Friday 30 September 2011

Book Title Poetry

You know when you happen to come across something on the interwebulator but can't for the life of you remember how on earth you got there? Well, that happened to me a week or 2 ago and I happened to fall upon (not literally I hasten to add) Janet Reid, Literary Agent.

She was running a little contest where you had to create a poem from the titles of books and then take a photo of the books you'd used. It really caught my attention and I quite literally dropped what I was doing and started scouring the shelves of my library (er, couple of book shelves actually).

Here is my entry which, I thought was rather good until I saw the quality of the other entrants:

A long way down
the road of love
more tales of the city
were burning bright.

A spot of bother
saw them
behaving badly.

One day
with nails sharpened
came the slap

Safe retreat with friends, lovers and chocolate
Just like the way we wore
the comfort of strangers
like a nice jumper.

Happy now
dead sexy
in the blue afternoon
women in love
are starting over.

There were something like 200 entrants so I'm not upset that I didn't win :-(
The winner's poem was amazing and you can look through all the entries and the winning poem on Janet Reid's blog.

Thursday 29 September 2011

Dear So and So - The Bad Tempered Edition

Dear Madam,

Because yes, you were a madam, an ignorant obnoxious madam who rightly deserved a very pointed "WELL EXCUSE ME!" when you took up the whole pavement and just stood there glaring at us when we, the stroppy woman pushing a pram, dragging a dog, nagging a boy and ignoring stroppy pre-schooler, were trying to maneuver along the narrow pavements. Funnily enough, you are not more important, more worthy or more superior than me, and do not own the rights to the pavement.

Yours, The stressy woman pushing a pram, dragging a dog, nagging a boy and ignoring stroppy pre-schooler.

Dear Sir,

You know when you saw the Princess having a strop in the middle of town, and you said "Oh, I'm sure it's not that bad.", and I grunted a bit, and then you said "Don't worry. Mummy will buy you some sweets." Well, as much as you thought your actions were well-meaning, they were not helpful.

Yours, The stressy woman pushing a pram, dragging a dog, nagging a boy and ignoring stroppy pre-schooler.

Dear Madam (2),

I know my pram was blocking the shop door. I know I was distracted by a rather lovely biscuit tin in the baking shop. I know it is normally customery to move out of the way if someone says 'Excuse me.'. But do you think the way you said ' Excuse me' with a heavy emphasis on the 'ME' with your hands thrown up in the air and a distinct air of huffiness is polite? No, me neither.

Yours, The woman who sarcastically said "Oh I am soooo sorry if I was in your way."

Dear Sir (2),

You know you work in a charity shop, where customers come to spend their money, so that the charity that you volunteer for can earn vital funds to support further research, fund hospices and pay nurses to care for the sick. Well, do you think that it was ever so slightly rude to push me out of the way and perhaps counterintuitive to rearrange the book shelves as I browsed them with the absolute intention of spending money in your charity shop? Just wondered.

Yours, The woman who muttered something about customer service as she huffed out of the shop.

Dear Charity Shop Volunteer,

No not the rude one who thinks alphabetising the book shelves is more important than selling books. The lovely one, in the next charity shop, who was so chatty and grateful for the donated childrens clothes. Thank you for restoring my faith in 'giving'.

Yours, The woman who smiled and complimented your customer service and will henceforth donate all her childrens cast offs to your charity.

Dear All,

I promise to try to be more patient and understanding and less bad tempered, if you do.

Yours, Me.

For more Dear So and So letters get over to 3 Bedroom Bungalow where she collects them :-)

Dear So and So...

Wednesday 28 September 2011

The Gallery - Home

In our kitchen there is a wall. 

On that wall are the pencil marks that show the passage of time and the how quickly the children are growing. I can never decorate that bit of the kitchen, which shows bad planning on my part, but it's okay because it is hidden behind the door!

It is also the wall of 'art'. This seems to grow on a daily basis as another masterpiece is created. I will have to rotate these creations or my home will be completely decorated by the children. But I love the colours and life that they bring to our house.

