And then it was Friday!

Another week has flown by! I can’t believe it’s Friday already! So much has happened in just a few days!

Technically for us it was only a 4 day week as we took Monday off. If you read my previous blog you will know we spent the weekend in Gloucester. As we hadn’t had a break for 6 months, I really needed to charge my batteries!

So on Monday, we decided to extend our weekend and head to Stonehenge for the day!

I can’t believe I’ve never been before. It’s only a couple of hours drive away. It’s also free if you belong to English Heritage, which we do, so there has really been no excuse.

The weather was on our side! It was a beautiful spring day. Don’t get me wrong, it was blooming cold and windy, but the sun was out.

When you drive to Stonehenge you may be surprised to see it from the road. Well I was! It was just like the first time I saw the pyramids in Cairo.

I had visions of them being in a remote area. Next to a busy road was not what I expected!

Although it is free to enter for us, you still have to book a slot. This is such a good idea as it limits the crowds.

Once you collect your tickets, you can go into their visitor centre which tells you all about the history of Stonehenge. English Heritage are really good at giving you information in the form of audio equipment. Sadly, in the excitement we forgot to get ours! It didn’t matter though, there was still a lot of information about.

Next you get to walk around a replica village. I was a bit disappointed here as only one little house was open for you to view! This meant everyone was focused on the one building rather than spreading it around.

Next you board a shuttle bus that takes you to the stones. They run every few minutes, so it’s all relaxed! You can walk it if you like, but as I said, it was a tad chilly!

Nowadays you can’t get very close to the stones. I can’t believe people used to try and damage them!

There is a good footpath around so you get a great 360 degree view of the stones. With the sun out and perfect blue skies, our cameras were busy!

If you go, look out for what is left of the old road next to the stones! Being so close, I can see why they moved it!

Here is an account of our day.

It was such a lovely day we decided to call into Bourton-on-the-Water for a very late lunch.

One of the benefits of going to tourist places this time of the year is that you miss the crowds.

We only had 1 extra day off, but I felt like I’d really had a good relaxing break!

Tuesday was back to work. Boo hoo! We live in hope to one day win the lottery so we can both travel more! It probably won’t happen, but you have to have a dream!

Have a great weekend!

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Starting to feel a lot like Christmas!

I know everyone says it, but I really can’t believe it’s Christmas eve already! Where did this year go?

Sadly, I have had to go to work today, but that isn’t going to stop me getting into the Christmas spirit! It is one of the most magical times of the year for me. It’s a time to spend it with your family and loved ones.

I have my parents to thank for my love of Christmas. As kids, they made it so magical. They also ensured we knew the true meaning of Christmas too.

We always had a real tree that reached the ceiling. It would be placed in the bay window. Decorating it was a family affair. The more tinsel we could put on it, the better!

Our house was very old, so we were fortunate to have an open fire. Sitting in the lounge with the Christmas lights on, a warm log fire and a home made mince pie, were common place.

Santa was a big thing in the house. We would write our letters early and leave them out for Santa to take.

If we needed something like shoes or clothes, Santa would ask mum and dad to take us to try them on and buy them. We would then leave them out for him to take back to Lapland, to be delivered with the rest of our presents on Christmas Eve.

We were in the church choir, so attended all the festive services during December. Being able to appreciate the true meaning of Christmas is so important to me. I still attend church when I can on Christmas Eve. The church fete was always a must too.

On Christmas Eve, we used to go to midnight mass, where either I or my brother sang a solo of ‘Once In Royal David’s City’.

When bedtime came, we would all pick out one of my dads socks. We would proudly place them on the end of our bed! A mince pie, carrot and glass of milk or something stronger was left out for Santa and his reindeer.

Oh the excitement on Christmas morning, when there, on the end of my bed was now my Christmas Stocking. I say stocking, but it was always a sack! I often wondered what Santa did with all those socks!

We would then run into my parents bedroom with sacks in hand and sit on their bed. One by one, we would empty our sacks to see what Santa had left us. As young children it would be things like crayons, colouring books etc. As I grew older, make up would slip in. Today, my parents still do us a sack, but it is now filled with things like washing up liquid, cling film, foil, shower gels etc. It may sound weird, but it’s still one of my favourite things about Christmas. I now save this until boxing day to open, so I can savour the pleasure of it.

Once the sacks are opened, we were so excited to see what Santa had brought us. Dad always warned us not to go downstairs ourselves, just in case Santa was still there! It was ok though, as Dad could check for us. If he had been, he would put the lights on tree and light the fire as he went back up the chimney!

So every year, we would creep down stairs and wait, while dad would pop his head into the lounge and check for us! Yey, he had been!

I still remember the feeling as I walked into the room, the warmth from the fire and the bright twinkling lights on the tree, and there in 3 piles (one each for myself, and my 2 brothers), our presents. I was so excited! I didn’t care necessary what was in them. It was all about the magic of Christmas.

This routine carried on right up to my last Christmas at home, when I was 18. I don’t have children of my own, but I still love the magic of Christmas.

Christmas dinner is also a great time. As a child we would have dinner at home, just the five of us. Crackers were a must, as was the paper hat! Then a visit to both grand parents.

We always went to church Christmas morning too. I still feel it’s important to remember the real meaning behind Christmas. I do worry that sometimes it can become all about the presents, rather than the birth of Jesus.

This year, I have the family coming to me for dinner. I’ve done dinner for the last few years. I feel it is my turn to take the reigns from my parents these days. They have done it for so many years, it is nice to let them just relax and enjoy the day.

