August 28, 2015

Saturday 8th -Sunday 9th August Follow That Boat!

Morning…last night after our usual Pimms and beer at Marga’s, we returned to the restaurant at Ses Salines with beautiful views over the bay and a pretty tree outside…cue husband pose.

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It is so peaceful looking over the water as the sun goes down. Eating delicious food is a bonus. We had patatas bravas to start, a fish paella and chocolate and orange mousse to finish, all washed down with a huge gin and tonic.

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As we left the restaurant feeling incredibly full, the sun going down left a beautiful orange haze in the sky.

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Up to now we have been driving, walking, taking in the sights, taking photos, swimming, reading, eating, drinking and getting very HOT…I have sunbathed and my husband has slept. Today we learn to SAIL (give me strength)…hoping for no stormy waters and a patient instructor with a sense of humour!

It’s Sunday. I wasn’t expecting after a fifteen minute initial lesson to be let loose alone in a small pico boat alone. There were many different groups, but only three of us in the beginners group. Never mind that that they had given us a life jacket, told us the importance of not crashing into other boats, described how you could slow the boat down by letting out the sails and tried to convince us of the ease of righting a boat should it capsize. There were lots of sailing boats and windsurfers around.

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“Follow those two” was shouted as I climbed into my pico and pushed off…”which two?” I went sailing off into the distance with fear and panic in the pit of my stomach. I realised I couldn’t stop, didn’t know who I was following, where I was going or what to do…”help!” shouted my small voice across the bay. Yep, I had to be rescued by the rescue boat! The rescue boat man gave me a quick lesson at sea, was very supportive and I suspect realised that when it came to sailing I was not just a beginner but special needs! It didn’t go unnoticed that he was not far from my boat at all times for the rest of the morning. I continued on my own, but ‘tacking’ was a struggle, my feet got caught up in ropes and tow bars, I let go off the tiller several times, I floundered on the floor scraping my knees, hit my head on the boom and crashed into my husbands boat making him capsize! I didn’t however fall into the water, unlike my husband who was permanently wet… something to do with his size and the size of the boat!

My bad back did not make the afternoon session (no surprise) as by the end of the morning it, along with other parts of by body, were struggling. Instead I sat by the pool, dipping in and out contemplating what I had learnt in the morning, which didn’t seem a lot and finished my second book.

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Husband was given a bigger boat in the afternoon called a laser and had an instructor on board. Success, he stayed dry!

In the evening we had Sangria on the beach with all those involved with the sailing and a takeaway Pizza. My second Vlog was edited and it is obvious that my gardening skills are not dissimilar to my sailing skills!

 

Today, I am joining my husband in the bigger laser boat and will be watching to see if the rescue team are happy at my return!

August 26, 2015

Thursday 6th-Friday 7th August Who Paddled At El Castell?

Morning…I am getting used to this view and continuous blue skies. Not sure I could work in the heat or cope with it all the time, but next to a pool and doing nothing, it’s just lovely.

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Today I am having a lazy day as husband has some filming to do this morning. Meanwhile, I will be relaxing and reading. It’s a hard life.

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Once my husband returned we both went for a swim. In my time of relaxation I have been contemplating a new name for my blog as I feel I have outgrown the old one and people have found it hard to find. ‘Good Morning’ is in the title of lots of programmes and pages and ‘Facebook’ is not relevant to my new vlogs. The mind is working on it, but it is a slow and tricky process as I get lots of ideas and type them into google, only to find they are all ready taken or there is a title that is similar. I think it will probably incorporate my name, once decided I will let you know!

in pool

In the evening we joined the Sailors leaving party. I felt a bit of a fraud having not done an ounce of sailing, so we sat and drank instead. Husband had rather too many beers and I had a few too many Pimms.You have to worry when the barman has your drinks ready before you even take three steps in the door! We bought a takeaway pizza and were seen taking two full glasses of alcohol back to our villa..it’s not that we have a drink problem, but they allow us to take and return the glasses the next day..bonus!

It’s Friday and the car will be in use again. Today we drive to Mahon, which is the capital city of Menorca and has one of the largest harbours in the world. I kept seeing signs to a place called ‘Mao’ and suggested we went there, until my husband announced it was another name for the same place…honestly Fiona! Finding somewhere to park was again a problem and we drove up and down numerous narrow streets before finding a parking space.

