Tag Archives: holidays

Cornwall Adventure

Boofuls and I decided that we wouldn’t buy each other Christmas presents. There is nothing either of us wanted or needed so we decided to spend the money on something we did want. A few days away together.

After a lot of diary jiggling we managed to find three days. We rented a log cabin in the middle of nowhere, well not quite nowhere. Perranporth, which is nearly the same thing.

The next couple of days we discovered Cornwall. Although we have lived in Devon for four years now and I used to live in Devon as a kid I have never made it to Cornwall even though I’ve always wanted to. It did not disappoint. Well, except for Newquay, that disappointed. What a dump!

The Minack Theatre, that most definitely exceeded all my already high expectations. It’s an almost magical place. We loved it and Douggie the doggie especially loved the beach next to it. Here are a few pictures from our trip.

There’s nowt so queer as folk

August is in full swing! The hoteliers’ Facebook groups are full of stories of weird, wonderful and not so wonderful stories of the ‘August People’.

This week we had a very nice Austrian couple turn up for a four night stay.

Boofuls showed them up to their room. “Oh no. This won’t do at all. It’s on the ground floor, I want to be able to open the windows.” Boofuls explained that he could open the windows as much as he wanted because of the giant ‘well’ to accommodate the windows for the dining room below them which is in the basement. It would take Spiderman to be able to get across there and into the room. “No. No. It won’t do. I want an upstairs room.” Boofuls explained that we were fully booked and we didn’t have a spare upstairs room. That was that.

Boofuls went back downstairs.

Two minutes later, the man was back. “Where is the sea view? We booked a four star hotel and a sea view. Where is my sea view?” Boofuls looked at the man aghast. Well, we aren’t a hotel we are a B&B and we don’t have a sea view, not unless we knock down the six hundred year old abbey that stands between us and the sea – and the neighbours house. I’m pretty sure that could be considered un-neighbourly.

“It clearly says on Bonking.effingcom that you are a 4* hotel and you have a sea view. I’ve seen pictures of it.”

Boofuls has the patience of a saint, really he does. I’d have been getting a bit short with the chap at this point.

“Sir, we are a 4* silver bed and breakfast, it does not say the word ‘hotel’ anywhere on our bonkers.com page. Also. Any pictures you have seen of the sea on our page are pictures of the surrounding area. With the greatest of respect, sir, we could not possibly have views of all those different places even if we were situated actually IN the sea, not unless we were a mobile bed and breakfast.”

The man decided that he wasn’t happy and was going to book an actual hotel with a sea view. Boofuls pointed him in the right direction. “I’ll see what I can find and then we’ll move. We’ll pay you for the first night.” Boofuls stopped him right there. “Excuse me but you’ll pay for all four nights. We have taken those rooms off the market for you and we won’t be able to resell them at this stage. They must be paid for.” The man actually paid without the usual argument.

He found himself a room at a sea front hotel and off he went. We know the hotel and we knew that although it has sea views the rooms are a bit grim and they wouldn’t like it there. However, not our problem.

I posted the story on to a hoteliers FB page. The point of my tale was that guests repeatedly fail to do any research and then blame us when they aren’t happy. Expensive mistake.

Anyway, One of our fairly close neighbours said they’d exactly the same situation with an Austrian couple. Austrian? They weren’t called Blah and Blah were they? THEY WERE!!!!

So. They had been to the hotel. Didn’t like it. Ended up at our friends B&B (not hotel), further away from the sea (no views) than we are and on a much busier road. An hour after they arrived they said that the chap had been called back to work so they couldn’t stay..and they left.

Some people obviously have more money than sense. They paid us, they paid at the hotel and then they paid at another B&B and didn’t stay with any one of us.

Tsk. August people. *shakes head* You couldn’t make it up!

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside

Boofuls, Douggie and me have just got back from a week away in sunny Devon.

“Oh! Have you been away?” I can hear you saying. Dang! I love how you all miss me so much!

Yes we have, we’ve been searching for our perfect home on the south coast.

One day we decided to broaden our search and investigate a few of the other towns and villages along the coast. People kept telling us how nice it was in Sidmouth so we went for a look. Quant little English seaside village. I think it’s actually God’s waiting room. I’ve never seen so many grey haired people all in one place in my life. Pensioners were marauding everywhere with their walking sticks, wheelchairs, zimmer frames and scooters. Don’t get all excited thinking that the pensioners on scooters were zipping round on the scooters of your childhood or on trendy Piaggio’s,  how cool would they be?

