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Posts Tagged ‘family and relationships’

Midway through my walk along Hadrian’s Wall I got a message from my brother-in-law to say that he was treating my sister to a trip to Ireland for her 50th birthday πŸŽ‚ πŸ₯³ Hoorah! And would I be able to join them? Would I just!!! ☺☺

This is a significant birthday and definitely needs to be celebrated in outstanding fashion.

25 x 2!!

It’s kind of a circle too; it will be 20 years since I flew to Ireland from South Africa to celebrate her 30th birthday …. a journey that changed the course of my life and ultimately my daughter’s life too.

Now they’re flying over from South Africa and I’m flying from the UK.

Isn’t it interesting, the many twists and turns of life, and how an action you take one day/month/year can have unexpected consequences.

I’m delighted and really excited to see them again – it’s been 5 years since I was last in SA, and with Covid-19 I had no plans to travel there for the foreseeable future…mostly because SA is still on the UK’s ‘red list’ and I would have had to quarantine for 2 weeks on my return at an extortionate cost in a hotel room.

But it seems that Ireland has less draconian and inwardlooking rules than the UK and you can visit as long as you’re vaccinated.

So it was with much excitement that I booked my flight to Ireland and on 7th October we will be meeting in Dublin, along with my daughter, son-in-law and grandson to celebrate my sister’s 50th and tag on the 20th anniversary πŸ˜€ of my new life in the northern hemisphere. Although 50 beats 20 any day 😁😁

It’s with much excitement that I’m counting the days. ☺ πŸ—“

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When I bought the Kruger National Park challenge in March I had it in mind to honour the memory of my brother Arnold, who should have been 66 years old today; 08/08/21. He died in his mid-20s nearly 40 years ago under very sad circumstances.

Kruger National Park virtual challenge
Kruger National Park virtual challenge – starter bib

So I figured I would hold it till 1 August before starting the challenge and try to walk 66 kms by his birthday. As well as which, I was born in South Africa and one of my most enduring childhood memories was a visit to the Kruger National Park when we were teenagers…probably about 13 or 14 at the time. My Dad, his 2nd wife, me (the eldest) my brother (6 months younger than me – adopted by my Dad when he remarried), my sister 3.5 years younger than me and my much younger brother who was a baby at the time.

As we drove along the very long narrow dusty road heading towards the gates of the camp, after a long day of driving, my little brother threw up all over my older brother…I was wearing a very fancy patterned two piece pant-suit; a mini-skirt length top and bell-bottoms at the time, blue with coloured squares (I think I wrote about this some time back under a different context)…anyway, my brother had on a bright orange shirt and khaki trousers, which now had vomit all over them. A quick stop at the side of the road and we progressed with everyone affected cleaned up and my brother wearing the pants of my suit and looking both sheepish and colourful.

I can’t recall the name of the camp, but I do remember that we had a fantastic view of a massive waterhole from the dining room. We had a fantastic time and managed to see a lot of game on our drives, as well as in the compound when the animals from outside the fence decided to join the animals inside the fence!!! But of all the exciting things we saw, that episode with the clothes and the eggs we had for breakfast are my best memories.

And so I kicked off on 1 August and got my first postcard

Once again, the amount of information they provide with each postcard is amazing, and so fascinating. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I have

On the southeast coast of South Africa and bordered by Lesotho, Eswatini and Mozambique is the province of Kwazulu-Natal.  Known for its beaches, mountainous region and large savannahs with big game, this province is also home to the Zulu nation.  Kwazulu-Natal is made up of two separate provinces, KwaZulu and Natal, that merged in 1994.  KwaZulu was a semi-independent area intended as a homeland for the Zulu people whose ancestors were part of the Zulu Kingdom.

The Zulu Kingdom was a monarchy from 1816-1897 which grew to prominence under the leadership of Shaka Zulu, the illegitimate son of Senzangakhona, the Chief of the Zulu clan.  Senzangakhona had 14 sons, 4 of them ruled as kings.  Although Shaka was the oldest, due to his illegitimacy he did not have any claim as successor to his father.  When Senzangakhona died in 1816, his legitimate heir Sigujana took over but his rule was short-lived as Shaka had him assassinated and became king.  He in turn was killed 12 years later by another brother, Dingane who 12 years later was overthrown by his brother Mpande, who ruled for the next 32 years.  Mpande’s son, Cetshwayo, succeeded him in 1873 for the next five years.  

