So for one of Steve's 40th presents, he was given a speed boat driving lesson. We booked it in a couple of times but as each day came, the weather was not on our side. However we have, at last, made it.
Wow. We went to a place called 'Crow Point'. The place is stunning, beautiful. We had never been before and it took us by surprise. It is literally a 10 minute drive from our house but has somehow escaped us.
There has been a lot of excitement locally about a new wind farm. Several times we have been stopped in the car as we wait for the lorries carrying the structure of the turbines to pass us. Here you can see them in the distance.
We took a picnic and waited for Ben (husband of Pickwell Holly) to drive round in the boat.
Steve went off for his lesson while we waited on the beach. Then we got in and he drove us around.
He seemed to pick it up quite quickly..at least he drove very fast and persuaded us he knew what he was doing.
Liza was hilarious. Where Zac looked terrified for most of the time, Liza just seemed to love it. I suddenly saw her at 18 years old, hanging out with boys on boats.
Ben brought a 'Ringo' with him and Steve went on first. Testosterone surged as Ben went as fast as he could and Steve was just egging him on with hand signals that clearly stated "is that all you've got?" at which point, Ben suddenly turned and we all watched in horror as Steve twirled off the ringo and bounced like a skimming stone for about 30 feet. Boys.
Needless to say that Liza and I had a lovely, gentle bob about and there was no need for speed or fear. Nice.
Despite making Steve jump in, off the dock, three times so I could get a photo, this was the closest i got to capturing it...see the splash? Well its Steve.
Zac, Liza and I went back to the beach so Steve could have a last half hour drive. So, we were busy getting changed when we heard a noise, looked up and saw Steve gliding past the beach on WATER SKIS!! It was like a proper National Lampoons Vacation moment. He even waved with one hand..so funny and so unexpected. He was clearly loving it.
As we were leaving we saw this plant covered in caterpillars of such vivid yellow and black stripes we had to get a picture.
When we went to France just a couple of weeks back, we stayed with some gorgeous friends for a few days. They told us they had got us a gift. It was the hire of this amazing boat, complete with a skipper.
So, we went out for the day and had the most incredible experience. We kept reminding the kids to make the most of it because this is a one-off, very special treat!
We moored up near a private beach and spent the day eating, drinking, swimming and bobbing around like we owned the joint.
It was quite an experience going round all the HUGE boats moored up in St Tropez. They were three times the size of Pickwell. What I would have given for a tour round one of those.
The skipper lady, Claudine, asked us if we wanted an ice-cream. On hearing positive noises from all the kids, she leaps up to the front of the boat and starts waving frantically and we start to hear the 'chug, chug' of a boat coming towards ours. The first thing we saw was the topless lady sitting right at the front and before we knew it they were right next to us and we were ordering coffee and ice-creams and reaching over the wobbly side to bring them into our boat. Surreal.
Living the good life... thank you Zoe and Jonah so much x