Hastings Weekend With Keven

Harvey and I were treated to a weekend in Hastings with Keven, Viv and Ian.  When they originally booked their visit from Australia I had hoped to be living in Hastings by now so Hastings was on the itinerary.  When they realised I wasn’t, they rented a great house through AirBnB on Priory Road with a bedroom for us to stay in too.

There was a lovely courtyard garden with several places to sit in it – all good inspiration for my future home.p1070655p1070656p1070658p1070659The house was apparently the first Victorian house built in Hastings.  It was filled with interesting pieces of art and was very comfortable.

And they had lots of vinyl to play which I really enjoyed.p1070703The best thing about the house was the light and views.

On Saturday we met my sister Abi and her family at the cafe in Alexandra Park.  We walked there from the AirBnB house via the house I am buying so we could show Keven our new home (hopefully).  It was a lovely walk with more great views.p1070638After lunch we went to Bexhill-On-Sea and enjoyed a long walk along the sea front in warm sunshine; it was like a summers day.p1070642p1070645p1070648p1070649p1070650We finished our visit to Bexhill at sunset with a beer in Rocksalt before heading back to Hastings for a Chinese for supper.  It was an amusing meal, in part due to the well meaning but comical waitress who explained to us that the 3 hours (yes, she did say 3) between 11pm and 1 am were the most important to be asleep so our blood could be changed and we wouldn’t wake up with yellow eyes!

I walked nearly 19,000 steps which I was very pleased with.p1070653Today (Sunday) we spent some time in the morning relaxing in the house.  Viv made me a fruit bowl and Keven cooked up some veggies and toast and a cup of green tea for breakfast.  It was so lovely to have food prepared for me; a real treat.  Lucy joined us for the day and we went to Seed on George Street for lunch.p1070706These tempura aubergines were delicious.  They were very accommodating in Seed and provided me with a lovely vegan meal, including salad which was not on the menu.  Thank you Ian for buying lunch for us all.p1070705I have been up the East Hill lift many times but never the West Hill lift and today I made it.  This lift takes you through a tunnel which is an interesting experience.p1070708The view at the top was spectacular and was very close to Keven’s house.  There is a cafe here with stunning views and I will come back to enjoy a cuppa and this view over the Old Town.p1070710Keven, Lucy, Harvey and I then spent the afternoon enjoying a leisurely stroll around the Old Town.p1070717The variety of charming buildings makes this place such a pleasure to walk around.p1070723p1070725p1070726If you visit Hastings, you should include Hendy’s.  It is more like a museum than a shop!

All too soon it was time to say good-bye to our very dear and special friend.  I think it is our turn to travel down under to visit Keven next time.p1070727

We both really enjoyed our visit to Hastings and saw parts of the town we have never seen before.  The company was the best bit but the comfortable house, great weather and interesting towns all helped.  That was a weekend i could repeat again.

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Lara, Harvey and I had a very relaxing and extremely enjoyable week long holiday in Sardinia at the end of August.  We booked it last minute and set off, not really knowing what to expect as none of us had been there before.  Well, we shall be going again.  We all loved it, especially the beaches.  We left London Gatwick on a very early flight.img_3551The advantage of the 2:30am start was that we were in Sardinia by 9:30am and after a fairly challenging drive to our hotel (2 and a half hours in a manual car for the first time in years on the right hand side of the road) we arrived by lunch time and had the afternoon to relax by the pool.img_3558p1070396p1070399The following day we discovered the delights of the hotel beach; a delightful cove.p1070402There was a lifeguard and kayaks and paddle boards to borrow.p1070404A quiet and beautiful spot.p1070405Our hotel was spread over such a large area they had little trains to take you around.  I managed to get lost one evening which was frustrating but I got to see the resort.p1070413At the entrance to the park was a large lake filled with birds.p1070414p1070415p1070420p1070424I ended up in completely the wrong part of the park which caused a lot of worry for Lara and Harvey but I eventually made it back.p1070425We were up and out early for our first full day on holiday.p1070426We had a bed and breakfast deal and the breakfasts were a bit limited for me but great for everyone else.p1070427Having discovered the hotel beach, we didn’t waste time at the pool anymore.p1070432There was a second pool at the hotel which was quiet and peaceful but still no where near as alluring as the little cove.p1070434p1070436p1070438p1070440p1070441We went in to Arbatax for supper on our second day.  Not much there but it was good to get out and have a stroll around.p1070442p1070443Mushroom pizza and salad for me which was delicious.p1070444We spent a couple of unplanned days in the South of Sardinia near Villasimius.   I think I would stay in the South the next time I come as the beaches are lovely there.  We were meant to be out on a boat for the day on Tuesday but the trip was postponed due to a thunderstorm!