Without these marks and personal touches our house would never be a home, and trust me, it is well lived in ;-)

Now go over to Sticky Fingers to see other entries in this weeks Gallery.

Monday 26 September 2011

Tick Tock - Writing Workshop

Time is running out.
Out of what?
Out of me.

It starts too slow.
And before you know
It's running too quick
so nothing sticks.
Slipping away
through my fingers.

I take pictures
to hold time still.
So when I sit
I can look and see
what passed me by

This was written for the Sleep Is For The Weak Writing Workshop from the prompt Time.
Join in or stop a while to read the other contributions.

Sunday 25 September 2011

Silent Sunday

Have a flutter round twitter and search #silentsunday for more marvellous pictures.

One picture, no words innit.

Friday 23 September 2011

How to dodge a falling satellite

Feeling slightly nervous sat here actually.

Apparently there is a 6 tonne satellite going to crash into earth early this evening (UK time).

Image from

Fortunately it will break up into smaller pieces but the largest is the weight of an average man. So that's alright then. It is expected that the debris will cover an area of up to 300 miles wide and will be travelling at about 240mph when it hits. Ouch!

What are the chances of being hit by 1 of these pieces? Guess anyone? 1 in 21 trillion. The odds are better on winning the Euromillions lottery so I've bought a ticket. Tomorrow, I will either be celebrating big style, nursing a bump to the head, or carrying on as normal and washing my windows.

Helpfully the advice from the UK Space Agency is if you spend all day looking at the sky, you are more likely to bump into something and hurt yourself that way than be hit by falling debris. And don't bother trying to get out of range (head for Scotland). You are more likely to have an accident travelling than be hit by debris.

In summary, the way to avoid being hit by a falling satellite is to stay indoors, just in case you are the 1 in 21 trillionth person.

Good luck everyone!

Tuesday 20 September 2011

Room by Emma Donoghue - Review

 As a parent you might pick up this book, read the blurb and think 'Maybe a bit too sinister and likely to render me a quivering useless wreck'.

Yes I know, not exactly a glowing review opening sentence but realistically, who would want to read about a teenage girl being kidnapped, held captive for years, being repeatedly raped, conceiving, giving birth in an outbuilding and bringing up a child in one single room? Well me apparently!

The concept of this book I thought was brilliant, very current and definitely appealing to a dark side of my personality. I was intrigued to see how the author would develop a plot, create narative and keep me hooked when there are essentially 2 characters and a single room. But she did.

The book is narrated by the son of the captive girl who describes his adventures and explores his world in a wonderfully innocent and beautiful way. He tells us about his world in such depth and colour that you would not possibly believe that it is just one room. But to him that is all he has ever known. No windows, just one door through which the night man comes and brings food and sunday treats and takes away rubbish. He has never seen the night man because when he comes he must hide in the wardrobe and wait there until Mama says he can come out.

As he grows, so does his curiosity and so does his Mama's anguish and depression. Yet there is hope. There is another world outside the room.

On occasion, the boys voice wasn't quite right and didn't fit a 5 year old. He used some very advanced vocabulary mixed with some niave words that just jarred for me.  But having said that, he isn't a normal 5 year old is he? And I much preferred the first half of the book to the second half, finding that it was just too offhand and not really believable. I did lose interest towards the end but the writing was excellent and a novel I would recommend, if only for the first half of the book!

I read this book as part of Dulwich Divorcee's Book Club! I look forward to the next interesting read!

The A to Z of Me

Disclaimer: I was tagged to do this meme by Actually Mummy. I would not normally share any of this information (well okay, a couple of exceptions) in the course of a 'getting to know you' conversation. Having said that, it did make me think a bit!

ANORAK…Do you have a sad side? I like lists, and stationary, and before children I alphabetised my CD collection and if I had a library I would colour group my books because I think it looks nice. So yes, I am a bit sad.

