Friday, 18 August 2017

ROCKING YOUR WORLD FRIDAY -33RD OF 2017

Good morning lovely people, 'tis Friday and when the world seems to make no sense and we are reminded of the fragility of humanity it is time to remind ourselves that there are still beautiful people in this world.  Remember always that we can be the ones that make the difference - be that person, clock those silver linings and positives so that you can see what is   


Friday 

Well Friday was a grand day because I collected said 16 year old from his residential trip to Leeds University, he came back with a First Aid certificate and a heap of happy memories and despite being utterly shattered was more than happy to sit and have a natter about his week - so that was my first happy of the week! 

Saturday 

New bedding, I went looking for some recently that had to be a certain purple colour (as I didn't want to have to replace the curtains, lampshades etc) and found a lovely set on Amazon, but it was almost £30 and I always like to have a spare for when I'm washing the first one, so I hesitated, low and behold a few days later they told me the same cover was now just over £14 - so I ordered 2 and was so pleased that the colour was what I was after (it had to be a pink purple not a blue purple if you know what I mean).  

Anyway as you can see from the Instagram shot, I was more than happy with the purchase, fingers crossed it now washes up OK! 


Sunday

Well I actually had my hair cut on Friday, but managing the style (you know what it's like when you have it done at the hairdressers and then have a go yourself and it looks nothing like)!  So here is a selfie showing I managed it, I've had quite a lot lopped off, but it feels and looks so much better and I've had a fair few compliments which has been lovely! 


The Weekend Generally 

Thankfully said 16 year old wasn't working but he was adamant that we were going to finish the neverending garden project, thankfully we had some blue skies, actually at times I was hiding under the umbrella because it's too sunny and I was getting burnt (again)! 


And after an awful lot of work, it is complete (well as complete as can be at the moment).  The idea was to remove the grass completely and hard landscape the area providing different seating arrangements!  It seemed like such a simple plan - but needless to say - it turned into an epic transformation that cost quite a bit, I'm hoping not to have to spend money on it for some time now if I'm honest and yes before you ask I think there is more slate in our garden than Blaenua Ffestiniog in Wales!

So here is the first deck that we built at the beginning of the summer, I've retained my water feature and the plants that lived in the original border so there is at least some greenery.  We've also planted up the two big pots with Rosemary and they seem to be doing amazingly well!


The water feature and the relaxing chairs near the french doors. As you can see the fence has now been painted completely in cream.  As our garden faces north east the light levels are limited at times during the year, my idea is by painting it country cream, it will hopefully stay light, even when the days are darker! 


The middle deck is the cooking deck with the new (but hidden) barbecue, You will also see the new water butt (painted cream), that was a last minute addition, it isn't the prettiest of items, but means we can conserve water, I may look at ways of disguising the pipework but we shall see!


The final deck which is a little higher than the others provides a covered pergola, the original summer house was much smaller and never did quite meet the criteria and became something of a dumping ground if I'm brutally honest. Many years ago my hubby built an outdoor shelter for my Mum and she had years of use of it, it was lovely to sit under even when it was raining.  

Plus we've managed to upcycle quite a bit too.  The french doors from inside the house have been attach on the two corners.  the back panel of the shelter has three of the original summer house panels in them (filling the window area with an acrylic mirror).  

We have a new garden fire and you will also see that hubby has made me some planters to go in front of the deck, the first two painted grey to match the deck!


And the second two painted cream, there is still a little titivating to do on this side, I didn't want to block the end off completely as that is how Ruby (next door's cat) comes through to visit). 

I also painted up several of the old garden ornaments, the grotesque, in between the planters and some little faces, I initially thought they'd be going to the tip, but once painted up they took on a whole new life, so for now they will be staying.  I also painted up the green garden store in cream!


I'm grateful said 16 year old was more than happy to dive down to the garden centre with me to buy extra compost and some plants, very late on Sunday and that he was quite happy helping me pop the plants in! 

There is still items I need to sort but as I stand at the minute, I don't intend on doing any work in the garden this weekend, which means to me that it's finished!  So that's the biggest grateful this week. 

We managed to spend an evening sat chatting on the new chairs under the covered pergola, just enjoying the evening and on Sunday we did the same but with a barbecue and my sister came over.  I also love love love my solar lights and yes I know it looks like Christmas but as someone who seriously struggles with light levels in winter these are going to be a fabulous help! 