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We got out and walked down a very pretty, long, straight, tree lined road.

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At the end of the road was a little square and a church.

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We walked towards a bridge which was very high up and looked down over the extensive harbour. The view was spectacular, but we turned round and there were people hanging around a building and sitting on benches. Husband’s observation “Here we are looking for wonderful sights of Menorca and we find ourselves standing outside the benefits office!” Yes indeed, not quite the sight we were hoping for, so we turned and looked the other way where the view was magnificent.

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We returned to the car and continued out of the town towards El Castell, which has a lot of military history and is where the sun first rises on the island. We spotted a windmill, so we stopped, took a photo and had a wander.

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We walked across a square which was originally the military parade ground. The red brick building was originally some British military barracks, but is now used as a police office, town hall and holds the military museum.

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We continued walking down towards the harbour and found ourselves sitting at a peaceful waterside pavement cafe having a bite to eat and a cooling drink. We weren’t the only ones who wanted to cool down…even seagulls feel the heat and apparently need a little paddle! Thankfully he is suitably dressed at all times.

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The waterside is very pretty, with lots of boats, shops and cafes, but it doesn’t have a beach.

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On our way back to the car we had an ice cream and I tried a blue coloured one , which I found out was ‘marshmallow’. Sickly, sweet and very sugary, but I’ve ticked it off my list and tasted it! We carried on driving along the coast towards Punta Prima and came across an old fort called Fort Marlborough, which is situated on the Sant Esteve cove.

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We drove around Punta Prima briefly, which seemed quite touristy and made our way back home for our usual late afternoon ritual. The heat doesn’t half take it out of you…it must be nearly Pimms O’clock again!

 

August 25, 2015

Wednesday 5th August What A Wally And Such Class!

Morning…25 years of marriage was celebrated yesterday with too much food and enough to drink. Night time temperatures in Menorca are causing decision and sleep problems…if air conditioning is off husband gets too hot and if it is on I get too cold, despite being the one going through the menopause! Anyway all in all, we are struggling to find a happy MEDIUM…reduced food choice and dieting would of course help…and that comes from an unhappy LARGE! ( Haha..my husband’s favourite joke!)

After a lazy start we popped into the local shop for some basic food supplies. The ‘shop’ is really a house with goods sold in the front room and covered front courtyard. My husband has been there numerous times before, so is very familiar with the shopkeeper, the shop format and likes to speak Spanish to her. I haven’t a clue as usual! We found various bits and by the till was a fridge area with a glass fronted cover. I had watched my husband earlier, put his hand just behind to get some sliced cheese at the far end. As we queued to pay our bill, I spotted a bag of Baby Bel’s at the front of the fridge and thought I’d like some, but couldn’t fathom out how to reach it! I put my hand round the back like my husband had done and was trying to contort and stretch to reach the very front when the customer next to me said ” wouldn’t it have been easier to do this”…and promptly lifted up the glass front…honestly, what a wally!

shop fridge

After lunch we took the car for another drive, to see parts of the island that we wouldn’t see without one. We drove around and came across a car park full of cars that seemed very busy with mostly locals. We got out and took a walk in the heat along a cliff top path.It was very pretty and peaceful.

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It took us downwards and we finally got to the top of some wooden steps where there was a view of the sandy beach of Cavalleria. The sandy beach had lots of umbrellas, sunbathers and people swimming in the clear, blue sea and boats moored just out of the bay. it was a glorious setting.

Cavallerias beach

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At the back of the beach you could see people covering themselves in red mud which is apparently a natural beauty treatment used through the generations. People apparently cover themselves in the mud and then wash it off in the sea leaving their skin feeling wonderful…or so I heard later! On the other side there was another beach with less sand and boats anchored closer to the shore.

Cavellerias unbusy side of beach

We weren’t dressed for swimming and didn’t have towels or umbrellas, so decided to walk back to the air conditioned car with the decision made to return when we were more prepared! A selfie with the bay behind was of course required.

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Going uphill is always more effort than going down hill, particularly when unfit and hot, so I had to have lots of stop offs making out that I was looking back at the lovely view, when in fact I was taking a breather!

