Holiday experiences

The holiday time for the Ryan family is now well and truly over. We’ve camped throughout most of August (sleeping 22 nights in the caravan) and as well as managing to miss the rain we’ve laughed, spent good times with friends and family members, eaten and drunk well.

There are many highlights and we have got to visit some great and interesting places and see and experience wonderful things:
Southwold pier was a great place to have a coffee – difficult to describe other than being a breath of fresh air in what I was expecting to be a tacky seaside town. As a bonus the last time we walked to the pier along the prom Tom spotted a seal playing about in the water which was an amazing sight.

Flying kites on Kessingland beach as the sun set. One day the wind of the North Sea was so strong that it was whipping the sand against our legs so hard we had to give up and return to the caravan to change before returning.

Walks along the seashore, noticing the very different moods of the sea, experiencing fantastic sunsets and realising how beautiful the moon is as it rises.

We visited Bodiam Castle, Battle Abbey (and re-enaced the 1066 battle) and Dover Castle (experiencing the secret wartime tunnels)and learnt more of our history.

We barbecued and as I was helped by my children realised that as they become more able I am needed in a different way.

Watching the children play and make new friends was a delight. Being able to sit with friends and drink coffee, beer, wine and just chat was a delight too!

We remembered how versatile the beach can be as we swam, walked, played football, cricket, volleyball, boule, found pebbles, built sandcastles, fished and crabbed.

The Observatory at Herstmonceux was a great place to investigate further the wonders of creation as was a trip on our last day to Port Lympne with Chris and Gary.

There were many other holiday experiences and only one downside … it’s now a long time before we can holiday again!

sand writing

The holiday season is drawing to a close – and for a change I do feel VERY relaxed after spending a lot of time away. It has been great laughing with the family and the weather for camping has not been too bad (we have been home for 3 days!)

Before going away for the first of 3 holidays in the caravan, I set my ‘out of office assistant’ in Outlook to say I was away until the end of August. Although this was not strictly true, and that I would be back for 3 days between each break it was easier than confusing myself and others by leaving a more complicated outlook response.

It’s been unexpectedly great as this has left me space to get rid of loads of piled up admin, outstanding phonecalls and filing rather than feel I needed to immediatly respond to peoples emails unless they were particularly urgent. Most importantly for the next term I think I have solved the frustrating issue of my slow laptop – although it has taken most of 2 days to go through old files, delete old programs, defrag, clean disk etc etc etc. One process took over6 hours and I left it running overnight. A job that needed doing – but when do you ever have time to do clean up jobs on the computer which take 2 days.

I’m now wondering whether to use this Outlook setting on a semi regular basis to help me not check immediatly and feel the need to repond to email which can be quite distracting. I’ve noticed over the lst few years that the downside of email is that people expect instant answers. This holiday while fishing with the children, or sitting on the beach, or kicking a ball etc etc etc I feel God has brought to mind the image of Jesus writing in the sand a few times which seems to me to challenge this culture of instant response.

Anyway – this is a boring rambling post to remind myself more thn anything – I shall write later about our exciting holiday times and the laughs we have had – but for now … its time to get the cravan ready to go away again for the bank holiday weekend which looks like it will be very sunny! I do feel, though, that I am the only person in the universe not heading for Greenbelt … how did that happen!?

to the beach

second blog holiday – looking forward to chillin on the beach

Great Holiday, new family member, what more could we ask

The holiday was fantastic – so good to be away with great people (well all in my family are great!) and to be in a top location.

Highlights – too many to remember but they include fantastic scenery, paddling my canoe for the first time in years, paddling Andrew’s surf kayak, watching the children body boarding, laughing, eating and enjoying each others company, the fantastic weather (apart from one very wet and windy day where we tied the awning down but the elemnts still caused a fixable injury to it)ending the day with great malt whisky.

The holiday ended with a big ‘wow’ when we heard of the arrival of Lucy Mann to Chris and Juliet on June 1st. No doubt many pics will be flying about soon. Congratulations Chris and Juliet – and welcome Lucy!

Lowlights – only the long drive, but 7 hours is no time for such a wonderful place.

I just wish to thank all for making this a special time away. I’ve come back thinking how great God is – how long before the realities of life are causing me to say .. ‘God … why the flipping eck is this happening…!’


We’ve gone here for the week!

Bank Holidays

It’s great having only a 4 day week ahead.
This weekend has seen time for friends.
The end of the football season – which is a relief for all Gills fans!
A walk along the River Medway.
Booking our holidays in the ‘new’ caravan
Reading for assignments.
SEITE lectures! (they don’t stop for Bank Holidays!)


It’s been a good first day of the holiday where I had some surprises.

Surprise number 1. After having an eye test I was told I do not need glasses. A surprise because a year ago with another optician I was told I should buy some as my left eye was weaker but I decided not too as I did not think the 5% weakness warranted spending money. Today the optician said I would need glasses within 5 years but that as one eye was only slightly weaker there was no need at the moment.

Surprise number 2. Walking down Gillingham High Street I bumped into friend Pastor Mark! We had a great little chat in the middle of a foggy High Street. It’s always good to meet people unexpectedly.

Surprise number 3. My children are quite nice really! After spending a day with them I have started to remember this important fact.

Surprise number 4. There is life away from my keyboard and the virtual world! Today I have finished tiling, fixed drawers, delivered presents, walked down the road with my children, played PS2 football (very badly).

Surprise number 5. The Blogger changes do not seem as good as I expected. I can change how my blog looks but lose all my links, books and CDs. Trying to put them back using HTML seems to be harder than in the original, or classic, blogger. I am bored with how this blog looks so I might have to think a little more seriously about moving to typepad and …. paying! But I’m tight so I will have to think very hard!

Surprise number 6 … I’m actually contemplating paying to host my blog!