Kayaking in France

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We woke up one morning, on our holiday, to drizzle.  South West France obviously didn’t get my memo about no rain/drizzle/clouds for the time we were there.  Anyway, we decided today wasn’t a good day to be spending at the pool and we would check out the kayaking place we had seen adverts for.  We took the Sat Nav with us and still Paul decided to take another road…resulting with us on a rough forest track.  {“But we are near a lake.”  “Well that’s ok then”…!!}.  A quick turnaround and ten minutes later, we found it.  We got ourselves booked in, had our safety and route briefing and got kitted out.  Not forgetting our shot of coffee…?!  The lovely lady told me it was “to give me more energy”…I’ll be honest, a tiny bit of me died inside when she said that.  Where is she sending us?!   Robb was too big {sob!} to get on the kayak with us, so they told him he could have his own. 

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Which, as you can see here, didn’t last long!  The route took us across the lake, down through the river, through the swamp and then back along the lake.  I think that first bit across the lake took it’s toll on Robbie and he decided he wanted to swap.  Which was a bit of a faff…”Urgh!  It’s all squelchy at the bottom!  I don’t want to put my feet down!”… :0

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^^ “Are you ok, Cer?”, “Yeah, I’m fine. I got this. Kind of…” *bangs head on tree and tries very hard not to scream* ^^

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^^ All Alfie had to do was sit there {and do devil horns} and still, he was the one that complained the most about being tired! ^^

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^^ As much as I loved the kayaking, there was a small voice in the back of my head saying “watch out for the sea monsters!…” ^^

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^^ “Let’s get a selfie of us all on the kayak”…or not.

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We thought we had gone too far down the river, so we made our way back to shore through the swamp.  It turns out we hadn’t, but, following the episode earlier with the sat nav, I wasn’t taking any chances!  And the lady had joked about “If you don’t make it back for two days, you’ve had a hell of a good deal if you think about it, as you’ve only paid for 2 hours”…!!!

Kayaking as a family was new to us {I say that like I kayak all the time, I mean just kayaking in general!} and as we all really enjoyed it we decided it is something we would like to do again.  And with Bala Lake just down the road from us, why haven’t we tried it before?!

It had brightened up a little by the time we had finished, so we all had a quick dip in the lake.  It was like jumping into a warm bath!  It was lovely!  So lovely, it made me do this:

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Ooh la la, indeed! ;)

This is my entry to the Center Parcs and Tots 100 August challenge. If I’m chosen, I would like to visit Sherwood Forest.  We will be making a scrap book/photo book of our holiday, as Steph mentions in her tips.

Diolch!

33 / 52 {our annual ‘pick up nain and taid’ trip}

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“a portrait of the bois bach, every week, in 2014″

Robb | “Let’s go to the beach each, Let’s go get a wave”…ten minutes later we were on our way back to the caravan because it was just too cold!

Alfie | His hands on his head, nose all scrunched up as he watches the teddy slip from the claws once again.  Bechod, de.

Friday night we did our annual ‘pick up nain and taid and bring them home’ trip.  As they don’t drive, my brother Dion, takes them there and the bois bach and I go down to join them for their last night there and bring them home on Saturday.  We always look forward to this.  What’s not to like?  Fish n chips by the sea, spending all of nain and taid’s money in the arcades, penny sweets…and that’s just me!

And being woken up on the Saturday morning by the smell and sound of bacon sizzling!  Un da ‘di Jen! x

Bois bach, de chi werth y byd xxx

living arrows

 

Running Diaries

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Going to bed gone 2am, after nearly a whole bottle of red wine and waking up 6 hours later on a “bed” which has gone down during the night is not the best recipe for a good run, is it?  But it is what it is.  I had been telling myself all week that I needed to do an 8 mile run that weekend…camping or no camping!  So, an hour later after coffee {a lot} and breakfast, I set off.  I could have quite easily turned around and sat there with the others to drink more coffee…and decide whether I had a hangover or not {do you know those ones?  soo annoying…}, anyway, I never, I carried on.  And did what I set out to do, 8.1 miles…{‘cos that .1 makes all the difference!}.  Gorgeous, sunny views like this gave me the ‘oomph’ that I needed to carry on AND get a 10K Personal Record!…{not so bad now, is it Cer?!}. 

And The Vaccines, they helped too.  Oh, and cheesy pop for the last 2 miles, definitely! 

“Don’t Stop When You Are Tired, Stop When You Are Finished”

UPDATE: I forgot to mention what Paul said to me the other evening “I’m sure your arse is a lot firmer”…if that isn’t a reason to get my running gear on and run ALL THE TIME, I don’t know what is ;)

10 tips for a successful camping trip…with other families.

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But first…photos!

