Sunday 26 August 2018

2019 holiday....


As soon as I get off the plane from my holiday, I am researching next years trip. I come back enthused, excited to discover a new place and am conscious of what went right/wrong with the holiday just gone. Booking our own villa with a pool this year was fantastic and certainly the way we'll holiday whilst the kids are still with us. So after hours, and I mean hours of researching, we have booked our villa for next year, still in Majorca but in the town of Soller, close to Port de Soller, Deia and Fornalutx.

We realised this year, that with the added freedom of not having to bagsy a sunbed at 8am and stay on it all day, we are best getting up and exploring first thing, knowing we have the villa and our own pool to come back to. So we have gone for an area where we can do just that. There is a great coastal walk to Deia, obviously explore Soller and nearby Port de Soller. There is an old train down to Palma or it's just a bus trip away, plus the nearby town of Fornalutx.

It's just for a week, that's all we can afford but it'll be a week together as a family, that's if Sophie wants to or is free to come and join us! I like to book early so I know it's done, I have time to save up and it's something to look forward too. We used the website HomeAway to find our villa. I filter our choice to Private Pool, Air Con and WiFi! You can put in a price cap and room number etc and it'll show you all the listed accommodation in your search area - all very easy, 334 days and counting!

Thursday 23 August 2018

Final Results are in....

....and he passed!!

The boy done good!

Sam and I have come to blows over the past year. I have felt all along that more effort was required and any work done was after lengthy debate about how long it would have to be for and would always end in an argument. In the heat of an argument he would always chip in "Sorry I'm such a disappointment to you" and I would always reply "not a disappointment but a huge frustration!!" He still is, a frustration, but somehow we got through the year, still speaking to each other and today the results were in

8's in Maths and Physics (A*)
7's in Chemistry and Biology (A)
6's in English Lang, History and Computer Science (B)
5's in English Lit and French (C)

Yes, you read that correctly, a 5 in French, he actually passed French! French was the 'mistake' subject. The subject you take because you think a Language would be good. The subject you hate from the word go. The subject you should have changed before it was too late. We ended up getting a tutor for French and today I took her a bottle of champagne to say thank you and celebrate the fact Sam actually passed and that miracles do happen!!!

He is now going on to study Maths, Physics and Chemistry at A Level, just like his father did. All subjects he enjoys, all subjects he's good at, so I'm hoping there will be less battles ahead of us. 

Sam we're super proud of what you have achieved and wish you the future success you deserve x

Sunday 19 August 2018

Quick catch up!


We've come down from our high and all the excitement of A Level results day on Thursday. We of course celebrated and then on Friday the financial realities hit home, with her accommodation deposit paid! She got her first choice of accommodation which was great and I have been squirrelling bits and pieces away now for a while, although the list seems never ending and there are a good few shopping trips penciled in over the next few weeks before she goes.

I think the next few weeks are going to whizz by. She finishes work at the end of August, so has three weeks to sort herself out, de-clutter her room, pack, see friends and family etc before she goes. The intention is that she'll not come home until Christmas, we'll visit once at half term but of course that could all change, we'll go with the flow. It has felt for the first time though, that there is a slight autumnal feel in the air. It's been a lovely long summer but I need to get back into a proper routine soon, start saving instead of spending!! 

The garden is looking lovely, grass a little greener after the rain, still sweet peas flowering and beans, blackberries.....

....and even a fig for picking.

Dad bought me the fig plant last year and we have our first fig and it was delicious. It's actually full of figs but I'm not sure how many will now ripen enough to eat.

So it's been a busy and exciting week and we do it all again on Thursday, with Sam's GCSE results. No idea how they'll go, could not call it at all. I have insisted he tells me straight away or I'll embarrass him and come down to the school hall to find out, when he said expect to know about 11'ish!! He gets them at 9am!!! BOYS!!!!

Thursday 16 August 2018

She only went and did it!!!


She did it! 
Sophie is off to Reading University to study Economics.

I can not tell you just how nerve wracking the past few weeks have been and this morning was awful. Luckily her school emailed out the results at 6am but still..... waiting for that 'ping', then actually opening up and reading the email. We genuinely had no idea which way it would go - 
Plan A - Off to Reading // Plan B - Reading after begging and pleading // Plan C - go 'somewhere' through Clearing // Plan D - retakes and a year at home!
Thankfully Plan A was all that was needed, as she got A B B, her Offer grades.

I think Jeff is especially proud of her A in Maths, with B's in Economics and Geography. I dropped her off at school in the morning, so she could catch up with everyone else, then this afternoon we've put together a list of what she needs to get. We have a few bits squirrelled away but then haven't wanted to think about it, incase there was the chance of it not happening! Now in 5 weeks time she'll be off, the start of a new big adventure!

Of course we celebrated with cheesecake, for breakfast at 7am!!
Why not!?!

Couldn't be happier x

Saturday 11 August 2018

Quick week....

After Sam's birthday on Tuesday, it's been a quick week.

I worked the Monday, Wednesday and Friday as normal and did overtime today. Obviously my day off on Tuesday was all about Sam and cake making but on Thursday I had a 'me' day and drove up to Gloucester Quays for the day, to meet old school friends. We met, to the day, a year ago at Gloucester Quays! There's never enough time to catch up on everything, just like school days, after a full day at school together, we'd then phone each other the minute we got home, then meet up again in the evening. It's always good after all these years, to just pick up where you left off.

