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.
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!