A different corner

It is 36 years ago to the day Kevin and I got engaged. Time has flown by!

Tonight we watched 'Freedom' the George Michael documentary, and I feel quite sad about such a talented man who appeared to have enjoyed only fleeting glimpses of happiness in his personal life.

A voice of such depth, and soulfulness that could evoke tears of joy and sadness in equal measure.

So many of his songs have a place in my journey in life from the early eighties onwards. His premature death almost 10 months ago, still feels unreal, but his music, as I listen to it now, lives on.

😔

One of my favourites was A Different Corner, underrated in my opinion and Chris Martin sang it earlier this year and it closed the documentary. A poignant moment for me.

I felt like crying, but after a few philosophical words with Joe, I have overcome that and appreciate that I have what I have.

Good night xxx

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Keep right on to the end of the road……

Sunday arrived and we had beautiful weather for the Scottish relatives, friends and neighbours to celebrate the diamond anniversary.

Food, drink and chairs were in place. Guests arrived and laughter rang out. We spilled over into the garden and it was so good to see so many smiling faces.

I read a poem by Bob Marley, dad had bought a ring and we toasted the happy couple.

Tired but exhausted we went to bed, it was a delightful day!

Monday morning we said goodbye to Elaine and Jane and we had a relaxed day followed by dinner out.

An early start on Tuesday as we had to go to Eyemouth. Elaine had seen there was an ice cream and fish and chip shop named Giacopazzi's, which was the maiden name of our maternal grandmother, Valentina.
The journey was fine up to the point that we turned off on to the A1107. Not what I expected, we were high up, drop to the left, so I had to practice deep breathing and just put my foot down!

We met Kerry, who was so welcoming and offered great hospitality as well as her precious time. Some information was shared although little progress regarding any tenuous family link, but we will continue our research.

Next up Harrogate and another 3 hours in the car!
We briefly alighted at our accommodation and then on to Mama Doreen's Cupcake Emporium!

Our afternoon was exquisite, sumptuous treats galore with lashings of tea. For once I didn't partake in the Prosecco, of which I was thankful later!

We went back to the accommodation booked, and it took a walk across the rickety decking, down the loose slabs, holding onto the wobbly handrail. This didn't bode well. Mum's ankle had swollen and she struggled, and once inside the accommodation was reminiscent of student lodgings. Then a train passed, and, the last straw, we couldn't work the TV. The thought of having to kill 5-6 hours before bed as mum couldn't walk anywhere, required a decision to be made: so I did and we left to drive home.

We made good time and it was lovely to be in my own bed!

I had brought down with me Mum's and my Wedding dress – now over 60 years old. I didn't think Nina would try it on, but she did and wow! 👀👀

We are now gearing up for Saturday's celebration and I have even managed to go to work, get some hearing aids and visit our original next door neighbour!

💕💕💕🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉😴😴😴😴

Weekend fun

A really busy weekend, a tonic after feeling rough all week.
Friday included a lazy morning then lunch with Debbie at Masons. Great food, and company with the usual laughter and a good old chin wag.
Just what the doctor ordered. Time with Debbie is always uplifting!

Saturday was an early start up to London to meet the bridesmaids for Victoria's wedding next July.
A pit stop at Patisserie Valerie, then the dresses. Colour chosen, styles experimented with and a job jobbed.

Next up a taxi to Harrods for shoe browsing/shopping! I bought macaroons! A short walk to Harvey Nichols, more shoe inspiration and then it was goodbyes to the Mums with little ones.

The Grey Goose Bar beckoned with a light lunch and cocktail extravaganza for four! Delightful!


A trip to Sloane Street to Jimmy's where Georgina fell in love with the Cinderella edition!

You need a Prince Charming to buy them though. I loved it when Georgina tried them on and said ' they look good even with my jeans' Classic!

Kisses and hugs goodbye and we made our way home. Exhausted, but so very happy to be a small part of today, seeing all the beauties in their finery and a glimpse of what is to come!

That optimism for the future, the joy of seeing people so happy and making dreams turn into reality is again uplifting.

Sunday and I'd booked tickets to Highclere Castle in March. Highclere is the home of the Earl of Caernarvon. Most recently the house is the setting for Downton Abbey and there are many references to that. I was pleased that there was also an Egyptian exhibition as the 5th
Earl was heavily involved with the excavation of the tomb of Tutenkamun in 1923, and I knew Kevin would particularly enjoy this.
The exhibition was fairly small but allowed the queue for the house to dissipate. The House is lovely, although I enjoyed Althorp the previous week more, especially with the guided element.
A scone and a cuppa was next before we strolled the wonderful gardens-Kevin suggesting that they were Capability Brownesque!

We walked to the Goodwill Garden, the Monks garden and sought the secret garden, unfortunately closed.

