Saturday, 22 December 2018

Joy in the Everyday Ordinary - December, 11-20

Hi there everyone ๐Ÿ˜€

I can't quite believe that it will be Christmas Eve on Monday. Whilst all is ready here ... the presents are wrapped, the trimmings are up, cards have been sent, the food shop has been done and plenty of plans have been made ... I can't say I really feel that Christmassy as yet. Maybe it's an age thing, maybe some of the excitement has finally started to dwindle ... does that happen to everyone, or is it just me?

I am looking forward to it, to spending time with friends and family, seeing the little man get excited, to chilling out and watching some good Christmas films, as well as eating lots of stuff that we only have in at this time of year.

We are off out for our first Christmas social engagement tonight, maybe that will kickstart that Christmas feeling ... I'm sure it will.

For now, here's what we've been up to over the last 10 days ...
Day 11 - Well the wrapping is done. How easy it has been this year, with a change in the way that I've decided to approach Christmas gifts. There's been no stressing over what to get people, no shopping to lists, no marathon wrapping sessions and no need to buy any wrap, cards or tags. It's been a breeze this year and I will tell you more about it in a 'Journey to Less Waste' post in the New Year.
Day 12 - We seem to be having a festive postal delivery every day at the moment and it is a real treat to see those handwritten envelopes with real stamps on them ๐ŸŽ„
Day 13 - I had a gentle day of pottering today, whilst Martin had his last day of work until the New Year. I had an unexpected order for a batch of Christmas gift tags and was more than happy to parcel a stack up and send them off with the postie.
Day 14 - It was Friday, which meant shopping but not before heading to our favourite garden centre for lunch. We had a lazy evening cosied up watching TV films off the planner and making a start of the annual chocolate log.
Day 15 - Finally!!! My Christmas print came, which will replace the Hello Autumn print on the mantel in the lounge. I can now start to put away the autumn bits and get the mantel ready for Christmas.
Day 16 - Sunday, and we met up with David, Alison and the little man at Rosliston Forestry Centre, where we had a good old walk looking for birds, insects and other interesting things. We had a lovely couple of hours, including a couple of pitstops in The Hub Cafe curled up by the fire eating big breakfasts and cake ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ
Day 17 - It may seem a bit dull but I am truly thrilled to have my replacement extractor fitted and ready to go. We have been living with a gap for a good few weeks and the kitchen has looked like a bit of a war zone whilst waiting for this job to be completed. It was lovely to be able to cook this evening being able to see what was going on. Well done Martin!
Day 18 - It was a wet and windy one today. We spent it hunkered down with the Christmas mantel and didn't do much at all.
Day 19 - It was cold but very bright today and we spent the morning in the garden doing some of those 'end of year' jobs that always get worse as time goes on. Martin then had an unexpected afternoon spent jet washing, of which the patio was in desperate need. It was dark before he came in and our TV watching was interrupted by the annual knock on the door by the local Round Table volunteers heralding the arrival of Santa. I can't claim any responsibility for this photo. I did take some but they were rubbish so I've pinched this one from my neighbour, who got a far better shot. 
Day 20 - I've just had to do a before and after picture to show how fab the patio looks following Martin's efforts yesterday. It all just feels so much cleaner out there now. I'm sure it will need doing again in the spring, but, for now ... it is a pleasure to look at again.

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So ... that's it for now. Whilst I don't feel that Christmassy there is lots of Christmas stuff going on, along with those 'end of the year' jobs that we always try and squeeze in so that we feel like we are finishing the year in a good place.

I will be back in the new Year to let you know how the rest of our festive season went, along with a little bit more from Cornwall, plenty from our Somerset holiday back in November and a look at how our 'less waste' Christmas gift giving went down.

Merry Christmas everyone ... See you in 2019 ๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ†๐ŸŽ‡๐ŸŽˆ๐ŸŽ‰

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Thursday, 20 December 2018

A Fortnight in Cornwall #7 - Simply Bude ... Simply Lovely

Hi there everyone ๐Ÿ˜€

It was the Tuesday of our second week and the sunshine and blue skies had returned and were forecast to stay until we headed for home on Friday ๐ŸŒž๐ŸŒž๐ŸŒž

We had a nice steady day, staying local, planned and we started off with another walk out to the point at Widemouth Bay where we were dropping off an Isla Stone before heading to The Weir for a family lunch.

We did not expect to see this ...
It's not everyday you get to see someone taking their tortoise out for a walk. Seriously ... and this was one of Zola's favourite spots and, to be fair, it is easy to see why. Pretty much made our day I can tell you.

From here it was just a short drive to The Weir, where we were meeting Mum, Dad, David, Alison and Bobby for a family lunch.

After lunch there was plenty of time for a bit of exploring with grandad ...
... trying out the slide ...
... before just have a bit of a chill time with dad ...
 Well ... maybe not total chill out ...
Eventually we dragged ourselves away from the playground at The Weir and took a drive to Crooklets Beach where we had a sit in the sun with a drink at the cafe, which we'd never visited before. We very soon agreed that it could very easily become a favourite.

It is a beautiful beach, with plenty of sand and lots of rock pools for hunting in.
The beach huts at Crooklets are particularly photogenic too ...