BODY…What physical attribute would you most like to change? My mummy tummy. A nice flat taut one is on my Christmas list.

CELEBRITY…Which one would you most like to date and why? John Cusack. It is a crush that I can't seem to shift.

DEBUT …Tell us about your first ever blog post. What made you start blogging? I blame Actually Mummy. She started it. I love writing and I just needed a little tiny kick in the right direction. Now I can't stop. Sorry.

ERROR …What’s been your biggest regret? I have no regrets. I believe in fate and anything that has happened was for a reason. It has got me where I am today and will get me to where I want to ultimately be. Blimey, I'm not normally that philosophical.

FUNNY – who’s making you laugh? My Mr. Comedians rarely make me laugh out loud. Oh and there are a few twitterers out there who can get me LOLing

GRAND…If we gave you one right now what would you spend it on? A new wardrobe. And then some clothes to put in it! Ha ha. No Just clothes.

HOLIDAY… What’s your favourite destination?  North Norfolk coast and the Lake District in UK. South of France in Europe. And New York.

IRRITATE… What’s your most annoying habit? Wiggling my foot while I watch TV. It drives my Mr mad.

JOKER…Whats your favourite joke {the one that makes you laugh everytime you hear it}? I am rubbish at jokes and can never remember them. Can I come back to you on that one?

KENNEL… Do you have any pets? Misty Moo the dog. We adopted her when she was 3 and we've had her 7 years now. She doesn't look a day older.

Misty the Mooster

LOVE…Are you single, married, engaged, living with a long term partner? Married. Yep, definitely married.

MEAL… Whats your ultimate starter, main and dessert? Garlic king prawns, filet steak with skinny fries and then a rich chocolate mousse. And coincidently, for dinner tonight we are having.... fish fingers and chips #fail.

NOW…If you could be anywhere right now where would you be and who with? With my Mr, drinking good coffee or wine (depending on the time of day) on a restaurant terrace overlooking the sea somewhere warm, ie not North Norfolk Coast.

OFF DUTY…What do you do in your spare time? *snorts* what's that?

PROUD MOMENTS …What are you most proud of? Getting my MBA and staying sane through the summer holidays sans the Mr.

QUEASY …What turns your stomach? Sick! The smell of sick! Seeing sick! Bleurgh!

RELAX…How do you relax? Brain numbing TV or reading a book. Both help me switch off.

SONG…Whats your favourite song of all time? Tom's Diner by Suzanne Vega. There is just something about it that I love. 

TIME …If you could go back in time and relive it again, when would you choose? Well those years post wedding and pre children were fun so I'd love to relive those, lazy days and crazy days but it would be good if we didn't have to work so much!

UNKNOWN…Tell us something about yourself that no one else knows? Gawd, you lot know everything. Ooh, I know. I have a tattoo. I'll just leave that one hanging...

VOCAL…. Who is your favourite artist? Take That but not Robbie. (Yeah, i know I'm weird)

WORK….. What is your dream job, and are you doing it now? I wouldn't call a 'stay at home mum' a dream job, so no. But when I am a retail guru (think Mary Portas) and have published a novel on the side, then I would say I was doing my dream job.

XRAY…Any broken bones? My left humerus and no it wasn't funny.

YIKES…What’s been your most embarrassing moment? I had just started a new job and was whisked to a confectionery conference where I bonded with my new colleagues over dinner and drinks, and more drinks and a few more drinks. I wasn't very well the next day and sampling chocolate didn't sit well. I didn't quite make the toilets and was sick in one of the large bins right in front of a trade stand. *blushes*

ZOO…. If you were an animal, which one would you be?
A ring tailed lemur.

As tradition dictates I am now required to tag some bloggers so here goes *searches frantically for bloggers who haven't already been tagged*

This meme was started by The Real Housewife of Suffolk County and here is a link to a blank form for you to use.

Saturday 17 September 2011

Silent Sunday

No linky anymore :-( but you can go to twitter and search #silentsunday for plenty more fab photos.

