Saturday, 19 September 2020

Spoilt for choice

 Part of the enjoyment of going away in the summer is definitely being on the lookout for Scavenger Hunt photos and that was definitely the case this year, bearing in mind that most of the ones that I had found already were from very close to home.

I need to whittle down my choices ready for the final link up but let me just share a few I found last weekend.

18 Something that can go in the water

There's nothing as waterproof as a seagull is there?

I could lie and say this is a photo of me kite surfing, but no one would believe me would they?  This was so fascinating to watch, and the speeds they reached were amazing.

I think it may have been awhile since this anchor was last used out at sea!

Or how about this coracle?  Apparently they offer Coracle making weekends at the Weald and Downland museum!

16 Something with a rough texture

There's something about a thatched roof isn't there?  My friend's husband used to be a thatcher, so I know how skilled you have to be to thatch a roof - it's not an easy job!

This is a close up of the flint front of the local houses in Chichester, and take my word, those little clippings are very rough to touch.

According to the app on Paul's phone, this is some kind of Ash tree, but it had the weirdest bark.

14 Something with wheels

Saw this little wicker dolls pram outside a secondhand shop, good job I took the photo when I saw it as an hour later we were walking through the town and I saw a lady with it under her arm so it had obviously been sold!

Some kind of invalid chair that we saw in Arundel Castle.

Spoilt for choice with things with wheels at the Weald and Downland Museum, all that vintage farm equipment!

2 Something in a knot

This tree had obviously been damaged in some way many years ago, because look how the trunk has split up and wrapped itself round and round.

7 Something that displays a rule

Good advice when near a rather large horse!

And possibly my favourite

Thursday, 17 September 2020

Mr Blue Sky

 The weather was absolutely glorious for our last full day on the South coast and fortunately that was the day that we had planned to visit a beach.  

We had booked a late Sunday lunch at a pub that was recommended by the owner of the house we were staying in so knew we had until 4pm to explore.  We started the day by walking around Chichester itself, but our timing wasn't great as there was a service going on in the Cathedral so we had to content ourselves with just viewing it from the outside.

I always smile when I see gargoyles on old buildings, I don't think this one is an original from when the cathedral was built in 1075 because he looks a little bit like a minion 😂

We then drove down to Chichester Marina which ended up being so much bigger than we were expecting - so many boats!  It can berth up to 1000 boats and it looked pretty full on Sunday.  It's a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and it was easy to spend time there, watching the boats go through the lock on onwards out to sea and then walking around a wooded area.

But the beach was calling and we headed off to The Witterings.  We had been told by someone we met at the windmill that everyone heads for West Wittering and even though you have to pre book parking before you go to restrict numbers, there can be a build up of traffic on sunny weekends.  So he recommended going to East Wittering, then walking along the beach.  It was a good plan!  It was so nice on the beach, it wasn't crowded at all and we enjoyed watching people kite surfing - boy I bet that is difficult to do!

By now all the sea air had given us an appetite and we headed back up the coast to Dell Quay for our Sunday lunch booking.  

It was so delicious, (I had grilled sea bass on a bed of sea vegetables {mostly samphire which I love} with roasted new potatoes in garlic with a lemon and pepper butter) we absolutely cleared our plates!  We had a table by the window looking across the bay, and it was the perfect end to a lovely holiday.

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Going back in time

 Have you ever seen the TV programme 'The Repair Shop'?  It's such a lovely programme where people take treasured possessions that are in need of repair or restoration.  There's always an emotional story behind the things that are taken in and it is fascinating to watch the specialists bring items back to their former glory.  You can only watch in awe as they skilfully use their knowledge and talents to repair items that are clearly priceless in family history. 

It is filmed at the Weald and Downland Living Museum  which was very close to where we were staying.  Paul had visited there 40 years ago as part of his studying to become a chartered building surveyor but it appears that 20 year old Paul was not as fascinated by the history of the buildings as 62 year old Paul was!  Either that, or the site has grown significantly since his last visit so it isn't that he didn't remember things, maybe they weren't there when he went originally.

They rescue historic buildings from around the country and move them, brick by brick, to their 40 acre site and then rebuild them as they would have been built originally.  Such a mammoth task and it really does take you back in time.  Some are nestled in the countryside, and others grouped together in a village setting.

That picture shows me in front of the buildings used in The Repair Shop, that's as close as you can get!

After our visit there we drop up to an area called The Trundle, which has amazing views over the South Downs and across to Goodwood Racecourse.

