Blue sky days · Family · Fresh air · Laughter · Memory making · Uncategorized

Beautiful Shropshire

I’ve more or less decided that I am pretty rubbish at this blogging lark…I start with great gusto and then run out of ideas as I feel my normal life is more or less just that…boring! I will try harder.

A couple of years ago we decided to downsize and move to the county of Shropshire. We knew it was a lovely place to visit but didn’t realise how beautiful it actually is and how we would fall in love with it.

The month of May saw a flock of ducks appear along the River Severn in the Ironbridge World Heritage Site. Nothing out of the ordinary there you may remark, ducks on the river, pretty normal.

Oh no…not normal at all!!

IMG_0223

How fantastic are these ducks!   #LetsGoQuackers Free Accessible Community ArtTrail.

They are dotted along the Ironbridge Gorge and it’s an enjoyable walk with or without children in tow. The ducks have been designed by local artists and school children to encourage us all to enjoy the beautiful surroundings. There is an ultimate reason for these ducks and that is to raise money for Severn Hospice which is local to this area. The hospice is close to my heart as nearly ten years ago my mother spent a few days here and had wonderful care from the staff.

The ducks will travel to Shrewsbury soon and then be auctioned for the charity. I am certain they will bring someone much pleasure and raise pots of money for a well deserving charity.

We really enjoyed our day out walking along the River Severn and finding all the ducks. We met other families having fun in the sunshine and children laughing as they spotted the next duck. Fresh air and laughter is a heady mix…we need more of it!

Enjoy the sunshine and always take time to relax with a coffee and cake.

Maz xxdownload

Blue sky days · Family · Holiday · Memory making · New chapters · Pink calmness · swimming

Simple pleasures…

I recently had a fantastic holiday on the beautiful island of Crete. Although we have holidayed every year, this was our first ‘sunshine’ holiday for 30 years! My husband decided we were going to try out an adult only, all inclusive hotel and we would either love it or hate it. Well guess what? We loved it!

We’ve had a difficult few years and it was time to de-stress and boy did it work. I couldn’t fault the hotel or the wonderful staff who catered for our every need.

However the highlight of my time away was swimming in the sea. Such a simple pleasure you may remark. True! I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed swimming although I was always wary of the sea and not be able to touch the bottom slightly unnerved me. No worries here in Crete, the sea is so salty I could float with ease. Mind you that first step into the water literally took my breath away!

I’m making some life changing decisions during this summer and a few smaller ones. Going swimming again is one of them but unfortunately not in the sea.

Now I wonder, can l persuade my other half to move to the coast.

Now that would be life changing eh but that’s another story maybe!

Enjoy the sunshine when it appears! ☀️

Keep smiling 😎 Maz x

Blue sky days · Family · Fitbit · Holiday · Memory making

Bloomin’ Beautiful Bournemouth.

We were really lucky to be able to spend the Easter weekend away at the Dorset coast. It’s been a good few years since we visited there last- oh my – at least ten – where does time go?

IMG_20170416_193236 (2).jpg

As we are British, I must of course, mention the weather, which actually behaved itself for the few days we were there. No rain, but windy as it usually is by the sea and a bit chilly a scarf was a necessary requirement. The sun did make quite a few appearances as the photo will testify!

cof

Departing from Bournemouth Pier our first visit of the weekend was to the noisy, busy harbour town of Poole, with its quaint, old fashioned houses. We hopped onto a fantastic open top double decker bus that took us on a tour of Poole Bay and the Sandbanks peninsular.

The oldest Pub on Poole Quay, is the Poole Arms with its distinctive green tiling which dates from the 1600s. As my family name is Poole and my parents were publicans for over forty years – I think think this photo is very apt!

cof
Poole Arms

On arriving at Poole Harbour we jumped onto one of the many ferries that take passengers around the coastline. We were very lucky to have a two hour trip that took us along the Jurassic coastline. We had a fantastic captain who is very knowledgeable about the area. He pointed out Brownsea Island a peaceful little island in Poole Harbour. It’s an idyllic spot – a haven for wildlife and the threatened red squirrel.

