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! 💗💗💗👰🥂🥂💗💗💗


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.

Surprise, surprise

And still the surprises keep coming this year!

Some unexpected news at work meaning opportunities and challenge. Great to look holistically at situations.

Watching our children grow into the adults they have become is awesome.

We have caught up with good friends this week, where laughter and food have been plentifully enjoyed.

Good news quite often appears from out of the blue, and all the sweeter because of that.

So many things to look forward to this year!

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

Last meal at the Harbour Grill

We opted to eat in the hotel and as it was raining it was a wise decision.

Food was delicious, company great and we toasted the holiday, and Colin’s upcoming big birthday next Sunday.

We again found ourselves talking about our families, the joy the heartache but also immense pride!

It has been awesome and memories aplenty!

HK part 2 Aberdeen, Stanley and Repulse Bay

The green route covers the North of the island with a good commentary of the history of HK. It seems less urbanised than the South, more of a holiday location.

Again I was challenged with twists and turns but breathtaking views!


As part of this route we enjoyed a Sampan ride- part 3

Honkers Shonkers Bus tour part 1

Bus trips today. First one by shuttle bus to the ferry.

We arrived at central and picked up the red route.

There will be 4 parts to this and hopefully the photos, whilst void of noise, hustle and bustle and smells will convey a flavour of Hong Kong!

Back at central we go on the green route. Part 2 to follow!

Hong Kong 🇭🇰

After a flight and fitful sleep we arrived in Hong Kong. After getting our luggage we sourced a taxi to get us to Kowloon where our hotel was.

Our rooms would not be ready until 2pm so we just had 4 hours to kill. There was a shuttle bus and we had a map, so off we went into Kowloon centre to familiarise ourselves.

After coffee and a delightful cake, we read the map to decide what we wanted to do on Monday. Colin asked a few people for assistance and Kevin looked for the trusty tourist information booth!

We knew we would have to get the star ferry over to HKI that evening so wandered along to the terminal. We decided that a Big Bus tour would provide us with a whistle stop tour of everything, with the opportunity to get off, if we saw something we particularly liked.

Tickets purchased we walked back to the hotel ( over 2 miles!).

Colin was particularly amused at the bamboo scaffolding!

Back at the hotel Kevin kindly run a bath for me to ease my feet and weary legs.

All freshened up we got the shuttle bus to the ferry, and off we went to meet Richard, the son of family friends that lives here.

We met Richard and exchanged hellos, kisses and handshakes. At the central terminal we caught a cab up to the Peak. I’m not great with heights, and a twisty, turny journey up was a bit white knuckle for me. Once we arrived we saw the funicular railway and took in some views.

We braved the escalators up to the observation deck. Another few ‘legs turn to jelly’ moments, but the views as the sun set were spectacular!

I borrowed a pen to write a wish on a paper heart and the woman I borrowed the pen from was just so excited as she had just heard her daughter had got engaged. It was so lovely and I appreciated fully just how she felt. We exchanged a few photos of our beautiful daughters and their fiancés. I then tied my wish to one of the lines 💕💕

We went down the escalators and came out and went to the Peak Lookout for something to eat. Great selection of Chinese, Thai, Italian and a Grill option so we all could enjoy something.

I opted to have a Singapore Sling to drink-delicious! 🍸

We hoped to take the funicular railway back down, but the waiting time was 2/3 hours so we opted for a taxi back, which is a lot less scary in the dark!

We said our goodbyes to Richard, thanking him for his time and company. Such a delightful young man, obviously very happy living here, and we will see him again next time he is over in the UK.

Ferry back to pick up the shuttle bus and we enjoyed the cityscape all lit up.

I still can’t quite get my head round that Christmas is 4 weeks away!

On the return to our room a final shot of HKI before bed.

I check Facebook and see this wonderful photo of Joseph and Freddie, and to see that smile of Joe’s makes me so happy!

A couple of stoaters!

Ashes to Ashes, Gabba to Hong Kong…..

To see a day of Ashes test cricket, in Australia, was one of the reasons for the timing and destinations of this holiday.

We both love cricket, Kevin a very competent bat back in the day! Colin and him met at school, with Colin a demon fast bowler (well he is Jamaican)

So tickets were purchased and today was the day!

We had to pack, check out of our apartment, leave our bags to pick up later then a short walk to the RBWH bus station to catch the 340 to Woolloongabba.

We arrived in plenty of time and found our seats, which were excellent (Thank you to Andrew for picking these!)

The weather forecast over the last fortnight has ranged from rain, cloudy,partly sunny to thunderstorms! So this could’ve been interesting.

Play started promptly and there were the strains of Jerusalem resounding through the ground. Magical!

To witness one of the greatest contests in sport is spine tingling for me. We soaked up the sun, and let the story unfold. We saw Steve Smith, the Aussie captain, complete a patient 100, Pat Cummins get a credible 40+, wickets fell, albeit slowly and then Australia were all out.

Now for England to start there 2nd innings…

Cook and Stoneman came to the crease with hopes high. The atmosphere became very tense, with not only the field pressure, but the 30,000 Aussie fans, clapping and shouting for an England batsman to be out.

Alistair Cook went cheaply again, I would say that he hadn’t taken on board Steve Smith’s patient stance, but certainly early calls for him to be dropped are hasty.

Vince came to the crease and all too soon he was gone, replaced by Root, the captain, we hoped no more wickets would fall.

We left just before close of play, to ensure we picked up our bags before 7pm.

It was such an occasion, Kevin wearing the Australia vest Andrew and Lis bought him last year, much to Debbie’s mortification!

The crowd was noisy, and the drinking that can change how people behave, excessive. The profanities that we’re heard made me uncomfortable, the comments about ‘pommies’, unnecessary but I understand that this is all part of it.

Beer snakes aplenty with staff battling hard with limited staffing.

These latter mentioned observations take nothing away from a memorable, awesome day. Kevin and I even made it onto the big screen and Bruce managed to get a picture!!

A quick freshen up and we were at Brisbane Airport for our flight to Hong Kong, the last leg of our holiday. Check in and bag drop I found frustrating, farcical and time consuming. But I was tired, hungry and thirsty by that point. It had been a long, fantastic, memorable, awesome and did I say awesome, day!