Sunday, 29 August 2010

Catching up with the past....

Over a week ago I met BestFriendM for lunch, she still works at the little fishing hamlet where she'd bought a house some years ago. I used to be down there a lot and love the place. On the river with a beach, boat yard, sailing club and two pubs! Since my friend moved in with her boyfriend into the town I rarely have a reason to go down to the water's edge so it was great to meet her at work for lunch. The sun was shining and it was very warm so we went across on the small foot ferry and had freshly smoked prawns in the cafe, then all too soon it was the ferry back and she had to go back to work.

Last Thursday evening I met up with FriendD, we hadn't seen each other for nearly 14 years! I'd made contact with her again on facebook and she was thrilled that I had. We went out for a meal and although we had a lot to catch up on, each other's lives and what our children and now grandchildren were doing, it was just like old times!

Friday night to Saturday lunchtime was spent with FriendH, who I've known from school days! These days we have a regular catch-up of me driving to hers (about 50 miles) and sleeping over because we talk till gone 3am then a few hours sleep then starting the morning with more chat until I drag myself away around lunchtime. I say regular as it's always two visits a year six months apart!

And today hubby and I had a house full, DarlingDaughter, Sool, and my three fabulous grandchildren, plus NeiceL, her hubby, two children and their dog. Big dinner,bike riding and walking the dog to the park where we all got wet, tea and cakes, jigsaws, scrabble and watching TV......a lovely day!

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Scotland holiday - days 7, 8 and 9

So sorry for the delay, really bad at blogging and keeping it up to here is the rest of the holiday in one mad attempt!!!

Sunday 15th August
We left Aberdeen and headed to Barrow-In-Furness in Cumbria to stay with FriendM. We made our first stop at Loch Lomond, but guess we followed the wrong sign as we got to a bit which only led to a boat yard and ferry and couldn't really walk around the loch but we did find a nice place to have lunch. Then back on the road and stopped when we were nearly there for a quick ice-cream at a place called Bardsey. We sat there laughing at all the children getting covered in mud cos the tide was out and they were rock-pooling I guess, also watched some older guy wading out in obviously boggy ground and eventually falling into it - he didn't look hurt but must have been soaked through. We reached Barrow then crossed the bridge to Walney Island where she lives. FriendM made us dinner then we went for a walk to see the beach at the end of her road and the plan was to call into her favourite restaurant to book a table for the following night, but unfortunately they don't open on a Monday, so had to have a rethink.

Monday 16th August
After breakfast the next morning, and after hubby did a couple of DIY jobs, we set off for the first of her planned stops, but at the locked door we discovered that The Dock Museum is also closed on a Monday, so we had a long river side walk instead. Cumbria being closed on a Monday being the joke of the day! Then drove to Ulverston where we discovered The Laurel and Hardy Museum, which was interesting, then onto Wax Lyrical, Candle outlet shop, where we had a lovely lunch and FriendM and I shopped for bargains while hubby waited for us at the car, cleaning the windscreen and playing on his phone! Then onto Furness Abbey and a good look around speculating what went where and how they lived. Back at our friend's for afternoon tea in the garden. Her daughter popped round and they talked about a few places to eat out but FriendM decided we would have Chinese take-away delivered, and it was lovely!

Tuesday 17th August
We left FriendM's soon after breakfast and drove off without much direction at first. I'd suggested a couple of places and we'd set the satnav and even headed in that direction but then it was deemed too far out of our way. We did stop at Kendal and bought mint cake to give as gifts and a later stop at Ashby de la Zouch Abbey for a quick walk round but the weather was getting wetter and as we were then only a couple of hours from home we decided to come straight home a day earlier than planned.

Nice to be back in my own bed and to have use of my own 'facilities' of course!

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Scotland holiday - day 6

Saturday 14th August (yes today, finally caught up)

Up early but hubby still sleeping so I quietly got out the laptop for something to do while waiting for him. He woke with no hangover, thankfully, then down to breakfast. Met up with some of the guests again so lots more chatting. then out for some fresh air. We walked a circuit at the park over the road, nice park, then a walk back which took us through the little shopping centre and back to the hotel. Bumped into some family guests and chatted with them too.

2pm ish we headed off to the home of FriendsN&G for their extended wedding celebration garden BBQ. The new Mrs P had told us we could walk it from the hotel in 10mins, well she must walk fast as it took us nearly half an hour! Meeting these people again today was like meeting up with our own family, such lovely people and warm and welcoming and inclusive.

