Blimey, this is the first Sunday Sevens post – or any post – that I’ve managed to do in June!
Obviously, there are a few more than seven photos so now’s the opportunity to hop off and make yourself a quick cuppa for the journey, or scroll down and move on to the next blog:)
- The Royal Bath & West Show is held every year over the last weekend of May/June and we’re normally in Spain staying with my Auntie as it coincides with the school half term. As No.2 Son is at Senior school now, we don’t feel that we can take him out of school for a few days either side of the holidays like we used to at Primary school, so we were at home. When my sister rang to say that she had a couple of free tickets from a friend that works there, I jumped at the chance to go for the first time in over fifteen years.
2. Well, suffice to say that we had a lovely day, just the two of us. She also had free tickets for The Boys, but I decided that they’d much rather have a Boy’s Day Out with their Father than trawl around with their Mum and Auntie all day doing girly stuff. Not that I selfishly wanted to spend the day alone with my sister at all.
Anyway, it turns out they went to watch the latest Star Wars film which was perfect ‘cos you couldn’t drag me to the pictures to watch that!!
And we got to see people on stilts wandering around dressed up in flowers.
3. There were lots of nice things to spend your money on, although I had my business head on and was concentrating on what might be useful for the future B+B.
Stag’s heads are essential for Exmoor, right?
4. As is an outside sauna, surely…..
5. ….and a hot tub.
6. On to the more serious decisions like choosing a Water Softening System…..
7. ….and selecting the perfect wines to stock.
8. Good decision not to bring The Boys.
They wouldn’t have had half as much fun as we did running around popping the smoke-filled bubbles.
9. After a fab day, it was back to reality and more B+B guests, this time from Malaysia.
They don’t look very happy in this photo, but they were the BEST group we’ve had to date – hilariously funny and ridiculously appreciative of the meals I cooked for them on both nights of their stay. They even paid over the odds for four jars of homemade jam that they wanted to take back as gifts AND left a generous tip!
10. Here’s Tess guarding all their laundry again. Why she loves curling up on it is beyond me; it doesn’t even smell of us, but strangers.
11. Still in half term, we invited a few friends around for a barbecue-and-pool day, as the weather was turning increasingly Summery.
12. Lots of time has been spent enjoying the garden.
13. Relaxing whilst The Pool Cleaner does the best he can with a tennis racquet before the proper skimmer arrives.
Note that the handmade boxer shorts are still going strong.
14. And then the haymaking in the fields behind started….triggering my hayfever.
15. Probably not the optimum time to choose for a thirteen mile walk through open countryside with two friends, one of whom hasn’t suffered for years, but look at how her eyes swelled up!
16. This was the view from our starting point in Castle Cary.
17. The grass was waist high for much of the walk and, wading through it, you could see the clouds of pollen being discharged into the air. My ribs ached after so much sneezing.
18. We made it (on the hottest day of the year) to the market place in Somerton by 7pm and headed straight to the nearest pub.
We would have been there earlier but for the fact that those two refused to walk through most of the fields with cows in, of which there were a lot. By the end, we were all so hot and tired that we walked through a field with cows AND a bull in and guess what? Yep, we were ignored. We could have saved two miles!
19. The day before half term No.2 Son had an Inset day, so we went out for lunch.
20. The following weekend he had a tummy bug and spent three days flat out on the sofa. Why do kids always look like they’re at Death’s door when they’ve been puking up?
21. I bottled up lots of Elderflower Cordial, some for the school fair and some for us.
22. Finally, the doll and wardrobe of clothes was raffled off and made £70 for the school (and yes, they did only sell the patchwork quilt that I made for a fiver!).
23. The little girl who won it had already gone home, so this is her brother collecting her prize.
I plan on doing a separate blog post on the doll later on.
24. I went to Bath for the day with my sister, as she had bought us both a session at Thermae Bath Spa for Christmas.
We started off by visiting the Kaffe Fassett exhibition, which was amazing.
25. We had coffee on the Pultenay Bridge and lunch at Thai Basil.
26. We went for our spa session in the afternoon.
27. No photos are allowed in the spa itself, so these are some promotional images I found.
This is the spa at dusk – it’s in a stunning spot tucked up in the skyline with views over the city and the cathedral.
28. We went in both the rooftop spa and the inside jacuzzi pool.
29. We had cocktails afterwards on the rooftop terrace of a nearby pub.
30. Typically, the trains back to The Middle Of Nowhere were 6pm or 9.30, so whilst my sister had her pick of trains I stayed late on my own and had a fantastic supper overlooking the weir again.
31. Father’s Day came with several cards from the kids….
32. ….and these magnificent lilies.
33. The hot spell continues and our rhubarb is clearly loving it.
34. Here’s Tess lapping up the early morning sun while it’s still cool enough to do so.
Can you just about see the pile of outgrown dressing-up clothes to the right of the picture above?
35. My sewing class did! We had five minutes before class began and the girls each chose an outfit to wear for the duration.
36. With the husband in Munich all week, it was up to me to take No.3 Son to football training. I treated us to a meal at Thai Mango afterwards. This was just the mixed starters!
37. Craftwise, my efforts have been concentrated on the wedding blanket as the big day fast approaches.
38. We have also been working like crazy to get the last few jobs around the house finished ready to put the house on the market. The boxing-in of the pipework in the downstairs loo has finally been installed and painted.
39. We made another trip to Exmoor to have a second look at our favourite properties and had the obligatory cream tea in Allerford Old Post Office.
40. Unfortunately, No.3 Son had caught the bug off his brother and was beginning to feel unwell at this point, so sat out front on the bench seat while we looked around.
Both Grade II listed Georgian properties, this one has Tudor origins at the rear.
41. The second one is our favourite and has the bonus of this separate granny flat on the ground floor, spanning the length of this photo. It has its own entrance and private garden – perfect for you and Jessie, Mother, if you’re reading this!
In an ideal world, the stars will align, the London flat will sell at the same time as our house and we can choose either one and move in by Christmas.
The reality is that it’s a long drawn out process and the National Trust, although now prepared to listen, have not even yet given permission to allow a business to be run from the yellow house.
But at least we’ve started the ball rolling and in the meantime I’ve got more important things to worry about….
42. …..like this streak of grey hair that has appeared since I turned fifty in March!