A day out in Whitby is always a special treat.

The fishing village turned tourist town was a big part of my childhood. It was my mum’s favourite place to go when she fancied cheering her soul with some sea air. It combined her interests in history, walking and eating with Dad’s love of boats and the sea.

We headed for a day out in Whitby over the Easter break.

There is plentiful parking which is reasonably priced. That is always a great thing for putting a smile on Him Indoors’ face.

The sun was shining and Whitby was looking at its best.

Whitby boats

Loving the boat reflections!

We enjoyed checking out the various sights.

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My youngest son is always happy to pose for a picture.

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You are never short of somewhere to eat in Whitby and it is traditional to go and get fish and chips.

fish and chip box

Fancy a chip?

After the feast, we had a long walk enjoying the happy Bank Holiday atmosphere. We nipped in and out of shops where there is something for every budget. There are the traditional seaside shops where the children can pick up toys and games for pocket money prices. Whitby also boasts loads of stylish independent boutiques with something for just about every budget. For myself, I love exploring the charity shops too.

You can’t really go to Whitby and not take advantage of a boat trip.

Boat trip prices

So affordable and fun too!

Don’t miss out on exploring the back streets either where you can find some very interesting street names.

Loggerheads Yard

The mind boggles!

Can you tell we had a happy day out in Whitby?

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As my younger two are determined to let you know, you only live once.

Tour de France bike

YOLO!

Have you had a day out in Whitby? What did you like best?

Packing my Suitcase

I like to reflect on my reasons to be cheerful every week. Today I am a happy mum.

You find me sitting in the lounge with sun streaming through the window and blossom appearing on the tree outside. Like my late Mum, I love Spring with its sense of hope and new life.

Last Friday, we made the long trip to Yorkshire to stay with family in a gorgeous coach house surrounded by stunning scenery. The house used to be my parents’ home so I feel close to them there.

Ryedale scene

My brother looked after us well. It is such a treat as a Mum to sit back and let someone else take the strain of cooking and tidying for a change. I know Him Indoors does more than most on those scores but I think in most households it is still the mum who does the majority.

We took the children to our old town so that our teenage son could meet up with an old friend for a few hours. The rest of us had a lovely pub lunch.

The following day we went first to the North Yorkshire Railway at Grosmont and then moved on to Whitby. The day seemed one of our sunniest ever on all fronts.

My youngest son asked for a trip to Bridlington on our final full day. We had such fun particularly with the fairground rides.

There was time to chat with my brother and long lie-ins in peaceful surroundings.

We have returned refreshed and ready to take on whatever life has in store for us next.

Something tells me it is going to be a very exciting year ahead.

Are you a happy mum today?

I am blogging about the day mum died.

We were in the Highlands of Scotland on holiday.

I had seen my Mum as usual the weekend before we left. She has insisted I go on the holiday. I told her I would come back to see her on 3rd September. She was adamant that I must not come back until the 4th.

As the car started up, I looked through at her bedroom. She held her hand up. I was keen to stare at it and to remember every line.

I went home and into town. I kept finding myself stopping. I could not focus. I could not function.

A spoke to my husband and asked him to visit my Mum. She had not seen him for months as she did not want the children to see her getting worse so I would visit her and he would stay at home with our children.

He went and stayed the night. He told her he had come to see her. She made us both smile with her response. “When I saw you, I thought there was something up”

We went to Scotland and as I left home I had the strangest feeling I would come back after Mum had died.

The holiday was odd. We had fun as a family but were attached to our mobiles for news from my Dad.

One night, we went into the garden of our holiday cottage and someone was playing an accordion at the neighbouring cottage. I suddenly found my husband in tears. I think I had said something like “Mum would love that”

I wanted to go to Cromarty. Mum had always listened to the shipping forecasts and I loved the names.

One morning, my husband said we could go to Cromarty that day. I barked at him. He did not understand why. By now I had decided in my own mind that Mum would die the day we went to Cromarty.

A couple of days later we made the visit to Cromarty. I remember sitting and watching dolphins in the sea that day. coming to terms.

I got a text from my brother late that night “Phone Dad – urgent”

In that moment, you think maybe if you don’t call, it won’t be true.

“You know what it will be” I told my husband.

I made the call. A Marie Curie nurse answered calling me Catherine. Things must be serious. She put my Dad on who said “Your Mum passed away at 10 to eleven and it was peaceful”

Ten to eleven – so many nights she would have left a variety of clubs at that time with Dad either with her or waiting at our front door anxiously.

Closing time!

I lit a candle because that is what you do when you are brought up a Catholic.

My oldest brother phoned to see if I was OK.

My two older children were in bed.

My youngest had fallen asleep on the sofa.

We were obviously distressed. At which point my son burst out laughing in his sleep, a real chuckle. A message from mum that life and laughter should go on.

I slept alone that night and sobbed most of the night. I got up early, cleaned the house and we made our way back to Yorkshire.

I arrived on exactly the day when my Mum had told me to return and my Mum was dead. Stage-managing things until the very end.

R.I.P. Mum – I forgot your anniversary this year until late at night. I am sure you would have had loads to say about that. Love you.

Diary of an imperfect mum