p1070445p1070446So we hopped in to our car and headed South to Villasimius in the South Eastern part of Sardinia.  It was about 2 hours to drive there.  We had lunch overlooking the main beach but decided to move on in search of somewhere quieter and more scenic to spend the afternoon.p1070449We found a really pretty beach at Spiaggi de Punta Molentis and settled in to the sun loungers for an afternoons relaxing.p1070451This was a very well crafted sand sculpture.p1070458It was a sea serpent that was part buried in the sand.  Unfortunately his nose was washed off before I took my photo.p1070459p1070460This was a very pretty beach.p1070461p1070463p1070466We liked it so much we came back the following day as the weather further North remained unsettled with the risk of rain.  We were actually trying to find a way to Cala Caterina but failed so we went back to yesterday’s beach as that was lovely.p1070471View from my sun lounger.p1070473Paying Euro 25 for 2 sun loungers also gave you access to a variety of ball games which we all had a go with.p1070475This beach was found down a sand track where everyone just parked in a rather random way but it did the job!p1070478After a tough day on the beach we wandered in to town to find somewhere for a drink and for supper before driving back to Arbatax.p1070479Villasimius was a pretty little place.p1070480Aperol Spritzer was the drink of the holiday this year.p1070481We had dinner in a charming first floor pizzeria looking out over the main street – La Tartana.p1070482Obviously the vegan pizza was mine and no prizes for guessing who had the sausage and chips pizza and who had the more sophisticated smoked salmon.  This lovely meal was a  good ending to another lovely day.p1070483On our penultimate day we actually made it to the boat trip cancelled on Tuesday due to thunderstorms.  This is the pretty little port in Arbatax.p1070484p1070486We set off on our boat, with about 12 other people and headed North  along the East coast of Sardinia.  The scenery was stunning.p1070489p1070505p1070508p1070514p1070515When we stopped at a beach we could not believe the colour of the water.  It was extraordinary.p1070521It was such a lovely day, possibly the best day of the year.  We spent about 4 hours on 2 beaches, stopped in several places to swim/snorkel and the rest of the day relaxing on the boat.p1070528p1070529Yes, that is Harvey, leaping from the rock!p1070533The captain of our boat delivered each family a large cool box containing lunch.  There was a box of cold meat, cheese and olives, pasta, Sardinian dried bread, water and a chilled bottle of red wine.p1070535Not a bad spot for lunch (and no I didn’t eat the prawn).p1070536p1070538This was the perfect beach.  Amazing water with a good swell to bob about in and beautiful scenery.p1070541I didn’t want the day to end but end it had to.p1070549p1070550We spent our last day on holiday beside the beautiful cove at our hotel.  I loved this little spot.

I loved the big smooth rocks that sloped gently to the clear water and the little platform and ladder to make getting in to the water easy.p1070552I liked the platform with sun loungers and sunshades.  Apart from a toilet and freshwater showers, there was nothing else there.  And not too many people either.p1070557p1070558There was usually a choice of sun or shade, to suit your mood or skin type.p1070559p1070560The water round Sardinia is clean and clear and full of fish but with nothing dangerous so Harvey could relax and enjoy snorkelling and I could enjoy my book.p1070568p1070572I was sorry to leave this beach heaven.p1070573p1070574p1070576We considered having our final Sardinian supper in the swanky restaurant at our hotel with its lovely views.p1070579But decided against it because it seemed too quiet so we headed in to town instead.p1070580We went out to a local Osteria, Bepi da Guia for a special meal to end a really lovely holiday.  It was a lovely restaurant; good service with lovely food and a relaxed and friendly ambience.p1070586We sat outside and ate Italian style with a Primi (pasta) and Secondi (meat or fish) dish.  I had bread followed by pasta with swordfish and then a fried sea bream.  It was all very delicious but no vegetables which I found a bit odd.  No complaints from Harvey on that score though!   This was a great place to sit and relax in a pleasant location, watching the sunset over the port.

Those of you who read rather then skim the blog will note that I said I ate fish.  I did indeed.  I have no intention of doing so regularly (maybe never again) and no intention of ever eating meat of any description.  But sometimes I wonder if fish would be beneficial brain food for me and I also decided to try something on holiday I can’t have at home.  I really enjoyed it but it sat heavily in my stomach all night and I prefer the lighter feeling of eating vegan.

I loved the reflections the plants made on the ground.  This was the walk back to our room from the car park.

p1070591p1070590We stayed at the Arbatax Park Resort which was very good although rather hilly which I got fed up with at times, especially in the heat of the day.  It was designed in the style of a traditional hill top village and really was very beautiful to wander around in.  Our room was at the top of these stairs.  We had 2 large bedrooms and a shared bathroom and it was very comfortable.p1070592I was reluctant to leave; I could easily have stayed much longer.p1070593p1070595p1070596There was a large animal park on the site which we wandered around before leaving.p1070597p1070598We took a wrong road on the way back to the airport in Olbia and ended up on a high mountain road.  We got there in time for our flight but I was rather tense on the very high and in parts, narrow roads.p1070606p1070614Sardinia was a very pleasant surprise and I hope to go back one day and swim in those wonderful seas and eat the lovely, fresh and local food.  Ideally with Lara and Harvey who are fantastic holiday companions.

