Card for Hope

August 21, 2010 at 12:04 pm 5 comments

I’m so glad to be back home! We have had a mostly fun and sufficiently exhausting time so I’m now taking a well deserved rest (umm..note to self.. holidays are not supposed to make you need a rest!).

As we were bombing it back up the M6 (within the speed limit, of course!), I reflected on the month, er 5 days that we’d just had and made the following discoveries. Please excuse the list format but I do love tidy lines!

Lessons learned from this years’ excursions!


….Remortgage your house if you want to go to Disneyland. We got a great last minute deal, but boy do they see you coming once you get there. The bargain hunter in me was seriously disappointed although we did manage to find a deal ‘if you spent so much, you got a toy half price. The bloke behind the till was so nice, he gave us free vouchers for drinks for the kids.

….Try out your French (even if seriously limited- I speak ‘un peu’!). I had one conversation where someone babbled to me in french- maybe thinking I was actually French. I like to think it was my fluked accent when requesting boisson fraiches or maybe it had to do with the fact I was wearing a stripey blue and white scarf and sort of matching T-shirt!.

….Send your kids to Mickey Mouse land clad in protective clothing! In the what could only be described as a ‘scrum’ for the photo opportunity with a Disney character, various Spanish and French parents literally wrestled their kids over mine so to be at the front. Slightly more worryingly, Tigger got so excited that he bounced right in front of Will. The downside to this was that there was a solid wrought iron fence behind Will. The poor little two year looked somewhat shaken as he emerged after having been sandwiched between Tigger and the railings!

….Watch your back. I was pretty shocked when Buzz Lightyear came up behind me, stuck both his arms around my neck and wiggled his fingers in my face. Fortunately I don’t have a heart complaint, but you could have heard my yell for quite a distance!!

…Be prepared to ‘ooooh’ and ‘aaaahh’ at the fireworks. I can’t honestly say that I was smitten by the Disney bug but the fireworks were incredibly beautiful and even I could appreciate the big pink castle when it had a backdrop of  a pyrotechnic’s display!

….Take waterproof garb. Pride would not allow me to don an enormous yellow poncho with Mickey Mouse emblazoned on the back, however my newly acquired waterproof jacket did the trick. Less adequate was my footwear. If I’d known it was going to sooo wet, I’d have packed my wellies but i wasn’t going to fork out 30 Euro’s for a tasty b & w pair with everyone’s favourite mouse on!



….Even consider for a second, trying to get 5 kids to sleep in the car- it’s not going to happen- ever. It was an astonishingly long night that began travelling all the way down to Folkestone and ended at 4:30am with me pleading with the Davy Crockett Ranch (yes, I know,…daft name!) people to let us sleep somewhere. I would have slept on the loo floor, I was that wasted!

…Try and use a roof rack without first waterproofing your luggage. As we waited to board the Chunnel we could see the weather forecast in subtitles. The weatherman made what I regarded at the time as a strange comment, ‘if you go over to France now, you’ll get a shock’. Hmm…we did. Torrential rain for over 16 hours.  Save for a few small items, our entire wardrobe was sopping wet. (I’m not exaggerating, we had to wring the water out!). We were very grateful to have towel heaters in our plastic log cabin (ok it was supposed to be wood effect). The cabin quickly looked like a mobile wash house. Things dried out slowly- along with the weather.

….Visit the beach without your bucket and spade. We had a fab afternoon on the beach but had to purchase two bucket and spade sets. Several kids got buried and after some of their arguing, I was tempted to leave them in that state! William actually threw two spades which hit another holidaymaker on the shins. Fortunately he was of a sturdy nature and the spades were of a thin and light disposition!

