Tag Archives: tankerton

August Al’s Adventures….

Hey! How are you all?! Sorry it’s been a while since I wrote, but things have been crazy!

You may remember from Aprils Al’s Adventures that I had started a new full time job, started a Cafe venture, Toast Herne Bay, and the Holiday let was finally ready to launch! Well, that’s why I’ve not had a moment to think clearly let alone write. But for the first time in 4 months, I have a few hours of no paperwork, cleaning, shopping or chores to do. Well, not for a few hours at least!

So where to begin? Let’s start with the new job.

As you know I was thoroughly fed up of Insurance. It’s going through quite a rough patch and it will only get worse for a few more months yet. I’m starting to see friends leave – either being made redundant, or just walking away. Some of those I’ve known 20 years, it’s not easy to watch. Times are changing – some bits for the better, some not. However despite that I have found an amazing role where I’ve learnt more in the last 4 months than I have in the last 4 years. It’s totally outside of my comfort zone, but surrounded by some of the best in the business it’s such fun. Everyday is a school day for sure! It’s great to flip things on their head and see life upside down sometimes – exactly what this role has given me. Next. Level. Business.

Next – Al’s Beach retreat. It’s finally finished and guest are staying! Thanks to my friends who stayed when there wasn’t any curtains or internet – deffo a discount next time! It’s going well, I have had some wonderful reviews already from guests far and wide, that’s the wonder of travel I guess – I’ve had guests from Bogata, Belgium, Germany & France – all in my first two months! Everyone has been so kind. It’s a wonderful experience to bring such a project together, and see the results. To me it’s like having a baby, it took 9 months to create! As you can see from Instagram (alsbeachretreat) it’s changed a bit. With new windows, electrics, heating, and walls removed – it certainly wasn’t easy. Thanks to all the tradesmen who helped – and tolerated the snow, cold & my stubbornness! Life hack – make sure all workmen have enough tea, coffee & biccies. Your welcome.

Next stage is to build a website (no idea) and get it advertised. It’s on fb and Instagram as Als Beach Retreat and Air B&B here:

Woop woop!

Last, but certainly not least Toast Cafe. The new and second baby of the family. Slowly growing up, making friends and discovering new things everyday. I couldn’t have begun to understand the sheer learning cliff. From setting up a Company, to writing staff contracts, payroll, tax and VAT returns, to rotas, design, promotion and events – in 4 months we have done it all. Sleepless nights, tears and joy – I’ve never experienced anything so rewarding. I don’t have any children of my own (lots of godchildren and friends gorgeous ones to spoil) but I now habe 2 baby businesses!

I absolutely adore this business and all the people in it. From the moment my biz partner Sherry & I were introduced I knew we would work well together. We couldn’t have begun to imagine what we have achieved but we have had such a lot of fun doing this and we could not be prouder. In a short 4 months we have Team Toast, and our passion has spilled into all of them, leading to PROFIT already, 3 months ahead of plan.

So I need to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported us, helped is build this, visited us or liked any of our social media. You all lead to us succeeding. Every single one of you – THANKS.

Hopefully now some of you will understand why I may have not been in touch, or been a little silent. In between bulding Al’s Adventures Ltd I’m trying to stay healthy, sane & loving my seaside life when I can. Everyone here has been so bloody lovely I couldn’t feel more loved across all my amazing friends – wherever you are. The best news for me is not a single panic attack this year. Maybe some anxious moments, but no days lost to panic or anxiety. That is huge. So yay me!

I am amazed at what has happened this year and I truly am thankful. They say things happen for a reason – my 2 angels are working their magic at last. Truly blessed for once. To be honest it’s about time!

Right – enough from me for today. I’ve got a plan to write…

Lots of love

Al xxx

Singapore, Sleep and the last days of Summer…

 

Hey all, Happy Sunday!

