Monday, January 20, 2020

2019 - Done and dusted!

2019 was quite a year!  It's taken me a while to gather my thoughts and come up with a blog post to sum the year up, but I finally did it, so without further ado... this was 2019:

3 words to describe 2019: busy, complex, good

Biggest lesson learned:  Life unfolds, it doesn't always make sense at the time, but generally, looking back, it was as it was meant to be.

TV series I was hooked on: New Amsterdam

Favourite movie: Downton Abbey

Favourite song: I honestly can't think of one that stands out....

Favourite meal: nut roast at The Gate in Bryant's Bottom

Best place I visited: Impossible to pick one! The woods in general, Corfu, Bruges

Countries visited:  South Africa, UK, Greece, France and Belgium



2019 month-by-month:


January:

The year started with a visit from Paula - she arrived on New Year's day and stayed with us for 6 weeks.  We visited some amazing places, did some wedding planning and experienced our first UK snowfall.  






Our Danny turned 2 at the end of the month.


February:

February brought another snowfall and an amazing "snow day" - a day I'll never forget, such fun sledding with the whole family together on the slope behind our church.  Grant did a contract in Scotland in February.  Paula left mid-month to go back to SA and Roxy, the children and I joined her there at the very end of the month.






March:

March was a huge month.  Rox and I spent a lovely, but busy couple of weeks in SA with Paula, seeing family and friends and doing last minute wedding stuff.











And then Paula and I were involved in a car accident while on the way to the funeral.  Paula's car was a write-off and we got pretty badly bashed up and bruised.  I broke my hand in a couple of places (still struggle with it nearly a year later!) but we were just thankful that things weren't worse and that we were both able to enjoy the wedding.





Then there was The Wedding!  Paula and Cal got married in an incredible ceremony at Haycroft in the KZN midlands.




The wedding was a dream-come-true, it went off absolutely perfectly!


The rest of March was a bit of a low for me personally, we got back home and I was struggling with my hand, I then got a sinus infection and a tooth abscess and I just really struggled for a bit.  Grant on the other hand had a really good month - he started his permanent job!


Our Issy turned 5 at the end of March!

April:

April arrived -  we had a beautiful Easter weekend, Spring arrived with a vengeance, Grant and I did lots of walking and we got out and about to all sorts of lovely events - it was a fantastic month.




Pitstone Windmill


Great Missenden Food Festival


Wendover Canal


Balloon Festival, Great Missenden


Henley-on-Thames

May:
May was another lovely month.  Bluebells in the woods, lots of walks and a French Market

Dockey Wood






Marlow

We also spent a weekend in Kent for Kelly's bridal shower.





Knole




At the end of May the decision was made to start homeschooling Issy.  Quite a momentous decision, but the right one!

June:
June was a wonderfully busy and exciting month.  Paula and Cal arrived from SA for a couple of weeks, we were out and about a lot and we also spent another weekend in Kent for Kelly and Sam's wedding.





Folkestone Beach, Kent








July:
July started off really sadly, with the unexpected passing of my Dad.  That threw me for quite a loop.
Fortunately, the month was quite busy, so there wasn't really time to sit around dwelling on all the sad stuff (which I'm oh so good at!)



Pick-your-own at Peterley Farm




Prestwood Steam Festival


Day-trip to London




Summer fair at Missenden Abbey

We spent a lovely long weekend in Newquay, Cornwall:










August:
August was another pleasant month, with lots of outings close to home.













Oxford


Oxford


Oxford









September:
Another huge month!  Paula and Calvin finally joined us in the UK - permanently this time!  The joy!
We spent a wonderful day doing the tourist thing with them in London, before Cal started work and Paula started Varsity and real life intruded on our fun.


Talking of real life, I started working again - part-time and flexi-time, thankfully.

Grant and I took Issy and Dan on a lovely outing - a "Day with Thomas the Tank Engine" at a local railway centre.



The month continued with our usual walks in the countryside.




And then Grant, Roxy, the kids and I jetted off to Corfu for a week - it was pure bliss! (A piece of my heart definitely  belongs to Corfu!)




October:
Autumn definitely started showing its face in October.




We experienced our first Halloween in the UK, which was fun!


November:

Autumn in all its glory!




We went to the Christmas market at Waddesdon Manor again this year - definitely a favourite!



We also went to see Jeremy Loops in London - a fun evening!



Aaaand the Boks won the World Cup!


December:
And just like that the last month of the year crept up on us!

December started with a visit from Heidi, which was lovely



Grant and I spent a very awesome weekend in Brugge with the Smiths.



The Reeds arrived from SA and we got to spend some fantastic time with them over Christmas and New Year.  








Rox, Jon and the kids went to SA just before Christmas and they had a marvellous time there too.




And so the year came to a close.  Another eventful, happy year!

Thank-you 2019 for all the fun times, for the incredible walks in the countryside, the delicious beers in the pubs and the wonderful people who have been part of my tribe this year, for the lessons learnt, the tears cried, the sights we've seen, the wonderful places we've been and the money we've spent, thank-you for the health and the happiness and for all the moments that went into making this year so special.  Here's to an awesome 2020!