A Summer Of Love!

It’s been a summer of love for us this holiday and I am more than a little sad it’s nearly over. One days to go and my girl goes into year two. Two days left until Jimmy my baby, GULP, starts big school… I am so sad already and I know that next week I am just gonna feel blue, blue, blue but at least I have the wonderful summer to look back on.

It feels like it’s been one of those long hot ones from my childhood and has made living in Norfolk again seem like the absolute perfect choice. Every spare sunny day and we’ve been at the beach, mainly Cromer (my fave) and lapping up the sunshine with boogie board fun, crab catching antics and lots and LOTS of fish and chip eating (Mary Jane’s is the BEST fish and chip shop in Cromer FYI).

It has been a summer of beach fun, a summer of camping and glamping, a summer of seeing people I love get married, watching children enjoy every minute and mainly, all about love. I am a gushy person, I won’t deny it… And I have gushed ALL summer about my wonderful friends who we have seen plenty, plenty of thankfully! From my gorgeous Leytonstone lot at the beginning of the holidays when we all glamped at Deersglade in Norfolk (Bell tents, booze, friendship and fun in the sun, what more could you ask? We’ll be back next year) to the mini visits from more London pals, Katy from Modern Mummy and her gang and all our lovely mini breaks.

After our amazing glamping trip with pals in Norfolk I wondered if anything could be as good but thankfully we’ve had a summer of much of the same – I feel very lucky! Camp Bestival was an absolute highlight and again we got to spend it with Katy as well as the brilliant Carolynne from Mummy Endeavours. We also camped at Wild Duck Haven in Norfolk with new friends from our village and then after that in the New Forest at the delightful (if basic) Ashurst Campsite. We hired bikes, hurt our bums riding them and spent the eveings in the pub over the field, which had live music and a discount from the campsite, trying to numb the bum pain – happy days. From there we moved to a super lovely hotel (A HOTEL – it was welcome) in Bournemouth with views overlooking the sea and a gorgeously huge family room to spend the night celebrating my beautiful cousin Helen’s wedding. I’d organised her hen night the weekend before when Florence and Jimmy got to have a sleepover at an old friend’s and I got to try and re-live my youth… I fell down a flight of stairs at 2 in the morning having drunk my body weight (substantial) in cocktails so I think I managed it to the letter! We’d had an amazing meal at Pizza Express in Clapham first and then moved onto Bar Social… I should have known booking a mezanine floor was a bad idea after booze! Oh well… You live and learn (or live and do it again cause it’s fun)!

The hotel we stayed at in Bournemouth was beautiful, a little dated but in a really nice way and I can’t fault it. They checked us in 4 hours early knowing we had a wedding to get ready for and the outdoor pool (and indoor one with a sauna) was the perfect way to spend the next wedding head morning recovering. It made us feel like we were on a beach holiday abroad and I highly recommend the East Cliff Hallmark for loads of lovely things (although we could have done without an extra tenner car park fee it has to be said)!

The summer has been amazing, the summer has been full of laughter and full to the brim with the best of friendships. Old ones, new ones, London pals, Norwich besties, one of my girl’s home from New York for a visit and lots of endless sunny times on the beach with all of them. The summer has basically been made brilliant by the people, the friends and the love they’ve given and the best friendships are those who will love you no matter where you are in the world, how long it’s been since you saw them and who will howl into the night over something that happend either two decades ago or even just last night with you. I read somewhere recently that we only ever have one or two really good friends; you know, the proper people we can trust and rely on but I beg to differ… Either they’re wrong or I’m just one very lucky girl because I have loads of them!

It was a summer of love, one of the best and I’m sad it’s over… I’ll leave you with the many, MANY pictures which have made my summer. I warn you there’s lots but hey, my blog, I can post as many as I want!