No, I’m talking about yer good old mobility scooters.

My mum used to have a mobility scooter.  It had two speeds: hare and tortoise. It had a picture of a hare and a tortoise on it’s dashboard.  My mum only ever used to use it on the ‘hare’ setting, or as she used to call it, ‘rabbit speed’. She once got told off by a traffic warden for speeding on her scooter. She nearly took his kneecaps off when she came ‘haring’ out of a shop (see what I did there?).

Anyway, back to the plot and talking about getting told off….

Once Boofuls and I had thoroughly investigated Sidmouth we went a bit further round the coast to Dorset and Lyme Regis.

Sigh. To be fair, it wasn’t the best of days, we were cold and tired, the wind was blowing, we were not really dressed for the weather as it had been quite warm when we set off, we were hungry and we were fed up and on the verge of an argument.

We popped out heads into a few of the local eateries to be met with faces of disgust when we enquired if they were dog friendly. That’d be a no then. Eventually we did find somewhere to eat that was warm and welcoming. I partook of the chestnut and mushroom soup which was surprisingly tasty. I’ll be making that.

Once we’d decided that we could really linger in their any longer just keeping warm we decided to head off back to Torquay. “I’ll just take the dog on the beach for  a pee”, said I.

I checked the sign about dogs on the beach: April to November.  Blah blah, yeah, yeah.  Douggie ran off grateful for a chance to stretch his legs while I trudged up the stony beach feeling like I was on the verge of hypothermia. Up ahead the beach became sandy so I headed to that part. To get to it we had to walk on the prom for about eight feet. I decided I’d risk it without putting him on his lead.

As we jumped down onto the sandy beach an officious looking character approached me. Douggie looked like he was about to go and say hello to him so I threw his ball in the opposite direction:

Officious character: “Your dog is off the lead. It’s not allowed to be.”

Me: “Seriously? We only walked on the prom for about eight feet. Just to get onto this beach.”

Him: “You walked all the way down that beach with your dog off the lead. I watched you do it”

Me: “Yes we did.” Looking vacant as I said it, still not realising where this conversation was heading.

Him. ” Didn’t you see the signs.”

Me: “Yes, course I did. April to November. Well it’s December now, what’s the problem?”

Him: Slowly as if talking to a child, “No dogs at all between April and November and dogs on leads at other times.It says it very clearly and you’ve passed at least four of these signs. There’s one there, there, there, there and there and you’ve gone past them all and totally ignored them, I could fine you £70.”

Me: Turning white as the penny drops. “OH NO!! I totally misread it. I’m sorry, (much grovelling).

At this point he was starting to enjoy being able to lecture me and made a point of lecturing me at length about dogs not being allowed to run free on beaches in Lyme Regis, all this while Douggie gambolled happily around his feet and I squirmed with embarrassment.  Eventually, the official realised that the dog was still running loose and instructed me to put his lead on, which I did post haste, still grovelling. My purse was twitching with fear at the thought of having to surrender £70 of it’s hard earned money for not bothering to read a sign correctly.

Eventually the official had had his fill of making me squirm and decided to let me off with a warning. As I hot footed it back to the car a couple who’d been watching with amusement asked me if he’d let me off and informed me that Lyme Regis isn’t known for it’s tolerance for dogs.

We probably won’t be going back there.

You know your dog has taken over your life when…..

You know your dog has taken over your life when…..you get woken up by having a big wet fluffy bear thrust into your face by a grinning dog who’s decided you’ve been asleep long enough and now it’s playtime.

I accidentally left the bedroom door open one night last week which meant that Douggie was able to get in and alert us that he was about to have a seizure – giving me enough time to get his homeopathic remedy into him in time to stop it in it’s tracks. Good eh? Since then we’ve left the bedroom door ajar at night and he’s taking full advantage of it. Now it’s slobbery kisses in the middle of the night, sighing, flopping around trying to get comfy – and that’s just Boofuls hahahaaa.

You know your dog has taken over your life when…..you change handbags to match your outfit and discover a sausage that in there you’d bought at the local sandwich shop a day or two previously to use for training treats and forgotten about.