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Back To The Diet

I have been bad lately.  Very bad.  For a very long time.  But I have made some big decisions lately and am feeling more in control of my future and I don’t see a fat person in that future so time to get back to losing weight.

Sometimes I have been bad because I am sad or angry or lonely – I wish I felt the urge to go for a run or head to the gymn when feeling negative emotions but I don’t.  I dive in to carby and fatty foods which are a disaster.  Recent favourites have been crisps and humous or chips or toast and nut butters.

My naughty eating is not all negative though; sometimes I have been bad because I am celebrating such as my recent birthday.  I was very spoilt.  My wonderful neighbours hosted a drinks party with very gourmet vegan snacks and we sat outside and ate, drank and made very merry indeed.  Then on Sunday my Dad hosted a BBQ for my 3 lovely sisters and me with our families.  p1070617The sun shone, everyone turned up who we were expecting plus a special guest, Keven, a very dear friend of our family who we have known since we were teenagers.   It was a really wonderful day.  It could not have been better.p1070624I recently returned from a lovely holiday to find my greenhouse full of ripe tomatoes.  I have never had such success with tomatoes and I pick and eat them and they continue to ripen.  It’s rather a never ending supply at the moment which is such a treat.p1070627This lot were oven roasted with some olive oil, garlic and herbs and then blended with some potato and consumed as a soup, nearly every day this weekp1070616This week I have eaten very healthily but also eaten too much in terms of portion size and had too many snacks and calorific meals such as the irresistible fruit bread from Timberyard, which they toast and spread with almond butter and cinnamon seeds.  It has far too many calories, especially when washed down with a large oat milk latte !  So that will have to be resisted in future.

I feel good when I eat a mainly plant based diet and so that is how I will try and eat.  I will aim to eat in the ratio of 80:10:10 (carbs:protein:fat) which is the proportion most plants are in.  So nature provides us all this wonderful food which nourishes our bodies properly so it seems to make sense to eat lots of it – right?

I woke up today and decided today was the day and then I saw two things on Facebook this morning which affirmed my resolve.  No one will fix my problems for me, I need to do it and I might as well get on with it now.  So here we go.

Breakfast was a frozen bowl full of bananas with mixed berries, softened at room temperature slightly and blended to make this heavenly meal which tasted like ice-cream.  Yum!  Just bananas and mixed berries.p1070626Lunch was….. wait for it…… more tomatoes!  I oven roasted this lot with a little salt and pepper and enjoyed them with a large handful of mixed green leaves and a baked sweet potato.  No oil added and no dressings required.  The tomatoes are so juicy I didn’t need to add oil when I cooked them or mayonnaise or dressing to the leaves or vegan butter equivalent to the potato.p1070631That kept me full all afternoon and I nearly didn’t bother with supper but then decided I might get hungry later and snack so I had a simple pasta supper.  This red lentil pasta is excellent.  It only has 2 ingredients; red lentil flour and water so sounds healthy enough to me.p1070633I ate it with a courgette, spring onions and more tomatoes.  Perfectly adequate.  That was all I ate all day and I feel perfectly sated. I drank water, black and green tea and a black coffee.  Tracked and weighed everything too so I can see how close I am to 80:10:10.p1070634

How did I do?

Very well actually.  According to Cronometer:

Calories = 924

Carbs = 77.5%

Protein = 15.4%

Fat = 7.1%

Posted in 80/10/10, Diet Struggles, Grow Your Own, Uncategorized, Vegan | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Bye Bye Ramsgate

We sold our holiday house beside the sea this week so after a busy couple of weekends we had so say bye bye.  Very well done to James, Harvey and Matt who moved us out on the hottest day of the year !!!

Harvey and I had a final hurrah in the house and made the most of the wonderful weather to enjoy eating out and walking around this lovely town and beach.  Milton was with us too.

P1070338I will miss this extraordinary view from the house.  This picture was taken from the gate.P1070339We walked along to the little parade of restaurants nearest the house for lunch on the Saturday.P1070340P1070341I celebrated my 50th in the Italian restaurant so for old times sake, we had lunch there.P1070342These girls look happy.P1070332We sat outside, overlooking the marina.P1070337Pizza – yummy.P1070335This is the only royal harbour in England and it is beautiful and always a pleasure to walk around.P1070344P1070345P1070346I walked and Harvey cycled around the harbour, beside the beach and along the promenade.P1070347P1070348In the evening we went to Sandwich to see my cousin Hannah’s new house.  This beautiful river is just behind them.P1070350Aunty Marion joined us for a stroll around Sandwich which is well worth a visit.P1070351Behind this wall is ‘The Salutation’, the house of Steph and Dom, well known to Gogglebox fans.P1070352Nice pad!P1070354

We had a lovely evening at Hannah’s and made the most of the weather by eating outside; Hannah made a delicious curry for me followed by fruit and vegan ice-cream.  It was lovely.