The rest of the week summed up

Grateful for - 
  • Helpful colleagues
  • Hubby helping me sort the main TV room (now we've finished the garden)
  • Said 16 year old providing plenty of hugs - he gives the best hugs ever! 
  • Said 16 year old being open and frank about what has been going on with his group of friends over recent months.  We were already aware of things changing before we went on holiday but we had a good natter this week where he opened up a little bit, I think boys find it incredibly difficult to articulate their emotions in things and I'm keen that he doesn't become a closed book.  I was glad that he realised that sometimes chatting things through makes you put things into perspective, I'm also grateful that he realised we don't judge but try and offer advice when needed but that he was free to ignore it and that we would always be his strongest and most loyal supporters.  I think he felt happier as a result and we had a better understanding of where he was at.  As the door on school closes and college looms and the shift in friendship groups occurs I think it will be difficult for him, but I also think that he is entering a new chapter.  His school friends will hopefully always be his friends despite them scattering to different colleges and different courses, but I think it's time he starts to spread his wings.  I remember how difficult that period of time was to manage myself and I think it is significantly harder now with the introduction of social media and the constant contact factor, so I'm glad he's got such a level head.  
  • Said 16 year old making some new amazing friends on NCS, he is enjoying it so much that a huge group of them went bowling yesterday afternoon after the NCS day had finished, just because they can! 
  • Celebrity Big Brother - because when you want to watch nonsense on TV this show is it! 
  • Watching the last episode of the Last Leg, Al Gore was on and it really was a fantastic show! 
So there you go lovely people, my week, I hope yours was just as positive, if you fancy joining in the therapy of clocking your positives, pop a post together, pop back, link up and we shall come and visit. If you aren't a blogger, just clock them anyway, noticing the positives moments in life, even the smallest ones can make a big difference to your outlook on life! 

Until next week 


Friday, 11 August 2017

ROCKING YOUR WORLD FRIDAY - 32ND OF 2017

Good morning lovely people, t'is Friday time to clock the positives, happy moments and silver linings.  

Time for 


Thursday night

Well we celebrated our 27th anniversary of us meeting on Friday and as I mentioned in my post last week, we were heading out for a meal on our own (date night), as said 16 year old was still away, some people think its strange for us to mark this anniversary but it was such a pivotal point in both of our lives that we love to celebrate it, plus it was 8 years later before we actually got married! 

So here we are 27 years on ready for our meal out!


Having had a lovely meal at Bella Italia at Center Parcs, we were delighted to find there is one local to us, so we booked a table, I'd let them know we were celebrating an anniversary so we got an awesome corner table out of the way, complete with balloon and confetti hearts!


I had decided to drive so had a mocktail whilst hubby had an aperol spritz cocktail - which he confirmed was lovely!


The meal was lovely and when we got home, we enjoyed a glass of wine and curled up on the sofa together, twas fab. 

Friday 

Hubby was off due to our anniversary and said 16 year old was due home, we picked him up around lunchtime.  For those that haven't been following it, he has started wave 4 of NCS (National Citizen Service) and he had had a fantastic week at the Youth Hostel in Castleton.  He'd walked Mam Tor (on a rather rainy day so the views weren't great), abseiled, done some bouldering, raft building, den building and caving - here is the photo we found later in the day - how awesome is that and how much fun am I going to have scrapbooking that! 


The rest of the day was spent on the neverending garden project, hubby was making planters and I was pottering about, painting again - I have spent so many hours painting things - the garden is devoid of plants but there is plenty of cream and grey paint - hopefully I will be able to show you photos of it completed shortly, I'm hoping it will be done soon (it better be, it has been renamed the money pit and every time I think we inch closer to the end, do we decide we need to resolve another problem (usually one we didn't even know we had).   

Saturday 

Happy post, I belong to a craft declutter group and these gorgeous stamps came up for grabs from the designer herself Tracy Scott who I did a class with recently, these stamps really are gorgeous, I can't wait to use them!  Oh to get to my craft table and throw paint at things again!


These two, they make my heart sing, it wasn't long after his return that he was showing his Dad the latest You Tube videos, they really do make me giggle - two peas in a pod! 


Sunday 

Was operation day two of the garden project, thankfully said 16 year old wasn't working so we managed to get some serious amounts of work done on the garden with his help; I was painting things cream and grey again!  However, a bit of background music, a dry day etc, all made for a rather pleasant afternoon!

Monday 

Back to work a split day between both jobs due to a board meeting, so I worked from home in the morning and was able to drop said 16 year old for his next instalment of NCS, this weeks Leeds University! 

Monday evening in the garden, the planned activity halted due to pooling water, sigh, so hubby and I spent the evening (well I stood at the foot of the ladder), resolving the issue, no more pooling water but apparently now we need some guttering - what did I say about the never ending garden project! 

