B-DAY PLUS 365

THE FIRST DAY OF THE 71ST YEAR !

Just to finish off the birthday treat,  we had the  morning of the 28th to enjoy the facilities at the Thermalium, and a new treatment  booked for 10 am..  I was not feeling a whole  lot better, but it was good to have something to look forward to!

This treatment was as amazing as the other one – but different.  We descended to the bowels of the hotel once more, to a small complex  Image result for archena thermaliumwhich  housed a warm pool, a sauna and lots of different sorts of showers, where we could spend as long as we needed to.  We went in as a group of about 8 people, and one at a time we were called out to have a massage – with mud again but with alternating hot water and water with ice chunks in it.  Oooh , I didn’t like it at all, but the lady wouldn’t stop until she had done what she had to do.  I shall NEVER put myself forward for such torture again.

But the rest of the experience was good – especially the warm bits!

DSC03772

DSC03794

 

So now I am on my last entry.  The overwhelming feeling I have is sadness.  I have enjoyed the daily challenge of sitting down at my computer and writing about my day.  I have not  improved in my picture-taking however, and am no better at remembering to take a daily snap as I was at the beginning!   (I can’t work out why it should be “B-day plus 365”,  though.  I have done 368 entries by my reckoning – a whole leap year plus two birthdays and  this one extra.  Isn’t it marvellous that life should, every so often, present you with a surprise and a mystery?!!)

I believe I have benefitted a lot from the experience.  I have learned to see each day as something special.  Sometimes towards the end of an afternoon, I have realised that the day was almost gone and I had done nothing spectacular.  That was the time when I would DO something worthy of writing about.   It has made me introspective  at times, and at other times has made me question myself.  This  can only be good surely?

There will be a big hole in my days now – so I shall make sure that I fill it up.  My aim will be to do something for the  first time as often as I can!  I have written all  my entries as if I were writing only for myself – so if anyone  else has read them, I hope they have found them entertaining and perhaps given food  for thought.

Now that I am seventy, do I feel different?  A great big resounding

Image result for no

 

Image result for age is just a number

 

I can’t go without including a picture Lex sent me after my last visit to her house:

FullSizeRender

If this is how the world sees me, then that’s OK.  .  I love that there is someone in the Universe looking over my shoulder  with a lovely caring smile.  The World is Good, and I am a lucky lady  to be in it.

Image result for bye

 

 

 

B-DAY PLUS 364

Image result for HAPPY BIRTHDAY 70

MONDAY 27TH FEBRUARY !!

I have done it !  I have written about my days for a whole year!  Today is my 70th birthday, and I woke up with a determination to celebrate!

BUT – what a night.  I tossed and turned and sweated and shivered.  In the early hours, I got out to use the bathroom, and  by the time I got back, the bed, wet with sweat, had got cold and clammy.  I got back in and drew the covers tightly around  me, but my cold body just would NOT warm up.   Rod saw me shivering, and threw a couple  of extra blankets over me, but still I was cold.  Would you believe it!  I have spent all  year looking forward to this  very special day, and I started the day feeling ragged.

Gradually I warmed  up a  little bit, but I could not sleep, until  Rod decided  that enough was enough and declared “MORNING!”. He plonked a big box of presents on top of me. so I struggled upright and began to open them.  How kind people had been!  I loved everything, all the warm wishes, the cards, the presents, and the thoughts of what a happy day we would have !

DSC03758

Breakfast perked me up a bit, but I was feeling fuzzy-headed and bone-tired.

First excitement after breakfast was the “circuit” pool.  This was wonderful –  mineral water at a comfortable temperature, which swirled about.  There were loads of little jacuzzis , waterfalls, squirty hoses, places Image result for hotel terme archenawhere you could position your body for a water massage, and even a strong flowing stream which took you outside and then back in!  Rod just stood there with an amazed smile on his face and just loved every minute!

Image result for hotel terme archena

Part of our package were thick dressing gowns, so when we came out, we just put these on again and walked back to our room. The whole  complex  was full of people wandering about with these dressing gowns on – so relaxed.

