Tuesday 30 April 2024

Tuesday evening, 30-04-24

Good evening, everyone.  
As the last day in April passes, it's been a busy old day with a couple of unpleasant surprises, one expected and one not, neither of which I can or want to talk about because it is not for me to say.

This made me happy.  Potential yumminess . . .

As it has been the last of the month today, there were a few bits and bobs to do.
I read the gas meter and sent off the reading.
I finished off the finance stuff for the month and, despite it being a heavy month with the increased costs but using March's income (I work a month behind as various income streams arrive through the month, not on the first of the month). I was really happy to be able to move a bit over into savings; not loads but every little helps and it all mounts up over time.
And I needed to organise the payment for the next block of personal training so that's done now.

Lindsey confirmed that there will be another Fun and Fitness weekend at Five Lakes next March - plenty of time to save up for that!  I paid my deposit, as did Diane - we exchanged gleeful texts about it.

I remembered that there's a governors' meeting tomorrow evening so I downloaded all the documentation and emailed it to myself so I can access it all on my laptop.  I've read through everything but need to give it another read through tomorrow.  There's always quite a lot to get through and get to grips with.

Groove and the walk there and back were very pleasant.  Chris and I never lack anything to talk about and the time passes very quickly!  Groove was, as always, great!

I worked out the meal plans for a week and used it to make my next shopping list which I might get Saturday morning.  I'll see how it goes.

And, finally, I changed my sheets as it was another good drying day so that's off the list for this week.

So - lots of bits and bobs and plenty crossed off my list which is always nice.

Has your day been busy too?  
I'll stop now and get this live.  Sleep well, sweet dreams and have a great day tomorrow. xx

Monday 29 April 2024

Monday evening, 29-04-24

Good evening, everyone.   Home from Five Lakes and all settled in again.  
First of all, let's go back to yesterday . . .

Sunday was such a lovely day.  It started off with a Groove class in the Mersea Room where most of the classes were held (obviously the gym class was in the gym and would you believe the aqua class was in the pool).

It's a nice room and they provided a fridge with bottled water as you can see.  That's Lindsey to the left, getting set up for the live link to people who were accessing the classes from home.

After breakfast, we chilled for a while over coffee before the second of the two classes I did, a SET class.

This was our dining doom.  There are three, all next to each other, and they obviously knew us because it was the one where the bar was sited.  :-)

After lunch, I went to the Glade Theatre for a guided tour behind the scenes.  Now, the Potters shows are known for their excellent quality and, as the theatre is pretty new, it's all shiny state of the art technology.

I give you one guess . . . 

They took us backstage and talked through a typical show, how it all happens, the quick fire changes, etc.  The stage manager talked about her role and all the organisation that happens  behind the scenes that we, the audience, never see and which makes it all run as smoothly as possible.
Extremely impressive.

Then we went to the back to some serious technology.  They talked through the various technological bits and pieces - and that's an understatement as it is very complex and totally essential to the quality of what we see and hear.
There was such a lot to take in and I hope it is still on the timetable next time I go as I'd like to do it again.

Then, somewhat reluctantly, I started packing and got as much into the car as possible before going to the Lake View Lounge for a drink and a quiet read.  

Even the car park is attractive.

I also took a few photos from the Lake View Lounge which is on the first floor.  It's just very scenic.

After a delicious dinner, we headed off to the Glade Theatre for some excellent evening entertainment and it was nearly midnight before my head finally hit the pillow.  No, I wasn't the worse for wear, I was very moderate.  😇😇

On to this morning and I went to the early Aqua class - the pool isn't usually open at that time but they opened it for Lindsey to do a class.  I really enjoyed it - the sun was shining through the windows, the water was sparklingly inviting  and a comfortable temperature and it was just great!
Then we all dashed back to our rooms for a shower, got dressed, finished packing, loaded up the cars and went for our last breakfast.  We had to be out of our rooms by ten but could stay around until twelve so we did hover a bit before saying goodbye and driving home.
A very easy journey later, I was home, unpacked, one load of washing in and setting off to :Lindsey's for Circuits class.  I thought that might be a step too far but it wasn't, it was good.

I managed to get pretty much all of the washing done and, as it was a lovely drying day, everything dried on the line and I even got it all ironed.  I thought I'd crash after circuits but I didn't, so that was really good.

