Summer, seaside and hot weather

I love, love, love the weather we have had past few weeks (with the little break between) and anyone, who comes to complain just keep away from me! They are usually same people, who complain over rain, wind and  low temperature. There isn’t anything better than waking up 6 o’clock and it’s warm enough just to put the t-shirt and shorts on and take the dog for a walk.

I love summer evenings, when it’s almost dark, but still warm enough to sit in the garden to have a dinner.

I love keeping windows open all night, so it’s the bird song what will wake you in the morning and you already can fill your lungs with the fresh summery air.

Only thing I really miss and I feel it strongly on hot days is closeness of the sea. I always lived less than a mile from the sea until I moved to UK. I grow up in the summer resort and it was daily routine to go swim twice a day and lay on the hot white sand getting all the D vitamin to be ready for long, cold, rainy, snowy 9 months.

We went to seaside few weekends ago. We have been so busy so it was first time this year we got around it. The Dumpton Gap beach between Broadstairs and Margate –  it’s my official favourite beach in Kent! I went swimming! It’s the only beach in UK I have been swimming after living here 16 years! It must be something, doesn’t it? The water temperature must’ve been over 20 C.

It’s the beach with the lovely sign saying “All dogs are welcome off the lead!”

It’s a sandy beach – quite rare in Kent!

So happy me!

I also love Walmer beach, for totally different reasons. I love finding stones, each telling some kind of story.

Like taking photos of funny faces my family makes out of the stones, it is annual competition 🙂

I love just staring as far as you can and maybe see glimpse of France on the clear day. I love the smell of the seaside air, sound of the sea and colour, which changing from deep dark blue to light-light blue within a minutes.

I’m sure one day I will be living back within easy reach of the sea. I know I will!

I have totally lost my cooking mojo and mixing up smoothies is the only thing I have been getting around recently:

Frozen watermelon and strawberries with mint

Lettuce – pineapple -ice

First world problems – series of the unlucky events.

If you think you haven’t done very well recently, maybe following will cheer you up and make you realise you life is not too bad after all.

Last week was pants in every sense.

Wednesday started with the car crash! Ok, not a crash, it was lucky accident. Another car drove into my car, but it was my fault as I came out from the side road. And it only happened, because I trusted someone else in the traffic. Just like my last crash 25 years ago! Lovely lady stopped her car to let me come out of the most dangerous turning I have to take daily bases past 10 years. I thanked her and started to move really slowly and there it was, another nice lady just drove into me! I have no idea how I missed it. It was horrible grey morning and her car didn’t have lights on. I don’t know why it’s not law in UK to have lights on 24 hours? It’s a law in lots of European countries I have driven and it’s not about you seeing better, it’s about other drivers noticing you early enough to react!

On the same afternoon, I was on a way to see Bill Bailey, which was birthday treat for my husband.
I got stuck most horrendous traffic jam. I love Google maps for navigation and for letting you know problems on the way, but this time it just really failed me. The access to motorway was closed and Google map didn’t think so. It tried to make me do U-turn and send me back to the road, which was closed! OMG! That was stressful! Its bit difficult to navigate and drive same time and the language I used to shout out on top of my voice can’t be written down here! I got to the show on time and so did my husband after travelling in and out of London few hours by train. At least show was brilliant!

Not to mention few issues at work so I had to stay late, which turned other plans upside down.

Our lovely Lonni have put bit of a weight on and we thought it’s a good idea is to go on the field and play Frisbee with her. She loves it. She holds her frisbee in her mouth and then runs between us, when we playing another frisbee. We had good fun with all family. Have I said I’m quite competitive – especially in sports? So when my husband throw the Frisbee and it came straight line towards me, I thought it’s the good idea to stop it with my face! Specifically my nose and eye! It’s bettter to sacrifice your face than drop the frisbee, isn’t it? I had sparks coming out of my eyes and blood from the nose! It was entertaining and painful, I laughed through the tears. I have lovely black eye now 🙂

Sunday we had lovely day out at Camden Market. This was K birthday treat. We had smashing day under the hot sun, with yummy food. K learned to use her newly owned bank card and purchased lovely Bart Simson denim shirt. Guess what happened? Somehow it ended in S bag and then we lost it. Only realising it, when we got back home. I felt really sorry for her, even though she put brave face on. I just felt so down and sad about it all and crawled into the bed and wished the week would be over! ( S did buy new shirt for her online though)!

