Thursday, April 29, 2021

 A quiet couple of days and a real shock to have a damp day yesterday after all these dry weeks. Daughter S came back yesterday afternoon as she had her rescheduled hospital appointment first thing this morning. She didn't feel great after her appointment so we went into Newton Abbot and had the treat of a coffee out served in proper cups and saucers.  It was lovely although it would have been even better if  the sun had shone a bit more.



Having said the Louise Penny book was a bit slow to start with I suddenly got really into it and quickly finished it whilst dinner was cooking. Next I'm going to read 'The Godmothers'. 



Well that's it really. I'm going to settle down shortly with my book and a glass of wine and see what's on TV worth watching.  I hope the weather is kind over the Bank Holiday weekend so that we can have a couple of nice walks and relax in the garden.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

 We had a really good weekend with my Sister and her Husband visiting. The weather was good and they really liked the campsite they were staying on. On Sunday we met them over in Dawlish and had a walk all along the front to Coryton Cove.  There were a few brave souls in the sea but most people were just out walking and enjoying the sunshine. We came back to the town and got ice creams and sat in the park. We said our goodbyes around 4 as it's a 2 hour drive home for them and they had work yesterday.

               





 Today is my Brother in Laws 60th Birthday so Happy Birthday Andy.

The last couple of days it's been nice to have the house to myself and have a really good tidy up. Loads of washing and ironing has been done, floors washed, a couple of cupboards sorted, a food shop done and I have starting sorting through bags of clothes for the girls, which were in the garage, packing away some winter stuff and sorting through summer clothes.  Daughter L doesn't get much in the way of new clothing as there are just so many hand me downs. In fact, there is more than she can possibly wear so I need to go through it all and give some to the charity shop.

I am still reading a couple of books a week.  The Authenticity Project was very good - the Louise Penny was a bit slow to start but is just getting going. I have read a few of her more recent books but this one is the first she ever wrote. Well that's it for now.

                                                

Saturday, April 24, 2021

 We are having a lovely few days with my Sister and Brother in Law visiting.  They are staying in at a caravan park in Shaldon which is just over the estuary from us.  Last night we had a very chilly BBQ but it was nice to catch up and have adult company and I do think that this summer a lot of people will entertain in their gardens as opposed to meeting in pubs etc.

Today we took them over to Parke, our local National Trust grounds, for a walk.  It was sunny this afternoon and a lot warmer so it was really pleasant walking along by the river, and not too busy. They, for some reason, had never been there before so it was nice for them to discover somewhere new.  We walked all along the old tramway into the town of Bovey Tracey where the girls got an ice cream and we had coffees sat at a picnic table alongside the river.  It was a really nice way to pass a couple of hours and afterwards they came back and sat in our garden.






Tomorrow we are going to meet them in Dawlish for a walk along the beach and probably around the town before they set off for home.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

 Well what a difference a day makes. Yesterday morning, Daughter S and I went into Newton Abbot to pick up some library books K and L had ordered and get some bits of shopping. The sun was shining so we decided to have a coffee sat outside one of the cafes that were open. It was lovely, and, for the first time this year, I had a coffee out served in a proper cup and saucer as opposed to a paper cup! It was so nice sat in the sunshine.

Today, we went to our nearby town, Teignmouth, to have a walk along the seafront, and is was so so cold. There was nobody sat outside having coffee and everyone was wrapped up in winter coats. The waves were huge but there were still a few brave souls out with paddle boards and surf boards.

  Of all things, yesterday afternoon, I packed my winter clothes away and put my summer ones in my wardrobe, so it's all my fault.



It did warm up this afternoon so when we dropped Daughter L off for her tutoring lesson, we went and had a walk around Bakers park and Bradley Woods.



Of all things, yesterday, Daughter S had a hospital appointment booked for the afternoon which was one of  her reason for coming home for a couple of days. They rang her just after 9 to cancel and it's now rebooked for next Wednesday! 

