Final six nations weekend 2018

For the last few years I have attended at least one of the six nations matches, but not this year…..

So on the final weekend we made the trip to Brighton to watch all three matches with my sister and Jane.

The weather was inclement but roads were fine.

We were going to eat food from each of the nations all washed down with fizz.

First match was italy v Scotland in Rome. Food was tablet and figs in Parma ham.

Italy looked like they were going to beat the Scots until Greg Laidlaw composed himself to take a late penalty!

Next up England v Ireland. Ireland had already won the tournament, winning this match gave them the Grand Slam.

Food for this was steak and Irish stout mini pies, and afternoon tea with scones!

Ireland were worthy winners and it was great to watch them lift the trophy!

Wales v France next and this would decide runner up.

Welsh cakes and Boursin were duly consumed, with leek tart to come!

The Welsh has a point to prove and win. This resulted in Scotland being 3rd and England 5th.

The fire roared, the fizz flowed and we were full to bursting

A really enjoyable weekend was had.! 🍾🍾💕💕🏈🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

Next year I have to go to at least one match though!!!


Thank you

Twists and turns a plenty this week, trying to balance the budget. It’s been stressful and after months of sleeping well, these last few weeks have provided sleep deprivation.

One of the ways to try to balance the budget is not to replace staff who have left: never an easy decision.

Even harder is to tell people, but with brave conversations and being open to suggestions this can be sensitively done.

Communication is key, and I have been pleasantly surprised to receive grateful thanks on three occasions this week!

This has buoyed me, lifting spirits at a time when needed.

I’m paid to do my job, but moments like this can turn around challenges and make you stronger, feel valued and value those around you.

Showing humanity, treating people with respect, being honest doesn’t make bad news less difficult, but it can offer care and understanding.

As spring brings new growth we can all look to the warmer weather ( apart from the arrival of the mini beast from the east 😱), brighter things to come and a fresh perspective.

The first of three weddings in 2018

Yesterday we attended the first of three weddings we have in 2018.

Kevin and I made our way to Royston and checked into our hotel to change into our finery!

I took three outfits and two pair of tights, both which ran as soon as I carefully put them on, resulting in a bare legged look and a last minute change of outfit!

Our cab arrived in good time, and we made our way to Minstrel Court.

Setting was delightful and we were led to the meadow chapel. It was a mild day, but overcast. The groom looked very relaxed and the master of ceremonies said ‘pray silence for the bride’

Alfie, their 3 year old son walked in with a pouch, which we later found out held the rings.

Charlotte looked radiant and Colin a very proud Dad indeed!

Readings were read, vows and rings exchanged and the new Mr and Mrs Foley were presented, all beaming smiles and joy.

Buck’s Fizz was quaffed and canapés served, and the obligatory photos taken.

We made our way later to the dining room where we were treated to great food, wine and heartfelt speeches expressing joy and pride. Thank yous aplenty for efforts that culminated in a wonderful celebration

Colin, the father of the bride, and Kevin have been friends since 1972, and Colin was very nervous about making a speech: he needn’t have worried as he hit the right notes of humour, pride and joy.

Dancing and paella followed with a fantastic firework display. Colin’s 93 year old Nan even tripped the light fantastic.

I love weddings with all the love and hope for the future that surrounds the newlyweds and having known Charlotte all her life made it even sweeter.

We wish them every happiness for the future, may they make memories to sustain them safe in the knowledge that they have the love and support of their extended families.

Can’t wait for the next one in July! 💗💗💗👰🥂🥂💗💗💗

Snow Day

We have been warned about the Beast from the East, an extreme weather forecast with snow, freezing temperatures and all the chaos that can bring!

I received the first text just after 5:30am and got up and left for work at 6:40.

Roads were treacherous in places, the car drifted and flurries of snow were intermittent. By the time I reached school it had been closed to students.

Now we had to see what could be done to clear paths etc if we were to have a fighting chance of opening tomorrow.

More flurries, some quite intense, but the sun shone too.

The site staff cleared quite a bit and in a quiet workplace I was able to do prep for year end and budget planning.

Budget predictions this year are as bleak as the weather!

I made a dash for it when the sky was temporarily blue.

Home safe and sound a quick tidy up and a lasagne and apple pie were comfort foods made for dinner!

My sister in law sent photos of Bella enjoying her first snow experience; how delightful !

More snow has fallen and more is predicted tonight, and another decision will be required whether to open or close. The decision is never taken lightly: teaching and learning is time poor as it is, without closures.

I enjoy snow when it is fresh, but I hate to drive in it, so for me my perfect snow day is snuggled up at home in the warm, baking or cooking!