Anyway I needed to get it out so maybe I feel less sorry for myself. There are real problems out there and I should consider myself happy not to be affected by them.

Looking back more positively:

  1. Nobody got hurt in the car crash
  2. I made it to show and we had lovely time
  3. I learned few new things while stuck at work
  4. I can cover my black eye quite sucessfully with make-up
  5. And Keiti will get new shirt thanks to the internet (and daddy)

So all is good!

Looking forward (or not) less eventful week!

 

When Estonian (me) writing (speaking) in English.

I write this blog in English. I don’t know why, as I make lots of stupid mistakes.

I started to speak English, after I met my husband 17 years ago. I did learn English at school, since I was 10, but never was I brave enough to speak it to other people. I could understand and was always nodding with stupid smile back to the people and hiding behind my friends, letting them to do all the talking.

                                                     My school in my hometown

Back in 80s Estonian schools concentrated mostly to grammar and there wasn’t anywhere to practice speaking really. Estonia was part of Soviet Union and getting out from there wasn’t something you could do easily.

My teacher in the high school made us learn the 20 first irregular verbs most of the lessons and I can’t remember anything interesting or inspiring from her…other than she was secretly eating sweets front of the class, pretending she dropped something under the table. She even stopped talking to me and refused to mark any of my work, as I dared to say something about her teaching methods.

Later on, I tried to learn English in language school, which wasn’t too bad. The teacher was from South America and actually spoke quite good English, at least I think so but as my English was so poor I can’t say for sure.

I’m sure I enchanted my husband because I was so quiet and was listening for hours him talking. (by now he has learnt his lesson 🙂 )

In England, I tried few courses aimed to foreigners (ESL), which gives you qualification needed for applying for the university places. They weren’t very inspiring and I didn’t like the approach.

In the end, I decided to take the GCSE English course in Adult education Center and oh, I was lucky. We had most inspiring teacher, who really made me work hard and I actually made real effort to complete the given homework.

I got “A”, missing just few points from “A*”.  I have highest grade in the office and all my colleagues are English 🙂

Despite the high grade, I still find difficult to write in English. I can’t always find juicy words, I admire so much, when reading other people’s blogs. I’m struggling putting “a” and “the” front of the right words. I don’t get order of the words right.

I find speaking in English quite easy, but I still have strong accent and I make mistakes regularly. My job requires giving support over the phone and I’m quite good at that. I’m thinking in English and going back to Estonia, I struggle few days to get my Estonian back in track. I think in English and then I translate it to Estonian and quite often it doesn’t make any sense. My friends think I’ve lost it and wonder, what I’m on about 🙂

I mix up “she” and “he” all the time. Not, that I don’t know, how to use them, but when I’m speaking I just pick whatever comes out first. Realizing my mistake quite quickly. Especially, when I see people staring me with blank faces and wondering, who I’m talking about.

After publishing the last post, my daughter came to correct some mistakes I made. I was grateful but annoyed with myself. How long it takes to learn it’s “how is it…” not “how it is..” ???

Regardless of all said, I will keep writing English and maybe if I would do it more often I’d actually get better.

Please put all corrections to the comments! 🙂 (no hard feelings, will try to learn from them)

In the building on the right I had my sewing, knitting, crocheting lessons, which were in curriculum for all girls from age 10.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When is it ok to stop worrying?

Recently I have become to realize, only baby in the house, who needs my tender care is Lonni. Even my cats aren’t too bothered as long they have food under their nose, when they ask for it, which is every time they see me or anyone else to enter the kitchen.  Somehow my 2 babies are not babies anymore. They are almost adults with their own ideas, what they want to do and how to live their lives.

When is it ok to let your children make to their own mistakes and let them realize, their actions might have consequences to their future life? I still feel it’s my responsibility to check they have everything they need for the day and I ask my grumpy teenagers annoying questions.

I sometimes wonder is it more of my problem, than theirs? Am I worried I’m not really needed anymore? Is it the crises, because this stage of my life is over?

I feel, if I’m not checking on them, they will get hurt or fail and they can’t achieve their dreams. I feel responsible of their future, their failures and achievements.

My head says – step back and let them make their mistakes, if they don’t learn now, when  will they? But my heart not letting me step on side and just observe from the distance.

I never been pushy or over protective parent. I have been trying to be supportive and providing new experiences and let them choose their interests and friends. Maybe it’s just a case they don’t really need me for that anymore and I feel bit lost?

