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Archive for the ‘family and relationships’ Category

I’ll say it right up front…I live in a stunning part of the world. The town itself is a bit of a rats ass and some days I despair at the human race, but the seashore….now that’s another story.

I set off quite early this morning to join my family for tea and buns and spend a few minutes with my BooBee before he went to school. I’m not sure it was such a good idea coz then he didn’t want to go πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„

The other reason for such an early visit is that my daughter, who is a photographer and videographer had arranged for me to be ‘interviewed’. She’s working on a project to record the grandparents life stories for posterity and so that future generations can know who we were.

It’s such a good idea. My Mum died when she was 52, I was just on 29 years old at the time, the oldest of her 4 daughters, the youngest just 13. Although we spoke a lot and she told us stories about her life, now that I’m older I have so many questions, that will never be answered.

My daughter is keen for us to leave a record of our lives, and so today we started what will be the first of I guess 6 interviews…1 for each decade.

The questions she asked were simple, but good and some of them really generated a lot of emotion… occasionally surprising even me. It took just on 2 hours and then I walked to Broadstairs to get my vaccine card laminated and some photos printed.

It was a sublime day…blues skies, fluffy white clouds, sunny but with a stiff breeze and warm. I was overdressed for a long walk.

Ramsgate beach looking towards Broadstairs
Looking back from Dumpton Gap

The tide was still high when I left at just on 1pm, but receding. This meant I had to take the high road and walk across the clifftop to Broadstairs, but coming back I pushed the boundaries a little and walked along the beach to see how far I could get – I’m delighted to say that I managed to walk just about all the way back from Broadstairs to Ramsgate with just one tiny diversion to avoid some still high waves.

A new bench has been added on the cliffs near Dumpton Gap – a sad little memorial
Broadstairs Beach
Raided by the Vikings
Viking Bay
Milky white from the chalk
Which country am I in??
The tide was receding, so I pushed through from Dumpton Gap
Looking back from the promenade at Ramsgate
A fishing boat returns to harbour trailing a swarm of seagulls

The walk was so beautiful and for all the world I could have been in the Caribbean. It took me just over 2 hours there and back and approximately 12kms.

I had a brief stop off at home for a cup of tea, and then I went to fetch my BooBee from the childminder and take him to the park. He rode the whole say up high on my shoulders, sat ever so still and chattered away about the day’s events.

Daddy met us at the park and took him home after some running about. I picked a few dandelions that had gone to seed and I showed him how to blow them so the ‘fairies’ could fly away. πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ₯° what a joy.

Now I’m preparing for tomorrow’s walk from Faversham to Sittingbourne along the Saxon Shore Way. I can’t pin the distance down and the sites I read had different distances….9 miles or 17 miles…take your pick??? so I’m just going to go and see how far I get. I’ve checked for railway stations in case I need to cut my walk short, and I’m hoping the tide isn’t too high along The Swale, or if the tide is high, that the pathway isn’t affected. If it is, I could have a repeat of my last walk along The Swale, albeit a different reason.

I was clean when I left home πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

The weather forecast is good…hoorah.

I guess I’ll find out tomorrow πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ

Oh, and I also started writing up another stage of my Thames Path walk…I’m getting there.

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I had to go for my 2nd covid-19 inoculation today, so to give the parentals a break, and especially Mummy who is beyond tired but needs to work on her business, I asked if I could take the Jam with me to Deal….so straight after his gymnastics class, Mummy rushed us to the station. We cut it awfully close to the time and had to run like crazy through the station, down in the lift, raced along the tunnel where Granny yelled at someone at the top of the stairs to tell them to hold the train….up in the lift, onto the platform and onto the train…..10:25:10 – the train was due to leave at 10:25 and they held it for us LOL Thankfully I had bought the ticket in the morning or we would never had made it.

And we were on our way to Deal. He was ever so excited and talked non-stop about the beach and the castle.

Snacking on the train
Snacking on the train

When we got there I went for my jab first and he came in with me and watched them stick the needle in while I gritted my teeth and tried not to flinch LOL…..actually it was pretty painless, just a small pinch. But he got a sticker afterwards and when we got home later, the first thing he did was tell Mummy and Daddy all about ‘Anny having an injection, and that he got a sticker. His memory of events is amazing.