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We got home to our usual ritual of swimming, sunbathing, reading and afternoon nap for the other half! Book number one, which was in fact a very easy read once I concentrated and had time, is now happily finished:-)

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In the evening we returned to Ses Salines Restaurant for more of the delicious monkfish and prawn kebabs, tomato bread, patatas bravas and a chocolate pudding and raspberry sorbet to finish, which was just divine.

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My husband was very cross when he dropped his chocolate sauce over his clean t shirt, so decided to use his male initiative. He removed an ice cube from his gin and tonic and cleaned the chocolate off…such class! It worked, but left an annoying damp patch…cue the cross face!

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He then dropped the ice cube not into his own glass but into mine! I swapped the glasses in disgust, but something seemed wrong as he had gained a full quantity compared to my half drunk glass…we might reach 26 years of marriage if we are lucky!

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August 23, 2015

Monday 4th August Silver Anniversary & Ciutadella

Morning…Last night we went into the main town of Fornells and found an Argentinian restaurant called La Guapa. The town is so busy at night, with lots of families with young children eating out and taking advantage of the cooler temperatures. We ate so much that at the end of the evening we felt well and truly stuffed and I can see that a major post holiday diet will be required!

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Today we celebrate our Silver Wedding Anniversary.

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Back in 1990 when we were married, the UK had an unusually hot spell and August 3/4th were two of the hottest days of the century. I recall swimming in the sea at Milford On Sea in the afternoon of the 3rd to try and stay cool, before having a party in the garden for family late into the evening. Our old rough collie dog called Raffles went missing and I was heartbroken that on the day I was getting married he had disappeared. I’m sure he just couldn’t cope with the heat…we were all struggling! At 6am on the morning of my wedding I was sitting in my parent’s bedroom and he came trotting up the drive. I was so happy!

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Our wedding reception was at Careys Manor in Brockenhurst, a lovely venue and my dad said that on the bill he paid for more water than wine which was unheard of at a wedding. My friends and family are certainly not sensible drinkers, so it speaks volumes!

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Today in Menorca it looks like temperatures won’t be too dissimilar! I am presuming my medal is being polished and prepared as I speak as I need some reward for being married to the other half for 25 years! Thankfully he can still make me laugh with his humour and quick wit. I am also waking up to a lovely view this morning, so my mood is positive and grateful.

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Today we are taking our hire car for a drive around some of the island. I am in charge of the map, hopefully only if necessary as it isn’t a strength of mine!

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There are seven lighthouses on Menorca and being a small island you are never far from the sea. Our first stop was Cap d’ Artrutx and the black and white lighthouse built in 1858. It stands amongst dramatic cliffs and rocks and the lighthouse itself is now a restaurant. We ventured out on to the rocks, but were nervous of falling as it was very unsteady and tricky underfoot. We then walked around to take some photos of the coastline.

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We then drove to the nearby town of Ciutadella which is one of the main cities of the island. First step was to find a place to park, having driven round the centre a couple of times we finally found a place on the street. We had to work out how to pay the parking metre and for once I managed to do a task my husband couldn’t! He was about to give up on our visit as he couldn’t work it out, until I said “let me have a go” and finally succeeded! It was so hot and I was getting a flushed look, that my first purchase was a hat.

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Then we had a cooling, calorie laden cocktail and light lunch at a street restaurant called Questat? Bar/Cafeteria.

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We bought ice cream from a parlour and started on our wander around the town. The buildings and streets are apparently known for their Italian feel. There were lots of cobbled, narrow side streets with lots of white and coloured painted buildings which I love, so I probably took a few too many photos!

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We then came across the Gothic cathedral in Placa de la Catedral which dates back to the 13th Century. On one of the side streets nearby there was a mural on the wall in between two shops. The oil painting was of a lady pouring some milk and the mural continued the pouring milk down the wall and had two cats at the bottom drinking it, which was very creative.

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ciutadella cathedral

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We then walked to the picturesque square Placa d’es Born. The town hall is a former palace and the obelisk in the middle of the square is to commemorate the Turkish invasion.

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We came across a wonderful view of the port below.

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Overheated from walking it was time to return to the villa for a swim, more reading and sunbathing for me and an afternoon nap for the other half. In the evening we had a table booked at Magna’s the restaurant over the road and celebrated in style.