Friday 16 September 2011

Filofax P0rn!

Oh darn it!

I just went a spent a fortune... no wait! I didn't spend a fortune. Yay to thrifty living :-)

That lovely lady over at Typecast only went and found 9euro Filofaxes here. (er, except they seem to have finished the promotion - sorry!).

Yes, 9 euros.

So it was rude not to really.

And the clever postman brought them to me today, just when I needed cheering up :-)

This filofax reminded me of the Famour Five, so it was perfect for me to use as my writing notebook. The 2011 and 2012 diary (in German) can be discarded so I can fill it with lovely colourful notepaper.

And I needed a new purse very badly. I had expected it to be bigger (I really should read the small print) but it is perfect for credit cards and money of the folding variety. And the little touch of Swarovski is squeally lovely. Unbelievably the purse was originally 159 euros!

Happy me :-)

Thursday 15 September 2011

Unwrinkle me

There have been a couple of significant events this week:

  1. I had a haircut. This is an infrequent event. I am happy with the results.
  2. While sat in front of the mirror at the hairdressers, I had plenty of (too much) time to look at myself. This is a aspect of hairdressing I do not like. In so doing I was able to assess that I am aging. I have wrinkles.
  3. I am writing.
Two of these things excite me.
One does not.

According to my hairdresser one of the above things is a direct consequence of the other two.

I HATE having a fringe. A suntanned forehead will become a wrinkled forehead. I should have a fringe according to my hairdresser. This fringe will serve 2 purposes:
  1. Prevent further sun damage and further worsening of the wrinkles.
  2. Hide the wrinkles that I already have.
But I HATE fringes (on me specifically).

Writing is also causing wrinkles. I frown when I concentrate. I concentrate when I write.

So there are 3 things I can do about my wrinkles:
  • Get another haircut which features a fringe.
  • Stop writing.
  • Buy anti wrinkle cream.

I have bought anti wrinkle cream.

PS. Any manufacturers or PR's of anti wrinkle cream who would like me to test their product, feel free to contact me. I will gladly review and write a post on the results ;-)

PPS. In writing this post I have also discovered that you can buy clip in fringe hair pieces! Who'd a thunk it?

Wednesday 14 September 2011

The Gallery - Happy Memory

The prompt from Tara for The Gallery this week is 'Happy Memory'.

So many memories. So many happy memories. Birth, birthdays, christmas, weddings. They all centre around family and for me, my happiest memories are with the Mr. He is my rock, my hero, my sanity, keeping everything calm when I panic, making me cry with laughter and having a tissue there to wipe away the tears.

He holds the unsteady hand, supports the nervous first steps and provides a safe haven for us all.

This was the Big One on a winters day in Spain just after New Year. He was 14 months old and just finding his confidence on his feet. Daddy was there helping him on the unsteady sand.

We love you Mr P x

Pop over to Sticky Fingers for more Gallery entries.

Monday 12 September 2011

My Interrupted Life

photo credit:

My Interrupted Life

I wish I could be solitary
just for a minute or three
to privately
go wee.

I wish I could drink my coffee
before its cold completely.
Hot and frothy,

I wish I could watch daytime news.
But I don't want to lose
the innocent view
you're due.

I wish I could read a story.
No children on my knee

I wish I could sleep a whole night.
No first annoying sight.
No chink of light,
or fright

I wish I could chat on the phone
without the nagging drone
of a child prone

I wish I could complete something,
finish without juggling
and dropping
a thing.

When you're grown I'll get my wish.
Home alone and you I'll miss.
No goodbye kiss.
No bliss.

This is my contribution to The Writing Workshop and the prompt "I wish" from Sleep is for the Weak

Wednesday 7 September 2011

Little Photos From Little Fingers

Well blow me down and call me Persephone if I wasn't tagged by Actually Mummy to send the kids off with my camera (Careful. No not that way up. Not down the toilet. Delete that one immediately) and let them have fun pointing and shooting.

