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Archive for the ‘family and relationships’ Category

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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Well, would you just look at that!! Just over 24 hours to go (UK time) and we say goodbye to 2020. I can hardly believe it.

Not that the new year, 2021 is going to start off very well at all with now 8 in 10 people in the UK going into tier 4 and virtual lockdown. Although 2020 didn’t do too well at all, 2021 is not going to get off to a very good start.

To say I’m peeved at our useless government would be an understatement because tomorrow brings the double whammy of the final twist of the Brexit knife and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic to really give this year a bad name. And do I believe our feckless PM when he spouts out his nonsense about having got a good deal?? No. I do not.

Meanwhile I, like millions of others, am trying desperately to keep my head and not fall into the pit of despair at the way life seems to be spiralling out of control. To that end I’m not watching the news nor reading the papers and still off Facebook. I am however spending quality time with my family and walking….walking and walking. I’m also grateful to still have work.

Although I only started in April, having the Conqueror virtual challenges has been a bit of a life saver really because keeping up with my targets gets me out, and the walking, which I love, keeps me sane.

I’m nearly at the end of the 2020 challenge and yesterday I completed the Mt. Fuji challenge after a fantastic walk from Margate to Herne Bay 22.18 kms. Although it was bloody freezing, I thoroughly enjoyed the walk and was not only surprised at how quickly I walked the distance, but also at how easy it was.

I’ve long wanted to walk from Broadstairs to Reculver after visiting the Roman site a few years ago, so it was absolutely thrilling to finally make the journey, albeit only from Margate. Except for one very short section, there is a promenade/footpath and the sea the whole way. The final section to Herne Bay was a breeze…literally and figuratively. I nearly froze πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ it was so darn cold – at one stage I was sucking my thumb just to get some warmth back into it.

Fortunately the cafeteria at Reculver was open so I stopped for 15 minutes to rest my feet and warm up with a hot chocolate and a yummy caramel fudge brownie…delicious.

Herne Bay is a fascinating place with so much history, not all of it good. But they do have some fantastic fish and chips shops….😁😁 I have to give a shout out to Gary of EKS Office Equipment in Herne Bay for not only agreeing to charge my phone (for free) but also allowed me to sit in a corner of the showroom to eat my chips while I waited. It was very much appreciated.

Although I thoroughly enjoyed the walk, despite the cold, the saddest sight was the vast amount of plastic pollution that quite literally lined the whole 22kms….I could have filled 50 black bags and still not cleared it all. Its terribly painful to see all that pollution.

So as the year comes to an end, I have one final day of walking to do to finish my 2020 km challenge. Its been a most satisfying pastime and I must thank my daughter for introducing me to the Conqueror Virtual Challenges….thanks to that I have improved my fitness levels, walked extensively in areas I would likely have not except for wanting to meet the challenge of the challenges πŸ˜‰ and I’ve inadvertently accumulated way more medals than I had planned. Its been a fairly expensive hobby, but so much fun.

I’ve started on the Alps to Ocean, NZ challenge and hopefully tomorrow I’ll complete another decent distance as my final walk for 2020.

Other than that, I have finally found a suitable place to rent. Went to look at a room last night….and as Goldilocks said “it’s just right ” and I’m saying “It’ll do Pooh” πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ It’s not a huge room, but it’s on the top floor, its spacious, it has cupboards, and a bed, and a skylight for summer nights, and a desk for my books and computer and MOST importantly, the landlord said Jamie can visit. So HOORAH!!! after 18months I’ll have a place to go ‘home’ to. I’m feeling quite emotional. It means I can get my clothes out of storage, and my books and Jamie’s toys and my amazing South African mattress. I can brighten it up with my own bed linen and pictures and bits and bobs.

Today we had a photoshoot done. The fab photographer of @createdwithlightphotography on Instagram did the shoot for me with my gorgeous grandson. We had lots of fun and then had hot chocolate to warm up, because of course it was freezing on the beach. β˜ƒοΈβ˜ƒοΈβ˜ƒοΈβ˜ƒοΈ

Me and my boobee πŸ₯°πŸ₯°

Tomorrow, weather depending I’ll walk from Ramsgate to Margate one last time before I tackle the next section of my own challenge….to walk the whole of the English coast within next 5 years.

