Saturday, 31 August 2013

52 Weeks Of Happy...4, 5 and 6/52

"The happiest people don't have the best of everything, 
they just make the best of everything."
Joining in with Jen at little birdy and Gillian at Tales From A Happy House

If this post was a library book the fines would be frightening! 

I know this post is long overdue, especially as we have been back from holidays for almost two weeks but the truth is I have just been too busy to sit, type, tweak photos and publish. 

But I'm back, have finally written something. This is a combined post for three very happy weeks. I'm delighted to say I had the most amazing time on my holiday (Weeks 4 and 5). We loved loved loved it!

Then the week before the Bank Holiday (Week 6) was spent enjoying a whirlwind of lovely sunny days with friends. I met up with four separate groups of friends in three days! After a year of not really seeing anyone there was a lot of catching up to be done all across the summer holidays but especially this week.

So there were lots of happy times but here are some of my favourites...

Ruby Ruby Ruby Ruby (Week 4)
Our gorgeous VW Campervan. We had such a super time riding around in her, cooking meals and sleeping in her cosy compartments. One of the best things was just being able to pull up in a picturesque spot, make a cup of tea, cut a slice of fruit cake and sit back and enjoy the view. Peaceful bliss!

North East Coastline (Week 5)
I fell in love with the North East coastline. It is heavely. The beaches between Seahouses and Bamburgh were some of the most tranquil, calm spaces I've ever seen: such white, vast sand. If they were in Cornwall or Devon, no doubt they would be packed out every day but on these you could find plenty of space and just sit yourself down quietly to enjoy looking out to the blue sea.

Share A Coke With Jo (Week 5)
Somewhat frivolous but I'd been looking for this for ages and found every name bar my own! I don't know why I was so intent on finding 'my' personalised bottle as I rarely ever drink Coca Cola but had kept looking whenever I wanted to buy a drink - such a clever PR move! I finally found a bottle in Durham. There were photos taken with it but it tasted just the same. Perhaps a more personalised advertising campaign would have been to 'Share A Pink Lemonade With Jo'? 

Time With Special Little People (Week 6)
Visiting friends means lots of time with their little people. Although some of them are not so little anymore - children really do grow quickly when you're not looking! This photo is of my god-daughter who is now 7 years old. We spent the day with Kaitlin and her brother Zac (aged 4 1/2) visiting the beach and the park before heading home for a special afternoon tea with them taking on the roles of waitress and chef. They are such lovely, kind children and I'm so proud of everything they're achieving at home and school. They have both learnt to ride their bikes this summer and it was fantastic to see them develop their confidence as young cyclists.

With school starting on Monday (that's where I've been most of this week) I'm definitely getting back to normal and will be writing those much delayed holiday posts over the next couple of weeks to show you all the delightful things that I got up to whilst 'up north'! x

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

We're Going Where The Sun Shines Brightly*

* We hope.

We're off on our summer holiday tomorrow!

No posts for a little while but I promise to send you a postcard every day if you follow me here on Instagram.

In the meantime, think of me and Mr P driving along in the campervan and singing this song.

Ok, so it's not quite a Routemaster but you get the idea! 


Sunday, 4 August 2013

52 Weeks Of Happy...3/52

"The happiest people don't have the best of everything, 
they just make the best of everything."
Joining in with Jen at little birdy and Gillian at Tales From A Happy House

This was a quieter week of the holidays. Lots of staying in and procrastinating. I'm still not feeling completely full of energy and at times my head just feels wooly and incapable of focusing on anything for a significant amount of time. I'm hoping that our upcoming holiday will provide the mental rest that I need and I'll come back feeling revitalised and ready to go, do and think like a capable adult again!

But in the midst of the tiredness there were some happy things.

Size 12
For as long as I can remember I've been wearing Size 14 trousers. I'm an unfortunate shape - tiny on my top half but with big hips and chunky thighs. However the combination of being rushed off my feet and not snacking (I'm one of those people who forget to eat when busy or stressed) during the PGCE meant that I lost just over a stone during the year. I needed to buy some new jeans and was delighted to fit into a smaller size. I just need to make sure I keep it off now - especially as I'll be commuting in the car and not having a good walk to and from the Tube twice a day!