From there we drove to Halnaker where we parked up and then walked along the Tree Tunnel up to the windmill.  

Imagine how beautiful this must look later on in Autumn when the foliage is golden brown.  The trail became pretty steep after this area of flat, but then I guess the only place to find a windmill is at the top of a hill where the wind will catch the sails!

19,541 steps today - I may have been heard to say 'are we nearly there yet' as we trekked up the steep hill to the windmill!

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Holidaying close to home

 I am pleased to report that my 'capsule wardrobe' for our trip ended up being very good and only one outfit didn't get worn, that was the one I added just in case we had a chilly day and that wasn't needed so good news all round!

We really enjoyed our trip, and were so lucky with the weather (always a concern when holidaying in the UK!) The Airbnb house we had rented was very comfortable and clean and in a perfect location for exploring the area.  

It was a Georgian house dating from about 1800 so lots of character and built over four floors so plenty of exercise going up and down the stairs!

We had needed to do a bit of research before we went regarding where we wanted to visit as due to Covid we needed to pre-book everywhere we wanted to go but the benefit of that meant that we knew that we would be able to get in to wherever we went and there would be no queues.

High on our list of places to visit was Arundel Castle which dates back to 1067.

It is still the home of the Duke of Norfolk and because of that, only part of the castle is open to the public.  Can you imagine living somewhere like this? The grounds were really beautiful.

A lot of the structures in the garden that looked as if they were stone were actually carved from wood.  It really was a fascinating garden to wander around.

The village of Arundel is really quaint, there is a lot to see there including a cathedral so it was a lovely place to spend our first day.  According to my phone, I clocked up 16,783 steps on Friday - no wonder I slept so well that night!  


Wednesday, 9 September 2020

Staycation questions

 How many clothes is 'too many clothes' for 5 days away in the UK?  

(Asking for a friend 😉 )

It's a lot easier when you're going on a beach/hotel holiday in a sunny country isn't it?  Our weather is so changeable at the moment and last week my packing list was predominately trousers and warm tops with waterproof shoes.  Suddenly the forecast is for warm and dry weather ... what's a girl to do?

She overpacks, that what she does.  She packs trousers and pretty tops for evening meals out because that's a safe bet.  Then she packs crops and t shirts and cardigans for layering on a cool day which may improve as the day goes on.  Not to mention a few dresses just in case the sun shows its face.  And a long sleeve top to go with the crops because a t shirt may not be warm enough ...

I know that when Paul gets back from his volunteer work over the park he's going to raise his eyebrows and then pass me his clothes for the weekend.  One pair of smart trousers for the evening, a couple of nice shirts, he'll travel in a pair of jeans and then pack 4 polo shirts for the days.  

Shall we take bets now as to how many of those clothes in the photo don't actually get worn?

Monday, 7 September 2020

A change in plan

 We thought we had this weekend planned out.  We thought we would be celebrating the fact that it was 40 years ago that we were newlyweds

Thank goodness we hadn't planned a big party; all we had done was booked to go out for a meal at a really nice pub restaurant near us, but it wasn't to be.  As in the early hours of Saturday I spent more time in the bathroom than I did in my bed and it became obvious that little Rosie had given me an early anniversary present of norovirus.  She had been poorly in the middle of last week but we thought she was over it by the time I spent time with her on Thursday afternoon - we were wrong!  As not only was I being ill on my side of town, her mummy and brother were being very ill on their side too!  Oh boy did I feel rough. The celebrations will have to wait - we are going away for a few days later this week and hopefully I will be feeling back on form by then.

Fortunately Leo was feeling better in time for his first 'day' at school.  Which was really only an hour in which to meet his teacher, get to see what the classroom looked like, for his mum to chat with the teacher and discover that the little symbol that he would see wherever his name was would be a ladybird (his favourite insect) and his colour group would be red (his favourite colour) so all things considered, he came home a very happy boy.  He goes back again next Monday and Tuesday mornings, covid has meant a very gradual introduction to his 'bubble'!

So if we're going away in a few days time, it is surely time for me to start making lists.  Something new to add to the mix this year, how many masks will we need for a 5 day stay?

Tuesday, 1 September 2020

A sentence a day in August

Well, here we are at August, July saw a lot of little changes in our lives, what will August reveal?  Will we move forward, or will be have to rewind a little?  Let's see ...

Day 1 Went out to lunch to Pizza Express, and I almost forgot to take a photo to mark the occasion (which is why my pizza has a slice already eaten!)