The Big One has had a little trip into the blogosphere with his (yet to be completed) School Holiday Alphabet Countdown and to be honest, I wouldn't see my camera working again if I gave it to the Wee One, so Princess, Come on downnnnn!

Let me set the scene. Saturday. Seeing friends. Lunchtime that drifted on till 5pm. Me, a couple of glasses of wine, just to be sociable you understand. Princess in charge of camera to capture the event.

I'll just let the pictures speak for themselves.



It was a lovely occasion but we will probably be using a different photographer for our next event.

As tradition dictates, I must now tag another 5 bloggers to carry the torch forward.

@somethingblue_2 dare you to let jw loose!
@mummytoboo because we've only just tweeted
@motherventing because she could write a novel about it
@ministryofmum For kicks
@mrsslummymummy For more kicks

Go and see what other little fingers have been up to at Mammasaurus

The Gallery - Shoes

There are a couple of pictures I would like to share with you for Tara's prompt Shoes on The Gallery.

One is a picture taken of me back in 1970, parading on the boards in my mummy's shoes while we were on holiday. It isn't the most flattering child shot of yours truely but it takes pride of place up on my daughters bedroom wall so should rightly be here for your enjoyment. Check out my mini dress!

mummy's shoes

The other picture is of the most expensive shoes I have ever bought. Not earth shatteringly expensive but pricey enough for me then and certainly for me now. They are my wedding shoes. I wear them whenever I can get away with it and I hope are timeless enough that I'll still be getting away with it in many years to come. I want to get my money's worth you see.

wedding shoes

Now hop over to Sticky Fingers for more entries into this weeks Gallery.

Tuesday 6 September 2011

How not to have a perfect family afternoon on the beach, and other helpful holiday tips.

Rarely do I feel the red-faced burning embarassment that I felt recently on Brancaster Beach.

The last time was on a return flight from Barcelona with the Big One at about 6 months old. He started screaming as soon as the fasten seat belt sign was illuminated. I assumed it was a reaction to changing air pressure, and having read the books, I knew the best thing to do was feed him. I tried a bottle at first which he had just started taking, but when his thrashing about became a little too violent, I switched to breast foolishly believing he would settle down. Several bruises and bite wounds later a fellow passenger offered boiled sweets.

Erm, thanks but he is a bit too young.

As we landed, he quietened down nuzzling against my neck ready for a little doze. Great timing buddy. Have you ever tried to get out of a plane holding a baby whilst trying not to wake him? Screaming all through baggage claim and to the bus stop to get our car was the longest walk ever. Again he just settled down as we were about to get on the bus. Predictably the screaming started again.

At this point I was beyond embarrassment. Or so I thought. A lady on the bus said, "Were you just on the Barcelona flight?" A weak nod from me. "Yes, I thought I recognised the screaming." Cringe.

So to Brancaster.

As we got out the car with all the bags, wind breaks, towels, buckets, spades, fishing nets, picnic, I asked, "Does anyone need the loo?"

Having spotted the toilets just by the car park and knowing we would have a trek to find somewhere to sit I thought it would be a good idea to get that little job out of the way.

"Are you sure?"
"Really sure?"

A 15 minute hike later we settle down and start erecting wind breaks, laying picnic blankets, unpacking picnic and the Big One says, (you so know what's coming dont you?) "I need a wee".

"Okay, Come on." Pauses for a second.
"Princess, you come too because I don't want to have to take you in 10 minutes."
"Yes, come on. You can play when we get back."
"Now come on. You must need to go and it wont take long."

I should have conceeded but my blood was already boiling because the Big One should have gone before, so I stupidly (stubbornly) decided that the Princess was going to the toilet and nothing, but nothing, was going to stop that happening.

"Come on. You are coming with me."

I took her hand and tried to steer her in the right direction.


At this point I remembered how easily sound travels across that beach. Glancing at other families nearby, I realised we were fast becoming a spectacle.

"Princess. Come with me now."