Well a short post as nothing much seems to be happening to write about. I have a feeling our BBQ with my Sister and Brother in Law tomorrow will be a cold affair as when I checked the forecast it said it was going to be very windy.  I shall have to dig my big winter coat back out.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

 Not much exciting has happened here over the last couple of days. K and L went back to school yesterday, D had an inset day and today finished at 11.00 so not a full day for her till tomorrow.

Yesterday D and I went into one of our local towns, Newton Abbot, to have a look in a few charity shops and run some errands. The shops were pretty quiet but there was nothing of much interest. I avoided looking at the books as I am still working through a big pile from the Library and my Sister gave me a bag full last weekend.  All I picked up was a nice short sleeved linen shirt for Hubby. We grabbed a coffee and sat in a nice seating area, slightly tucked away, and enjoyed the sunshine.

After school L was back to gymnastics for the first time since the middle of December which she was pleased about.

Today I have been for a nice long walk, got the girls bedding washed and dried outside, given the kitchen a thorough clean and now K is at Guides via Zoom in our kitchen!

Daughter S got home late afternoon for a couple of nights as she has a hospital appointment tomorrow and a doctors appointment on Thursday so no doubt we shall fit in a coffee and a walk somewhere tomorrow.

My DBS arrived in the post today so everything's moving in the right direction with my new job which I should be starting on May 4th, all being well.

I think that's all for now.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

 It's been lovely and sunny these last couple of days and warmer. However, on Friday night Hubby met a couple of friends for a drink at our village brewery, and lasted less than an hour! Even with his coat on he said it was just too cold to be enjoyable.

I now have an appointment to have my hair cut and coloured on the 19th May so that is something in the diary to look forward to.

Yesterday we pottered in the garden, the girls were happy reading and doing there own thing so it was nice just having quiet time. This afternoon we have been over to Torquay for a walk.  We parked in a side street at the far end of the seafront and walked all along to the harbour.  It was really lovely, people sat on the beach, people out walking, and lots of people sat outside  cafes and restaurants having food and drink.  It all had a really continental holiday feel to it. After an ice cream we came home and Hubby has just mowed the lawn as it is green bin collection on Tuesday.



My sister messaged me Friday to say that they have booked a static caravan near us for this coming Thursday for three nights. Brother-in-Law is 10 years older than my sister and it is his 60th Birthday on the 27th April so this is a pre birthday celebration.  We are going to have a BBQ Friday night so I hope this warmer weather lasts. This morning the garden furniture was washed and the patio brushed in readiness!

Shortly I shall be cooking a roast and then we shall have to prepare for back to school tomorrow.

Friday, April 16, 2021

 It has been a busy week. On Monday we travelled up to Wiltshire to visit my Dad for a few days.  We managed to book some self contained accommodation nearby which was perfect for our visit. We had a good journey up, but my goodness the amount of traffic heading down our way and probably onto Cornwall was unbelievable. The sun shone the whole time although it was a bit chilly, but my Dads front garden is very sheltered so we were able to have picnic lunches sat outside and fish and chips one evening.

 We took him out for a coffee every morning to different places.  On Tuesday morning we went to The Rowdey Cow which we only discovered last summer.  It is a cafe with a big garden, a play area, some petting animals, a small walk around pony paddocks and an ice cream parlour.  It is a lovely place to go as a family and we spent a good hour and a half there. 


After lunch we left my Dad's and went into Bath for a walk and a bit of shopping for the girls.  It wasn't particularly busy, probably because there are no foreign tourists at the moment, and it was a pleasant couple of hours.  I worked in Bath when I first left college so it's always nice to go back and see what's 
changed.  This is a not very good photo as we drove down into Bath.    
                                                      
                                                    
On Wednesday morning we went back to the edge of Bath to Alice Park.  This was a real trip down memory lane for my Dad as his Grandfather was park keeper here in the 1940's/50's so he spent a lot of time here as a child. I used to bring Daughter S here as a toddler before we moved to Devon as it has a very good play area and a big sandpit.  The only real change is the addition of a very nice cafe. 