Hot off the press, I've just seen a message from Lindsey to say there will be another one next March.  Cheers!!

I am feeling quite weary now so will stop waffling on and get this live.  I really hope you have had a lovely weekend too, whatever you have done.
Sleep well amd all the best for tomorrow.  xx

Sunday 28 April 2024

Sunday evening, 28-04-24

Good very late evening indeed especially for me.  
It's been a really lovely day but I'm only just up from the evening's entertainments and need to get to bed in order to be up in time for early morning aqua.

I'll do a catch up tomorrow evening.  In the meanwhile, I do hope your day has been as great as mine has been in its own way.  Most of you are probably asleep as I type this so continue to sleep well and all the best for tomorrow.  xx

Saturday 27 April 2024

Saturday evening, 27-04-24

Good evening, everyone.  I'm posting this evening because I'm planning to go to a semi-early Groove class tomorrow morning! 

Despite the weather, it has been a brilliant day with plenty of activity, another amazing show this evening and not too many proseccos!
Both the step class and the gym circuits were - um - challenging, but I did them and felt great afterwards.  

We went for a slightly damp walk this morning and came across this broody duck who was totally unfazed by four females taking photos and ooohing and ahing over her.  I guess she is used to it!     

I may not be the worse for wear this evening but I am totally shattered and looking forward to my cosy bed so I will say goodnight, all, sweet dreams and stay safe.  xx

Saturday morning, 27-04-24

Good morning, everyone.  It simply wasn't possible to white anything yesterday evening - you wouldn't have appreciated anything from me by the time I got back to my room after the show!  Judging by the state of my head this morning, it was a case of one too many proseccos.  But it was all lovely!

I dropped in to SW group yesterday morning to help with the weighing as usual (not good news but I knew it wouldn't be) and then finished packing, sorting out the house as you have to - emptying the bins and so on - and made my leisurely way over to Five Lakes.  I decided to go a different way, via Maldon rather than take the A12.  The A12 routs is a bit shorter but it's quite an unpredictable road at the moment with repairs and blockages popping up all over.  Actually, the Maldon way was lovely. mostly countryside and Maldon itself wasn't difficult as long as you know which way to go at each roundabout, which I did.

I grabbed a few random photos yesterday.

The fitness stuff plus a bag of scarves to donate (now gone!)
My room - very comfortable and the bed is perfect for me.

I did Lindsey's welcome SET class and then we all congregated in the lounge for a natter and pre dinner drinks.

Waiting for the show to start after enjoying and audience participation quiz.

Potters shows are brilliant and this one was no exception - Songs from the Shows (London and Broadway) and most enjoyable.

On to today and I need to have my bath quickly before Diane knocks for me and we go down to breakfast.

I'd like to do Lindsey's step class this morning and circuits in the gym this afternoon and there's plenty pf other activities organised by Potters so I guess I will be shattered again this evening and it will be a morning post tomorrow again.

Have a great day, everyone.  Stay safe and I hope the rain (if you have it) doesn't stop you doing too much.  xx

Thursday 25 April 2024

Thursday evening, 25-04-24

Evening, everyone.  Just a quick one to say today has been lovely and I will do my best to post regularly over the weekend but, if I don't appear, don't worry, I will definitely be properly back on Monday.

All the best and, as always, sleep well.  xx

Wednesday 24 April 2024

Wednesday evening, 24-04-24

Good evening, everyone.  It's been quite a quiet day but a very pleasant one.  Thankfully, the sinuses are behaving themselves so no problems in that direction.  I've had some really lovely birthday greetings from far and wide which has made me very happy.

And personal training with Lindsey was great.

Tomorrow, I need to get everything sorted for my weekend at Five Lakes.  It really is a lovely place and Lindsey has put together a schedule of fitness classes as well as all the usual activities that Potters puts on anyway.

I'm going to need a holiday to recover!!

Tomorrow, I'm out with Chris for lunch to celebrate both our birthdays and I need to get everything together for the weekend so I will have plenty to do.

I hope your day has been really good.
Wishing you a pleasant evening and a great night's rest.  xx

Wednesday morning (should be Tuesday evening), 24-04-24

Good morning, everyone.  Apologies for this being late but I had a very weary day yesterday and went to bed very early.

