Staycation – a real vacation?

I never have a holiday in August. Normally too expensive & everywhere is packed. But since moving to the seaside, I decided to take two weeks – yes 2 whole weeks off of the day job. Now, those who know what a control freak I am know that for me to leave my team to it takes quite a lot! However, having the best team in the business makes it fairly easy for me to go away! Thanks guys, lots.

I decided to break the holiday up into 3 parts. Seeing friends and fam, seeing the local beaches and scenery, and pottering around getting all those ‘jobs’ done around the house you never get time for when your at work.  That list was long as ever, but not impossible.

So the fun bit first – off to Cornwall to see some very wonderful friends who recently relocated there, near to Penzance. As that’s quite a long way to go alone I decided to go by train. 7 hours in total, with 5 and a half being from Paddington & very scenic once past Reading! I loved that journey. It’s why I love flying long haul, you can just sit back and relax properly – you know you aren’t going anywhere for a while. For me its the perfect time to makes plans and get organised so perfect start to my staycation..

I have no idea why but I have never been to Cornwall. We only ever got as far as Devon when I was a kid. I love Devon, so I was intrigued to see the difference. I had the pleasure to stay at the most wonderful place, newly purchased by my pals. Who wouldn’t want acres of land, a massive lake in the garden, and the chocolate box cottage to stay in! The days there were so relaxing  and fun so the perfect start to my holibobs. Watch this space as to its future use, very exciting!

We managed a few days of sun, so we headed to the beach along with a lovely wander round Falmouth. I guess that’s the difference- Cornwall seems more rugged, and certainly a Fishermans town. Beautiful though, I can see why people fall in love with it.

Back I traveled on the train a few days later, a little sunburnt, but super chilled. Thank you guys!

I decided to spend the next 2 days at home working on the ‘list’. Possibly the dullest thing ever came up was buying a new shed. I genuinely can’t think of anything less exciting (Sorry all men everywhere currently gasping). However, we all need a shed, so off I went in search of a corner shed to fit nicely in my newly decked seating area. As I expected DULL. What I didn’t expect was the amount of decisions – slated wood, windows, colours, bases – what a revelation! I must have picked obscure things because it won’t be ready until December. It’s a shed for goodness sakes! Well, when it finally arrives it better be the best bloody shed I have ever seen..

Now my rule is that after every dull thing follows a fun thing (a lesson to us all-amen). In my newly highlighted blonde head there is nothing more fun than KITCHEN SHOPPING! Wooohoooo. I’ve dreamt of that day for months now and my expectations were well and truly met. What a fun 2 hours! New appliances, cabinets, work surfaces – the choices are endless. All is To be fitted in November by a wonderful local Company Carolines Kitchens in Tankerton. I always believe in shopping locally, I think you get better service and quality. Not been proved wrong yet! I’ll keep you all posted. Eeek!

After SEVERAL days of housey stuff, a ton of cleaning, organising & tidying I gave myself a treat – dinner with the girls. Always fun, we don’t get to do it very often as life is busy but when we do its like we haven’t been away. Such fun, thanks girls!

Before I knew it the list was 3/4 done. Mainly the big stuff left – one thing was jet washing the garden… Wow. I never knew they worked that well! Transformed my garden, and a lot of fun on one of the hottest days of the year! I am available for hire….Checkout the results too…

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Week 2 started with lunch with the family and a trip to the Strand for some fun in the sun. Bouncy castles, trains, ice cream- the kids did it all while we observed! Made me feel young again if only for a few hours.  Happy Days indeed.

Tuesday brought a great day out in Margate. Brings back so many happy memories when me and my friend used to get the train down, and the ticket included free entry to Dreamland Fun Park. I’m over the moon to see it reopened, it’s not quite there but the council has agreed to rebuild the cinema and the restaurant- well done! Now we need Southeastern railways to reinstate the train ticket and free entry for under 14’s!

The Old Town looks fabulous, full of wonderful independent shops and cafes. So nice to see. Please go and visit! There is also the Turner Gallery (too hot this time but will go next time). The same can not be said for the rest of the town. It needs huge investment from Government or local investors- let’s hope it happens soon.

Before I knew it the last weekend was here. But I had a great time planned. First stop Big restaurant. A fabulous festival on Alex James farm (ex Blur star) alongside Jamie Oliver. If you know me you know how much I admire the man… Looking good as he gets older! Love his passion for cooking but also his enthusiasm for making things better in the food world. So off we went to Kingham, rain prepared, and hungry. The food here is amazing, and so much choice – even for us Gluten Free lot! We wasn’t disappointed- my lobster & chips was fab. And well timed, as then the rain came down… Along with the thunder and lightning… Typical British Summer! It didn’t dampen our spirits, the gin was flowing and the sun came back out – just in time to watch Nathan Outlaw demo a marvellous fish dish. I love his food, and he is such a friendly guy. I then was lucky enough to meet him and get a book signed – highlight of the day.

After a burger, cocktail and quick bop in the Cheese hub we headed off home, muddy but happy and full! It’s honestly one of my favourite days of the year with some of my favourite people. Roll on next year.

After a lovely Sunday with friends, and a last day sitting on the beach in the sunshine I have a warm feeling – and not just from the many sunny days we have had. I had a fabulous two weeks at home, feeling healthier, my brain is calm, my life is some state of organisation and a big smile on my face. I love where I live in Tankerton, and all that surrounds it. Kent really is the most beautiful County in England.

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I’ve also had time to make lots of future plans – watch this space for more updates!

Overall verdict – The staycation stays for good. I love my travels with friends or by myself, not so much for work anymore but that’s a privilege I intend to do less of going forward. It’s time to make some changes in a lot of things – something I look forward to and am super excited about….

So long Summer. See you again next year!

Have a great week and speak to you all soon

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