On Thursday we met my Sister and Brother in Law in the town park and had a good catch up and took advantage of Costas 50p drink promotion. We had a good walk around the park and reminisced about our primary school days.  Me and my sister went to a small private school until we were 11 which backed onto the town park so we used to come over with the headmistress for games lessons.  I can picture us now playing rounders, the Headmistress with her skirt tucked up almost in her knickers blowing her whistle!  She ran the school with her Husband until  ill health forced her to retire. The school closed in 2012  and has been empty since. She died in 2015 aged 87 having devoted most of her life to teaching and the school having no children of her own. We have such happy memories of our years there and it's a shame, looking over the fence, to see it decaying.

We set off home tea time yesterday and all agreed it had been a lovely trip catching up with family.  The only difficult thing for me was my Mum not being there and part of our visit -  very, very hard.

Today has been spent recovering and starting on the endless pile of washing!


Saturday, April 10, 2021

 Yesterday afternoon we decided to get out for a walk somewhere other than our village. We decided on Bakers Park which is just the other side of Newton Abbot, about 4 miles from us.  The park leads into Bradley Woods which is National Trust land and there is a National Trust house Bradley Manor which we have visited a few times in the past but which is currently closed.  There is a river running through so there lots of stepping stones to mess about on and fallen tree trunks to climb along.  We then climbed up into the woods and the girls were delighted to find that someone had fixed up a rope swing to play on.  It was lovely couple of hours of fresh air and exercise.  

                              

For dinner I made falafels which we had in pittas with salad and raita drizzled over.  Unfortunately, I forgot all about taking a photo until we had finished them! This is something I make regularly as everyone likes them and we always have the ingredients to hand.

Today is my Dads 81st Birthday.  I rang him this morning and Daughter S was picking up my Sister and Brother in Law to have a picnic lunch with him.  Luckily he has a sheltered south facing front garden to sit in!

Well that's it, not much going on. Tonight me and Hubby will cook ourselves a curry and have a couple of glasses of wine.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

 Yesterday morning I rang my Dad to check he was ok and to have a catch up, not that anyone is doing much!. We are going up to see him for a few days next week - we've managed to find some self contained accommodation and I'm hoping the weather will warm up a bit so we can take him out each day for a walk and a coffee.  He never complains but he spends days where he talks to no-one. I shall be so glad when restrictions are lifted and we can regularly go up and stay and take him out for dinner. 

 I also rang my Sister as she and my Brother-in-law had a bit of a disastrous Easter weekend.  My sister had a hip replacement last November and made a really good recovery from it, however, Thursday night, she twisted awkwardly and dislocated the new hip. They had to call an ambulance and she was in hospital for 2 nights while they sorted it out under an epidural.  A couple of weeks ago my Brother in law fell whilst out running and landed heavily on his shoulder. He had it x rayed and was told everything was fine. Last week they called him back for another one and told him it was actually fractured so he was in hospital 7.00am Tuesday morning having an operation to pin it. He came out today with a shoulder brace for 2 weeks, signed off work for 4 and obviously no driving. They are a right pair, there is always something going on. She messaged me this afternoon to say she had walked into town and bought a shopping trolley!

This morning we had lovely walk around Decoy Country Park, which I showed you a few weeks ago.  The play area was very busy so we avoided that and took a route up through the woods. 








This afternoon I went to F, the childminders, house for her to scan all my certificates and complete a DBS check ready for when I start working for her next month. All very exciting and a bit nerve racking after a year not working, but it will be fine once I get going.

Dinner tonight was homemade pizzas with some salad.  I always make the dough for the bases in my bread maker using half and half brown and white flour and it comes out perfectly.

Tonight I am going to have a couple of glasses of wine whilst watching Midsomer Murders. I can't believe it's almost the end of the first week of the holidays.

Sorry my photos are all the place - K was busy and couldn't sort me out!

