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!

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Last full day on HI

Our last full day before Four become just two ( three actually as we meet up with Colin).

We go into town to buy breakfast essentials and enjoy the views.

Kevin and I have a drive around and then walk the other side of the marina and also Bommie Deck, where we hope to go for drinks tonight.

One last drive up to one tree hill, then down the scary bit!

Over lunch there are a few tears and reflection on our time here, the memories made and for me the realisation that we are embarking on a new stage of our lives. Kevin is fantastic in how pragmatic he is, not to fight against these changes, but to embrace and enjoy!

Nina and Jay hired a boat for the afternoon and returned after 4pm to regale us with stories of doughnuts and beaching! They certainly had fun!

We all dressed up for our final night and headed to Bommie Deck, and we saw a wedding party there: what a wonderful venue.

To think that below the Deck last week, Jay proposed and Nina accepted, it seems a lot longer. Whilst sipping cocktails 🍸 there was wedding talk. No doubt there will be much more over the coming months.

We returned to Romanos for our last meal with more reflections and returned for our final night in the apartment.

This certainly has been a holiday to remember, with so many stand out memories and HI is a fabulous place and I hope we can all return, and I mean all!

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!

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.

<<<<<<<<<<<
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!

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.

World mental health awareness day….

I don't know what it is about this time of year, but I always seem to have a dip in my mental state.

Is it the end of summer?
Is it the darker nights?
Is it the colder weather?
Is it the tank running low?

Any of or none of the above, I just don't know.

Whatever it is, my mood changes, normally associated with a bout of illness, so I guess a beleaguered immune system plays a part.

I try so hard to be all things to all people, I expect too much of myself and others. I never learn……

The face is painted on, the smile too and away I go, doing the same, expecting a different outcome and guess what I get the same results!!!

Don't get me wrong, I have so much to be thankful for, a home, family, and great friends. I enjoy myself and in the main I am happy, but then this black fog descends and I just want to run away and hide, but I can't hide from myself….

So I talk to myself, usually on my way home from work and Kevin is brilliant in supporting me through it, and little by little the fog recedes until the next time.

At school today I tweeted #inyourcorner for mental health awareness day especially for young people, in particular young men, who keep their worries etc close to their chests.

Don't be fooled by what's presented on the outside, take time to listen.

Anyone, at anytime can be affected. I know who's in my corner. Do you?

Two weeks in

Well that's two weeks of the Academic year gone

Time just goes so quickly. The start is always frenetic, but this year with the sixth form building project 5 weeks overdue, and possibly another 5 week delay, it's even more so.
Balls in the air trying to ensure all is in place, whilst preparing for a HR audit, a GDPR audit and the ICE visit.

Satisfyingly, things are taking shape, and I feel a real sense of pride. I have had such great support from a Governor, who has been with me every step of the way: we had a shared vision and it has been a delight!

Today provided another boost to my mood with a visit to a brand designer. It is such a fillip to meet people so energised, so full of ideas, a passion for change and to feel 'yes, that hits the nail on the head'!

I walked back to work from the meeting, full of hope, it was a lovely sunny morning, and a dear colleague, celebrating her birthday, had left a cupcake on my desk

Yummy!

We have student art work on the walls and this is being updated and I particularly like one which is in the style of Katherine Jebb. So wonderful to enjoy their talents and achievements.

All in all a great start and long may the positivity remain!

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.💕🎭

Holiday …celebrate

My husband , Kevin, and I have enjoyed a wonderful week away. We stayed in the UK staying in Birmingham, Alnwick,Arbroath and Durham. 

We were lucky with the weather and thoroughly enjoyed our time away. We have had good food, a drink or two and it does amaze me that after knowing each other for 35 years we still have so much to talk about. Family, politics, what we do next, and still talk about our hopes and dreams. 

Now we are home, even though there was a lot of driving, we feel that we were away a lot longer. We are refreshed and it was lovely to be welcomed home! 🤗💕💕