Cetshwayo was the leader during the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879.  Fought over several bloody battles between the British Empire and the Zulu Kingdom, the war lasted less than six months.  The first significant battle was at Isandlwana in January 1879 where 20,000 Zulu warriors attacked the British forces of less than 2,000 soldiers.  Defeating the British, a contingent of Zulu warriors broke off from the main force and proceeded towards Rorke’s Drift, which would become the second main battle on the same day.  Having been pre-warned of the Zulu advances, the British were prepared for the assault.  Vastly outnumbered with guns blazing, the British held their position.  After 12 hours of fighting, the Zulu warriors retreated.  Several more battles were fought over the coming months until the British moved into the royal village where they inflicted the final defeat.  By August, Cetshwayo was captured, deposed and exiled.  He was the last king of an independent Zulu nation.  Today Cetshwayo’s descendant Goodwill Zwelithini is the 8th reigning monarch of the Zulu nation.

My journey begins in the town of Hluhluwe.  Located in the north of Kwazulu-Natal between iSimangaliso Wetland Park and Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Park, this small town is known for its big game, national parks and production of 95% of South Africa’s pineapples.  It has a population of less than 4,000 residents, yet it is considered a travel hub for Kwazulu-Natal. 

Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park is a major attraction for the big 5 game: elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard.  Located southwest of Hluhluwe, the park is the oldest nature reserve in Africa consisting of 96,000 hectares.  Established in 1895 as a park, the area was originally a royal hunting ground for the Zulu Kingdom.  The reserve was setup to protect the endangered white rhinoceroses and now has the largest population in the world (approx. 1000).  The park is also the only one in Kwazulu-Natal where all five big game animals can be found.

Located northeast to Hluhluwe is the 1,270sq mi (3,280km2) iSimangaliso Wetland Park.  The park is rich in fauna and flora due to the β€œdifferent ecosystems within the park, ranging from coral reefs and sandy beaches to subtropical dune forests, savannahs, and wetlands”.  A wonderful array of animals co-habitate here both on land and in the ocean such as: elephant, leopard, rhino, buffalo, hippos, whales, dolphins, leatherback and loggerhead turtles and crocodiles. The park was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.

The park also contains the 140sq mi (350km2) estuarine Lake St Lucia.  It was named in 1575 on the day of the feast of Saint Lucy.  Nearly 2,200 plant species have been identified in the lake’s system such as the Sausage-tree, bearing sausage-like fruits 1-2ft long (30-60cm) and purplish-green flowers. It is also an ideal environment for mangrove trees, six different species have been recorded.  Other delightful flora are the Prickly Tree Hibiscus with its yellow flowers, Maputaland Cycad with its red flowers, Impala-lily with its delicate pink flowers and the Cape honeysuckle.

And so, over a period of 7 days I managed to achieve my goal of walking 66kms; 1 for each year that he would have been…had he lived.

I miss my brother, and although we were not blood relatives I adored him and he me. We got up to a lot of mischief as children and one of the few photos I have of him is when there were just the 5 of us; my cousin Yvonne, me, my cousin Brian, my brother Arnold and my sister Susanne. My family expanded a lot after this photo was taken, what with remarriages and another 4 sisters and 1 brother.

family and relationships
me, my brother, my sister, and cousins

The rest of the challenge will be completed during my jaunt along the Northumberland Coast Path and Hadrian’s Wall, both of which are long enough to ‘possibly’ allow me to complete this challenge before I return home. Although I have to say that the temptation to buy a 2nd Hadrian’s Wall challenge and complete the virtual walk whilst walking the actual wall is VERY strong!! LOL… I’ll decide by the 09th of September before I start my actual walk…it will all depend on how many km’s I manage to complete before then since the Kruger challenge has to be finished by 30/09/21 because the organisers changed the medal and made the route shorter. But I want the original medal, so…onwards into the breech dear friends, onwards!

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for me, I’m kicking up dust in the Kruger National Park… πŸ™‚

Here are some of the scenes from my 7 walks

walking the kruger national park
Day 1 Sunday 01.08.2021
walking the kruger national park
Day 2 Monday 02.08.21
walking the kruger national park
Day 3 Wednesday 04.08.21
walking the kruger national park
Day 4 Thursday 05.08.21
walking the kruger national park
Day 5 Friday 06.08.21
walking the kruger national park
Day 6 Saturday 07.08.21
walking the kruger national park
Day 7 Sunday 08.08.21

Day 3 I ended up hip deep in a ditch sky-high with brambles…still not sure how I got out, there’s a long story behind the cows on day 4 and there’s one particular scene that I just love and photograph it every day when I walk that route. The houses in this area are stunning…and I get house envy when I see some of them, and I love that quote from Day 1.