After the jab we walked to the seafront and stopped off on the beach. I think he was surprised that it was all stones. I think he was expecting sand like we have at home. But he loves stones and proceeded to collect as many as he could. My fault of course because I’m always picking stuff up on the beach and taking it home…like sea-glass and bits of wood for our future projects.

granny and jamies adventure to Deal
half of Deal beach in the bottom of the pram

Once the bottom of the pram was suitably filled with stones, we walked to the castle, but unfortunately it was still closed. We were both disappointed. I guess we have to wait till May?

We stopped off for lunch which he enjoyed, and of course we had some seagulls hovering around, so he shouted “go away that one seagull”….and eventually it did….flew off and we never saw it again. πŸ™‚

From there we took a stroll along the ECP towards Walmer. He ran along with wild abandon, and then got tired and insisted he wanted to ride on my shoulders. So there I was, pushing the pram with one hand and hanging onto his leg with the other. It was terribly windy and walking into the wind wasn’t much fun.

But then I spied a wooden boat on the beach so we went to have a look and that kept him occupied for a while. Of course he unpacked all the stones, which I then had to pack back again.

Afterwards I took some photos then we strolled some more but the wind was so fierce it was knocking him off his feet and I couldn’t keep up with him running helter skelter, the pram going off with the wind, and his bag taking wings and flying off. So I made an executive decision, popped him back in his pram and we headed back towards the pier.

He got really excited when he saw the sculpture of the fisherman and the ‘big fish’ Anny!!! so we stopped to have a look at that. He spotted some people sitting on a bench with Costa cups in their hands and immediately ran over to a free bench and said “hot chocolate Anny” – hahahaha branding works!! How could I refuse.

But first we had a run along the pier, but not on the level like normal people, oh no, he wanted to run along the benches that line the pier; so there I was, holding his hand with one hand and running while pushing the pram with the other, which he thought was hilarious. Oh boy, the wind was so strong I could barely cope, so once again…into the pram and we strolled into the town centre for the hot chocolate. He was pretty much ready to go home by then and kept saying “Mamie home….Mummy Daddy home” – which is his signal to go home.

So we did. Took the earlier train and thanks very much Jamie, he delivered a massive poop!! As we got to the station he said “Mamie poop!” Nice one!!! He hadn’t pooped for the last 2 days, and voila….he saved it for me! So there we were, on the train, changing his nappy. Thankfully he lay still or we could have had a disaster LOL And just as well the carriage was empty on our side….I’m not sure the other passengers would have coped hahahaha.

All too soon we were back in Ramsgate and on our way home. When we got there, Daddy had just got back from his driving lesson, and the Jam wanted to go to the park, so off we went.

He loves the park with all that lovely space to run around….swings, and the slide, the climbing frame, the climbing wall and the obstacle course. I taught him how to slide forwards…and smooossh face-plant LOL I refrained from walking along the chains this time LOL so he did the balancing and jumping and then home for bath and dinner. Thankfully Daddy carried him this time.

face-plant!!! LOL have to give him credit for picking up and carrying on…

I just got a whatsapp photo of him fast asleep….tired out after his big adventure.

Sunday I’m taking him to London to Spitalfields to see the bronze elephant sculptures; Herd of Hope – a family ofΒ 21 life-sized bronze elephantsΒ embarking on the journey of a lifetime as they migrate across London. Leading the herd is our matriarch, symbolic of the mother and family each of the infant elephants, in the care of the Sheldrick Trust, lost when they became orphaned. She represents our Keepers, our team and you, our wider family who help to give these elephants a second chance at life. Read more about the Sheldrick Trust and the Herd of Hope

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I love travelling and I mostly enjoy my job; especially if the client is nice and we get along well together for the period of mu booking. I’m very lucky that my job as a Carer takes me all over the UK, although mostly in England now that I have my beloved grandson to spend time with. But I always enjoy coming home and it is a joy to be have my time to myself and to take my BooBee on outings; either to the park or the beach, or on a train trip.

