The Story Of My Summer: The Good The Bad And The Ugly

The Ventura in port

Today I have found myself with time on my hands to physically sit down and write a blog post for the first time since way back in the summer. It has not been my intention to leave it this long, however as you read on, you will see my summer has been full of life’s ups and downs.

More ups than downs thankfully.

So I thought it fitting to do an overview of all the things that have been going on since I last wrote.

There has been quite a lot to squeeze into six weeks!

Just before the start of the summer holidays…

I spent the last couple of weeks before the end of term clearing out my classroom. I wasn’t to have a class of my own in September (being pregnant and all that means it wouldn’t be good consistency for the children), and so all my teaching gear no longer had a home. It all had to come home with me!

Cue the biggest clear out ever.

It is amazing what can accumulate over nine years!

God knows how many black bags later, the remaining bits and pieces came home, where I went through the whole lot again to cull it even further. I was mightily impressed with myself and managed to whittle it all down to a few large plastic boxes. A set of storage drawers was relocated to the office where all our stationery has been sorted and filed away neatly.

And so there it will all stay, in the loft, until it is needed again.

Going for a test drive…

Nope, we didn’t buy a new car.

But we have bought a new set of wheels for Baby!

I actually quite enjoyed zooming around Mamas & Papas test driving allsorts of buggy models…I beg your pardon, “transport systems”. Apparently this is what buggies that do everything are called these days. My bad.

So yes, I then dragged Sam along to the second test drive session so he too could test them out and we made a decision then and there.

shopping for new wheels

Exciting times ahead!

Watch out general public and ankles…here I come!

Ending up in the maternity ward way earlier than expected…

Don’t panic!!!!!! All is completely well.

Before I tell the tale, nothing was and nothing is wrong with Baby.

So at the beginning of the week I was meant to be going on holiday with all my family for my mum’s 60th birthday, I suddenly found myself with the most awful, gut splitting, scream inducing, breath-taking pains in the lower right hand side of my abdomen.

As the pain got steadily worse (I am convinced our neighbours thought I was being murdered at this point), I was freaking right out that there was something wrong with Baby and I was losing it.

Sam was on the phone to the maternity ward seeking advice; it was decided the best thing for me to do was to go in for some thorough checks.

Being so out of it, the next bit is slightly blurry. All I can fully remember is the pain and finding any movement excruciating.

We finally made it to the maternity ward, Sam taking me in a wheelchair.

I looked like something that’s just crawled out a horror film. Hair everywhere, tear-stained blotchy face, smudged mascara, the most unflattering tracksuit combo (not matching of course) and grunting like a warthog on speed.

How Sam kept his cool I do not know. He is made of amazing stuff.

I got seen pretty quickly. Lots of poking and prodding and then the vain attempt (pardon the pun) of getting access to blood for tests. It took 5 people and over 8 different attempts of puncturing me to get any success with a vein. My body had gone into meltdown. In the end, a doctor managed to get a cannula in the most random part of my arm.

Bruised and finally with some painkillers in me, the pain simmered to waves instead of stabbing.

If that wasn’t enough, there then came the internal examination. At this point, the Baby’s heartbeat had been found and all was well in this area.

But a mortifying examination ensued (just to make completely sure that everything was ok), complete with bright lamps, hairy legs and thoughts of my shower that was now hours ago. I had not yet had my appointments for being holiday ready!

Luckily Sam had gone out at that point.

The main concern at this point was appendicitis and if that was the case, I would be straight in for emergency surgery. A surgeon was sent up to examine me and was finally convinced that I wasn’t in any immediate danger. He was not happy about the thought of operating on me, with the Baby being so close in proximity.

Fast forward a bit and all my scans of vital organs including my appendix came back clear. Two nights in, with only a couple of hours sleep, shuffling like a hunched zombie with a blood infection, the prospect of going on my holiday looked relatively glum.

a hospital stay

Fast forward even more, to less than twenty four hours before our holiday departure I was finally, finally released on the understanding that if I was to experience any more pain or changes to how I felt, I was to come straight back. Luckily my mum was on hand to help me pack as I had absolutely nothing organised. Sam had had to cancel all my beauty prepping appointments.

I was going on holiday looking like a yeti with outgrown roots, split ends and the inability to walk like a normal human being.

This was going to be interesting!

All aboard the P&O Ventura…

Armed with pillow and hot water bottle, my sorry bruised self made it on-board the ship ready to enjoy our family holiday and birthday celebrations. None of us have ever cruised before so we had no idea what to expect.

The Ventura in port

The Ventura: our home for the summer holiday

Boarding was all very easy (I was not happy about the state of my photo for ship ID purposes. I am surprised I wasn’t turned away), and in no time at all, we were sorting ourselves out in cabins and having a wander. The ship was absolutely huge, and I never got used to which way was front or back.

cabin on the Ventura

Our very comfy cabin with balcony on the P&O Ventura

On our first full day which was at sea as we travelled towards Spain, I spent most of the day in the Spa in an attempt to look half holiday ready. New shiny fingers and toes actually brought out all the bruising from the attempts at getting blood out of my veins in the hospital a few days before. I was waiting for a comment about drug abuse, but luckily it never came!

