Thornwick Bay, Yorkshire

Its been a while since I wrote a blog and this has been for several reasons. All things craft came to a standstill once Easter arrives as it gets far too close for to the summer exams for me to focus on anything creative, but also the stress of the exams extracts any creative mojo I may have.
As a Principal examiner I have a big responsibility to ensure the processes for each exam season is followed along with the quality assurance so the results have some validity. This completely saps any energy I have so no crafts. 
So we are on our second summer getaway. We are in Bridlington and lovely town in Yorkshire not far from Scarborough and Whitby.

1. First thing I noted. The boys could not get their heads round an open plan kitchen/lounge and dining room. They screamed for over an hour running up and down the 12 foot of the caravan. My poor neighbours must have thought … ‘Here come the chavs’ they must have only heard us shouting at the boys to be quiet. I did feel for the elderly couple that were on one side who clearly own their caravan and probably thought they would have a quiet weekend away.

2. The rain. We woke up to rain at home and it followed us here. Good job I packed the boys wellies. Well done me.

3. While we bought our shopping in the local supermarket there was an offer on trucks and tractors. I bought them as the boys are mad on all types of transport at the moment. Good job I did they have not stopped playing with theirs or their cousins since we got here. Well done me.

4. Smacking each and every button in a lift causing the singleton eye rolls which I can very much relate to.

5. The indoor pool entertained them for ages! They did not and would not come out of it! 

A long weekend was enjoyed by all and was enough for some serious amount of family time! Perfect!

Holiday in Ayr, Scotland

We spent 7 glorious rain free days (yes your read that correctly) in Ayr. It was fun, busy and with most holidays we now have included a night in hospital with one of the boys.

We took the whole family to Ayr and when I say whole family I mean, my mother, and my parents in law. My sister also manged to come directly from Portugal where she was enjoying her first anniversary with her husband. 

My mums cousin lives there and its a beautiful place and we went last year and felt we needed to go again and take in its real beauty. So we packed up the cars and arrived ready to take in Ayr in all its finest.

We had plenty of cousins and the cousins had children so there was plenty of distraction for everyone.

We spent a day in Stirling at a Safari Park which we all loved.  There was plenty to do for all the family from the ferris wheel to adventure playgrounds to setting up your own private bbq. 

We had a cultural visit to the sikh temple that my parents wanted to do whilst we visited Glasgow so we went and saw the beautiful buildings as well as a dedicated museum to sikh history whilst we were there.

Ayr also has its own beach with an enormous adventure playground that the children wore themselves out in. The views were stunning and it felt good to smell the sea air. The tide was out so lots of fun was had making muddy sand castles and plenty of tantrums when we had to pack up and return. 

Finally we ate. And did we eat. The family in Scotland live a good get together so it was bbqs, meals out, takeaway and huge meals for all and sundry.  All in all minor minus the overnight in a hospital for a bug that the little one had caught everyone had fun and returned feeling that they had had a change of scenery and were refreshed. 

UKPA Big Meet 2016

Its been a very eventful weekend for an autumn Saturday at the start of the term for me. You remember a few months ago I wrote about my excitement of being able to get a ticket for the Big Meet well the day soon arrived and it absolutely blew everyone away.

Earlier this year the UKPA team arranged for over 80 of us to meet up and enjoy our planners with similar minded people. As the planning of the day went ahead there was what can only be described as a snowball effect. The businesses that sell us the stickers, planners and ephemera started to show interest. More and more people wanted to be involved and by the time I arrived with my table 4 groupies the good bag was enormous. From brands such as Filofax (I ❤️ filofax) to Mrs Brimbles – my ever faithful monthly subscription box the bags were loaded to the brim.

We were all given table numbers and seating guides weeks ahead so most tables exchange numbers and got to know each other beforehand. I was on table 4 and it was a great table, we laughed at each other, with each other and ate plenty of chocolate too!

The day started off with a talk from Kristina Karlasson owner of Kikki K. She imparted her 11 rules which simply inspired me and the room full of women with their planners. There were lots of stalls set up who had heaps of planner related goodies for us all. It was just heavenly. The atmosphere around the whole event was just fun. It was the first time you felt you could go over and ask ‘can I see your planner’ without feeling like you are intruding into someones diary!

There were UKPA awards where one of our very own Dani won the filthiest minds award. Very well won given it is very true. And lets not forget the raffle, there were so many prizes that had been donated that they raffles off names until they ran out of prizes. I ought to add here that I won an A5 Purple Finsbury I could not wait to come home and talk planner to my husband.  And just like any other planner meet up there was the ultimate planner pile that everyone enjoyed.

Whilst driving home I reflected on the day. Somehow a group of women who had mostly been online friends managed to meet up, have fun and begun real life friends. That in itself is an achievement for UKPA but also for every woman who was there. It was fun. It was relaxing and most of all you could feel the electricity of people just enjoying each others company and talking to one another as if they had known each other for many years.

I also got to meet Steph who organises the group which was fab. I met Daisy Martin off mygreencow who I follow on YT and the wonderful Anna Brimbles to thank her for my stationary box that arrives each month. It was good to put names to faces and to see the real them.

If you are a planner nerd and love anything to do with planner goodies UKPA has it all.

As for next year a bigger venue is most certainly on the cards … here’s to 2017!