I've also faced the scales this morning after a month away from group. We flew out and then back on weigh day, then I gave myself a week's grace after my holiday but then missed last week too, waiting in for an Ikea delivery. I could have got out of this week too, as was wanted in early for work but I made myself go, face the scales, bought a six week countdown and am now determined to get back to target! I was at one point just a pound and a half away, now I'm back up to 7lbs!

Half a stone really isn't that much and I should easily be able to lose it in six weeks but there is a lot on but then when isn't there!?! So a little focus, an extra dollop of determination and I pledge to be back to target by the end of September. Where ever I am now, I'm a million miles away from where I once was.

Have a great week x

Tuesday 7 August 2018

Birthday Boy - 16

Who doesn't love a birthday!?!

Somehow, this one has turned 16!
My baby!!!

 Where, oh where, have the years gone?
I got quite emotional looking back through the photo albums to put together this collection. I started off with great intentions, to photograph them every year in the blue chair on their birthday, sadly we stopped. So it gave me excuse to lose an hour or two, looking back through the photo albums. I remember every birthday as if it were yesterday.

This year we have balloons.....

....and cake...

....lots of cake!
Sam is off out with friends today to celebrate his birthday, so we had cake for elevensies!

He wanted a double bed for his birthday, well he is 6ft plus now. We boxed up all the Lego, childhood books, cuddly toys, all stored away up in the roof for now, had a furniture shuffle to fit in the bed and now he has a room more in keeping of a 16 year old - computer, bed and a continual supply of Lynx. What more does a boy want!?!

Friday 3 August 2018

Puerto Pollensa - Part Two

Following on from yesterday, here is a round up of the second half of our weeks trip to Puerto Pollensa.  


On Wednesday we split up into the girls and the boys! Us girls were up early to wander around Puerto Pollensa Market, which was held in the old square every Wednesday morning.

The boys, up early too, caught a bus back to Pollensa to climb up Puig de Maria (the big hill in the photo) 

The market was great, full of fresh fruit, leather goods, pottery, flowers etc. We got what we needed and took it back to our apartment, after a detour to the bakery too, as there were no bakery stalls. We then headed back to the square for breakfast - coffee and cake and a spot of people watching.

Whilst the boys climbed to the top of Puig de Maria.
Think I opted for the easier choice of activity!!

Treated myself to this little bowl, couldn't resist.

Sophie and I then went for a dip in the sea..... did the boys on their return and....

......we then spent the afternoon by the pool.

We met up with a friend, who now lives in Majorca, for a meal that evening. He used to teach Maths with Jeff when we were at Wells Cathedral School, 14 yrs ago!  They picked up where they had left off and we had a great evening - will probably see them more now, once a year at least, than when they were still living in England.


Too many early mornings for some, so Jeff and I headed off on our own, catching the local bus to Formentor. It was worth going to, for the bus trip alone, such fantastic views.

And the beach was as we remembered, beautiful but very busy. We got there early enough to find a quiet spot down at the end, away from the crowds. 

The sea there is the most crystal clear and so lovely to swim in.

We got a reasonably early bus back, as 3 boat loads of people were arriving.

And then spent the afternoon in the pool.

That evening we ate pizza, at the Little Italy Pizzeria on the seafront. It gets super busy, so we booked earlier to ensure we got a table. There is a huge choice of restaurants along the seafront and around the town square - too many to choose from over the course of just one week.

And as always we walked, so we could justify having a gelato later!


Friday, last full day and a quiet day in Puerto Pollensa. It's funny how you slot into a routine, no matter where you are. Every morning I got up early, showered and walked to the bakery....

.....selected pastries for breakfast and bread for lunch, then headed down to the seafront, always so still, peaceful and calm before heading home to make breakfast for everyone.

This particular morning, Jeff went out on a run then.....

.... met me for a coffee and a spot of people watching, before going back.....

... to make breakfast.

After lunch we all headed to the sea for a swim, then back to the pool. I was determined to finish at least one book, had read hardly any this holiday as we've been out and about more, rather than just sat by the pool, bagsying our sunbed, as on previous holidays.

We decided to eat out in the square for our final evening. 
It was little warmer without the sea breeze but just as interesting 

and the food was great, possibly the best we'd had all week.

We even got to see the Lunar Eclipse or Blood Moon, once the cloud had cleared. It was very faint but red in colour and the bright light below was Mars.


Our last morning in Puerto Pollensa, bakery run and walk along the seafront as normal, followed by breakfast at our apartment, ready to leave by 10am.

We had a 3 hour wait for our transfer to the airport, so we found a shady bench to bide our time. I actually read the most, sat on that bench, than I had done the whole week. There was a lovely breeze, so manageable for Sam. We then had an early lunch before our pick up and airport run.

I love airports. I love the busyness of them, people watching there is the best, although everything felt a little rushed for some reason.

I did manage to turf Sam out from the window seat spot, so enjoyed the views for the first time in years. Sophie and I think this was Magaluf below, due to the proximity of a water park we could make out.

Before you knew it, we were back over England's dry and rather brown/parched land. You could certainly see the results of the recent heatwave.

WE had the best holiday, spending some quality time together as a family. Don't get me wrong it wasn't all sweetness and roses, I think Sam wished he were at home on many occasions, missing his friends, would have happily 'endured' just a few days en famille, rather than a whole week! I wonder how many more family holidays there will be. Will Sophie come on holiday with us next year if away at university?? The first thing I do on my return, is start investigating where to go next year. I'm going to book as if it's the four of us but sort flights out nearer the time, you never know it could just be Jeff and I!!