It was drizzling a little bit when Chis and I set off for Groove which was really good.  The new block, poklay list and sequences started last week but I wasn't there so this was new.

It was drizzling a bit but we decided to walk and I'm glad we did   Mind you, it was jolly cold - was it cold your way too - and I ended up turning up the heating.  To be fair, I wasn't feeling 100% and spend much of the rest of the day under a fleece, snoozing on and off, went to bed really early and slept the night through.  It's so nice that I can do this when I feel I need to.

It did mean upstairs didn't get done but not to worry, it won't go away!

I'm not quite sure whether I need to go over to Beth's this morning.  They're expecting a parcel nut don't know when yet and, as they both have to be out over midday, I'm sitting in for it - perhaps.

Later on, I will be going to personal training so I bet I sleep really well again tonight.

I'll post again this evening, all being well.  Have a great day and stay safe.   xx

Monday 22 April 2024

Monday evening, 22-04-24

Good evening, everyone.  Today started off beautifully sunny but it's now dull and we've had some rain.  A shame, but the sun was bright and cheering earlier - it could have been much worse!

I was inspired by Jackie when I read her blog this morning where she talked about moving curtains around.
I have two enormous pairs of curtains in front of my French windows and the lining of one curtain has torn rather badly on one side - the side that shows.  They are around twenty years old and that particular curtain gets a lot of sun on that bit so I guess it's just rotten really.  The curtains are fine in themselves but the linings obviously need replacing and the curtains need a dry clean.  Big job.

I am more than up to replacing curtain linings, especially if I make the new linings detachable ones - just measuring and straight seam really - so really all I have to do is cut the old ones off right next to the tape and use the correct curtain hooks for separate linings.  I do wonder why I didn't have them made that way when the extension was built, in fact.
I don't need nor do I want new curtains.  I like what I have and they are in perfectly OK condition (apart from needing a clean).

Anyway - that's a job to build up to but, in the meanwhile, this morning I just changed the pair with the torn lining around so that the torn bit is right in the corner and hidden from sight as well as less likely to get any worse because it won't be pulled when I draw the curtains closed or open.  Some of the hooks snapped (as they do) and I had a five minute panic while I tried to remember where I put the box of curtains fixings last time I had a tidy out.
I found them in the most logical place so that was OK.

On reflection, I think I could/should also swap over the other pair too.  They don't get so much sun so the linings seem to be fine but - well, wear and tear and all that.  And in the meanwhile, time to start working out and costing up new lining fabric and all the trimmings.  Perhaps I could go for blackouts - they have better insulating qualities, I believe.
And checking that the local dry cleaners takes curtains!  I'm sure it does.

Thanks, Jackie - I needed that poke to get it started.

This morning I went to the first Circuits class of this block because I missed last week's one.  It was very nice to be back.

Then I came home, had breakfast (nice) and did the usual Monday housework - downstairs.  I'm now in a comfortable pattern with this all and am happy to save the amount I would previously have paid the cleaners.  I was gutted when they said they would have to stop but it's turned out to be a good thing really.

I noticed that my clematis is looking pretty lively - just look at all those buds and that's just a small part.  It will be a picture in a little while.

Less positively, the pollen is beginning to impact.  My nose and ears have been uncomfortably itchy over the weekend so I started the annual anti-histamine tablets today.  They worked pretty quickly, thankfully.

Well, that's today done and dusted.  Has your day been good?  And the weather?  Have a pleasant evening, a good night's sleep, and stay safe and warm.  xx

Sunday 21 April 2024

Sunday evening, 21-04-24

Evening, everyone.  It's been a very gentle, quiet day here.  No excitements or events apart from Beth and Alex popping round this afternoon with a computer chair.
My chair is old and the seat part is shedding bits of plastic all over the place.  Beth has just acquired a new chair (funded by her workplace), she has given me her 'old' chair which is actually pretty new, and I am buying a new chair for Alex because Beth's old chair isn't really his thing and he needs one.
Does that all make sense?

I shouldn't have to clean the carpet quite so often now.

Apart from that, I have read, knitted, cooked and generally had a restful time.  Nice.

Good night, everyone.  Sleep well.  xx

Saturday 20 April 2024

Saturday evening, 20-04-24

Good evening, everyone.  It's been quite pleasant weather today with only a little rain and plenty of sunshine.  Now, if it would just warm up a little bit . . .