You know your dog has taken over your life when…..by saying ‘match my outfit’ (see above) outfit you mean a different colour of track suit bottoms or jeans since skirts and dresses just aren’t  practical for walking, training and playing with a big uber slobbery hound. Ah, those were the days when I used to swan about suited and booted, perfectly groomed and coiffed on a daily basis. Now it’s an event. If only my image consultant ex colleagues could see me now. One extreme to t’other!

Yup. There’s no doubt about it. The dog has taken over my life.

The other love of my life, Boofuls seems to be a bit distracted at the moment. During a conversation the other day I said to him that we could go to Devon for a few days when all of our current mayhem subsides a bit.

He looked at me bemused and said. “Why? There’s nothing we have to do down there is there.”

Me: “No, love. Some people might call it a holiday.”

Poor old Boofuls looked at me stunned for a moment as he realised what he’d said. It’s a poor do when you’ve forgotten the concept of a holiday, isn’t it?  Here’s a little reminder, Boofuls.


Copyright Copyright Copyright Copyright

Source: internet
Source: internet



Kitchen Talk

This week I had three brilliant quotes for you. The only trouble is I forgot one of them before I wrote it down. Silly senile old bugger that I am.

All three quotes made me laugh out loud and the last one lifted me right out of my post holiday, ‘God, this place is a dump’ grumps.

The first one was after I arrived back from a long and lovely walk with Douggie the doggie while we were still on holiday. Leaving just as it was getting light we’d walked along the coastal path, checked out a few little coves and made our way down to the harbour for a coffee while we sat and watched the town shake itself out of it’s slumber and get ready for the start of a new day. The sunrise had been magnificent. Purple, pink, orange and finally, blue. Dougggie and me watched transfixed as the sky changed colour. Ok, I watched transfixed, Douggie just sniffed around a bit and did lots of little pees, looking at me occasionally as I tried to find enough superlatives to describe the glorious morning.  It was stunning ( the sunrise, not the peeing) and I felt privileged to have witnessed it along with my doggie and a few noisy seagulls.

It was in fact this very sunrise. Shame the camera on my phone doesn’t do it justice but I’m sure you get the idea.

Watching the sunrise near Daddyhole Plain, Torquay
Watching the sunrise near Daddyhole Plain, Torquay

As  we got back from our walk the rest of the family was just about getting themselves up and about. Len and me stood in the kitchen chatting and I told him all about our lovely walk. “I envy you that,” he said, “It must be lovely.

“Well, come with me tomorrow then, you’re more than welcome.”

Here comes the quote, brace yourself;

“Oooh no. I couldn’t arsed with that, that’s far too early to be getting up.”

Hahaaaa, you don’t envy me that much then, eh? Silly sausage!


A few days after we got home, Lshes and Munki wet having a conversation in the kitchen. Which is of course where all the best conversations take place. It went a bit like this:

Munki: I want you to have a baby.
Lashes: I’m not having a baby.
Munki: Are you sure? It looks like there’s one in your tummy.
Lashes: Babe, I promise you there is no baby in my tummy.
Munkiie: are you just getting fat then?
Heheeeeee. I wouldn’t have dared! Munki of course, being four years old, doesn’t feel the need to edit her thoughts. Poor Lashes.

Finally, still in the kitchen:

Douggie is such a sweet dog. I put his breakfast down on the floor and as normal he sat and waited till I gave him permission to eat. The cat who was skulking around at the time felt she needed no such permission. ‘I’ll have a bit o’ that’, she thought despite having a bowlful of her own food right there.  She  got her head straight into Douggie’s food bowl and started chaffing away. Douggie just sat and watched in horrified amazement, occasionally looking up at me as if to say, “Help! The cat’s eating my breakfast and I’m not allowed to move.”

His face was a picture. I stood laughing helplessly until I felt so sorry for Doggie I moved the cat in front of her own food bowl where she carried on chaffing like there had been no interruption to service. Senility and blindness has certainly done a lot for her bravery levels. At one time she wouldn’t even have shared a room with the dog never mind stole his food from right under his nose.

For my Far Fetched Friend





















After posting a few photos from our rent jollies I got a lovely message from Vanessa who writes the brilliant Farfetched Friends blog. Go and check it out, you’ll enjoy it. Anyway, Vanessa feels a bit of an affinity to Spain even though she hasn’t been there so these next few images of Cartagena and surrounding area are just for her to immerse herself in and pretend she’s actually there.  Enjoy.




















I understand what old Hieronymous was on about now

You have to love February in England.  You have to love it because it’s short.

That’s the only thing it’s got going for it other than it’s the month when Lashes was born.