Considering what would be more embarrassing and making the wrong decision, I passed the opportunity of giving in and looking like a mother who had no control over her children, to instead, looking like a screaming fishwife Mother who had no control over her children. I physically picked her up, and yes, she was upside down for a little bit, and manhandled her across several hundred yards of peaceful, playful, family smothered beach with her screaming all the way. Yes heads turned, fingers were pointed and visions of social services turning up were at the forefront of my mind. I prayed she would actually scream "No MUMMY" so that observers would know that I wasn't abducting a little girl from the beach.

And no, she didn't have a wee when we got there.

On the way back, we passed another family. They were sipping Rose wine from glasses. They were playing boules. They were running through the shallow water laughing and splashing. They were the perfect Boden family. I was expecting the director to step out and say "Can we try that again, ladies and gentlemen" and makeup ladies and hairdressers would step out and adjust their perfectly tousled sun-bleached blonde hair and I wanted to weep. George and Henry and Fruitella and Nutella (as I christened them) wouldn't scream or shout or stamp their feet or embarrass Mama or Papa. I studied my feet on the walk back to our spot.

The next spectacle (you didn't honestly think there would be only one did you?) was trying to invite/cajol the Wee One out of the water having failed to dress him appropriately in anything even remotely resembling beach attire. His nornal nappy swelled to the size of a small infaltable whale, his shorts drooped sorrowfully round his ankles and his t-shirt would be best thrown in the bin. Much screaming later (and I mean much, like 15 minutes of full on toddler tantrum on a quiet beach so the sound is magnified 10 fold) we undressed him and partially reclothed him just a sweatshirt lest he should suffer hypothermia.

I hid behind the windbreak shamefaced and mortified at how loud and screamy my family was, wondering how we had got to this stage? Repentent and stunned at my stupidity for being so darn stubborn, I vowed to relax and let the urchins run and be free and if they needed a wee, well so be it. If they ran into the water fully clothed, to provide warm clothing only when their lips went blue.

And then the Wee One did a poo, on the sand, in front of the Boden catalogue family. And I shreaked (out loud) "Oh no, he's having a sh*t".

We went home soon after.

And if you happened to be there, sorry for disturbing your afternoon.

Monday 5 September 2011

The Great School Holiday Challenge - Week 6

I can't quite believe it but, yes, *checks calendar* I think we may have survived the school holidays.

And, *double checks calendar* it seems to have gone bloomin' fast.

Okay there was a week in the middle there, when we had cabin fever and there was a potentially large risk of developing a wee drinking problem (Me that is. Not the kids), but all in all it wasn't that bad. Even my Mummy Mojo made a brief appearance, sufficient to get through dull, wet, long, boring days, of which there were a few. But the fact that the last 2 weeks of the holiday were packed with visitors and Daddy was home so we could get away, was a fantastic finish to the summer, running on beaches, drinking with friends and eating lovely grub.

So here it is, the last week on the holidays and the point at which I have to find something else to write about!

Day 36: Lunch with Grandma at Strada was a bit of a wrestling match with the Wee One. Little houdini managed to climb out of the highchair despite a harness and had me eating my scallop risotto one handed through much of it. Only ice cream captured his attention sufficiently to sit still for more than 30 seconds. One bowl of ice cream later and normal houdini-ness was back in force. I think the waitress found it the most irritating. Tripping over a toddler with a tray of drinks was probably not the highlight of her day.

Day 37: A low flying Lancaster bomber passed over our garden. Not an everyday accurance so it got me wondering what it was doing there, and then I remembered that there was the annual Stamford Car Fair in town. So we toddled off to have a gander at some rather gorgeous cars. The Big One was rather taken with the long line of Ferraris whereas I prefered the 50's 60's and 70's classics like Cadillac, Camper Vans and a particularly lovely E-type. Ill-prepared as I was, I forgot my camera and my phone battery died half way round so next year I'll be getting there a bit earlier with a full compliment of photography equipment and batteries.

