I will be honest, I have found lockdown and easing of lockdown hard. I have found the work from home situation really difficult. You can read my thoughts on work from home here. It has been a full house with my son working from home, my daughter back from uni for longer than planned and my husband working sporadic hours. So a few weeks ago I hatched a plan to have a couple of nights away by myself. Its the kind of plan that often gets talked about and thought about but doesn't actually happen. But with no girls weekend this year and no little trips to Bath to visit my daughter, I decided I needed it to happen. So once we were allowed to book an overnight stay, I did, in Lymington in the New Forest.
My #beingfiftyandfab post this month is therefore going to be about my few days away, in diary format. I am planning a social media break but I am going to take my Mac with me and write about each day as it happens.
First of all, my destination ... an airbnb 'Studio by the Sea' in Lymington, in the New Forest. It is an area I am fairly familiar with and it is an easy drive from my home.
And my reasons ... I love time alone! I need it to switch off, to think, to plan, to just be quiet. Without lockdown I get this at home during the day (sometimes) or I love my girls weekends away (a room and a bed all to myself)! My husband and son think I am a bit weird, my daughter thinks it is a great idea, my friends were very jealous, make of that what you will!
Sun, sand, sea, blue skies, chilled Pinot, reading, shopping, relaxing and just being ....
Day 1 - Monday - well you can't plan the weather and it was torrential rain nearly all day! So my original plan was to wander around the shops in Lymington (with mask) but I didn't fancy it in the wind and rain and fortunately my airbnb was ready for me early so I checked in just after lunchtime and got myself organised. Such a beautiful location within walking distance of the town, Studio by the Sea, is an annexe next to the main house but fully self-contained with bathroom and a small but well equipped kitchen. I bought food from home and wine (of course). The sun appeared late afternoon and I was able to enjoy the private terrace with a pretty view towards the Isle of Wight. I was very happy not to have to move very far!
Day 2 - Tuesday - the sun came out ... my breakfast hamper arrived at 9 am (as requested) and was delicious, with pastries, toasted sourdough, jams, plenty of fruit, natural yoghurt, a fresh cup of tea and fresh orange juice. It really set me up for the day and I even had a sneaky pastry to take with me for a snack later! I had a refreshing shower and got myself ready then I headed off to the beach!
I had organised a beach hut at Avon Beach which was a 20-25 minute drive away, there are closer beaches but as the weather had been looking a bit dodgy and I really wanted to be on the beach, I decided a beach hut gave me that option whatever the weather. And fulfilled a desire to hire a beach hut for the day! It was ideal as I had somewhere to keep my belongings when I wandered off and I had a deckchair, a fabulous view and an opportunity to read my book. Later on I had a little walk along the shore line and paddled in the sea, I love people watching at the beach, I love seeing the children play and thinking of our own British seaside holidays when I was little and when my children were little.
My bikini above is still available from Swimwear365 here and my vivid blue scarf is from Creative DeZigns, it is 100% cotton and can be worn as a sarong as well, great match with the bikini don't you think?
My evening was spent back at the studio on the sunny little patio, I had another of my meals I'd bought from home, I enjoyed another small bottle of wine (I can recommend the half bottles of Waitrose Pinot Grigio (I got mine from Ocado). Then I spent the rest of the evening relaxing with my book and enjoying the quiet alone time. Just what I needed!
Day 3 - Wednesday - I woke to another sunny morning with the stunning view across to the the Isle of Wight. My plan today ... shopping in Lymington and then the beach at Milford on Sea.
Lymington is such a pretty little town, I loved the quay area and the cobbled street leading down to the harbour and overlooking the ferry terminal. I found some lovely independent shops and will share a few of my purchases over the coming weeks.
But I did find the whole shopping and wearing a mask such a faff. I am not complaining in as far as I appreciate there are many, like our NHS carers, who have to wear far more all day, every day but the whole mask wearing thing does stress me. So for starters, my specs steam up, and because of the elastic over my ears, they don't stay on so my specs slip down all the time. I have to wear my specs to see so I wear my prescription sunglasses outside then my normal specs inside so the whole process of swapping it around and putting the mask back on each time is seriously annoying. Then they always have fingerprints on with all the extra handling. I honestly think it will put me off shopping and mean I will use online more and more which is such a shame for our independent shops and for the high street generally. There are so many confusing inconsistencies around the decisions made due to Covid-19 the whole thing really worries me, what sort of world will we wake up to in 2021? The effect on travel, on our freedom, on the economy, on mental health, our relationships (to name a few) - are they a bigger risk than the coronavirus is? I am beginning to think they are.