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August 21, 2015

Monday 3rd August Menorca..El Toro And More.

Morning…I was very relieved yesterday when the aeroplane touched down safely at Menorca airport without any turbulence. I was sat in the window seat next to the exit doors, which gave me lots of leg room. The air steward gave passengers sitting in our row instructions on how to open the door in an emergency and asked if anyone had a problem. I kept very quiet, but inwardly wanted to shout “YES I HAVE A HUGE PROBLEM!”

At the airport I was met by my husband, who as a passionate lover of flying, had revelled in taking a photo of the plane in mid air, landing and then me as I came through passport control with a somewhat relieved expression on my face! I immediately passed over my rather heavy suitcase as payback for his light-hearted mockery and we drove in our hire car to the villa at Ses Salines in Fornells. I had a quick tour of the villa, which was lovely and had more bedrooms and bathrooms than the two of us needed, a kitchen, living area and a lovely swimming pool with a stunning view.

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Opposite the villa is a well known local restaurant called Ca Na Marga. Everybody seems to call it ‘Marga’s’. It is a family run business which does takeaway food as well as an ‘eating in’ restaurant and bar area. It gets very busy until quite late at night. We popped in for a drink before bed, by the last sip I was feeling horizontal both in mood and energy.

Today we were up surprisingly early. My husband over the last couple of months has spent time filming the area, facilities and sailing for a holiday company promotional video which specialises in exclusive sailing holidays. He had some extra filming to do. Whilst in Menorca he has got to know a number of the staff and locals reasonably well, which means he is treated like a friend. We were a little early, so popped into the local hotel for a breakfast of tea and croissants. The croissant was nice, but the tea whilst wet, sadly wasn’t quite an English cup of tea.

Ian and I eating breakfast at hotel

No Fiona mishaps happened until I went to the toilet. I had to be shown by the owner how to switch the toilet light on, He must have spotted me fumbling around in the dark and had probably watched as I was feeling the walls outside and in for a light switch or string and took pity …it’s a light for goodness sake, how can I manage not to find that!

Whilst my husband filmed the sailing from the beach and then moved on to the pier, I followed him round feeling like a sheep, but apparently looking like his ‘glamorous assistant.’, one who was fairly useless and didn’t know what she was doing. The glam bit also went out the window, after the sea breeze blew my hair all around, it was hot, hot, hot and I got sweaty, sweaty, sweaty and had to wear husband’s jungle hat, having forgotten to bring a hat of my own. Not  a glam look.

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So whilst he filmed, I read, enjoyed the view, took in the sea air and snapped some photos. I never get time to read, so I always take holiday time to read easy chick flick novels that I can get into quickly. At the moment I am reading a book I started several months ago, and having read well over a hundred pages since yesterday, there’s some hope I might finish it this holiday!

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After he had finished filming we took the car up to the highest point on the island called El Toro or Monte Toro. It stands 358 metre above sea level and has spectacular views of the whole island. It is the only mountain in Menorca and is home to an old Augustinian monastery called the Sanctuary of Our Lady. The Sanctuary has now been taken over by the sisters of Mercy and within the Sanctuary is a chapel and a gift shop. There is also a large statue of Christ outside. The summit is apparently a place of pilgrimage and the area has a rich history. We just wandered around and took lots of photos.

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El Toro convent

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We drove back down the mountain and had a delicious lunch at a restaurant overlooking the bay called Ses Salines. Instead of one main dish we decided to have two starters. Starter one was a delicious cold soup. I almost called it by the wrong name and instead of calling it gazpacho the word ‘gestapo’ came out, which husband was quick to note and make the most of! Me, my mouth and the words that come out of mouth will get me into trouble one day! I then had the tastiest prawn and fish kebab with salad garnish, which was so yummy I will have to eat it again before we leave.

Ses Salines Restaurant

We finished with a mango sorbet, served in an unusual angled glass dish, which was so refreshing and went down in no time, despite me being full.

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A lovely meal with a lovely view. Enough time left in the day for a swim,a read and a touch of sunbathing for me the freckly one who burns and should stay out of the sun and a nap, for husband who tans but hates the sun.

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August 20, 2015

Sunday 2nd August Fudge, Fingers And Flying.

