Tuesday 29 July 2014

Challenge Update - July 2014

My 2014 challenges are:-

1) Knit one hat each week for The Innocent Big Knit.

2) Do something nice for me.

3) Choose a non fiction book from the library.

I'm still using Innocent Big Knit Hat With Brim which can be found on The Creations Of Crazy Dazy blog and Innocent Big Knit Garlic by Juliet Bernard which can be found on Ravelry. Gold and silver this month, well, camel and grey actually but gold and silver sounds better.

My nice thing for July was going out for Sunday dinner. I used to work every Sunday from when Daniel was eight months old, right up to him being fifteen years of age. Now that I'm no longer working, I cherish my Sundays and don't like to spend time in the kitchen cooking when we can be doing other things, so we usually have something quick and then have a Sunday dinner on a Monday. This week, we made up our mind on the spur of the moment to go out for a meal. It was a lovely treat, it meant that I got a Sunday dinner actually on a Sunday, but I didn't have to cook it. A win win treat.

My non fiction book this month is A-Z Of The 80s by Ally Molloy. Being born in 1968, the whole of my teenage years fell in the 1980s and I look back fondly at this period in my life. The book goes through pop stars, actors, films, crazes, icons, television programmes, events etc. There's only a short paragraph on each, but enough to jog my memory and take me on a trip down memory lane.

I'm all caught up with my washing and ironing after our holiday, school's out and Daniel's back in York living with his girlfriend over the summer, so it's quite relaxed here at the moment. Mick's back at work so it's just Eleanor and I at home during the day, though she's out a lot of the time with friends. It's lovely having some sunny days and not having to rush about with the usual routine, though we've got rain forecast for the end of the week, I hope that's not the end of our summer.

Saturday 26 July 2014

Bath Time For Jacqueline

It would have been my sister's 58th birthday today. She died of Cancer just over fifteen years ago at the age of 42. It was a very hard time for me as we were extremely close, even though there were twelve years between us.

From what my mum tells me, she acted as though she was a little mother when I was born. That motherly love never left her, she looked out for me all through my life.

This newpaper cutting is one of my most treasured posessions. Bath Time For Jacqueline shows her enjoying a bath in front of the fire in a tin bath with, what looks like, a little plastic lamb, on her first birthday. The photo won the photographer a guinea in the Yorkshire Evening Post Amateur Photographic Competition.

As you can see from the other side of the newspaper, this clipping is over fifty six years old.

It was very hard losing my sister, as I've already said, we were very close, best friends in fact. She was a firm believer in sending cards, not for anything in particular, just because. This is one she sent to me when she went away on holiday, not long before she died. She chose it because the picture looked like one of her cats, Katy.

Her family was the most important thing to her, just as it should be. She didn't have children of her own, she had step children who are still our family even though she's no longer here, and she doted on Daniel and Eleanor.

It was only the following year that I found out I had Cancer myself at the age of 32. It was very hard telling my mum and dad that their other daughter was ill. Jacqueline was a nurse and had looked after terminally ill patients who were dying of Cancer, it scared her so much when she found out she'd got it herself and she didn't have a moment's peace in her last couple of years, she was so pessimistic from the moment she was diagnosed. I knew I didn't want to go down the same path when I got my diagnosis so I tried to be as upbeat as I could and look on the bright side, even though my children were only five and two, it was very hard. I knew my parents had only just gone through losing one child and I didn't want them to have to go through it all again. There were lots of times I was terrified but I think I managed to put on a brave face, and for the most part, I tried to be optimistic about my chances. Looking back on things now, I'm positive that a sunny outlook works wonders.

Eleanor was just coming up to her first birthday when my sister died, but she could tell you everything about her if you asked. I was determined that even though she's no longer with us, my kids would still know her, and they do. Eleanor is so like her in her ways, it's uncanny. Mick and I laugh about it, I know they'd have got on famously. It's quite heartwarming that she lives on in my daughter, though I know that if she was still here, they'd be ganging up on me, in a loving sort of way.

There's no card or present to send today, just lots of thoughts of the happy times we spent together, and there were many of those.

Friday 25 July 2014

Trebarwith Strand

This was the fifth year out of the last six that we've holidayed in Cornwall. There are some places we know fairly well now as we've visited them most years, these include Padstow and Ilfracombe, which I wrote about in my Crossing The Border To Devon post.

As well as returning to certain villages each year we usually frequent the same beaches, but this year we found a fabulous place called Trebarwith Strand. I'd read about it before we went so during our first week away, we went and found it. There's a convenient car park just up the road from the beach and a few little gift shops and eateries on the way down.

What I didn't realise was that when the tide's in, it covers the whole of the sand and all that's left to see are the rocks at the base of the cliffs.

I've never seen so many muscles, limpets and periwinkles clinging to rocks as I did here.

The tide was right in and there was no chance of getting on the beach so we decided to abandon our plan for that day.

