Two decades and a funeral


Bev and I have known each other for over 30 years and a recent invite to accompany her to althorp was one that I had to take up.

Weather was set fair and I drove to her home, and we made the journey to Northants.


First stop was to visit the above, then we made our way to the cafe for lunch. Ginger beer and a smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwich went down a treat.

We wandered through the exhibitions delighting in the photos of Diana, reminded of her charity work, and her legacy. As we approach the 20th anniversary of her death, there has been renewed coverage in the media, only last week the programme with her beloved sons ‘Diana, Our Mother’ which gave a flavour of the fun loving woman she was.

We thoroughly enjoyed the tour of the ancestral home, with an enthusiastic and informative guide. We then made our way out to the lake.
It is such a beautiful spot and we spent time on a bench reflecting on the last twenty years. We are both blessed with wonderful families, good health, and take opportunities that come our way. That doesn’t mean that we’ve not had difficult times, but with love and support we have had the ability to cope.
A cuppa and a sweet treat were required before hitting the gift shop!

A long journey back and a fish supper was consumed, before I made my trip home.

A truly wonderful day spent in lovely company!

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? ☺️😎

Dyffryn Gardens

Another day, another house and gardens, this one a National Trust property just outside Cardiff. The gardens less formal than yesterday, but a sculpture here and there.

The sun shone intermittently but the moisture in the air did not dampen our enthusiasm.


We stopped for the obligatory cream tea and wandered around the stalls where books were being sold. Debbie bought 3 wisdens at a knock down price. For drop everything and read at school I got of photo of me reading one. 


A short drive to Cardiff for some shopping, oh and a glance at the principality stadium! 


We booked to see the film Hampstead and the cinema is a short walk from where we are staying. The film was funny, poignant and based on a true story. Truly delightful. A burger at Five Guys followed with a stroll home to a face pack, strawberries and casino royale.


Onc again,exhausted from our wanderings, bed is welcome and much cooler, so hopefully a good niht’s sleep😴😴😴😴😴😴

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! 

Homeward bound

After a night in a warm room we were woken at 8:32 this morning. This left little time for showers etc and as it was miserable outside, we made our way to breakfast, which was again, very good! 

A meander through the streets of Bakewell meant buying cheese, beer and treats for home!

We returned to the hotel, packed and we were on our way.


The scenery we have seen on this trip has been so beautiful to behold, even in ☔️. There are so many more places to see, we have just skirted round and through them!


Our final stop just had to be a cake shop, Patisserie Valerie, at Cambridge services. One last hurrah for us both. Satiated, we carried on and Debbie dropped me off at home at 980 miles from when the journey began.

Joe was just leaving as we arrived, but a window tap and bibib attracted his attention to turn round. Hugs all round then Debbie left to get home too.

I unpacked, watered the garden and took some photos

This last week has been so good,so good,so good (sweet Caroline), I’ve been inclined …. to drink too much, eat far too much, and laugh (you can never laugh too much!).  I am blessed with great family and friends and I am lucky to have the opportunity to do things like this, and the means too.

Wonderful memories made and also a wanderlust to visit more of our beautiful ‘green and pleasant land’

Cambridge – footlights

Day one of our road trip and our first destination is Cambridge. 


Only 45 minutes from where I live and the sights to behold are wondrous! 


A trip up the M11 and we arrived at the trumpington park and ride. Sustenance required and we chose too quickly an establishment to eat. Fare was okay but nothing more. 


We took in the sights of academia wandering round the little nooks and crannies, whilst avoiding the rampant cyclists! 


The walk was excellent and a return trip is definitely on the cards.  A great cup of coffee at bould brothers and we were sufficiently replete to make the journey to Debbie’s cousin Kate, where we had our accommodation for the night. 

Hospitality excellent, great food, wine and company


Guess who came to dinner! 

Just simply wonderful! 

Morse code…

Today I had my nails painted by the wonderful Yas and she was telling me that she recently attended her great granpops funeral – he was 99. She said she never realised so much about his life and was proud to hear so much that was recounted. 

She said he had been something to do with Morse code and she was touched by words the celebrant said.

When visiting graves or seeing the memorial service booklet, the life span is shown as e.g 1941 – 2016 and he said that the dash represents so little written down, but means so much to those that have lost their loved one, as that dash represents their life, memories, achievements and love both given and received. 

Today is St David’s Day, patron saint of Wales, and once again a memory of my friend Sian came to mind. Passionately proud of her Welsh heritage and one of my favourite photos is of her in her Welsh Rugby top. We are almost at the first anniversary of her passing and I am feeling it very keenly, obviously nothing compared to her family. 


I have worn a daffodil today both for Marie Curie and for Sian.

As my timeline continues I thought of how that would look – 

1961 … and in Morse code three dots represent the letter S, how fitting. 


People come and go, friends are forever. 

2016!

It has been a wonderful year full of surprises with lots of sport to enjoy, but tinged with great sadness too with the loss of a very dear friend and a work colleague. 

I have written about the majority of the highs throughout the year and there have been moments of reflection too.


The last few weeks have found me climbing out from a very dark place, and with the love and support of family and friends I feel strong enough to clamber over the edge and look forward to 2017 and all that the new year may bring.

I have been cross with myself for letting my mental health suffer and allowing things to get so bad. On reflection I have realised that there has to be balance in life  you can’t be all things to all people. 

Having lost loved ones has made me more aware of my mortality, how some people unduly suffer, and face up to it with serenity. I have wondered whether this is a late mid life crisis: irrational I know, as I have a wonderful family, a wide circle of good friends, a home, a job and the benefits that culminate from all of the above. But that has not stopped the feelings of anxiety, the fatigue and the utter hopelessness. 

But I am lucky and I have improved over the last few weeks and the feelings, whilst not completely gone, have sufficiently retreated so that I enjoyed an awesome family Christmas.

As we see in the New Year later this evening I don’t want to make any unrealistic resolutions, that if unfulfilled, will only disappoint and dishearten me.

So I will face each day as it comes, enjoy the moments that take my breath away and be more aware of my mental wellbeing and that of those around me. 

I have a trip to Australia to arrange/organise for the latter part of the year and lots of delightful treats to look forward to. My inspiring parents will celebrate their 💎 wedding anniversary in September, and that is no mean feat!


May the hopes and dreams of all those I love and cherish come to fruition and 2017 provide more fun, laughter and love! 

Cheers!