- Hilarious evenings spent playing the loads of board games in the house.
- Jo and Luke squealing every time an insect flew by.
- Catching up on family gossip and sharing old memories, especially about people no longer with us.
- Girly talks. Josie brought enough beauty products to satisfy 10 women. I had gone almost feral and had only painted my nails and coloured my hair once each, let alone cleansed my pores!
- Watching them all play in the pool and sharing family jokes was a joy! The swing chair overlooking the pool was the Luke-out tower for the rest of the month.
- Everyone chipping in to prepare huge meals; and even better when I didn’t have to chip in and got thoroughly spoiled!
- Visiting Ceret and Collioure. It’s a beautiful part of the world.
- My birthday. Nobody could wish for a better birthday. I woke to find the terrace decorated with banners and balloons. My presents were beautiful and thoughtful. I was surrounded with love. Perfect!
Guess who’s 50!!!!!!!!!!! Told you it would be a long time before we blogged again! I am now 50!! And I had the chance to spend this momentous birthday with most of the people who are most precious to me-my gorgeous daughters and their partners, my sister and brother-in-law, and some of my best friends. 50TH BIRTHDAY BABE!!!!! REALLY I DIDN’T REALISE. IS THAT WHY WE HAVE BEEN BOOZING IT UP EVERY NIGHT FOR THE WHOLE OF MAY? JEEEZZZZ. I WILL BE GLAD WHEN IT’S JUNE. MY LIVER IS THE SIZE OF A SMALL CHAISE LOUNGE…… OH WELL IN FOR A PENNY AND ALL THAT. PASS ME MY DRINK BUBS…………………. HIC!!!!!!! We drove from Spain to France on the 10th May; one of our shortest journeys yet. It’s still surprising how little fuss there is when crossing borders here. Still more surprising was how the landscape changed so quickly. CROSSING THE BORDER…….. HAPPY DAYS, THEY’VE ONLY A BURGER KING IN THE DUTY FREE SHOPPING MALL!! (ALSO VERY CHEAP SNOUT AND BOOZE.) MADE A NOTE OF THAT. I’M ONLY ALLOWED BURGER KING AS A SPECIAL TREAT…. LIKE WHEN SHE DRAGS ME KICKING AND SCREAMING, SOBBING LIKE A CHILD ROUND BLUEWATER!! DEAR READER, I WAS CUNNING ENOUGH TO BE ABLE TO COME UP WITH A PLAN SO ME AND THE BOYS COULD GO TO BURGER KING. (YOU KNOW YOU LOVED IT, FELLAS.) UNDER THE GUISE OF DOING A BOOZE RUN…… HAHAH- HAVE THAT SUCKERS!!!!!!!! (THERE IS ONLY SO MUCH TAPAS AND FRENCH FOOD A MAN CAN EAT.) Just over an hour after leaving the Costa Brava, we arrived in Reynes, a village just outside of Ceret. We’d booked a large 4 bedroom villa in the countryside, to accommodate all our loved ones. And it was huge! It wasn’t the most beautiful accommodation we have stayed in; it was rather shabby and very dusty; but there was loads of space for everyone to relax, including a gorgeous pool area. The views were pretty stunning too. BLINDING POOL, HAD ME SPEEDOS ON WITHIN AN HOUR AND WAS STRUTTING MY STUFF AROUND THE POOL TO “I’M SEXY AND I KNOW IT!!!!” For the first few days, we found it a bit strange to be rattling around, but it was great to have the chance to finally unpack our cases and trolleys. We thought we could enjoy a few days of relaxing, but spent the whole time cleaning the villa and shopping for the hordes. Huge shock! The French don’t drink Brandy! WTF? Either very cheap grape spirit or really expensive cognac- no good when you dilute with ¾ coke. We had to travel back across the border several times to stock up with Spanish Brandy. How will we ever survive 4 months in FRANCE? SEE… I TOLD YOU I HAD A PLAN FOR THE FELLAS, TO HAVE A SNEAKY BURGER KING (CHEAP BOOZE RUN TO SPAIN.) ….. HOWEVER NO CHEAP BRANDY IN FRANCE WHAT THE F**K!!!!!!!! I CAN’T WORK THE FRENCHIES OUT. REALLY? YOU FLOG IT ALL ABROAD? SORT IT OUT!!!!! 13/5/17 At last my babies are here! I’m not ashamed to admit that I cried when my girls arrived. They smelled of home. I have missed them so much! And have never gone so long without a cuddle. I have already decided that, whatever pleasures Europe has to offer, I could never emigrate. I need the contact with them. It’s just so lovely to spend time with them; I Iove to see their relationships, with each other and the lovely young men they have been lucky enough to find to share their lives. When my sister Maureen and brother-in-law Steve arrived the next day, my birthday gang was complete. I MISS MY GIRLS….. THAT IS ALL! (AND YOU FELLAS YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE.) To be honest, this was when I stopped writing in my daily journal for the first time since we left home, so the whole time has merged into a montage of fantastic moments: