I keep planning posts, taking the necessary photos but not finding the time to actually write them.  I have also been sewing and hoped to get some product pictures taken today, but somehow ended up doing housework and, in-between, obsessively ordering my iPhotos albums.  It took all day as I have thousands of images; still it’s done now and I really enjoyed looking through the last 10 years of my life in photos, just a few more years to sort, when my wrist has recovered!





We had a Birthday last month, complete with breakfast in bed and bought cake.  I normally bake one, but this way I wasn’t tempted to eat any of it, bought cakes are too sweet for me and the boys couldn’t care less if it’s home made or not.DSC_0086

Then there was another birthday, awe, ain’t he sweet, Birthday Boy no2!



We spent F’s birthday at Center Parcs, our first time and it was AWESOME!!!!  I plan to book again next year (just did that and it costs a whopping £500 more to go in the half term!!!!).  The ducks that camped out permanently on our patio were very comical, they did the rounds with begging looks on their faces, we were so tempted but M (quite rightly) wouldn’t let us feed them.DSC_0068

We stayed in one of the new Woodland Lodges and I can highly recommend them.  The design was genius, they really do have everything you might need.  Our lodge was clean, well equipped, stylish and I paid extra (it has to be said, a weekend at CP does not come cheap and EVERYTHING is extra) to choose our villa location, booking one in the ‘central area’, but also on the very outside edge, meaning we had a wonderful view of only woodland from the living room window and apart from nosey ducks, we had deer, rabbits and a general wealth of wildlife wondering past.DSC_0074

Best of all we brought our bikes (which is totally encouraged and is the best way to get around, no cars being allowed after the initial unpacking) and I finally got to play on my new Pashley.  This was a belated Christmas present from M, the waiting list after ordering is some weeks and please don’t think we are this generous with our gifts normally, it was a very special and lucky treat for me to get such a fabulous bike!


I was useless and didn’t take any other photos.  As predicted we spent every morning in the Tropical Swimming Pool, F had a ball on the various slides and rapids and we had a few spins in the Cyclone.  We only booked in for an Archery session, I figured we’d be happy just mostly hanging out, which was the case.

newutility_large_1Due to our having minimal packing space, it was a necessary to take as little clothing as possible.  Apart from my lovely vintage frock and wedge heels (which weren’t as impractical to cycle in as they look and I did have my walking boots as well) I mostly wore some Freddie of Pinewoods repro Utility Jeans – love these, the high waist are great for my *ahem* roundish figure.


I also took a couple of Brora’s cropped cardigans.  I must say, I am really enjoying wearing things with accentuated waists at the moment, I am considering throwing out all my modern jeans and only wearing Freddie’s from now onwards, this particular style aren’t exactly slimming on the thighs but they do give a wonderful curve and it’s so nice not to have a modern, low waist, digging into my belly whenever I sit down.


I have to do a quick shout out here for my Ruffle Bag (mentioned many times before) which I bought forever ago from Etsy (seller Kinies) it is one of the most used things I’ve bought, it goes on every walk we do, all our days out to country houses and castles, when I don’t want to carry a heavy bag.  It’s just brilliant and I’ve given many of them as gifts.


Also, and I know I’ve also mentioned these many times, but the boys messenger bags are proving invaluable, the wipeable linings mean they make great swimming bags and I’m so pleased they get so much use.

I have sewing for the next post, promise!

18 thoughts on “Birthdays…

  1. What a lovely post! That’s the first time I’ve felt tempted by Center Parcs… always felt it wasn’t our thing, and so expensive, but your lodge and the surroundings look wonderful. Nice bike!!

    1. Yes, I never thought it was my thing either but from about 5mins after arriving I had decided to book for next year! It is what it is, but they do, do it so well. It’s all very organised and quite relaxing. My tops tips, book for a weekend out of the school holidays as it’s insanely expensive otherwise. Pre-book everything you want (including restaurants for evening meals) as it books out quickly and if you plan to swim, go first thing (10am, when the pool complex opens) as the pools gets rammed by about 11.30. It’s great though, I am hooked 🙂 Bethx

  2. Hi Beth – lovely to see you enjoying your bike at Centre Parcs. I’m off to check out those jeans, as I too have a rather curvy derrière!!!!

