Stopping Time, children playing and a radio drama #littleloves

The summer holiday is plodding along, the weather is still rubbish but we’re trying to make it fun. Mum and Dad came down at the start of the week so we went through to the neighbouring town and walked along the river and quay for a rare warm and pleasant few hours! I also introduced mum to a lovely little artisan courtyard which she enjoyed browsing around as I do. There was nothing outstanding this week it was just finding joy in the ordinary, play dates, meet ups and that wonderful dry little walk along the beach after a wet day stuck in the house.


I’ve been reading Matt Haig’s How to Stop Time this week. With his books it’s not simply about the plot but the beauty and poignancy of his language. This book has been a great read and I’m looking forward to finishing it on holiday next week.


I’ve enjoyed watching the children play this week. We had a lovely fun day at the cricket club on Sunday where the children received their medals and certificates for the season and then enjoyed all the activities set up, especially the soft play gladiators. After seeing the weather forecast for Wednesday and another wet day indoors, I decided to host some play dates, Little Man had a friend in the morning, Little Miss in the afternoon and two of my friends came around in the evening. Mr S was away this week so we chatted around the kitchen table rather than the in a pub, I think I won then over with my nibbles! It made for a really nice day sometimes I think it’s easier with friends than just my two together who alternate between being best friends and irritating each other.

This week I’ve been playing on Movie Maker creating some short films in preparation for a work project. I rarely take video footage of us but may try to take a few clips on holiday and create a little film of memories. Given our family’s need for privacy the short films will never make it to You tube and I won’t be launching as a vlogger but it’s a nice little project to undertake.

When I was in John Lewis a few weeks ago I was given a sample of a new face mask by Clarins. I’m never going to make it as a beauty blogger but I loved the smell of the mango butter and my skin did feel lovely and soft after the mask. I received some Boots vouchers for my birthday and think I will treat myself to a little tube, isn’t the tube a lovely colour too!


I was in the car on Monday lunchtime and caught a radio drama by Michael Morpugho on child migration to Australia post WW 2. It was a really good drama and I’ve listened to all the episodes this week in bed. Whilst this was a drama, the policy was real and one that makes you think of the child migrants of today and the need to keep them safe.

It’s holidays for us next week as we swap one popular British seaside town where we live for another, St Ives in Cornwall. We have a list of things which we hope to do The Eden project and St Michael’s Mount top our list and then it’s time to relax on the beaches or at our caravan park. Fingers crossed for dry weather, a little sunshine would be perfect.

Morgana is still on her break but I can’t write without thanking her for her inspired linkie.

The football bet ⚽️

Whilst I rarely do the lottery or any gambling, every August I do a bet to predict the 4 winners of the English football leagues. It's something Mr S and I have done for years as a bit of fun and as we watch the results come through on Saturday afternoon it adds a little bit of interest as you look for the scores of 'our' teams. I've had success over the years, just one winner is only a few pounds but on my best year I predicted 3 of the 4 and my winnings paid for a long weekend at a spa. Most years I get a little return on my money.

I love my football, people are always surprised by my knowledge but I grew up surrounded by boys so it became a way of joining in. I've been attending matches since I was 7 and was a season ticket holder at Bristol City for years. The football I know is far removed from the Premier League, it's the lower divisions with the occasional trip to Wembley for play offs or the Johnsons Paint trophy final. It's where the footballers are part of the community or where a former student becomes a player of your local team. The special needs school where I teach works closely with our local league team, this is the good done by football clubs often eclipsed by money and scandal.

Despite my love of football I happily admit that I don't study form for my bets the choices are simple hunches and it gives me fun throughout the season .

Morph, a Ferris wheel and new perfume #littleloves

So it’s been my favourite week of the year, it’s carnival week and with my birthday and wedding anniversary falling this week too, it’s a happy time for our family. Mr S has been working away for a few days so the children and I amused ourselves with a little road trip to Weston Super Mare, Bristol and Cardiff. I lived in Cardiff in my early twenties and love the city so it was lovely to go back and spend a day there with the children, it’s such a vibrant place. We enjoyed time at the Dino baby exhibition and then at Cardiff Bay where I got to ride on a Ferris wheel which made me so happy!




I received this book as a birthday gift and finished it in a few days, it is so good and a book which you reflect on days after finishing it. It’s the story of a young woman who makes a kind gesture and the effect in has on her life. It’s sad and uplifting and it makes you want to hug the heroine and wish her well, definitely one of the best reads of the year.


It’s carnival week with lots of highlights. On Saturday night, we watched the impressive fireworks on the beach and then on Sunday cheered on the floats in the parade. I love this weekend when town is full of colour, noise and families.


When we were in Bristol we visited the Morph exhibition fundraising for the Bristol Children’s Hospital. It was excellent and a really interactive exhibition, we made a Morph from plasticine and a little animation film. I used to love Take Hart and Morph when I was little so it was fun to make my own little Morph.