Morning…Yesterday I went with mum into Lymington High street for a cup of tea at the church, before popping into the market.

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We then took ourselves down towards the quay and bought some fudge from the market. We convinced ourselves we wanted to compare it with the bag we bought at the New Forest Show, but of course the reality was we just love fudge! Whenever I see fudge there is a temptation to buy a bag, usually in the Vanilla or Clotted Cream flavour. I particularly love the slightly crunchy, sugary fudge rather than the soft sort, although I’m not going to turn either of them down! When I was young I had a school friend who’s mum made the most delicious fudge. It was sold at all our school fetes. I always bought some of it as it was so scrummy and usually ate the whole bag in one go. I now always buy fudge in the hope that it will live up to that wonderful fudge experience of long ago. The Little Village Sweetshop fudge was more sugary than the bag we bought at the show, but still didn’t match the fudge taste etched in my memory. I will just have to keep on buying and tasting.

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After lunch I made my way back up the M3 home, via the New Forest and had to stop to take some photos as I saw the cutest baby donkeys with the most gorgeous faces. If I’d had a plot of land or a big garden, it almost made me want one as a pet, but I don’t my husband, family and small donkeys are entirely safe! Some of the donkeys were trying to keep in the shade, away from the sun and were standing outside someone’s front door..oh to live in that cottage with a view of the Forest and donkeys! There does seem to be a lot more donkeys and cows in the forest compared to when I was a child. All I can recall is horses, but then times are changing or my memory is failing me which is very likely.

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On the way back home I had arranged to pick up my son from his girlfriend’s house and she was going to do my nails for the first time in preparation for our holiday in Menorca. I have never had my nails done properly, apart from when I got married twenty five years ago. I have a history of nail biting, have weak nails that break and catch, so recall the huge effort I made to grow them before my wedding. Recently, my nails have seemed stronger and I have managed to stop biting them as much. I was looking forward to having them shaped properly and a nail varnish put on. I had chosen a pink shade from the beauty products she has just started doing, but I wasn’t prepared for the professional service I received. I was most impressed. She has a special nail drying machine, which being an oldie, who has never had her nails done I knew nothing about, so one hand was dried at a time with a little timer device that pinged when time was up. My hails were shaped, several coats of varnish put on and a top coat which made them all look lovely and shiny. Suddenly my hands feel and look so different with fancy nails, just a shame my hands are freckly and getting a bit wrinkly, something I can do nothing about! I thanked her and told her I would definitely come again. This might be the incentive I need to grow Cruella De Vil style long nails!

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As well as the nails done, I got to meet her new and very cute Cavachon puppy called Cookie. I always had dogs as a child and do love them and my son has been desperate for a dog for ages. We have always been slightly reluctant, because of our lifestyle and expense, but when I see one that is very cute I do start to have a little wobble! For now he will have to make do with enjoying her puppy.

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I finally returned to my house to find duvets, posh glasses and an empty bottle of Jack Daniels on the side. Someone had been having a good time, but failed to tidy up afterwards. Good luck to my son who has just started his first day working at JD Sports.

Today I fly  for a twelve day holiday to Menorca. My husband is already there as he has been making a film about the holiday company. I hate flying and am particularly nervous on my own, so will need a stiff drink to help me be brave.  I got a lift to the train station and waited.

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Luckily it was straight to Gatwick. When it came to the check in at the airport I was concerned my case might be too heavy. I heaved it on to the conveyer belt and sighed with relief when it was just under. The checking in lady asked me to turn the case round. I struggled to move it but eventually turned it, unfortunately not in the direction she wanted. She then gave me clearer instructions and said “no, with the handle at the top”. Ahh, she was trying to attach the flight detail sticker and I hadn’t realised! Having struggled to turn the case once, I was struggling even more to do it twice, when a man at the next desk smiled pitifully at me and came to my aid.. I’m such an innocent when it comes to flying!  The stiff drink  I needed was in fact more than one…a wine at Nandos to accompany my burger and another with peanuts on the plane pretending I was fine.

peanuts and wine on plane

 

 

August 19, 2015

Friday 31st July-Saturday 1st August Lymington Yacht Club

Morning…It’s Friday and thankfully payday! After the last three days at the New Forest Show it’s just as well. My purse is empty and bank balance has evaporated to nothing…there’s  a surprise!