Sunday was a stunning day with bright blue skies.  It began hazy but that soon cleared but we were up and out as soon as we woke up to make the most of the day.  We ate breakfast our in a cafe along the promenade; beans on toast for me.

P1070355There was a big motorbike event setting up along the seafront on the road leading to the port; we peered at it from above but didn’t go down.P1070358P1070361When the haze cleared, the sky was so blue.  It was a perfect beach day.P1070364P1070368After a good walk we headed on to the sand and had a wonderful time swimming and walking along the main beach at Ramsgate.  It was glorious and luckily we didn’t come across any jellyfish in the sea.P1070371P1070372We both enjoyed our swim very much.P1070374We eventually dragged ourselves away and in to our favourite place to eat; The Belgian Cafe.P1070382We got a booth – yay 🙂P1070379Vegan sausages and mash for me which was really good and so filling because of all the vegetables.P1070380One final potter about before heading home.P1070383P1070384P1070387

P1070388P1070391Final stop of the weekend was Revolution where Harvey BMXd and Oscar scootered and they had a great time.  I did too, chatting to Hannah and Alex.P1070393

We also spent last weekend there but that was a lot more hard work as we had to sort everything out.  We did have some fun too though and another lovely evening with Hannah and her family and Aunty Marion.  We had supper at a fantastic Italian called Luigi’s at 3 The Quay, Sandwich, CT13 9EN.  I highly recommend it and they were very accommodating to me and cooked me a vegan pasta dish which was excellent.  We spent the rest of the evening at Aunty Marion’s.

I woke up early on my last morning in the Ramsgate house and made the most of the view.  This was the view from my bedroom at about 7am.

IMG_3492We had a very busy day ahead of us so we began with a full English – vegan version for me -at one of the little cafes on the local parade.IMG_3498After a very long and busy day sorting everything out, it was time to say farewell.  IMG_3507I will miss this beautiful Georgian house beside the sea but have plans for a different way of life in another town beside the sea.IMG_3515

I hope the new owners enjoy this house.





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Rye and Hastings

I started a blog about a recent trip to Rye and then forgot to post it.  So here’s the blog about Rye and I have added on the lovely day I had in Hastings with my sister Abi on Wednesday too.


Monday nights have become the new going out night in our house.  Inspired by a need to hit my 10,000 steps a day and wanting to amuse Harvey in the holidays we planned a late afternoon walk.  I work from home on a Monday so our excursions always begin late afternoon or early evening.

The rain ambushed our plans to walk round Bodiam castle so instead we went to Rye.  Nearly every building in the old part of town is worthy of a photo.

P1070146P1070145I love the effects of this one as it looks as if the tunnel is spinning.P1070147P1070148P1070149P1070150P1070151No danger of deep water at low tide.P1070154P1070153P1070155P1070156P1070157We popped in to a pub for a little drink.P1070158Cheers.P1070159P1070160P1070161This is the house opposite the pub – love the house name.P1070163The 15th Century building housing the Mermaid pub was a great place to have a drink and a relax.P1070162P1070164P1070167P1070169P1070170P1070171Beside the river we walked past Ferry Cottage.  Rye has such an interesting history.P1070176P1070174It also had a great playground which Harvey was very happy to use while I made my 10,000 step target by walking along the river bank.P1070177P1070179P1070180We nearly stayed in but I am really glad we went out.  I walked my 10,000 steps and we enjoyed pottering about the lovely then of Rye.


On Wednesday I had a day off and Harvey and I went to Hastings.  This is such a surprising town.  Close to the centre of town was this lane which seemed as if it should be in a rural location.P1070295We walked in to the Old Town.P1070296P1070298Once upon a time I would have gone for coffee and cake.  Nowadays I rarely eat sweet things like cake as it is too hard to find vegan versions.  I have not become ultra healthy though as I have swapped the coffee and cake for a drink and a packet of crisps and nuts.P1070299Which is exactly what I had in the First In Last Out pub.  We enjoyed ourselves in this traditional pub.P1070300I met my sister Abi with my lovely nieces and nephew and we had fish and chips on the beach.  Well, I had chips.P1070303After lunch we went up the funicular to the East Hill where there is a large country park.P1070304Plus great views of the Old Town and the beach.P1070305P1070310P1070309P1070308P1070311We walked down from the Country Park and along some charming roads, back to the Old Town.P1070314P1070315

P1070319P1070318I spy with my little eye, some gorgeous cherry print deckchairs I might aspire to own.P1070324The new pier beckoned.  It is such a great space to walk along with fabulous views back to shore.P1070328P1070329P1070330We had a lovely day and left Hastings bathed in bright sunshine.  I can’t wait until we can have a lovely day in Hastings and don’t have to walk away.P1070331


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Five Days of Lyme Time

I have just returned from 5 mainly wonderful days in Lyme Regis.  The sadness of he visit was because my family gathered for the funeral of my lovely Aunty Hilary.  Her loss is felt keenly by us all as she was much loved.

