Sunday, June 29, 2008

Beautiful Lyme Regis

We had a wonderful holiday in Lyme Regis.  I am so sorry that it went so quickly, but one week is always a bit rushed.  We've been back just about a week now and I have been on call all week at work, so life has been a bit hectic.

It was quite a long journey down; I was surprised because I had been told that we could get there in three to three and a half hours but it took us five.  We hit road works on all the routes and got stuck in the cross channel ferry traffic on the Saturday, so had to take things more slowly.

As the traffic was not good, we stopped for a leisurely lunch in a lovely pub called The Coventry Arms in Wimborne.

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We stopped on a whim but it turned out to be an excellent choice.  It was a gastropub serving fabulous food made from really fresh ingredients, all locally sourced.  I had an excellent fish, Jase had a succulent lamb dish and Lauren had some wonderful fishcakes with homemade chips.  I would definitely stop there again on any return visit to Dorset.

Strangely, despite the long car journey it was a pleasant journey and I enjoyed seeing the gorgeous Dorset countryside unfold on the journey.  Arriving in Lyme Regis itself was quite an experience; you approach it from the top of a hill and you get fabulous views of the town as you drive towards the Cobb.

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We were staying in the cream coloured squarish building on the right of the photo.  It was situated right on the beach and harbour area.  It was a lovely apartment with fabulous views from the windows.

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As you can see, the beach was literally a stone's throw away.  A small fishing fleet was moored in the harbour adjacent to the beach.

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The girls loved the beach and spent quite a lot of time there as the weather allowed.  Unfortunately, we did have some rain during the week so did not spend as much time as we would have liked on the beach.

Lauren and Jocey made the most of the time they had on the beach, building sand castles with gusto.

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Jocey enjoyed playing with (and chewing) the sand toys

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and flattening Mummy's sand castles.

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Lauren and Daddy built a really big sand castle on one of the really sunny days.

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Lauren built quite a few turrets for Daddy.

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Lauren had a fabulous time; she was so happy on the beach!

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Jocey also clearly enjoyed her time on the beach.  Look at her happy smile!

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After playing happily, Jocey went for a snooze in our beach tent and Lauren had a rest and something to drink whilst waiting for Daddy to get some food for a picnic lunch.

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Lauren was quick to tell Daddy that Jocey was sleeping when he arrived with the lunch!

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On the rainy days, we went to an excellent Children's farm in Abbotsbury.  Lauren loved seeing all the animals and particularly enjoyed taking the lamb for a walk

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and stroking the guinea pigs.

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I would have enjoyed it a lot more had I not been running a fever and shivering.  We went back to the apartment in the early afternoon and I crawled into bed.  It was 36 hours before I was better and no longer running a temperature.

We also visited the Sea Life Aquarium at Weymouth on another rainy day.

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The girls really enjoyed looking at the otters, penguins, seals and all the different kinds of fish.  Jocey especially enjoyed the underwater tunnel and was totally transfixed by the sight of the fish, sharks and turtles swimming by on the other side of the glass.  The rain failed to dampen our spirits.

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Lauren also really enjoyed the rides, much to my surprise.  I thought she would be scared by them, but she was all smiles!

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On our final weekend, we celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary.  I cannot believe how quickly the time has passed; the day is still so fresh in our minds.  We had a fun weekend where we visited the excellent River Cottage Canteen in Axminster for lunch.

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The food was fabulous and we regretted that we weren't able to get a table for dinner on our anniversary.  I was amazed that even the salad garnishing the orders was so tasty.  The highlight was definitely the scones with clotted cream and jam, Devon style.  I also could have spent a seriously large amount of money in that shop, given half a chance.

On the day, we had dinner in a lovely pub on the harbour front with the girls.

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Although the food wasn't as good as the gastropub or the River Cottage canteen, we still did enjoy ourselves.

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We had a lovely stroll on the beach afterwards and watched the sun go down over Lyme Bay.  It was the perfect end to a wonderful holiday.

I loved Lyme Regis and would definitely go back for another holiday.  Next time though I will be more organised and remember to book a table at the excellent River Cottage Canteen.  Even though Axminster is in the next county (Devon), Lyme Regis is on the border between Dorset and Devon so is only 5 miles from Axminster.

All the photos from our holiday can be found here on my Flickr account.

Dorset was good to us and we will go back.

Flying visit

At the beginning of June Mum and Dad paid us a flying visit.  I haven't had the chance to blog about it as we've been so busy in the week before the holiday and this week after our holiday.

It was mum and dad's last planned visit before the arrival of Jason and Charlotte's baby (due sometime on the next two weeks) but as their holiday time is scarce it was just a weekend away for them.

Lauren and Jocey loved seeing their grandparents as usual.  They miss them when they are not here.

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Jocey also showed them her new trick - clapping!

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Whilst they were here, mum and dad went to visit Jase and Charlotte to check out their new nursery.  I am told that everything is now ready for the anticipated new arrival!

