Wednesday Wander – Le Musee De La Mar, Biarritz

I always love Helen’s Wednesday Wander series – check out her visit to Musee De La Mer in Biarritz! Please don’t like or comment on my reblog – hop on over to Journey to Ambeth and say hello!

Journey To Ambeth

It’s Wednesday, and time to wander again. I recently visited the French coastal town of Biarritz, and this week I’m going to wander to Le Musee De La Mer – the Biarritz Aquarium.

Opened to the public in 1933, the building is a stylish example of Art Deco architecture, much like the nearby Casino. However, the origins of the aquarium go back a few decades earlier, when the Marquis de Folin convinced the French authorities to commence scientific studies of the Bay of Biscay. He wanted to create a ‘seat of learning’ where people could come and learn about the oceans, a field of study that was gaining in popularity at the time. The First World War halted development of his idea, and it wasn’t until the 1930s that it came to fruition.

Perched upon cliffs high above the town, the Aquarium looks out onto the sea…

…and…

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Goodbye, Jan

I never know how appropriate it is to write about these sorts of things, but as this space is my own to be able to record my thoughts and feelings, I wanted to be able to acknowledge someone very special to us.

The death of a loved one is never easy for anybody, but when it’s sudden and completely unexpected it comes as a devastating blow to everyone who knew them.

We attended the funeral of our friend this morning – a wonderful woman who had joined us at our wedding celebrations just a week before she passed away. The Bloke and I were her colleagues at my former school – she had worked as an English teacher before retiring a few years ago – and the number of friends, colleagues, staff and former students that attended (to the point where it was standing room only) was a sheer testament to how much she was loved. The amount of messages I’ve seen across social media from ex-students (many of whom had particularly difficult circumstances) demonstrates the impact that she left on them all these years later. Continue reading

Keepers is Here!

In my naivety I thought that publishing a novel was a reasonably straightforward process – write, edit, publish, done – but following my blog friend Sacha Black’s journey as she was writing her first fantasy book made me realise just how wrong I was.

And now, KEEPERS IS FINALLY HERE and I am so excited to read it!

Here’s the blurb…

Eden’s life is balanced… until her soul is bound to her enemy. Continue reading

The Honeymoon: NYC 2017

As I sit on the train on the journey back from Heathrow I can’t actually believe our honeymoon is already over. We stayed for 5 days in New York, and with the time difference it worked out that we did a day in London beforehand too.

Getting to NYC was a bit of a nightmare, and the flight back wasn’t much better, but the rest has been totally and utterly fabulous. It’s been a whirlwind of travel and people and sightseeing and noise and VERY cold weather, and I’m absolutely exhausted, but it was a wonderful experience. My back aches, my feet and legs hurt, my gloves are shredded but my phone and The Bloke’s camera are now full of pictures and I have a million memories to cherish and write about.

Here were just some of the highlights… To see the images in a full screen simply click on them. Continue reading

Blog of the Day: A Healing Spirit

Meet Carol, the creator of A Healing Spirit!

Carol is a trained hypnotherapist and past life regressionist who lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband and crazy little Maltipoo. She does more than half of her regression and hypnosis work via Skype, and particularly enjoys doing workshops and small group events.

Her interest in working with healing and grief began during the peak of the AIDS/HIV epidemic when she spent more than a dozen years as a trained emotional support worker with the community. Her skills developed further during the years she served as support person to family and friends battling serious disease and facing death. Continue reading

Blog of the Day: The Recipe Hunter!

Meet Esmé! She’s the creator of The Recipe Hunter: Cook and Enjoy, a blog dedicated to beautiful recipes of lots of different types of foods.

Esme is originally from South Africa but has lived in Vancouver, BC for over 20 years. She loves to share her passion with cooking and experimenting with different dishes and her blog is wealth of knowledge of all things food! I love the fact that The Recipe Hunter follows a ‘tried and tested’ premise, which not only tests different recipes from a personal perspective, but gives honest reviews as to the success level of the instructions, as well as giving credit and promotion to others within the food blogging world. I always like it when I see the blog love being shared around! I also like the fact that she includes photographs of her results – as someone who enjoys cooking it helps me to feel more confident about trying new recipes and I can see what the dish is actually meant to look like! Continue reading

Blog of the Day: The Married Cat Lady

I’m away this week, so i thought it would be nice to promote some bloggers for you to visit!

Meet Becca, the creator of The Married Cat Lady!

She explains a little about herself in her About page:

I am a self-proclaimed weirdo living in the Chicago suburbs with my wonderful husband and our fur babies Albus (cat) and Nellie (pup).

I enjoy Harry Potter, coffee, cat memes, gifs, elephants, yoga, Pull-n-Peel Twizzlers, 30-second dance parties, my girlfriends, the smell of babies, and an assortment of other fun things.

I am writing in an effort to bring laughter and joy into your life via my witty ramblings and embarrassing stories. Wish me luck! Continue reading

Blog of the Day: Unfold and Begin

I’m away this week, so I thought I would take the opportunity to share the blog love and promote some bloggers for you to check out!

Meet Jennifer, the creator of Unfold and Begin. I’ve known her through various communities for quite a while now, and I’ve always enjoyed her posts and the fun sense of humour she has in daily conversation!

I love interesting About pages, and Jennifer’s is highly entertaining:

My name is Jennifer Koshak and I’m on the tail end of the baby boomers.  You should know that I’m willing to enjoy chocolate, practice some yoga, have some fun and explore new places and new things in my next 50 years.

Random Facts

Continue reading

Highs and Lows

Nearly two weeks after we got married, it’s been a time of enormous highs and some crashing lows.

