Remembrance Sunday 2019

After the beautiful community project to commemorate the centenary of the end if World War 1 in 2018, I wondered if this would be a quieter Remembrance Sunday. In fact the service at the War memorial was very busy with possibly even more people than last year.

Our Remembrance took a personal turn this year as we ended up researching and adopting a local soldier. Little Man represented his school at the schools’ service on the Friday preceding, where the local children present art and readings in memory of the fallen. After the church service they parade to the war memorial and plant crosses in the garden of remembrance ready for Sunday. When he came home Little Man told us all that his cross was for Henry Churchill. This triggered research on the internet and we were able to find out that Henry Churchill was a 35 year old soldier in WW1 from a small hamlet near us. We found out where he was buried in France and the inscription on his grave chosen by his sister.

On Remembrance Sunday Little Man was again at the service and parade this time as a cub. It’s a big parade with veterans in old military vehicles, a military band, uniformed groups, dignitaries etc following on foot. The parade streets are lined by the public, showing respectful silence until the last group whom are the serving soldiers from the nearby military base, these are greeted with polite applause. Unusually our town’s service is always in the afternoon with the silence around 4pm as dusk starts to fall. It is very atmospheric as the memorial is on a hill by the seafront and the only sound are the waves lapping the beach.

As I stood in silence I did pray for all our war dead, however a very special prayer went to Henry Churchill and those brave pilots from my Gramps’ 609 Squadron. We do remember and I have faith that we always will.

A fortnight of Little Sparkles ✨

The autumn half term holiday is one of my favourites of the school year. It’s a much needed rest after the busy start to the academic year, the weather is normally good enough for outdoor adventures and in our family we have two birthdays, Halloween and fireworks night in this period too. Although my children only have one week’s holiday, I get two weeks and it’s my time to get prepared, sort out life admin and catch up with friends. Unfortunately this year in my first week, I had my worst migraine for years and was bed ridden for a few days, I missed an 80s party 😟 and we had to delay our trip to Bristol by a day. Although a little shorter than expected we all had wonderful time in the West Country.

1. Old friends

Whilst in Bristol I arranged to meet my old mentor, friend and all round gorgeous person for a catch up. We go back a long, long way (30 years!) as she was originally my French teacher at secondary school, we then kept in touch as I studied French at university and then I returned to my old secondary school as a French teacher in her department. She is one of life’s kindest and shiny people and just a pleasure to be around. I felt uplifted to be in her company and to catch up on all the news about her family, and shared friends and colleagues.

2. Seven Worlds, One Planet

There are not many programmes which can entertain and educate 3 generations at the same time, but the start of Seven Worlds, One Planet by David Attenborough on Sunday had us all transfixed and in awe of the filmography. The series started with Antarctica , cue penguins, sharks and seals. It really focused on climate change and as well as being inspiring there was a strong message to us all of our responsibilities to our planet.

3. Ice Skating ⛸

We moved from Bristol to Weston Super Mare when Mr S returned home for work. The highlight of our stay at my parents was ice skating at the iconic Tropicana. When I was a child the Tropicana was the place to go in WSM, a fun swimming pool with a huge pineapple 🍍 slide that could be easily seen along the prom. It’s had various guises since and is now a pop up ice rink for the winter season. It has been created beautifully and has amazing Christmas models decorating the area and a cafe with a real alpine lodge feel. I imagine it would feel rather magical as a Christmas venue later in the season. The rink is large and sparkly and the children and I all had lots of fun on the ice. We were joined for the day by my cousin who unfortunately was in a cast so unable to skate but a real cheerleader for us all. It’s always lovely to see her, again such a kind and gentle person.

4. Birthday tables.

I do like to celebrate a birthday and as I was at my mum’s the night before hers, I decorated the kitchen ready to surprise her on her birthday morning. I love these balloons, they’re not helium, you just blow up with a straw. Little Miss’ similar balloons from early summer are still inflated and are decorating her room! We went to a lovely, stylish cafe for a birthday breakfast, the children loved their pancake stacks and the avocado on toast was delicious. I think breakfast is an underrated meal to go out for, it was a delightful, relaxed way to start a special day.

5. Halloween

Our Halloween was a quiet celebration this year, we had just returned home so hadn’t done all the prep we normally do and the awful weather meant there were very few people trick or treating. We decorated the house, ( I love my new ghost lights, a bargain buy in a summer sale) did a spooky nature walk, dressed up and did some pumpkin carving on the day. Whilst it felt right this year given our holiday plans, I did miss my spooky baking. What’s a Halloween without a ghost or bat biscuit!

6. More birthday celebrations.

On Friday we organised a family day to celebrate Mr S’ birthday. It is tomorrow but with England in the rugby world cup final, he’ll be cheering them on, so today seemed a better day for us all. As the weather is so poor again, we went to the cinema to see our family favourite Shaun the Sheep in Farmegeddon and then out for a meal. The film was cleverly done and played to both a child and adult audience with lots of nice touches.

#19for2019 No.19 Carve a Pumpkin 🎃

Whilst this is my number 19 on my list, it’s not my last done as many of my 19 are works in progress. This was a quick win too, unlike my annual 12k daily steps average quest this was a simple hour long task, I was just waiting for the correct date, October 31st, Halloween.

For the last few years since the children have been able to carve their pumpkins independently, I’ve missed the fun, so I decided to do my own this year. I chose a simple idea, a design themed on day of the dead 💀. Normally we have a few days build up to Halloween with decorations and spooky activities planned during half term, however as we were away all the activities were done for October 31st. We decorated in the morning, did a haunted walk in the nature reserve in the afternoon and carved the pumpkins in the evening. I do like the anticipation and build up to special events but given our busy week it was the perfect scenario for this week.

I enjoyed carving the pumpkin, listening to some spooky music and being a little creative. It’s another #19for2019 ticked off but definitely one to keep up in future years.