Just a little update on what has been going on since we spoke 2 weeks ago.  If I remember, I wrote to you all when I was heading to the airport for my trip to Singapore for work.  I was not exactly enthusiastic about my trip – until I got to check in and found @britishairways had upgraded me to First! Woohhhhoooo.

Now I am lucky enough to travel for my job, and get to go Business Class on many long haul trips.  I am spoilt now and try to go business class on my own cash (not always possible).  There is a difference in experiences, and BA usually are an 8/10.  So I was extremely interested to see the difference.

Good start – at Heathrow you get your own check in area.  It has more staff than passengers for check in and your own security area – both meaning no queues (hallelujah). This leads you straight into the BA lounge – no fuss, no trekking through the airport.  This is sheer bliss to a traveller like myself (my grumpiness levels began to decrease).

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As I was travelling first, I was allowed into the Concorde Lounge – BA’s premier lounge at T5.  This has its own bar – serving amazing wines, cocktails and pretty much any drink you fancy.  You could also sit and dine at their mini restaurant serving full 3 course meals – again a delight if you are about to get on a long haul plane and want to rest.

I decided to sip some pink bubbles, eat a healthy chicken salad and relax.  I did notice how empty this area was, but maybe that was down to the time of day – 8pm on a Saturday night is hardly premium time for flights!

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I was greeted when I got on the plane by the Pilot (Kim who was hilarious).  Always nice banter with them.  Reassuringly BA!  A glass of champagne was handed to me while I settled into my seat, with my own mini wardrobe to hang my clothes as i got MY OWN PJS’!  Now the idea of putting my pyjamas on in front of a group of strangers was not one I was particularly comfortable with.  But as the stewardess said, think of it as a quiet Saturday night in with your Pj’s, an amazing meal, films and food.  Now when you put it like that.. grumpiness now gone.

IMG_6474.jpgI settled down to my 3 course meal which was fab.  Not too heavy, a light fish dish, fruit for desert and a wonderful glass of bubbles to wash it all down.  My only critisism was there was no pink champange (first world problems I know) if it is in the lounge it should be on the plane – thanks BA.

I watched a few films, but I have to say I was not overly impressed with the film selection.  I watched La La Land (weird but good) and Lion (great film – please watch!) and then it was time for a sleep.  The stewardess made up my bed – well, put the chair flat, put my mini cover mattress thingy and my quilt on.  I snuggled down and slept for 7 hours straight. Bliss.

On waking, breakfast was served.  A wonderful omelette and coffee sorted me out.  Copious amounts of mint tea and wonderful service kept me going.  Thanks to the wonderful crew on my flight, you truly made this girl happy.

Finally 13 hours later we landed.  I did feel refreshed, and able to focus.  Shame as it was 6pm local time, so I needed to quickly unpack and meet my colleague for a quick dinner and back to sleep.  Tomorrow we start at 8am…..

4am I was wide awake.  Jet lag damn you.  After attempting to sleep for an hour I decided to go to the gym – kill or cure.  I felt ok, and thought I may as well get some kind of workout in as I was awake!  It certainly helped, although it was not my best performance.  After a wonderful breakfast, it was time to hit the streets to the office – that 6 minute walk was a delight in the basking sun with its busy pathways ferrying everyone to work.  Always love to see how other cultures commute.  Quick walking and coffee always prevails!

The week was a long one – sat in an office from 8-6 each day was tough, but my colleagues in Singapore were so welcoming and wonderful, the week was a breeze.  Except for my jet lag.  Every morning  I woke at 4. Luckily my hotel was amazing – the Fullerton in Singapore Marina Bay is truly splendid.  It was the old Post Office when it was built, and its splendour is there for everyone to admire.  The gym facilities are great, rooms opulent and comfortable – and the bath is amazing!  That became my 5am sanctuary, to doze in the tub for an hour pre brekkie.  I think that is what kept my sane!

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Before I knew it less than 5 days later, I was back on plane home.  Same wonderful service home, but very disappointing food choices.  I would expect more from @britishairways especially in First.  I have to say, the bed and the staff were amazing – but the rest is so not worth it.  Business class for me (remind me to take my own PJ’s next time).

