I headed back to Cambridgeshire back on the 30th to attend my best friend's Mum's funeral which was incredibly sad but also a beautiful service and so good to see just how many people turned up. Jess was incredibly brave and I know she's really struggling now that the funeral has passed and the reality of being without her mum is really sinking in. She has lots of family and friends that love her to bits though and are there when she needs us, so keep your chin up Jess xx
The beautiful Cattells Mill, windmill at Jack's Parents'
I stayed with Jack's parents on the night of the 30th without Jack as he still had to work on NYE, so Barry was my bed companion and incredibly smug about the fact he got to sleep on the bed (which he doesn't get to do at our house!). I say on the bed... woke up the next morning to find he'd got under the covers and was snuggled up in a little ball right beneath my chin, very cute I must admit! Barry and I went for a nice walk around the Fens on NYE and it was nice to spend time in the countryside I grew up in, though it really is very flat!
We had a great time on NYE with Jack's family and friends; there was quite a few of us and Barry loved all the attention he got. He was completely worn out though before midnight and not happy about me jumping up to chink glasses at midnight (he was quite snug on my lap!). Then on New Years Day we drove onto Overstrand, Norfolk where my parents live to spend a couple of days with them, my brother Simon and his girlfriend, Jenna. We managed a quick walk along the beach when we arrived while the tide was out and before it got dark and Barry seemed very happy to be at the seaside.
A quick walk along the beach in the last hour of daylight
We had a good laugh that evening playing the game Heads Up, have you heard of it? It's a guessing game you can download on your phone or ipad; one person holds it up on their head and the others have to give you clues in order to guess the name of the person/object/action on the screen - kind of like the game we used to play with post-it notes! "Act it out" was my favourite round and us girls beat the boys hands down in the 'guess the animal' rounds. Very funny indeed! Jenna and Simon headed off on Saturday morning, so Jack and I headed out for a walk with Mum and Dad. We eventually did a full circle and left Mum and Dad to head home while Jack and I continued along the beach to Cromer.
This is where we bumped into a wild Grey Seal! I wasn't expecting to see one on Overstrand or Cromer's beach at all, but know they're a few miles further around the coastline at Horsey (I think that's the name of the beach!), where they're currently raising their pups. Given that this little seal was all alone on a beach where lots of dogs are walked, I was quite concerned that a dog would hurt it and so rang the Seal Rescue. Having described the seal to them they said it sounded like it was just exhausted and having a good rest and at that the seal yawned, stretched and had a scratch! By this time Barry was crying at Jack's feet to go and give the seal a friendly lick to see if it wanted to play! It was lovely to see it anyway and hopefully it made it safely back into the sea unharmed by humans or dogs.
Having a scratch, or laughing at us?
We eventually carried on our walk to Cromer before turning around and heading home again; it's a nice walk - about 5 miles in total so a good stretch of the legs and I think we've completely worn Barry out with walks recently! We're now giving him a little bit of a break and back to just two/three short walks a day as he was a tad stiff on his [previously broken] leg when we got back - not that you'd know with the way he throws himself around playing with all his new toys! It was nice to spend time with Mum and Dad too and I'm very proud to tell you that Mum has taken up loom knitting and is a complete natural! She often wonders where I get my organisation and creativity skills from but she's just trying to hide hers ;-) I'm just waiting for Mum to make me a bobble hat now. I might have to give it a go at some point as it looks like you can create scarves, hats etc. very quickly. I still love my crochet though!
On Sunday morning Barry and I headed to the beach alone for our last walk; it was nice to get some fresh air and have some thinking space and Barry enjoyed fetching his tennis ball as we walked along. I can't wait to go back to Overstrand again soon and my parents are very pleased that they have multiple bookings already, so will be heading out to France Easter-time. If anyone is interested in staying at my parent's place here is a link to the holiday letting agency; it's a great little property and is very near to everything you need. Norfolk really is a pretty place and there's lots to do and see along the coast.
We're now back into our normal routines and I've written out my New Years resolutions; apparently only 8% of people stick to their New Years resolutions... I won't say anymore than that! It's good to make a list of things you aspire to in the year ahead anyway. One thing I saw on Pinterest I thought was a fab idea was getting a large empty jar and filling it with happy memories throughout the year and then reading back through them again on the next NYE, I'm going to try and do this, though I tend to write things down in my journal anyway!
I hope all of your resolutions, plans and aspirations are coming along nicely in these early days of 2016 and throughout the year!