It doesn’t seem appropriate to take photos during a wake, which in some ways is a shame because it is a day when all your nearest and dearest are together, in the same way they are at a wedding.  But no one takes photos and I didn’t even think about it until later.

After the funeral service and the wake, my cousins, sisters and our families congregated on the seafront in Lyme Regis, at the Harbour Inn.P1070261We occupied the left hand side of these tables and benches until 11:30 pm as it was such an incredibly warm evening.  The children played football on the beach and swam in the sea.  We all drank too much and chatted, laughed and cried.  It was a magical evening after a very emotional day.P1070260On Saturday we had a late start to the day.  I enjoyed a peaceful sit in this lovely sunny spot in my sister Lucy’s garden.  Sunshine, their dog, wanted a walk.P1070183So we went for a walk beside the river .  This was a reasonable length walk and as is so often the case in Lyme, it involved a very steep hill, on the way down to sea level and then again on the way back up!P1070184P1070190It was such a sunny and hot day it was lovely to be in the shade of the trees lining the river.P1070191P1070192P1070199P1070200Pretty Lyme Regis cottages near the river.P1070201P1070202I might like to have a  bridge from the path to my house.P1070203I got very hot and worn out walking back up to my sister’s house and was happy to see this unusual shaped thatched house as I know when I see this that I am nearly  there.P1070204It had been hard for me to eat properly on Friday so I really enjoyed the fresh fruit I had for breakfast and the pasta with lots of vegetables we had for lunch after our riverside walk.  We then headed down the hill again to the beach, where we met up with our cousins and their families.P1070219These two dear cousins, Miranda and Edwina, have been such superstars, the way they have supported their Mum and Dad all year.  They are amazing and despite everything they have been through recently, they organised the beach get together and supper in the evening for us all too.P1070215I am very lucky to have such lovely cousins.P1070217P1070211I wish every day could be a beach day.P1070210Especially if it was at Lyme Regis which is such a delightful place.  We all had supper together at the Harbour Inn; a reservation for 30 people and they coped very well.  We had a good dinner and a fairly early night.P1070207A shorter walk on Sunday, in the woods.P1070221P1070222I made a vegan shepherd’s pie for lunch which was good and we watched the French Lieutenant’s Woman in the afternoon; well my sister did but I fell asleep!  I took Harvey and Harry to Grandpa Ian’s for supper and we had a lovely drink in his beautiful garden, followed by a simple but delicious supper of pasta with a roasted garlic and tomato sauce.P1070242

My sister had to return to London for work but I stayed on in Lyme for a couple more days with harvey and my nephew Harry.  We had a really lovely time.

We went to Topsham on Monday where we cycled 13 miles along the River Eve to Exmouth and then on to Orcombe Red Rocks.  Grandpa Ian came with us which was great.  We. hoped Pashley bicycles from Dart Farm and set off.

The cycle trail takes you South along the River Exe to the estuary at Exemouth.  Most of the trail is relatively flat but there were a few hills which were ok on the way there but a challenge for me on the way back.  I need more practice

P1070241Luckily my trail companions were happy to wait for me when necessary.P1070223We passed a donkey sanctuary which was cute.  I haven’t seen donkeys for a long time and they trotted over to say hello.P1070228P1070227

We had lunch at one of the first places we came to along the seafront in Exemouth – The Waterfront.P1070229We had a great view of the sea.P1070231I had an open sandwich made with humous, avocado, tomato and balsamic vinegar which was delicious and a much needed cold soda water with lime.  It was good to have a rest from cycling.P1070232After lunch we decided to go along the seafront as far as we could, rather then head back to Darts Farm.P1070237We could go as far as Orcombe Red Rocks which was a charming and quiet little beach.  I have never been here before but would definitely return.  Probably not on a Ashley though because they are really heavy.P1070236P1070235I really enjoyed the cycling but was very tired and sore by the time we returned the bikes.P1070234

Today (Tuesday) was our last morning in Lyme Regis.  We were all up quite early and walked in to Lyme Regis for breakfast and a potter about.  Look how tall this fascia hedge is!P1070243We walked over the fields in to town, rather than down the road or beside the river.

I was tempted in to this cute little hat shop where I did treat myself to a beach hat and the milliner explained how she makes the hats.  We walked past some pretty buildings and in to the Town Mill Bakery for breakfast.  No trip to Lyme Regis is complete without one visit to the bakery for their fabulous toast and coffee.

My other must visit place is the Cobb so we wandered past the crowded beach.

The Cobb is one of my very favourite structures in the world.  I can never resist walking along it.

