Friday, August 29, 2008

14 days and counting

Fourteen days until what? Well, until I turn 33 of course! Birthdays are a bit of a damp squib when you're a widow. Nigel was never great at surprise presents, but I could tell him what I really wanted, within reason, and he would try and get it. But buying your own gifts is most definitely miserable. My girls are not yet old enough to take themselves off to the shops on their own, nor are they aware enough to realise what I would really like as a gift.

Anyway, I digress. Both the girls are loving their bikes at the moment, so I have decided to get myself a bike for my birthday. Nothing flash, just something I can ride without making a complete spectacle of myself. Then we can stick the bikes on the bike rack and go off to explore the cycle tracks round here, of which there are plenty. I've decided to go for a hybrid bike, a cross between a road bike and a mountain bike,so that we can ride on roads and also on rougher terrain, but not full on mountain stuff lol. I am going to get a gator bar for Alex, as she is still lagging in speed!

Can't believe it is the last day of the holidays. Work is beckoning... eek!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Vivid dreams seem to be the order of the day here.Not that I sleep for long, I am averaging 2 hours a night lately! I am dreaming so vividly I could almost reach out and touch Nigel, he feels so close. The dreams are not upsetting, just makes me more aware of his absence when I wake. I can smile about them, in a warm, comfortable way. Last night we were swimming in a beautiful pool, somewhere sunny and warm, the pool was enormous but only we were in it. No idea where it was! It may be a combination of memories from different holidays we had together.

I've had some lovely comments from readers of the Bella article, thank you for those. If you are reading this blog after seeing Bella, do leave me a comment. It is easy to register on Blogger, you don't have to have a blog! Claire, who I knew in Alvor before Nigel died and saw at the Owners' social this year, please drop me an email, would be great to chat a bit more, address is annajahead at yahoo dot co dot uk with the obvious alterations!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Watch this

It's important


Back home where it is cold... well actually it's not so bad, I just miss the sunshine and endless blue skies of the Algarve!

We had a fabulous holiday, returning was the best thing I have done in a while. The girls loved every minute, and have come home brown as berries. Alex's swimming has come on an absolute treat, and Sophie has been diving down the the bottom of the pool to collect the seal sticks which I bought before we left the UK.

So how did it feel to be back? It actually felt really, really good, definitely the right decision. There were moments when I felt desperately sad that Nigel was not with us, but I have felt like that on other holidays, so that was not down simply to being in Alvor. We were in a different room, in the mirror image of the last one, so that felt comfortable. The hotel had very kindly agreed to put an extra bed in the bedroom so that we could all sleep in the same room.

Having Darren and Collette there was good, and the girls enjoyed playing together (most of the time !). We ate at lots of different restaurants, and actually never at one I had been to with Nigel. One thing I could not quite bring myself to do this time was return to the restaurant where we spent our final evening together. We walked past it at the bottom of the cliff, but to go and eat there was not something I felt ready to do just yet.

Anyway, enough drivel for now. I will upload some photographs once I have finished sorting out all the stuff we took on holiday with us!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Afternoon naps a plenty

My girls were so tired today that we all went to bed this afternoon. Late nights and early starts do not make happy children! After a two hour sleep, all was well.

This evening we ate at the Captain's Table restaurant in Alvor. I had sea bass, possibly Nigel's favourite fish. It was a fabulous meal, and we will be eating there again before we go home.

Walking through Alvor tonight, I remembered all the times I had walked the same route with Nigel. This year is my seventh visit to the Algarve, and the 5th to Alvor. Many things are the same here, but equally there are lots of changes. Seeing the changes is easy to cope with, while seeing the things which have been the same since we started coming to Alvor is harder. It is both painful and happy to see these things, I remember so many of the amazing holidays we have had here. Happiness is generally over riding the sadness, but it is there, nibbling away at me at various times. I am glad we returned, and we will keep coming back, as there are plenty more happy memories to be made here.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Greetings from the sunshine

Hello everyone

A quick psot, as I must get back to the girls, who are currently swimming like fish in the hotel pool while Collette watches them for me.

Yesterday was a day of mixed emotions, the overall feeling tho was of happiness that I was able to return to the Algarve and remember so many good times we had there before Nigel died.