Last night dad suggested we go to the Royal Lymington Yacht Club for a drink after returning from the Show. It is seen by some as quite an exclusive sailing club.The bar and restaurant are on the second floor with glass windows all around and balconies to the side and up above. It has wonderful sea views both of Lymington River and the Isle of Wight in the distance, which is on the other side of the Solent.  You can even watch as the Lymington ferry, which takes passengers and cars to Yarmouth, makes its way up and down the busy river.

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My parents no longer have a boat having sold it a couple of years ago, but they have continued their membership and occasionally go for a drink or meal at the club. I did start my drinking at the New Forest Show with some early afternoon Pimms, so thought I might as well continue with the drinking habit when my dad suggested it, but maybe I agreed rather too enthusiastically! We arrived and had a quick look at all the boats and yachts moored alongside the jetty’s and at various mooring points.

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The town bandstand is next to the sailing club car park and looked rather picturesque in the early Summer evening sun. Lymington is a lovely place to visit if you have never been before. It has some nice boutique and gift shops and plenty of coffee places. Every time a shop closes it seems to be replaced with an eating or drinking place, so they obviously think that is what visitors and the community want to do!.

bandstand lymington

There was racing at the yacht club so it was busier than I’ve known it, but we had a couple of glasses of wine, a naughty bag of salted peanuts and some crisps, which won’t help the ever expanding waistline! A good old natter over a drink, always helps convince me that alcohol is good for the soul. Dad tried to explain to me how to ‘tack’ whilst we watched a small sailing boat zig zag down the river, all in preparation for our forthcoming sailing holiday…I’m not sure I’m any the wiser!

sailing boat lymington

We went out on to the balcony where the views were lovely and I got my mum and dad to keep up with the times and do a modern day selfie!

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dad and me at the sailing club

mum and me at the sailing club

As we left the club the sun was going down on the pond , where as children we would sail small model boats…not a pastime I see children doing now.

lymington pond bandstand as sun going down

Todays increased bank balance unfortunately will need to be used to have several house key cut. How grown men can lose so many keys I will never know but I am not happy about them leaving doors unlocked so they can get back in, which is what has been happening. They have been warned that they will be paying for the next key they lose!

It’s Saturday and the first day of the month. Yesterday afternoon I was mums personal shopper as she bought a new wardrobe of clothes at her favourite shop ‘The Edinburgh Woollen Mill Shop’ in Lymington High Street. She has gone down two dress sizes since being ill which was a surprise to her, so I spent an hour running around collecting various outfits in various sizes, until we finally found some that fitted and she was happy with. The ladies in the shop, one of whom she knew, were most helpful and let us take over their shop for the time we were there…well when I say take over, it was quite quiet and we weren’t stopping other buiness! We got to the till with our collection of tops, skirts, cardigans and shoes and  it helped that when it was all totted up I could hand over my staff discount card (my Mother-in -law works there) and get 20% off…a bargain to bring a smile to both our faces but particularly my mum who was worried about how much she had spent!

discount card

In the evening we had supper at my brothers new house in Southbourne. He has moved from a two bedroomed top floor flat with a sea view at a push, (you needed to poke your head out the window to get the sea view) to a three bedroom detached house with big garden. It needs some cosmetic work done to it, but has huge potential and is in a lovely quiet street.

I do wish his memory wasn’t so good as he reminded me of a family holiday in France where I thanked the lady serving us drinks with the words “ah Monsieur, Monsieur.” Languages were never my strength, as my brother was obviously blessed with all the memory genes!

 

August 17, 2015

Thursday 30th July Flowers, Falconry and Friends

Morning…It’s the third and final day of the New Forest Show and after much discussion with my husband, the soup maker my mum bought, is to be also purchased by me, as part of an anniversary present (not exactly silver but stainless steel and silver looking!). I think he is hoping that a diet of soups might help with post holiday weight loss! The broccoli and stilton soup the demonstrator described as his children’s favourite did sound delicious and the vegetable soup that we tasted was scrummy, so I’m feeling positive.

soup maker NFS

Here’s hoping however that the show is not as busy as yesterday, when people were asked to stay at home if they hadn’t already left!