I landed at 5am Bank Holiday Friday and was back home by 7:30 – thanks to some wonderful Cab services from Whitstable Cars.  Always reliable!  I decided to go to yoga and go for the double hit of Emma’s and Nikki’s classes.  Great idea.  I came back tired but awake if you know what I mean!!  As the day went on I started to flag, and was in bed and asleep by 7pm.  I slept till 7am the next morning – I guess I needed to catch up on the weeks sleep deficit!  Despite that I managed Park run although I was slow and it bloody hurt!  That truly drained me I have to admit, so it was lovely when friends arrived for the weekend and we just chilled drinking wine and eating my FIRST BBQ in my finally finished garden – big love to Max and Zep for pretty much doing all the cooking… Mwah!

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Bank holiday Sunday, and I was so excited.  One of my Summer list places to visit was Broadstairs.  Only 40 minutes away, with a proper sandy beach I have been dying to go.  Today was the day, the sun was out and it was one of the hottest days of the year!  Despite that, we were woefully unprepared – and needed to purchase emergency bikinis and shorts!  However, I did remember all the blankets, suncream and sunglasses.  We had a lovely few hours laying on the beach listening to the inane rubbish that people chat!  Normally on such a beautiful sandy beach we would be abroad and wouldn’t be able to understand the conversations – but it was a lot of fun to listen and laugh!!  Bravo Broadstairs folk for entertaining me and my crew!

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After an amazing ice cream and a wander, we headed home on a mission.  I am constantly boring everyone with the stunning sunsets we have here in Tankerton.  I really love it when friends get to see them too.  So off to the beach we went, fish and chips in hand (with bubbles obvs) and watched the beautiful sun go down on another amazing weekend.

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Bank holiday Monday the tiredness hit me, so it took it easy in the garden.  I caught up on work emails and assessed the Hurricane Harvey devastation – how awful.  From a professional point of view I have to put my work head on and get on with adding up potential losses, but my heart really does go out to Houston.  Friends and colleagues are there, and I just am so gutted for them.  Some are effected, some have been lucky.  All I know is it will take years to recover.  I have had the pleasure to visit many times, it is a wonderful and vibrant City – lets hope the damage can be repaired soon – I certainly know the people have the heart!

This week was back to work.  NOT GOOD.  The reason I say that was down to the debacle that was the train service provided by Southeastern this week.  I am aware there was major engineering planned with the upgrades happening at London Bridge, so I was able to work from home 2 days.  But the two days I was in was a shambles.  2 hours each way.  Southeastern could have solved all that by allowing people to use the high speed for free – saving me half hour each way.  But oh no, they insist you pay for it – that means an extra £10 a day for me.  Outrageous and a disgrace.  To top it all off I was delayed on both journeys home – so 2 and a half hours each way.  Not the way to treat your passengers, and not the return to work I wanted.

Luckily Thursday and Friday I could work from home.  It makes such a difference to me and not just the travel.  I get so much done at home, I am currently fully up to date with work even after a 3 week break.  MY time in the office is always less productive  as I am in meetings, or catching up with my team, Clients and Brokers.  I love that side of my job, but working from home means I am more organised, structured and productive.  Those 2 days are a godsend, and I can get to the gym both evenings.  Win win.

This weekend we were blessed with the last of the summer sun, and more visitors!  You could tell summer was ending as it was a little cooler, but we had a wonderful beach day, a glass of wine at the Wine Shop in Tankerton (go if you are ever passing) and a chilled out dinner at home.  Bliss.  Good friends make everything better.

IMG_1904.jpgSo now Summer is done, the last sunset beach walk done, garden tidied and packed away, all washing done and house tidied.  Autumn is definitely coming, and to be honest I can not bloody wait.

Lots of exciting stuff coming guys, so stay tuned for the next update!

Thanks for reading and speak soon

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