Today was one such day…it was bliss to be able to just get up when it suited me and so I made the most of it and stayed in bed till 11am, drinking tea and faffing around on social media, and of course keeping a beady eye on my dogecoins!! When to buy? Or sell? That is the eternal question LOL Sometimes I get it right, others not so much!!

When I eventually roused myself from my cosy nest, I logged straight onto my computer to continue writing about my recent Thames Path walk….well I didn’t quite get that far LOL Instead I spent the rest of the day updating my budget spreadsheets, planning my future walks along the SSW, the ECP, further stages of WTP….and calculating the relevant costing. Oh and planning a trip to Malta for a week in November (depending on and further lockdown and covid-19 issues).

At about 5pm I walked over to the family for tea and hot-cross buns and then the 4 of us walked over to the park as requested by the BooBee. He decided he wanted to ride on my shoulders, and so for a short way we jogged along. It’s a good thing I can still carry him on my shoulders and it’s good fun…he loves it.

travels with Granny
Riding on ‘Anny’s shoulders – isn’t his hair glorious!!

He had loads of fun at the park. First we stopped to look at the cherry blossom tree which was abundantly covered in blossoms, much of which was already carpeting the ground.

Anny & Mamie inspecting the cherry blossom tree
Anny & Mamie inspecting the cherry blossom tree
my joy
inspecting the blossoms
inspecting the blossoms

He is still so tiny. I often forget that he’s only just gone two, because he is so intelligent with extraordinary levels of comprehension and understanding, that he always seems so much older to me.

Then we meandered over to the climbing frames where ‘Anny (me) reverted to her childhood and decided to walk along the chains….and that ended as well as what you would expect LOL

Anny really should know better LOL

Then we went over to the swings where he made friends with another little boy, climbed the rock-wall, had a few slides…I showed him how to go down on his tummy. He really is up for anything, and is so trusting that we won’t let him come to harm. He got all sad when the little boy left and lay down on the ground to indicate his dismay…

at the park
so sad his little friend left 😦

Time for a quick family selfie

the joy of family
the joy of family

A storm was brewing on the horizon with big black clouds building, so before it started to rain we left for home….and decided to order in so Mummy didn’t have to cook. There was a marvellous thunderstorm with the accompanying thunder and lightening and so I played him some AC DC ‘Thunderstruck’….seemed like a good idea LOL and I gave him a headbanging demonstration. Not my finest hour….he looked on in amazement…poor kid; growing up with a loon for a Granny. He did however enjoy the AC DC – clever kid!!

Now I’m home, preparing for a trip to Deal tomorrow for my 2nd vaccine jab and I’m taking the BooBee with me to make it an outing for the day, then he and I can take a stroll along the English Coast Path and he can make that the start of his #travelswithGranny although we have had quite a few adventures already…

walking the English Coast Path at Deal
walking the English Coast Path at Deal

as a footnote, in case you are unaware: SSW = Saxon Shore Way. ECP = English Coast Path and of course WTP = Walking the Thames Path….but you may have guessed that.

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Hello!!! πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ yes I’m still alive….and walking. What’s new?? 😁😁

Sorry I’ve been so quiet lately, my only excuse is that I have been working and walking and enjoying time with my grandson.

I had a super couple of weeks in Devon recently where I got to visit 5 new places, revisit 1 and do a lot of walking and exploring, and added another section of the English Coast Path to my collection.

I got back home last week and as is usual I’ve spent as much time as possible taking my grandson to the beach and the park.

And yes, I started my Thames Path adventure πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈ

although I can’t walk the whole route as I originally planned, I’ve completed 2 sections; Erith to Greenwich

Cutty Sark, Greenwich

And Greenwich to Battersea Park. Super awesome. Tomorrow I’ll be walking Stage 3 from Battersea Park to Richmond and on Friday, Stage 4, Richmond to Hampton Court. The 5th and final stage for now, I’ll be walking on Saturday from Hampton Court to Staines. The rest of the walk? Who knows??