My pink V neck knitted top is new in at Mint Velvet! And I road tested the navy blue wide leg trousers from Creative DeZigns, they are so comfortable and perfect for days out and holidays, they just pull on, they are cotton and they have a super soft ribbed waistband.
Anyway, onto the beach!
My happy place - the sea, the sun, the fresh air, the warmth, the space, the way it allows me to relax, to be myself and switch off. I am very grateful I managed to get these few days, I have some stuff I am dealing with (elderly parents) which is going to consume my time even more in the coming weeks and months and so a bit of 'me time' is essential for my own mental health and ability to cope. I went to Milford on Sea and loved it, a pebble beach and the tide was in but I found a lovely spot and it was very quiet, easy to park too. So I stayed all afternoon and left it to the last minute before I could tear myself away to drive home!
I loved and really appreciated the little touches provided at Studio by the Sea, breakfast delivered to the door, luxurious bed linen, a well-equipped compact kitchen and a very spacious and very efficient shower room, binoculars, an umbrella, fresh flowers, shower gel and hand soap from a local company, milk in the fridge, a packet of chocolate biscuits, tea bags ... everything you need to make your break easy. Annabelle is the perfect host, available if you need her but discrete enough that she won't disturb you.
What I am wearing usually features prominently on my blog but this trip wasn't about the style at all. I wore jeans and a t-shirt to do the drive on Monday, wore the same t-shirt with denim shorts and my bikini on the beach Tuesday, washed my bikini out in the sink and wore it again Wednesday with my wide leg navy trousers from Creative DeZigns and a new pink top ... getting photos was obviously a challenge and my tripod doesn't quite cut it and I am bit self-conscious for to many selfies. It does emphasise the importance of keeping it real though. I am never going to make the cut to be a big insta-influencer if I don't carry a spare outfit, my tripod or go everywhere with a photographer! Hence my blog being more about lifestyle and the realities of life! And if you want a laugh, scroll down for the reality of one photo I tried to take on the beach!
All in all very successful, Have you ever been away by yourself? Or would you like to but never get around to it? Do it! Let me know in the comments below, I love to hear from you. Or tag me on your Instagram posts @fifty_andfab #beingfiftyandfab so I can share what you fabulous ladies are doing.
Scroll a bit further for my funny bikini pic story!
Disclaimer: I don't use affiliate links and my review of the airbnb is completely personal and not a collaboration.
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Is This Mutton
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It is a way to connect with other bloggers and share content and hopefully for me to be found by others and for my followers to discover new blogs!
Outtakes - the reality! I was sat on the beach at Milford on Sea pretty much by myself, I'd taken a few selfies and thought I am sure I could prop my camera up on a rock and use the timer and get a bikini pic! Mmmmm may be not with hindsight. So I waited until I thought the other family were distracted, wandered down to the waters edge and using my shoe 'tried' to prop my phone up. Put the timer on then the challenge was where to stand as I couldn't see due to the sun. Took a burst of photos and thought oh that'll do, it's too difficult, went to pick up the camera, lost my footing and slipped over, you know one of those falls where you should be able to right yourself but it just gets worse?! I ended up in a little heap with a grazed elbow and my dignity totally not intact. I am sure the family further along must have thought, what is she doing?!? She is so vain trying to take a photo. So here you have it, me on the beach, in a bikini (that I nearly didn't take but thank goodness I did grab it at the last minute) with more sky than me and facing totally the wrong way for the light. Pretty sky though! Now where is my daughter when I need her? And when I tell them this story I know they will all say 'oh mum you are so embarrassing' and my sisters will just laugh!
Tell me your funny photo stories below, or is it just me?! M xx
Welcome to Fifty & Fab, a lifestyle blog to inspire you. I am a blogger with a passion for writing about health, menopause, fitness, beauty and style with a focus on the over 50's.
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Hi, I’m Michelle and my blog Fifty & Fab is all about my journey into and through my 50s. I started this blog in 2016 with the purpose of helping other women at this stage of life. I’m delighted that my blog has grown to over 13k visitors per month. Visit my Work with Me page and request my Media Kit for details of product reviews, blogging services and social media content creation.
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