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Honeymoon

14 Jun

We got married back in August last year, but with the impending Viva, house buying and relocation, plus the fact we had just paid for a wedding we didn’t really have the time, nor the means to go away.

We played with the idea of winter sun, expensive Caribbean destinations and exotic, cultured tours.

But actually, what we really wanted was to lay on a beach drinking cocktails, and doing naf all.  We didn’t want the pressure of being somewhere where we would have to go and see buildings, art galleries or wonders of the ancient world.  No, sod that, we didn’t want to be entertained or cultured.

Neither of us are particularly adventurous so we have come to love the greek islands,  the greek people are friendly, engaging and don’t seem to mind if you can’t speak greek.  Most of all we feel safe there.  We also realised that there was little point traveling half way around the world to just lay on a beach drinking all-inclusive cocktails!

So we waited until the start of the Greek holiday season and went to Kos, an island we have visited previously with limited cultural interest (all of which we saw on our last trip) and where we managed to get a fairly bargainous all-inclusive-10-day-deal.  It was still significantly more expensive than our usual 3-star-self-catering job.  But we figured we should make it a bit more special than our usual holiday.

We stayed at the Hotel Oceanis Beach and Spa Resort which is a 4-star-couples-only-mega-all-inclusive-hotel on the beach.  We were expecting it to be a bit posher that our previous holidays, with no food shopping to do and 10 days instead of 7, we also expected it to be a bit more relaxing and luxurious.

The hotel surpassed all our expectations…
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The room staff folded our towels into animal shapes:

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And when we mentioned we were on Honeymoon:

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The food was awesome, the drink all inclusive:

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And we actually managed to do nothing for a whole 10 days:

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Aside from, of course, some experimental paddle-boarding:

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And, posing in the sea:

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We also learned a little bit of Greek and made friends with the Beach Bar Staff:

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With nothing to do for 10 days, we felt as if we had a decent break. I was sad to leave, so sad I cried on the crappy flight back home.

However,  Life goes on, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the puppies had survived our trip away.  They had been well looked after by Dan’s parents and were pleased to see us but also quite happy with life as it was:

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Also, the Apple tree had blossomed:

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And the flowers had begun to flower:

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Christmas 2012

30 Dec

I hope you have all had a very Merry Christmas!

We (as you might have guessed) are not exactly Christian, but we do celebrate: Family; Friends; The passing of another year; The Winter Solstice; Time Off Work; Good Food; and of course, Good Booze!

For the last Five Years Dan and I have spent Christmas together, alternating between his mum’s and my mum’s house, usually getting back into the car on boxing day to drive for three hours to see the other mum. I love seeing everyone, but this can mean we take a week off work without managing to spend time in our own home.

This year has been a bit different! It was Dan’s mum’s year so we went to see her from Christmas eve through to boxing day, however, she only lives an hour and a half away now, so this was no big mission. The day after boxing day the script changed entirely and my parents came to see US!  It was truly lovely to have them here to see the house for the first time and spend time making it feel homely.  It also meant it was totally worth getting a Christmas Tree!!!

Our First Christmas Tree

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I don’t usually bother insisting on a tree, this is mostly because we don’t get a chance to look at it if we are off traveling the UK.  This year, it was decided, new home, new life = new tree!  It has been a joy to have and to look at and I am hoping he will survive to come in again another year!

Puppies at Christmas

This was the Puppies second Christmas with us.  So I suppose they are hardly puppies anymore.

Here they are a year ago..

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And this year!

How things change! (and how they don’t!)

Anyway, once the obligatory hat shot was out-of-the-way, they quite enjoyed Christmas. Lots of walks, attention, and of course, gifts.

It was too much for one small dog to take…

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Time Off, At Home

I took what was left of my annual leave, giving me a whopping week and a half off work.  Sadly I have been ill since the first day of this!  Just a minging virus, nothing serious. I had felt as if I was about to be ill for the last two months.  I suspect the removal of all the adrenaline, that usually keeps me chipper, left my body ready to give me hell.  I’m starting to feel a bit better (although I still can’t taste anything) today, so, of course my neck/shoulder has decided to trap a nerve.  It’s okay, I’m still enjoying the rest.  Dan bought me an industrial strength Ice Cream Maker for christmas so I have had something new to play with.  I have also had some time, in the last two days without guests, to think about how I want to develop my life a little more in the coming year.  More on that soon.  For now, I have two days left to do a little sorting (yeah, I still haven’t unpacked the office), blogging and relaxing (no I’m not going to clean the house) ready for the new year.

