Strawberries and Wine…

wine

I’ve just attended my first annual staff picnic and in spite of concerns regarding the weather we were able to spend our lunchtime sitting on tartan blankets, surrounded by picnickers from all the other departments, munching on big, fat, juicy strawberries under blue skies beside the 18th century 4 star hotel on site. Even better, there was a chilled bottle of white wine involved.

Despite a rather persistent wasp, it was so nice to be out of the office and into the sunshine doing something so quintessentially British, although cramming fresh fruit down my neck like it’s going out of fashion during my dinner break might not have been such a good idea.  It’s also quite hard to focus on work in the afternoon when you feel ever so slightly tipsy. Thank heavens for strong coffee…

picnic

I’m Back…!

karen-waddy

It’s mid-December and yet I have a fabulous sun tan. Yes, I’ve just returned from a magnificent all-inclusive holiday to Playa Blanca in Lanzarote, staying at a 4-star hotel overlooking the islands of Fuerteventura and Los Lobos! I have to admit it’s going to be something of a challenge adjusting back into ‘normal’ life after half a month of being treated like a princess, but I need to go back to work so I can earn enough money to go away again.

I’ve been waited on hand and foot by maids and guest services staff, visited a stunning marina full of expensive yachts, seen amazing sunsets, eaten in the very best a la carte restaurants, watched entertaining evening shows, got drenched on a catamaran bouncing across waves en route to Fuerteventura and even been in a motorised dinghy with two very fit, but mad, Spaniards!

The icing on the cake is the fact that while I was lounging beneath palm trees, sipping white wine from chilled glasses, I was still getting paid a salary. Oh my word, this new job really has opened up a totally new world for me and it’s changed my life completely. It seems that good things really do come to those who wait…

Playing Hostess…

champagne

My old school chum was kind enough to invite me to stay at her house over 200 miles away for a long weekend last year, so it was only a matter of time before I was in a position to be able to reciprocate. She arrived at Casa de Steampunk on Friday and we almost immediately decided to go back to visit our old school! Within the hour we’d turned up unannounced, but despite this the staff went out of their way to help and we were given a fabulous guided tour of the corridors and classrooms we last inhabited almost forty years ago. Back home much Pinot Grigio was polished off as we chatted into the wee small hours about PE lessons, lockers and, of course, boys.

The following morning the rain stopped long enough for us to take a leisurely stroll, ending up at a posh hotel when my mate was able to do some impromptu business. We then drove to a nearby village to sample the delights of all things boaty before filling up on pub grub, followed by a game of dodge-the-thunderstorm en route back to her Merc. Girly shopping was next on the list so it was off to an out-of-town complex where we spent several hours browsing amongst discounted curtains and duvet covers, frilly undies and home-wares. An encore of wine and gossip finished off our busy day perfectly.

I have no idea where the time went, as in the blink of an eye it was suddenly midday on Sunday and she was off back home again. It’s wonderful to be able to mull over happy memories but it’s even better when you can do so while creating brand new ones. This was my first attempt at hosting a guest at Chez Moi since becoming single, and judging by the success of this weekend it certainly won’t be the last, although I just need to give my liver a while to recover…

Carry on Canaries…

karen waddy

OMG, where do I start?! Just returned home from a whole week of Spanish sunshine and pina colada slushies and I’m already checking out prices and dates for my next holiday. With my old school chum as my co-hort it quickly turned into ‘Two Go Mad With a Selfie Stick’ as we took every opportunity possible to capture every fabulous moment for posterity.

The rooms were spotlessly clean, the drinks were plentiful, the entertainment was rather good, the staff were the friendliest people on earth and the location was perfect. We bought new shoes (obviously), trawled around ‘tat’ shops giggling at rude bottle openers, put the world to rights laying on sun-loungers on the beach under the stars and decided that midday was officially wine o’clock.

It’s amazing what a bit of sunshine and a few palm trees can do to two fifty-somethings, as we re-lived our teenage years, albeit with slightly greyer hair and much more disposable income. It may be some time before my liver recovers…

Unexpected Treat…

quiz

While pre-arranged nights out are great, unexpected last-minute nights out are a very welcome surprise indeed. An email out of the blue regarding a Quiz Night at a local pub led to a flurry of social media messages, and a few hours later I was being chauffeured to a fun evening out with my mates! Didn’t see THAT coming when I crawled out of bed this morning.

After 3 hours of drinks, chat, cheesey tunes and even some correct answers, we’d managed to win meals and wine! What had started out to be a cold, wet and rather miserable Thursday ended up being extremely entertaining. Just goes to show, you simply never know what’s coming next…

I’m Back in England!

bus

Wow, what an adventure! I’ve just returned home from a fantastic long weekend visiting friends and until now I had no idea you could cram quite so much into 3 days. I’ve visited places that I’d never knew existed and met some truly lovely people. I’ve eaten everything from a delicious risotto to a scrumptious pavolva thanks to my Cordon Bleu hostess, and I’ve consumed the equivalent of a small swimming pool’s worth of chilled white wine. I was even chauffeur-driven through the countryside with the roof down in a very zippy Mercedes sports car with my hair blowing in the breeze!

The weather was extremely kind throughout, so we were able to fully enjoy the sights and sounds of a historic town, a stunning cult TV series location and a fabulous castle surrounded by beautiful gardens under blue skies, with the sun shining down on us all day long. It’s been an emotional whirlwind of heartfelt greetings and heart-wrenching goodbyes, but travel is addictive and the more I do it the further I want to go. For the moment I need to unpack my case, along with my many wonderful memories, and let my liver recover before looking ahead to Lanzarote.