Mum's Birthday Cake
Not sure I'll keep the weight off if I keep eating these, but yesterday was Mum's birthday and to celebrate I made this cake. We were spending the day with lots of Dad's family near Cambridge and so the cake needed to be larger than I would normally make. It was a three layer sponge - vanilla/chocolate/vanilla with rose buttercream and strawberries between each layer. Vanilla frosting and strawberry chocolate buttons decorated the outside along with the lovely banner created by Sew Sweet Violet. I came across Jooles' lovely blog recently and then found her Etsy shop which is full of very beautiful things. When I knew I was making the birthday cake I immediately decided that I wanted to get one of these as I knew Mum would love it. It certainly was a beautiful finishing touch and now I'm hoping that someone will recycle it next February when it's my birthday - hint hint!

Roaring Fire
We stayed at my cousin's house in Cambridge until late in the evening and as it got dark a fire was lit in the fire pit. It was lovely to sit around the fire, chatting and warming ourselves. The crackle and hiss of the flames were a lovely sound. Definitely a simple but lovely pleasure!

Cute Card
It was great to spend time with my extended family - there were at least three generations of us at the party. I enjoyed getting to know my cousin's little girls better. They are five and three year's old and are very sweet. At the end of the evening, the eldest - Lola - presented me with this lovely card to thank me for playing with her during the day. It was full of kisses inside. I felt very lucky - she kept saying I was her best friend. Sweet! 

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Blue & Yellow Beach Huts

I spotted these blue and yellow beach huts when we visited Littlehampton.

Don't you think they look like teeny tiny Ikea shops? Do you think if you opened the door you'd find a Billy Bookcase or 1001 tea lights?

I love beach huts but wasn't too sure about these. To me they look like garden sheds that someone's painted with a job lot of bright blue and yellow paint. 

I prefer them when they have a bit of a porch and are painted in a variety of colours so they look individual and are a bit more aesthetically pleasing.

But I suppose they all do the same job in the end: provide a bit of shelter, somewhere to sit and watch the day drift by and somewhere to make a nice cup of tea whatever the weather! Beach huts are the sort of things I dream of owning!

What do you think? x

Thursday, 1 August 2013

What To Pack? What To Do?

This time next week Mr P and I will be waking up in York.

Yes! It's almost time for our much anticipated holiday with Ruby!

Booked back in January, we have a detailed itinerary for where we're staying on which nights:
  • Heading off on Wednesday for three days in York in a lovely Premier Inn
  • Pick up Ruby on Saturday and stay three nights at a campsite near Durham
  • Three further nights on a campsite near Seahouses
  • Back to Durham for a night
  • Drop off Ruby on Saturday morning and head to Runswick Bay for one night in a beautiful hotel
  • Home to Brina!

But there will of course be lots of days to fill with fun and this is where I need YOUR help.

It is our first time in a VW Campervan and although there is a pretty detailed list of what is provided and what we need to bring on the hire company's website, we don't want to miss any important things when we pack and then have to spend wasted hours trying to find it and buy it when we could be having fun.

So what do I pack? I know that it has to be pretty minimal because of limited storage space and I also need to take account of all silly English weathers. We'll be bringing the travel Scrabble to keep us occupied on potential rainy days, a new kite is on its way and I'll also have my Kindle loaded up but are there any other must-packs?

And what must we do? We've already selected some things that we both really want to see. It's pretty much a list of the standard touristy things:

But what are the things that we should do, places we should visit and places we should eat that are not on the touristy websites? The sort of places that you don't find unless you're a local or stumble across them.

Mr P and I would love to know and hope we could do the same for you if you were ever coming on a visit to London! 

Right, I'm now off to bake my holiday fruit cake. Not something I'm looking forward to doing on such a hot August day but I'm sure I'll be pleased I did it when I can enjoy it on a picnic by the sea! x