As a birthday treat my mum took me to the Jo Malone counter to choose a new perfume. What a choice and so difficult to choose my scent. In the end it was between French Lime and the Lime, basil and mandarin scents, I chose the latter and have loved wearing it this week, it’s a lovely, light summery smell.

During carnival there is lots of live music and the sound reflects around the bay, in the evenings and I can hear it late at night in bed, a sound of summer nights. I’ve also heard lots of rain, it’s still raining in week 2 of the holidays, boo.

Mr S is working away again next week but I’m planning on spending the week based at home to prepare for our holiday the week after. We must be due some hot, sunny weather now and it would be great to have a few beach trips and lazy afternoons in the park. Fingers crossed 🤞🏼

Thank you to Morgana for creating and hosting #littleloves, I hope you’re enjoying your break

 

Longleat, Library Challenge and an 80s soundtrack #littleloves

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And so we made it, its the first week of the summer holidays and we’ve spent the week playing on the beach and splashing in the sea and we’ve been dodging the showers and have already hit the wet weather list of things to do, crafting anyone?  The week started with a weekend away at one of our favourite places, Longleat and then we spent our first week of the holidays pottering around at home with trips to the park, cinema and swimming.

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We signed up for the library reading challenge this week, its become one of our little holiday traditions and is a welcome activity in the summer. I love the idea and have challenged myself to do it too, sadly I won’t get the stickers though.

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To start the holidays with a little treat we went to Longleat for the weekend with two days in the safari park.  We love Longleat and there really is so much to see and do.  I am just amazed by the animals and each time we get to see so many special things.  This time, I think the lions were my highlight, it was feeding time so they were very animated and we spent a long time just watching and marvelling at their majesty and magnificence. On Sunday morning, we were on the first boat so the sea lions were keen to see us and be fed and we went really close to the gorillas and hippos so the staff could check on them too.  It was fantastic to be so close and observe the animals.

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I got so excited on the last day of term making my last packed lunch but since then I’ve been busy making the same just under a different guise of ‘picnic’ We took a lovely picnic full of treats to Longleat for the Saturday lunch, its a bit more than a packed lunch, nice picnic tableware, fancier food – dips, berries, pastries and savouries, I even bring napkins!  A picnic is also an essential part of our holiday days out, I was back in the kitchen on Monday too preparing another picnic for the park.  I feel I’ll be making as many picnics as I do packed lunches through the holidays.

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This is my outfit of summer 2017, my Boden sundress, New Look cardigan and favourite flip flop necklace. I wore it to Longleat and although it was hidden by my mac for parts of the day,  at the first hint of sunshine the coat was disposed of to show off my favourite dress!

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So with wet weather forecast our first day of holidays started with a trip to the cinema to see Despicable Me 3.  The film series makes me smile if not laugh out loud but I was really taken by the soundtrack and the dance offs in this film, lots of 80s classics, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Aha etc.. Needless to say I insisted on an 80s playlist on our journey home.

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So that’s week 1 over with, I really hope that this is not going to be a repeat of the summer of 2015 which is etched onto my memory as the really, really wet summer holiday.  There are only so many original wet weather activities I can create.  Fingers crossed for sunnier times next week.

Due to some technical difficulties I’m a little late with this post so I may not be able to link up with the marvellous Morgana and her lovely contributors, but here’s the link

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Summer Sparkles

So the weather is pants and the summer holiday plans aren’t quite what we had hoped for, but there are still (damp) sparkles everywhere.  This is one of my favourite weeks of the year and despite the weather its a week when I really have felt thankful for the little joys in my life. They are all about experiences and being with people (except my stationery purchase but hey it was stationery. ) Gail Honeyman’s book had me thinking and reflecting on relationships and kindness and the book was a timely reminder that it is the simple little things in life which really matter.

This week ……

1. Its been my birthday.

2. Its been my wedding anniversary! (there is a connection, with Mr S being given an ultimatum to marry me by my 30th birthday as he needed that little nudge)

3. I watched fireworks on Saturday night

4. I did two early runs in the glorious morning sunshine at the weekend, it rained heavily later so I was chuffed with my early alarm calls.

5. I met with family friends for a coffee on Sunday morning and got to talk weddings and all things sparkly and have a sneak preview of the dress.

6. It was carnival and the weather stayed dry.  After the parade, the children met up with lots of friends in the showground and the adults got to chat in relative peace!

7. The children and I went to my parents for a few days whilst Mr S was working away.  We all got very spoilt.

8. I went to the Morph exhibition in the Mall at Bristol.  It was nostalgic fun and I got to make a Morph and play with all the interactive exhibits triggering warm, fuzzy memories of childhood.

9. Along with my dad, I took the children on their first visit to Cardiff, one of my favourite cities.  It was sunny (the only dry day this week) and I got to ride the big Ferris wheel, which made me ridiculously happy.

10. I bought new stationery.  As a teacher new school year = new school stationery.

11. I was given a fabulous new book for my birthday and I’ve already finished it.  Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman is a brilliant book and one of my best reads this year.

These are just a reminder that even when the rain pours down during your summer holiday there are still times to be enjoyed and memories to be made.