We caught up with David, Alison and Bobby on the beach and spent a lovely couple of hours just mooching about, looking for shells and watching the little man play ...
All too soon it was time to pack up camp and head off the beach ...

And we waved good bye to the little man and the beach as the sun began to drop ...
Wednesday was another glorious day and we spent it just pottering around our favourite places. We managed to find a sneaky free parking spot alongside the canal ...
The tide was out and our first port of call was our final wander out to the breakwater ...

We even managed to climb up to the lookout point today ...
We found these at the top ... not sure what they're all about but just had to capture them for posterity ...
As it was such a glorious day the beach was a bit busier than it had been and there was plenty going on ...
... and, as always, the views were amazing ...

As it was so glorious, we hadn't really seen the beach pool yet and we were wanting to squeeze every last ounce from our last couple of days, we decided to walk across Summerleaze Beach to Crooklets, where we were planning on having lunch at the beach cafe overlooking the sea.
We headed back along the breakwater, over the canal and onto the beach heading for the bathing pool. The views looking back across the beach to the breakwater were just beautiful and something I just know I could never tire of ...
We headed up the steps to the bathing pool and made our way around the path around the pool towards Crooklets Beach ...

Great minds must really think alike because, as we rounded the cliff to head for the cafe we found David, Alison and Bobby having set up camp in the rocks.

Of course there was time for a bit of a play on the beach and a wander down to the sea before walking back holding the little man's hand ... wading through every single pool of water, no matter how deep. We spotted tiny fish and a baby crab scuttling across the sand before burying himself down deep in the cool and safety of the sand.
Mum and dad turned up too and we headed up to the cafe for lunch with the most spectacular view. We just sat, soaking up the autumn sunshine, looking out over the sea, trying to spot the pied wagtails as they hopped amongst the pebbles on the beach. Just trying to capture this moment in time ... to drink it all in and be able to bring it back on the cold dark days of winter back home ... I really can't believe in all the years we've been coming to Bude, we've never eaten here before ...

After lunch the tide was still low so we headed back on to the beach to say good bye to the family, who were all heading for home tomorrow. I really had forgotten just how many interesting things there are to have fun with on the beach ...
The pure joy that this little man finds in the most simplest of things really does make you see in a different light.

We walked back to Summerleaze along the beach this time, past the bathing pool ...
... and the half tide cross ...
... back up on to the canal, where I had a sneaky ice cream before making our way back to West Holm, along the coast road.

As we curved the road coming on to Widemouth Bay we saw the sweep of the bay, sparkling in the afternoon sunshine and it fair took our breath away ...

It really had been the most perfect of days ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ

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Monday, 17 December 2018

A Fortnight in Cornwall #6 - To Port Isaac

Hi there everyone ๐Ÿ˜€

I know it feels like an absolute age since we were down in Cornwall but I still have a couple of posts to share with you starting with our trip to Port Isaac.

It was the second Monday of our two week break and the time was starting to pass really quickly, as it does once you get past the middle day of your holiday. It was the first full day that we'd spent on our own and we had a very slow start before heading for a very quick wander round Boscastle before sneaking in an ice cream on the way back to the car.

We headed down the coast to Port Isaac, driving in along the very narrow and bendy road through Port Gaverne, somewhere we have never actually stopped.

We managed to snag the last parking space on the cliffside car park before taking the coastal path around the point into the village.

Whilst it was a bit cloudy overhead the views back across the sea towards Tintagel and Boscastle were to die for ...
There were plenty of signs of autumn along the path ...

As you round the point the views south are pretty spectacular too ...
As usual there were plenty of gulls happy to take a photo call ...
In my opinion walking into the village via the coastal path is the best way to do it. It's a real treat. As well as the fabulous views out to sea you also get great views across to 'Doc Martin's Surgery', though we have been visiting long before Doc Martin had even been thought of ...
Walking into the village this way the path brings you out pretty much by the old school house ...
We always like to wander round to the back of the school house and into the car park ...
... where you can take in views out through the harbour ...
... across to 'Bert's Restaurant '...
... and back towards the slipway and the heart of the village ...
By the time we got into the village it was a beautiful bright warm sunny day which was a real treat after the last few days of wind and rain.

We wandered down to the slipway and sat for a while in the sun, just taking in the view ...

That's the school house you can see up on the cliff on the right of the photo.

To the left you get another view of 'Bert's Restaurant' with 'The Surgery' in the background ...

We headed back up the slipway and into the village, having a sneaky peak in the lifeboat station ...
I hung around for ages trying, unsuccessfully, to get a good photo of 'Mrs Tishell's' shop frontage ... there just too many people about and sadly this was the best I could do ...
We had a bit of a wander around the quirky narrow streets behind the shop frontages ... looking for Squeezy Belly Alley ...

We ended up back on the main street and it was time to head back up the hill ...
... and back along the coastal path to where we started.

I'm not sure if this fella had been sitting there all the while, or whether it was a different one ...
We love Port Isaac and had really enjoyed our visit, though, for this time of year, it was busier than I would normally have expected ... that Doc Martin has a lot to answer for ๐Ÿ˜€

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