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^ “you go in first” “no, you”…”ok, after 3…1, 2, 3…”  …no one did it.

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1 : Stagger your arrivals at the campsite…so that those who are already there can help you others putting their tents up.  Last thing you want is everyone arriving at the same time…and 4 couples close to divorce after putting up their tent.

2 : Go with GOOD {if not the best!} Friends…who know you very well and won’t get put off by  your mascara-streaked-face in the morning.

3 : It helps if said friends have kids who like your kids.  This results in not seeing all of the kids until bedtime!  B. O. N. U. S.  Or at least until it’s ‘toasted marshmallows time’…which leads me to tip no. 4.

4 : Always, ALWAYS ensure there are enough marshmallows for everyone.  Including the adults.  Sticks too!  You need plenty of sticks.  Luckily for us, Beth remembered these.

5 : Invest in {or get Anwen and Bryn to…} a decent fire pit.  Even hide their fire pit so that they get a better one this time… ;) It could be the hottest day for the last decade but Wales in the evening still gets cold.  Oh so cold.

6 : Make sure you take an extra jacket or that your friends are about the same size as you, so that you can share jackets if someone else has forgotten theirs.  Because one camping mate, who shall remain nameless…*cough SUE cough*…won’t give up her ‘camping jacket’ for anyone.

7 :…same goes for loo roll…except it doesn’t matter about the size of it and you won’t be sharing the same piece…*shudders at the thought*…what I mean is, just make sure someone has remembered this very important item.

8 : As well as kids, DOGS!  Other families with dogs is also useful.  These will also keep the kids entertained for hours too.  See photo above of Poppy all like “check me out, getting all the love”.

9 : If Dwysan someone has a new lamp to put in their trailer tent, make sure they get their own electricity supply to switch it on!…because that lamp made all the difference…

10 : Have a day at the beach to clear those foggy heads and let the kids run around in the sea while you have a nap on the beach.

It goes without saying to sit back, relax, have a drink, share crisps, peanuts etc. and catch up with these gorgeous people you get to call your friends.

Got any other tips you want to share?  Feel free to leave them below!

summer hols 2014

Here are just some photos from our recent holiday in South West France.  I say some because this was also our first holiday with what I call a ‘proper camera’…so I kinda got all click-happy!  OOH! LOOK! FRENCH WINDOWS! click click click.  click.

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Our stroll to the beach the evening we arrived didn’t disappoint.  At all.

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‘I-wanna-squish-my-brother’s-face-I’m-that-excited-we’re-on-holiday’ faces.  Also, Alf?  Remember that conversation we had about you never growing up and staying 6 forever?  This photo tells me a totally different story, bach!  Sort it out!

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As well as Alf {in this post}, we can always rely on Paul to finish off photos nicely, too.

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…oh, and Robb.

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…they did enjoy themselves…honest!

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We watched a Bull Show one night.  I feel I need to point out it was a family friendly one, not the one where the bull gets killed.  {I won’t be watching that, thanks very much}.  And it was terrifyingly brilliant fun!  And Paul…I’m not sure what his face is here.  And that’s the best photo of us both on this holiday, I think…yep, I know! We really are that good. ;)

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No holiday is complete without candy floss as big as your head!

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…nah! No idea what they are either…but check Paul out getting all arty-farty with that last photo!  Also, I’ve just noticed Alf’s face here.  He’s still trying to figure out what the hell they are, isn’t he?!

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Iechyd Da, Le Vieux Port, Messanges!  We’ll be seeing you again, definitely!

Things I want to remember:  the smell of the pine trees / the town of vieux bouceau / alf and his singing throughout the holiday.  If it wasn’t ‘Calon Lan’ it was ‘We wish you a Merry Christmas’…honestly, where did we get him?! / the excitement of tour de france {post on that to follow} / the huuuuge waves, hello surfers paradise…and ear infection / Biarritz / paella / the Ferrero rocher ice cream / daydreaming with paul about moving there one day / the warm sea / robb and his surfing…or lack of ;) / the waffles and crepes / the way the young lad said to me “alfie’s got a LOT of energy, hasn’t he?!” when we picked him up from kids club and last but by no means least, two whole weeks with my bois – it was bliss xx

Running Diaries

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‘Tis true!

It’s 6:15am and my alarm is going off.  Half asleep, I think to myself “sod that!” and continue to press snooze for the next thirty minutes. 

It’s 6:45am and the guilt is s l o w l y creeping in.  A discussion {…or argument?} with myself for a few minutes results in me being wide awake and before I know it, carrying my running gear downstairs to get dressed and stretch whilst waiting for the kettle to boil.

It’s 8am and I have just arrived home having run 6.1 miles.  Strava tells me I have ran my best 5k yet.

Fresh Air never felt so good.