Friday, 25 September 2015

The Mermaid Inn

In the middle of a medieval haven, on a sloping, cobbled street, sits The Mermaid Inn.
Full of stories of long ago smugglers and ghostly visits, with secret passageways, and cellars dating back to the 1100's, stepping into this magnificent building is indeed like stepping back in time.
Why not enjoy a drink in the Giant's Fireplace Bar, relax in one of the lounges, or dine in the Linen Fold Restaurant.
Or maybe you would rather drift along the creaking, slanting corridors, admiring pictures of old Kings and Queens of England.
But don't forget to keep one eye open for the ghosts!

The Mermaid Inn was also the chosen place for myself, Mark, and Tommy, to spend our third wedding anniversary.

Come inside, and I'll show you around.

The corridor of kings and queens.

The wall of fame. I would just like to say Johnny Depp and I have walked the same path.

One of the lounges.

Tommy playing with his car. Whoops, then I scolded him for standing on the old furniture!

We had lunch and drinks in the Giant's Fireplace Bar.

The Linen Fold Restaurant. We sampled the most delicious breakfast, the next morning of our stay.

Our impressive room for the night. Notice Tommy posing at the end of our bed.

The bathroom. Wish I could have taken it home with me!

After our lunch and tour of the hotel, we browsed the quaint shops of Rye. There were art galleries.

Curiosity shops.

Ye olde sweet shops.

Naughty but nice tea rooms.

Aptly named 'Cobbles'.

A tiny book store. For tiny people or tiny books? You decide.

We were also surrounded by charming buildings.

Here's Jeakes House, situated on Mermaid Street, opposite the Mermaid Inn. I stayed here with my mum, dad and nan when I was about eight years old. It was my first introduction to Rye and it made such a romantic impression, that I was already envisioning a trip back with my future family.

In the evening, after lounging around in our room, and playing with Tommy and his fire engine, we ventured to the child friendly Italian restaurant.

Simply Italian! For a reference point, it stands near the Heritage Centre, with 'Light Show Model Village' and museum. Tommy wasn't sure about the 'Light Show Model Village' and to be fair, as interesting as it was, it was a little creepy.

I'm forever grateful to child friendly restaurants and colouring pens.

After our pizzas, we strolled back to the Mermaid Inn. Here's Tommy again, before he fell asleep and let mummy and daddy drink wine, in an extremely happy and content manner, and watch the X Factor on the big screen. Night, night.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

The demise of Betty B

For a long time now, I have been lost and fulfilled in my little magazine publishing world.
Treasure hunting, car racing, beauty products, and engineering and technology. It's been diverse, weird, and wonderful.
I'm still dipping my toes and burying my head in the engineering and technology sector. Alas, due to company cut-backs, it's not as frequent.
Then along came academic books. Which is just as well really, as I could have been heading towards the R word (redundancy, I don't like to say it out loud, too many bad memories).
They're not books one would find perched on the shelves of WHSmith's top ten fiction/non-fiction. They are certainly not books recommended by Richard and Judy's book club. But I am proud to be part of them.
Granted, a lot of the time I am bewildered by the equations and formulas. Professors and lecturers are now authors, and I like to think I've played my part in their journey.
The other day, a very important author emailed me to thank me for my assistance and admitted how excited he was with regards to the progress of his book.
His excitement shone through his words, and I was pretty pleased for him. We'd had numerous email communication with reference to choosing images for his front cover, plus the essential proof reading of his chapters.
Who would have thought that, little old me, would play such a vital character in an author's front cover and chosen words? I would say it's been a privilege. One I've actually received a payment for!
And maybe, just maybe, it's all crucial to that fate thing. Because as well as following my company style sheets, I am swotting over copy editing books. Therefore, I feel I could be sitting in a far better position with publishing my own book one day.
Hopefully, this has provided me with a sparkling opportunity I should grab with eager, sweaty, hands and run off into the moonlight with.
Or the kick up the bottom I needed to remind myself,
I must allow extra time for writing that bestseller.
Either way, it's a win/fingers crossed win situation; I get to keep a job I rather like, with improvements. Improvements I thoroughly appreciate, enjoy, and can learn from.
Not bad for a day's work.

Friday, 11 September 2015

The one where we both went out

If felt ridiculous to admit, but I was nervous.
All day I tried to suppress it and deny it. But it kept interrupting my day and destroying my thoughts.
You would think that after almost a year, I would be pleased and optimistic with regards to the fact - Mark and I were venturing out the house, together, without Tommy!
Because, dear readers, it was the day of the wedding reception.
The cute pink invitation had hung on our 'welcome' noticeboard for months. It looked out of place between the reminder of bin collections after bank holidays, and information on local play groups for Tommy.
The day on said invite had arrived, and my mind was overloaded with doubts and questions and worries.
For instance, how on God's earth was fifteen minutes sufficient time to transform myself? Yes we were part of a very tight schedule.
And why the heck do I have a child, whom I love to infinity and beyond, who's almost two years old, who STILL doesn't sleep well?
Plus, what do young people wear to weddings these days?
Crikey, I was painfully reminded how out of touch I was with reality.
Usually on a Friday night, Mark and I dine at my parents, if I've worked in the office and they've taken care of Tommy. Or, if I've worked from home, I'll rustle up something quick for Mark and I to eat after Tommy's bath. Either way, I'm in my stripey/floral pyjamas by 8pm, trying to coax Tommy to sleep, until I too fall asleep, or I turn to a book/wine for comfort.
All was about to change folks.
Stop the press, make an announcement in the local newspaper if you wish - Mark and Nikki were vacating their premises on a Friday night. Without child!
Incidentally, fifteen minutes was not enough time, I rushed out the house with unbrushed hair and forgot the wedding card. We had to turn around and go back for wedding card.
I constantly texted my mum to see if Tommy was okay, this was after two phone calls from my mum, she was convinced I'd left the oven on. I hadn't.
Finally, I was notified by text at 9.45pm that my precious son had finally fallen asleep in his Thomas the Tank Engine bed. I finally relaxed.
And for the record, young people wear stunning clothes to weddings these days, they look very, erm, young and stunning.
I wore my faithful pink dress, with black suede shoes which have seen better days. Still, I gradually got the hang of this going out lark. Glasses of bubbly and mini sausages were appreciated, small talk was made, big drunken conversations were entered into. I tried not to miss Tommy, or think about Tommy too much.
Then, just like magic, 11:15pm appeared and it was time to go home.
And guess what? I'd had a splendid night and could have stayed a fair bit later.
Deep sigh. What am I like?

Friday, 4 September 2015

The day it didn't rain

Summer is slowly coming to an end. There is a faint chill in the air, and Facebook is thriving with proud parents posting pictures of their offspring, in school uniform, standing against a door frame.
Oh and it poured with rain on the last bank holiday Monday of the year. Which was a shame, but nevertheless, predictable.
Fortunately it didn't rain all bank holiday weekend, so myself, Mark and Tommy enjoyed a day out by the harbour.

Maldon is about half an hour's drive from the cottage and worth spending a day at.

I do love a beach hut. These can be hired for £50 a day apparently, maybe next year?

Casually sitting in front of the beach hut.

Playing in the sand.

Here's Tommy! He loved running in and out of the little wooden house.

In the little house.

Through the hole.