The above scenes are round and about the farmlands of Faversham. They recently harvested one of the fields nearby, hence the tractor and the harvester.

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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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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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The village where I’m currently working is located in a very rural area surrounded by lots of small farms.

On the top of the hill, known as the mound, are the ruins of the Norman motte and bailey and a flock of sheep graze the fenced in area. On my daily walks I usually take a spin around the perimeter and collect tufts of wool from the gorse and brambles that the animals have brushed against.

I’m collecting the wool for any future projects my grandson will likely have to do at school….or maybe even at home. πŸ’™πŸ‘ΆπŸ»

I’ve cleaned, washed, bleached, softened, dried and baked the wool and now it’s ready to be packed away for future use πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

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On the 12 May 2018 at approx 2.30pm, I received what can only be the best news any mother of a grown up daughter could hope for!! I was to become a Granny πŸ™‚ To say that I went ballistic would be a complete understatement…I did the whole Greek Mama shrieky thing LOL

Getting the news πŸ™‚

I was quite simply over the moon. This was not something I was expecting (sorry for the pun), and had made my peace with the idea that I may not ever have grandchildren. I guess I should have known better! The planets had aligned; my daughter was in a really good place in her life, she had met a wonderful man, they were engaged to be married, she was settled in her home, her business was doing well and life was good. The universe knew that the time was right.

becoming a granny, first time parents, first pregnancy

I’m going to be a Granny πŸ™‚

The months both dragged and flew by with visits to a clinic for an ultrasound that showed the wee bub sitting comfortably in the position he was to pretty much maintain for the full 40 weeks right up until he was born.

first baby, second trimester, ultrasound, listening to babys heartbeat, granny in waiting, first grandchild, ovia app, knitting for babies

isn’t that just extraordinary….so tiny and yet so very real

first baby, second trimester, ultrasound, listening to babys heartbeat, granny in waiting, first grandchild, ovia app, knitting for babies

Ultrasound ❀

Each week was marked with images of his progress off the ovia app,

ovia app baby progress

one the day I received the news, this is the size of the bub; a poppy seed

photographs of Mummy’s slowly expanding belly,

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Lots of clothes shopping (we ended up with wayyy too much), various excursions as nursery equipment was collated and frequent trips for treats LOL I’m surprised he doesn’t look like a treat…oh Wait!! He does!!

After a relatively problem-free pregnancy, he didn’t after all make it easy for Mama and stuck to his guns, resulting in a breech birth.

Finally the big day arrived and exactly 40 weeks to the day (according to their calculations, not the NHS’s) without any further ado, my tiny, beautiful, cute, gorgeous, exceptionally intelligent (of course), delightful little grandson arrived. Albeit very traumatic for Mummy, his birth went fairly smoothly and I had the privilege of being able to support her right through from beginning to end. We, Simon (her husband), Maisie (her Doula), myself and of course the beautiful Mama, were all in shell-shock and I’m still bemused by the fact that I actually managed to get through her labour without going to pieces.

Jamie, just 10 minutes old cuddled on Mummy’s chest, Maisie, me and Daddy

In fact she had, a few weeks before, asked me to knit her a birthing blanket. The idea was for me to knit this blanket whilst she was in labour, to focus my mind and keep me calm and occupied….it didn’t quite work out that way, and 4 months later the blanket is still under construction. Mostly because I’m forever holding the baby or taking photos of him rather than knitting….oh and working. I have 2 other cardigans 95% completed that I have never yet found the time to complete.

So Jamie, my precious little boy, here you are….just hours old

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and now you’re fast-growing, gorgeous, funny almost 4 month old with a mega-watt smile that lights up the room and my heart.

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I loved the idea of being a Granny, but I love actually being a Granny even more that I ever thought possible.

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He’s now 16 weeks old and I can hardly believe that the weeks have flown by so quickly.

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What a charming little boy he is, and we are so blessed to have him in our lives.