Back to the hotel about 7:30pm ish and we decided to stay in, feet up, cups of tea and TV on to recover from the past few late boozy nights. So the perfect time for me to catch up with blogging :o)

Scotland holiday - day 5

Friday 13th August

Today is the day of the wedding for FriendsN&G. FriendN stopped working with hubby about 8 years ago but they've kept in touch with the occasional email and even rarer night out when FriendN was back in Suffolk. This got a bit harder once FriendN moved back up to Aberdeen! However he made it down with his girlfriendG for hubby's 50th celebration and again managed to co-ordinate a Suffolk visit with one of our BBQs. We were so thrilled and honoured to be invited to their wedding and accepted immediately which was about a year in advance :o)

Wedding started at 2pm so after breakfast we headed back into Aberdeen and parked at the beach for a walk and drove around the harbour which looked totally commercial. We talked about the huge granite buildings and how they lacked much fancy stuff....they were obviously built to be spacious and practical with big windows, but didn't need to show off or prove their worth to anyone!

Back, showered, dressed and made up then down to the wedding. Hubby had spotted people he'd known from BT and FriendN's friends from that time, so we chatted with them in the bar for ages then all called into the service. The hotel hall has been decorated very elegantly. Very dark tartan drapes around the sides and the table all had black top cloths on which made the lights and candles really sparkle. The side of the room was set with chairs either side of an aisle for the civil ceremony.

Groom didn't look nervous at all and the bride looked stunning :o)
The service was really nice with various very personal bits added in, Celtic blessings and candle lightings all creating a totally unique and meaningful ceremony!

When we sat at dinner we were honoured to be on table 1 with the brides family. They made us so welcome and chatted to us all the time. I learnt every thing about everyone over dinner from the brides lovely parents, or so it seemed. Dinner was delicious starting with Scotch broth.

The night went on with disco and some traditional Scottish Gay Gordon's and a Reel or two. I danced as much as I could but had to sit with my foot on a chair for the end of the evening. The evening buffet included 'Stovies' and although I was still really full from dinner I had to give it a try and loved it. Like a thick beef stew, served with mashed potatoes and swede, topped with beetroot and hot gravy (like HP sauce).

Hubby got quite drunk, but he's always a happy drunk so that's good and we both had a great time.
Congratulations MR & Mrs P. our FriendsN&G.

Scotland holiday - day 4

Thursday 12th August

Up, dressed, breakfast and all too soon it was time to leave our friends on their little Glenrothes small holding. Turning the car round and saying good bye to friends and avoiding the chickens, geese, ducks, turkeys and even a lamb is not easy. Oh I'd forgotten to mention Murphey, he's a young crow they'd rescued and nurtured back to good health, he lives in a large cage and slept in the lounge with us at night. Actually with his blanket on he doesn't make any noise at all.

We made a stop en-route at Dundee and had a walk round a shopping mall, when we stopped for a cuppa I asked one of the other customers if there was anywhere to buy traditional Dundee cake and she gave us directions. We soon found a great bakers and bought cake (as you do).

We arrived in Aberdeen and headed to Westhill and checked in at the Holiday Inn....this stop was the main point of our whole holiday, but I'll still tell it roughly as it happened!

Italian dinner at Luigi's, then some TV but went out again around 11pm ish to see if we could see any of the promised meteor shower, unfortunately there was too much light pollution and far too cloudy, so to bed!

Scotland holiday - day 3

Wednesday 11th August

Didn't sleep too well, strange bed and all that, plus needing the loo and not wanting to disturb anyone! Stayed put until nearly 7:30am and hubby and I got up quietly and put the day bed away. Hubby then got out the birthday cards he had brought with and I opened them. Gradually each person got up and with young-J being the last up about 10am and a full cooked breakfast for all around 11am....including fresh duck, turkey and chicken eggs yummy! Then got extra birthday cards from these friends too :o)

Well the weather was very changeable with lots of showers, so our trip was postponed a few hours. On our way out hubby was asked to stop in a little village and FriendA popped out and came back with a prezzie for me, a metal heart that you hang and put a candle in, it's lovely! then all onto Tentsmuir where we walked along a huge sandy beautiful beach, then we walked through the woods.

When we got back and after FriendA had a nap and hubby had fixed a computer or two, FriendA made me a fantastic birthday dinner of venison and lots of very freshly picked veg, it was delicious and we all went back for seconds! Then dessert was a special birthday cake and the chantilly cream was coated with a sparkly stuff that left us all with sparkly smiles. It was a great day!