Tuesday 

We came home to this very close to the house, we could get on our drive, but as you can see neighbours really couldn't.  There was no one on site to ask what the issue was and no note through the door and it was raining all day, all evening and all night and guess what the electricity board had done to the rain drain, that's right covered it with that big pile of rubble.  So now hazard a guess as to what you think happened to the hole - yes that's right it was rather full the following morning, I'm not sure electrics and water are a good mix if I'm honest! 

So you'll be thinking why oh why has this made the post, well because we weren't affected, our poor neighbour had no electricity for a considerable amount of time, so my grateful is that I didn't come home to that issue! 


Wednesday 

Busy work day but an evening at Chatsworth was looming as we had tickets to see the Comedy of Errors performed by the Lord Chamberlains Men.  We've seen them several times in different locations, I was grateful that the rain had stopped, I was grateful hubby picked a picnic up on his way home, as my meeting overran.  I'm grateful he fathomed how to make a flask of drinks when you have no water, yes that's right the electricity board turned the water off, making a picnic proved harder than expected!  

Hubby's genius idea was a flask of hot milk, a jar of coffee and a jar of hot chocolate - win win!  

I joined Snapchat whilst said 16 year old has been away just to see if I could catch up with his day, not that I have a blinking clue what I'm doing, however, I found a few photos there this week.  This was their come dine with me night, homemade pizza, when I asked what they'd done for starter and sweet the reply was kebab starter and chocolate fudge cake dessert - talk about a heavy meal! 


Anyway I digress back to Chatsworth, so here is our little picnic set up. 


The sun behind our backs (which we were grateful for because quite a lot of people were sat there squinting at the play for quite some time due to them facing the sun). 


Oh to finish the garden so we can come and visit again. 


They were as ever awesome and hysterically funny and despite the large crowd, because of the acoustics off the house, everyone could hear really well. 


We were treated to an awesome moon on the way home, not that my photo makes it look awesome, but I loved it all the same! 


Thursday 

A productive day at work, always makes me smile and a great conversation with a board member about some things we are sorting at the minute, so that made me grateful.

Then my biggest grateful of the week was hubby being quite happy to set to and sort the house, because we've been so garden focused it really had got into a complete state and was really starting to get me down.  We both set to sorting things, he picked some things up for the garden, broke some things down for the tip, I cleaned the bathroom, and then worked through each room and we worked and worked and worked having started at 5pm after a full day of work, we stopped at 9pm, dashed to the supermarket to get some tea, shared a glass of wine and collapsed into bed. 

Friday 

And here we are full circle at Friday again, so my next grateful is for you sitting and reading my posts, I'm always a bit bewildered when the comments are that I do so much, doesn't everyone do this amount of 'stuff' in their week?  I'm confused.  You never know what is around the next corner so I squeeze every ounce out of every single day! 

I hope you've had a beautiful and blessed week, if you fancy joining in, pop a post together pop back and link up, mention the post so others can find us and we shall come and visit.  We are a tiny group of people who acknowledge the benefits of clocking the positives, until next week my friends


Friday, 4 August 2017

ROCKING YOUR WORLD FRIDAY - 31ST OF 2017

Good Morning lovely people, I hope I find you well, tis Friday so time to sit back and look at the positives that make up our week as its time for


So a couple of answers and notes from last week's post.

First up a massive thank you to Lisca, for her offer of helping me out of my mental fog - it really made me smile - you are an absolute sweetie!

What is the Elzas way of eating sauerkraut Lisca - me and hubby are intrigued!

The brain training app is an Android app Lisca it is called Peak and it is free - you can buy an upgrade to unlock all the games, but I've been using it for over a year on the free version and I love it (I've recently got hubby and said 16 year old playing it and they love it too).

Kate - I took your advice on the tonic front (see the post later on).

Friday 

So Friday was my first official day off since I've dropped my hours back to 21 hours on job number one and I have to say it was lovely to actually have hours to spend how I fancied.  This included dropping said 16 year old off to meet up with a school friend, then off to see my Mum on his return for a cuppa and a catch up.  It was lovely not to have to be anywhere and do anything.  Then my sister popped over in the afternoon and we had cups of coffee and more nattering, which is most definitely good for the soul.

A not very productive Friday but a very much needed Friday if I'm brutally honest.

Now I have an additional positive from Friday to clock a lovely friend of mine on Facebook shared a post, there are always loads of shared posts as you know on facebook, but this one really struck a chord (those that read last week's post will know why).  So for those that fancy a lengthy read - this one here about the neuroscience of happiness is well worth a read (but grab a cuppa first) - it literally reset my brain switch on Friday morning and really made a difference to my outlook and so I will be eternally grateful for getting that message on a morning when I really did need the refocus!