As the holiday progressed, the pain I was having subsided more and walking became easier. I managed to do most excursions and join in with activities.


entrance to hospital

The entrance to the underground hospital on the island of Guernsey. A truly haunting place.


hospital corridor

One of the many isolated and haunting hospital corridors

View from the top

View from the top of the ship

Unfortunately the day of my mum’s 60th was the day we were heading back across the Bay of Biscay and it was very, very choppy. After a celebration breakfast, a win at Bingo for me (£56!!!!!) I headed back to the cabin for a rest; three films later and I was feeling a little bit better. Enough to get all dressed up for the second black tie night of the week.

celebration breakfast

A celebration breakfast for mum’s 60th birthday.


Bingo winner

I won £56 at Bingo! I never win anything!


Black tie evening

All dressed up for the Black Tie night

I am pleased to report that all in all, the holiday was a success!

In the future though, I would do a cruise again, but obviously not in the same week as being in hospital, and not whilst pregnant.

A trip down south and an afternoon spent with Agatha Christie…

More travelling was on the cards twenty fours later arriving back from our cruise. This time we were headed down south to Salcombe in Devon to spend the best part of a week with Sam’s parents. Salcombe has long been a family favourite holiday destination of theirs and it truly is a remarkable place.

Looking to North Sands

Looking over to North Sands

Lots to see and do, plenty of walks to be had and of course the opportunity to dip toes into the (chilly) sea.

The small town of Salcombe is bustling within the summer months, with its annual regatta week pulling in eager crowds from land and on sea. Boats are as common as cars!

south sands in Salcombe

Toes in the sand and sea at South Sands

The only thing I’m not a huge fan of down there is the roads. Or rather the width of the roads! Small, tiny narrow lanes which seem to get smaller the closer you get to Salcombe itself. It wouldn’t be so bad if the roads were one way, but two way traffic often ends up in some unfortunate and rather impressive if not challenging reversing manoeuvres.

On one of the days, we ventured further out to Brixham and to the National Trust house Greenway. Greenway was once home to the famous and well-loved author Agatha Christie and her family. Set in breathtaking surroundings, it was wonderful to walk through her gardens and visit her house.

Greenway House

Greenway House nestled in luscious gardens


At Greenway

At Agatha Christie’s front door

I loved looking at her collection of books, including a script, signed by the legendary David Suchet, aka Hercule Poirot, one of my favourite Christie characters.


Signed script by David Suchet

Cue visits to the library on my return home to devour some Agatha Christie novels!


So there we have it. Apart from a whole load of nesting at the end of the summer holidays and chucking away nearly everything I could get my hands on, there was not time to do much else before the start of a new term.

It has been a very eventful summer in more ways than one and of course, next summer will be even more interesting with the three of us!

Thunderbird Baby

Couldn’t resist a snap of this cute little outfit!!

What adventures have you been up to in the summer months?

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  • Claire
    September 17, 2017 at 8:50 am

    That must have been so scary for you! Glad to hear everything turned out ok.

    • Donna
      September 17, 2017 at 5:20 pm

      Thank you. Yes was very scary in the first instance when I didn’t know what was going on!

  • Lorelle
    September 17, 2017 at 10:31 am

    Great that everything worked out ok.
    I am such an Agatha Christie fan….. would love to visit her house one day, it looks so majestic and grand!

    • Donna
      September 17, 2017 at 5:22 pm

      Thank you 🙂
      Her house really was lovely. You can also play the piano she owned which I thought was a nice touch. Excellent grounds for a picnic too!

  • Josy A
    September 17, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    Eep!! You poor thing! I’m glad you’re okay but that must have been terrifying. 🙁

    It sounds like a brilliant summer once you got away from the hospital though!!

    • Donna
      September 17, 2017 at 7:30 pm

      Certainly wasn’t expecting that thrown into the mix! Summer did get better though, thank you.

  • Becca @ The Married Cat Lady
    September 17, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    Sounds like you were busy, busy! Glad all is well with the baby! I’d love to do a cruise someday; it sounds like you guys had a great trip!

    • Donna
      September 17, 2017 at 7:32 pm

      At the start of the 6 weeks you think you have so much time off and it suddenly disappears, especially when things don’t go quite according to plan!
      It was a lovely trip, thank you. 🙂

  • Anindya
    October 15, 2017 at 11:41 am

    Wonderful post with nice pictures of the entire trip……was really engrossed in reading and going through your post……nicely compiled…:)

    • Donna
      October 15, 2017 at 5:27 pm

      Thank you very much 🙂

  • Jennifer
    October 15, 2017 at 11:57 am

    Wow, so scary and then the rest of the summer was so busy. I’m exhausted just reading about it, don’t know how you did it pregnant!

    • Donna
      October 15, 2017 at 5:28 pm

      I just re-read it myself and felt out of breath. I don’t know how I did it either. Certainly couldn’t do it now that’s for sure!! 🙂