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Good grief. What an extraordinary milestone we celebrated this weekend. My maternal Grandmother was 100 years old yesterday. Born 13th October 1913. A year before the First World War started. I can’t quite get my head around that. Sadly, she […]
On account of the fact that my twelve year old son successfully survived two days in the country on his own with his Grandmother without a friend or shop in sight and was subsequently delighted to see me, I decided that as a special treat and thank you for looking after her (he even cooked her a meal!) he and I would take a little road trip and go and stay in a hotel for the night. Being the youngest of three, he doesn't often get to have my full on one to one attention, so it was a real treat for both of us. We stayed in a hotel called The Magdalen Chapter, which was perfect for us. It's five minutes walk from the centre of Exeter - which was looking particularly gorgeous and buzzy on the first proper day of spring we have had so far. The building used to be the old eye infirmary so lots of interesting features but the style of the interior is now very modern. No real reception area - just laptops and friendly staff wearing the key purple colourway jumpers and Converse trainers. Ipads to borrow and choose wine from and Apple chargers in all the rooms. The small but lovely in/out pool was just warm enough for me to stay in and we rather indulgently were able to watch the Grand National from the pool on another guest's ipad. They were very accommodating regarding the rooms - moved us to a larger one at no extra cost when they realised that they'd squeezed us into one a little bit too small to add an extra bed and all the rooms were lovely. I have many photos I could show you but unfortunately my son is swearing in some way shape or form in all of them, so not really appropriate. Our meal was delicious - the only complaint he had was that all the other tables were full of women! When the waiter asked us if it was a special occasion we agreed that we looked a little bit odd together - "we could pretend we were getting divorced" he said....which to be honest, wasn't really the look I was going for so I told the waiter it was an early birthday celebration for him, not expecting of course that he would rush off at the rate of knots to ensure that a very special candlelit cake with "Happy Birthday" written on it would be rustled up in no time. Then I felt bad for marginally stretching the truth - but you know what? It is an early birthday treat and it was lovely to have cake and I was really impressed with our waiter and the service and all was good.... So, here are some photos of our road trip:- Exeter looking lovely and buzzy:- Exeter Cathedral:- Cathedral grounds in the sunshine:- A fabulous busker:- Successful shopping trip:- Outside the hotel:- The pool:- The indoor/outdoor bit:- A relic from the past:- Loving the art and butterfly themes:- Best Gin & Tonic ever:- Early birthday celebrations - and apologies for the swearing - I can only think that he developed the desire to express himself after staying with his Grandmother for too long!! Not acceptable behaviour I know, but they're the only photos I've got so they will have to do:-
As usual, I have become aware of One Direction's new song behind 26 million other viewers of their new video on Youtube, but still, hopefully it's not too late to share. It's a very sweet little song and haven't they come a long way. Gorgeous little boys are turning into gorgeous little men (albeit with some strange hairstyles) and I'm wondering whether Harry still has a penchant for older women..... Nevertheless, the new song has a lovely sentiment, because I agree - it is the little things ultimately that make you love someone and that's why today I am completely in love with everyone I know because I had a really lovely birthday weekend thanks to all my lovely friends and my family. Friday night I had a lovely romantic meal out, Saturday I went to the rugby with friends - England/Fiji and spent the whole second half willing Fiji to win a few more points but I was blown away by standing in a roaring crowd of 82,000 people all dressed up in silly clothes and singing and dancing and then.....we had a minute silence for Remembrance Day and it was unbelievable how quiet that many people can be if necessary - you could literally hear your own breathing. Not even a phone rang. I was so pleased, (after my Orang Utan moment) that mine didn't ring. My son drove back down from university to be here for my birthday and appeared with my youngest son for my Saturday night celebrations. It was only meant to be a few friends join me, my mother and my two brothers, sister in law and niece for a casual curry. But as usual, what started as a sedate event ended up with my two brothers becoming a comedy act, my girlfriend giving one brother piggybacks in my kitchen and my other brother dancing wildly to "Bat Out Of Hell". Unluckily for him, my son filmed it all and trust me, it is not a pretty sight. The next morning his text read "Judging by how I am feeling, I must have really enjoyed myself". He was very funny too about my new role as "Social Meeja Director" because he cannot for the life of him fathom what on earth I am actually doing and as a Consultant Haematologist" with a very clear scientific job remit he does not do "vague" very well..."but what is it exactly that you say when you go into a meeting? How can you not really know what is going to come out of your mouth? I would never go into a meeting unless I knew exactly what I was going to say - it makes no sense at all that someone actually wants to PAY you for that...." then he wandered off to ask the next person, becoming increasingly more concerned as the evening wore on. My other brother bought me a book called "Social Networking For The Older Generation" for my birthday and I am delighted to report that it is for people who have been living in a cave since Facebook began - basically it tells you how to get friends on Facebook and what a "poke" is. Oh and he also bought me a world atlas because everybody is in agreement that if I'm going to work in the travel industry I need to know what Europe looks like and where the longest river is....I pointed out that I spent a long time in the music industry knowing nothing about music, but still. I am really going to try and learn about a few borders - for example do you know how many countries border Turkey? I do. If you are born on the 11th November, then it's always great to find that it falls on a Sunday - because that makes it extra special and I wore my poppy all week with pride until it fell down the loo and looked very sorry for itself. Sunday morning was spent in the glorious sunshine watching my youngest child play football and they won which was a major bonus. Then I had coffee with lots of girlfriends, lunch at home with family and then an evening out with yet more friends at a local pub. Just lovely. Now I am exhausted and have a recycling box of shame to put outside full of far too many empty bottles.