I have between 8-12 people and I love it. Cooking for this many isn’t a problem. It’s no different that cooking for 4, you just need more food! I love the noise, and seeing my family all sat around the same table, laughing and enjoying themselves.

Last year, some friends introduced me to the Nigella’s turkey recipe! You leave it in brine for a few days! It was so moist and tasty, we have done it again this year. As we speak, my turkey is soaking in a large plastic box in my garage, in a mixture which includes cinnamon sticks, oranges, onions, a mixture of spices and herbs!

I’m so excited to taste it again this year.

In all the excitement though, I still have time to remember those not as lucky as me. The homeless and those with no family around them. If I could, I would try and help them all out, but I know that is not practical. I will try to help though through charity.

I recently heard of a family who had lost everything. Someone had donated them a Christmas lunch, but the 3 children, 2 girls aged 8 and a 5 year old boy, were probably not getting anything for Christmas. I bought a little present each for them. It’s not much, but if I can help put a smile on someones face on Christmas day, especially a child, then I feel happier.

However you are spending Christmas this year, have a great time. Remember the real meaning behind it. Make it as magical and memorable as you can.

Have a lovely Christmas, and god bless everyone.

This is my type of Wasp swarm!

If you have been following me, you will know, I recently had a problem with wasps in my home. I spent a couple of weeks trying to get rid of them. To me they are horrible insects, who just sting you. They drive you mad when you are trying to enjoy an alfresco dinner or drink. They are just a general all around nuisance, that I absolutely hate!

Thankfully, there is another type of wasp, I absolutely love! The rugby team!

Wasps originated from London. They were founded in Hampstead in 1867 by members of Hampstead FC, which you will now know as the Harlequins.

Thankfully for me, they relocated to Coventry Ricoh in December 2014. Initially only buying a 50% stake of the Ricoh in October 2014, but quickly increasing that to 100% stake by November 2014, they secured their future in the Midlands.

Being married to a huge rugby fan, having a local team on our door step has been a real dream. It all started with their Christmas matches. These are played very near to Christmas Eve. The atmosphere is very festive. The one thing you will learn about Wasps, is that they do a really good party atmosphere rugby match!

Music is played before and after the match, and with the festive match it is followed by a firework display. Everyone is in such good spirits, its a fabulous time.

Rugby has always been a good game for families, but the Wasps matches really stand out!

The Christmas match is now a tradition with us, and this year is no exception. The match is on Sunday 23 December with a 3 am kick off! I have my festive bobble hat at the ready.

Now, I have to confess, I know very little about Rugby. I’m learning, very slowly. I became addicted to it during the Rugby World Cup in 2015. I constantly trying to get tickets to South African games and England games. We traveled right up to Newcastle to see a game. I love the live atmosphere.

I’ve been to football matches, but didn’t enjoy them as I was only guard to things going on around me. In rugby, we could sit next to someone supporting the opposite team, and it would all be in good fun and high spirits.

The truth is, rugby is such a good game, it doesn’t matter if you don’ t know the rules fully. For me I know, the teams have different coloured kits so as long as your team member has the ball, its all good!

To score points, they have to either kick the ball between the posts for 2 points, run the ball over the line for 4 points plus a kick at the goal for an additional 3 points! There may be more, but that is the total amount of my knowledge!

Now I’m going to show off by saying that I also know you have to pass the ball backwards to a team member! They play for 80 minutes in total, 40 minutes a side, when the swap goals! And finally, the team with the highest points wins! Yey!

For me, that is all I need to know right now. If I learn more along the way, great, but it doesn’t stop me having a fabulous time.

If you have ever been tempted to go to a rugby match, and live in the Midlands, a trip to watch Wasps is must. Check out their website for Matches. They often do deals!

I’m so into them now, I’ve even knitted my hubby a scarf to help keep him warm for this weekends match!

Catch a fallen star…..

Oh wow, how excited was I today!  For the first time I saw a shooting star!  It was amazing!

My husband was with me.  He was quite surprised that I had never seen one before, but in the UK, I am not sure how often you can see them?

I was driving to work as normal, when there in front of me I saw this stream of light.  I was gutted I was driving, as I would have loved to have kept searching the sky to see more.

Why do you never have your video on when it happens ?

When I saw it, that song from my childhood came flooding back to me – Catch a fallen star and put it in your pocket, save it for a rainy day!  In reality though, you are never going to do that or are you?  As children, we dream of catching that fallen star!

What you may not know, is that a shooting star isn’t actually that! It  is a common name for the visible part of small dust or rocks from space, as it travels through the Earths atmosphere while burning up, which gives it the commonly known name of a shooting star. If it is large enough, the meteoroid will fall to sea or onto the ground, and be considered a meteorite. So in fact, the song may not be far wrong.  If on the rare occasion you pick up a meteorite, you could put it in your pocket. Although, you are probably going to have more luck in winning the lottery!

Shooting stars are also known as fallen stars, which is where the song comes from.  As they send streaks of light across the night sky before burning out into the darkness, it is said to possess a bit of magic, bringing good luck for anyone who sees one!

I was always told that if I saw a shooting star I should make a wish!  And I certainly did that  today!

It may have taken me nearly 50 years to see one, but I am so glad I did.  It certainly was a magical sight to see.  I hope I don’t have to wait another 50 years to see one.

I’ve since looked online, and there are many websites that allow you to look up timetables of when the next meteor shower may be and where!

I can see a bit of star gazing coming on me thinks!

Happy star gazing!