Day 38: Well we couldn't have a week go by and not go to Burghley now could we? I really ought to read the local paper because if I had, I would have known about the Car Fair and I would have also known about the Fine Foods Fair at Burghley and not bothered making dull tuna sandwiches when we could have enjoyed some lovely sausages and burgers from some of our local farms. The aromas drifting from their stalls was pretty darn good but instead we went for a couple of icecream cupcakes from the Stamford Cupcake Company. A quick jaunt around the Sculpture gardens and a dipping of the toes into the water gardens and a lovely day was had by all.

Day 39: Now the Big One is a bit of a Cars fan so when we heard that Cars 2 was coming out this summer he was rather excited. Today was the big day and Daddy took him to see it at the Stamford Arts Centre. Two hours later and Daddy passed it off with a noncommital shrug whereas the Big One thought it rocked. The highlight apparently was when Mater blew raspberry's at the baddies.

Day 40: Whoo Hoo. Norfolk here we come. My parents live in Hunstanton so we took them up on their offer of staying for a couple of days and using their house as a base for day trips further along the North Norfolk coast, a particular family favourite. To be honest we would have prefered to have stayed somewhere on our own but beggars and all that so Hunstanton it was. We got there in time to have lunch at the Jolly Sailors in Brancastor which is just lovely. They have a garden with a large climbing frame and slide for the kids, a pizza oven and a generally nice menu.

With full tummies we hit the beach there and had acres of space to run around in. It was low tide and the sea was about a mile out but there are enough creeks to paddle in to feel like you are dipping a toe in the sea. Sand dunes behind you and a vast beach in front of you make for happy children. There is a ship wreck on the beach which I thought I would wander out to see. the Mr said that it would take 30 minutes to get there and I would have to cross a creek, but undetered I headed off. The *ahem* creek was more like a river and not having brought a dingy I got no further than this:

which did actually take about 30 minutes. But with the fresh sea air and the sun on my face it was pretty darn nice.

Day 41: A stroll with the dog in the morning landed us at Boston Square Sensory Garden. A little hidden gem that in the height of summer would have looked stunning. As it was, it was still very pretty.

We packed a picnic and headed for Well-Next-The-Sea which, from previous visits I remembered as being another lovely beach. Disappointingly (it was now September after all) the wind was a tad brisk. Sheltered behind a groyne, we huddled up and watch braver souls having a paddle. The Wee One, oblivious to the wind, just wanted to get wet so we let him run around until his teeth chattered and then went home for fish and chips.

Day 42: After a round of crazy golf and icecream in Sunny Hunny, we decided to go back to Brancaster. I suppose, given it was a sunny day and the wind had died down and it was a Friday and the last weekend of the Summer Holidays, we should have expected more people. Surprise! More people. But Brancaster beach at low tide is big enough to accomodate huge crowds so we still managed to find a spot to claim as our own. It may have been tiredness, it may have been because we had to trek further to get a spot, it may have been because we knew we were going home that evening, but it was not quite the joyful, carefree afternoon I had envisaged. Instead we were the family from hell and I'm sure I heard applause when we left.

Day 43: This weekend we were house guests of friends in Hitchin. Having just written a post about house guests I was determined that we should be helpful, good company and not in the least bit demanding. Our hostess is a testimony in how to relax when you have guests, effortlessly accommodating young children, and whipping up nibbles with not even a hint of a sigh. We relaxed and had a lovely afternoon and evening, drinking too much and having a splendid time. We have missed our friends.

I *cough* may have been a little tipsy when I took this photo

Day 44: The remaining dribble of vodka in the bottle was a sorrowful reminder of why we felt so crap. I had to return to bed after my 'breakfast' of flat coke and the Mr had 3 (count them) attempts at staying vertical. Not even a gorgeous Sunday roast was enough to rouse him. Oh well, the price you pay.

And that, dear readers is the last installment of our Great Summer Holiday Challenge.

We thank you x