Wednesday 28 June 2023

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 28/6/23

It's been a while!  But today I'm joining in with the Hodgepodge, hosted by Joyce HERE.

1. What's one thing you're excited about in the coming month? 

We don't actually have anything planned for July so nothing exciting going on here.  It is our turn to host a sibling meal so we'll probably try and fit that in during the month.

2. What was your life like when you were ten years old? 

Carefree.  I was still at primary school.  My best friend lived 4 doors down and we were pretty much inseparable.  

3. What's something from your childhood you still enjoy today? 

Reading.  I was always a bookworm.

4. What state (that you haven't been to) do you most want to visit? Tell us why. 

Maybe New Hampshire or Maine - we've done Vermont, New York, Massachusetts Washington DC and Pennsylvania.  But most states would be new to us so really we would be spoilt for choice!

5. Do you like to drive? Tell us how you learned to drive. 

I do like to drive.  I took driving lessons as soon as I was 17 (legal age for driving here in the UK) and passed 1st time.  The one thing I don't enjoy now, after having had automatic cars for some years, is driving a manual.  The car we hired recently in Spain was manual.  So wrong side of the road, wrong side of the car and a gear stick to contend with.  Not my idea of fun.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

We don't do as much driving now as we used to, preferring to use public transport when we can.  We do drive to  the kids who are local as there is no easy way to get to either of them on public transport.  Bus routes aren't always tailor made although they have just consulted on changing the route of a couple of local buses which will make it easier getting to our nearest hospital where parking is a nightmare!  But then parking anywhere in London is a nightmare.

Have a good week all.

Friday 23 June 2023

Friday's Fave Five - 23/6/23

Well it's been 2 weeks again since I posted so lots of good things to write about.  Thanks as always to our host Susanne for keeping us on track.  Her blog is here.  

1)  I wasn't here last Friday because we were here:

Torreguadiaro in Spain
For this wedding
The groom, Tom is Nick's nephew.  This is the bride and groom, Tom's parents, his 3 sisters and one sister's fiance.

It was such a joyous occasion

We scrubbed up well.

The beach party location the day after the wedding

3 Mrs Jakobs - My sister-in-law on the left - mother-in-law to the new bride.

We flew out very early last Wednesday (7.00 am flight!) and met up with other family members on the beach where we had lunch.  In the evening there was a drinks and canapes reception for the wedding guests in a bar in the Sotogrande resort.

We had a quiet start on the Thursday which was the day of the wedding.  There were just over 100 guests at the wedding and we were taken by coach to the venue - a former monastery up in the hills.  

It was an outdoor ceremony, followed by drinks and canapes while the tables were prepared for the meal - 3 courses including Paella and then a yummy chocolate dessert.

Absolutely delicious!

There was dancing late into the night although we opted to return on the first coach run at 1.30 am!

On the Friday guests congregated again, this time on the beach, for another meal - lots of tapas and lots of wine and sangria.

We had a really lovely time and made it safely home on Saturday.  All of hubby's siblings attended with just one partner being missing.

Tom has given his 3 sisters a hard act to follow.

2)  Flowers in my garden.  We made a trip to a garden centre this week and got some plants for my tubs and planters.  I would have done this sooner but as we knew we'd be away I didn't want to get plants before as we've had a lot of hot sunny weather and they would probably all have died!

3)  The water butt we had installed recently.  I've managed to water the plants from the water butt so far.  It collects rainwater from the roof of our extension.

4)  Despite the blip of the wedding I've been managing to keep on track with the changes we're making to our diet.  I've even lost a about 3lbs in weight so that's encouraging.

5)  Apps.  Especially ones that help track things.  I have a Fitbit that records all my steps etc and I've been using that to log food so I can see what I'm eating.  Plus there is an app to keep track of the physio exercises I was given to do recently.  And now I've discovered that the diabetes prevention programme that I'm starting on Monday also has an app!   It looks like it will be really useful although not all of it is live yet - hopefully all will become clear on Monday.

Have a good weekend all.

Friday 9 June 2023

Friday's Fave Fives - 9/6/23

Our host Susanne's introduction this week was just the reminder I needed.  She wrote,  "Welcome to Friday's Fave Five!  Our place of encouragement to intentionally practice looking for our blessings and develop hearts of gratitude to God for them.  Why do we do this?  Why after all these Fridays do I still keep posting this if nothing else?  Because gratitude must be developed and continued.  I can so easily fall out of the practice.  And when I do my eyes are no longer looking for the blessings but gravitate to what I don't have, what I feel I deserve, what I am missing, the cup half empty mindset sets in."

I can so easily fall into the cup half empty mindset, especially in a week that hasn't been particularly great.  But there are still blessings to be found, even when we have to look a little harder so here are mine.

1)  Well this is a 2 week list for me and the first one is easy - last week we were away from Monday to Friday with all our family - daughter, sons, wives and of course all the 6 grandchildren.  We stayed in 2 caravans on a holiday site and, although the weather wasn't great, it was wonderful to be with them all and see the pleasure the grandchildren get from being together.  We were on the east coast of England so we were able to walk to the beach a couple of times but it was too misty and windy to stay there for long.  But there were plenty of activities for the kids to do on the holiday site and they just love being together.

Hard to get a photo of all the little ones together - this was probably my best one.

We also celebrated Rory's 5th birthday while we were there too and one evening we took them all out for a meal which was fairly civilised lol.

2)  We had a fairly quiet weekend then Monday it was back to earth with a bump.  The blood test I had done recently as part of my annual blood pressure medication review has revealed I'm in the pre-diabetic range.  Not something to be thankful for but our GP practice provides access to a diabetes preventative programme which I've signed up for and that starts in a couple of weeks time.  So I am thankful that I've been able to sign up for that and it has given me the motivation to start making changes already.  I knew that, despite having fairly healthy meals, I was eating too many sweet things and definitely eating too much.  Thankfully Hubby has been on board about looking at portion control and the timing of our meals - we often eat late which is not a good thing.  I was also good at dropping quite a few things off our shopping delivery that don't fall into the healthy category.

The programme runs over a period of 9 months so hopefully over that time I can get the changes I need to make embedded into our routines and keep myself healthy.

3)  Of course exercise would be helpful but this week my back has been playing up again and affecting my hip.  Thankfully though our GP practice has a Physio on staff and I had an appointment with her this morning.  I now have a range of exercises to do to help strengthen my back and these are set up on an app that you can use to log when you've done the exercises.  Fortunately I quite like technology that tracks things and this should keep me motivated to do the exercises each day.  Again it's been a timely reminder that I need to look after myself more.  

4)  It hasn't been all doom and gloom though - the weather has been good this week - lots of sunshine and really warm.  

5)  Finally, 39 years ago I said "I do" to this lovely man.

and I'm still glad I did!

Oh and a bonus - we received the latest bill from our gas supplier which seemed really high and when I looked into it and got it sorted it was reduced by over £500!  Moral of that story was never trust their meter readers lol.

To find out more about the Friday Fave Fives visit Susanne's blog here.

Have a good weekend all and hopefully I'll get round to visiting blogs soon.  I've not been very present here in blogland this past week or so.