I forgot to blog

Wednesday 31st:

My mother has taught my daughter how to say bugger. Thankfully it just sounds like “bubba”. But even so. She is naughty teaching her that lol

Thursday 1st:

June is here! Say what? The first half of the year has flown by but at the same time it has been so slow. Scarlett is 17 months old this month. Almost 1.5 years old. I think I can safely say she is a toddler now.

Friday 2nd:

Brett came down tonight. He got here at 10:30, so not too late compared to normal. We caught up with each other then got into bed. I had missed him even though we had had a massive row in the week.

Saturday 3rd:

We decided we would get the paddling pool out today if the weather was nice. It was. So we went to my Nan’s house for midday. Scarlett had an hour in the water [not that she got in. She just stood outside of it, playing with everything and throwing it in]. Then she had lunch then a nap. I sat outside most of the afternoon with my feet in the pool. Very cooling. We ended up having dinner at my nan’s. We had KFC. Haven’t had that in a long time as usually it doesn’t agree with my guts. We left afterwards. I bathed Scarlett and got her in her pyjamas then mom took over.

We left my house at 7:30ish for the bus to town. We then got another bus to the cinema. We had booked to watch Pirates of the Carribean: Salazar’s Revenge for 8:45pm in 3D. We saw my neighbours who offered us a ride home so that was nice of them. The film was good. I love Johnny Depp as Sparrow. We got home at 11ish.

I had turned my phone on after cinema and messages came through from pals. Apparently there had been an incident in London. Terrorism? There wasn’t vast amounts of details on the BBC news app [which I checked on our way home]. Apparently a car drove into pedestrians on the London Bridge and then further down in Borough Market they stabbed people in the streets. It wasn’t confirmed if it was a terror attack or whether there were fatalities. We went to bed and I thought of Scarlett, sleeping soundlessly in her, the horrors of the world unknown to her. Her biggest worry is when I tell her off or I don’t allow her to climb the stairs on her own.

Sunday 4th:

Today we woke and the story was: Terror attack in London has claimed the lives of 7 people and injured many more. Is it wrong that I really wanted to wake up to find it was just some poor chap under mental stress that did this? That it wasn’t terrorism related… I hate that we have had 2 attacks on British soil in less than 2 weeks. What is happening to MY country?

We went to my nan’s for Sunday dinner. Scarlett didn’t play much in the garden as it wasn’t as warm. We left for home in the early evening. Brett did bath time and then tried to put her to bed at 7ish. She took umbridge and would not go down for him. After 5 attempts she eventually realised that he was all she was getting, so she drank her bottle and went to sleep. I was cooking dinner so even if I wanted to “take over”, I had no intentions to. She is just so used to me putting her to bed every night. I have only not put her to bed a small handful of times. Such as the 2 days in July last year she stayed at my Dad’s. And the 1 night we went away in December for my work’s Christmas do. And 2 nights in February she was at my Dad’s. 1 night in April we were in Portsmouth. Any other day of her life I have been there to put her to bed. I am thankful that I can do that. I love our evening routine. I got in the shower after we ate and then we settled in bed with a movie. We watched The Huntsman 2. Brett hadn’t seen it whereas I had so when I felt sleepy, I didn’t mind falling asleep because I wasn’t missing anything lol

Monday 5th:

Back to work for me, and back to Nursery for Scarlett. I got up at 6:45, brushed my teeth and got dressed. Scarlett woke up at 7 so I went in and dressed her. I brought her into my room to say goodbye to Brett as he wouldn’t be there when we got back later. She wouldn’t go to him. She was being all silly. He had just woken up [I woke him] so he got the hump she wouldn’t say goodbye so I picked her up and went downstairs. We left about 7:20 to drop her off, then we had breakfast on our way to work.

Tuesday 6th [today]:

Yesterday marked 2 weeks since the Manchester bombing. Literally a fortnight has passed. Today we held a minutes silence at 11am for the fallen London victims. I really struggle to comprehend the world we live in at the moment. It makes me fearful of visiting “target” cities, such as London, Liverpool, Manchester etc.

On a better note, our first holiday is in less than 4 weeks. We have 27 days to go until we are going to Hastings for the week. I really hope the weather is dry if not hot. Dry is much easier to navigate as a non-driver, than the wet and cold weather. We have 9 weeks until Italy. That is exciting.

I have been looking at each destination we are staying/visiting for things to do. So far I have got this:

Verona:
Juliet’s House:
Everyone knows Romeo and Juliet’s balcony scene. “Wherefore art thou” and all that. Was it at this very balcony that these star-crossed lovers declared their undying love? Well, no. In fact, enterprising 20th-century locals tacked this balcony onto a mansion, sat back and watched the tourist “lire” roll in. But hey, why let the truth get in the way of a good story?

Castelvecchio:
Quite some doghouse. This impressive castle was built by mediaeval warlord Cangrande II, whose name means “big dog”. It’s a red-brick fortress crowned with funky crenulations that follow the battlements along Castelvecchio Bridge. In the end, Cangrande’s dog-eat-dog rule came to its logical end when he was killed by his brother in 1359.

Verona Cathedral:
Some people put a welcome doormat outside their door. Others hang a wreath. Maestro Niccolò, a 12th-century stonemason, went a whole lot further. Two snarling griffins flank the entrance to this cathedral. Above them stand ten prophets, four gospel emblems, three bible scenes, two holy warriors and a partridge in a pear tree. OK, we made the last one up. Still, beats a wreath.