Saturday 

So said 16 year old went off to work (bless him), he hadn't been very well on Friday night and definitely didn't fancy going in on Saturday morning as he said he still felt rough, however, trying to instill a good work ethic, we encouraged him to go and let work know he wasn't 100% and if he really wasn't well enough to work, they would send him home.  He did this and managed for the day, he was actually pricing Christmas stock all day (9 pallets), so the work wasn't too strenuous.

We set to on the never ending garden project (oh please let it be done soon, there will be Christmas stock in the shops before I get chance to enjoy the garden LOL).

Hubby worked solidly all day, putting three panels in the new outdoor shelter, including putting in the garden mirror (more like a circus mirror due to the deviations in the acrylic - but it reflects the light which is the most important thing).  I on the other hand painted trellis - I painted and I painted and I painted and it never really seemed to be done.  We then set to taking out an old raised bed we had in the garden ready for the fencing on Sunday - sigh - another very long very very full day.   We were both pretty broken at the end of it, but we could see something for our efforts which is nice as that doesn't always happen!

Hubby collected said 16 year from work and came home and my next grateful is said 16 year old; after tea me and hubby were heading to the DIY centre to pick up items for Sunday and said 16 year old volunteered to go with him and sort, which was brilliant because at this point I was fairly broken - very very dirty and fairly broken, so a soothing shower and clean PJ's and I felt almost human again.

Sunday 

Another early start for all of us (said 16 year old at work again).  So we started on the garden doing a small fence piece under the hedge (and I was painting trellis again).  You'll be pleased to know that it was done and dusted by lunch time, so we managed to shower and then head out and look at pots for the garden and just chill out for a bit, hopefully we will continue to make daily progress on the garden which will be awesome and then it will be done soon enough (well fingers and toes crossed it will).

Kate mentioned on last Friday's post, given my mental fog that I should perhaps seek out a tonic - I'm not sure Kate meant this kind of tonic, but it definitely helped!


Monday 

Well I'd arranged to work from home for my main job for this week to try and get top side of things following my annual leave a couple of weeks ago, it simply hasn't been possible to get to the bottom of the email box let alone anything else.  This meant that hubby could go into work and I could dash out for 20 minutes to drop said 16 year old on his NCS adventure.  He's been at a youth hostel all week, abseiling, climbing, bouldering and walking up to now, we've had very little in the way of communication from him, so we are assuming this means that he has been having fun! 

Grateful that the post lady arrived just before I set off to drop said 16 year old off, she had a huge parcel of photos for me - so giddy, not had a photo order in ages, it might get me scrapbooking again - yay!!!!

We also managed to do a little bit of work on the garden on Monday evening, given that the weather was reasonable.  Hubby made a planter with some of the spare decking and I painted the new fence up.  

I've even managed some reading of my illustrated Harry Potter books this week, they really are beautiful if not a little heavy, although I stopped one evening as the light was dwindling and I didn't want to put the main light on, I saw an instagram post I did in the winter which had the little book light on - I really must find them out again! 


Tuesday 

Another busy work day, but we managed to go food shopping in the evening, hubby did an amazing steak tea which was lovely.   

Grateful that Amazon delivered my new phone wire, my old one had got rather dangerous with exposed metal so I've been juggling one wire between two different chargers.  

Well the weather wasn't good enough to do any more work on the garden without having to dodge the raindrops, so Tuesday evening once we'd eaten we headed out to get some bags of slate and saw this gorgeous rainbow!



Once we got home, we settled down to watch Celebrity Big Brother which has started.  We didn't manage the normal series this year as we went away on holiday, but this one isn't too long and is usually a giggle so we watched a bit before heading up to bed.

Wednesday 

Another busy work day and hubby on a late, so it was nice to get up a bit later, with alarms going off at 7.30am rather than 6am.  It made for a more leisurely start to the day.  I eventually managed to finish late afternoon and my sister popped over for a catch up which was great.  We had plenty of tea and chatted until hubby finally reappeared around 7.30, she stayed for a final drink before heading off home.  We had tea of salmon and panzanella, which was mighty filling and then headed through to the TV room. 

Said 16 year old briefly contacted us to say he is making loads of new friends, which is brilliant because that's what we were hoping for. 

Thursday 

Another strange April shower type day (to say we are in August this is a little mad).  I was at my other job today and had lots to do, so grateful that I managed to get it done in the time.  One of my colleagues at work, brought around a small bowl of fruit for everyone to have after their lunch.  She's been off poorly with a broken arm recently - ooh how we've missed her!  


Plans for this evening (yes I'm typing this on Thursday evening) are to go out for a meal and celebrate 27 years (tomorrow) of us being together, where does the time go? 

