My week … the one with Easter holiday week 2

And so this a week and a bit of Easter. My last entry took us up to Maundy Thursday, before the big 90th celebrations which I have written about in a separate post. In the run up to the birthday I was cautious on what we did to ensure that no one caught Covid to scupper our plans, so the first week of the holiday was lots of walks and outdoor activities, whilst after the celebrations we enjoyed bigger, busier activities.

I did have some pretty blue nails done for the celebration with a little flower to match my navy dress patterned with small spring flowers, I do like a coordinated look.

On Good Friday, we enjoyed a really, hot, sunny day and ,wow, town was busy with visitors coming for a seaside trip. The children went down twice to get fresh hot cross buns from the bakers and both batches sold out before they arrived. It was a bit of a shock not to have my favourite Easter treat, next year I’ll go down at opening time. As Easter weekend was going to be busy, we decided to do the Easter egg hunt on Friday afternoon, I had all the Catholic guilt at doing the hunt at 3pm, for so many years I’ve been in church for the most holiest and solemn of services at that time. However, it was fun and nice to have the afternoon in the garden and just relax as little family of four before a busy weekend.

I have written of our 90th birthday weekend but it was so special to have such a lovely weekend. There is nothing more satisfying than all the hard work and planning coming together to create a memorable and happy family time. We had some fantastic photographs taken by my talented brother in law and I have already printed and framed my favourite, it makes me smile every time I see it.

Following the celebrations, it was about the big, fun activities for the children, we did Splashdown which is the indoor pool with lots of fancy slides, the cinema, meeting up with friends, ringos on the dry ski slope etc.. It was a lot of driving and on occasion waiting around, so I did a fair bit of reading. I loved Malibu Rising, by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Daisy Jones and the 6, her previous book was a brilliant read and this didn’t disappoint either, it was exactly the type of book I needed, a fun and engaging read, perfect for the holidays. I also watched episode 2 of the final series of Derry girls, I thought episode 1 would be hard to beat, but episode 2 surpassed it with sass. Its definitely the best thing on tv by far.

The week ended with Saturday parkrun and then on Sunday, old friends of Mr S were in town on a break so we met up in the morning before going off to the classic car show in town for my son in the afternoon. It was a good way to end the week and I felt ready to go back to school after what had seemed a long and enjoyable break.


A happy 90th birthday to my lovely father in law.

This weekend we have had family down to our seaside town to celebrate my father in law’s 90th birthday. Its been a really special weekend, the sun has shone, the birthday lunch was superb and the relaxed conversation and laughter in our garden with drinks and birthday cake just finished the celebrations perfectly.

We have been busy prepping up for this weekend, Mr S organising a venue for lunch and the accommodation, there’s been many whats app messages between me and my sister in law finalising the cake, decorations and sparkles and then a final itinerary to please everyone from 12 – 90! However it has been worth every minute of our time to put together such special occasion. My father in law is one of those lovely, old fashioned gentlemen who would never wish to put anyone out to plan his birthday, I have no doubt that for him the highlight was simply seeing his family all together for the first time in many years. The Covid threat really hung over us this week and despite it being the first week of the holidays, I organised lots of outdoor activities, insisted on mask wearing in the shops and other measures to keep us all Covid free, it would have been devastating to have to cancel. I have promised all the big, indoor activities this coming week for the children to compensate for their willingness to sacrifice them in the first week to keep the party plans.

I am so lucky to have the loveliest, kindest father in law. Sadly I never knew my mother in law, as she died many years before I met Mr S in 1998 so Mr S senior is both my parents in law. The relationship between him and his son is very close and strong and they speak daily. Thankfully Mr S senior has always been very welcoming of me into his family. He has always been there for us both, on the most difficult days and on the most joyful too. He was also wonderful on our adoption journey, he attended all the sessions and interviews he was asked to and has truly seen our children as his grandchildren from Day 1, he is the kindest, most generous grandad and I am so pleased that our children will have happy memories of grandad.

It was a pleasure to be able to do something so special this weekend for such a wonderful man. I would love to have a very special centenary celebration in 2032, but for today, I am thankful we celebrated his 90th together and look forward to many more happy times with this lovely man.

My week … the one with craft projects

So its not a weekly catch up this time, but ten days, as it offered a little more variety and interest to the weekly version which was very work focused. We are now on the Easter holiday and after a term of Covid, storms and Ofsted, this holiday feels very much needed. On Monday morning, my daughter had a two hour session at the farm so I made use of this time to catch up on the really urgent work tasks so I can focus on the 90th birthday plans this week.

The craft projects of this title are some Easter decorations and table decorations for my father in law’s 90th party. The table decorations are something I’ve done for a few big birthdays, my Dad’s 70th, my husband’s 50th where I colour copy old family photos, cut and laminate and stick them, double sided on a straw which are then grouped on the table in glass vases. I’ve done nearly 40 photos for Sunday and there’s some lovely images included. Its a great conversation starter to smile and talk about happy times with those present and those no longer with us. Our other project is decorating a MDF egg and rabbit for our Easter celebrations, we have done the base coat today and plan to paint dainty little flowers on them tomorrow, I’m doing this with my daughter whilst my son painted a sun catcher of a little chick. I have put up most of our Easter decorations this week but would like to add a few more fresh flowers to finish it nicely.

