Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Wonderful British Summer 2012

My sister's local park where we spent many fun hours. 
I have a thing about real grass and really enjoyed walking bare foot 
in this fine lush lawned park


I have specified the year in the title as there aren't many wonderful summers but when they do come along they are fabulous. 

We started off in Southampton, which is finally getting it and looking pretty good these days. Keep in mind that everything looks better when it's not cold and raining. Some lovely old Tudor buildings, good British food and the New Forest.

Tudor House, Southampton circa 15th century
well worth a visit.

Glorious sunshine is what we were lucky to have, not too hot and a lovely cool breeze. Makes all the difference.

A fun hen night for my sister who was dressed up and looking very sparkly. She really does have lovely fun friends who all helped to make her hen night, and wedding day, so very special. The wedding day was just perfect and such a fantastic day for all. Made some lovely new friends and family xxx.

The gorgeous couple

The country's obsession and love for the Olympics was contagious and thrilling. It seemed everyone in the country was smitten with team GB and the other athletes' progress. To be sat in a restaurant and have another diner yell out 'YEEESSSS!' as he followed the Olympics on his phone - brought a room full of cheers when we learned more medals had been earned for team GB, the fabulous Usain Bolt, Jeter and other incredible olympians. Most retail businesses were showing the Olympics so you could just about follow it anywhere. Was a very proud time for the Brits to put on the Olympics and do such a great job with the whole show. Really wondered what I was going to do after it finished as it seemed to take over my life for a while.

Fun times in the garden collecting raspberries,  BBQs with family, the kids trampolining in their PJs and eating ice lollies at 8.30AM. 

Renewed my faith in the NHS when my precious doll had a trampolining accident.

Looks much worse than it was. 

These paramedics arrived in two minutes and had the situation under control and daughter off to be checked at hospital in no time. A fantastic service - I shall never complain about the NHS again. We are so very lucky. No residence, insurance, civil ID, passport or money required - You make me very proud to have such a great humane emergency service available to all.

After being checked by a neck and back specialist (free of charge) it was ascertained that the nasty cracks she heard - when she hit the soft part of the trampoline - were just air bubbles, much like cracking your fingers or me bending at the knees. However, my scared babygirl was afraid to move and this led me to call 999. Thankfully she's fine. But I have now learned there are lots of accidents happening on trampolines especially from falling off or hitting the metal sides. 

And as you can see below she has fully recovered from the trampoline incident and now mummy has her up a tree doing a commando zipline tree top adventure about 40 metres up a very tall tree at the very fun Go Ape Junior Course at Moors Valley Park, Hampshire. A must visit park/forest area with mini steam railway, lakes and segways or bicycle hire. Book ahead online if you want to do the Go Ape Adventures as it's always really busy.

No need to go to 'heaving-with-tourists' Euro Disney in summer... try Paulton's Park, Hampshire it's much prettier and less crowded. Cheaper tickets can be booked online ahead of your visit. 

Then to Brighton for two weeks to be beside the seaside. The sea air was invigorating. A trip on the Brighton Eye to see for miles and learn about some of the local area and famous inhabitants. 

An interesting and educational visit to The Royal Pavilion to see 'the most' extravagant dining room and residence ever. Built for Prince Regent in 1787. 

A super dinner with friends in their gorgeous listed Georgian home (top two floors overlooking the sea) a pre-dinner walk in their shared communal garden in Lewes Crescent.

The residences' private magical communal gardens
which inspired Lewis Carroll to write Alice in Wonderland and

 yes we looked for the rabbit hole. The gardens have their own tunnel
under the busy road to the beach.

We usually use www.holidaylettings.co.uk for our accommodation whilst travelling and, so far, have had some lovely apartments. Works out cheaper and you get more space than in a hotel.

Wall art and lighting in our quirky rented Brighton studio

Getting lost in The Lanes in Brighton is a must do; a lazy day meandering around window shopping, having lunch (Plateau, Havana, Jamie Oliver, a la fresco listening to the buskers or some sandwiches from Pret-A-Manger and sit in the park next to the Pavilion to watch the Morris dancers or listening to classical bands) and definitely a cream tea at the pre-war Blackbird Tea Room in Ship Lane (we had several but whose counting).  

A visit to the Brighton Pier for some candy floss, whelks or a ride in to the Haunted House. A walk along Kempton to see the new, quirky shops and some adorable antique shops. Take the Volk Railway to the Marina, a quick peek to see if anyone's on the Naturist part of the beach (discreetly surrounded by mounds of pebbles to retain a little privacy from the gawkers and to not have the more prudish visitors fainting). 

Be warned!

A nice lunch at the Marina area overlooking the yachts. A week long festival at nearby Arundel Castle with great live music, BBQ'd lunch and ghost walks.

An overnight visit to friends in the Hampshire countryside to enjoy a serene and beautiful garden. A fantastic dinner party with friends whose hospitality was much, much appreciated.

A dining table with a view TDF
and the finest hospitality @ Christine Butler's

But really what made the holiday was spending quality time with fab family and friends. Making great memories.  Thank you all. Love ya xxx

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