Not the route I’m following, but the river certainly is long 😁😁

As a result I’ve only managed 1 sunset walk at home and a couple of other sunsets I saw from the train on my way home from London. Sunrises = 0. The sun gets out of bed too early for me in summer πŸ˜†πŸ˜†

Seen from the train at Rochester station

So my blog has sadly been neglected. That’s not to say I haven’t been writing….I have quite a few posts sitting in drafts waiting to be completed, but I need to edit the photos that go with them.

I’ll get there.

Meanwhile, after taking my grandson to his 2nd gymnastics class yesterday I finally opened my computer again to update my budgets and plan my savings strategy for the next few years. Gosh I really do wish I had enough money to give me more time to do all the walks I’d like to do.

I completed the Giza Pyramids Conqueror Challenge while still in Stoke Gabriel so I should be seeing the medal in the mail soon.

I’ve started the Ring Road, Iceland challenge although that’s a long term challenge that I’ll flip in and out of over the next few months.

I’ve been dithering about which challenge to allocate the Thames Path walk ….Mt. Kilimanjaro (97.1kms) or The Cabot Trail (299.4kms)?? πŸ€”πŸ€”πŸ€”

The Cabot Trail would have been perfect if I’d been able to walk the whole Thames Path route in one go and I’m reluctant to break it up…and Mt. Kilimanjaro will be completed in 4 days….or maybe 5 depending on my final tally on Saturday. See my quandary??

So anyway, now that I’ve blathered on for the last 10 minutes…here’s the promised sunset πŸ˜†πŸ˜†πŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸŒ…

Interesting to note that the position of the sun set has changed in the last few weeks
Sunset Pegwell Bay
Hello πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ
And my favourite boat in the harbour

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What a joy it was to meet up with my precious grandson and his Daddy at the park late afternoon after I got home. His smile when he sees me is a delight and fills me with joy. After the swings and the slide we walked home and I joined them for an early supper.

This morning I took ‘Mamie’ (he refers to himself as Mamie ☺) to the beach.

First we picked up stones, then had a bit of a lie down, then built a moat (no Anny, not a castle 😁😁), then we strolled around the harbour, had a look at the war memorial, visited the lighthouse and sat on ALL the benches πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ watched a sailboat go out to sea, stopped to look at the Coast Guard boat, Vigilant, then we inspected the Pilot boats, stopped to look at an interesting car and back on the bus where Mamie sat on the big boy seat ☺☺. Fun times

I came back this evening to babysit while Mummy drove Daddy to work. We played hide and seek (he loves being frightened πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ) built a puzzle, made dinosaurs and elephants, stars and a heart out of play dough. Then things got a bit crazy when Granny turned the play dough into a meteor…

Hysterical laughter followed as the ‘meteor’ flew around the lounge.β˜„β˜„

Then it was dinner time and he laid the cutlery on the table (very impressive for a 2 year old) had a yummy dinner and went for a walk with Mummy.

Afterwards its was into a nice warm bath with a big bathbomb and then we had the ‘fun’ of watching the Night Garden on ceebeebies. OMG it actually nearly put me to sleep. But he loves it, and it brings him down from hyper to calm.

He truly is the joy of my life and I am so grateful for his health and vitality. I’m now babysitting again while Mummy fetches Daddy from work.

Wonderful day πŸ’™πŸ₯° I love that he calls me Anny. Granny is still too big a word, but truthfully, I wouldn’t mind at all if he always calls me Anny…it sounds so adorable ☺☺

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It all started sooo well….

I decided it would be a good idea to make pancakes with the Boobee for Shrove Tuesday. I had an image in my mind, you know…like a gentle, calm Granny and grandson bonding…like you see in the movies – except I didn’t bank on the 2 year old having his own ideas about baking.

The picture of innocent excitement πŸ€”πŸ€”

It started so well… β˜Ίβ€πŸ’™ I collected all the equipment, and gathered up the ingredients….the 2 year old getting quite excited about the prospect of ‘pancakes’ although he had absolutely noooo idea what they are, he just loved the sound of it all. 😁😁

Behind the scenes his parents were snickering, their hands covering their mouths as they tried to contain their amusement…they knew what was coming. πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„

We settled down at the table and I measured out the flour, explaining what I was doing, but before I could blink my eyes…it descended very quickly into chaos, with handsful of flour on the and table flying everywhere!!! I desperately tried to keep control of the situation, to no avail.