We had a bit of excitement this morning.  There was an awful lot of noise and when I popped my head out to investigate, this had landed in the field over the road.  An Essex Air Ambulance.

I never did find out why and, anyway, none of my business, but I hope everyone was OK.

The walk was lovely.  OK, a bit muddy underfoot but not as bad as it could have been and when the sun came out, it was gorgeous.

A few photos.

We stopped off at the Writtle Tea Rooms for a very nice cup of coffee (or whatever) before parting company.  By the time I got home, the ambulance had gone.

I've done the ironing, some cooking, some meal planning and managed to find time for an afternoon snooze.  Very nice too!

How has your day been?  Good weather?
Have a lovely evening and sleep well.  xx

Friday 19 April 2024

Friday evening, 19-04-24

Good evening, everyone.  

I had a really good journey home and I didn't get lost ONCE - by that, I mean I didn't take a wrong turning - you're never actually proper lost with a sat nav, are you?
The only momentary ooops was in Sudbury when, suddenly, there was a sign saying 'Road Closed Ahead'.  I hate it when that happens because it never says WHICH road is closed.  It could be the road you're on or it could be a side road.  Why can't it say 'this road' or 'side road'?
Fortunately, it was the latter so that was OK.

I was lucky with the weather too - I went through plenty of places that had had recent rain but never got caught in a shower myself.

Once home, it didn't take long to turn the hot water back on, turn on the central heating for a short time (it felt a bit chilly) get unloaded, make coffee (I have priorities), unpack, get the first load of washing on and do a fruit and veg shop.
Later on, I had finished all the washing which is now drying on the rack because it has been very showery here today and I've just finished making a couple of loaves of bread for the freezer - the house is smelling awesome and homey. 
And I got my finances up to date.  Normally, I like to check it all regularly and keep my spreadsheet up to date which, obviously, I couldn't do this week.
I think I'm all set up now.

The garden is still looking OK.

The bluebells at the front are lovely
and the lily of the valleys (or is it lilies of the valley?) are looking good too . . . 
while, round the back, the strawberries are also looking promising.
Just as long as we don't get any frosts . . .

While I was away, I got an email from EON that cheered me up.  The last bill for electricity was around the £50 mark and the new one, payable at the beginning of May, is around £28.  That's quite a drop and I'm guessing that not only are the days longer so I am not turning the lights on so much but also, with the longer days and higher sun, the solar panels are producing more power.  Whatever the reason, it was very cheering.

Tomorrow, I'm out for a walk with some Slimming World friends in the morning and I also need to get the ironing finished off and do my meal plan for the coming week.
What are your plans for the weekend?

Sleep well, everyone, and stay warm.  xx

Thursday evening, 18-04-24

Sorry, I was desperately tired yesterday evening and had a bit of sinus trouble again or perhaps it was a migraine type thing from too much chocolate (ooops); anyway, early night and I'm as right as rain now.

The weather was good again yesterday and it was just a happy day.  I know you've already seen this view bit just look at the sunshine and the blue sky.  

I managed to access Lindsey's class; it did keep freezing but only briefly each time.  No good for conversations but fine for a fitness class.
I had another lovely swim although the wave machine wasn't working - no idea why not.  I'm a child when the wave machine starts - it's lovely to bob up and down and I enjoy the shrieks of the real children!
The gym as good but I probably won't be buying a pass again.  It was worth a try and I enjoyed it  but not really my thing for a holiday.
And walks around the forest are always lovely.  I forgot my camera though, unfortunately.  Oh, well, there wouldn't have been anything that different anyway.

In the evening I got as much packed as I could.  Now I just need to sort out the fridge, the shower stuff and the rubbish bin.  After eight I can go and get the car so I can load it up and then I have the choice of either taking the car back to the carpark and staying for a while or heading off home.  I will probably do the latter.  If I am home early, I can get everything unpacked, do a little shop and have things shipshape by the evening.  That would be good.

It has been a lovely short break but I love getting home too.  Now it's just a week before Lindsey's Fitness and Fin weekend at Five Lakes.  Really looking forward to that.  

Have a great day, everyone.  xx

Wednesday 17 April 2024

Wednesday evening, 17-04-23

Hello again, everyone.  I'm more than half way through my short holiday now and starting to think about when to pack tomorrow.  Sad thought so let's move on swiftly . . .