Image result for hotel terme archenaAt 12 we had the first of our treatments, so we went on down two storeys under the hotel to see what would happen to us.  Amazing !  There was a sign in Reception, “2500 years of history under your feet!”  Well!  The labyrinthine tunnels went on and on, but we found where we were supposed to be and were led into our individual massage rooms for a mud treatment.  Image result for hotel terme archenaWe lay on our plinths, above which were eight shower heads, pouring warm water over us.  Then along came a masseuse. who slapped on lovely silky local mud and massaged it into our whole body.  It was so restful that we were both sorry when it all came to an end. 40 minutes of de-toxification !  Related image

Coming out of here, we made for the bar garden to enjoy a beer and a tapas. and then made our way back to the room.  Rod’s legs had run out of power and were beginning to hurt, and I was feeling SO tired!  So we relaxed  again , until it was time to go back to the bar for another beer.  From the room to the bar was barely five minutes, but Rod was in real agony by the time we got there.  Image result for hotel terme archenaA little sit in the sun with a good read and a beer restored our spirits, and before we knew it, it was time to get ready for our special meal.

 

DSC03765

We were shown into a special part of the dining room, where every table came with an orchid, candle, and a special menu.  Along came a lady with wine, and very soon along she came again with food.  There was no choosing to bother with – just lots of little plates of food kept appearing, each of them delicious.

After dessert, a bottle of cava came along.  It was true what they had told us!  It WAS a gala dinner!

 

DSC03760 - Copy

So that was  the end of my very low-key day.  I was thankful to get back to my bed.

As Special Days go, it was the best we could  do, but it somehow lacked a lot of sparkle.  But there you go – perhaps when you get to an advanced age like SEVENTY, you can’t go expecting too much.  The moral?  Make the most of EVERY day, and don’t save your expectations for specific dates on the calendar!

I have a pile of cards and a box of presents which I am looking forward to seeing again with new eyes once I am feeling more chipper.  I am glad  to have made it through to SEVENTY, and intend to enjoy lots  of new things during the seventy first year.  But I won’t be recording  it!  One more diary entry for tomorrow, then it’s done.

B-DAY PLUS 363

SUNDAY FEBRUARY 26TH

We  are going to the four-star Hotel Termas in Archena ! ..

” Balneario de Archena is a thermal complex of more than 200.000 m², located in the province of Murcia, in the Natural Place of the Ricote Valley, near the Segura River as its pass through Archena.

 It is a representative thermal complex in Murcia, with great importance and prestige in health tourism at national and international level, both for its Roman Baths and the quality of its medical services, such as its large hydrothermal facilities and beauty treatments other hotel services.”

… who wouldn’t be looking forward to it ??

This is my birthday treat – a package deal which includes two nights, two treatments, a gala dinner,  and full access to the pools!  It sounds wonderful, especially as I have never been on a spa break before.

DSC03756We made sure that we got ready leisurely so that we could enjoy the whole experience, and show Pepe how to feed the cats and do their litter trays while we are away.  The Satnav told us that the journey would take just under 2 hours, and  officially we can’t get into our room unit 3pm.  So we set off during the late morning and called into  a roadside   café for a lunch in the sunshine.   Funny how we have journeyed for less than 2 hours,  and yet the food is so very different from  that at home.  No alioli with the bread, and a very peculiar tortilla. But the beer was welcome !!

Image result for balneario de archenaImage result for balneario de archenaThe hotel was very welcoming,  situated in a complex which included three hotels, two or three pools  a couple of bars, a riverside walk and some little shops.  All this was nestling  amongst some beautiful mountains.  Luckily for Rod’s legs, our room was on the ground floor, with a view of the river.

As soon as we got unpacked in our room, Rod lay down on the bed with his Kindle for a read, and almost immediately went off to sleep.  I decided to go out for an exploration and walked along by the river and around the complex for  about an hour. It was all lovely, with the sun shining on the mountains and birds trilling away,  but when I came back, I did not feel good, – as if a high temperature was kicking in.  I lay down on my bed for a read, and in no time it was time to go to dinner.