We spent a couple of very happy hours, sitting and relaxing in the sunshine, watching the boats sail by and just chilling.  It was perfect.P1070274These two were excellent company.P1070275P1070283There is so much history here on the Cobb.P1070284P1070285P1070286There was so much to sit and look at.P1070289P1070290P1070291All too soon it was time to head back to my sister’s, pack up and hit the road home.  Up that bl**dy hill again !!!P1070293Farewell lovely Lyme, this was an excellent visit and I look forward, all always, to returning.P1070292P1070294











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Walking from St.Leonard’s to Bexhill

Lara was at home this weekend (yippee) and we had hoped for a beach day on Saturday.  The weather was not fine enough to laze around on the beach so instead we headed to the coast anyway and walked from St.Leonard’s to Bexhill.  I had wanted to continue the walk we did on Monday all the way to Bexhill but there was not enough time then but today there was.

The weather was ominous but we set off anyway and hoped for the best.P1070111Regular readers may remember I was surprised to see some astro turf and a little picket fence beside the beach when I walked past here on Monday; all was revealed as being part of a cafe where you could sit on the bench or in a deckchair and enjoy the sea views.  Too soon for a coffee for us so we kept going.P1070110I really like this walk.P1070112So many charming beach huts.P1070113Looking back towards St.Leonard’s.P1070114P1070116This statue marks the spot of a cafe and this time we were ready for a coffee.P1070117Or an ice-cream for some.P1070119Onwards to Bexhill.

I love, love, love coastal scenery.

P1070125P1070126This walk really is delightful.  It’s a very easy walk with a path the entire way.P1070127It didn’t seem to take long before we were at Bexhill.  I could have walked much further as I was enjoying it so much.P1070132We beat the rain too so that was lucky.P1070134Harvey and I had enjoyed Rocksalt-On-Sea so much last Friday we took Lara there and had another good meal.  They were very helpful to me and instead of having the linguine in a creamy sauce, they made it for me vegan style and it was delicious.  I fancied a bowl of pasta after a good walk.P1070135We caught the train back to St.Leonard’s where it was raining quite hard so instead of going to the Hastings carnival we headed home, via the Kino in Hawkhurst where we watched the BFG.  It was brilliant and we all enjoyed it very much.P1070139P1070140Today we went to visit my Dad and Step-Mother and they took us out to a Chinese restaurant which was excellent.  I had vegetable spring rolls followed by aubergine in black bean sauce, with stir fried broccoli and pak choi in garlic and rice.  It was all delicious and the company was perfect.  Thanks Dad for a very enjoyable lunch.P1070142So another weekend comes to an end.  I did very well with the exercise but not so well with the eating, particularly the too many delicious snacks at Judy’s on Friday night, the chocolate in the cinema or the crisps and Prosecco at home with Lara on Saturday night.  But I enjoyed myself hugely which was important.  I will eat better this week and maintain the regular walking.


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An Evening Walk At Bulverhythe

I worked from home on Monday and Harvey amused himself.  He was then able to choose what we did for the rest of the day and he asked to take his BMX down to the coast.  So we set off, with the BMX and Milton for an evening stroll.  I chose to park at the Western end of St.Leonard’s and walk towards Bexhill.  It was a delightful walk and one we will definitely be repeating.

P1070026I wasn’t expecting to see a white picket fence and astro turf next to the beach huts !P1070030The path runs on from the end of the promenade at St.Leonard’s and there is a car park which is very convenient.P1070032P1070033I confess, I do have beach hut envy.  I would love one and one day I will treat myself but I think I need to wait until I know which town I will be living in as the beach hut needs to be easy to get to to make it more useable.P1070034P1070035P1070039P1070036Everything about this walk was lovely.  Obviously the company was great (boy and dog), the weather was perfect as it was sunny and warm but not too hot and there were so many interesting things to look at.  There were people also walking/cycling/running along the track but mainly it was peaceful and quiet so you could really enjoy the sounds of the sea.P1070041P1070048P1070050Harvey loved the route and cycled many miles as he went backwards and forwards, up and down the gentle hills and along the flat.  This is looking towards Bexhill.P1070052If I close my eyes and breathe deep I can imagine I am back there, with my boy, with the sun and the sound of the waves.P1070053I definitely did not expect the profusion of wildflowers so they were an added bonus.  This is the view looking towards St.Leonard’s.P1070058P1070061P1070063P1070068P1070072After the walk we picked up some fish and chips (no fish for me obviously) and headed to Rebecca’s.  She had just made a fabulous dal which she gave me a bowlful of and which I must try and recreate.  We then sat in her pretty garden with its views over Hastings (and the ‘haunted house’ next door) and chatted away while the sun went down.  A lovely ending to a wonderful evening.P1070078

I have done well with the walking over the last week and actually walked 79,000 steps which exceeds the target 10,000 a day so I was happy with that.  I ate reasonably well too (apart from the chips) yesterday  and today I fasted.  I had water with the juice of 3 limes and 45ml of maple syrup.  I mix the lime juice and maple syrup together and take it to work.  I have a large glass in the office and I add 1 tbsp of the lime and syrup mixture to every 500ml of water.  I drank between 3 and 4 litres of water today.  I actually find it easier to eat nothing rather than a little so that is what I am going to try and do twice a week.  If I can do 3 days in a row (which I have done twice now), then I can do 1 day twice a week.