I hope you've all had a grand weekend, if you fancy joining in pop a post together, please mention us in your post, you never know we might get a few more Rockers/Rockettes join in and then come back and link up so we can come and visit!


Friday, 28 July 2017

ROCKING YOUR WORLD FRIDAY -30TH OF 2017

Good morning lovely Rockettes (and Rockers out there)

I hope I find you well, 'tis Friday so time for 


Friday (I'm blaming Carmen for the subheadings)

So first up was a fantastic team away day, we haven't had one since we restructured last year (actually I'll strike that, we've never had one whilst I've been there).  We were in the middle of the city (magical mystery tour to get there), in a function room above a pub.  Albeit that the room was basic, it did the trick and there was lovely pub grub at lunch.  But the main happy positive out of the day, was what we all got from the day.  A very very worthwhile day for all.

It was however a mighty long day for me and this is the first week of 21 hours per week on that particular job (I can imagine you now rolling your eyes at me - as you well know I didn't work 21 hours this week).  No I worked 17 hours by Tuesday night, I then worked from 7-9am and Wednesday morning then 9.30am until 7.20pm (late meeting), then I worked from 8.50am until 5.20pm at the away day - mmm hopefully this next week will be better. 

Saturday 

MOT day for my little car (she's ancient but gets me from A to B and back again).  Unfortunately she failed (sad face), but the garage can sort her on Monday (yay) and the bill whilst sounding horrific (literally) is just about manageable.  So the grateful if that there is a way forward, because I definitely can't afford a new car at the moment!

Next up a trip to the local shopping centre - now why (if you know me), would I possibly have that on my list of positives.  Well because we got there so early that most of the shops were still shut but me and hubby enjoyed a visit to the M&S cafe for a cuppa!



When we eventually returned home I grabbed some brunch, my new favourite meal at the moment, greek yogurt, berries, seeds and honey - totally nom! 


We then spent the afternoon in the garden said 16 year old was working, so just me and hubby.  I'm painting the world out there (literally) and he made a wood store with remnants of the summer house.  All it needs now is some wood. 

Saturday evening we had an invite for a meet up in a pub with my niece who was celebrating her 18th birthday.  Whilst both me and hubby were shattered (and a little bit broken from working in the garden all afternoon) and said 16 year old was wrecked (21000 steps on his phone as proof of his mighty busy day), we did get ready and popped out for an hour just to say hello.  I'm really glad we did and although we didn't stay long and we were all on pop, we had a lovely time.  This photo was captured by a friend and is of my niece, Mum and my sister, you can see they are all having fun. 

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, indoor

Sunday

Up early (well hubby was) to take said 16 year old to work, thankfully it is literally 2 minutes down the road, so he was soon back.  Hubby hasn't been 100% this week, so once back he grabbed some more cups of tea and headed back to bed, we actually had a lie in - unheard of in this house, but definitely needed.  We didn't wake until gone 10.  So grateful that we could catch up on some sleep over the weekend, despite having to be up early both days!

Next up hubby not minding the trudge around shops, we are 'pricing up' (and in some cases purchasing) items for the garden.  Not that it's finished, I'm just hoping it will spur us on to get on and get it done, I'm officially bored with it now.  So grateful hubby didn't mind the wall to wall shops on Sunday! 

Next grateful is the to do list book I picked up on Poundland - I love these books, they keep me focused and move things forward and I definitely need that at the moment! 


Monday 

First grateful of the working week - the app Peak - brain training for my brain.  I love it, sometimes I hate the games but it at least gets my brain off the starting blocks in a morning!



Tuesday 

Grateful for my work colleague having a listening ear, that hubby had the food list ready to shop on Tuesday evening.  That my WW girls were there to support me when I went into a mini meltdown.  I know its normal to get post holiday blues (who doesn't), but these seem to have picked me up and rolled me along for the ride and I don't seem to be able to shake them (which means I think it was more than just post holiday blues).  However, I'm not one to suffer in silence and so as well as hubby and said 16 year old being aware (although they tend to shrug, there there me and provide hugs, which whilst all lovely doesn't actually aid my recovery from this fog), I reached out to a few of my closest friends for their friendly advice. 

All were brilliantly supportive (as always), offering me the gentle way forward (stop doing so much work and start doing things you love and get some activities booked that you will enjoy), to name but a few.  

Wednesday 

So best foot forward on Wednesday morning I've booked for me and hubby (as said 16 year old is away), to go an see this  we've been over the last few years and absolutely loved it.  So this is the start of me pulling myself out of the quagmire, watch this space for future developments!  If you are in the locality I can thoroughly recommend it!  