    1. Freddies have just re-stocked their 1950’s indigo side button jeans, these are a bit narrower in the leg (the utility ones are very, very wide), I have them as well and they are great 🙂

  3. Happy belated birthday to your boys! 🙂
    That looks like a great place for a little break and I am sooo jealous of your bike!!!
    V xxx

  4. What a great place to celebrate a birthday! We have had many Centre Parcs holidays over the years, the boys loved it. Which one did you go to Beth? We always go to Thetford which is only an hour up the road making it an even more relaxing holiday. I have bike envy – I’ve always wanted a Pashley! Julie x

    1. Hi Julie, we were at Thetford – it’s our nearest one (a 2hr drive) and it’s mostly re-furbished now. I am in love with my Pashley, but sadly a bit scared about riding it around here, the roads are so very busy and with their high hedges it can be difficult for cars to see you or pass safely – having had M knocked off his bike so many times doesn’t help! Bethx

  5. That looks like a wonderful break. I love the idea of cycling around the woods- freedom and happy kids too! The jeans sound great, I can never find a comfortable pair. I have one pair only! I have lost count of the pairs I have bought,(having not sat down in them in the shop) found they are uncomfortable -in the charity bag they go. I never learn.

    1. It really was lovely and I had the kids cycling around every day, just for fun, which they loved. I am lucky, nearly all my jeans are my sister’s old ones, she passes loads my way (she generally gives me a lot of clothes, including many complete with labels!) and so I can pick and choose which ones fit OK, and not feel guilty if they don’t, plus she’s already worn them in. I too, hate uncomfortable clothing!

    1. I agree. The rabbits were less exciting, we have so many in our garden, eating all my plants, but the ducks were great, such characters! It was ace. I’ve booked us already for next year 🙂

  6. Dear Beth,

    We love to read all your posts, even there’s not a single seam to be seen 🙂 so take your time with the sewing-posts, this was just wonderful read! It seems you all had the loveliest time, and you look so happy and pretty with your new bike! Happy belated b-days for the boys, and wonderful June to all of you!


  7. Ow Beth, your boys are so cute 🙂 I love the pic of Charlie opening his presents, he looks so chuffed with his cake! And that pic of Felixstowe, he looks like such a character! They’re growing up so fast! The centre parks cabin looks amazing, it must’ve been so much fun 🙂 those ducks look very cute! I love the pic of you on your new bike, you look very happy 🙂 I am envying those retro jeans, I live in jeans when I’m not working so am defiantly going to go and check them out now 🙂 the boys bags are a real achievement as I can imagine it must be so hard to make a bag from stretch, but they look lovely and it’s great they get so much use out of them. I can’t wait to see what you’ve been sewing too, I’m looking forward to it 🙂 hope you have a lovely day, safxxx

  8. Great post and what a wonderful photo of you with your bike Beth!! You look fab. I’m seriously tempted by those Freddie of Pinewoods jeans, although from your comment to Jill, I suspect the side button ones may be more flattering to my lack of stature! Off to check them out.
    Oh yes, we have the same bed linen too! x

  9. Firstly, thanks so much for all your lovely comments yesterday – I always feel bad that I can’t reply directly to say thanks.
    So pleased to see your post. You must be very chuffed to get all your photos sorted and ordered. I did 2 years worth about 6 months ago (2003 and 2004) and was mightily pleased with myself but have since stalled completely!
    I have wondered about Center Parcs and concluded that i could cope with it and accept it for what it is but that John definitely couldn’t!
    Love your happy birthday boys. And I might just check out those jeans – although I’m lucky and pretty slim my behind is much bigger than my top half! Juliex (Oh, and I cannot begin to imagine how much training M must have been doing – good luck to him for his ironman, wow!)

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