So far so good, I just added extra flour…
Spoons whirling, we mixed away

Suddenly, and with no warning, he 8swooped in with his hand and lifted a gloop of batter and started painting the table 😱😱🀣🀣🀣🀣

hands in quick as a flash
At this point, I gave up and watched…
and the mess is total

I was laughing so much…intially with shock and then with bemusement. It was just hilarious. The carpet will have to be washed…I eventually recovered what was left of the first batch and hurriedly decamped to the kitchen. Meanwhile the parents cleaned up the chaos and popped him in the bath – I needed a bath!! 😁😁

With the chaos reigned in (safely in the bath πŸ₯΄πŸ₯΄) I prepared a 2nd batter mix and started making the first batch of a very unique blend of pancakes…a la Boobee!! 🀭🀭🀭 They were perfect…😊

Mummy had cut up some banana and strawberries, melted white chocolate and made up some sugar and cinnamon, as well as some yummy dairy free ice-cream.

I think he enjoyed the pancakes πŸ’™πŸ’™

He loved the pancakes and made short work of them with nutella, strawberries and bananas, and ice-cream. Of course he was quite hyper afterwards, what with all the sugar in the chocolate…good luck to the parents, I can go home πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ

You just never know what you’re going to get with a 2 year-old, but I can say for sure, I haven’t laughed like that in a long time.

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Just look at this child’s hair!! πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™ he was as bald as an egg when born, but we could see the haze of red coming through.

2 years later and it’s a strawberry blonde mop of curls and absolutely beautiful.

He’s developing into the cutest, funniest, most energetic ball of delight. He gets ever so excited when I visit. He’s learning to talk and the words flow like lava atm, but some sounds still defeat him…he calls me ‘Anny instead of Granny, and I love it.

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I have essentially been homeless for nearly 18 months now, staying in b&bs and guest houses between bookings since September 2019, with the occasional sleepover on my daughter’s couch.

My belongings have been in storage for much of that time. Some of the many boxes filled with stuff I’ve accumulated since I arrived in the UK and much of it brought over from South Africa in 2016 after I obtained my British citizenship.
Settling under the weight of my belongings has been tough. Walking the Camino taught me about just how little we really need to get by, but real life is not a Camino and so I find it hard to give up on ‘stuff’.

But on Monday I moved into a new place which I shall call home for the next 6 months at least. ‘Move in’ is a bit of a stretch of course since atm its just me and my suitcase 😝😝😝 Due to the snow I’ve been unable to get to the storage unit anyway even though I want to, and was supposed to on Monday afternoon.

So meanwhile I’ve had to borrow teabags, blankets and a pillow from my daughter, and a blanket, water-bottle, heater and kettle from the landlord, who also kindly bought me some milk last night when went out to Waitrose. I already have my own tea mug to hand that I take to bookings because I loathe using the client’s mugs…some of which are just manky.

Today I’m having a pj day and staying in bed till after midday…I think I deserve it after 5 weeks of getting up at 6.45 every day 😝😝😝πŸ₯±πŸ₯±πŸ₯± although I suspect my stomach may well get me out sooner….

But, since the ‘new place’ is essentially just a big room in a shared house, with separate, shared facilities, I will only be bringing over the essentials like my backpack and some extra clothes and my groceries plus bedlinen of course, and a towel. Its going to be so good to have some of my travel books as well…just to make it look homely. Of course pride of place goes to a framed photo of my grandson that travels around the country with me. That it always next to my bedside so that he’s the first thing I see each day πŸ₯°πŸ₯°

But the best of all is that once I’ve got all the stuff I want, to make life a bit more pleasant, I can just leave it all here when I leave for my next booking, and not have to stress about getting to the storage unit to leave or collect anything.

Its been really stressful and quite expensive having to look for a place to stay between bookings, but this place is a very reasonable rent and as I say, quite spacious. I’ve viewed so many rooms in the last 18 months and they’re all very small and expensive. My heartfelt thanks to my son-in-law who spotted the advert and alerted me to view.

