A week back home…or away from?

I’ve spent the last week and a bit back home, or should that be I’ve spent time away from home? What I mean is, I’ve been back in the UK, but I guess for the next few months that isn’t really home. But you get my gist!

It was my big sister’s 40th birthday, so even before I booked this move to Crete I knew I’d be going back for that. She wasn’t sure what she was going to do or when, so I covered the bases by booking a holiday over two weekends in the UK which is good because she actually had an extended celebration and I was able to be part of it all!

The first weekend, I stayed with her (Beth) and my brother-in-law Ross in their beautiful home in North London. As I was a guest, I managed to bag myself an invite to her night out with her friends Emma and Jim, and we started the night in a place called Flight Club, which is a darts bar in Shoreditch – a place I would whole-heartedly recommend to anyone (although probably need at least four people to really get the most out of it). I may be slightly bias due to the fact that I’m rubbish at darts, but managed to come out as the overall winner!

It was a really fun night, and I wasn’t even too poorly in the morning (when we headed to the park to play crazy golf!). The next day Beth even managed to cook a gorgeous roast dinner for me and the rest of the family (minus my dad  who was in Crete looking after my cat – thanks Dad!).

On the Monday I went to Southbank to see one of my oldest and bestest friends who has just had her third child, a gorgeous little girl now six weeks old. We had a lovely catch up over lunch at Wahaca, and now I’ve got some brilliant chilli seeds to plant in the garden in Crete when I get back which will remind me of them.

On the Tuesday I was invited to dinner by my little sister Rosie, so I decided to collect my nephew from childcare early and have an afternoon playing in the park with him, then took him back to Rosie’s for his dinner before we headed out (when her husband Tom got back of course – we didn’t leave a toddler alone!). The whole afternoon/night made me realise how much I am missing everyone when I’m in Crete – I’m a real family girl!

On Wednesday I met up with three of the girls I used to work with for cocktails and wine, and to try and plan their visit out to Crete to see me in mid-August. It was a really great night – lots of laughs and giggles.

Then Thursday the 40th Birthday celebrations really began. Me, Beth and Ross headed to Whitstable where we had rented a cottage for the weekend right on the beach. It was amazing…properly, right on the beach. My parents got there shortly after us, and the party began. Night out for dinner on the Thursday (can’t remember the name of the place…something like the Sportsman in Salters Hill, but whatever it was, it was delicious!), Friday was spent walking around the town and up a bit of beach that is only accessible in low tide, called The Street.

Friday night, Rosie, Tom and Harry (my nephew) arrived. We presented Beth with her cake (three tiers of gooey delicious cheese), and had a night in playing bingo, eating lots of cheese and catching up.

Saturday we were up and out early, renting bikes to cycle along to Herne Bay where we stopped for lunch and spent a number of pounds at the amusements (2p machines are THE BEST), then cycled back with slightly sore butts via the fish market on the harbour to buy our dinner – a huge selection of clams, sea bass, turbot, bream, red mullet and mackerel which were all so fresh and delicious.

Every moment, beginning to end, has been fabulous. I’m now in a hotel at Gatwick airport, ready for my early flight back to Crete in the morning, but I am so going to miss everyone I’m leaving behind. I won’t see most of them for at least four months, and I must admit I got teary saying goodbye to everyone. Miss you all already! xx

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