On the 5:2 diet you can have 500 calories on your fast days.  The juice of 3 limes and 45 ml maple syrup is 60 + 156 = 216 so I am well within the allowance.  I took Milton for a walk in the woods over the road when I came home as I had no time to go for a walk at lunch time so I have walked 10,682 steps so far today.  So all is going rather well at the moment with exercise and eating.  Room for improvement on the eating but a huge improvement on recent weeks.



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Sunny Hastings Evening

Harvey and I had a lazyish day at home on Saturday which was very pleasant.  It was still so warm and sunny in the late afternoon I suggested we headed for the coast so we could go for a walk along the seafront in Hastings, have supper and watch the sunset.  That is what we did.  We parked near the pier as by good fortune, street parking restrictions are lifted at 6pm which was exactly when we got there.P1060950I walked and Harvey cycled along to the far end of Hastings, Rock-A-Nore.  The beach had fewer people on it than I expected.P1060951These two were having fun on their paddle boards; they paddled out and then raced back in on the waves.  I really fancy trying that and sea kayaking.P1060953P1060952It was a very pleasant stroll and cycle.

The seafront near the boating lake and mini golf was full of people enjoying themselves and making the most of this fantastic weather we are having.

I meandered about, sometimes on the beach and sometimes on the promenade.P1060966As we approached Rock-A-Nore we came to the business end of the beach, where the fishing shacks are which sell fresh fish, the beach with the boats on it and the fishing net huts.P1060973Hastings really is a photographers dream.  I must dust off the large camera and come back as it is so picturesque.P1060969P1060975P1060981This is the coastline beyond Rock-A-Nore.P1060979The end of the road for us so we about turned in the direction of the pier for a cold drink.P1060983I love the lines of the pier and how they reflect in the wet sand.P1060986P1060990It was such a beautiful evening.P1060988A cold beer drink and crisps and peanuts were just the thing.  The only negative aspect of the evening was the ghastly rap style music being blasted out by a ‘DJ’ on the pier.  It seemed an unusual choice of music for a crowd of mainly families or middle aged people. P1060992Harvey chose to eat pizza which meant we had to walk back towards the Old Town to find a restaurant which sold pizzas and was on the sea front and had a table for us.  We ate in Bella Napoli at Pelham Crescent.   It was very good value; we nibbled on bread with Balsamic and olives, I had a pizza and Harvey a Calzone plus a glass of wine came to £24 which I think is really good.  The portions were so large we had to take half of it home so that’s lunch sorted!P1060995

We had a lovely evening in Hastings and thanks to all the walking, my step count for the day was over 17,000 which is really good.  Not enough to justify the pizza and bread though 😦

Today was a gardening day.  I could always go to the beach but I have a large garden and it needed attention today so I stayed at home.P1070001P1070003P1070002P1060999Much of the garden looks really good, thanks to the weekly endeavours of my gardener, Adrian but certain bits, like the pots and veggie garden are all mine.P1060998I worked on the pots on the patio which were a mess and planted up a flower bed next to the veggie patch.  I haven’t been so inspired to grow as many veggies as usual as I was expecting to have moved.  Rather than look at an empty bed, I bought some flowers and planted them out.P1060997I only have tomatoes and squash in the greenhouse this year and they are doing really well.  We have already eaten some tomatoes which is the earliest I have ever had any.P1070005There are so many trusses on each plant.P1070006

P1070007I enjoyed being outside, gardening and was inspired by all the plants in the garden to make a juice for breakfast.  I picked some rainbow chard and juiced it with half a pineapple, an orange, a kiwi and red pepper and then blended it with half an avocado.P1070008I was aiming for a green juice but it was more brown than green.   It tasted good though.P1070009For supper I picked lots of peas and spent a pleasant time, sitting in the garden, shucking them.P1070010P1070011I also picked all the raspberries I could find and some rhubarb and made a crumble.  I haven’t made a ‘proper’ pudding for ages and thought it was about time I did.P1070013It was cooler today than yesterday with a pleasant breeze and in the afternoon we enjoyed a walk over the road in the woods.P1070017It is so lush and green in the woods at the moment.P1070018Look how high the ferns are?  They are huge, almost tropical.P1070019We ate supper in the garden.P1070014As we were having a pudding we had a light supper; stir fried vegetables (peas and chard from the garden) with smoked tofu with sesame seeds and almonds.P1070021The crumble was delicious.  I had about 5 cups of fruit which I placed in an ovenproof dish I had coated lightly with coconut oil.  I added 3 tbsp brown sugar.  I made a topping by blitzing together 1 cup of oats, half a cup of wholewheat flour, half a cup of pecan nuts, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, a pinch of salt and 4 tbsp vegan spread.  Baked in the oven at 180 degrees for 45 minutes.  Served with vegan custard.  We both really enjoyed it and have another portion to look forward to tomorrow.P1070023






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Discovering Bexhill

While I continue to be drawn down to the South coast, and regularly visit Hastings and St.Leonards, I have recently been reminded of how lovely Bexhill is.  I travelled home from a book reading with Gilli who said how charming Bexhill is and how it might be a good place to consider living.  So I went to take a look.  I think she may be on to something.  Bexhill seems charming, quaint and peaceful, particularly when compared to the craziness of Hastings and the faded grandeur of St.Leonards.

