We finally made it to Egypt this year, after having to cancel last year because I'd been so ill. The girls were very excited to be visiting a new country, and also a new continent as we'd not been to Africa before.
Sophie about to snorkel in the Red Sea
The holiday was arranged with a group of friends I made through the Way Foundation. All of us had been widowed under the age of 50. I love going away with this group of friends, we all get along so well, and it does all the kids good to see that they are not alone in growing up without one of their parents. But equally, I find it quite emotional to be with this group of friends, as we would never have met if our husbands and wives were still with us. It reminds me how much of a gap has been left, whilst also showing how the three of us function so well as a family unit. I doubt myself as a parent far too often, as I have to make the decisions for two of us, carry out the role of two people. I have plenty of family and friends around me ready to discuss things with me, but it is not quite the same as discussing it with Nigel, is it? Still, we make the best of it.
Alex on the beach at Makadi Bay
The week was spent mostly in swimsuits, with warmth from the wind provided by the royal blue WAY foundation hoodies seen in two of the photographs. It was not as warm as in previous years, or so I am told, yet we still managed to thoroughly enjoy ourselves. I drank lots of cocktails, the favourite amongst our group being a sunrise. We ate food from all around the world in the restaurants at the hotel, the Bedouin being the tastiest meal of the week.
Me wrapped up ready to head out into the desert on a quad bike
I went out on an excursion which was riding a quad bike into the desert, riding a camel and then riding the quad back again. It was fantastic. We laughed so much, and shook every bone in our bodies going over the hard packed, ridged sand. As soon as we got back from the excursion, we headed straight for the pool to cool off, and started on the cocktails. My oh my, what a mistake. Well, not a mistake really, as it was enjoyable, but I've not been as drunk as that in a VERY long time! I ended up asleep on my bed at 5pm, not good! The girls just took themselves off to another room to watch a DVD in the end. Bad, bad mother. Hey ho!
Coming back from holidays always leaves me feeling a bit blue. This time, however, there was no time to, as both girls were having ENT surgery the Friday after we came home. Alex had T tubes fitted. These are like longer lasting grommets (ear tubes for my US readers) because her ear drum had healed after her last set of grommets in 2009, allowing the glue ear to return. Her ENT consultant had hoped she would grow out of it, but she has not reached that point yet, so he suggested she have the T tubes. She did need them, as her hearing was depleted again. It was even affected to the point that her learning was suffering in school. Any slight background noise left her unable to hear what her teacher was saying, and the T tubes have rectified this.
Sophie had her tonsils removed, as she has been really quite ill with chronic tonsillitis for too long. She coped very well with the surgery, although she did need to be given codeine as well as paracetamol and ibuprofen. Two weeks on and she is almost fully recovered. Her throat is a bit sore when she eats from time to time, but she knows this will pass. We are a tonsil free house now, so I'm hoping it means better health for all of us.
And finally, in other news... I have a new job. A term long contract teaching a year 4 class not far from here. I've met them and they seem like a good set of kids. Paid until the end of August which is a total bonus! They are having whole class sessions on a Tuesday learning to play the French horn, that should be fun......