Dinner was lovely, but I must have felt bad, – I refused the wine !!  This surely has never been known before !

Getting back afterwards, I collapsed onto the bed, eventually crawled into it and gratefully settled down to sleep.  I should  have felt disappointed, as I have been looking forward to this trip for months and there is such a lot to see and do here.  But I didn’t care.  I just wanted to sleep!

Tomorrow is a very auspicious day !

 

B-DAY PLUS 362

SATURDAY FEBRUARY 25TH

This will be my one day at home before we go away to Murcia for my birthday treat, so there is a lot to do.  There is washing  to sort out and we have to go shopping for some food, but thankfully the house is nice  and clean.  We now have a cleaner, Sabina, who is set to come for a morning every three weeks to do a good clean, especially the windows which Rod and I are finding it hard to do.

Rod is in a lot of pain with a trapped nerve in his back, and finds it painful to walk even five minutes, so cleaning the house is a big no-no for him.  Throughout all of our working life, I have borne the brunt of  all the housework and shopping in between my own more-than-fulltime-job, while Rod worked at least three people’s jobs.  I never got to like housework, so when we retired we had a board meeting for  the two of us and decided that it would be a democratic house from now on.  We split the cleaning jobs and agreed that we should make sure that if one of us was cleaning, then so was the other.  For years, we cleaned away every Saturday and Sunday mornings.  Then last year the rot set in, and I would find Rod playing truant on his computer, so I became a slacker too, and cleaning began to take up less and less time.  Then Rod decided that, at 74 years old and in pain, he was not going to clean, and I should find a cleaner. So I did, and we find that the 50€ it costs every 3 weeks is cheap for the peace of mind it brings us!  Wow – windows that sparkle too !!

As lunchtime approached, I began to feel very rough.  Could this be Juni’s bug that I have brought home?  I had an Epsom Salts bath and tried hard to buck myself up, but it seemed like a lost cause.  Tomorrow is another day – I WILL go to Murcia and have a nice time!!

I was beginning to feel a bit sad that I am coming to the end of this year-long diary blog.  It’s like the end of an era!  Feeling very much the onset of the next decade, and feeling also a bit “down” with the thought of the onset of some sort of lurgy, I was interested to read an article about the regrets of people as they lie dying.  How morbid was I feeling??

However, in a funny way , this cheered me up.  This list has been compiled by someone who works with the dying.  So the top five regrets are:

  1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.  It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.

  2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.

    By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.  We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.

4.  I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.  It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip.

5.  I wish that I had let myself be happier.

This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.

 

This list made me sit back and think.  I was feeling especially dismal with the approach of the end of this account of my year, subconsciously taking it as the end of life as I know it!!  Silly as this may be, I am sure it is right,  Therefore, I immediately felt better with all these points to ponder.  Have I got such a list of regrets?  If so, then it is exactly because I have done this diary and have been on the alert for interesting subjects, that I have been faced with the possibility that I might just possess such a list.  What an important possibility to consider !

Time to THINK then.  Hopefully I will have plenty of years left to make any changes that I need to.  I love number 5 – let’s go all out for the silliness !

I am so grateful that I have had the opportunity, and the support of an understanding husband, to do this diary blog.  It has sometimes been hard to find the time each day – but I know intuitively that have gained so much from it.

Picture1

 

 

B-DAY PLUS 361

FRIDAY FEBRUARY 24TH

TIME TO GO HOME ….

Leaving DayI was sad to leave Lex and her family early in the morning, ready to trundle my case to the station and begin the long trek home to Spain.  It has been a happy week, despite Juni’s little bug, Storm Doris,  and my very unsuitable new tablet computer  which has refused to do what I want  it to.

So – it’s a walk to the station in Hassocks, train to Gatwick, shuttle link to the terminal, plane to Spain, bus to Benidorm, bus to Benissa and a drive by Rod to home.  I got to Benissa at 5.30,  and was  out at 7.30 ready to go for a meeting of the Friday Lunch Club (who had had a meeting and agreed to make it an evening meal this week!).

