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Archive for the ‘gratitude’ Category

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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I arrived home last night, after a 4.5 hour journey, from a week’s booking in Salisbury. As much as what I really enjoyed exploring the city, and learning more of the history and her green spaces, it was wonderful to be back home.

You cannot underestimate the sheer joy of coming ‘home’ to your own place. It may not be much, but it’s got my stuff in it, and I’m home.

My own duvet…magic

After I’d dropped my bags off, I grabbed my walking poles and immediately set off for a sunset walk to the harbour

Absolutely stunning
A Royal harbour
Can you see the moon?
The sun setting in front of me

and then along the lower promenade

The snow moon rising behind me

before climbing up to the clifftop and a walk to Pegwell Bay.

View of Pegwell Bay from the bottom of the cliffs
From halfway up the path to the top of the cliffs

It was quite dark already by the time I reached the hotel, so I stopped there for a few photos and then walked back along the clifftop.

View from Pegwell Bay hotel
A bit of fun with the moon and the hands and molecules sculpture
One lone boat still has its Christmas lights on

A magical walk with no pressure to get back within 2 hours, and 9.9 kms added to my 2021 Conqueror virtual challenge.

I’m going to start the Ring Road Iceland virtual challenge on Monday 1st March. I’m so looking forward to the postcards, should be amazing. My daughter and I had a fantastic 4 day trip to Iceland in 2014, so I’m really keen to see the information that comes with the postcards.

The Sun Voyager (Icelandic: Sólfar); a sculpture by Jón Gunnar Árnason

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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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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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Thank you all for reading my random posts, your πŸ‘s and comments, I appreciate them all.

May this new year bring you fun, laughter, joy, peace and everything good

Stay healthy and safe…..wherever in the world you are πŸŒπŸŒŽπŸŒπŸ—ΊπŸ§­

πŸŽ†πŸŽ†πŸŽ†πŸŽ†πŸŽ†πŸŽ†πŸŽ‰πŸŽŠπŸŽ‰πŸŽŠπŸŽ‰πŸŽŠπŸ§§2️⃣0️⃣2️⃣1️⃣

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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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I’ve always liked Andrew’s videos and how he tells a story. This video is part of a series of 8 and the rest of the series can be found on YouTube. This video also features 2 Irish pilgrims. I wonder what the future holds for Andrew. His Camino journey isn’t over. Like what you see? […]

Weekend Watch #77 – A Christmas Gift from Beyond the Way

And following right behind my last shared post is this….

Having walked the Portuguese Camino in 2017, I’m always drawn to other people’s stories and experiences, and there is one for every pilgrim who walks a Camino, regardless of which one it is.

This post also brings me to a brief conversation I had with my daughter yesterday after seeing the images of the flooding and damage caused by our current storm; Bertha.

Being an imperfect human, I complain from time to time about my dissatisfaction with my difficulties at work, how it’s so mentally draining, about not having my own home…a place I can return to instead of the next b&b or guesthouse.

And then you read or hear about events that overtake the lives of others, and you realise that there is always someone else worse off…a mother trying to shelter her children and find food after a devastating earthquake, families losing their homes and belongings during a flood.

I try to remind myself that despite the difficulties and frustrations of my life, that is just what they are…and they’re neither life threatening or devastating.

And I am reminded just how fortunate I am and have been.

Have you walked the Camino in Spain? Or any pilgrimage in another country….

caminoΒ sustantivo, path, road; journey; way.

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Winter solstice could not have come at a better time.

We’re on our way to spring

Whilst the date of winter solstice has been the same for aeons, synonymous with hope and renewal, this year it followed hot on the heels of a date that will hopefully be forgotten in the mists of time, for yesterday we went into Tier 4 lockdown in parts of the UK.

Spring always reminds me of the 1970s Eurovision song; ‘All kinds of everything’ – snowdrops and daffodils, butterflies and bees…all kinds of everything, reminds me of you…

The first to appear are the snowdrops, those pretty little fairy lanterns that lend a cheer to the hard grey ground, and bring a smile to our faces

snowdrops

And then the sun begins to shine again as the daffodils with their bright yellow faces sprout with wild abandon

daffodils

from then on its one after the other as more and more spring flowers appear; bluebells

Bluebells

hyacinths, primroses and then one of my favourite flowers…tulips

a profusion of colours – tulips

But don’t be fooled….for March can bring on a bite of snow

snow in March

But as we roll into April….perhaps a visit to Paris is on the cards πŸ™‚

Bring it on….

Happy Winter Solstice

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