Happiness in the UK, Spain and of course, Crete!

I am home again after my two week break in the UK and Spain. Although I had a packed schedule whilst in the UK, I felt well rested and pleased with all that I achieved.
I spent my first day in the UK shopping for all the bits and pieces I can’t get in Crete, then the evening relaxing with my sister Karen and her husband Mike, whom I always stay with when in the UK.

On Friday night I went out with my friend Angela, for a few glasses of quality wine (the only thing I really miss in Crete – apart from my daughters, family and friends of course!) at The John Millington in Cheadle Hulme.

I went out for the day on Saturday with Fran – a close friend I’ve known since childhood. We went for a walk around Bramhall Park, stopping for tea and cake at the little cafe there and browsing the gift shop in the stately Bramall Hall. It was a beautiful warm and sunny day (amazingly!) and we spent a good while chatting on one of the benches in front of the Hall, overlooking the beautiful grounds.

On the Sunday my daughter, Emma called round and took me back to her home to show me all the work she has had done on the house and in the garden. Her boyfriend, Ash has done a marvellous job in transforming the courtyard at the back of the house. He has managed to make it look twice the size it was and I know it will look fantastic when it is finished. Later in the afternoon, it was so sunny and warm again (I couldn’t believe it!) that we all went for a drink, sitting outside in the garden of The Elizabethan in Heaton Moor. I feel so lucky to have been back to the UK when it was having such fine weather! Normally I am only there at Christmas and New Year when the weather is cold, wet and windy and sometimes, snowy.

Sadly, I did not get the chance to see my other daughter, Zoe.  She lives in Norwich, where she is currently nearing the end of her Masters degree in occupational therapy.  But I look forward to seeing lots of her over the Christmas and New Year period!

Karen, Leonie and I hardly slept that Sunday night as we had to be at the airport for 4am on the Monday morning. But what a fabulous week we had with our lovely Mum, who lives in Javea, Spain. The weather was glorious the whole week we were there. Temperatures in the 30’s and wall-to-wall sunshine! Perfect for our annual get-together.
We spent many hours lounging in the sunshine, chatting or reading (but mostly chatting!) We swam in the lovely pool on Mum’s complex and I even did some beachcombing on Javea’s beautiful beach – The Arenal – haven’t done that since last April! We met my dear friend Paul for a long lunch at one of the Tapas restaurants on the beach promenade. He looked really well and happy in his new life in Oliva, which is just 40 minutes drive north of Javea. It was really weird to see him there when he has been living in Crete right up until the beginning of Sept!

My sisters, Mum and me

Waiting for our drinks to arrive – the fab four!

Of course we drank copious amounts of wine, starting at lunchtime and sipping leisurely until bedtime! What fun we had playing Canasta too! This is a card game my family has grown up with and we have always enjoyed playing partner Canasta when there are 4 of us. We even had a league table going. I think we are all hugely competitive and believe me – that makes for some highly interesting and often very entertaining and amusing games!As always, Mum was a great hostess and we had a fabulous holiday together yet again – our 4th in a row. It has become a regular family event where we can all spend real quality time together and I wouldn’t miss it for the world!
All too soon it was over and we three sisters were back in the UK by Monday afternoon. On Tuesday I met my special friend, Gill in Bramhall village for a long and boozy lunch. She and her husband, Rick have just been to South Carolina in America for a family wedding and they brought back some lovely shells they had picked up from the beach there for me. Ah bless! As with all my friends, there has been much of our lives to catch up on when we haven’t seen each other since Christmas last year.

So yesterday, Leonie flew back to Cyprus, I to Crete and my sister Karen, returned to her busy life coaching and judging gymnastics in Liverpool, where her daughter Hannah trained as an elite gymnast, appearing at both the Bejing and London Olympic Games. Karen is also currently having a major extension to her beautiful family home in Bramhall and I can’t wait to see the results when I return to the UK for Christmas and New Year – flight already booked!

Today I have been rushing around food shopping and washing etc, in preparation for my friend, Nick who is arriving here in Crete tomorrow to spend a week with me. I know I’ve said it before but can’t help saying it again – what a full and happy life I lead!

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