Thursday, 28 January 2016

I’m back!!

Happy New Year everyone!  

Karen, Steven and the girls arrived from Australia on the 6th December, and life took on a different pace. We enjoyed a trip to Disneyland Paris, a few days in London, Christmas in a hotel with more of the family, a pantomime, numerous days out plus lots of time for simply catching up. Our son and daughter-in-law haven't changed a bit in the two years since we last saw them (Malaysia 2013), but the girls have changed a great deal. Zoe was five on the 21st of this month and will be going to school soon. Lilly will be four in May, and they both appeared very grown up in comparison to when we last saw them. 

Thanks to my hubby Terry and daughter-in-law Karen we have hundreds of photographs. Picking the ‘best’ is proving difficult, but I hope these and those in my next post will give you a flavour of the fun times we shared.

Knowing how arduous the journey from Australia to England is we decided to stay close to home for the first few days.
Visiting Sherborne Abbey. This is not the first time the Abbey has featured on my blog -  see (The filming of Far from the madding crowd) here  and (A Royal Visit) here .

Inside the Abbey
Back row L to R Terry, Karen, me, Steven. Front row L to R Zoe and Lilly

Zoe so loved the Christmas tree in the Abbey she had to give it a kiss!

The sun came out to greet our visitors, but rain is never far away in England much to the delight of two little girls from Australia. 

This and the previous photograph were taken on the site of the old railway line that used to run through Henstridge. As you can see the girls were beginning to feel the cold so it was time to hurry home and warm up.

 A couple of days later and time for a trip to the City of Bath, it's getting colder now but the family are suitably dressed.  Shame I didn't think to wear a hat it was pretty nippy around the ears.

Karen & Steven enjoyed a little light shopping. I don't think they intended the bags to be in the photo but Terry and I decided to keep hold of them – you can never be too careful! :-)

A Few days later it was time to catch the train to Disneyland, Paris. We spent four days at Disneyland and a further day in Paris.

We boarded the train at St. Pancras and it wasn't long before Zoe and Lilly made friends with a little girl called Delilah. The three girls spent almost the entire journey together. I'm enjoying all the attention especially the hug from Lilly.

Disneyland, Paris.



















More holiday photos next week.


Feeling very sad when the family left I decided a little Joanne Harris would be the perfect pick me up and Gentlemen & Players didn't let me down! In the words of Anne Marie over at Beetles, Bikes and Books  ... a very dark tale of events centred around a boys' elite Grammar School. Strange things happening relating to an event 13 years or so ago. I love trying to work out who dunnit! but I admit to being stumped. There's always something you miss in a book like this. If you're a Joanne Harris fan and haven't read this - do so

Did you enter the Joules Design a Welly Competition? If you did you might be interested to see the winning design...


The boots will be on sale at Joules.com later this year. To find out more visit Joules Facebook Page. The winner was a lady by the name of Andrea it would be nice to think she read about the competition on my blog! 


Thanks for your visit I hope to catch up with all my lovely blogging friends very soon.


43 comments:

  1. Welcome back, Barbara. Looks like you had a wonderful time with your beautiful granddaughters and it must have been great to see your son and daughter-in-law after so long. My favorite picture is of the girls in their rain gear splashing in the big puddle--very cute. (I like the winning Welly boots, too!)I'm sure you made many great memories to last you until the next visit. Thanks for sharing; I'll be looking forward to future posts!

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    1. Thanks Marcia, we did have a wonderful time. I love that picture too, who needs Disney when you can play in a puddle?

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  2. Oh! My! Goodness! Where to start....
    Hang on, be right back, need a drink...
    No! No! Not that sort of drink..Hot Chocolate! :).

    Right! Got my drink, and a few 'leaves' of loo roll. :).
    Out of tissues till tomorrow! Think l might need them!
    I've scrolled up and down, up and down, up and down,
    what's the right word..fantastic..marvellous..great..
    emotional..Ah! :).
    The photos are lovely..(one of my favourite words)..
    everyone's looking good, and full of happiness!
    Barbara! You and Terry must have been so..so..happy,
    to have the children and grand~littles here and all
    the festivities to match!
    And going to Disney land...Which reminds me..must drop
    them an e~mail..those elephants should be 'pink'. :>).
    HeHe! What fun..Flying elephants...Can you use your mobile
    on them...Only when making a trunk call l expect! :).
    Going on a bit here Barbara...Nothing new there then..
    Look forward to some more pics again soon...Bless!x

    Oh! The Wellies...NO! Don't like them...Only the soles!
    At least their Pink..!!! :).
    Oh! And glad yer back....!

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    1. Sorry Willie I didn’t intend to make you cry or to drive you to drink (I’m glad it was just hot chocolate!)

      It was lovely of you to leave such a lovely comment, but then you are lovely, so I didn’t expect anything less. HeHe!

