Six become four

Today Andrew and Lis were to leave us to go home, but before that, Andrew and I completed the HI parkrun.

We were cheered around the 2 lap route by the rest of the family. It was my first as a ‘tourist’ and what a place to do it.

We went for breakfast after our efforts and I probably undid all my good work!

My time came through and it was sub 50, which as I walked the whole route and with the heat, I was very happy with, and to see Andrew’s name there too was fantastic!

All too soon was the time I least like -saying goodbye. My intention to be brave and not cry never quite happens. I thought as we see them again relatively soon it would be ok, but no. In my head I can rationalise to be happy with having seen them, not dwell on not, but my heart seems to have a life of its own! ❤️

Returning to the apartment it was a bit quieter, and the remaining four made plans for the remaining few days.

Trip to the beach, walk around and watch some RLWC2017 was itinerary for the remainder of today.

Nina and Jay went back to one tree hill to watch the sunset, whilst Kevin and I ordered dinner.

I managed a few sunset shots whilst waiting.

Andrew and Lis returned home safely and were met by Bella their cat with meows of delight!

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Sunrise to Sunset

An early start to catch the sunrise, another stunner.

We made our way to the beach 🏖 to kayak! Me , Kevin and Georgina went in one, and with a little help we were off. Have to say not terribly comfortable so we went back to the shoreline to move seats. This proved hilarious as Kevin ended a over t and in the water!

We tried again more successfully, but this time when we returned to shore it was my turn to end up in the water, as I fell over when a wave crashed in!

We shopped for dinner and lunch and the girls went for a massage, and the boys to play pool

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Refreshed, we all relaxed on the verandah, we showered and got ready to go to one tree hill for the sunset 🌅

It was quite emotional and with live music being played, it was a great experience.

We returned home for a BBQ and a toast for our week together!

Andrew and Lis go home today, but not before a Park 🏃. It has been wonderful to be together and I just hang out, as well as do stuff! There will be tears no doubt, but they will be over in April , so not too long🤗💕

Paddle boards, palms and a puffer fish…

Here we are on a paradise island, with some of the people I love most, and I have had the fog descend on me.

I have thought I could ‘just get over it’, but I have noticeably withdrawn. There is no rhyme or reason per se, but the kids noticed it.

After our beach trip this morning we returned back to our apartment for lunch, and I find myself crying. After a little while I get up to go for a walk to try and shake this off, and Georgina insists on coming with me.

It’s very hot and we shared how we felt: I have to learn to talk more about how i’m feeling, I have to remember people are not mind readers. I have written before about the ‘fog’, I can see it, others can’t, but they see the different, withdrawn person, who doesn’t engage.

I think I’m hiding it well, obviously I’m not.

We all went for a walk to the beach at low tide, and a couple of more conversations were had. I have been blown away with their kindness, concern and very proud of them all.

Walking through the sea lapping around our ankles, seeing fish , crabs, sea snails, with the level rising up to our waists, I almost trod on a Ray! A little further out and a with a helping hand the level dropped away again.

I suppose in some ways this is an analogy of how I can feel on occasion.

The walk was spontaneous, and all the more enjoyable for that. It also brought back memories of Maldon, Cornwall and Lunan Bay.

These moments are precious and I need to be less anxious, and not over think too much and just enjoy the present.

We all visited a local pool, to relax and drank overpriced strawberry daiquiris!

We prepared dinner at the apartment, where Lis shared with us her vegetarian journey and it has spurred me on to have at least on meat free day a week.

We watched the bats 🦇 fly over to their evening stomping grounds.

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peace with myself and I hope that I will be able to articulate more quickly how I feel when the fog descends.

Time flies and you find that your children have grown into sensitive, caring adults. How lucky are we. We have a few days left together until next year, so I have to make the most of that!

Just taking it easy

After the exertions of yesterday, tides was going to be a little more relaxed. The kids went to the beach after breakfast to tandem kayak and to do paddle boarding.

Kevin and I had a leisurely breakfast and took a walk up the hill to visit the white church we can see from our room.

Weddings can be held here Both inside and out, the views are spectacular!

We returned home to pick up the buggy and stopped off at the 🏖 just as they were leaving. There was an exchange of stories and they all want to return tomorrow!

After a trip to the supermarket, we lunched and then made our way to the nearby pool.

Today it was very hot and this provided a welcome respite.

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to play pool, and we got ready to go out for dinner: Mexican tonight!

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of choice, washed down with beer and margaritas! Churros was a shared dessert with the chocolate and caramel dipping sauces enjoyed!

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found out who had the keys to the buggy and apartment we made our way home.

Today was a momentous day as Australia voted by 61.6% for the legalisation of same sex marriage. Lis wore her ‘love is love’ tee shirt in honour of the result coming out.

Later in the evening we watched the Australian football team beat Honduras to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The reef police dismisseth us……

The Leith police dismisseth us,

They thought we sought to stay;

The Leith police dismisseth us,

They thought we’d stay all day.

The Leith police dismisseth us,

We both sighed sighs apiece;

And the sighs that we sighed as we said goodbye

Were the size of the Leith police.

A tongue twister came to mind today as we sailed out to the Great Barrier Reef so please excuse the randomness of it! Here is the photo that inspired its use

Today was our visit to the GBR and we had an interesting journey out to the pontoon. We certainly experienced the ‘ocean motion’ and got thoroughly soaked as we sat at the back of the boat. The ‘rock and roll’ of the waves were interesting!

After a couple of hours we arrived and there was a semi submersible, an underwater viewing area, snorkelling and sunbathing activities.

My first snorkel wasn’t great with water getting into my mouth and nose, and I literally only saw 3 fish.

After lunch, I had another go as I was determined to see the wrasse and the delicate, vibrant fish that live in and around the coral. This is certainly something to cross off the bucket list.

This was the primary reason for this trip for our Coral anniversary – to see the coral up close.

Everyone thought it was fantastic and it was so good to experience it with Andrew, Lis, Nina and Jay.

Another fantastic memory made on what us turning out to be an amazing holiday!

The journey back to HI was eventful with us just floating in the Coral Sea as the boat had electrical failure on three occasions, but the Captain kept us up to speed with what was happening and we returned safely to the marina.

A fish and chip supper and other things with chips made for a welcome evening meal. By 8:00 I was exhausted and bed was calling.

Monday and no work!

I was woken up early by Georgina, still overawed by the previous evening events.

We watched the sun rise together and talked about the proposal and the excitement generated. This has been something she has dreamt of for so long and their unbridled joy is just so touching.

We enjoyed a chilled day with us all doing different walks to the beach, drives to one tree hill, with the weather changeable.

Later in the afternoon pool was played and we all mucked in to prepare a BBQ dinner with various conversations about jobs, life etc rounding off another wonderful day here on Hamilton Island.

She said yes! 💍💕💕

For the last seven months, I’ve kept a very big secret (or not) from Georgina and family. It’s been hard, as I have wanted to tell people about the little things that have occurred over that time.

Jay choosing the right ring💍, Georgina changed her mind about style and Jay fretted about having one made, but needn’t have worried as his choice in ring, matches his choice of fiancée, beautiful in every way!

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ked Kevin’s permission a few weeks back, and Kevin almost blurted it out after a few days! Is this the same man who kept the trip from Andrew and Lis last year a secret for 5 months?

Andrew and Lis made a banner, after Jay told them, and brought bubbles of both varieties!

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as put so much thought into the event, wanting everything to be perfect for Georgina. The last few days he has been so nervous, not because he thought that Georgina would say no, but because it is such a momentous thing to do: a life changer. <<<<
gina was certain that Jay was the one for her, when she first met him, and she resolutely stuck by that. Two trips to Australia, one without Jay and one with, job changes, living with us and daily life with its nuances we arrive at their next chapter.

They are so good together and we are so proud of them as they plan their future and wish them all the love and happiness in the world.

May they remember today forever, I know I will! 🍾💕💕💕💕🤗💍💍

Coral and warmth

This weekend we embarked on a bit of a celebratory route. Friday night and a trip to Covent Garden and Clos Maggiore- billed as the most romantic restaurant in the world no less!

We were joined by friends Bev and Neil and it was superb. The food, the atmosphere, the service: all top notch!

Saturday was spent running errands and getting my nails done!

Sunday morning arrived and we packed for a surprise overnight stay (well a surprise for me!). A journey to Newmarket and we booked in to the Bedford lodge and spa hotel.

We both enjoyed a massage followed by time relaxing in the pool, sauna and steam room.

We relaxed in our room and then got ready for dinner where Prosecco flowed followed by another sumptuous meal!

Monday morning arrived all too soon and we made our way to breakfast. This was our actual Anniversary-35 years!

Champagne offered and as Kevin said 'rude not to'.

We made our way to the American cemetery and memorial, a place I visited in May. I knew Kevin would be profoundly interested in visiting.

We returned home refreshed and it felt longer than an overnight stay.
We had spoken about our hopes and dreams past, present and for the future, our kids, their hopes and dreams, family and friends, those no longer with us in body, but still in spirit.
We laughed, we shed a tear or two and we ruminated over what is the secret of a happy marriage.

I don't profess to know, and we've had a few dark times, but we have weathered them together. We are lucky to have a shared view on our family home and money ( Kevin saves it, I spend it! )

There is a warmth to Kevin that is like a big soft blanket that wraps around you when times are hard. He is the sensible one, his dry sense of humour can often throw you off guard. He built my confidence, he rarely chides, except when he tells me not to sweat the small stuff.

Kevin is the sweetest, kindest man, he's the secret to our marriage.

Whilst we are fortunate now to enjoy the good things life can bring, spending time, as we did this weekend, is the best 🎁

That apart, we have our Australia 🇦🇺 anniversary adventure still to look forward to!

Recipe for success

A few days at home, a morning at work, a disturbed night, packing and we were on our way to Brighton! A detour to pick up the macaroons that on Wednesday were not ready, but. Thanks to colourfulbites for making the magic happen!
We had a good journey and a cuppa was shared whilst working on POA and shopping list!

We enjoyed the delights of the garden and we hit the road canhams for lamb, pasties and scotch eggs then Tesco for everything else. A stop at the florist at Hove station for a riot of gerbera and roses.

More prep and a wonderful pizza dinner was enjoyed. POA revisited for Saturday and more photos!

So it was 60 years to the day, up early, fantastic breakfast, but not until the food order was collected, and the French bread.
There had been a delivery which was a wonderful surprise – a signed card from Her Majesty!
Elaine decided that the pond had to be emptied and refilled. Jane and mum redid the meringue and it was all coming together: balloons, bunting,food and drink!
The first guests arrived, and then a steady stream followed. Fizz flowed, food was ready and a rolling stream of photos of family, weddings and music over 60 years.
We had photo booth fun, speeches, some more tearful than others. My Dad doesn't say much and he made such an effort to thank everyone – so touching.

Mum said a few words about the secret of their success: be friends, like each other love each other and make sure they don't snore!

It was a wonderful day and hopefully everyone enjoyed it as we did!

We were so tired but in a good way. Sixty years…….. raise your glasses to Celli and Andrew🍾🍾🍾🍾💕💕💕💕

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. 💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕🍾❤️💕💕💕