 

 

 

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Today I set off much earlier that the 2 previous days and had the joy and privilege of watching the sun rise. Sunrise was at 07:59 and I reached the promenade at 08:03. It is such a pleasure to be taking winter walks along this section of the Kentish coast, the views truly are just stunning and I enjoy it anew each and every time. When the time comes it is going to be very hard to leave this area….

walk 1000 miles, walks along the english coast, coastal walks of england, the isle of thanet, long distance walks uk

Viking Bay…….what a glorious view

Still very overcast and cloudy the colours of the sun against the cloudscape were breathtaking. The sea was almost, but not quite like pond today, the colour of mercury and because I was a lot earlier the tide was right in and I had to walk most of the way along the clifftops. I got as far as the Ramsgate Tunnels and then turned back for home. This section of the east coast is so beautiful and I feel so lucky to live here.

walk 1000 miles, walks along the english coast, walks in england, english channel , sunrise

a beautiful sunrise on the Isle of Thanet

walk 1000 miles, walks along the english coast, walks in england, english channel , sunrise

stunning light on the sea

walk 1000 miles, walks along the english coast, walks in england, english channel , sunrise

Ramsgate, Isle of Thanet

As usual most of the people out at this time of day were walking their dogs and I got to say hello to any number of happy little fellows, one of which was a gorgeous Labrador puppy…I got lots of wet nose kisses and muddy paw hugs from him. So cute I wanted to take him home with me LOL

I spent the rest of the day helping my daughter to sort out her laundry cupboard and part of her office. She’s so heavily pregnant now that any sort of exertion is just too much for her. Besides which she’s picked up a nasty cold that is making her so tired with the coughing and stuffy nose. She was at an event a few days ago and one of the women there had a heavy cold and had the audacity to say “Oh I get colds but I don’t pass them on”… Fuck. I do wish people would be more considerate and stay at home when they are ill. All they do is pass on their nasty germs to those who are more vulnerable and less able to cope with a cold. My daughter is banning anyone from visiting the baby if they have even so much as a sniffle.

Day 3/365 – Broadstairs to Ramsgate : 8.33 kms, 12823 steps

walk 1000 miles, walks along the english coast, coastal walks of england, the isle of thanet, long distance walks uk

Broadstairs to Ramsgate Steps

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As 2018 draws to a close, and with less than ??? days to go I’m getting really excited now about meeting my first grandchild….it’s not as if I wasn’t excited before…..LOL

I first learned that I had a grandchild on the way in May on the 12th to be exact. To say I was over the moon would be an understatement. The scan shows him as a tiny wee round dot…

As mentioned in a previous blog post I immediately downloaded the ovia app which allowed me to keep track of the baby’s progress. I started downloading the weekly progress images and in the space of 34 weeks baby has gone from the size of a poppy seed to a spagetti melon

….the progress of the size of his feet and hands has been the most fascinating of all, from a tiny tiny little hand you could barely see, his hands are now almost full size.

peanut is on the way, ovia app, first baby, first grandchild

progress from 8 weeks to 38 weeks

Not long after that amazing news, on 28th May, they, my daughter and her fiance got married…a joyful occasion that one day Peanut will be able to enjoy…..he was there πŸ™‚

getting married

CΓ©manthe and Simon – married πŸ™‚

On the 28th June they had their first ultrasound and I got a picture of our wee Peanut πŸ™‚ What a beautiful baby πŸ™‚

ultrasound

28.06.2018 and yes, it’s a real baby πŸ™‚ Peanut is on the way

On the 9th July I had the sheer joy and incredulity of seeing baby on the big screen for myself. My daughter surprised me with a trip the the Ultrasound department where we not only got to see the wee bambino on the screen but got to hear the heartbeat for the first time. It was sheer magic.

20180709 ultrasound

2018.07.09 My first ultrasound view of Peanut, my grandson

As soon as we got home that afternoon I set about, with help from my son-in-law to get the nursery started πŸ™‚ It has all come together beautifully and a few weeks ago they completed the set up.

nursery

Peanut’s nursery

And on the 23rd July at the next ultrasound they announced the gender…. it’s a BOY!!! Hoorah! Oh my gosh, what an adventure this is going to be….a grandson. Oh joy! I immediately started planning our first Camino LOL

On the 13th August we enjoyed the treat of another ultrasound and 3D scan – baby is now getting bigger….baby is very active with a strong heartbeat…..all the bits are there and his organs; brain, heart, liver, kidneys etc are developing and show no health problems.

ultrasound, peanut is on the way

2018.08.13 hello Peanut πŸ™‚ – look how big you’ve grown

On the 4th September, while on a day trip to Canterbury, I got to feel Peanut kicking for the first time. Wowwww….totally awesome. I think the delight shows on my face.

the falstaff inn canterbury, walking the pilgrims way, the pilgrims way from winchester to canterbury

feeling my grandchild kicking for the first time

My daughter started keeping a record of the development of her belly and although a few weeks have been missed out, it’s been so amazing to see how her belly has grown and grown as baby gets bigger and bigger…