As its the holidays, I have been busy reading, one is an absolutely outstanding read and another in which the writer came across as arrogant, selfish and so self obsessed. The 5 star read, is Lisa Faulkner’s book Meant to Be about her infertility and adoption journey. I really was in tears as I read it, as so much of her journey reflected my own experiences and I found it a very honest and therapeutic read. I’ve never found a book which really expressed the whole experience and this was written so beautifully it actually helped me feel at peace. In contrast, Louis Theroux’s Lockdown Diary was so full of self pity that I felt quite contemptuous of him by the end. As someone who worked onsite everyday of the lockdown and faced Covid on many times in this period, I found I couldn’t really relate to his experience, so many people in all walks of life had such a challenging times that his just simply didn’t compare which seemed to simply be summed up as Joe Wicks, computer games, alcohol and family arguments.

I had a nice mum and son day on Sunday, we needed to go and get a smart outfit for Grandad’s 90th birthday party and he is so much easier and laid back than his sister on the fashion stakes. We were done in the first shop with smart navy trousers and a blue polo top, so we also picked up a few other things for him too, its rare to get him in a clothes shop so I made sure we had some summer essentials. We then went to the picturesque and lively quay area for a walk, to admire all the very expensive boats at the marina and some lunch. It was a really nice, chilled time together.

I had been really proud of my son on Saturday when he and Mr S decided to walk their first parkrun. They had come to watch us girls, but one of the organisers persuaded them to have a go too, cue me frantically registering them when I had finished so they could get a time recorded. We then went on a long family walk and I had done 20k+ steps before lunch!

One of the highlights of my week was the return of the comedy, Derry Girls. Sadly, its the last series, hey they can’t be school girls forever, but it was pure class and is one of those rare comedies I want to watch again now just to catch every last laugh. The 90s theme track suits the mood brilliantly.

I am on party countdown, aka please , please no-one catch Covid this week and I’m doing all the last minute prep I really enjoy. Easter weekend will look a little different, it feels wrong but I think the Easter egg hunt will need to be on Good Friday so we can focus on the birthday celebrations on Saturday and Sunday and both children think its too long to wait until Monday for their traditional chocolate fest.

Enjoy Easter.

My week … the one with the girls’ road trip

After the surprise Ofsted inspection last week this was a time to simply reflect and process all that has happened in the past few weeks. I am an organised person and like to know what is in my dairy and plan accordingly, so the unexpected can throw me a little. Interestingly it never happens at the time, I take it all in my stride and am cool and confident, its after that I feel wobbly!

It was nice to have my day off this week, its been a while. It was a day to catch up on family admin and Mr S and I had an online appointment for one of the children. I also packed my and my daughters’ bags for our weekend away at my parents. The boys also were away, they went to my father in law’s to help him with some jobs and visit Castle Combe for the cars. They actually got away earlier than expected, as Covid has closed my son’s class for a few days so they took advantage of this and got to spend more time with Grandad. I did leave work early on Friday, well not really early, I didn’t do a couple of overtime hours which I normally do, so I was able to pick up my daughter en route at the end of her school day. We managed to avoid rush hour traffic and made it to my parents just after 5, which was impressive. By arriving early it just seemed to make the weekend feel like a proper mini break.

Our big day was Saturday, I was keen for a bit of parkrun tourism and visited the parkrun in Clevedon. I had hoped to run the new one in Weston Super Mare but the high tides cancelled it. Anyone who knows WSM knows that the sea is rarely in and it is normally so far away from the prom that there was a certain irony of the cancellation. I’ll do it next time I’m down but I really enjoyed Clevedon, its a lovely course around the park and up to the prom and to the pier. An added bonus was unexpectedly and without trying I got a parkrun PB by 30 seconds. Since starting parkrun, I have managed to knock 5 minutes off my parkrun PB. However, in a very telling statistic of how tough our new home parkrun is, I was 9 minutes quicker than my previous Saturday’s time on the brutally, hilly course.

Following the parkrun and quick shower and change, we headed off to the big shopping mall with our lists. It was an experience … it was quite hard to find something for my daughter to wear to a 90th birthday lunch but we have a jumpsuit which seemed a fair compromise. We also had to get some new underwear and I had arranged an appointment at M&S, that’s a maelstrom of teen angst and anxiety on a Saturday afternoon, fair play to the M&S lingerie assistants for making the teen girls feel better about their changing bodies. I did well on my lists, but oh my goodness the queues in shops, they simply didn’t have the staff. We did get an amazing tea from M&S for Saturday night an Indian feast with all the trimmings, I love sitting around a table with good food, good company and witty conversation.

I added a couple of photos not mentioned so far in this post. On my walk to work this week, I noticed the blue and yellow flowers for Ukraine at the beach, On my parkrun, I also passed a peace tree decorated with blue and yellow knitted hearts and crochet flowers, both displays were beautiful and moving to see.

I have also started to wear a few summer dresses, although this week, layered up with jumpers. Last week’s sunshine is a distant memory, its been a very cold week. I am loving a Celia Birtwell print dress I have bought in Next. Its a cheesecloth 70s style maxi dress and is gorgeous, its my new go to dress.

We’re still at school this week, well sort of my son has a few more days off for the Covid class closure and then an Inset day so he has a very short week. My daughter and I have our normal week and then its Easter! We’re at home for the holiday but family are visiting to celebrate my father-in-law’s 90th, so I have a few creative activities to do this week ready to dress the house for the celebrations.