Is it wrong to change Xbox password as I’m worried that no homework gets done? I don’t always trust their ability to plan their time. Is it because my time management is appalling and I’m queen of the procrastination!

Why people say its gets easier, when children get older? Physically yes, it’s not so demanding, but mentally I find it’s much more draining. I’m scared to act wrong and I’m worried if I make mistake now, it will come and bite me 10 years’ time.

I avoid thinking of “mistakes” I already made. Not teaching them speak Estonian. Having a full time job, since they were young, which means working through most of the school holidays instead of booking fantastic holidays like other families. Not having enough money to provide them things, their friends have. Letting them have ice cream a day and other crappy food as I’m too busy or I want to go CrossFit instead of cooking nutritious meal every day. I can go on with my “guilty” list. 

So really – will I ever stop worrying?

 

The day I had some time (read: I took some time)

I read few blog posts last week about people not having time and it’s true – if you ask me how I’m doing you get the answer: same old, same old, busy, work, kids,home. Then I read about people who have plenty of time, they have kids, they do work 9-5 everyday, but they find time to do nothing or just do things they really want to. So I think it’s the case of attitude and your choice of life.

So this weekend was almost unplanned day of doing nothing. Not really just laying and not moving a finger but mostly just enjoying a moment.

I did some light housework and cooked some meals, but it’s not really chore. I slept until 9 and stayed bed until 10!!! I honestly can’t remember , when I last had such opportunity.  I tell you it was bliss! 

We had pub dinner on Friday, all four of us, which is rare nowadays,  after beautiful, cold snowy walk. Loved the buzz in the pub, full of people with rosy cheeks from freezing temperature outside, kids having they dinner after having fun sledging and dogs enjoying the fuss they getting in our local. We are so lucky to have the pub on our doorstep and it’s great to see that people keep using it, especially on times, where lots of rural pubs closing down as they can’t compete with big chains.

I actually had time to think and bring back some memories from long time ago, like I used to go music festival back in nineties, when Estonia was just about to become independent from Soviet Union and I saw lots of cool bands like Cure, ZZ Top, The Stranglers, Status Que, Mike and Mechanics, M People, Jethro Tull, Marillion, Ultrafox, Iggy Pop, Simple Minds  to name a few and I actually forgot all about it.

I took some photos in the garden, which slowly recovers from attack of the “beast from the East” Our garden looks mostly sleepy and full of old socks and boxes – thank you Lonni!

But there are snowdrops still there which survived the snow and daffodils are just about to blossom.

I love our garden –sloped, wild, with mossy grass and full of bluebells, daffodils and tulips in spring, bees looking for nectar in summer days. It’s cuddled by big old mature trees and there are lots of hideaway for wildlife.

Every spring I promise to take better care of it, plant more flowers, dig up my vegetable batch again and fill all my planters with tomatoes and pretty flowers like I did first few years of living here. Somehow my life has been speeding up (choice of mine I guess) and summers just racing past. My garden is quite forgiving and as long S keeps grass under control its a pleasant place to be and as much as possible we have our meals out here.

In a process of decluttering and regaining some control over my house  (one of my goals for this year) I found lots of packets of plant seeds, which have been out of date for years now, but I decided to try my luck and sowed them in the pots and hoping my grandmas gardener spirit looking after me and I will get some flowers and veg to plant out this year. So far I can see I will have some dahlias and some black Russian tomatoes, so will see how this goes.

But now really – spring, please hurry up and bring some light to our days!

PS! credits for the snowy photos in my garden go to my son T x

Good Bye 2017!

Just few hours left until the 2017 closes its door. Time to look and remind myself the goods and make a plans for the 2018.

January

January proved that it’s actually winter month and we had a snow for once! Not for long, but enough for kids to have a play and take a few quick photos to  remember. I did started with Project 30 what slowed straight down in summer holidays and then moved backwards. I will write more about it very soon. On positive side – I’m nearly stone lighter (it feels much better to say stone than 7 kg 🙂 ) . Not so positive – I’m no where near , where I was planning to be by end of the year, but hey – s..t happens and here we go again in new year.