On the 13th September, with huge delight, she wore the ‘baby on board’ badge for the first time on a trip to London πŸ™‚baby on board, first baby

And I….starting off the very next day on 13 May, with a blanket for the pram and I haven’t stopped since….there are still 4 new little outfits waiting to be sewn up….

knitting for babies, baby layette

I got straight onto the knitting….started with a blanket

Over the months I knitted….more and more little items…bootees, cardigans and matinee jackets. It’s been so much fun creating these little items and dreaming about my grandson wearing them.

knitting for babies, baby layette

an absolute delight

Oh and let’s not forget the shopping…..I have bought loads of outfits and this baby has enough clothing to see him through from birth to 24 months as well as items beyond… right up until he is 5 years old. One of the best places I’ve bought clothes from has been off instagram from a lady who sells lovedB4 baby clothes…some of the most delightful little items you can imagine, many of them brand new, and all for next to nothing.

The 1st October brought another 3D scan and ultrasound…I could get used to this πŸ™‚

ultrasound scan

01.10.2018 baby Peanut growing bigger by the day

And another 3D scan and ultrasound on the 15th October with both sets of Grandparents.

ultrasound

2018.10.15 – 27 weeks – a beautiful little boy

The 3D scan and ultrasound was followed up with tea and cake with the in-laws and to our delight my daughter and her husband announced baby’s name; James Alexander aka Jamie. ❀ ❀ ❀ What a fantastic name.

baby shower, gender reveal, helter skelter

Jamie

In October we went to a baby show in London..wow, so much stuff!! We bought various items and got some good bargains…..they also shopped for the pram.

25th October and another trip to London; my daughter was exhibiting in a photo exhibition. The whole family were there to support her.

photo exhibition

Jamie attends his first photo exhibition πŸ˜‰

On 10th November we had the Baby Shower….and delighted everyone with the news that it’s a BOY!! They had the event at a wonderful venue in Broadstairs and with family and friends gathered round, we had a fantastic day.

On the 5th December his first coin arrived; a commemorative coin for the 40th anniversary of The Snowman.

the snowman 40th anniversary coin

The Snowman; a commemorative coin. The little boy’s name in the story is…..James πŸ™‚

6th December brought a visit to Eastry to meet with a friend and I got to practice at being a Granny

babies

practising at being a Granny

On the 12th December we had a tour of the MLU unit at the hospital where she is due to give birth….but currently baby is in the breech position, same as Mummy was at term, so we are hoping and urging the little fella to turn head down as his Mummy would like to have her labour in the MLU (midwife led unit), but so long as he is breech, they have said no!! and she is not pleased!!

pregnancy

so pretty and colourful

And so the weeks have marched on. As Christmas neared Mummy’s belly filled out her Christmas jumper to perfection LOL

christmas jumper, pregnancy

filled that jumper to perfection

19 December and suddenly she is considered to be at ‘term’. Wow how did that happen so fast!! It is quite extraordinary to be the Mother of a daughter who is expecting her first baby. I feel so privileged and so very lucky.

knitting for babies, baby layette

week 37: the baby bump is big and beautiful

My daughter is now so heavy and cumbersome and has great difficulty with walking, sleeping and sitting, she’s suffering from heartburn and cramps….poor child, and is now very much looking forward to the birth and having her first baby in her arms. They are both excited and trepidatious, there is much still to be done.

We are now in week 38 and the ‘apparent’ due date is 5th or 7th January, depending on who we believe…but since neither of them are correct, baby will likely arrive a bit later. Mummy got more beautiful and Peanut got some little toys from Santa and more clothes LOL. I have a serious addiction to buying baby clothes; they are all sooooo cute.

week 38

with just days to go…week 38 and looking gorgeousΒ 

I started a tradition earlier in the year whilst on my pilgrimage from Winchester to Canterbury; postcards to Peanut. I sent a postcard from each of the towns and villages I passed through. This one is of St Augustine’s Abbey in Canterbury.

postcards, first grandchild

postcards to Jamie

Since we are now literally just days away, I have bought a door bell alarm…the buzzer is next to her bed and the ding dong is next to mine!!! When she goes into labour all she has to do is press the buzzer and I shall be ‘on duty’!! LOL We chose the tune ‘twinkle twinkle little star’ since it is so sparky and chirpy….anything else and I’m liable to chuck it out the window.

And so we, Daddy, Mummy and Granny wait with bated breath for the day he is born πŸ™‚

My grandson, Jamie aka Peanut, is on the way!

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