The journey was it’s usual “OK”, made better by the fact that thoughtful Lex had bought me a nice pork pie and packet of crisps for my lunch when she went to Sainsbury’s.  This is now a lovely and firmly entrenched ritual for the return journey.  Although I don’t eat any processed food as a rule, I do like a good pork pie.  Like grilled crispy bacon and a well-done sausage, there are some things that it’s worth taking a risk for!  So every time I travel back from the UK, it is with a pork pie and packet of crisps in the bag for in-flight munching.

There WAS one silly lady at Gatwick departure gate, who was trying to get everyone to condense down their bags to ONE cabin bag!  How nonsensical can that be ?  Coming from Spain, I carried a handbag and a cabin bag, and now, suddenly I have the impossible task of getting all my needed-on-the-plane stuff into my coat pockets.  Why?  I am going to end up weighing the same!  I protested loudly as I stumped off to tackle the task, but luckily she followed me and said that, as she was going to have to put my cabin bag in the hold anyway, I could keep my handbag.  All the others in the queue with their stuff strewn all over the floor ( as they manfully tried to do her bidding) breathed big sighs of relief and started to put all their mess back where it came from.  Just why do airlines insist on making people’s trips as harrowing as they can??  It’s all a mystery to me, but I did my good deed and thanked the lady nicely and sympathised with the job she had been given to do.  She must get home after her shift really tense and unhappy with everybody moaning at her all the time.

It was nice to be home again, of course, and to find that everything had gone well in my absence.  I felt as  if I had  been away for a month as I caught up on everything with Pepe, Rod, Mike and Sue at the Castelvi in Alcalali.  I shall miss the happy family atmosphere in Lex’s house a lot, but it’s good to be surrounded by my own things once more and to wear some different clothes. I shall miss seeing the children every day and getting to know them better.  I shall miss Lex’s singing and cheerfulness , Dan’s caring and light-hearted take on  everything, and I shall very much miss unblocking the toilets several times a day- just when I am getting good at it!

BUT , I now I am really really looking forward to the Youngs visiting us in Spain in the summer!  I hope we can make them feel as welcome in our house as they made me  feel in theirs.

 

Image result for there's nowhere like home and no toilet

 

 

 

B-DAY PLUS 360

THURSDAY FEBRUARY 23RD

My last day of children responsibility!  I am sad to think of this, especially now that I am getting into the swing of it all.  This has been the first time I have had such responsibility for the Young family.  I looked after 2-year-old Clemmie when Lex was waiting for Monty to be born.  I looked after Clemmie and Monty when we were waiting for Juni to appear.  But not the three of them for three whole days like this, and  it’s been 37 years since Barney was Juni’s age!

Clemmie has a whole day’s activity booked at the local leisure centre with her friend, so today I have only two children to enjoy, with only two targets to achieve.  One – get to the library and return the two well overdue items that I did manage to locate.  Two – go to the park and let Juni enjoy the swings and slides for an extended time.  She deserves this after the previously aborted  attempts.

One thing stands in my way,  and that is Storm Doris.

Image result for storm doris

People have been killed and lorries overturned as this vicious lady rampages across the country.  Outside in the garden we can see angry squalling wind, ripping the cloth off the table in two pieces and  threatening more.

But we are BRITISH- and I resolve that no bit of a breeze will deter me from my tasks.  Once I had cleared away the breakfast mess, I got the two children ready with no arguments about socks and bare legs, put The Snack in my bag and off we went.  Doris blew us along and up the hill to the park, where we made it to the play area, through all the mud that she had been busy making during  the night.  Juni had the play that I had promised, until we all  got really fed up with the battle against the wind and cold and decided to go to the skateboard park for Monty to play with his football.  Once we had struggled there across even more mud, and Monty had played for all of two minutes, we sat and had The Snack and  prepared to go to the library.

I envisaged that this would be a treat, and worth the battle up the long, steep hill with two little children, stoically attempting to stay cheerful in spite of the wind.

Good thinking GrannieJazz!   But misguided.  The unapologetic library door-sign said “CLOSED” , and the little building bore all the signs of abandonment.