February

I really focused on good nutrition and tried lots of healthy recipes. There was also my birthday, which I don’t really like to be reminded now days 🙂 

March

I took part of first CrossFit Open and absolutely loved  it. I’ m so glad that I found CrossFit 2 and half years ago. It’s really reminded me, that exercise is not for loosing weight or get certain kind of body. It’s fun, it’s the lifestyle choice and it’s good for your mental health. I never have problem to get down to the classes, it’s part of my life and I rather not have glass of wine on Friday night than miss Saturday morning class. (I still love “social drinking” there and then, and good night out with my friends). I train minimum 4 times a week, sometimes up to 6 times and I can’t imagine any other way.

April

April brought us unexpectedly hot summer weather. We had lovely walks and traditional Easter weekend down in Kent coast. I had injury in my knee, which messed up my training and therefore my diet was crap. I do find that you don’t loose weight only with exercise, you need good diet as well, but the exercise helps to follow healthy diet. One of the things I learned this year, that I always have some kind of niggle in my knees and I just have to live with it. Don’t rush back on the training with the injury and train smart, which means concentrate on the movements, which help my knees to get the best state they can be.

May

May brings this summery feeling (not always) lots of lovely walks around, where we live. Beautiful blossoms everywhere and we had family trip to London over very- very long time. We always promise to ourselves to do it more often as it’s only 45 minutes away and there is so much to do and see. It was treat for K for her birthday and we went to see the play, which was really good fun.

June

We had family gathering in our house with lots of lovely food and great sunshine. We did some wild cooking with T in our garden and apparently it was the best meal ever 🙂 I made a paella for 120 people in local music festival to rise money for scouts. I started running, because I really hate it and I don’t like to hate things. Unfortunately my knees didn’t agree with it, so gave it up for now and just do occasional running at the CrossFit.

July

It’s the month for our now traditional Stonepit farm family picnic with live music. I went to see proper cricket match – now, when I can understand most of the rules, its’actually very exciting and doesn’t feel like teams just standing around and then sometimes run a bit and hit the ball with the bat:) I said goodbye to lovely family, who moved back to Estonia 🙁 and we went to Cambridge Folk festival, which we can now cross of the list “Things we should do one day”

August

… and my favourite month of 2017. Road trip to Estonia. I annoyed most of my Facebook friends with photos of everything I saw and did on this trip. Sorry, but I truly enjoyed it and I just wanted to share it with everyone. Lovely places, delicious food, great friends, breath taking sunsets, night swims, discolf with best friends in the night, my best friends wedding in a tiny island, good laughs, dear family – just to name a few things, what made me happy.

September

After the busy august, which also brought us sad news about S dad, the September was quiet with some family time and settling back to routines.

October

Good month, because lovely people came to visit us. We love people coming to stay with us, especially when they coming from far away and I can chat in Estonian all night 🙂 Lots of food and drink and laughter. I also introduced my guests to CrossFit so they can see what I’m  always talking about 🙂

November

My love to Estonian films was restored. Went to see 3 short films in Estonian House in London and had good laugh in good company.

December

It’s Christmas months and everything leading up to it. Christmas parties, frosty walks, visits from very dear friends, family get together and to end this year – one very long walk in lovely Kent countryside.

I wish you all very happy new year and love this beautiful life! 

XXX

 

One Estonian thoughts about Estonia (and Estonians)

I’m going through photos from this year holiday to Estonia. Here are just some random thoughts with some photos:

  • Until I moved to UK I never lived further than 500 meter from the sea. I always feel home, when I can see and feel seaside. Being of 2 fisherman’s granddaughter I love fish and seafood. In Estonia you don’t have to break a bank to eat fish daily and we estonians are not picky what kind of fish we eating (always have black rye bread with it! ….with everything really 🙂 )

  • You can easily find affordable meals in pubs and it doesn’t mean everything deep-fried. This big plate cost around £5 and you get 1/3 plate of different veg and pickles and 90% of cases you get sour cream-mayo sauce with your food – very Estonian!

  • My hometown Pärnu has lovely sandy beach – my favorite place, with seawater temperatures reaching more than 20 degrees and it’s shallow, which is brilliant with small kids but takes you ages to get far enough for swim.

  • Porridge in Estonia is not just your everyday oats. You get all aisle in the shop with lots of different grains. My favorite this summer was  four grain porridge (contains rye, oats, wheat and barley)

  • The market at my hometown means seasonal affordable food from local farms, gardens and forests. We are lucky to live just 5 minutes walk away from the market,  so I was regular shopper every morning. The meat counter is just amazing – you can buy every bit of animal, nothing is wasted and you can even get free fresh bones for dogs. Lonni was very happy about it!

