Healthy eating – our last supper

Two days to go till we move out and two weeks and a day till we fly off to begin our family gap year!

We’re in serious chaos – many of our belongings are already in the loft with half packed boxes still all over the place!! Hey ho, we’ll get there! Thanks to friends Jo and Jo who’ve helped fill, carry and label boxes:)

We have just had our last supper at home together – making do with what’s left in the freezer – oven chips with cheese, pizza, fish fingers and garlic bread. Hmm! Now all we have left is ice cream, vodka and gin – in fairly large quantities – should be a fun evening packing…


..although some people have crashed out early…looks like I may be on my own for the evening packing shift!


Naked Walls

With only 6 nights before we have to be completely out of our house we actually started packing in anger yesterday. The first thing to come down were our paintings and the naked walls make the house feel very different and not ‘lived in’.

We were concerned about Ben, Zoe and Lara’s reaction when they returned from school but they dashed excitedly from room to room savouring the spaces and showing no sign of distress that their beds and many toys had ‘gone’. Only Lara asked about the missing TV! I think many kids would have a bouncy castle in the lounge rather than furniture?

Oma on Trampoline in Lounge

Something to keep the grown ups happy


Rock ‘n’ Roll Moai

As we are just about to buy our tickets to fly out of South America via Easter Island this is pretty topical. There are a 1000 of these ‘moai’ on Easter Island, up to 30ft tall and weighing more than a few tonnes. Scientists now think they, as the Easter islanders believed, actually walked into position.

Moai being moved on Easter Island

So that’s how it’s done?

There is more info and photos on the Daily Mail and National Geographic. We might take a couple of pics when we are there as well if we can avoid the 50,000 other tourists that visit each year!

Two in one night!!!

I’ve never sold a car privately in my life except to friends and family and now I’ve sold two in one night!   Not bad as I only put them on Autotrader at the weekend, have had a lot of phone calls but these were the first viewings!  It felt quite sad to wave goodbye to the Toyota, and Zoe shed a few tears!

A parting shot!

We took a deposit for the Mini which goes next week but it’s perhaps best to keep it on the driveway and not risk a prang on the school run!  However, definite cause to celebrate, a big task ticked off and money in the bank to help fund our travels!

We also did a lot of clearance at home today, but the house still looks a tip and none of the boxes have made it into the loft yet!  The kids came home and took everything out of boxes I’d lined up for garage storage and Ben retrieved books Martin had just thrown in the rubbish bin – a 15-year-old road atlas and a manual for an unrecognisable 1990 gadget and asked if he could go and sell them on the pavement outside! I hope he will sell strawberries at Saturday’s school fete with the same enthusiasm!

A gift to Oxfam

Appropriately I bought a compact travel camera at Amazon which arrived today. Here is a quick test pic, full review to come once I have used it for a bit.

Lara outside the backdoor at Oxfam

Smile, Dad’s got a new camera

Interestingly I resized the photo and saved it as a new file and it kept the EXIF data. Bit geeky but bear with me. More

Only a phone call away

I’ve been following the hoo haa about Nancy being left in the pub by Mum and Dad and felt a touch of empathy as we have encountered a similar situation ourselves. It certainly did not surprise me to read in the news that it had happened to many other parents but what amazed me was the ‘commentators’ who thought these unfortunate children be taken into care immediately or worse! It must be wonderful to be so perfect but I am not sure their kids will want to be escorted to the loo as teenagers, I can see it now:

Mum: Hold my hand Kevin, roads are dangerous.

Kev: That’s SO not cool Mum!

Mum: When you leave home you can do what you like.

Kev: But Mum, I’m 32!

Mum: Exactly and I don’t want you talking to strangers again.

Just what age children can cross the road by themselves is a subject I’ll probably come back to. More

One month to go

I saw the news today about the Camerons leaving their 8 yr old daughter in a pub because they both thought she was with her other parent! If you’ve read our earlier blogs you’ll know why we can sympathise! More

Amazing Amazon – Diary Day 23 – Speedboat to Iquitos

The alarm goes off at 2.30am. We finish packing and peel the sleepy and none too pleased kids from their beds! Jose. Our friendly taxi driver is waiting outside for us at 3am and takes us back across the border to Tabatinga, where it is instantly 4am – an added complication for these twin towns, divided by a timezone as well as language and currency! Thanks to Francisco for explaining we needed to leave at 3am not 4am or we’d have missed the boat altogether!



The kitchen sink

Another popular question about our family gap year is how are we going to carry all our stuff? Are we taking a lorry or four wheel drive overland? I am guessing that this is the sort of thing that people have in mind:

Go anywhere transport (Credit

Perfect for the wilds of Africa where anything else just won’t cut it. More

God Save our Queen


After a lovely couple of days in Suffolk visiting my Mum’s cousin and enjoying an afternoon of medieval jousting at an ancient castle in the rain, our jubilee celebrations today wth friends, for which the heavens opened and did not let up at all, watching some of the fantastic celebrations through the weekend in London, it’s certainly a time to enjoy our Britishness and make the most of being ‘at home’ with our lovely friends and families… More

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