A slight detour and we saw a statue, which confirmed Kevin's thoughts re the garden landscape: I was suitably impressed

The folly loomed ahead so a quick walk up the incline for a few fun photos

We prepared for our journey home, which was a bit squeaky as we were 9 miles from a garage, with only 6 miles of fuel showing on the dashboard. At one point 3 miles to go and 0 miles showing!
We managed to limp into the garage to fill up and made the journey home. It was tiring but also thoroughly enjoyable, the sun shone, we laughed, and we are now very experienced in circumnavigating the M25.

I have had a memory packed weekend with loved ones, clement weather and precious time with special people. 💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕🍾❤️💕💕💕

Life changes

On Sunday we drove to Bristol to our niece's new home, to surprise Kevin's sister on the eve of a momentous birthday.
I'd been nearby, actually having lunch at the above pub earlier this year, and after a very early start we arrived before the birthday girl.

Viv was suitably surprised and pleased at the gathering of family in the garden.

There were bubbles and beer, lots of chatter, laughter, (thank you Lizzie),and also talk of the family wedding in 2018. Victoria asked Georgina to be one of her bridesmaids, which meant tears of happiness.


Andy and Victoria's neighbour enjoys taking a photo or two, so he popped round and these are a fantastic reminder of the day.

Viv retired from work on the Thursday and her and Don have some great plans to bring to fruition, plus time to spend with the beautiful Bella.

Viv isn't one to speak at occasions, usually beavering away, but today she did, briefly. She thanked people for coming, and then the tears started. She continued and thanked Don in his support of her retiring early: it was so touching. Viv has a serenity about her and it is obvious that she is loved and cherished by all who know her.

I wish Viv a long, healthy and happy retirement, to enjoy the times ahead, and the memories to be made! (And that I can follow suit as soon as possible😉)

Cricket  England v South Africa

The reason behind our trip was the cricket match today, and we awoke to get skies and drizzle. 

Breakfast and getting ready took precedence and the drizzle became heavy showers 😞 

As we wiped away 40 minutes a break in the clouds, and the rain stopped so we walked to Cardiff bay station.


We had a lovely walk to Sophia gardens, but on arrival found we were 2 1/2 hours early! 


Once in the SWALEC ground we had a tea and chatted to other spectators.


AB de Villiers won the toss and England into bat. Behind where we were sitting I spied Mike Phillips, a Welsh rugby player, and had to take a cheeky snap


England batted well, with Dawid Malan hitting an impressive 78 on his debut. They got 181 runs from their 20 overs, so a chase was on.

Very few would know all of the players on both sides, but we were treated to a feisty display both with bat and in the field. SA lost the key wicket of AB de Villiers and SA were 19 runs short. England won the series 2-1.

We stayed for the celebrations and presentations.


We had failed to find the time of the last train to Cardiff Bay, so went for a bus, but had to call a taxi in the end.


We picked up a bottle of fizz, some pasta and cheesecake and enjoyed a mini feast.it has been another lovely sojourn with laughter, nature and sport. 

When’s the next one? ☺️😎

Pulchritude

Way back in February I saw that David Tennant was to star at the Wyndham’s theatre in Don Juan in Soho, and bought tickets as I would happily pay to see him open a paper bag! 

I won’t lie, after last Saturday’s events in London, I was anxious about travelling up there.  I don’t believe that by carrying on we are ‘showing’ that we are strong etc, as I don’t think that the people involved in perpetrating terror gives two hoots. But we have to find a normality in our lives as we have little choice if we want to do things.


In many ways this was what the production was about, someone living life their way: selfish, uncaring , hedonistic and amblivient to others feelings, just their own gratification. 


I love the word pulchritude and use it often and it was pleasing that it was used in the production. David Tennant first came to the fore in Casanova and his comic timing is exceptional, some of his mannerisms remind me of Andrew.

After the interval there is a scene where he reflects on how we have forgotten how to live, so many living vicariously via their social media pages and that was very poignant. 


Before we knew it the end had come and the audience rose to their feet and the cast bowed to the rapturous applause. David came back on stage in a I ❤️ London tshirt, even louder applause. He then asked the audience to sit and he gave a brilliant speech and asked for donations to the Red Cross to help all those affected by Manchester and London attacks. I was moved, his humour, his words unexpected but welcome. I love the Wyndham’s  Theatre: a wonderfully intimate venue. 

And so time for the return journey, this was the penultimate performance and just before we left two people came in with bags of food, presumably the cast’s tea before their final hurrah!

Reviews were mixed but I laughed out loud and I cried too.

So now just wait to see what he does next.💕🎭

Diana’s Dresses

As soon as I saw the exhibition advertised I had to go. My companion today was my wonderful ex colleague Bev! 

The weather forecast was mixed, but we dodged the rain and made our way to KP. There was a queue, as would be expected and we sauntered round the King’s and Queen’s apartments before reaching the Diana exhibition. 

First Lady of the bed chamber!
Does my bum look big in this?

There is still such an interest in the iconic Diana, her beauty, grace and style. As with all of us, a complex women, she had her faults but did great good, broke down barriers and cut swathes through taboos!

Diana and I were born three days apart and I followed her life as she blossomed from the shy, gauche teenager into the beautiful, purposeful woman.