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

 Monday started slowly. Eldest Daughter S had to return to university which was sad but at least this time it won't be three months till we next see her! After she had left we went into town as I wanted to go to Wilko to get some bits for the garden. I got some chinese lanterns to go in a spare pot I have and some nasturtium seeds which I have planted in a seed tray and are sat in the utility room.  Both these plants I remember seeing a lot as a child but not much nowadays so I am looking forward to their lovely bright colour this summer - hopefully. We spent the afternoon in the garden moving a few plants and weeding in our fruit garden which was back breaking but it looks so much better now.




Today has been much much colder than of late.  This morning we had a walk around the village as I had a birthday card to post and then this afternoon a good friend called round for a coffee.  Her youngest Daughter S and D are very good friends so they went off for a walk whilst K and I sat in the back garden with our big coats on zipped right up! It was ok but I shall be glad when everything's more civilised and we can just sit inside.  It was really good, however, to have some adult company and we had a good catch up on the last couple of months.

Dinner tonight was a new dish out of one of Jamie Olivers book called golden parmesan fish bake. It looks a bit beige but it was delicious and one  to make again although D (the fussy one) scraped all the sauce off her piece of fish and stuck it in a bread roll! Honestly, I despair.



Onto another new book. The Thursday Murder Club was brilliant and I really raced through it. Next is a Joanna Trollope book which from the blurb sounds equally good.



Sunday, April 4, 2021

 We've had a really lovely couple of days considering the sadness of earlier in the week.  Saturday morning it was just me and L at home so once we had got some jobs done we had a walk around the village posting our entry for the Easter Trail competition through the organisers letterbox.

After lunch we decided to have a nice long walk at our nearest National Trust parkland called Parke.  This is a lovely place for a walk and is rarely too busy. We walked all up through the woodland, down along the river and through to the nearest town of Bovey Tracey. We walked up around the town getting ice creams from the Co-Op and then back to Parke along the road way.  It took a couple of hours and was really enjoyable. In the evening we chilled out with wine and watched one of the new Midsomer Murders.



Today the sun was shining, although slightly cooler, so we packed up beach bags and lunch kit and headed to Broadsands beach for a few hours with the paddleboard.  It wasn't too busy so we had a lovely time sat reading and chilling while the girls took the paddleboard out. L was less keen and said the water was too cold so she didn't stay out on the water long and  occupied herself with the buckets and spades.  Hubby had his camping stove so hot drinks were made and burgers cooked for lunch.  It was such a nice relaxing few hours. Now we are home and I'm just about to start cooking a roast chicken dinner.  Tonight will be our last meal together as Daughter S has to return to University tomorrow.


                               

I have already finished the Elly Griffiths book - I have read this whole series and always race through them as they are such a good read. Now I have started 'The Thursday Murder Club' which I can already tell will be a good read. Finally tonight, of course, it will be Line of Duty.



Friday, April 2, 2021

 It was a sad day yesterday as we had to have our lovely cat Suzie put to sleep.  It was a heart breaking decision to make but she had really gone downhill over the last few days so it was the kindest thing to do. We brought her home and she has been buried in the garden with her brother, Tigger. We got her and Tigger from some friends of ours in the village who have a farm and had taken in a stray, wild pregnant cat.  We decided we would have one of the kittens and duly drove up from Cornwall where we were living at the time. There were only two of the five kittens left by then and so although we only intended having one kitten we didn't like to leave one behind so we took both home with us. Suzie was the last one left.




This morning we did an Easter trail that the primary school fundraising group had organised. We had to walk around the village looking for coloured in pictures of eggs in windows with a letter.  We had to find 13 eggs and use the letters to make an Easter phrase. It's £! to enter and there are 4 prizes of Easter eggs up for grabs.  On our route we stopped at our park and coffees/cold drinks from the mobile van that was there.



The afternoon was spent pottering in the garden, weeding and refreshing the barked areas that we have. We finished off the day with the first barbecue of the year - eaten inside I hasten to add. Tomorrow we will probably go on a nice long walk and depending on the weather Sunday we may go and sit on the beach for a few hours while the girls use the paddleboard.






Now I am going to sit with a glass of wine and read my latest book.



 Another week gone by in a blur of school and work. The Thursday before last, once I had finished work at 12, I met two friends at our villa...