Scotland holiday - day 2

Tuesday 10 August

Our hotel room had a very high bath which I was reluctant to climb in and out of with my sore toe, so I asked hubby to get the shower head down so I could wash my hair. I carefully laid it pointing down then reached across to activate the button and whoosh.....I was now soaked and couldn't avoid the giant fountain which came high enough to hit the ceiling! I guess the shower head had spun round but all I could do was hold up a towel in front of me and shout for hubby! We did laugh a lot but he must despair and think "What she done now?"

After breakfast and checking out of our room we were back on the road. As English Heritage members I was looking out for the logo on all the brown local interest road signs and so we headed to Pickering Castle which entertained us for about half an hour. Back at the car we made a quick cup of tea and checked emails etc on the laptop with out mobile internet connection (so clever) then back on the road heading up to Scotland and our friends checking out at least three more supermarkets on the way, but no paprika!

We arrived at FriendA's about 6:30pm ish and said hi to her chap K and also to FriendE and her granddaughterJ who are also staying. Dinner and eventually very late to bed with lots of talk of early up the next day to catch the tide to go razor clam hunting! We were on the day bed in the lounge.

Scotland Holiday - day 1

Monday 9th August 2010

Two points to note before I start, firstly FriendA we are visiting had asked if we could bring a speciality paprika she can't get where she lives, and secondly I had dropped a full jar of peanut butter on my toe last Friday morning (think it's broken and very bruised OUCH!).

Left home about 10:30am, quick stop at Tesco for petrol and paprika, no luck again on the paprika. Hubby has already tried Sainsbury's and Asda. Driving north until we were ready to stop for some lunch...
NEARLY found the English Heritage site near Peterborough, saw all the signs but couldn't find the road in, so we headed back
NEARLY to the part of the river with lots of boats on that I had seen from the road in but we never found that spot again
NEARLY had lunch in a Ramada Hotel on their terrace, but eventually found a pub over-looking a small rowing lake (with no-one rowing) and had a nice lunch. then back in the car and up to Yorkshire. I suggested we head into town but we headed straight for the coast and in to Bridlington.

Eventually we parked and
NEARLY stayed in a lovely 4* hotel, they only had a suit available and offered it to us for the price of a standard double but decided it was too expensive. Bridlington wasn't in favour either, so we drove on to Filey.
NEARLY parked outside a nice hotel, legally parked but it wasn't in a bay so drove quite a way to find a bay and walked back (my poor toe). We checked into the Downcliffe House Hotel and our room was on the second floor (no lift and sore toe) and in fact the price was only £20 cheaper than the rejected 'suite'!

We settled into our room and decided to go out for a walk and find a place for dinner. As the weather had been quite changeable I suggested I grab the umbrella out of the car - "Nah you won't need it" says hubby! We walked along the prom but there was nothing more than a bag of chips to be had there so we decided to walk up into the town, yes up lots of steps and a big slope. Then just as we got to the top and before we got a glimpse of any high street the heavens opened and the heaviest shower hit us. We got soaked, I had a nylon shopping bag on my head some of the time and we'd even ran into a red phone box to shelter from the worst of it!!! When we got back it was all our wet clothes off, kettle and TV on.....then I stubbed my poorly toe on the bloody suitcase which was open on the floor ouch ouch ouch! So we ate crisps and kitkats while I cried into my tea :o(

Managed to hobble down to the bar for a short while, but had to go barefoot!
If this is the start it's going to be a loooooong holiday!

Thursday, 5 August 2010

The power of hugs........

For anyone on any of the social networking sites you'll understand just what I mean when I say how amazingly powerful they can be. 

My big SisterM is really poorly right now and without saying why I changed my status on facebook to 
 needs family and friends to share a big GROUP HUG today!
and within the day my page was full of hugs. I feel so special knowing I'm loved and supported by so many!

Monday, 2 August 2010

Yes I'm a hoarder...

There are definitely some things that mean more than just what they are! Take a wedding present for example. We were given a very fashionable coffee set as a wedding gift 37 years ago. Since then we have had four homes, two children and three grandchildren, so it's inevitable that there are now just 3 cups to go with the six saucers.

Well I do clear out stuff every once in a while but if it can't be donated to a charity shop for resale or added to the various recycling programs in this area then it just has to hit the bin......but not a wedding present eh?

So I just had to find another purpose....