Next up is our first attempt at fermented vegetables, in particular sauerkraut, whilst you can buy such items in the supermarket - it has been heat treated so no good bacteria exists in the jar - just technically a pickled vegetable.  So we are making our own here is hubby making said dish


Up to now it's broken the lid on a jar (I kid you not see photo below, it also covered me in pickling juice and I was only opening the lid to relieve the pressure) and moved homes (from smaller jar to bigger jar).  I'll keep you informed as to how its doing as time progresses.  


An impromptu baking session one evening, just because I could - for work.  I think they were well received, said 16 year old had to try some before they headed to work, to check their quality obviously.


Thursday 

A very odd day at work overall, a dash to the local football stadium to take said 16 year old's suitcase for his NCS adventures starting on Monday, then home to more work before kicking back for the evening.  The fog was looming again, so messages to Mum and lil sis and niece to see if they were about for a catch up on Friday.  Had a proper discussion with said 16 year old and hubby which I think actually did help a little bit and then on with tea - disaster we should have taken the frozen fish out to defrost (I mean - really - I never knew), so we abandoned tea and ordered Dominoes which was lovely and made us all overly full but it was good to just sit and chat.  

Friday 

Back to Friday again and I sit here in a quiet house having dropped said 16 year old off to meet up with a friend, with a cuppa chatting to you lovely people.  So my final grateful for this week is to you, for being there and reading my ramblings and for those that join in, for making me feel like this is a worthwhile weekly discipline that allows you to document life, clock the positives and enjoy life. Having 4 of you join in over the last few weeks really has been brilliant - so thank you!  I hope you have a grand weekend and week ahead, until next Friday 


Friday, 21 July 2017

ROCKING YOUR WORLD FRIDAY - 29th of 2017

Good morning lovely people - fellow bloggers and my wonderful Rockettes - how are you all this morning?

'Tis Friday - time for 


I'll prewarn you - I suggest a cup of tea and if it's nearing a meal time - the meal close to hand otherwise it will be cold by the time you get to the end. 

So my absence over the last couple of weeks must have been noticeable for the small handful of people that happen along here on a Friday.  The reason being I went on my jolly holidays, yes having been back from Center Parcs an entire week, now was the time to head off to warmer climes (too warm for me).  To enjoy two weeks of sunshine (and the odd shower), all inclusive food and drink (don't ask what the scales said at the end) and some much needed downtime for me, hubby and said 16 year old.  

So this will be pretty much a 3 week catch up (however, this week has been mainly work so that won't take long to cover, work work work work and work - there you go sorted). 

So where did we go and what did we do? 

First grateful - pub in the airport - we've never flown from Doncaster before, it consists of a single duty free shop, a WHSmith and a Wetherspoons (I kid you not).  So I was incredibly grateful for a G&T before boarding the plane, because I really really don't like flying.

I don't like the take off, I don't like the motion of movement I'm not in control of, I definitely don't like turbulence and I'm not that keen on landing - yep don't like flying! 


However, I did enjoy the view out of the window (although the window needed a clean). 


So where were we off to?  The beautiful Spanish island of Menorca is where, back to the Sur Menorca hotel on our 5th visit.  The last time we went was in 2009 - so it has been some time.  We were expecting some changes and whilst there were some it was just as familiar as before.  So why here five times you may ask, well I don't get ill when I'm there, every other foreign holiday me and hubby did prior to said 16 year old arriving on this earth I was either ill there or ill when I got home as a consequence of being 'there' and I've never been poorly whilst on Menorca!

So first happy was spending time with our 16 year old, he has turned into a thoroughly lovely human being, he has worked his little socks off this year, revising, attending revision sessions, buckling down and getting on with the task in hand (fingers and toes crossed all his hard work provides him with the results needed for college). 

So spending time with him, just chatting and finding out about his world (because to be honest at that age they do become something of a closed book), was really lovely.  Although I've told him since returning home that he doesn't need to close up again. 


Next up having time to relax (yes me relax really I did - I read 6 books - like I said relaxed!). 

Enjoying the beautiful view and the gorgeous blue skies! I miss this view!


I did mention rain didn't I, the first couple of days were very changeable when we were there and here is the proof, when it rains in Menorca it absolutely bounces it down!  And yes people were still swimming and yes towels were still out, come on they were wet anyway (the people not the towels). 

So next grateful was that we didn't have this weather for 2 weeks, after 2 days it turned warmer and drier and stayed like that for the remainder of our time there.  It was in fact far too warm for me at 34 degrees, however, I understand that mainland Spain has had record breaking temperatures so maybe I shouldn't complain too much.  I have thought of my lovely Rockettes, Lisca and Kate and hoped they'd managed in the heat over recent weeks - I really don't know how you ladies do it! 