“Hot Chocolate at Costa!”, I shouted above the gale, and the two of them managed a thin smile.  The wind that had blown us up the hill to the library was now against us going down again towards Costa.  This was hard work for me, pushing  the buggy, but for poor little Monty, only 6 years old and very light, it was a nightmare.  He gritted his teeth and battled on,  never complaining one little bit.

By the time we got there, it was all we could do to push open the door and stagger in.  I had no mental energy left to remember that we had together traversed some pretty deep mud in the park, and that the wind had dried this to a crisp and brittle  consistency on the buggy wheels.  I chose a seat towards the back of the coffee shop, where there was a comfy sofa and turned my back on the trail of filth and hideousness leading from the door to the  guilty buggy.

Monty straight away lay on the sofa in an exhausted blob, manfully trying to do as  I asked and keep his feet off the upholstery.  Perky Juny, who was the only one spared Storm Doris,  sat happily consuming her hot chocolate with a spoon, spilling as much down herself as into her mouth.

Image result for hassocks costaSo there we sat, surrounded by mud, Monty asleep and Juni absorbed in spraying milky chocolate everywhere, and me, hating the too-sweet chocolate I had ordered and just wanting to be back at 46 Stanford Avenue.

Patiently, I waited for Juni to finish, woke Monty up to drink his own, and then began the task of dressing us all to meet Doris again.

By the time we got back, we were all just happy to flop about  and be grateful to be out of that cold  wind.

Lex  has installed a star-system for the two eldest children.  They get a star for good work or for being exceptional, and can get a cross for naughtiness.  So many crosses delete a star.   If they get a full complement of stars during the course of a week, then they get a prize.  They love this challenge, and I gave Clemmie a star on Tuesday for being a gem and helping a lot with Monty and Juni.  Today I gave Monty a star for just being a star ! He had been a little trooper and had not complained or lost his temper once all day.  He had played patiently with Juni, even when she got a bit grumpy.   (Monty frequently gets a cross for losing his temper and saying the prohibited words idiot (shhh!)  or stupid (shhhh again!).  Little love that he is,  he looked mystified when I awarded him a star – he had just not been aware of how good he had been!!

Clemmie didn’t come back until just after seven, and Lex arrived home at 7.14, exhausted after a three-hour journey from work.  Doris had caused the cancellation of public transport willy-nilly, so it was 9 o’clock before Dan got home.  There had been just one short train out of London all rush-hour, so he felt privileged to be home at all !  The forecast is better for tomorrow, so my journey back to Spain should be OK..

Lex cooked us a special last-night meal which we all relished after such a day, embellished with a nice red wine.  The last-night playing of games and celebration was cancelled in favour of us all tottering into a welcome bed!

Image result for storm doris

 

B-DAY PLUS 359

WEDNESDAY 22ND FEBRUARY

A really cold and nasty day !  Lex asked if I would go and renew the library books, –  finding them first!  I searched and searched, but could not find them in the house at all.  Juni was still feeling ropey and was being very loud again, so eventually I gave up on the books and got the three children ready to go to the park again.  Juni refused to have anything on her bare legs, including socks, so off we went, ill-prepared for the biting wind.

 

Within minutes, Juni was fast asleep in her buggy, so I snuggled a cardigan around her poor cold legs, and snapped on the plastic rain cover to keep the wind out.  Off we trudged to the park, IMG_20170222_124451without skateboard or ball, but Monty and Clemmie were quite happy to just run up and down the shapes of the skateboard park.  Then the full realisation of my ineptitude hits me.  During the battle to get of the house, I forgot to bring The Snack.   Ugh.  Nothing  for it but to go to Budgens and buy the self-same identical healthy biscuit option that is now just sitting in the kitchen worktop.