Basilica of San Zeno:
Do you relish the Romanesque? Then this fine specimen will tick your architectural boxes. This basilica’s tough stone façade is an understated stunner. In the middle sits San Zeno’s trail-blazing rose window, used as a blueprint for much subsequent glasswork. The icing on the San Zeno cake is the stripy bell tower, poking skywards like a stack of stone Jenga.

A Secret Garden:
Just across the River Adige from the centre lies this hidden haven of peace. It’s a wonderful place to spend an afternoon, just wandering the beautifully manicured terraces or trying to crack the maze. Make sure you head up to the Belvedere garden for stunning views across Verona.

Views from Torre Lamberti:
See Verona from a different angle. This medieval bell tower is the place to come for the best views over the city’s squares and rooftops. There’s a spiral staircase, or you can whizz up in the lift. The views from the top are really incredible, but you’ll need a head for heights!

Piazza Bra:
Not your average village square. This massive cobbled piazza holds a Roman amphitheatre, several baroque palaces and a double-arched mediaeval gateway within its bosom. It’s also prime people-watching territory – tourists meander, street performers juggle and culture vultures flock to operatic soirees. Pull up a seat, order a spritz and gaze at human theatre in action.

Venice:
St Mark’s Square:
The colonnades, the bell tower, the column topped by a winged lion… it doesn’t get much more iconic than St Mark’s Square. This is the heart of Old Venice. Get there early to soak up the magic in total peace – just you and the square’s most famous residents, the pigeons. Then grab a quick macchiato from a nearby café and scale the Campanile bell tower for prime panoramas.

The Bride of Sighs:
Whoever said that Sighs doesn’t matter had clearly never been to Venice. This bridge is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks – a covered passageway wrought in gleaming Istrian limestone, hovering over the canal below. For one of Venice’s top romantic experiences, drift underneath on a gondola. Legend has it that a kiss with your beau at sunset will bring everlasting love.

Rialto Bridge:
“Will you marry me?” This legendary bridge has seen its fair share of marriage proposals over the years. It makes sense – once the daytime crowds have dissipated, there aren’t many more romantic spots. The stone steps, slanted colonnade and central portico are dreamily lit up after dark, providing the perfect stage for hearts to flutter and soar. Love is in the air!

Grand Canal:
Grand Canal – the clue’s in the name. This grandest of waterways is the prime place to soak up the majesty of Venice. Hop on a gondola and meander past magnificent mansions and lavish loggias that flaunt the city’s erstwhile riches. Keep your eyes peeled for the fabulous façades of Fondaco dei Turchi and Ca’ d’Oro, reflected in the ripples. The ultimate Venice experience.

Sacal Contarini del Bovolo:
Once you’ve taken your tourist snaps on the famous Rialto Bridge, enjoy a 10-minute walk to a lesser known spot, the Scala Contarini del Bovolo. This architectural marvel features an external spiral staircase that’s sure to leave you in awe!

Rome:
Capitoline Museums:
Not many museums can boast a tonne of Caravaggios, Titians and Rubens, yet still say that painting’s not its strongest suit. This collection of museums is best-known for its stunning sculptures. They include an iconic 5th-century BC bronze she-wolf that depicts Rome’s origins, the exceptionally well preserved “Dying Gaul”, and a whole host of intriguing, disembodied pieces from various sculptures down the ages.

Colosseum:
Picture this: you’re witnessing a bloody battle to the death, along with 80,000 screaming Romans. Mercifully, gladiatorial fights are a thing of the past but you’ll definitely be mentally transported to historic times with a visit to the Colosseum. The stone, brick and concrete structure has been standing since 80AD, constructed by order of the Roman Emperor Vespasian.

Trevi Fountain:
Much to the annoyance of his fellow gods who chose to simply materialise, Oceanus preferred to travel by cumbersome shell-shaped chariot. Constructed in 1762 at the height of the baroque, the Trevi Fountain is one of the world’s most elaborate – and romantic – fountains. The God Oceanus is the fountain’s centrepiece. Swimmers take heed: beware of the vigilant fountain police!

Pantheon:
The Pantheon has been a model of perfection for almost 18 centuries. Known for its perfect symmetry (the diameter of the dome is equal to the building’s height), it’s one of the most well preserved buildings of Ancient Rome – and an enduring symbol of architectural perfection. It’s also the resting place of King Vittorio Emanuele II, Umberto I and the artist Rafael.

Piazza Navona:
“Pope Innocent X was the king of 17th-century renovation, turning a disused stadium into a bustling square. Here you’ll find the extravagant Fountain of the Four Rivers by Bernini, whose arch-rival Borromini created The Church of St Agnes in Agone on the western side of the square. 17th-century drama aside, today Piazza Navona is home to many restaurants and cafés.
Piazza Navona, 00186 Roma, Italy”

Castel Sant’Angelo:
Hadrian was a vain emperor, building monuments to himself willy-nilly all over Italy. Hadrian’s mausoleum was originally constructed around 135AD and over time evolved into a fortress, castle … even a prison. Today it’s a museum containing sculptures, hidden causeways and ancient ruins. Ponte Sant’Angelo bridge has statues of angels sculpted by Bernini and his pupils.

Villa Ada Savoia:
This scenic spot in central Rome offers plenty of space for little legs to stretch with cycling, skating and a play area. Meanwhile, adults can relax under the shade of treetops.

We are staying in those 3 cities so hopefully we will see lots of sights. We are visiting Naples for one of the days we stay in Rome as Naples is only an hour away on the train. We want to sample the Napoli Pizza.

Just finished lunch now. Been reading lots lately. May actually hit my book challenge target this year. I need 3 more to be “on target”. Have read 6 out of 20 already.

TTFN x

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