Monday 11 December 2023

Merry Christmas. The end of 2023 and plans for 2024.

2023 has been OK, can't complain much other than a few health problems and the death of our beloved dog, Bob, back in September. At 13 he'd had a fab life, starting in South Africa when we adopted him aged 3 then 2 years later moving him with us to Dubai where he lived for 5 years, before spending the last 3 years in with us in the UK. He was a huge part of our expat journey and will never be forgotten. The cat who adopted us over 11 years ago and is now 14 has filled the gap and is enjoying all the extra attention.

Bob and Pushkins in the UK.

We've had some great holidays this year, with regular trips to Brighton with my mum to visit her family, to Northern Ireland to see child 4, his wife and our now 2 year old grandson, as well as visiting Dubai at Easter, Peter to Turkey for a week in June and 5 weeks for us both in Australia and to visit child 5 and 3 nights in Kuala Lumpur, a new place for us to visit.

Our first flight since March 2020 without restrictions.

Dubai during Ramadan.

Scuba Diving in the Great Barrier Reef.

Snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef.

Kuala Lumper. 

I've also had some amazing opportunities this year, attending the Big Sun International Film Festival Awards Night in Mayfair and working on the DP World Golf Tour at The British Masters and The PGA Championship at Wentworth with the eventual winning Ryder Cup team.

Me doing my thing on the golf course.

There's been a lot of fun also with child 2, his wife and our 4 year old grandchild as well as plenty of visits with child 1 and welcoming a great nephew and a great niece into the family.

There have been plenty of days out, lots of walks including fundraising for Birmingham Children's Hospital walking an additional 3 miles a day on top of what I do in work.

We had an extension built in February and we're still sorting the garden. Peter built a new patio and has levelled off the lawn. 

We've since added curtains to the room.

In 2023 I set myself a challenge to read a book a week,  I've read 57 books and I intend to keep the challenge going throughout 2024. I'm also going to be writing 150 words a day towards a book with the intention of seeking a publisher, this time next year.

We've bought a camper van and already have a couple of trips booked, over the coming weeks and plan to visit the South coast in February, Northern Ireland and Ireland over Easter, Whitsun in Dorset, and in the summer we'll be taking child 2 and family with us to West Wales, camping then flying out to Turkey for two weeks to stay with friends. October will be back in Northern Ireland and fingers crossed we get to South Africa for Christmas to end 2024.

Meet The Bobster.

There's also going to be a change to the blog, focusing on our next stage in our lives, still blogging about travel, gardening and family life


  1. Bob had such an amazing life, he was one lucky dog to travel and be loved so much.
    You really have had a good year, with some fantastic memories made.
    Good luck with writing your book and have fun in the camper van. It sounds like you have some great plans. x

    1. thank you Kim. I'm not sure if my plans may be a bit too adventurous, but if I don't try, I'll never know

  2. Love the name of the camper van - and looking forward to seeing what you get up to next year! #PoCoLo

  3. Love your photos, especially the scuba diving one. Amazing