My plan was to take The Snack back to the park, but somewhere along the line, I hadn’t communicated this preference to the gang. Standing outside the shop, I liked down at Monty and Clemmie and saw that their biscuits were almost gone.  Refusing to become cowed, I gave then the option – park or home?  HOME came the unanimous response.  Stopping off at the stationery shop for a few stickers, we made our way back home, and at last I produced a meal that won complete approval – beans on toast!!  Juni had woken up somewhere en route for home, so was in a much better mood after a sleep and a few beans, although she still couldn’t respond to a question or request without a ear-splitting “WHAAAAT??”

We spent the afternoon drawing and sticking stickers, and this time when Lex arrived home, I was all tidy and washing up done! Juni was bathed and ready for bed, and all was peace.

Phew,   –    I had made it through Day Two of the Au Pair Challenge intact.  I have read that successfully completing a challenge leaves you a wiser and stronger person.

Wiser ?  Yes – just accept that a child will think that it’s the right thing to do to go out in the depths of winter half-clad.  Quietly slip the thick cardi’s and socks on your bag.  And never, ever, forget to take The Snack. All these things and more, I knew when my own children were small, but they are skills that have slipped away form me.

Stronger ?  Nah.  I am ready for bed once more before 10 o’clock.

 

B-DAY PLUS 358

TUESDAY FEBRUARY 21ST

PEPE’S 96TH BIRTHDAY !

 

Pepe 2017It’s a shame that I am in the UK for such an auspicious event, but Rod has promised to stand in for me and  do the cossetting.  I rang Rod at 9am his time to see whether he had remembered the birthday, and he hadn’t.  He said he  would go straight down to see Pepe, with the card that I had made for him.

The present will be in two pieces – one piece is a hot Indian meal with Rod tomorrow, and the other is the gift  of a big box of chocolates – second hand !  This was a Christmas present from Pepe to me – identical to the box he bought me last year which I passed on to charity.  How many times do I have to gently tell Pepe that I just don’t like these chocs??  Poor Pepe – unfortunately he has passed his appalling gift-giving genes onto me, so I do sympathise when he gets in such a state when it comes to buying presents for people.  Nothing to do with meanness or mal-intention,  –  more like a conviction that whatever you buy will be wrong.  And of  course, thinking  this, it often is!

Aged five or six !CRC Burma.bmp

We are so lucky that Pepe is still doing  so much for himself at this great age.  During the past year, he has begun to rely on us a little bit more, but generally he is a marvel  for his age.  The results of healthy living !  He was into healthy eating and exercise (called “Physical Culture” in the 1940’s) long before it was mainstream as it is today, and kept his mind active with crosswords and puzzles all the time.  OK – when I was growing up it was always the Daily Mirror crossword.  Not groaningly intellectual, but a little every day certainly helps!!

Lex left to catch the train to work at 6.45, and as Dan is away, I was left with all three children from then on.  They were so good !  Juni was obviously not feeling great and was speaking at top pitch – deafening!  Also she was not hearing anything I was saying to her, answering everything with a frustrated “WHAT?”!    With the help of soothing children’s television, we managed to leave the house at mid-morning for the expedition into Hassocks. I promised to give  them all 2pounds each to spend at the charity shop, so they were all excited and looking forward to getting there!  TWO POUNDS !  What a fortune.

Clemmie soon chose a book for 50pence, and Juni insisted on a cloth horse.  The difficulty arose when Monty would have nothing  but a bag of plastic figures, priced at 4pounds.  He convinced me that he had the money at home, so would  pay me the excess, and as the girls were happy at this, we came out of the shop with three successful purchases.  (As it turned out, Mont only had a pound at home, so a bit of high-level diplomacy was needed!)

We then went off to the park, to play with the skateboard and the ball we had brought.  Clemmie and Monty had a great time at the IMG_20170222_124603skateboard park, running up and down the ramps and kicking the ball, while Juni was content to sit in the warm buggy watching.  Fun was curtailed when some bigger boys arrived with serious skateboards, so we all made for the swings-n-slides bit.  By this time it was getting very cold, so we didn’t stay long.  Juni was not interested in anything but the swings, and screamed when I gently pulled her away to go home.  Secretly, I think she was not too sad to relax in the buggy again!