  • I just love my home in Pärnu, it’s often full of my friends and family and there is no need to call before, just pop in, when we are home our door is always open and there is always reason to open bottle of wine.

  • Freshly smoked bacon and chanterelle from local forest – my favorite and so affordable!

  • Estonians love fresh herbal teas – they are always foraging and preparing for the long cold winter.

  • In Estonia you can buy watermelons size of a beach ball 🙂 and they are so sweet and juicy!

  • My favorite place to enjoy sunset – Pärnu Yacht club – open to everyone for food, wine or live music. And great place to see the sunset.

  • Cake for breakfast is considered acceptable in Estonia – one of my favourite kind of breakfasts!

  • Estonians are very proud of their food and you can dine in countless fancy food places in Estonia, which might not be so affordable else where. Although it’s about to change and prices seem to be catching up with UK.

  • My home town have 2 km long mole and you can walk on it- no health and safety to stop you slip on the slippery stone. You do have to use your common sense.

  • Most Estonians know places to have a wild swim, meaning it’s not publicly open swimming area. 

  • Those black rye garlic breads are must and those are only kind of rye bread my children love. Always accompanied with sour cream-mayo-garlic dip.

  • Estonians love house and flat parties. They are quite low-key but so much fun and always include lovely food and lots of drinks.

  • In Estonia you never know where you end up sending your day away. Your friends usually know fantastic secluded places to watch most amazing sunsets. You definitely wont find those places in guidebooks.

  • Estonians are very keen foragers and there are variety of mushrooms and berries you can find everywhere.

  • Estonians love music and singing and learning an instrument or singing is easily accessible and taught at very high standards from very early age. This is my best friend super talented son, only 15 (16 now) years old. 

  • Those ring donuts have been around since I went to school and the café near my school has been run by same ladies who did it 35 year ago in Soviet time (whoops, did I say 35? I’m not so old)

  • Estonians love their salads dressed richly with sour cream and mayonnaise sauce and I love it!!

  • Estonians are very proud gardeners and most of the gardens are immaculate and quite big compared to standard UK gardens.

  • Estonians love making cakes and they are very creative. This tart has been made from biscuits! It’s very original and I haven’t come across anywhere else. And it’s contains quark (lots of it!) so high in protein. Healthy pudding or what!

  • Summers in Estonia are unpredictable you can get +25 heat and then it drop to 15 degrees. So be prepared for anything!

  • Estonians might come across as serious and not very open at first, but once, when you make a friend with them, they always ready to help you.

Miss you my friends and fam! xxx

Is there such thing like healthy cake???

 You just can’t beat cake, which includes butter, sugar, cream and nice quality plain flour. Like this!

vastlakukkel

It’s “semla” in Swedish or “vastlakukkel” in Estonian and we eat it at Shrove Tuesday, but as I was busy as hell in February I made them on lovely Sunday afternoon and they tasted as nice 🙂

I just had recipe, I needed to try as the secret for the best “vastlakukkel” is the nice soft bun. So I have planned to try Olgas recipe for a while now, but there was always reason to postpone it – no time or missing ingredients like kefir (fermented milk from Caucasus mountains) Estonians have been grown up with it but as it all the graze in healthy food industry lots of shops ask ridiculous price for it. Sainsbury had 0.3ml bottle for 1.65!! For this money you can find 1 liter bottle at Polish food sections at Tescos and other supermarkets and in London there are probably even more choices of Eastern European food supermarkets. 

My first try was unsuccessful, the jar of the dried yeast has been open for a while and the dough just didn’t rise. So last weekend I went forward with the new batch and the dough worked well. I still need to learn how long it takes to knead the dough with my superstar Kenwood and how to check, that I have done enough kneading. I also try to shorten the baking time as I think I kept them in oven few minutes too long.  So I think I will do few more test batches. Idea is to make lots of them next year and maybe sell them as they are as popular amongst Estonians and Scandinavians  and those are always hunted in Facebook on Shrove Tuesday. 

Why I’m writing this, while my aim to loose weight? Because I haven’t come across with the “healthy” cake, which I truly enjoy and would like to bake again and again. I have had OK low calorie cakes, which doesn’t include sugar and flour, but they are not ones I would mark with the “post-it” note and the star in my cookbooks (that, what I do  to keep track on brilliant recipes I have tried and enjoyed 😉 )I always test so called guilt free cake recipes I come a cross in the blogs. There are some OK ones, but mostly I feel disappointed with the end result. So I think, if I will  have a cake, I have something I really enjoy.