 

 

cof

 

H and I had a very happy few days away, as we’ve had a few upsets over the last year, these memory making times are important to us. Make time do be with folks you care about, life is sometimes way too busy…..slow down and smell the coffee, but only if there is cake alongside it!!

Keep smiling Maz 🙂Image result for coffee and cake logo

Family · Food, Chinese, Noodles · Holiday · London · Memory making · Uncategorized

Wicked!

A couple of weekends ago we spent time in the ‘big smoke’ .. always wanted to say that! Our lovely sons bought us tickets to see the musical ‘Wicked’ at The Apollo, Victoria. 

Rather than drive there and back in one day we decided to spend a night at the Milton Keynes Travelodge.

Yes the home of concrete cows! Actually there is a vibrant evening party feel around the hotel. Lots of trendy cocktail bars and fab foody places. Next time we’ll definitely try one those!

After a quick train ride our first stop was of course Buckingham Palace. We spent the day wandering around and I was really very surprised how close all the tourist landmarks are to each other. I thought we’d have to walk miles to see them. We did walk miles but that’s because we wanted to see as much as possible! 

Good old Big Ben, and it did chime as we walked by.We stumbled across this fantastic old world pub nestled between 20th century buildings. Unfortunately it was full to bursting so we couldn’t get in, next time hopefully.

Meet Percy, Phil and Pete (mind you they could be Petra, Paula and Phyllis for all l know!) Who all live in St. James Park, I’ve never seen pelicans other than in the zoo before. They were so funny,they didn’t move but kept looking at us then turning away and then peeping around to make sure we we’re still watching.  They were so comical l had to be dragged away.

Horse Guards Parade. I’m really quite impressed with this photo.

Tummy rumbles reminded us we should eat….soon! We’d heard of Wasabi from No 1 son, so daring to be adventurous we gave it a go. Chicken Katsu, curry and rice, ok not overly daring, but it was very enjoyable!

I adore the look and feel of wood and this beautiful door canopy and frame just blew me away. 

So our day sightseeing was coming to an end but the best was to come was next! 

If you’ve seen Wicked you’ll understand how brilliant the show is. If you’ve not seen it..  go!

It’s just ….’Wicked’!!!

Memory making trips with J are always special.

Smile folks 😘 Maz 

coffee · Family · Fitbit · Holiday

Ellesmere, Shropshire

Saturday and the sun is shining. Ditched the housework, collected the wrinklies (also known as my dad and his lady friend) and pointed the car in the direction of Ellesmere in Shropshire. Not to be confused with the other one! 
Ellesmere is a hidden gem in rural Shropshire which is the most beautiful place on even a cool but sunshiny day.

First visit is The Boathouse, which nestles alongside the glacial lake in Ellesmere. Coffee and a homemade chunky sausage roll sets us up for a brisk walk.

How does that poem go?……dredging my brain for long forgotten words from my schooldays….’O I wandered lonely as a cloud…..A host of golden daffodils’

How fantastic and spring like are these basking in the sun, nodding daffodils? Gives me a heartfelt lift that summer will be on its way….let’s enjoy spring time first…no need to rush the year along.

A leisurely stroll around the mere listening to the birds, watching the   geese practising a graceful fly past and the black headed gulls dive bombing the bits of bread bobbing on the waves followed by a Mr Whippy..of course!

Didn’t quite hit my 10,000 Fitbit steps, but achieved a respectable 8962. 

We enjoyed a few happy hours with family. 

Remember to make memories folks, time is precious.

Keep smiling 😘 Maz

Family · Food, Chinese, Noodles · Sheffield · Uncategorized

Visit to Sheffield

No 1 son moved back to Sheffield October 2016 after a year in Bath. As we live in the Midlands do you think he’s trying to move away as far as possible.. hmm! To be honest he went to Sheffield uni at 18 and never  came home to live with us again. After gaining a degree and a hard worked for PhD… proud parent alert… as we now can address him as Doctor. 