Unfortunately, as with all weekend visits it came to an end all too soon and we went to have dinner with mum and dad near the airport before seeing them off.  The girls put on their pretty dresses to go out.

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They looked lovely!

We had a good meal; however, after the meal both Charlotte and I became ill overnight.  I am not sure if it was food poisoning or just bad luck (as Jocey had been unwell that weekend as well), but I quickly realised that perhaps I have been overdoing things lately.

I was also ill on holiday (to make matters worse - more about that later) so I think I must have been terribly run down.  It's been quite hard to find the right balance in my new role; I suspect I am just working too much and staying late too often.

Maybe when I've settled into my role a bit more and have found my niche things will get better.  However, in the meantime, I have learnt my lesson and am now more wary of getting so tired and run down.  I have always found delegating difficult but I think now more than ever I need to allow others to do things for me.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Sleep and no sleep

Over the last two days I have had more sleep than I have managed to get in many months. Sadly, this would not have happened had I been well. We were out with the family on Sunday night to dinner. Although I was fine at the time, I remember telling Jase at bedtime that I was feeling a bit nauseous.

Unfortunately, I got up in the night and was horrendously sick. I am not sure if this represented "food poisoning" or whether I am just so run down that I caught a bug.

Vomiting is such a deeply unpleasant experience. As well as feeling terrible afterwards, I somehow managed to sprain my neck and shoulder in the process as well as burst all the tiny capillaries on my face.

I have been off work over the last two days and have slept a lot. The vomiting bug has left me feeling drained and although I am not vomiting now I am still nauseous. However, I have to go to work in the morning nevertheless.

Poor Jocey has also been unwell and was sent home from nursery on Monday after vomiting too. She ran a fever overnight last night but seems fine tonight.

I think we all desperately need that holiday.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Grandma's Happy Birthday

Last weekend, we all went up to York to see Suzanne on her birthday.  They were really looking forward to our visit because life has been a bit upside down for them lately.

They were away on holiday in Majorca (unfortunately, I understand that it rained the whole time they were there) and came home to find that they had been burgled.  The thieves had smashed their way into the house and stolen various ornaments and other precious items.

Whilst things can always be replaced from the insurance, some objects had little monetary value but high sentimental value.  Suzanne had been keeping some family jewellery for the girls to inherit, but unfortunately much of that was stolen.  Also, Jason's grandfather's MBE was stolen.

Fortunately, they had not vandalised the house.

We had been warned that the weekend might be miserable (like the Bank holiday weekend was) and so I packed Lauren's wellies just in case.

We set off from London on Friday evening and got to York just before nightfall.  We were tired but happy to have arrived.

On the Saturday morning, we all woke up to find an absolutely glorious morning outside.  We were all delighted!  After breakfast, Lauren and Jocelyn spent some time outside in Grandma's garden, enjoying the sunshine and fresh air.

It was so warm we even had lunch outside in the garden.  A first for this year!

Our budding amateur photographer Lauren took several snaps with my camera phone.  Here's Mummy and Jocey in Grandma's sitting room.

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Here's Grandma, playing with the girls.

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Here's Granddad and Daddy, doing something on the new computer.

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After a very relaxing afternoon and a snooze for the girls, we enjoyed some drinks and snacks outside with some of Suzanne and Peter's friends before heading back indoors for a lovely birthday dinner.  We all had a wonderful time and the girls even went to sleep later on without any fuss.

All too soon we had to head home.  We set out after Sunday lunch but sadly got stuck in traffic on the M1 coming home.  We eventually got back to London after 5½ hours.  The girls were really fed up and we were really tired.  unfortunately, we had caught the tail end of the half term holiday traffic going back to London.

On Monday, it was back to work and back to nursery for everyone.  I think we were all still exhausted from the marathon car journey because on Tuesday when I had the girls at home, they did not want to do anything at all and slept most of the day in turns.  It was raining heavily on Tuesday, so perhaps it was for the best.

Yesterday, I got a phone call from the nursery in the afternoon to say that Jocey was running a high fever.  The nursery staff told me that she had been grumpy and had been crying from lunchtime onwards, which is very out of character for her.  I took her home.

I'm not 100% sure what the problem is but I suspect she has a virus because she has a runny nose this morning.  She still has the temperature (both last night and today) but is good in between so hopefully it will all get better soon.  I've had to stay off work today to look after her.

Jase phoned me at lunchtime to say he wasn't feeling well either.

I think we are all exhausted and badly need that holiday in Dorset!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Baby boy!

My dear friend Alison who was bridesmaid at my wedding 10 years ago had a baby boy this morning! He's a bit early from memory; I'm sure she said that the baby was due round about the time of our anniversary.

We are all dying to hear more about the new arrival, who will be a little brother to Faith, their little girl. Congratulations Alison and Sing Yang! We are thinking of you and can't wait to see the pictures!