It’s nice to know that my brother has not been ignoring me since March and he hasn’t got a text message phobia either, which was what I was beginning to imagine. Sadly, Mrs Dippy has been sending messages and photos to his house phone, which of course doesn’t really work!

On a positive note we have just heard that my talented husband and three other performers in our recent production of Fiddler On The Roof at Hampton Hill Playhouse have been nominated for a Richmond Arts Award. The show has also been nominated for best musical which is a big ‘well done’ to the whole production team and cast. On a negative note it means we have to go to the award ceremony and I recall the last one, when my husband and friend got so drunk I had to guide them to the car, help them into the house and pour a half bottle of red away to stop them from drinking and us from being arrested!

fiddler curtains

Today the show was all about the senses…food, flowers, falconry and meeting people! My mum and I did the food tents and watched various cookery demonstrations by local chefs. It enabled us to taste what they had made, watch how they made it. and also gave my mum an opportunity to sit down, after two tiring days of walking and benefit from a savoury, mid morning snack! We visited the flower tent where the smell and sight of displays of award winning flowers was amazing and the colours so vibrant.

Flowers NFS

Flowers NFS1

Flowers NFS2

They made a few beautiful garden areas to demonstrate what you can do if you are an expert, which is unfortunately not me, but as I said in my recent Fiona-the gardener Vlog “I can appreciate beauty” and I did.

flower garden NFS

We also saw the end of a falconry display and some hunting hounds, who reminded me of my cat, looking very relaxed in a pen except with his ‘bits’ on show!

Owl NFS 2015

bird NFS

Falconry NFS

Hound NFS

Then it came to the meeting with people. First I met my mother in law and husband’s step dad in the church tent. No one was persuaded to have their face painted, so I didn’t have to make any cat or tiger faces! A friend from where I live messaged me to say she was at the show and we sat in the wild flower garden area, grown by Stewarts Garden Centre at Christchurch, on a bench and had a quick 20 minute catch up on 6 months worth of news. The poppy’s and cornflowers were lovely and the garden was so peaceful despite being in the middle of a big event.

Shevy and me NFS

poppy garden NFS

Then I went to the members enclosure to have lunch and a Pimms, my treat of today. I bumped into two school friends, so we had an extra Pimms and a catch up on a years worth of news. All in all a very successful show with ideal weather which was not too hot or too cold. Cheers and here’s to next year! :-)

School friend NFS

me with Pimms NFS

August 16, 2015

Wednesday 29th July Smiles at The New Forest Show

Morning…my early cup of tea has arrived thanks to dad and I am pleased to announce that my purse is coping far better with the New Forest Show than my mums! She has purchased among other things a soup maker, which I am thinking about and a waste paper basket which I am not thinking about! My mum has always been a hoarder and this mornings discussion has been as to whether the old bin was bad enough to be completely chucked away or not…we decided to take a view on it.

bins

I think the photo speaks volumes..my dad and I won the discussion and the unravelling bin is in the bin,although obviously not the bin we have just bought, because that would be just foolish!

My mum was about to buy a bargain rotary dryer for my brothers new house, until I pointed out that the word she half looked at and thought said ‘rotary’ was in fact the word ‘Royalty’ and although it was metal and long and looked the shape of a rotary dryer it was in fact a mop!

royalty mops NFS 2015

Today other family members join us at the show and some of them are very little, so our day will be more child friendly and the show certainly has loads to do for kids! Back at home my husband leaves for Menorca for three weeks leaving my two sons house sitting…please give me, the house and the animals the strength to cope and survive!

Todays Show meanderings included the church tent for a touch of face painting, badge and flower making, whilst the grown ups drank tea. Here we are pretending to be meowing cats afterwards, which made the little one smile.

face painting NFS

We saw lots of different animals including a pig and her piglets.

pigs NFS

We went round the sheep tent and saw a variety of sheep and lambs that included black, white and even orange. No, my eyes were not deceiving me, but it is a type I have never seen before. These sheep had very cute faces, thick, curly wool and seemed to smile when I asked them to.

sheep

Today’s lunch in the members enclosure was not quite so healthy and a lot more fattening than yesterdays, but I thought I’d done rather well not having both the scone and sandwich selection and the cream tea certainly put a smile on my face.

