Saturday 30 April 2022

Farewell April

Before returning to work on Monday, Jeff planted out the sunflower seeds. 
We leave them in the porch for a few weeks to get a head start....

,,,,and they are already on their way!

We had such a fabulous display out in the front last year, we hope to repeat it.

So Jeff took Sam back to Uni on Sunday and returned to work himself on Monday, a 5 week term ahead. I worked my normal Sunday, Monday and did extra on Tuesday for the plinth change, ripping up 1000's of tickets ready to be put out over night. Then on Wednesday I went to Bristol on my own. 
(How fab is this floor by the way!?!)

I'm not sure I've ever been to Bristol on my own. Sophie has her finals, so couldn't commit to coming with me and I really wanted to see Chicago, so I went solo!! Soooooo very glad I did, the show was amazing, an incredible show. I have seen it before, 15 yrs ago in London, a 10th Wedding Anniversary treat but I didn't remember half of it!

On Thursday, my friend Lynn and I walked.

I took her over to the bluebell woods Sam had taken me to, before he left. They were far too magnificent not to share. Such a lovely walk and I must go back, the wild garlic is about to burst into flower.....

....and all the fabulous ferns unfurling.

Had a fabulous coffee and catch up with a friend on Friday, 3 and a half hours later!!!
But so worth it and lovely to see each other.

So today I had a rare day at home, with no plans. 
The last day of April and time to remind myself of what a busy month it's been, it's whizzed by. 

Great news for my Mum and Dad - Granny's house sale finally went through, second time lucky. 
So happy and relieved for my dad, as it's one less thing to worry about.

So I spent my morning sorting through my wardrobe, a job that's been on the 'to do' list for a while and then this afternoon it was warm enough to sit out in the garden and read. Jeff's got something on at school, in fact he's had a few things on, coupled with me going out, that we've only actually had one tea together for a few days. I walked up to school with him and continued once around the block. I'm trying out a few things to aid losing a few pounds. Will share in another post how I'm getting on.

It's work for me tomorrow and Monday and I have to go in extra for a meeting on Wednesday. I'm meeting up with my sister on Wednesday eveing, we have tickets out out and it'll give us a chance to plan out our few days in Pisa/Florence/Lucca/Sienna etc I then have a coffee date before my hair colour, a walk with Lynn planned in, got to vote on Thursday evening, so it's shaping up to be a busy week. Weather looks mixed but hopefully the odd dose of sunshine in the mix, fingers crossed we do as we enter the merry month of May!!

Saturday 23 April 2022

Bluebells, cows!! and Uni trips!

A busy week!
Jeff took Sophie back to Reading on Bank Holiday Monday.
Her final term!

I took delivery on Tuesday, of my new shoe storage unit for the hall.
Much better than the Ikea bookcase that was there before.

On Wednesday Jeff and I headed out for a walk. I took him over to Burrows Mump, 
a walk I've done a couple of times before, no problems.....

....only this time we were chased through a field by a herd of cows. 
Got to the gate relieved, only to be met by another field of cows the other side. 
It was frightening, not sure what I'd of done if Jeff hadn't been there! 
Trying to stay calm when you're absolutely petrified!!

I worked my Easter Sunday hours on Thursday, an early 7am start! You get the choice, as the store is closed on Easter Sunday, to either take holiday or work the hours at another time, so I did an 8hr shift on Thursday. Only positive to an early start, is the ever changing view of the Tor.

So Friday was the only day we were all off together, so we headed out for a walk in the afternoon, led by Sam to some bluebell woods the far side of Wells.

I thought I'd missed out on seeing them this year but caught them perfectly.

Simple, elegant, beautiful.

The photo's simply don't do the magnificent display justice...

....bluebells as far as the eye could see.

So Sam is doing his last shift at work today, might of just paid off his overdraft this holiday! Jeff takes him back to Cardiff tomorrow as I'm working. Can't believe his first year is nearly over. He's decided to switch course in September, so will actually start over again!! Will need to knuckle down and do so actual work next year, he's certainly made the most of the social side of student life this year. 
He and Sophie are so completely different, she's the model student, he's the model socialite!!
Must say I am looking forward to them both being up in Cardiff next year, an excuse to visit x

I have a busy 5 weeks ahead of me before I head off to Florence with my sister to belatedly celebrate our 50th birthdays and revisit the wonderful Florence from our inter-railing days. I have a few theatre tickets booked (going solo) to see Chicago and Singing in the Rain and a trip to London to meet up with Sophie and tickets to see Frozen. An evening out with my sister to see Corrine Bailey Rae and a re-scheduled night out in Bristol to see The Killers. Throw in work, hair appointments, dentist, walks etc and it's a busy few weeks. Not much painting will get done for sure!! Still it's good to keep busy and lets hope the sunshine decides to make a prolonged visit, definitely no painting if it does.