When we got back to the lodge, we checked the tide times for the rest of the week. The following day dawned sunny so we decided to make a second trip, this time ensuring that our visit coincided with low tide.

The crustaceans were still there, I was fascinated by them, so many to see.

Even Archie was intrigued by them.

There were lots of anemones attached to the rocks too.

We saw a few jellyfish along the beach, nothing to worry about though, they were few and far between.

I don't know what this is, perhaps another variety of jellyfish, quite odd looking though.

There's 800m of sandy beach at Trebarwith Strand when the tide's out, which is contained by cliffs. Natural caves are found in the cliffs.

We decided to go and explore one of the caves, though I have to say I wasn't all that excited about the prospect as I get a little claustrophobic sometimes.

Looking out through the mouth of the cave, you can see that this area of the beach is quite rocky. There's lots of little rock pools with all manner of creatures swimming about.

The cave walls were interesting. We'd left Daniel on the beach, I'm sure he'd have been able to tell us something about the geology of them had he been with us, he got an A* in his GCSE.

There were lots of rocks inside the cave as well as outside.

Right at the back of the cave, you can see how it narrows. I nearly turned round when I was half way in, I'm glad I made it now. There was lots of dripping water from  parts of the roof.

The sun was shining brightly as we came back out of the cave.

Archie had fun again in the rockpools. He always dries himself off by rolling in the sand. Daft dog!

Trebarwith Strand is a fabulous beach, you just need to make sure that you've got the tide times before making a trip there as you could be disappointed. There's lots to see, and it's great for adventures, especially if you've got children with you, caves, rockpools, sand, sea, rocks, what more could you ask for?

On our way back to the car, we stopped off at one of the beach cafes for a portion of chips and some hot doughnuts.

Mmmm, those doughnuts were delicious, my mouth's watering just looking at the photos of them.

We had a perfect day. A wonderful place to go in summer when the sun's shining.

This post has been submitted to dotcomgiftshop as an entry in their summer competition.

Sunday 20 July 2014

A Holiday Birthday

We got home from our holiday in Cornwall late yesterday afternoon. The weather has been mixed over the last fortnight, we had rain, sunshine and dull days in equal measure, but we've had a lovely time.

Thank you to everyone who left such lovely comments on my last post. Eleanor was thrilled to receive so many birthday wishes, it made her day.

We'd arranged for her to have a full body Swedish massage in the morning, however, she was still suffering the effects of sunburn on her back so we postponed it until a couple of days later. Instead, after card and present opening, at Eleanor's request, we headed off to Constantine Bay.

I'd read about Constantine Bay before our holiday and earmarked it as a place we may visit as it allows dogs the year round. Dogs have to be kept on leads on some beaches, allowed between certain times on others, whilst dogs aren't allowed at all on some.

We'd visited Padstow a couple of days earlier and stopped off at Constantine Bay on the way home just to see what it was like. It's got gorgeous sandy sand and the clearest blue water, but it does tend to get quite busy.

There's a large area of rocks, great if you like rockpooling.

It's a very popular beach and attracts many holidaymakers.

Parts of the beach are extremely rocky, but very picturesque.

The sea here is crystal clear. I can see why it's popular with surfers.

So, Eleanor's birthday dawned and it was a beautiful day, perfect for a day at Constantine Bay. She took her body board with her and both she and Mick enjoyed lots of fun in the sea. Ice creams were devoured, more so by Archie than the rest of us.

We explored the rock pools and found a mini waterfall.

Archie enjoyed cooling off in the rock pools and some were so deep that he even enjoyed a little swim in them.

It was a good day. Afterwards, we went back to the lodge to get changed before heading out for a bite to eat. Eleanor thoroughly enjoyed celebrating her birthday on holiday.

I've got lots of catching up with blog reading to do now we're home so please bear with me. It looks like you've all been busy, I've got so many posts to read but I'm sure I'll be caught up in the next few days.

Tuesday 15 July 2014

What Happened To.....

.....that funny face

My little tomboy.....

,,,,,now wears satin and lace

I can't believe my eyes you're just a teenage dream
Happy birthday sweet sixteen.

If I should smile with sweet surprise
It's just that you've grown up before my very eyes

You've turned in to the prettiest girl I've ever seen

Happy birthday sweet sixteen.

Happy birthday to my darling Eleanor.

Friday 11 July 2014

A Postcard From Cornwall

We arrived safe and sound last Saturday. The weather so far has been a bit of a mixed bag, though we've managed trips to the beach in the sunshine.

There's been lots of sightseeing trips during the day and fishing in the grounds of our accommodation on an evening.

I'm not sure who's winning in the who's caught the most fish competition at the moment, suffice to say that all three of them have got a good tally.

We're all having a good time, even Archie. His favourite bit of the holiday is running through rock pools.

Another week to go yet, I'm hoping that we get a little more sunshine in our second week than we have in the first, but the weather so far hasn't put a dampner on our jollies.