threekidsintow

O'Sullivan family travels and beyond

Reflections

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Ok, we’ve been back in the UK for 3 months now and time has flown. In some ways our travels seem a lifetime ago and it has taken me a while to get back in the swing of things.

Adjusting back, unpacking the house, re-establishing old routines, hosting language students and of course, our budget constraints meant we have stayed close to home, however we’ve still tried to be busy.  Perhaps we have a new appreciation for where we live, perhaps because we haven’t jumped back into the world of work we are able to enjoy more of what’s on offer locally, perhaps the glorious sunshine helped … whatever, so far we have had a lovely summer and continue to do so.

So what can we say about Broadstairs other than it is a fabulous place with lots to offer. For those who don’t know, it is a small town on the South East coast of England in the county of Kent. It is near to Margate and Ramsgate. There are beautiful beaches and we are lucky enough to live within walking distance of Joss Bay, Viking Bay, Stone Bay, Botany Bay and more! Google it and see!

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Ok, granted the weather wasn’t the best when we got back. Good job we kept the warm clothes and woolly hats. That didn’t stop us from going to Margate to see all the bikes at Margate Meltdown , a great place to see scooters, Mods, leather clad bikers and every bike imaginable. Seamus loved it! Even got to catch up with a lovely friend and her super scooter.

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Our first visit to Dreamland, we joined friends for some old-fashioned roller skating.  Surprised to find out that even though it must have been over 30 years, I managed to skate without the ‘Bambi on ice’ impression and have a new-found Kudos from my girls. Dreamland has been recently re-established.  I wasn’t here to see it in its heyday in the 60s, 70s and 80s but wished the new Dreamland had a bit more oomph and had been done better.  It is struggling financially, but hate to say it but I wouldn’t go back as feel it could have been so much more.  Yes, the skating was cool and I would do that bit again, but the rest just doesn’t live up to the expectations of what it could be. Ooops, forgot I am not on TripAdviser!

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Ok, more good stuff and less moaning.

One of the nicest bunch of people you could ever meet organise an Annual Pirate Party in Broadstairs. We love Helter Skelter Pirate Party Music, fun, friends at the sunny seaside – everything an event should be.  They have been a big part in organising so much for the town in the past, such as Abba Dancing Queen World Record breaking dances, cinema on the beach, wonderful Trick or Treat town trails. Thank you, we love any excuse to dress up. “Aaaarrrrrrrgh!”

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More wonderful community spirit with the fabulous Ramsgate event that is Lark in the Park, every year they offer tents full of free activities for every age group. Seamus loved the Fun Factory, Orla spent happy times in the art tent and Aoife enjoyed the gunging which took place in the parent-free zone that is HQ.

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We  have been frequent visitors to Margate this summer. The colourful Margate Pride was great. We dressed to impress wearing as much colour as we could as the invite suggested. The town was bustling and the atmosphere was great.

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The quieter side of life saw us finding the tranquil Margate Listening Wall ; a beautiful oasis with flowers and positive messages, where people can post their thoughts privately through the post box or chalk on the board.  Gorgeous.  Topped off by the fantastic free herb garden beside where we touched, smelled and had a tiny taste of the beautiful things growing there.

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The quirky side of us loved the Super Sleuth Day in Margate Old Town. The kids met the old-fashioned bobby who was trying to solve the crime. After under taking lie detectors, fingerprinting and a visit to the court-house judge, we were (thankfully) found not guilty! Orla saved the day by saying that a vegetarian family would be unlikely to steal the pork pie in question. So we were able to head home with all three kids in tow again, phew!

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The highlight for me was Broadstairs Folk Week I love the parade at the start of the festival. The weather was perfect, the town was filled with music and dancers. Great stuff. The musicians and folk dancers are wonderful to see and bring so many people to the town every year.

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The town has looked beautiful with the annual Yarn Bombing which takes place. This year there were pom poms galore, but previous years have seen knitted seagull and fish take over. Every credit to the people who patiently make them. The time and effort involved must be immense. We appreciate your talent and it makes us smile.

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Staying at home, our house has been full of students – adult language students from Iceland, teenagers from many parts of Italy and a return visit from our Sicilian friends, and we’re soon to be joined by students from Germany and Japan. We always try to make their stay interesting, as travelers ourselves we appreciated everyone who made our journey memorable.  One of the things we like to do is have a Harry Potter evening. The kids make invitations and we have a feast in the Grand Hall … well, dinner in the dining room! Dumbledore’s Dessert, Snape’s Shepherds Pie, Professors Pudding …. who knows what will be on the menu or whether you’ll be in Gryffindor or Slytherin!

I told you, we’ll make any excuse to dress up!!

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Great weather means we can be outdoors. Fantastic cardboard box car racing with friends from holiday club, family fun days, music events at the bandstand, the brilliant Broadstairs fireworks and camping in the garden. Can you imagine if this had been the V festival how much I would have paid?!

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So now what? Well, we’re getting ready for Seamus’ Ghostbuster 4th birthday party (dressing up of course!), looking forward to a James Bond event in Ramsgate (you guessed it, requires some dressing up) and the children have their places sorted for school and nursery (uniform – check, haircut – check, sensible bedtime – work in progress)

It has taken a while to re-adjust. Don’t get me wrong, I love it here and we are so fortunate to have so many great things and wonderful people nearby. Maybe it’s getting my head round that we are back much sooner than expected, the realisation and disappointment that we’re unlikely be able to do it again even on a smaller scale, or the fact we had to unpack and rebuild all of our furniture in order to settle back home. Who knows, it’s still early days.

The kids have settled back so quickly.  They have taken everything in their stride. Aoife is playing rugby. Ian has a new allotment and is slowly transforming it from the long grass a la Little House on the Prairie opening credits to a lovely plot with vegetables. He’s bound to start his own blog, I bet. He and the kids are currently sorting out some beans for next year.  The summer weather has been superb and we’ve had some wonderful events, such as a family wedding in Bath.

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Right, enough blogging for today as I have to get back to finishing the Ghostbusters costumes or else I will be roped into sorting beans too!

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Author: threekidsintow

We are Caroline and Ian. We are recently undertook an adventure, packing up everything and travelling with our three children. Our blog started as a way of capturing our memories of the preparation and interesting aspects of our journey. After a twist of fate, we're back in the UK much sooner than expected so who knows what's next for us now we're back home with our three kids in tow!

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