It does only apply to cakes. I love healthy meals – all the veggies, porridges, smoothies, seeds, grains, fish, lean meat, eggs, nuts, healthy oils – you name it! I can find lots of pictures taken delicious healthy meals in my phone:

…but I can’t find and healthy cakes 🙁 Only lovely creamy, buttery mouth melting ones 🙂

 I have no trouble to swap ice cream to creamed frozen banana – I enjoy it as much! Or have a Greek yogurt with berries and drizzle of honey. 

IT’S JUST CAKES!!

Oeh! No wonder it’s bloody complicated to loose weight here!

But I’m still doing it, just in a hard way 🙂

 

Easter Holiday – No CrossFit for few weeks :(

The Easter Holiday is over and I’m back in reality of the everyday life 🙁

I managed to extend my holiday to the week and I can’t remember, when I last could take time off to just be at home and spend time with my children, without the need to rush somewhere or actually going to the holiday. It was lovely! I slept 9 hours and more! We went to the local swimming pool, went to the cinema to see “Power Rangers”, which I actually enjoyed and almost cried!!?? We went shopping for some necessities, like school shoes and more socks – boring stuff and had lunch in Nandos. So I did nothing special but it was so enjoyable. I even had haircut! I haven’t been at hairdressers over a year now and my hair looked really sad.

New haircut

Haven’t had so many compliments very long time.

We did go away on Good Friday to have a mini holiday at the Kent coast.

cousins at seaside

We had walks at seaside, met up with family and had a good laugh, visited Margate, which was big surprise. I haven’t been there since children were small and I kind of remember it being quite run down place with the nice beach. For my surprise it was lovely, great seaside atmosphere, nice antique and retro shops, lots cafes and pubs, it was especially nice on the pier. We even found one Scandinavian café and had compulsory Cinnamon bun.

Margate

Only negative side of the holiday was – I haven’t been able to do CrossFit for almost 2 weeks. I have done something to my “good” leg/knee few weeks ago and I can’t train properly. I did try carry on and even managed to PB my back squat, but decided not to do CrossFit for few weeks in order to get back to it quicker. It seems I got tendonitis after doing workout, which included over parallete burpees and I was actually quite proud myself doing so well. But following day I felt pain in my knee/around the knee and actually my another”bad” knee become suddenly the “good” one. “Oeh!” old people problems 🙂

I felt quite down because of it. CrossFit is my therapy and it keeps me happy or exhausted so I don’t care about s**t and not many things can annoy me then 🙂  But looking to the bright side, I had week off from work and spent lots of time with my children and I was quite active other ways. My leg feels much better now and I have planned to go back to the training tonight. Unfortunately, I wasn’t very good with doing some mobility at home so my knee feels still bit stiff. I just find really hard to take 20 minutes at home to do it, I usually have to choose either doing exercise or getting full 7 hours sleep.

I wasn’t pleased with the “Project 30” development beginning of the months, so after complaining over it in the last post lovely Lindsay from LJL Coaching urged me back to join her FB group and record all activities/food/moods over the next 2 weeks and this really have helped me so the weight goes in right direction again. Thank you, I really needed that! Only the few days away from home and indulging with some ice cream and chocolate eggs hasn’t been kind to me and I got a bit of a shock on the scale this morning, but I’m back on tracking my food today and feeling determined again so hopefully I will see more pleasing result from now on 🙂

 

2016 – what a year!

Another year has gone. It feels like only yesterday I wrote about our 2015. The 2016 has been emotional roller-coaster, not personally, but for the world and I think lots of decision made in 2016, will affect us all years to come.

January

Like always the biggest event on the first month of the year is our dear son birthday. Other than that I can’t remember much going on. Just recovering from the Christmas, getting back to the school/work/Crossfit/tennis/football/scouts routine with all family.

February

I have managed to save photos from my lovely cousin visit to somewhere secret, so only picture I can find is the one in the Facebook 🙂 How did we manage before the Facebook?? It’s weird, how you see the place you live through eyes of your guests, when you showing around. We just don’t notice, how much history and interesting places there are around us. We went to London, visited Tower Bridge – first time in 14 years, I have been living here, only an hour trip from London 🙁 We also went to Cambridge and the weather was unusually warm to February.