P1060837P1060838P1060839For the first visit, I took Harvey and we went with Lucy who by coincidence had been to Bexhill that week and was also pleasantly surprised by how lovely it was.  We strolled around the De La Warr Pavilion and then along the promenade.  Unlike Hastings and St.Leonards, where there is a road between the seafront houses and the promenade and beach, there are many houses in Bexhill with gardens directly on the promenade.  I could live in one of these!P1060840P1060841P1060842We also walked up to the Old Town which is like a rural village.  Very charming but not lively enough for what I am looking for so we headed back to the front.P1060844P1060847That was the first visit of many I have made since.  The following weekend I went to St.Leonard’s and was pleased to discover a mainly vegan cafe had opened on Norman Road.  They provide cow’s milk for coffee but the rest of their produce is vegan.  I had a fabulous chocolate cake with my coffee.  This is newly opened and I wish them well with their venture.

P1060855I strolled up Kings Road and bought some veggies in this shop and then pottered about the street market as by chance, it was the St.Leonard’s festival weekend.P1060859P1060860P1060861As usual I was drawn to the sea front.  The planting in St.Leonard’s is pretty so I enjoyed a walk along the front and then hopped over to Bexhill.P1060862

P1060864This time I walked away from the centre of Bexhill and headed West towards Eastbourne.  This is such a pretty promenade.P1060868P1060869Handy to know the rules about dogs on the beach.P1060870It seems so peaceful and quiet here but not isolated or lonely.

I sat and relaxed for ages, enjoying the sunshine and the soothing sounds of the waves on the beach.P1060880P1060881P1060882I would love a beach chalet on the beach!P1060884

P1060887After a long and lazy afternoon I headed home, all the happier for another jaunt to Bexhill.P1060892P1060893

So the following weekend I came back with Harvey and Milton.  Harvey BMXd and I walked with Milton.  Milton could not be persuaded in to the sea which is a shame as although it was overcast it was very warm.P1060899We moved along the coast to Hastings to see what Pirate’s Day was all about.P1060903

Wow!  So many people – men, women and children – dress up as pirates and the Old Town and promenade were heaving with people.P1060904

I think this chap, with the bird on his shoulder and his peg leg really was a pirate.P1060905P1060907I wouldn’t argue with this lot either.P1060908When the sun came out is was very hot; much too hot for Milton so we took him home.  Next year we will leave Milton at home and will hopefully be living in Hastings because I would like to experience Pirate’s Day properly.


This week I headed North rather then South, to Edinburgh.  I always stay in the Apex hotel on Grassmarket if I can and this time I was given a large room with 2 double beds.  What a waste being in there on my own.  I wished I had Lara and Harvey with me as we would have enjoyed a night together.P1060915P1060917

The last time I was here it was very cold and there were no chairs and tables on the street.P1060918I sat outside one of the restaurants and enjoyed a pizza and glass of wine with a colleague from the office.P1060920

This was the view I had of the castle from my hotel the next morning.P1060922I wish I had time to explore Edinburgh; the little I see of it every time I come is extremely appealing and I would love to see more of it.P1060924

Instead I enjoyed the 15 minute walk to the office in the sunshine.P1060925

Harvey broke up from school and began his summer holidays this Friday at midday.  So I took a day off, picked him up from school and took him to the pub.  Well, I hadn’t seen him since Sunday and we had a lot of catching up to do.  This pub was in Bexhill.P1060929

We did some shopping as Harvey needed swimming trunks and then went to Rocksalt-On-Sea (at 29 Marina, Bexhill)  for lunch which was very good.  I had a salad without the chorizo or goat’s cheese it was meant to come with and some chips.P1060930

With a very decent Sauvignon Blanc.P1060931

We then went to do something I have been wanting to do for several weeks – swim in the sea.  This was the first time I have swum in the sea all year and i really enjoyed it.  We both did.P1060937I also enjoyed relaxing and snoozing on the beach afterwards.  Despite the very warm day, there were only a few others on the beach at Bexhill as I think most people head to Hastings beach but I prefer the peace and quiet of Bexhill.P1060945P1060946

So there we are.  Bexhill rediscovered and somewhere I will keep returning to because we really like it.


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