Glamping at Deersglade with the Leytonstone massive! HEART these littles!
Glamping at Deersglade with the Leytonstone massive! HEART these littles!
And these ones, our gang at Camp B!
And these ones, our gang at Camp B!
Drinking champagne with some of my favourite bloggers at Camp Bestival!
Drinking champagne with some of my favourite bloggers at Camp Bestival!
Princess Diana fountain!
Princess Diana fountain!
And the Princess Diana Playground - we had a few London visits too and went to our fave places!
And the Princess Diana Playground – we had a few London visits too and went to our fave places!
My girl in London!
My girl in London!
Cromer days!
Cromer days!
We bought a boogie board!
We bought a boogie board!
Getting on at Africa Alive - a fave place and we have annual tickets which cover there and Banham Zoo so we go lots!
Getting on at Africa Alive – a fave place and we have annual tickets which cover there and Banham Zoo so we go lots!
These two!
These two!
THIS is a mile stone - my kids HATE goats!
THIS is a mile stone – my kids HATE goats!
More Cromer antics!
More Cromer antics!
Yet more!
Yet more!
We got to take our London pal Zhane to the beach too!
We got to take our London pal Zhane to the beach too!
Then we took her to Waterloo Park in Norwich which has the most terriffic water splash play area!
Then we took her to Waterloo Park in Norwich which has the most terriffic water splash play area!
Splash play in Norwich!
Splash play in Norwich!
And a sandpit in the park to rival all sandpits makes Jimmy very happy!
And a sandpit in the park to rival all sandpits makes Jimmy very happy!
Another fave haunt is BeWILDerwood in Norfolk and of course we have annual passes so we had to to go there lots!
Another fave haunt is BeWILDerwood in Norfolk and of course we have annual passes so we had to to go there lots!
At the beach selfies for me and my crew!
At the beach selfies for me and my crew!
A trip to Haven's Wild Duk in Norfolk!
A trip to Haven’s Wild Duk in Norfolk!
More fun times on the beach at Cromer. This time with my friend Ellie who lives in New York and I don't see often enough!
More fun times on the beach at Cromer. This time with my friend Ellie who lives in New York and I don’t see often enough!
Because we LOVE the beach!
Because we LOVE the beach!
And can't get enough of it!
And can’t get enough of it!
Always with his tongue out for pictures!
Always with his tongue out for pictures!
Cinema sleep-over fun this time in London!
Cinema sleep-over fun this time in London!
Hen night fun!
Hen night fun!
A family of nutters in a campsite with cows roaming freely... That's not right is it?!
A family of nutters in a campsite with cows roaming freely… That’s not right is it?!
My two in the New Forest!
My two in the New Forest – look at Jimmy’s shoes! They’re from the Girl’s Department in Sainsbury’s and he chose them even though I told him they were really meant for girls with their hearts & watermelons. ‘Well, now they’re for boys as well’ he said, GOOD for Jimmy!
They LOVED this!
They LOVED this!
My cousin's wedding flowers on the tables!
My cousin’s wedding flowers on the tables!
Florence with my brother Phil at the wedding!
Florence with my brother Phil at the wedding!
Jimmy in his BEAUTIFUL clothes at the wedding! He loved his little suit!
Jimmy in his BEAUTIFUL clothes at the wedding! He loved his little suit!
Our hotel view in Bournemouth!
Our hotel view in Bournemouth!
Making the most of the outdoor pool in the hotel!
Making the most of the outdoor pool in the hotel!

And then the last lot of pictures are from when Modern Mummy came to visit. A friendship I treasure and one which my children do too. The kids may have cried when she left to go home but I could have totally joined them. We don’t live close together but we speak almost every day – often more than once. This girl and her kids are adored by us and we packed as MUCH in as we could when she came to stay for the last little bit of the summer holidays. We went to the beach (Cromer again of course), out to dinner, school shoe shopping, to BeWILDerwood (read Katy’s review of it and see it through some fresh eyes here) and drank a teeny bit of Prosecco… *Not a lot, just a little!

Twinning with their cossies!
Twinning with their cossies!
Searching for Cromer crabs!
Searching for Cromer crabs!
My little Super Man!
My little Super Man!
We GOT one!
We GOT one!
Keeping on searching!
Fascinating!
Keeping on searching!
Keeping on searching!
So MUCH fun on the boogie board!
So MUCH fun on the boogie board!
I think the board was the best £6.99 I ever spent!
I think the board might be the best £6.99 I ever spent!
A happy one!
A happy one!
And a silly!
And a silly!
Kids loving their visit to Ed's Diner or, as they renamed it, Egg's Diner - They thought this was HILARE!
Kids loving their visit to Ed’s Diner or, as they renamed it, Egg’s Diner – They thought this was HILARE!
The BeWILDerwood four!
The BeWILDerwood four!
Those girls!
Those girls!
Sunshine boy!
Sunshine boy!
Picnic time!
Picnic time!
Friends - And that's what this summer has been ALL about!
Friends – And that’s what this summer has been ALL about!

So… That’s it… Summer holidays done and dusted and I could cry. Jimmy starts SCHOOL on Tuesday and I could cry even more… But hey, it was a summer of love and you can’t ask for more than that now can you!

*I may have lied about the not a lot