Said 16 year old really isn't a breakfast person (he really really isn't) and so although he came with us on day one, he was enjoying his sleep too much to join us for the rest of the holiday.  I'm grateful that we managed to sneak out some pre-wrapped breakfast goodies (croissants and biscuits), so we could take him something up to eat.  I'm also grateful that we got a couple of hot chocolates out to enjoy when we went up as well.

So grateful for the genius nature of said 16 year old and his breakfast in bed throughout the holiday! 

Next up grateful for my Wellness Journal.  A while ago I became aware that a friend's daughter was part of an enterprise scheme in school and that as a result of that they'd brought out a Wellness Journal - under the name of Amygdala (click for link to their Instagram feed).  I asked if I could purchase one of these journals and after a little sorting, sent the money and got the journal.  

It's spiral bound, not too weighty (therefore great for holidays) and had a blank page on the left and a 'started' page printed on the right.  The idea is to fill the book up with anything arty that you fancy.  There are obviously no rules - it's art journalling after all and in the great words of Dyan Reaveley - there are no rules! 

So it was lovely to take on holiday.  So supplies I can hear you say (particularly fellow crafters).  I took a single stack of watercolour paints with me, two water pens (the ones you can fill), a black journal pen and a white journal pen and that was it. 

Sometimes working on limited supplies stretches you and after two weeks of daily painting, can I honestly say that it was an absolute joy to work in and I actually got to that point, where I realised it was helping me on the mental health front - I was finding the process quite therapeutic, not stressful, I didn't overthink anything and I really didn't worry about the finished page, because - well it might not be finished! 

So here is a photo of me on the sun lounger (no you really don't want to see that), but the book I was working on! 


OK on with grateful moments, a pool and a confident swimmer.  I always said that he could stop swimming lessons at the point where he could swim better than me (I'm not a confident swimmer so this was critical).  As it turns out I'd say he is actually a better swimmer than hubby who has always been a really good strong swimmer!  In fact there were a few comments by people on holiday how good he was, he loved to see how far he could swim under water without coming up for breath. 

At the beginning of the holiday it was less than a width (its been a while since  he has done any decent amounts of swimming), but by the end of the holiday he was doing 2 widths of the pool and had a fellow swimming friend who enjoyed competing! 


One of the few selfies from the holiday, we were enjoying a drink before evening meal. 


Next grateful - finally finding a book he will read cover to cover.  Apparently sunshine and a good book are a great mix, not only did he finish this book but he's a good 50% through the next one.  The fact that they are both based on fact and have a strong military feel to them appears to be his favoured genre, hopefully we can expand this for him.  But he really really did enjoy reading - yay finally!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I may however, have to prise the Xbox controller out of his hand and provide with a book again otherwise it may be the only time he reads for pleasure - grrrr!


He did manage to keep up his 'streaks' (no idea something to do with daily contact on Snapchat), whilst he was away, we paid for the additional internet connection (not just the bit around the pool), to keep him happy (well all of us really). 


Spending time with hubby, we've had an odd year up to now, I'm hoping it settles a bit now for us. 


Evening sunsets


My journal again, coming along, many thanks to Jen for sharing the statement on the left just on the right day!



Then laughter, it really is a beautiful tonic to life, when things are hard work being able to laugh and smile and enjoy good company really is priceless!



And it continued well into the evening!


Grateful hubby was brave enough to drive a car on the Island.  Driving on the wrong side of the road on the wrong side of the car is always entertaining.  Firstly I get it and wonder whose pinched my steering wheel and hubby tries pulling the seat reclining to put the handbrake on - entertaining stuff! 

Thankfully its a quiet island so not too stressful (well not too stressful once he'd stopped stalling it), we'd asked for a Corsa we got a SsangYong Tivola - which is mahoosive and also happened to be diesel, so big learning curve. 

However, it meant that we could visit one of my most favourite places on the planet.  Cova D'en Xoroi at Cala En Porter is truly beautiful.  At times of stress when I'm at home, I can quite literally imagine being there, hearing the waves crashing looking out at the expanse of blue sea and listening to the low beat of the club music remixed that plays in the background.  If you ever visit Menorca you really must go.  

In the day it opens at 11.30am and for a fee you can go in and have a look at the caves and sit and have a drink overlooking the beautiful sea.  At night it turns into an exclusive night club for up to 250 people.  Whenever we go we buy another CD (or 3), to add to our collection.  They always remind me of holiday when we get home! 


He has always had smiley eyes! 