So home for lunch, followed by a bit more tele so that I could  relax with a cuppa – and then we got the games out.  Clemm took herself off upstairs with the laptop, but later on we put Juni and Mont in front of the tele, while I supervised Clemmie making pancakes, as she was very sure that it was Pancake Day.  She loved all the mixing  and the tossing, and did make some very good pancakes.  By the time Lex got back at 6.15, they had all eaten their fill, and Clemmie was feeling quite sick as she had eaten too much!  Lex came back with the news that Pancake Day was  next week – so pancakes will have to made again then!

Pancakes had made a bit of a mess – but I was done in by this time and just needed a few minutes to rest my back.  However, Lex poured me some wine and made me sit down while she cheerfully got cracking with all the kitchen clearing up.  Dan got back at 7 and chipped in, so I sat there feeling very guilty – that these two had had a long and hard day’s work, and now had home things to get done  before they could  relax and eat themselves.  I know that I used to do it … but how??  We were all in bed by 10 , with me resolving to do better tomorrow.

 

B-DAY PLUS 357

MONDAY FEBRUARY 20TH

We have been looking forward to today.  Lex doesn’t have to go to work and so we were all going to go out for a nice day.

Unfortunately, all the plans went to pot, as Juni woke up still feeling quite poorly, so thinking heads had to be fetched out.  Clemmie had really been looking forward to going to Brighton to spend her birthday money, we decided that Lex would take her and I would stay at home with Monty and Juni.   This was no hardship at all !!  The two children were easily entertained, and I enjoyed doing jigsaws, reading books and generally letting the hours slide away until Lex and Clemm arrived home at lunchtime.

IMG_20170220_150219_1After lunch, I don’t quite know how it happened, but suddenly they were all playing outside and Clemm decided that it was the very best fun to sit in a wheelbarrow in water. (NOT a warm day was occurring all around us!)  She disappeared to don a bathing costume and started to pour warm water into the barrow.

Monty then disappeared, and for a reason obviously quite obvious to him, came outside dressed in swimming gear complete with full set of floats!  There they both sat, one by one, in a puddle  of water, thinking that this was tremendous !

IMG_20170220_145909_1 IMG_20170220_150310_1

IMG_20170220_150105Luckily, Juni couldn’t see the great attraction, and opted to draw up her chair and just observe !  Brrr !

To give him a walk, I took Monty into Hassocks later, where he very conscientiously showed me where I could draw out some money to see me through the week.

Dan had some appointments in Leeds, so he packed his bag and went off to get the train in the late afternoon, leaving Lex and I to do bedtime and get ourselves something to eat.  We were both in bed by 9.45, tired out!

 

 

 

 

B-DAY PLUS 356

SUNDAY FEBRUARY 19TH

What a lovely family day !

Lex and Dan have joined the National Trust, since there are so many properties in Sussex, so decided that it was a perfect day to visit one of these places near Uckfield, called Sheffield Park.  It was very late morning by the time everyone was ready, and a picnic packed, but it was a very happy carload of revellers who sat through the 40 minute journey and spilled out into the spacious car park.  The weather was cool enough to keep us all on the go, but we headed for the  Woodland Play Trail.

Mont at Sheffield ParkSomeone had put a lot of thought and imagination into this interesting walk.  There were little dens made of branches which the children could sit in,  trunks carved into animal shapes, climbing places, and a huge zip wire from one of the trees, which we all had a go on.  All except Juni, who just wanted to ride on Dan’s back, almost asleep.  We found a place for a picnic, where we all sat round on logs, happily munching on yesterday’s delicious leftovers.

I really liked the way that everything was relaxed – there were trees cut down and just left for children to explore.  Branches had been cut, stripped of twigs and left for children to use in whatever way their imagination told them.  There were NO  “Don’t do this” or “Don’t do that” signs anywhere.  A very old-fashioned children ‘s heaven !

There was a lot more to do , but mainly we all wanted to go to the tearoom for hot chocolate!  It started to rain on the way back, so we were lucky to have a happy outing before it got too cold and wet.

Home then, to a marvellous roast dinner and relaxing rest-of-the-day.

This is what a Sunday is all about!