 Day 2 Found a new pattern for a face mask, seems easy to make and doesn't take too much fabric - I can see that I will be making more of these!

Day 3  Dentist - nothing to be done so I practically skipped back to the car park.

Day 4 Leo and Rosie here - went over park in afternoon to feed the ducks and go to the playground

Day 5 Max here - his mummy has been making homemade strawberry jam so I happily took a jar home when I dropped him back home - yum!

Day 6 Zumba day - from September we can return to the hall (with limited numbers) - felt very down today, not sure why.

Day 7 Went to look for new armchairs in our lounge and managed to find exactly what we wanted in the first store we visited - it isn't often that happens is it?

Day 8 Oh Saturday you were very hot and humid, made a couple of face masks in the morning and in the afternoon Rachel came over with the children.  Crab and prosecco linguine for tea - perfect for an easy, light meal in the garden.

Day 9 Another hot day, another Sunday lunch eaten in the garden! Lamb kofta with tzatziki, a greek salad and couscous today.

Day 10 Went out for lunch with my sister and brother in law as the government is running an 'Eat Out to Help Out' scheme to get people back to restaurants and pubs and covering 50% of the cost of your food on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.  Thanks Boris!

Day 11 Leo slept over at our house last night and then we childminded him and Rosie all day - it was SO hot today too, I feel shattered!

Day 12 Took Max to the park to see the animals and he took quite a shine to the llamas, luckily it was all in the shade as the temperature was almost 40 degrees today

Day 13  I knew that temperature and humidity had gone too high, our heatwave came to an abrupt end and we had some pretty impressive thunderstorms with lots of rain.

Day 14 What a thunderstorm we had overnight - Paul and Coco got absolutely drenched on the early morning dog walk this morning!

Day 15 Our son and his wife had booked an anniversary meal in Cambridge, their first night out alone since October, but their babysitter (Sophie's sister) couldn't get to them after all (she's a midwife and was involved in an unexpected home birth!) and so we were happy to step in an babysit Max in the evening, an unexpected pleasure!

Day 16 What a wet and miserable Sunday (weather-wise) but nice to have a relaxing day at home catching up on chores.

Day 17 Realised that I could probably do with some more face coverings, so fired up the sewing machine

Day 18 Rosie and Leo were here all day and Nanny and Grandad are exhausted.  

Day 19 Today it was Max's turn for being here, he's just learned to walk and was happy to show off his new talent

Day 20 A day of socialising (at an appropriate distance!) Paul's cousin and partner popped over for a cup of tea in the afternoon, and we were invited to friends for drinks in the evening.

Day 21 Babysat for Leo and Rosie while Rachel and James went out with friends in London as an early birthday celebration for Rachel - almost got myself locked upstairs in their house as they have a new stairgate at the top of the stairs and no one explained to me how to unlock it once it was closed!

Day 22 Jon and Max popped over as Sophie was at her sister's baby shower, Max and I spent the afternoon together while Jon and Paul went out for a bike ride (incorporating two stops at country pubs which meant that they were gone 3 hours!)

Day 23 Rachel and family here for Sunday lunch as a pre-birthday dinner for her, first time they have been here for Sunday lunch since 1st March, ended up with extra visitors too when Jon's car had mechanical problems on their way to visit friends.

Day 24 Rachel's 34th birthday! Surely I'm too young to have a daughter that age? 

Day 25 Rosie and Leo here - stuck indoors as weather was awful and we tested our imagination by building a zoo and amusement park out of a cardboard box, wooden train track, a road layout, Duplo and a box of plastic animals.

Day 26 Had Max here for the day, went into town to pick up some carpet samples (is getting new carpet a good idea when we have under 5s here on a regular basis?)

Day 27 Ended up on a mercy mission to Hobbycraft when Rachel discovered that our local cake making shop no longer sells to the public and her plans for a superhero birthday cake for Leo seemed scuppered due to lack of red, black and yellow fondant icing in the supermarkets.

Day 28 Decision finally made on new carpet, samples returned to the shop - just need to sort out that decorating now.

Day 29 Leo's 4th birthday!  Our superhero loving boy had a super day, and what a fab cake his mummy made for him.
Happy birthday Leo!

Day 30 Today was designated 'start painting the fence panels' day; enthusiasm was waning by the time we got to the 3rd one and there's still 8 to go ...

Day 31 Determination sets in and all fence panel are now painted!

Ready for that video of my month?  Here it is thanks to 1 Second Everyday

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