything to do with one another, less bickering. They really do enjoy each others company when away which is refreshing to see.

Puerto Pollensa is the most beautiful place - we stumbled upon this tranquil square on our last evening. The boys went swimming in the sea a couple of evenings whilst us girls walked the pine walk along the sea front.

Our last evening was treat time - they'd been eyeing these ice cream sundae's up all week. So as it was Sam's 12th birthday the following day we thought it only right to celebrate a little early!

I think Sam had mixed feelings about having his birthday on the day we returned - he had a 5.45am wake up call and had to wait until we got home to open his pressies, so may have to reconsider when we go next year. My fears about how he would cope with the heat weren't an issue. Maybe because we had some glorious weather before we came but he survived fine - air conditioning and time out up in the room certainly helped.

This photo is my favourite from our time away - I must get it framed.

So we are now at home, working our way through the piles of washing, catching up on emails and orders, I have a birthday cake to make and a garden to tend to. It's back to life as normal.........

.........although I will start to give plenty of thought to next years adventures x

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

All packed .......

....and ready to go!

We're off on our hols for a week - leaving this glorious weather behind but hoping it will be just as sunny, if not sunnier when we get there.

The dots and spots shop is open for browsing but we can't take orders until our return on Friday the 8th of August - sorry for any inconvenience. 

The garden should fair better this time as Mum and Dad are house sitting for us whilst we're away - gives them a mini break too. So just a 2.30am alarm to look forward to, then Majorca here we come!

Have a good week!

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Time for.....

.....the chop!

Sophie has decided it's time for a change.

A good 12 inches off later!

I think it looks fabulous.

The boy got his done a month or so ago- great improvement.
Much more practical in this heat and super stylish too.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

A few days.......

.....away in Cornwall.
On Wednesday we headed off to Cornwall to stay with Mum and Dad for a few days.

We got down at midday and with the sun shining, we headed straight for the beach and in minutes the boys were in,

whilst the girls watched!!

We were so lucky with the weather - Thursday was spent down at St Ives on Porthgwidden beach. Jeff and Sam spent all day in the water and if it hadn't been for the rising tide, we would have spent the whole day there rooted to the spot.

We had tea in our favourite spot The Hub - always delicious food with fab views across the harbour. We rounded off the evening with even more swimming and with the promise of a return visit the following evening.

I love this photo - Sophie was trying to get out of shot, whilst Sam meanders on behind tired, with red cheeks from a day of non stop swimming - good times.

Friday and with a third day of sunshine to wake up to, we headed over to Godrevy Beach - another of our favourites and for the first hour or so you nearly have the place to yourself.

All 3 of the tribe were braver than me and went in for a dip - well someone has to keep an eye on the bags! Apparently the sea was warmer than Los Angeles at 20.5 degrees , still not warm enough for me!

As promised we headed back over to St Ives in the evening. Having spent the previous evening watching people leap in to the water at high tide ......

....Sam wanted to have a go

 and of course the biggest kid of all - Jeff!!

We then had fish and chips, watching the seals bobbing around in the water - perfect.

Saturday was a bit grey so we headed over to Truro and had a quiet afternoon as everyone was knackered from all the swimming and leaping!

In the evening we went out to celebrate a very special Birthday - my Granny's 91st Birthday. 

So all in all a lovely few days away with the family.

Sadly the sunflowers didn't fair well in our absence and looked very sorry for themselves on our return.

The veg patch on the other hand has thrived - I'm hoping for a good bean crop and we have about 7 pumpkins to keep watch over, the sweet peas are a flowering wonder this year too.

So with the dead heading, weeding and watering done, I have an evening on the sofa booked before I tackle orders in the morning. A lovely few days away - thanks Mum and Dad for having us but it's always nice to be home.