      Elephants should always be pink – I think Walt missed a trick there.
      I wouldn't mind a pair of those wellies they would certainly come in handy when I’m out walking, and I think they are rather fetching. xx

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  3. Love the photo's and Willie's reply x

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    1. Hello sister, glad you enjoyed the pics. Willies comments always make my day!

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  4. Looks like you had a fabulous time. Thanks for sharing these great photos! I love all of them!

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    1. Thank you Darlene, we had the best time.

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  5. Lovely to see you back Barbara. I love the photos, the girls are adorable and I think my favourite of you as a group is in front of that intricate set of carved doors. I look forward to your next episode of photos.

    I feel very flattered that you have used my description of Gentlemen and Players - I think these books get you so involved on reading you feel a bit flat when they're finished. Do please try "Peaches....... etc" which is a continuation of the Vianne story.

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    1. Thanks Anne Marie, I will be sure to try Peaches etc.. I am really enjoying Chocolat so I’m sure I will enjoy the others. Your description was perfect, and I’m very glad you didn’t mind me sharing it. The girls are absolutely gorgeous, and they are not a bit shy in front of the camera. I used to (still do!) run and hide when anyone produced a camera but the girls are total relaxed about it.

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  6. Dearest Barbara! WELCOME BACK! I have missed you greatly! It is wonderful to see you and the family together! And those children, my goodness, what gorgeous faces! It looks as if you had such a happy time dearest. I hope your February is a fun time of anticipation of spring. I have such fond memories of past springs with all of you in Blogland and beyond. Peace and love to you! Anita

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    1. Thank you so much Anita, I missed you too! Our little granddaughters are beautiful indeed, and we felt incredibly lucky to spend time with them – we are missing them now of course, but we have lots of happy memories.
      Spring is definitely springing in our garden. The snowdrops, daffodils, Christmas roses and primroses are all in flower and looking very lovely. Have a super weekend. xx

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  7. Welcome back, Barbara! These are fabulous pictures. At first I thought that was a lot of travelling for two little girls but then remembered it's usually the adults who are worn out. Looks like a great holiday for all. Everyone looks so healthy and happy! (The girls'boots are very pretty, as is the winning entry. Maybe Andrea did read about the contest from your blog?) I haven't read a Joanne Harris book but I love a good who/how/why-dunnit.

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    1. Thank you Claudine it’s good to be back. It’s odd how my blogging friends have become such a part of my life – to the point where I miss you all when I’m away.
      I think the girls enjoyed the flights to England far more than their mummy and daddy did, but it was still tiring for them. We did wonder if we had booked too many days away especially when we all succumbed to nasty colds, but the girls seemed to thrive on it all. I would like to think Andrea did find the competition on my blog, but I’m not sure I will ever find out – unless she contacts me. Andrea are your there??? 

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  8. Super to see you back - and what gorgeous photos! Your granddaughters will certainly have memories to treasure.

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    1. As will we. Thank you so much for the welcome back.

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  9. Sounds like you had the most wonderful time. and made loads of memories
    Julie xxxxxxx

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    1. We certainly did. Thanks so much for coming over and leaving a comment. Barbara

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  10. So good to see you back and I love the haircut. Looks like you had a wonderful visit with your family. The photographs are wonderful and your granddaughters are just lovely.

    And Gentlemen & Players sounds like my kind of story - I love a good whodunit.

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    1. Hello Alex I’m sure you would enjoy Gentlemen & Players it’s one of those you just have to keep reading.
      Thank you for your sweet words and as for noticing the haircut – that was very observant. I’ve spent years and years straightening my hair by whatever means was available at the time, and then I thought why. So now I keep it short and let it curl in whichever way it likes – it’s happier and so am I. :-)

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  11. So glad you had such a wonderful time, Barbara. The photos are lovely - I'm sure they will help you to remember such a special time. Ruth

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    1. Hello Ruth, lovely to hear from you. We do have loads of happy memories to sustain us, but it doesn’t stop us missing them. Never mind time to start saving again – it’s our turn to go to Australia next – so not all bad! Happy New Year, Barbara.

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  12. Great pictures! It looks like quite the adventure.

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    1. Thanks Kelly & yes it was an adventure.

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  13. Happy New Year, Barbara! So wonderful to hear about your holidays. It looks and sounds like you had an amazing time with your family. Disneyland Paris looks beautiful and so festive! I can imagine how much you must miss everyone when you are away from each other. At least you all have great places to visit. :)

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    1. Hello Stephanie, it was the perfect time to visit Disneyland everything was so festive. We do miss the family, but we are already thinking about another trip. It may not happen for a couple of years, but it’s something to look forward to (and save for) :)

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  14. Happy New Year! It sounds and looks like you had a great time :)

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  15. Welcome back! You look loved! Disney Paris looks wonderful and I have to go check out those wellies. Hugs to you!