So here it is…unadorned with my belongings as yet, except for a few odds and ends…the desk sold the place really…somewhere I can set up my computer – most important!!

There’s a little, unused, fireplace behind where I’m standing which I’ll fill with something decorative, and 2 small cupboards with hanging space and shelves.

So in all, and in comparison to what millions of other people around the world have to live in….its a palace…. albeit a feking cold palace atm πŸ₯ΆπŸ₯ΆπŸ₯Ά even with the heater on, its cold, which is why I’m having a pj day…with a hotwater-bottle under my feet. Roll on summer 😁😁

Welcome home Cindy πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„

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Albeit dated from a few years ago, I recently read this article that offers advice from the elderly…

Advice from some old people

They offer some really great, albeit simple advice: I particularly like these 3.

#5. People always say, ’’Make sure you get a job doing what you love!’’ But that isn’t the best advice. The right job is the job you love some days, can tolerate most days, and still pays the bills. Almost nobody has a job they love every day. – my comment on this is such; doing a job you love is one of the hooks developed by the personal development arena to sell their products. Because people hear this and believe it, they become dissatisfied with what they are doing and buy in to the message given out by people like Tony Robbins, Christopher Howard, Roger Hamilton and many many others. They then go on to buy the products that these people and others like them are selling, believing that their lives will change for the better if they find ‘a job they love’. In some instances this can be true, but even with a job you love, there are downsides and off days.
#14. Don’t take anyone else’s advice as gospel. You can ask for advice from someone you respect, then take your situation into consideration and make your own decision. Essentially, take your own advice is my advice… – I can add to this…..and if it seems too good to be true, it probably is…trust your gut instincts. My daughter has a very heightened sense of instinct. The only time she makes a mistake is when she has ignored her own beliefs and instincts and goes on the advice of other people. We are all different, we have different experiences and when we give advice it’s based on our model of the world, our values and beliefs. Advice, no matter how well meaning, is not the be all and end all. Seek advice by all means, but think about how that advice will work for you. Sort through it all and take from it what feels right or suitable for your situation. My daughter often asks me for advice (I treasure that she does) and I am very careful about what I say in reply because my experiences of the world have been and are different to hers. My Mother always said “think about what it is you need advice on before you go to sleep at night. In the morning, what is right for you will be what you first think about” whenever I’ve ignored my instincts is when I’ve gotten into trouble…
#18. Pay your bills and stay the hell out of debt. If I could have paid myself all the money I’ve paid out in interest over the years, I’d be retired already. – of all the points on the list, this is the one that resonates with me the most. And again I can add this: don’t fall for the lie the Personal Development community sells you on…e.g. ‘OPM’…Other People’s Money….e.g. use other people’s money; like bank loans or credit cards – they do this to ensure that you buy their product believing that you’ll succeed after using/doing what they say, that after doing their course/their way you would be able to pay it back because you’ve done their course. Don’t believe it, it’s a lie. If you need to borrow money from a bank or use a credit card to pay for a personal development course, then don’t buy it. The temptation to spend the money believing what they say is too great.

A few life lessons from someone who has been there and done that and burned her fingers….

Fortunately I have actually learned something in the process, albeit later rather than sooner. πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺπŸ‘΅πŸ»

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Two years ago today, at exactly 12:46 this precious little cherub came into our lives, and in an instant my baby became a Mummy, and I became a Granny. πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ₯°

Just a wee scrap
Skin time with Granny
Special times πŸ‘΅πŸ»πŸ’™πŸ‘ΆπŸ»

Its been an amazing journey ever since – he lights up my life, bringing so much love, joy and laughter. From a tiny wee scrap, he’s now a super hero who builds snowmen and keeps me fit on the beach.

Spiderman!!!
Building his first snowman
A photoshoot on the beach by createdwithlightphotography

Wishing my beautiful, funny, crazy, adventurous, smart and joyful grandson a very happy 2nd birthday, you are most precious to me πŸŽ‚πŸŽπŸŽŠπŸŽ‰2️⃣

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