Cheers folks, thanks for reading along with me. In case I don’t get to write a post tomorrow, although I probably will, I wish you all a VERY safe, healthy and wonderful New Year.

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Just thrilled to have finished the Great Ocean Road, Australia virtual challenge yesterday….exactly 5 weeks & 5 days πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ πŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈ

And just because I can….I signed up for another 3 and the 2021 challenge. πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ so some serious walking coming up next year.

My goal for 2021 is 2600kms

I’m planning on walking these as part of my 2021 challenge…along with The Ring Road of Iceland, Alps to Ocean New Zealand and the Cabot Trail in Canada.

First though, I must finish off my 2020 challenge…Getting started on the Mt. Fuji (74kms) challenge this morning I set off just on 7am and headed to the cliffs. Hardly saw a soul…it was quiet and peaceful, not a breath of air. I didn’t get a spectacular sunrise, but it was soft and pretty and I had a super walk and my total for today is 15.76kms.

The harbour is so pretty, especially now with the Christmas lights decorating many of them.

The wind came up on my way back as storm Bella started making herself felt.

With only 63.4 kms to go, I’m really excited to be reaching the end of the 2020 challenge.

Why not join me https://www.theconqueror.events/r/CE1474

I finished off the walk with fresh croissants from the CoOp πŸ₯πŸ₯ and a cup of tea with the family and then a much enjoyed sleep, but not often done. My daughter and I had a quiet walk to the cliffs and back before supper as well, after which I spent the late afternoon and evening with my beloved family and just enjoyed being with my grandson. He is ever so cute, a real little munchkin, so full of beans, and boy can he be demanding…when he says “G’anny sit down!!!” – I sit πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ usually on the floor which is not good for the old bones πŸ‘΅πŸ»πŸ¦΄πŸ¦΄πŸ¦΄πŸ˜©πŸ˜©

I hope you are all well and had a lovely 2 days. If you didn’t get to see family and friends, I truly hope that 2021 will see you all reunited.

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1. I get paid tomorrow – my last income til 2021 😁😁😁 I’ll try to not spend it all in one go πŸ€‘πŸ€‘πŸ€‘

2. Which means I have less than 24 hours ⏳⏳ till I finish working for 12 days. πŸ—“

3. I get to see my family in 36 hours πŸ₯³πŸ₯³πŸ₯³πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘¦

4. Conqueror Virtual Challenges release their next 3 challenges tomorrow. πŸ₯‡πŸ₯ˆπŸ₯‰ so lots of virtual international πŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈ

4. We’re one day closer to spring πŸŒΈπŸ΅πŸŒΊπŸŒ·πŸŒ»πŸ’

5. There’s less than 225 hours left of 2020 πŸŽ†πŸŽ†πŸŽ†πŸ§§

6. By tomorrow I’ll be 4 months away from my pension πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘΅πŸ»πŸ’·πŸ’·πŸ’· if the bloody government doesn’t renege on me and move the πŸ₯…

And yes, from this post you can deduce that I’m bored 🀣🀣🀣🀣 with absolutely nothing useful or intelligent to write about 🀨🀨🀨 and all I really want to do is 😴😴😴😴 after a torrid πŸŒƒ

Sorry πŸ˜‰

Oh and the weather is cr@p so I can’t even get out for a πŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ˜’πŸ˜’

P.s. I had to add the gif….🀭🀭 our poor beleaguered πŸ‘ΈπŸ» I bet she wishes she could just say fekit I’m not doing a speech this year….🀫🀫🀫

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As a child you grow up with traditions and learn about others, whether they be religious or seasonal, familial or foreign and they all seem to be set in stone with certain rules that govern how they play out. I learned something quite profound one day…..traditions are not set in stone, they can be amended or tweaked and new ones can be created…!!! 😁😁

My mother had quite a few traditions, one of which was decorating the Christmas tree. A few days before Christmas a tree would mysteriously appear in the lounge (sitting room for the Brits πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ), and if a real tree, it stood in a bucket of sand. πŸŽ„

In the build up to Christmas day we learned that Father Christmas aka Santa would be visiting on the night before Christmas and leave us lots of presents….and he would decorate the tree, so when we woke up on Christmas day, magically the tree would be adorned in all its glory.