not so healthy lunch

family picture NFS 2015

Today we arrived early to watch the Household Cavalry Musical Drive and managed to find seats near the front in the members enclosure.It was well worth the wait. The sight and sound of the majestic, red uniformed soldiers on horseback performing the drill was a unique experience and truly amazing, even if one of the horses didn’t stay sitting down when he was supposed to! I took some video of it ,so hope to use it in a New Forest Show Vlog when my editor has some time to put it all together :-) Their breast plates and helmets with white plumes were gleaming in the sunshine, their long black boots shiny and they looked immaculate, but I couldn’t help thinking in the heat ‘how do they cope?’ In waiting we also saw the horses and carriages which came on beforehand and is always a lovely sight.

household cavalry

Afterwards we went to see the ‘Dog and Duck Show’ where various dogs herded some ducks around a course and into a pen which was very clever and the instructor talked about dog training, which was interesting.

ducks NFS

In the local food area we found a cow that children could milk and our little one found another little one to share the job with. The milk was in fact water but they both got the idea and had to be persuaded to leave. Hopefully they don’t believe that from cows we get water!

milking the cow

milking with a friend

It was a very hot and tiring day and not at all the weather for a snowman but mum had managed day 2 brilliantly, so smiles all round..

snowman

August 15, 2015

Tuesday 28th July The Goldfish Kiss Of Life

Morning…I have indeed escaped to the country for my see, smell and explore of the annual New Forest Show exhibits and demonstrations which starts today. I have been going every year, since I was a child, when it was a one day show on a Wednesday, because way back then, it was half day closing for all shops and meant that all the local community could attend…how times have changed! In the modern consumer world you have to work Sundays, night shifts, you struggle to get any key days off and shops are open 24 hours!

Nowadays, the New Forest Show is also a vast three day show, with several event rings, animals galore, crafts of all sorts, thousands of people from all over the country attending and it takes three days to see everything properly! It no longer has a fairground which is also a sign of the times. I remember in my youth, we often returned home with a goldfish in a bag that we won at the fairground and added to our fish tank.

goldfish

One unfortunate memory etched in my mind is of a scorching, hot summers day when all the goldfish, who had been hanging outside the fairground stalls for hours, were struggling to survive. We won a couple of fish and got home to worryingly find the fish had started to float to the top of the water. The mother of the friend I was with, who was slightly eccentric, found some thick plastic tubing and tried to give the tiny goldfish the kiss of life! Is this possible? She put the tube over the fish’s mouth and started to blow. The fact that the tube was twice the size of the fish is still a vision I can’t erase from my mind forty plus years later. Sadly the fish did not survive, but the vision of her efforts to keep the fish alive is still something that makes me smile and I have never forgotten.

My mum is a Fellow member of the show and always gets three tickets for each day, so the two of us pace ourselves and go every day, knowing that we don’t have to panic buy and can always ‘think about it’ and return the next day should we so wish . This year, after her illness and being in the middle of chemotherapy we will have to see how she manages with all the walking, as it can be quite tiring. We will not however be adding to our pet collection like last year, as Winston the rabbit is lucky to have survived a year in his free two storey mansion (thanks to a friend) and roaming his country estate grounds. (our garden!)

winston young

Sadly my plants and garden have not had such a lucky year…it comes to something when my recent potted plant pots are having to be raised out of eating level and the garden bench can no longer be used for its original purpose of sitting!

flowers on bench

After a morning of perusing craft tents, the honey and bees where we always get a scone with a choice of honey, the antiques tent and a quick stop off at the church tent for a cup of tea we stopped for lunch in the members enclosure.

Today’s lunch was a very civilised smoked salmon sandwich with a cup of tea, whilst listening to the brass band play and watching the donkey and carts being judged.

New forest show lunch day 1 2015

donkey cart NFS 2015

donkey carts 2015

We wanted to watch the Household Cavalry Musical Ride which is this years show main event, but it was so crowded that we gave up, wandered for a while and left earlier than usual as it was so hot. Before going home we went to our not quite so busy ice cream shop in Lymington high street, where there is a sign from Chris Evans saying that they make the best ice- cream he’s ever tasted! Mine was indeed delicious…both flavours. Mum had coped very well with day one :-)

ice cream shop with mum

ice cream shop

double ice cream