How would she have aged? What would her hairstyle be? Would she have married again? Would she have had more children? 

No doubt she would have loved Catherine, loved the Wedding, and adored her grandchildren, both at their Aunt Pippa’s wedding today! 

She lived for her boys and gave them the human touch that will shape their lives and loves. She would be immensely proud of them both. 💕

We walked through the shop and emerged to darker skies, we sauntered round the edges of the white garden. 


The heavens opened and we took shelter but decided to make a dash to a nearby restaurant. We enjoyed some fizz, food and an impromptu visit from Bev’s brother Paul. We laughed, reminisced and  spoke of our travel plans over the coming months. 

Via different means we both are aware that we are in charge of our happiness, something that comes from within, not found in money. We are so proud of our children, all making their way, happy to celebrate their achievements, success and happiness.

A quick change at Tower Hill and cloudy skies with a walk to Fenchurch street, where we caught a train home. 

More laughter, more talking and a wonderful day! 

Final Day 

The ultimate goal of our road trip was to attend the Final today at Murrayfield, and so it was, Saracens v Clermont Auvergne. 

I even purchased a rugby top for the occasion! 

The weather forecast was poor and we left North Berwick on foot to catch the train to Edinburgh Haymarket. Drizzle became quite heavy rain, the first for 6 weeks.

We decided to have lunch at a favourite of ours Omar Khayyam and it didn’t disappoint.

Whilst eating the cloud broke and blue sky was seen! A walk to the stadium ensued where we met a variety of fans along the way. There were the French, Irish, Scots and English. I have always thought of Rugby fans as more convivial than football but today that perception was shaken. 


Match underway and it swung from looking tight, to a Sarries romp, then back again. There was very flowery language from a particular young lady behind us and I can’t quite get my head round why people pay so much to be rude about other teams and just not enjoy the spectacle. A possible red card was discounted and some missed kicks and all square again. Just before half time though, a full cup of beer ‘fell’ from above onto primarily a Warriors fan,  the lady was drenched, and other people beside and in fronted her too. Very poor show! 


The second half had a few thrills and spills and a nervy time led to final whistle on a Saracen win 17-28! Hugs all round amongst the staunch fans at another final. 

We watched the presentations and commiserated with Clermont and their fans. We then took our leave to return home, and to celebrate with tea and biscuits!!


Tomorrow we pack again and make our way to Bakewell as we approach the final leg of our journey! 

Treehouses to Seahouses

We travelled 102 miles to Harrogate and didn’t have to travel very far for breakfast. Just along the road we found Hoxton North: modern with a great vibe and fab food



Breakfast demolished we checked out, took a cheeky photo by a flash car, then we were off to Alnwick. Playlist was very 60’s, 70’s with the Beatles featuring. So many memories, emotion never far from brimming over, but joyous too.


Alnwick Gardens were bathed in sunshine and we took advantage of as many photo opportunities as possible. The poison garden tour was well worth it, interesting and informative ( maniacal cackle, whilst rubbing hands)

A cuppa and cake was now needed, and we had some company! 

We continued round the gardens and made our way to the treehouses. 


Such a lovely place and the third visit in eight months! 


Seahouses, not to see houses, but a fishing village on the coast. Not quite as expected but a bracing walk to the harbour certainly built up our appetite for fish and chips. 


Replete, we walked back to ugiebrae where we are staying tonight. Comfortable twin room, with all required accoutrements! 

The pleasure of beautiful surroundings, sunshine, and laughter is infinitesimal. 

Tomorrow and the delights of Bamburgh, North Berwick and Murrayfield beckons 🏆🤗💕

Trauma, tea and treats

We woke early at our B and B, the gables, outside Lincoln and enjoyed a hearty breakfast after our 112 miles. 

On return to our room I found my phone to be no longer operative😱

My mother in law, only asked on Sunday what I would do in such an eventuality and I said I’d be fine. To be fair the trauma only ensued in mild panic, with options discussed, one being to find an Apple Store in Harrogate. 

The drive to Harrogate was filled with scenery and music from Calvin Harris to The Osmonds ah the memories of our youth! 

Our first destination was to be Betty’s-has to be done! A queue for a cuppa? But not too long a wait, where we lunched very finely, followed by a fat rascal for Debbie and the macaroons for me! 

Next was the Apple Store, where an Apple reset was required, shopping a  distraction whilst the phone was resuscitated! Luke saved the day and the road trip for me!

An amble back to our hotel, with a spot of people watching along the way and some photo taking! 

Happily esconced in our room we delighted in some pampering: face and hair masks, FaceTime to my mum and then dressing for dinner. 


Debbie suggested the chateaubriand and as a virgin in that department, I gladly accepted her gastronomic experience.

What can I say, an inspired choice, delicious and probably a carlsberg moment for me! 

After a ‘rest’ we had lemon tart to follow-sublime! 

All washed down with fizzy rose! 


What a treat! The sun shone and we have travelled quite a distance. Seahouses has a lot to live up to!