Days can be special for many reasons; birthdays, anniversaries, and so on, but today was special for me because I got to combine two things I really love doing. I spent the morning catching up with my gorgeous twin daughters over cups of tea and jammie dodgers, which is my most favourite pastime in the whole wide world. Just seeing their faces and listening to all of their news fills my heart with joy.
In the afternoon I took full advantage of the sunshine and went for a three hour walk in the countryside to a quaint little town next to a river. Spring had well and truly sprung and the air was full of birdsong as I wandered along the winding pathway flanked with hawthorn bushes in full bloom.
Upon arrival there were plenty of nautical things to appreciate and as I sat on the quayside, enjoying the warm sun on my face and the sound of the splashing of boats passing by it occurred to me that sometimes the best things in life are the things that money just can’t buy…
Since January, I’ve been feeling distinctly below par with a cough, and as yet none of the NHS bods who’ve seen me so far can tell me why; despite numerous tests, let alone come up with a cure. It hasn’t stopped me from getting on with my new job and it certainly didn’t prevent me from enjoying a week of Spanish sunshine back in March, but it’s been quite draining nonetheless.
So, after weighing up various pros and cons, I’ve just booked another holiday (as you do) and I’m feeling better already! It won’t be for a while, which will allow time for my medical woes to hopefully be fixed, but at least it’s something nice to look forward to. This will be my very first proper ‘adults only‘ holiday, so that’s going to be quite a revelation I suspect, and as usual I’ve opted for all-inclusive in The Canaries.
Ahhhh… I can picture it now… sun, sand and sangria… and absolutely no need to worry about acting ‘inappropriately’ around other people’s offspring. I have a feeling this could get messy… how fabulous!
As I’ve never held a proper salaried position before, and am therefore unfamiliar with the concept of annual leave, I genuinely thought I’d used up all of my hours when I spent half of December in The Canaries – but apparently not! After a quick check of the works HR website I discovered that I had over a week of paid leave to take on a use-it-or-lose-it basis. So after a hectic couple of hours trawling the holiday websites and a bit of maths, I’ve managed to nab myself a cheeky week in the Spanish sunshine in the spring. OMG I just love being an employee.
I’ve only just lost the tan from the previous holiday and here I am now planning yet another all-inclusive week of sun, sand and sangria. This time last year I was self-employed, and only bringing in enough cash to just about cover my bills. Never in a million years did I think that within twelve months I’d be enjoying all the perks of being paid to laze around under palm trees for the second time in under six months. It just goes to show that you never, ever know what’s just around the corner… so you should make the most of any opportunities while you still can.
When you draw the curtains first thing on a Sunday morning and see wall-to-wall sunshine, there’s only one thing for it – go and play with boats. So, with my bag packed and factor 50 smothered all over me, I headed for my favourite riverside haunt to absorb myself in all things boaty.
The walk there is along a beautiful trail adjacent to the river, so there were plenty of fabulous photo opportunities en route. By the time I arrived the sun was blazing and the water had a beautiful shimmer to it. I’d never actually been on the little ferry before so it was a real treat to be able to go on board today. The spray was cool on my face and I thoroughly enjoyed chatting to the locals. The yachts going past looked massive compared to the tiny craft I was on, but lane etiquette prevailed and we were never in any danger.
Back on dry land it was off to the brand new pontoon to see just how far out I could go before chickening out. As it happens, I’m braver than I thought and I got right to the end, albeit carefully. Ahhhhh… it’s hot, sunny days like this that make you feel truly glad to be alive. More of that please!
Well! I’m proud to say that I’ve just added another first to my list – geocaching! When I got up this morning I had absolutely no idea that I’d be spending the day being guided by GPS around several large fields, looking for small objects hidden in and around trees, in pipes, under rocks and logs and all manner of other places. Walking around woodland meant we saw lots of fabulous wildlife, including ladybirds, a giant bee and lots of different birds. We squelched our way along muddy footpaths, looked in nooks and crannies and stuck our hands into nettles and brambles on the hunt for the next cache. The weather was extremely kind to us and the sun was out for most of the day, which made a big difference.
After accomplishing a 100% success rate of finding all 13 objects, a nice sit down with a hot cappuccino, overlooking a stunning lake, late afternoon with hazy sunshine, was just the ticket. You really can’t beat a bit of fresh air, a decent walk and a good old natter with a friend, and it’s even better if you can combine it with a new and interesting hobby. I’m very grateful that I can spend quality time with such wonderful mates and I’m really looking forward to the next adventure.
When you have a day off work, it’s really nice if you can spend your precious spare time with your mates. It’s even more fabulous if there’s copious amounts of lemonade, yummy cream cakes and delicious home-made scones involved; along with general chit-chat and some decent laughs thrown in for good measure.
As the weather was warm and sunny it meant we had the luxury of being outdoors in the garden all afternoon, which is always a welcome bonus. Pretty flowers, glorious sunshine, a hilarious pet rabbit, stunningly beautiful doves and great company is, in my opinion, the recipe for an absolutely perfect Thursday afternoon. I’m very lucky to have such lovely friends…
After almost a year of being single, 31st December seems a good time to reflect on the past twelve months and see just how much I’ve achieved. While a relationship break up right at the start of 2014 and being part of a horrific police investigation in June (long story) must rate as the lows, I can honestly say that the highs have been more than I could’ve ever hoped for.
On the work front I had a pay rise, was given extra hours and more responsibilities which has not only boosted my income but also my self esteem. Regarding my health, I lost weight and got fitter, and on a personal level becoming closer to my children has obviously been the icing on the cake. I’ve also met some lovely new people, learnt different skills, featured in a local newspaper, attended several large events and even enjoyed a fabulous winter holiday in the sunshine.
Now I can’t wait to see what the next 12 months have in store for me.
Happy New Year!