Rare occasion of Collins family playing tourists in London!

March

Getting more difficult as I have no idea what’s happened in March??  Oh yes, we had Timo’s birthday party, because it’s really hard to organise anything straight after Christmas, so it’s not so unusual to have his birthday celebration just before Keitis 🙂 The Easter was really early this year and we were stressing over the Timo’s Secondary School options.

April

Ok. For April I can find lots of dog and cats photos in my phone. We really have to get our act together and be more creative with our diaries 🙂 🙂 Keiti was only one, who actually did something exciting and went to skiing to Austria. On 25th of April I had one year from starting the CrossFit, dragging everyone else in the family into as well 🙂

May

May is birthdays month (Keiti and Simon) and our anniversary month as well and we so lucky to have 2 Bank Holidays in May. There were cricket matches in village green, which are so British and I have finally got hang of with the rules of the game now. There were beautiful sunsets and our first meals out in the garden, which almost feels like being on holiday. There is the Eurovision, which everyone hates but still watches 🙂 We had night out in London for Simons birthday, went to see QI recording, which was real treat. Our lovely daughters birthday, just can’t believe I’m a parent of this lovely young lady – how did it happened? We found duckling in our garden, who we tried to get back to his home, running around the village and knocking to the neighbours doors, carrying him in the plastic box. He got finally rescued by Rosina Animal Centre, with the help from my lovely neighbours and duckling was named Terry! 🙂 Terry was released after the month, back to the bond, where he hopefully found family or at least new friends. We went to our annual camping trip to the border of the Devon and Cornwall. We were blessed with the best weather with lots of sunshine.

June

Our camping trip continued in June, only to get back, when the rollercoaster started. We learned, what BREXIT means – maybe not, as we still don’t know, how it will actually happen, but it definitely have shaken up the world politics. I even have BREXIT flowerbed in our garden 🙂 I needed to channel my frustration somewhere, I weeded and dag and it actually looked quite decent in the end. 🙂 I baked cakes for the Antique Roadshow at Ightham Mote and cook huge paella for 150 people at the Ightham music festival.

July

July was all about Timos last month in primary school. We had mums night out at the school summer ball. Our children primary school has been such big part of our lives past 10 years, so it is very different now, not to drive up the little village lane to drop off or pick up our children. There were lots of parties for mums and quite few for children. I have met so many lovely ladies during those years and I was sad, when it draw to the end. We also went to the local farm strawberry picking picnic with live music.  I must say I didn’t pick any strawberries 🙁 but enjoyed the crowd and live bands. We spent day at Whitstable, when children did waters sports with scouts.End of the July, when children finished the school they were off to scout camp to Jersey, so we had 10 days without children – first time since we become parents! We had mini holiday in Poole and met up with my friends from the volleyball days for my friend’s 50-s birthday at Wiltshire. We visited Chilli festival at Dorset. I love summers! We get up for so much more!

August

August is our usual holiday months, but we didn’t go to Estonia this year. Instead we spent some time at Deal, found fantastic sandy beach in Broadstairs and first time ever in UK, I went to swim in the sea! The waves were amazing and we all really loved it!

September

Back to school! Both our children are in the secondary school, which has started new era in our lives. Keiti completed her first ever mud race and she did incredibly well. Very impressed with her. As I said before, Crossfit has changed us all 🙂

October

There was some baking but most importantly there was mini break in Milan, with my bestest friends. We laughed 4 days in a row and I love my friends dearly for that. We had lots of delicious food and wine and we chatted for the years we haven’t seen each other. Also, we are selfie queens 🙂 Thank you girls – I love you!

November

Watching football in freezing cold, trying new recipes, lots of Crossfit and tennis, dog walks. Just the everyday routine. But I didn’t mind it 🙂 and of course the world shocker – Trump became American president – oh dear!

December

Finally, end of the year! lots of rushing around to get ready for the Christmas, shopping, cleaning, organising. Oh! Had great Christmas party with my CrossFit buddies, lovely family Christmas, beautiful walk after festivities. What I like overall – sitting in my dining room, TV entertainments are on, fire roars, candles flickering, I haven’t bothered with make up, I have comfy leggings and top on, chatting with my far friends in Facebook and writing summary of my year. It’s best place to be.

I wish you all Happy New Year! And I really hope that 2017 brings us more clarity and common sense.