I’ve been loving all of the pictures that we have been getting from our friends and family from the wedding. Some of them are gorgeous, some are less that flattering, so I’ve been collecting them into folders and I’m going to make a montage of all the awful ones and hang it on the wall. It still hasn’t quite sunk in yet.

However, it didn’t help that two days after we got married The Bloke was told that Ofsted (the national inspection service for UK schools) would be coming to inspect the school he works at. Anyone who has ever worked in an educational institution in the UK knows that there is nothing more stressful than Ofsted – I’ve seen grown professionals reduced to tears – and as an IT Technician The Bloke receives enormous amounts of tasks and pressure from every area of the school, so he did incredibly long days and was shattered. I felt awful for him – not exactly the start I was hoping for.

We’ve been excitedly preparing for our honeymoon, getting together the last items that we will need for five days in NYC. Despite being given a large luggage allowance, we are repeating the same process that we did for Barcelona a few years ago and just taking a small, capsule wardrobe of outfits each in a rucksack that we can take onto the plane as hand luggage. We figured that it was going to be cold, we are spending most of our time being tourists and therefore we can get away with taking warm sweaters and t-shirts and just one nice outfit for something posh we have planned. It also means that there is zero chance that our bags would go missing (this has happened to me on flights before) and we don’t have to waste time at the baggage section when we land – we can just take our stuff and go. Because of the time of our flight, we’re traveling down to London and staying overnight at the airport hotel, and it’s that beautiful time of year where the lights have just gone up for Christmas so we can have a nice touristy time in our favourite city too.

We also had the opportunity to meet up with a group of Blogger’s Bash bloggers in Birmingham last weekend. We met at Bacchus, one of my favourite bars, and it was lovely getting the chance to catch up and say hello. The Bloke was in town doing some shopping so he joined us afterwards, and we indulged in lovely food and had a nice chat. I always find it strange when meeting bloggers that I have known online for years – I’ve met most of the people who were there just a few times before, but I feel I know them a little and the conversation is never boring or stunted as we all know each other’s stories from the blog posts that we read. I think they stayed for a while, but The Bloke and I had to leave early because we had to get ready for the fancy dress 40th birthday party for one of my favourite people, as you do.

The theme was film characters, so we decided that the obvious choice would be to go as Wayne and Garth from Wayne’s World, of course. I managed to find the hat and wigs from eBay and then I bought the rest from charity shops. What resulted was a Wayne and Garth that looked like they had been on a steady 10 year binge of hard drugs and alcohol. The party was fun – there were lots of friends and former colleagues that I hadn’t seen in years and some that came to the wedding but I didn’t get much chance to speak to them properly at the time, so it was great to be able to catch up with them all and find out how they were doing. I found it quite amusing that some of them didn’t recognise us because of our outfits – we were staring at one former colleague and even though she looked directly at us she walked past and The Bloke had to go over and say hello at the bar.

The other day, I was working through my social media checklist and saw I had a Facebook message. I was then greeted by a whole group of members of my Facebook group who had secretly been collectively scheming and squirrelling a donation for The Bloke and I for our wedding and honeymoon, and I was presented with an enormous sum of money. It isn’t often that I’m lost for words, but this was one of the rare occasions where I had no idea what to say, and I knew that thank you wasn’t enough. What an unbelievable surprise – we were totally gobsmacked. Em, Lorna and everyone who contributed – thanks so so so much… Yet another reason why the blogging community is a wonderful place to be, and I’m so lucky to know them!

And then, we had some devastating news. Our friend and former colleague passed away earlier this week. She came to the wedding and I spoke to her last Saturday via Facebook messenger, and on Monday of this week she had a sudden and unexpected illness and passed away a little while later. She had only retired a few years ago, was a devoted mother and grandmother and loved by everyone who worked with her – staff and students alike. It was a total shock, and I’m still reeling from it. She was such a fabulous woman – never forgot a birthday, always had a kind word and offered many (including myself on numerous occasions) a shoulder to cry on, and the outpouring I’ve seen since her passing has shown just how many lives she touched. I’m so grateful that I got the chance to see her and tell her how much she means to us before she passed, and that she saw so many of her friends. She very kindly gave us some money for the honeymoon as a gift so we’ve made a donation to the RNLI (of which she was a huge supporter) in her name and we’ll have a drink for her when we’re away.

Jan, we love you and thank you for everything that you have done for us… We’ll miss you and your friendship very much. May you rest in peace xx

I’ll be away from the blog for a while – I hope you all have a calm and peaceful time and I’ll catch up with you soon!

You can find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and don’t forget to follow my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks, my Pinterest page http://www.pinterest.com/suzie81speaks and my Instagram page http://www.instagram.com/suzie81speaks

* What a relief!

Katherine has just had surgery and needs some blog love – please don’t like or comment on my reblog, hop on over to Teachezwell and say hi!

Teachezwell Blog

I survived ear surgery- what a relief!

The adventure began with 2 pre-op visits the day before.  The primary focus of the 1st one was accurately saying my name and birthdate.  I did that successfully multiple times- what a relief!  The 2nd appointment was with representatives of the actual procedure (Eustachian tube dilation).   Everyone was kind, professional, and helpful- what a relief!

The anesthesiologist made sure I could twist my head and jaw like a zombie, which I could- what a relief!  The nurse told me I might wake up the next day with liquid all over my face but not to worry, because it would be blood.  (Had she been consulting with the anesthesiologist?)  I had no liquid of any kind- what a relief!  I was given a special antibacterial soap to use twice before surgery, from “chin to toes,” in case any body parts got near my…

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