This weekend was a first visit to his new flat and sunny Sheffield. I fell in love with this city twelve years ago and said this was the uni for No 1 son on the very first uni open day visit. I was right and it became his home.

Sheffield Town Hall, with beautiful blue sky.

Sheffield is a vibrant multicultural city with plenty of independent shops as well as the usual retail outlets. However take a slow stroll along the sometimes steep abd cobbled side streets and you will find amazing buildings. Like this fabulous corner pub ‘The Three Tuns’. I wonder if they managed to get a double bed upstairs and into those rooms!

Of course a visit to the Peace Gardens is a must. To watch a little one who is daring enough to brave the tall spouts of icy cold water from the fountains. Surprisingly there are always one or two brave? silly? who will dare! And more often than not… someone does!

Food often plays  big part of our visit as No 1 is vegan. Arrgghh I hear you murmur, yes it can be difficult, but not here. There is an abundance of varied food outlets, from street vendors to takeaway and high class restaurants. First stop, as H just cannot pass by a pastie shop. He reminds me of the Oxo children following the delicious smell of gravy. His internal sat nav must have all the pastie shops pinpointed! For the rest of us it’s the tiny Chinese shop. If the locals use it then it must be good. It was, spicy noodles are always a favourite.

Ok so not the most fantastic photo but from No 1 son’s flat it shows how Sheffield is a mix of buildings and big skies. It’s wonderful.

Love Sheffield 💕

Keep smiling 😘 Maz

Christmas · Family

New Years Day decisions not resolutions…

 

I’ve always found New Years Day to be an awkward sort of day. If we’ve spent the previous evening celebrating then it’s usually a day of slobbing out in front of the TV. Slowly hoovering up left over chocolates, cake, sausage rolls and cheese washed down with copious mugs of tea, followed by the odd glass of wine…after 6pm of course! More recently we’ve celebrated earlier in the evening with family. Enjoying a few drinks at a local pub, with lot of laughter and quite a few bags of pork crunch! Then going home to watch the New Year roll around in peace and quiet in our PJ’s. 

1st January arrives and with it thoughts of what shall we do? First job of the day is taking down the Christmas decorations. Love the twinkling lights of the tree but today is the day it all has to be removed and boxed away. With one decoration left discreetly hanging until twelfth night to ward off bad luck of course.

After a quick flick around with a feather duster normal service has been resumed. I’m not a slave to housework that’s one reason for downsizing!

A quick browse through the TV guide proved that Christmas TV was naff this year and a trip to the cinema was required. Rounding up H, my brother and family, film chosen, tickets booked online, sweeties bagged up …cinema trips always demands treats…off we go. A very enjoyable two hours of watching a hunky Chris Pratt saving a space ship and getting the girl was just what was needed.

Leaving the cinema, BRR not only had darkness fallen, so had the temperature. Quick we need food…well NEED might be an over statement…but a quick nibble and a drink is required to end the evening. Decisions…where? Wrekin Giant pub? Ok fine…nah closed! Harvester? nah closing! Quickly find somewhere, my nose is turning blue and teeth are chattering. Light bulb moment.. Novello Lounge!

We’d visited the Lounge recently during daylight hours with my eldest son who’s vegan and it got a big thumbs up from all of us. Evening changes it into a cosy, warm, inviting place with a super atmosphere and cocktails! What more can a girl ask for .. well is asking for Tom Cruise shaking cocktails too much??

Ever helpful staff rearranged tables for us.. food was chosen, drinks deliberated over and ordered and warmth was restored to fingers and toes.

It really is a fab place with friendly staff and the food choice is different to the other establishments. We’ll worth a visit!

All in all it was the perfect end to the first day of 2017. Here’s hoping we enjoy a few more like it 😃