Next up a day trip to Cala Galdana.  One of the prettiest bays on the island and always busy.  This year we hired a couple of sunbeds and a parasol to allow us to really enjoy the day.  The boys bought snorkels and off they went to explore the bay.  Enjoying find the fish and sea creatures in the bay.  After lunch they took a pedal boat out into the bay and dived off the back to get a look at more sea life, said 16 year old was in his absolutely element!



Back at the hotel, I managed to document our room when said 16 year old headed up for a shower


I also managed (a rather blurry - drat) shot of Jose, one of the sweetest, funniest, loveliest people you could ever meet, he was the greeter on the door to the dining room and spent 2 weeks trying to give his job to said 16 year! 


We did manage a jaunt to Fornells, but its always so hot there, no matter how often we go, the trip just isn't that successful.  We found the foundations to the castle, but it was so hot we soon wanted back into the air conditioned car!


Even the sundial was misbehaving!


When we went previously to Menorca, we found a subway filled with awesome graffiti, so we challenged ourselves to find it again, unfortunately it would appear the council had got at the majority with a large quantity of grey paint, this being the only piece there, but I'm glad the local artists aren't being put off, hopefully the subway will fill again with awesome artwork as the summer progresses.  I'm not sure of the direct translation however. 


We found this awesome olive tree on our travels, I wonder how old it is. 


And managed to get closer to one of the Windmills that adorn the island.


So a final grateful and positive for the holiday was meeting some truly amazing people.  I'm not a great socialiser in real life, I don't have hoards of friends that I spend a lot of time with, predominantly because I love spending time with my soul mate and the need for a big social group has never been a major part of our relationship.  However, it is always lovely to meet other people and despite my rather reserved nature on holiday (face in book most of time), we got chatting to a few families.  I am therefore totally and utterly grateful for Laura getting a selection of fantastic poolside and evening shots of the youngster who'd managed to make friends without any issues whatsoever (unlike us adults that benefit from a glass of vino to help with the transition).  By the time we left, they were firm friends and I got to know some of them quite well.  Laura came over to say she'd got some good shots and was happy to send them to me - Laura you literally made my holiday - one happy scrapping Momma here now!  

I was also honoured to spend some time with these amazing young people.  Having got a level headed quiet and normally (but not always) reserved 16 year old young man, it was phenomenal to meet other youngster who were similar but also different. 

I had a fantastic conversation with Maddie, a fellow 16 year old, she really was a breath of fresh air.  Clever, articulate, intelligent, hard working expecting great GCSE grades with a focus and a plan for the future, which included travelling, time out from studying, self taught learning of foreign languages etc etc etc.  She didn't accept unfair treatment (as the guy who tried to jump the queue in the water park found out).  She pursued friendships even when said 16 year old was hesitant (come over - nah shakes his head, later same evening "Snapchat!" it wasn't a question but a statement and then they got chatting broke the social barriers down and became firm friends).  She gathered all these single individuals and helped create a bond between a great group of young people enhancing their holiday as she went and I admired her tenacity and her drive.  It was a pleasure to meet you - I hope you achieve all your goals and dreams in life. 

The rest of the gang were just as brilliant and they really did have a great time together and it was sooooooooooo lovely of them to come and see us off on our final day (they were all off the following day).  It seemed strange to be bidding farewell when they were all there!


I'm also grateful for meeting Claire and her lovely family, just lovely happy down to earth people who were happy to share a fun evening with us.  She'd even taken her 78 year old neighbour on holiday (as she hadn't had a holiday in years).  Like I said amazing and lovely people, that I feel blessed to have met! 

It was quite honestly an amazing too weeks, we ate and drank too much, we slept, we went sight seeing, we laughed and talked and giggled and well it was epic.  The question is now, do I have the foreign travel bug for going abroad next year - mmmm - not sure we shall have to wait and see!
So you return home after 2 weeks away to 8 washloads of washing.  Grateful for a speedy return home from the airport, grateful for the Chinese and the coop being open for food and milk when we arrived back. 

Grateful said 16 year old just got up and went to work on Sunday, no quibbles or qualms - he did come back utterly shattered with 31000 steps on his phone. 

Grateful that my Mum went above and beyond to make my niece's 18th birthday fun.  Despite the breeze we managed a family barbecue, chatting, listening to music and enjoying time.  I can't quite believe she's 18!  Here she is sat on her boyfriend's lap (keeping warm under a blanket), with my Mum joining in the photo!


So that my lovely people is where I've been - I hope your week has been brilliant, we had two more Rockettes swell the ranks last week, so as well as Lisca and Kate I also had Carmen and Devon's posts to read - another blessing. 

May your weekend by epic and awesome and I look forward to reading your Rocking moments for the week.

And if you are still reading this give yourself a pat on the back, because this one was always going to be fairly epic!