Tuesday 19 April 2022

Easter Celebrations



I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend. 
We arrived home in the early hours of Easter Sunday morning, perfect timing.

We didn't see any of the Easter Processions whilst out in Italy but we did see the chocolate eggs wrapped in foil and the traditional Easter cakes, pastiera Napolentana. 

Sophie very kindly baked us a cake for our return. She also did the food shop, made sure the washing basket was empty for our return and taxied us to and from the airport. She's now back in Reading, Jeff took her back on Bank Holiday Monday, whilst Sam and I were at work. Can't believe she's starting her final term and final exams!! Where have those four years gone??? 

The tulips made a perfectly timed 'bloom' for the Easter weekend.... did the blossom!

So a lovely Easter weekend. As I mentioned Sam and I worked the BH Monday, he has a few more shifts before he heads back to Cardiff on Sunday. Then it's a 5 week term before the half term break and my belated 50th birthday trip to Florence with my sister. The way time is whizzing by, it'll be here before I know it. The diary is quite full between now and then too, so a busy few weeks ahead.

Monday 18 April 2022


Back from a fantastic five days in Naples, a busy, chaotic, assault on your senses.
We were lucky, we had the best weather, warm, sunny but not too hot, leaving a rainy UK behind.

Our apartment was a fabulous Airbnb find, located on the fourth floor of this impressive old building, in the Centro Storico area. All clean and tidy, views, even a small shared roof terrace and less than a 10 min walk to the train station. Just what you need for a city adventure. 


We walked miles 20,000+ steps easily! We spent our first day getting our bearings, getting a feel for the city. Finding the ferry for our island trip, working out where the funicular runs from etc Just taking in the fast paced, crazy driving, horn honking city that is Naples.

A well deserved Peroni!!


Day two and a fab trek up Mount Vesuvius. Got the Circumversuviana train to Ercolano, then the Versuvius Express and a nail biting, winding drive up to the bottom of the crater. 
Then a 30 minute climb to the top. 

The most incredible views of Naples, surrounding islands and over to Sorrento and Capri. 

And of course, incredible views down into the crater itself.

The climb down was quite slippy on the loose volcanic rock 
and I had the dustiest, messy shoes!!

Another well deserved beer and our first pizza of the trip.


On our third day we took a  trip to the colourful island of Procida. 

We caught the ferry, takes about an hour, have 4 hours to explore! €25 return. 
You could choose to spend longer but it was enough.

The beautiful, colourful Island of Prodica.

Prodica has been voted as the Capital of Culture for 2022, so there was probably a lot of additional, colourful art exhibits on the island to normal.

More fantastic Italian cuisine.


Day four and we stayed in Naples but head up to the highest point, via the Funicular, looking out over the city from Certosa di san martino, a former Monastery, now museum and gardens. Lovely and quiet, fantastic views all around

The view across the city of Naples, the bay and Mount Vesuvius.

We zig-zagged our way down from the Certosa di san martino,
 down into the heart of Naples and the.......

....Quarter Spangoli, the Spanish Quarters and had lunch. 

Then got the Metro at Toledo to see this fantastic station and headed to the coast for the afternoon.
We walked miles and miles and just grabbed some Street Food before heading back to the apartment to recover. My poor feet!!!


Our last day and we headed down into the Underground City today! 
La Neapolis Sotterrata

Really interesting hour spent 40m down, exploring the Underground City - La Neapolis Sotterrata. 
Had an English tour, really informative but think we were the only English there!! 

Fascinating and worth a visit, squeezing by torchlight through the underground tunnels.

Last pizza, didn't disappoint!!

We enjoyed the best coffee and cake!!

And the best pasta and pizza and Italian food.

We soaked up all things Napoli!!
The buckets being lifted up to the higher floors, the mad crazy ' no rules' horn beeping traffic, The washing hung everywhere, the narrow cool streets, the graffiti...... I said before, a complete assault of the senses.

Napoli, you were everything and more. Have come home for a rest but would return in a heartbeat. Next trip, move down the coast to Sorrento, Amalfi, Positano, Ravelo, Capri - a whole other adventure xx

For more pics, head over to my Travel Instagram page @hap_pea_travels