I was thinking about when we first came to Center Parcs all those years ago.  It was 1987 because that's when Sherwood first opened.  In the spring of that year, I had been given a block of supply at the school and, as I had a good maintenance from ex, I decided to plough some the earnings into a holiday.  
As you did then, pre internet, I went into town to Thomas Cook (I think) with the kids and said something like 'We want to book a holiday that has things for the children to do and a nice pool but a step up from Butlins.' and the girl said 'Well, there's this place that has just opened in Sherwood Forest . . . '.
The rest is family history.

We had an amazing week, taking the children out of school which you could in those days - first and last time ever and I felt SO guilty - and, as we left at the end, both Beth and Dave burst into tears because they didn't want to leave  and as soon as I got home I was on the phone to book another one.
Then Elveden opened, which was much closer.

We stopped going after a while because we discovered Streele Farm which was much safer for an autistic lad like Alex but restarted again when Streele Farm just got too expensive (sad but that is life).

It was a lovely, sunny start to the day and this is a good time of the year for a view because it won't be long before the trees leaf up fully and then the lake will be hidden.

I am so relishing these leisurely times.  No washing to start off so it dries on the line, no carpets to sweep or furniture to dust.  Just breakfast, a bit of a tidy up and off to have a swim.  Bliss . . .

So, today started gently again and just before ten I walked down to the Subtropical Swimming Paradise (that's what it's called) and had a lovely long time in the pool, almost two hours.  It wasn't all energetic stuff, of course, but even gentle stuff is more energetic than it feels because it is resistance movement.

After lunch and various very naughty snacky stuff, I decided to skip the gym as I was feeling really weary.  I started reading and fell asleep!  Must have needed it!

I did go for a late afternoon walk though so I could work up an appetite for dinner.  As I left the hotel, it started to rain.  Great!!  Fortunately, it was short lived; the sun came out again and it was all lovely.
Obviously, I took some photos as I walked around.

And I detoured to look at the tree houses.

We have this crazy idea of celebrating my 75th birthday with a family get together.
The idea is to really splash out and book one of the tree houses for a Monday to Friday break.

Beth and Alex are on board but I haven't checked with Dave and Anna yet.  I hope they like the idea.
So I am saving.

If it doesn't come off, we can do something else but it would be special and make memories.

All in all, it was a really lovely walk around.

Tomorrow starts a bit differently.  I'm going to try to access Lindsey's Thursday online SET class; the internet connection isn't great so it might freeze after a while but it is worth a try.  Then I can go and cool off in the pool.

At some point, I will pack as much as I can so there's not a mad rush last thing, something I dislike.  

Anyway, it has been another really lovely day.  Apart from a couple of showers, the weather has been great - not that warm but that's not an issue for me.
I'm going to sleep well tonight, I am sure.  Hope you all do too.  Sweet dreams . . .  xx

Tuesday 16 April 2024

Tuesday evening, 16-04-24 - loadsa photos.

Evening, everyone.  I ought to be absolutely shattered but I'm not really, only the Prosecco induced kind which is quite different!

The day started very leisurely with several coffees and an early (for me) breakfast before I wandered down to the pool.  I tried to get a couple of photos without including too many people - not easy.

I had a really lovely swim and a good relax before strolling round the shops (again) and then heading back to the hotel for lunch.

A few more photos from my balcony.

In the afternoon, I strolled away from the village centre towards the Spa to find the gym, taking a few photos on the way.

The gym was rather nice.  Not big but big enough and it was pretty much empty.  The equipment had clear instructions so no problems using any of it and I gave myself a good work out of cross trainer, weights and a cool down on the cross trainer again.  The sort of thing I might do with Lindsey, in fact.
I'll have a go at the treadmill tomorrow - walking rather than running.  I need to build up stamina as Jen has persuaded me to take part in the Race for Life again in July.  

Then it was back to the hotel for a very welcome coffee before I went out again to wander along the very small beach and through the centre again as I could feel myself stiffening a bit.

This is the hotel/apartments, by the way.

Here's some photos I took on the walk.

Not it's evening and I'm going to shower, wash my hair and chill.  I hope your day has been good too.  Take care, sleep well and sweet dreams.  xx