I would have included Valentine’s day in February’s charms but since Valentine’s Day stopped being of any relevance at all to me  many years ago I refuse to include it. So, that’s it then, February actually, now that I come to think about it, has two things going for it; Lashes’ birthday and it’s a short month.

Trudging through the woods this morning with Velcrodog it struck me  how very grey and gloomy and depressing everything was. All I could see around me was various shades of grey. Even the dog was covered in mud and as grey as a February day. Sigh.

Not even the pathetic attempt at snow that was going on around me cheered me up. I’m calling it snow but in actual fact it was more like sleet. Thin, mean and miserly, not a bit like the big, fat, luscious snowflakes I love. If it was food it would have been gruel – and just about as exciting.

It was only last week that my friend and I had been sharing holiday stories and photographs with each other. What a lovely couple of hours we had.

She’s been to the Caribbean. Oh, the Caribbean with its beautiful bright warmth. With its colours so vivid and bright that they burn the retinas right off your eyeballs.  We looked through her photographs and marvelled at the colour of the sea and the sky, the richness of the colours and the relaxed expressions on the faces of  all the people.

Then we looked at my holiday photos from Finland. Gorgeous snow, pink and blue skies, northern lights, huskies, reindeer and fun. The expression on our faces was relaxed and happy.

Back to the real world.

No bloody chance of relaxed and happy expressions  happening here. Most people have their faces screwed up and grim, shoulders hunched and head down rushing to get back to their homes and out of the grey and dreary glumness that is an English February.

God, it’s depressing.

Hieronymous Bosch must have been on  exactly the same walk through the woods as me when he  was inspired to paint his visions of hell.

Roll on spring!


Good Grief!

Boofuls is having  a few days off work! Unheard of unless we’re actually going on a proper holiday.

Since  I don’t want to leave the puppy behind  we considered hiring a cottage for a few days but  considering that we’re skinter than a skint thing we decide to have a staycation instead.

Now, instead of two weeks cruising the caribbean we  have two and a half days off work and a bacon butty in B & Q. Oh how times have changed.

At least we can get on with all the jobs that need doing round the house and continue with the staging process so the first potential buyer to walk through the door will fall in love with it and offer us the full asking price – in cash. I must say though, the buyers aren’t exactly queueing up at the  moment. We haven’t had a single sniff  yet. Early days!

The staging process is quite fun, I’m enjoying changing the look of the place and bringing it into the 21st century. All the red and orange and yellow (It looked better than it sounds, honest) has gone from the living room to be replaced with nice fresh shades of cream, tan and bright green. It’s really looking quite contemporary.

I’ve got my beady eye on the dining room next, a new mirror to bounce some light around, a change round of lamps and shades, some new curtains,a fab new picture for the wall which I’ve customised by adding copper paint to it and giving it some texture and it’s all going to look nice and bright and new.  It’s amazing what you can achieve without spending a fortune.

This morning Boofuls was putting new handles on the cupboard doors in the utility room. I didn’t think it was possible for one person to swear so much – I had to cover up the dog’s ears. Poor little mite would have been corrupted.

Talking of the dog. Obviously he’s been photographed till he’s blue in the face. I’m not saying he’s been photographed a lot but now when he sees a camera he just turns towards it and gives a little lopsided smile. I’ve been very good and not posted photos of him for a while so I’m going to make up for it now:



Hi, the name's Bentley. Would you care for a Schmako?


I’m doing the dog club school portraits again tomorrow. That’ll be fun. Hopefully I won’t get my arm chomped on by a rottweiler this year!




We’re all going on a summer holiday…

No more worries for a week or…well, actually, a week.

Boofuls and me have made it to the end of mad June!!!

Now it’s time to relaaaaaaax and where better than on a bleeding great cruise ship?

Right up to ten minutes ago I was running round like a headless chicken only worse because soon as I went forward one step I’d have to go back two!  At least a headless chicken gets somewhere.

The last  pre holiday drama ( I hope )  was when I was framing two photos for a client this afternoon and the framer had made the frames the wrong size.  NNNOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Client due in one hour, framer not answering his phone and actually what could he do anyway – conjure up two new frames and send them over on a magic carpet? Cue nervous breakdown.

The client decided she wanted to take the smaller frames as she didn’t want to wait another ten days, which meant I had to scrap two 16 x 20 photographs, reprint two more at 16 x 12  and refund her £50!!!   Not a happy bunny.  I’m over it now though.

