Blue sky days · Holiday · Memory making · New chapters · 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 · Holiday · Uncategorized

People watching in Crete!

People watching has always amused me and during my week away it has not failed to make me smile.

My first encounter was Lilo Lil who’s always on her water bed. Her and hubby have matching cool cups that they fill up at the free bar. The cups convienently fit into her waterbed and hubby pushes her around the pool. Hubby is shaped like Popeye but without the tattoos or pipe, although Lil definitely wears the trousers in that relationship. Oh and tanned? Creosote is their colour of choice!!!

Speedo Man came to my attention around the pool on my second day. Yes, he is wearing sky blue speedos and just so we are really certain, the word Speedo is emblazoned on them. He is a man of a certain age and undoubtedly drives a Mercedes Benz in his home country. He doesn’t quite strut but is confident with himself as he walks to the bar for another drink. He likes his Cuba Libre just so, which means light on the cola! The party of four are quite happy to sit all day on their loungers only moving to top up their glasses or partake in lunch and take an occasional dip in the sea. As Speedo is a recognisable word and I really don’t want to offend, he is also known as Hakuna Matata man due to his t-shirt. He obviously enjoys his labels in all areas of his life as most people would ask for rum and coke on holiday not Cuba Libre!

During an afternoon at the beach a young couple arrived and they chose their sun beds carefully. He covered himself in sun cream, laid out his towel and settled down. The tall young lady sorted out her bikini top, found her cap, book and then proceeded to apply sun cream. She must’ve stood for at least ten minutes doing her preparation and then arranged her towel and lay down. Her head hadn’t touch the sun bed before get boyfriend said let’s go for a swim. Preparation is everything they say ….. possibly not on this occasion!!

Painted lady intrigued me. Small and petite with a penchant for Louboutins. I spotted them at dinner but are they real or fake? I wouldn’t know! She revealed a dragon tattoo that ran from her shoulder, down her side to her ankle. It was fabulous if rather unusual.

Milk bottle boy was just that – bright white. No amount of factor 50 is ever going to stop him from turning lobster red. Get over it, sit in the shade, read a book and remember pale is interesting!!

Well don’t you see life on holibobs.Thank goodness for dark glasses!!

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?

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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!

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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!

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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.

 

 

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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

Christmas · Family · Holiday

Christmas…Bah humbug? or whoohoo!?

Do you enjoy Christmas? Or do you think…. possibly as I do…that the whole world…well maybe just the county then, is having a much more fantastic time than I am? Everyone is posting pictures on social media wearing sparkly tops, drinking cocktails at a Christmas market or in some swanky bar, while I’m sitting at home I’m my PJ’s. I stress obsess over making this time of year special and honestly would love to be invited to share a family lunch. Somewhere I could just turn up in my sparkly top, clutching something fizzy and presents. Hey, I’m happy to muck in and would heartily do the washing up or keep the littlies entertained….if I didn’t have to prepare anything other than choosing the wrapping paper and matching gift tags.

To add slightly to my ‘stressmas’ is a lovely son, who is vegan and who visits us for the holidays. Not mega problematic but when we are primarily a meat eating household with vegetarian options it can send me off kilter. You will quite often find me in the free from aisle in a large supermarket reading the reverse of packets as if they were the next bestselling novel. Thank goodness he’s quite handy in the kitchen and is happy to take over. 

Don’t let’s get started on the present buying. My father has the best idea. His Christmas shopping consists of popping to the bank and buying money gift cards..  sorted! 

Next year…as Del Boy and Rodney were fond of saying…we are going on a trip away. Where someone else can do the ‘stressmas’….I’ve already picked out my sparkly top and shoes! See you there maybe 😃

I’m not completely bah humbug but would appreciate a little more whoohoo at Christmas time. 🎄

Why do we put ourselves through this madness every year…..because it’s Christmaaaassss! 

Smile 😃 Maz x

Family · Holiday · Uncategorized

Devon weekend break..

At the weekend we spent a few days in Paignton, Devon. We being my husband J and my brother and sister-in-law, to celebrate her birthday.

Our first trip had to be to the lovely harbour town of Brixham. I fell in love with this little place eight years ago when we visited for the first time. Sunshine and blue skies awaited us even if it was rather chilly. Hats and gloves were a necessity but there is always a hot drink and the chance of cake to encourage us to walk a little further.

And here it was, a little cafe complete with steaming hot chocolate over looking the harbour, sunshine bouncing off the water was just what we needed…

 

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…followed by the most humongous lemon meringue I have ever seen!

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As we continue our walk around the harbour we came across the seaman mission garden with its regal occupant…we decided he looked like a Rodney but who knows!