Seasons greetings!

 

 

 

Day 7 of 5

11 Nov

Today is the Sunday after my week off. Dan and I went away to Canterbury for two nights on Friday. We spent time wandering around the beautiful (if cold!) city, chatting and drinking mulled cider!

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Dan managed to eat a cream tea ‘alfresco’.

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And we managed to find a fancy seafood restaurant.

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Where we drank too much!

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We stayed in a (slightly dire) city centre hotel where we were lucky enough to have a view of the cathedral.

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It was good to get away and be free from all the normal hassles of daily life. However, it also made me realise life at home is pretty good! There are so many things I want to do at home. As my week off draws to a close I am pleased with how I have spent my time.
I am glad to have re-found my blog and to have started swimming. I have ticked several things off that pesky to do list but also made some time for me. It was always inevitable that I would get to the end of the week and feel like I need more time to get everything done, to read that book, to crotchet and garden.
We arrived back home at 11am. I went to the supermarket, cleaned the house and made packed lunches for work tomorrow. Again I hoped there might be time for reading and crotchet, but bed-time is nearing! I have managed to identify evening swimming opportunities for the working week and have done all I can do to make the week run as easily as possible. I have also found time to write this post. If I can manage to continue swimming and blogging into next week I will be pleased with myself. It is a step in the direction of ‘work-life’ balance! And even, dare I say it(?) healthy living!

A Belated Easter Post

21 Apr

I started writing this post over Easter and thought I would try to write a seasonal one for you all (I’m sorry it’s late!).  I have had a busy time thesis writing, I wanted to get as much done as possible before I started my new clinical placement. Fortunately, the lack of blogging and the persistent slogging has paid off and I’ve written pretty much all I can untill I start getting the results of my experiment in.

Unfortunately, I pretty much missed easter altogether!

In England Easter is a bizarre and fantastic conglomeration of  the Pagan celebration of new life, the Christian marking of the death and rebirth of Christ and blatant consumerism.  To celebrate I usually make a cake; a simnel cake to be precise, which is a medium-light fruit cake with a layer of marzipan baked into it, it is our favorite but really should only be served at Easter.  I really missed the simnel cake but I did allow myself to make some easter nests!  Which were scrummy:

They are just made with crushed shredded wheat cereal and melted dairy milk chocolate, mixed up and squished into nest shapes where you place your little mini eggs. Leave to set in the fridge.  Not exactly high brow…

Well…

Untill you serve them with this:

Yes…

That would be a peaty single malt whisky

Yum!

Had I have been at my mother’s house for Easter, food would have been of central importance.  It still was here, only not so fancy! At my Mum’s we would have had fish on good friday and a roast dinner on Easter sunday (probably lamb- but not necessarily).  D does not eat meat so there is little point in cooking a roast dinner in this house.  We were able, however, to have fish on the friday.  This took the form of a smoked mackerel salad:

I know it’s a ‘salad’!

This always puts us off too, untill I actually make it and realise how ‘yum’ it is.

I think the recipe came out of one of my mum’s magazines years ago, I can’t remember where and I have probably sufficiently altered it for it not to matter too much.  It’s basically a bag of mixed leaves (preferably something peppery); sliced radishes; sliced Gherkins; Smoked, peppered mackerel and new potatoes.  I make a seriously unhealthy dressing by mixing mayonnaise with grated horseradish (or horseradish sauce) and lemon juice.  No measuring involved just to taste.  The flavours are fantastic= Smoky fish, tart gherkins, peppery radishes/leaves and the freshness of the lemon= Grand!  We washed this down with a few pints of homemade Woodfordes Wherry, a Dark Ale which didn’t seem to disagree with the fish as much as you might expect.

For Easter sunday we went with a cheats ‘toad in the hole’.  I’m ashamed to say I bought the (boat-shaped) yorkshire puddings and just added meaty sausages to mine and veggie sausages to D’s, served with gravy, Kale and mashed potato neither of us minded too much!

And that was our easter,  I hope yours was more seasonal and I look forward to a time when I can embrace public holidays and celebrations again! (maybe then you will get to see my simnel cake!).

Happy weekend!

 

 

 

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