…..Give a two-year old a felt-tip. I didn’t,- but my 8 year old did. We were in a lovely cafe in Oxford having a semi-relaxed lunch. My relaxing came to an abrupt end when I saw the aforementioned 2 year old not sticking to colouring in the lines and instead straying onto a rather lovely highly polished table. Why don’t these people manufacture impenetrable tables I ask you?! After a significant amount of scrubbing, I had to admit defeat and go and sheepishly apologise to the cafe staff member. Thankfully she was very kind, although I’m not sure the management would have been quite so longsuffering….sharp exit required.

….leave your electronic devices behind. I’m always being told I should leave my phone alone. I do lots of stuff on my phone and Steve rues the day he got it for me. However, when you have nowhere to stay after spontaneously extending your holiday, its fab to find and book a hotel whilst trundling up the motorway.

…Go on holiday with a large family without praying for a large amount of patience. There were some amazing moments where the kids each found an activity or place that they loved, but it sure was taxing at points! 

…Expect it all to be tough.. I was completely entranced by the beauty of Oxford. So much so, it made me wish I’d gone there to Uni. I don’t think I’ve ever visited such an incredible city just steeped in history and gorgeous architecture. We visited Christ church college and sadly we couldn’t stay for Evensong but took an open-top bus tour and learned about some of the history. We saw a pub where C S Lewis, Tolkien and another writer used to meet up and share what they were scribing at that point- Wow- I’d have loved to have been a fly on that  wall! I also did a bit of reminiscing and visited Broadstairs in Kent where we had a lot of family holidays when I was a child. I guess the remembering with fondness bit signifies the fact I’m getting older. Don’t you just hate even bringing the words ‘when I was younger’ out of your mouth!

…Grumble. As I became thoroughly drenched and pretty uncomfortable, I thought about the millions in Pakistan and felt so sad that I have so much and they’re struggling, sick and dying. Despite feeling so exhausted after a whirlwind time away, I have to count all of the blessings God has given me- of which mine are too numerous to count quickly!.


Phew- sorry, that was a long post! The card is for a friend of mine who right now needs a bit of hope. Here’s sending a hug to you. xxx

Card recipe.

Textured card (from my stash)

Cardstock, Certainly Celery,Pretty in Pink, Melon Mambo and Whisper White. Ink; Melon Mambo and Old Olive. crystal effects (sprinkled with Dazzling Diamonds on the letters). stamp set- School book serif. Spiral punch. Regal Rose ribbon and rhinstone brad. All these supplies from Stampin’Up! 

Entry filed under: Craft, papercrafting, Stampin'Up. Tags: , , , , , .

Letter card On Stripes and Icecream

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Carole  |  August 21, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    What a lovely write-up and card. I can’t believe you came to Oxford and didn’t let me know! I do feel lucky to live where I live and reading your post makes me feel very humble today. Sometime we do forget to count our blessing with so much going on, so thank you for making me think about counting mine today!
    Hugs. Carole x


  • 2. Ros Crawford  |  August 21, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Just love reading your blog … You really made me laugh! I too have been to Oxford and found it beautiful – didn’t get to stay long though – as we arrived the twin towers were hit and it was all too much for me and I couldn’t stop crying long enough to appreciate all there was to see …
    promised myself that I won’t go to Disney land though!
    Have a good day xxx


  • 3. Ros Crawford  |  August 21, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    Ooops! should have sad that you are very talented … you should write books and do the illustrations …


  • 4. Peg  |  August 21, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    Phew what a story eh? and you certainly made me think! and count my lot and have decided it’s a good lot I have but sometimes I forget that it is. So thanks for the nudge today x


  • 5. Vicki  |  August 21, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    I think I’ve probably said this before but you really are an inspiration to us all Keren, at least to me anyway, love reading your stories, never a dull moment… although I don’t think Disney is quite your cup of tea, I bet the kids had a fab time 😉

    enjoy the rest of your weekend,

    Vicki x



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Welcome to this space, my little place of creative refuge away from the busy-ness of life!
I'm a wife, Mum to 6, crafter, Christian and fortunate to be doing a job that I love!

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