My week … the one with a holiday, part 2

This week, we have been at Church Farm in Pagham, for the second week of our summer holiday. We came here at May half term so it felt very comfortable and familiar to be returning this summer. Its a site we really like and this week our caravan was stunning, brand new with all the best spec, whilst also feeling very warm and homely.

We continued with the normal holiday activities, lots of swimming, both indoor and out, target shooting, pottery, walks, bingo (!) early morning runs etc.. The weather, bar one day was very good and there were lots of mornings sitting around the outdoor pool dipping in and out, drying out on the sunbed and reading a good book. I had a very high book count this holiday, averaging I think one every couple of days. Of course, there was parkrun tourism on Saturday, with a visit to the Bognor course, an enjoyable lap course through a lovely park. We had also been to Bognor one afternoon to play crazy golf, my son’s and my little challenge. It was a really fun and traditional course and he won, meaning he now leads the grand crazy golf competition, 5 – 3.

After the May holiday and our first visit to Chichester, we had planned a return visit for a girls’ shopping trip. We did this on the Thursday which started as a really wet day, a morning when you are awoken by the mesmerising sound of rain on the caravan roof. The children had been booked in to the local water park in the morning, so as they were in wet suits, the rain didn’t really affect our plans. Fortunately, during the morning it stopped so that by the time we started shopping the sun was out again. We had a lovely little mooch around Chichester but bought very little, only a pair of school shoes (oh the stress) The shops still had a lot of summer stock and we were both looking for more autumnal clothes. We had promised ourselves a special lunch so enjoyed tapas and a girlie chat, life’s simple pleasures.

The holiday was two happy weeks of family time. It has been a strange year and a very stressful and busy end to my job at the start of August, so it was nice to be away and family focused before my new job started. One of the big advantages of my new job is that my holidays now match exactly to those of the children (previously 3 weeks of the 13 were not the same) and I am so excited for the full 6 weeks holiday in 2023, the summer of my 50th!


My week … the one with a holiday, part 1

This is a much anticipated and welcome holiday after a few really tough months. I’m so looking forward to simply pausing the merry go round and enjoying the simple pleasures of a holiday, an early morning run, swimming, reading, playing and resting.

This year we have done a two centre holiday with a week each at caravan parks in Hastings and Pagham. The holiday was preceded by a trip to Paultons Park, as we had a hotel booking postponed originally from 2020, then again from last year and finally we got to use it. As Paultons Park was en route to Hastings it was a good stopover. We had a wonderful, sweltering day at Paultons Park, one of our family’s favourite places, followed by a well planned pub Roast in the evening and a night in the hotel. This did make the journey much easier and quicker the next day and we were settled and in the pool by 2pm. This has been a holiday where we’ve all had the time to relax and enjoy the simple pleasures. We planned a few meals out in Hastings, one to celebrate our 12th famiversary and the other to a pizzeria we had previously visited for which my son awarded it the best pizza in the world accolade. Fortunately his opinion hadn’t changed and it was a delicious, authentic Italian menu for us all.

We visited Hastings on a few occasions. We saw Super Pets at the cinema, which was much better than anticipated and pottered along the prom in the evenings. I also got the chance to do the Hastings parkrun, I do like a bit of parkrun tourism and a flat out and back along the prom was a great route. We also went to Bexhill, which was a charming seaside town. We had just got ourselves settled in a lovely little cafe when the first rain we have seen in months fell, it was biblical in its proportion. Yet, after half an hour or so it stopped and we carried along on our visit. In both Hastings and Bexhill we’ve been doing the duck hunt and I think we finished with 15. I love these trails in the summer which add a little interest to walks.

We do like the caravan park in Hastings and there was plenty for the children to do, swimming, kayaking, pottery painting, inflatables etc.. Our son lives for his football and always managed to find a game to join in with. Our daughter managed to find some friends too and a little holiday romance to brighten up her holiday.

So that was week 1 and a bit done and now off to Pagham for our next week of family fun .

My weeks … the ones with an ending

Mr S accident and subsequent shoulder injury have led to a less relaxed summer holiday than expected. I finished work midweek but up ’til then its been a juggle of work, driving and trying to tidy up figuratively and literally, from my current job. I’ve been there for 18 years , so there was a lot of finishing up to be done in the past few weeks. I was determined to leave for good on Wednesday, when I broke up for the holidays, even though my contract ends officially at the end of the month. It was satisfying after a hectic few weeks to hand over my laptop, iPad and keys as I left. It was an amazing place to work and I met some of my closest friends at the school, but its a very different place now and it is the time to move on. As a special treat, I arranged for Krispy Kreme doughnuts to be delivered to all our pupils and my Education team. They were amazing and very well received.

Last week the stress of life did get to me and I was very poorly with some type of stomach migraine. Unfortunately it was also on a very full on day and I had to continue as normal. So it was a drive to drop my son off at his holiday camp, drive on to my new school to collect a laptop, then on to meet my dad who we met half way as my daughter was going to stay with my parents for a few days and back to pick up my son at the end of the camp. I was so poorly, lots of sick stops, that I had to cancel lunch with my dad and daughter and went to a Tesco car park and slept for 90 minutes until I felt well enough to drive. After a good night’s sleep and some tablets, I actually did feel well enough to go into work the next day, albeit a little later than normal.

After meeting up with my dad on Tuesday, I drove to my parents to collect my daughter on Friday. They had a lovely time and had visited the Van Gogh exhibition which we had been booked in for the weekend we were due to visit but had to cancel due to Covid. That couple of hours driving on my own listening to my playlist on a sunny journey was blissful. I had a lovely home made tea and then we headed to Weston Super Mare town centre to have a drink and listen to some of the live music featuring in the weekend’s music festival. We went to a games bar and enjoyed a game of Yahtzee. It was very early start on Saturday morning, sadly no chance of parkrun tourism, to meet up with our boys and get them over to the stadium for the first game of the football season. We dropped them off and then my daughter and I headed off to the local town for a delicious al fresco lunch, avocado smash for me, halloumi and chill jam baguette for Little Miss before walking down to the beach. I was planning a lazy afternoon on the beach but my daughter was keen to walk between the two piers. I wished she had shared this before I chose to wear flip flops! The beach was full and there was such a lovely, happy atmosphere. It was hot, and we stopped for a few drinks and an ice cream. The boys’ team won so happy people all around and then to finish the day, we watched the fireworks from our garden. As it was carnival week, we have enjoyed 3 stunning displays in the past week.

This week was very work focused although I took Monday afternoon off to take Mr S to the hospital for a CT scan. I had asked for a very quiet send off and genuinely meant it, so I was pleased to say goodbye to my department before the start of the final day and just focus on my work. We had a beautiful leavers assembly for our students, there was such love filling the room that I felt very proud and humbled.

As soon as I finished work, it was time to get ready for the holidays. We leave tomorrow with a day at a theme park and night in a hotel before travelling to week one in Hastings. We are all ready now and I’m just looking forward to the rest and special family times. I did manage a parkrun today, but it was so hot on such a challenging course that I felt a bit queasy at the end. After a cool shower, nice lunch and lots to drink I’m ready for an early night and holidays tomorrow!