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  16. How marvellous to know that you are back to your blog,even though it means that you have had to farewell the dear family members and send them back to Oz! You have been missed my lovely friend! I have so very much to share,if you would like me to do a guest post for you at some stage.I still have not started my own blog,and quite honestly Barbara,I would just like to keep sharing my fun and smiles with you and your followers for a while longer,if this is okay of course. I have finally added some long-searched-for book treasures to my collection,and it has been very exciting to find them.90% are from UK so have cost a small fortune in postage.Hee Hee!!! But they are worth every cent. Getting to your beautiful family,I hope that they have not melted on their return home,as it has been extremely hot in so many parts of Oz. You all look utterly gorgeous in your winter attire,and I have looked at these lovely photos MANY times over!What a treat for the girls at the ages they are now.I went to England and had my 4th birthday as we got back home.I do actually hold many fond family memories despite it all being SO long ago!! I hope that your 2 little princesses will also carry these delightful memories in their hearts all of their lives.With the ease of taking great photos nowadays,it helps keep everything fresh and colourful for us all. I can hardly wait to see your next installment,and see what other great adventures you have been having.
    My love and smiles always to you,Jules and the Fur Babies in Oz where it's been so hot that a fellow went and fried an egg on the road the other day!!! He DID use a frypan,by the way!!!

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    1. Welcome back Barbara. It looks as though you had a wonderful time with your family. Thank you for sharing your lovely pictures. :)

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    2. Hello Julie, thank you for the welcome back. I’m so pleased you enjoyed the photographs I’m working on a second post to share some more. Our daughter-in-law visited England when she was four (what a strange coincidence) and this time she went back to find the places she remembered. She was helped by photographs taken by and paintings done by her dad. It was a very emotional journey for her as her dad died a couple of years ago.
      I would love to hear about your new treasures and would be more than delighted to share more of your posts on my blog.
      I would love to have been there to see the frying of the egg! How funny, but then everyone we met while on holiday in Australia had such a wonderful sense of fun. Our daughter in law is just the same – the trouble is I never know when she is joking and always fall for everything she tells me. :-)

      Thank you Heather I enjoyed sharing the photos.

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  17. Lovely to have you back and with such beautiful photographs. Obviously a wonderful time was had, the delight in those little girls faces is testament to this.

    Loving those wellies. I can remember having fun with this site though I didn't enter the competition.

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    1. Thanks Tracy, we did have a wonderful time, and the memories will sustain us all for a good while.
      I love the wellies too and might even treat myself to a pair. I could do with them at the moment as there is just so much mud everywhere – will it ever stop raining? Actually having said that today is beautiful, almost blue sky and some sunshine.
      I will be over to visit you in a while. I feel as though I’ve missed an awful lot, although I have kept up with you on Facebook.

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  18. Hello Barabara,

    Welcome back and it was so lovely to see all your wonderful family holiday photos.
    I can see you had a fabulous time with your beautiful family and how darling your sweet granddaughters are. Can understand you feeling a little blue but you must be happy having all the lovely memories to think and look back on.
    Thank you for your kind visit and I appreciate the lovely words you left and for visiting my daughters video.
    Sending hugs and hope that you are having a great week
    Carolyn

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    1. Hello Carolyn, thanks so much for coming over and leaving a comment. I enjoyed your daughter’s video very much thank you for sharing the link.
      We always feel sad when we say goodbye, but I'm sure it won’t be long before we start planning the next trip either to Australia or to meet somewhere in the middle. Steven and Karen decided on a visit to England back in March of last year, so we had many months to plan and think about it, the build up and excitement tends to sustain us until we see them, but then it is all over in a flash. They and we have to start saving again now! It’s hard for Steven because he has to save up all his holiday to do a trip like that so then he has months to go with no days off at all, much easier for Terry and I as we are ‘almost’ retired.
      Have a good week, love Barbara

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  19. Dear Barbara welcome back. So glad to know that you had a lovely time with your family. Loved the pictures. Love the look in the children's eyes. They have that wonderous look in them. It must have been so very exciting for them and wonderful for you too to see them.

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    1. Thank you so much Shashi, it’s lovely to be back in contact with everyone again.

      It’s absolutely wonderful to see the world through the eyes of a small child – things we would otherwise miss are suddenly brought into focus. It sometimes took us a while to work out exactly what we were seeing, but once we got there it was wondrous!

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  20. Oh, Barbara, I know we all love books but these beautiful photographs tell a story of their own. It really is good to have you back and to see how you are admired by so many people. Here's to you and your family. xx

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    1. Thank you so much Marilyn. I hope 2016 is shaping up to be your best year yet!

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  21. Some how I missed seeing this post... but it is just wonderful. What a glorious time you all had! :)

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    1. Hi Diane, thank you so much for calling in. I will be catching up with your posts later today. Happy New Year, Barbara

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I really appreciate your comment. Thank you!
Barbara xx

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