As we got older and learned that ‘Santa’ was actually Mommy, we got to help with the decorating. I remember the excitement as Christmas eve got closer and the anticipation built….and then her Christmas boxes would come out from wherever she was hiding them and glory be….we got to open them. Oh the beauty of all those shiny balls, the tinsel glittering in the light, the quirky little characters exclaimed over with delight and then the decorating began as we tried to balance them out around the tree with much laughter – the baubles going higher the taller we grew. And finally with a flourish we pulled tufts of cottonwool off a fat new roll, threw them all over the tree with wild abandon and voila, the tree was covered in ‘snow’. πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ Too much fun.

Being the eldest of 4 daughters I got to help my Mother decorate the tree in secret 3 times to surprise and delight my sisters on Christmas day…and of course the day brought a pile of presents too. πŸŽ„πŸŽπŸŽπŸŽπŸŽ Needless to say, my Mother did things in a big way, and half the house would be decorated too ☺☺

When my daughter was growing up I carried on the traditions of my childhood and decorated the tree and lounge the night before Christmas to delight her in the morning. As she grew up and learned more about Santa’s secrets, she also got to decorate the tree. As it was just the 2 of us, we used to decorate together.

Now she’s grown up with a family of her own, she’s started a new tradition….the grandparents are invited over earlier in December for an evening of laughter, dinner and decorating the tree. Last year we all gathered together and my contribution was a 1st Christmas decoration for Jamie; an engraved ceramic star

This year I found a delightful little wooden decoration in Shepton Mallet; a picture of a snowman – he loves snowmen. β›„β›„

Unfortunately this year, due to tier 3 restrictions the paternal grandparents didn’t join us, but we had a fun time decorating the tree.

Granny and Jamie hanging his decoration

This was Jamie’s first time ever decorating a Christmas tree. He got the idea straight away. Mummy gave him the first bauble, showed him how to open the string, and he went straight over and hung it up with very little instruction on how to do it. We’re so proud of him. ☺☺

He just got it….so smart πŸ₯°πŸ’™

Of course not yet 2 years old, he got impatient with taking the decorations out one at a time and turned the box upside down and all over the floor 🀣🀣🀣 – and THEN proceeded to jumble them up.

But he was dissuaded and one by one the decorations went up with the assistance of Mummy and Daddy.

A steadying hand from Mummy

And finally when every last bauble and ball was up, he helped Daddy put the star on top πŸŽ„…..πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ hoorah!! Its Christmas πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽπŸŽπŸŽ

Daddy’s little Christmas star β˜Ίβ˜ΊπŸ’™
He took it all very seriously β˜Ίβ˜ΊπŸŽ„πŸŽ‰

Once the tree was done we settled down to have a superb Christmas meal….fully vegetarian.

Table decorations

A newly established family tradition.

I bought my boobee an early Christmas present; a Peppa Pig set of plate, bowl and cup. He’s currently obsessed with Peppa Pig, so an easy buy 🐷🐷

Another tradition my Mother had was making a Christmas pudding….every year she would buy the fruit mince the bread crumbs, the eggs, suet, the sixpences and 50p (all carefully boiled to sterilise them) and then the mixing began. We would fight to mix and once it was all done, fight again as to who would get to lick the spoons and the bowl. When the grandchildren came along they were encouraged to participate and I have the loveliest photo somewhere of my Mother, my daughter and 2 nieces gathered round the table mixing the pudding. Possibly the last pudding my Mother ever did since she passed away a couple of months after my daughter’s 4th birthday. Moving forward, my daughter doesn’t like Christmas cake, Christmas pudding or mince pies….weird child, but more for me 😁😁🀢🏻πŸ₯§πŸ₯§πŸ₯§

Oh and without a doubt, you can be sure that on Christmas day….we all vied for the 50p!!! A veritable fortune in those days πŸ’°πŸ’°πŸ’°

P.S. did you notice the spelling of merry in the header photo…πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ only noticed after the package was opened…. a new tradition? πŸ˜‰

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There is nothing more precious to me than hearing my grandson from behind the door saying “G’anny” when I ring the doorbell and then seeing that beautiful little face lit up with a smile. And a cuddle follows close behind β˜Ίβ˜ΊπŸ’™

He is my absolute joy….

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