Fingers crossed for tomorrow and a thaw in the next few days 🤞🏻

A trip to the City

Today I travelled up to London on a beautiful sunny day to a reunion of a few from the Bank that I used to work at. The bank closed in 1990 but my memories of working there are so fond. Wonderful people, and I met Kevin there with a job I loved.

I know there are always rose tinted spectacles, but I was at my happiest from a work perspective for the 10 years there.

Listening to stories today and talking about our family, travels and work passed the time very convivially indeed. We laughed and reminisced about colleagues and their lives in the last 27 years.

Some have faced hard times and unpleasant events, some have survived illness and some have bounced along but the bond made all those years ago still remains.

January-sick and tired you’ve been hanging on me….

2018 has been momentous so far, and January has seemed very long, but February has settled in nicely and hopefully Spring is around the corner!

The last ten days have been very busy at work and there hasn’t been much time to do much.

Last year at this time we were preparing to go to Fuerteventura, and some late winter sunshine, and the picture for my desk calendar reminds me of that time

The six nations began at the weekend, and for the first time in years I won’t be attending any. I intend to go next year and maybe the break will do me good( I doubt it)!

I go to Scotland on Friday afternoon for a long weekend to see my parents, and celebrate my Dad’s 85th Birthday!

Driving home tonight the sky was beautiful and I had to stop to take a picture of it. I find myself always thinking of loved ones who have died when I see the sunrise and sunset. I feel their aura and also sadness that they aren’t here to see them, but I remind myself how lucky I am that I can and I savour those moments and reflect on how blessed I am and have been with the people in my life.


This week has been a strange one, lots of excitement and opportunity and not much time to get things done.

Early mornings and late nights with a foray into the unknown. A night at home with Kevin spending time with his mum, an opportunity for reflection.

This week I’ve been told I’m scary at work, and also intimidating: not really adjectives I particularly care for. I asked my kids if this is the case and it transpires that I have a ‘look’ that can wither and give off an aura of confidence that can appear intimidating.

This has staggered me as I am, underneath all that front, a very unconfident person, a people pleaser and very uncomfortable in certain social situations.

I know my job very well and always strive to be the best I can be, I can be very black and white about certain things, but always take into account the grey areas wherever I can. I also use humour to divert attention.

From these comments this week I have taken on board two things:

1. Very few people really know me at work ( their loss?)

2. I will try to avoid the ‘look’ and smile more!

I did some meditation this week at work and really enjoyed that clearing of the mind, so will definitely be doing more of that.

I’m not sure that I want to change how I am perceived at work, as perhaps keeping the two different me’s apart is a good thing!

We will see, I will try a charm offensive, failing that, buy lots of animal print clothing and be ‘scary’ spice! 😘

2018 so far

The year is only 14 days old and it has brought surprises aplenty and excitement too!

A visit to reacquaint my parents with Marion, my second mother in law, after, we guess, 8 1/2 years.

Bouts of “Aussie” flu for me, Kevin and joe!

The decorations came down last week and this past week has certainly been an eventful one.

The space where the tree once was!

Late nights last week culminating in a trip to the Barbican to see RSC Antony and Cleopatra – absolutely brilliant, and Wagamama’s before a real treat!

Today I attended the Christening of Lucas Sydney Robert Pope, and watched as Georgina and Jay accepted the task of being two of his Godparents.

Lovely service, although the Church was freezing❄️❄️

Home and time for some chores, Malaysian curry for dinner and time spent with a recovering Joe and Georgina.

A lovely bottle of red from the Bolney Estate in Sussex and all is well! Plus I made a new friend today if the furry variety. 💕💕

January was supposed to be a quiet month, but with so much going on I don’t think I have a rest until 3rd February, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Happy New Year!


This last year has been well documented by me, but I will post a few photos here too!

As is the way, there has been highs (many) and lows (few), but that is life. How we cope with the lows is the important thing, with support of family and friends.

Reading through my blogs for this year has brought many a smile to my face and I hope that 2018 has as many wonderful moments!

There are three weddings to attend: Kevin is starting to feel all aquiver with the thought of outfits, shoes etc ( for me 😉). Exciting times!

Parkrun will continue as I try to improve my fitness and health.

Perhaps 2018 should have more spontaneity and less planned things, we shall see….

Andrew and Lis are over in April, and that will provide early celebrations for 30th (Andrew) and 60th (Kevin) birthdays 🎂

I wish everyone a great New Year full of what makes you happy, today, tomorrow, forever xxx

Photo Challenge 2017

Wow what a year! Engagements, big birthdays and anniversaries!

I’ve visited some wonderful places, seen some amazing cricket and rugby. Met some fantastic people and had precious time with my family and friends!

Just awesome, and with 3 weddings in 2018 and one to prepare for in 2019 possibly, I’m just so full of excitement!