Sunday 31 December 2023



I LOVE to look back on the year. See what we've done, achieved, enjoyed!!
I tend to look at all the positives, rather than dwell on the negatives. 

Musical Theatre is something Sophie and I enjoy together, and I've seen 7 shows this year - The Commitments (just me!), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Lion King, 42nd Street, Greatest Days, Pretty Woman (just me!) and Annie.... We've already eight booked up for 2024 and one booked up for 2025 already!! The bonus of an ATG Card, cheaper tickets!

We've also had a great year for Live music. Jeff and I started off the year in Wells Cathedral, listening to the London Film Music Orchestra, play the music of Hans Zimmer and John Williams. Jeff and I then saw ABBA Voyage in London and Deacon Blue in Cardiff, meeting up with my old school friend Mel and her hubby Ade. Sophie and I got to see Harry Styles, Coldplay at the Principality Stadium and Disney100, all perform in Cardiff. And my sister and I went back in time and saw Haircut 100 at the Bath Forum. We also saw Love Actually with a live orchestra again, taking Ella (my niece) with us this time, her first watch of Love Actually. Which coincidentally was celebrating it's 20th year!! And, although not feeling my best, I did make it to the Festive Fiesta again in Bristol, my Christmas favourite!

I've seen a few films this year, supporting our local cinema and their afternoon matinees, with free coffee and biscuits!! Ten in total!

I have had quite a big year personally. Am in the throws of the menopause, which certainly isn't being kind - bad back, dry eye, frozen shoulder... the list goes on! I left my job at Sainsbury's in June after very nearly six years, and started work up at Millfield as an Exam Invigilator in November. And in the new year I start another role, as Gallery Invigilator. I got to tick off a BIG 'Bucket List' item this year, getting to fly in a Hot Air Balloon in July and a slightly smaller one, finally photographing a Kingfisher!! I enjoyed my 30th University Reunion up in Ambleside, meeting up with great friends, who after all these years have not changed at all and it felt like it was just yesterday that we'd last been together. For the first time in 30 years + all the cousins got together at a family gathering down in Cornwall and Dad got to enjoy the company of both his daughter's on Father's Day for the first time in years. I recently had a lovely meet up with school friends up in Cleobury and I've been lucky to have had a few meet ups with my Uni partner in crime this year, always a treat. I continue to get out and walk, often with my friend Lynn and continue to enjoy my love of Photography, being totally annoying and taking photo's ALL the time!!

Jeff continues to be super busy at work but found time to get his unseen Ebay purchase from last year, his beloved Peugot 205, through it's MOT. He'd been diagnosed with high cholestral during a routine check-up, most probably hereditary, and has lost weight due to few lifestyle changes. He still runs, spins, swims, referees!!!

Sam celebrated his 21st this year up in Cardiff. He stayed up there this summer, working in a Greek restaurant as head pot-washer, potato peeler and tzatziki maker!! He's in his second year at Uni, studying History and Economics and seems to have finally knuckled down to his studies!

Sophie continues to work at the ONS, rotating to a different department in September (which she prefers) She plays for a local Korf Ball team and gets to enjoys lots of stuff socially out in Cardiff. I LOVE that she and Sam live in the same city and that I get to visit and see them both when I do!

And Finally TRAVEL our favourite thing!
We've enjoyed some fabulous trips together. 

EASTER - Lindos, Rhodes Town, and Symi
SUMMER - Family holiday to Soller, Majorca
BONUS - Cheap extra trip to Cavtat, Croatia
SEPTEMBER - A very HOT few days in Amsterdam with Sophie
OCTOBER - Barcelona, Blanes, and Girona
DECEMBER - Córdoba, Seville, and Malaga








Farewell Sainsbury's!

30th Uni Reunion!


Bucket List - Balloon Flight!


Sam's 21st!


Bucket List - Kingfisher Photo!





Saturday 30 December 2023

Breakfast Bags 2023

Breakfast bags!! 

(I bought these bags from Rex)

The 'Breakfast Bag' came about because the kids just wanted money for Christmas, Jeff and I didn't want anything! We didn't want to waste money just buying things to have under the tree to open, which then often went to the charity shop further down the line and no one needed the stress of trying to think of what to buy for each other just for the sake of it!.

So, we decided to do things a little different 4/5 years ago. We draw a category out of a hat and each person spends no more than £10 a person, including a gift for themselves, so in our household of 4, a £40 a round spend! We then wrap each round of gifts in the same paper, open together, starting at 'breakfast time' hence the name.

And it all kicks off around the table at 'Breakfast' time !

Someone chooses something to open, we all find the gift in the corresponding paper and open it all at the same time. It makes it fun to guess who had to buy each round!

This year's categories were -
Jeff - 
drink & alcohol
Me - toiletries
Sophie - 
socks & accessories
Sam - food and chocolate

Jeff had drinks

I had toiletries

Sophie had socks....

...and Sam had food and chocolate.

Jeff always does an extra plant round....

....and a book round!

Sophie did an extra round - a diffuser each.

The idea really, is to only buy things that we either want or will use!!

I always then do a few extra rounds but again, it's only things I know they want, need or have hinted at and they don't cost a lot of money.

Spanish round


A jar of.....

...wrapped up in a teatowel!

A diary/planner/calendar round!
I did buy myself a yearly planner but couldn't wait to fill it in!! 
So self gifted myself a new address book instead!

A mug round!

Razors (needed but expensive!!)

A bag round!

And a 'something you didn't know you needed' round!!

So a lovely selection of gifts, that didn't cost masses. Sam only had to spend £10 on me, Sophie chose to do the extra round, so only a £20 spend! No waste, nothing to take to the charity shop and no stress, trying to think of what to buy!

Sophie and Sam usually only want money, so this way they get money as their main gift 
and have a few things to open on the day. However, this year, they did both ask for a few specific things too, which they opened later in the evening.

Nutribullet, knife block and special cream for Sophie
Lego, a camping stove and good sharp knife for Sam

We then have a fun activity to do between Christmas dinner and pudding!

This year it was Lego!

So a really great Christmas!
No waste, no big spend!, no unwanted gifts, no stress!
Just things that we want, need, will use x