We arrived here at 12.30, and hit the pool immediately. The girls were like little prunes when finally they got out! In the evening we went to the Pyramide Steak House, and had an amazing meal with Darren and Collette. Nigel would have loved what we ate!

The girls slept like logs, after having been up since 4am. I too slept well, the beds here are very comfy. I wish with all my heart that Nigel was here to enjoy our Algarvian holliday, but he's not, so we're going to continue to enjoy our holiday in style!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

As we approach August 10th 2008

This will be my last post before we head off to Portugal in the early hours of the morning tomorrow. I will actually be getting up at a similar time to when Nigel died, on the second anniversary of his death. I doubt I will sleep much anyway, so there will be many memories rushing through my mind at that point.

The cases are packed and ready to go. If I have forgotten anything, we'll have to go shopping for it once we're there!! I will have access to the internet at various points, so do come back and see how we're doing.

If you're reading this blog for the first time after reading the article in Bella (which will DEFINITELY be published on Tuesday 12th August), welcome, I hope you find my blog both interesting and useful.

I leave you with a song which means a great deal to me. Listen carefully to the words, I often wonder if Nigel is watching us from where he is.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Missing in action no longer

My camera lead has been missing in action for a while now, hence the lack of photographs on this blog. I found it tonight whilst searching for our passports. Found them too so all in all a successful search mission.

This first picture is of a wedding invitation I did recently for my lovely friend Trudie, who is marrying Mark in October. Made with gorgeous Making Memories Noteworthy paper, which took quite some tracking down as it was so popular! Inside the card was a pocket holding another card detailing the wedding. Trudie loved them, and they were my wedding gift to her and Mark.

The next photo is of my recently sorted ribbon racks. The racks are just cheap tie and belt holders from ikea, and I have used two side by side.

I know if I keep my ribbons out on display, I am more likely to use more of them than if they are hidden away. Above the ribbon rack you can see my punch storage bar, which again is a cheapy from Ikea. I am reorganising my craft room slowly but surely, I want it sorted by October half term. Sounds a long way off, but my life is so hectic and busy I have no chance of doing it much quicker than that. Plus I do craft in there in the meantime!

Here's a nice picture to finish off with. My lovely Sophie, complete with many gaps in her teeth these days, on the beach at Bigbury on Sea with my niece Olivia. How cute are they both?

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Our family is expanding

At the end of August our family will be gaining two new members. Not human ones though! I decided it was time we got some pets, so after talking about it with the girls, we decided on two guinea pigs. Names chosen to press are Daisy and Brownie, but who knows when we actually get them!

For the guineas to live in, I have ordered them the bee's knees of GP houses! The picture shows a guinea pig Eglu, which I ordered from Omlet. Sophie decided a purple house would be most fitting. She wanted pink, but then changed her mind and plumped for the purple. I have been and expressed an interest in two female GPs at a breeder near us, so fingers crossed some are the right age once our eglu is set up!

Other than that, this week has been fairly ordinary after the drama of Monday. Alex is very bruised and sore, but thankfully the bites are healing well. No sign of infection, so the antibiotics which were on standby are not needed. She has been petting our neighbour's dalmation, Jack, quite happily, so here's hoping she does not develop a huge fear of dogs!

Time for tea for the girls now, and then I am off to Julie's for a stampin up do.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Good day bad day!

Good day- Sophie has learned how to ride her bike without stabilisers! Yay! Well done Sophie!
Bad day- Alex was attacked by a dog and bitten twice. Visit to minor injuries to get sorted, and the police are involved. Just hope it doesn't scar.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

The place to be in Devon

Spent a week in South Devon with my parents, my brother, sis in law, nephew and niece. We stayed at Tuckenhay Mill, which is near Totnes. Fantastic place to stay, amazing facilities. The first weekend was glorious in terms of weather. Absolutely roasting, so we spent most of our time at the outdoor pool. Monday was spent at Bigbury on Sea, a little windy, but otherwise perfect.
I have photos, but as yet I haven't been able to locate the lead to upload them. I am on a mission this week to get various things sorted, so no doubt I will find it soon.

Bella have postponed publication of my story for 3 weeks or so, left me with a bitter taste in my mouth as they didn't actually let me know it wasn't going to be the issue they had told me. Watch this space for when it will be in...

Counting down now to our return to Portugal. And the second anniversary... 2 years since Nigel died. I still have no idea how the time has passed so quickly...