Big N has been left strict instructions not to have any mad parties, not to forget to feed the cats and let them out for an occasional toilet break and not to destroy anything while we’re away.

Boofuls sent a text and left a message on our  our dance reacher’s mobile phone last week to cancel our lesson as we were just too busy to go. “I picked up your message as I left for the ballroom so I turned round and went home.” he said.

Boofuls and me looked at each other puzzled. “But we sent that message the night before. I wonder why it didn’t arrive.”

“Well you sent it to my mobile but I was at home.”

The look of puzzlement deepened.

“Well I wasn’t mobile was I? I was at home so it was turned off.  That’s why it’s called a mobile. When you’re moving use it, when you’re not, use the land line. It’s obvious; you don’t ring a mobile when the person is stationary. Tsk.

That told us.

I’ve got a million other things to tell you but they’ll have to wait. I have to PACK!!!

BORED! boredboredboredboredyboredbored

Or as my Mum used to say, “Only boring people get bored.”


Well, in that case. It’s very quiet round here and I’m struggling to find things to keep me occupied. I feel like I’m just waiting for everything to start next month. Then I’ll be yearning for some respite from it all.

I found some old photos:

Ok, this first one isn’t old. It’s Boofuls and one of our neighbours  on Tuesday night trying to work out how to sent a number to another phone. Funny.


Next is a photo of me years ago when I was an image consultant demonstrating at our annual conference ‘The Briefcase Trick’ or “How to pack for a week’s holiday into a briefcase.’ It does work, try it.

Briefcase trick

Next is a photo of our me with our first grandchild just a few hours old.  Little did we know that later that day she would be moved to the special care unit and stay there for six weeks. Traumatic times.

Newborn baby and proud grandmother

Fun in the swimming pool

This is Boofuls, Lashes, Bezzie mate and her hubby on a holiday in France, at our friend’s gites to be exact. Such a fantastic holiday. We didn’t stop laughing all the time we were there and it wasn’t just because of the ridiculous amounts of Kir Royale we got through.

There are more photos but I’ll drip feed them to you over the next few weeks so you don’t lose the will to live.

It hasn’t been boring for Len ‘the car wrecker’ and Lashes this week.

Len set off for work the other day, a good 45 min journey. About ten minutes into it the brakes on his car fell off. Yup. You read that correctly. Fell off.

Managing to limp back home, they decided the best course of action would be to put him on to Lashes’ insurance so he could set off  to work again in her car. Got to work, no problem.

On the way home from work, only half a mile or so from where he had the morning mishap, the  clutch went. Bloody hell, you couldn’t make it up!

Boofuls and The Rev set off with a big car and a tow rope to bring the undrive-able car home. So. How’s Len getting to work now then?


Oh God. I know that tone. “Yes dear?”

“I could drive your car.”



“We’ll put him on our insurance so he can take Dad’s car.”

Such a good idea except that Len is under 25 and the online insurance company just laughed and slammed the virtual door in his virtual face.



“You’re not busy tomorrow, are you?”

So that’s how I came to be driving to Rochdale and back twice in one day. The intervening hours were spent with Lashes and Munki.

Munki seemed to have been possessed by the Devil. She lay on the floor in a shop screaming at the top of her lungs after being gently told that whipping away a changing room curtain while a stranger was standing there in her grundies was not acceptable behaviour.

While her head wasn’t quite spinning round on her shoulders and the vomit wasn’t spewing froth in a mighty stream from her mouth ( the baby, not the stranger) she was most definitely ‘on one’. Terrible two’s isn’t in it. I’m not even going to tell you about her behaviour in Pizza Hut where we nipped in for a sneaky lunch. Suffice to say I apologised profusely to the people at the next table. Bloody waiter bringing a  bloody balloon before she’d finished eating. Oh. Dear. God, so much screaming.

I wasn’t bored then, more shell shocked, as was everyone else within a half mile vicinity.

I’ve decided that I’m most definitely bored with waiting for the decorator. We still haven’t got a quote from him and I’m fed up waiting now so I’m doing it myself. Especially now that I know my friend from France is coming to visit next week. YAAAAAYY!

Still on a mission to spruce up our house a bit I was looking for bedroom wallpaper today and I found some amazing sparkly paper. Sparkly wallpaper! I love it!!

Ok, so maybe I’m not that bored after all.