Firstly, thank you so much for all the comments on my last post - the greyness suggestions were all fantastic and are being thoroughly researched and thought over (I'll report back soon) and it was also really lovely that there were a few requests for the dobby top to be turned into a pattern - it will definitely be added to my To Do list once school has restarted (although, we are all feeling slightly bereft that we only have two weeks left).

The last post aside, the colours in the photo at the top of this post as my daughter raced through the sand dunes captures the seasidey freshness of the last four days for me perfectly - we went for a long weekend away as a family and it feels as though many cobwebs were blown away on the blustery sea air and we've returned feeling completely refreshed, despite it being a somewhat short summer holiday.

With only four days at our disposal, we decided to not use too much of that time up with travelling and so chose to go to Rye, which isn't so very far away, but is somewhere we'd never ventured to before. We stayed at The George, which is the wonderful home of this fantastic bath, along with lots of other lovely things.

Photo courtesy of The George
As well as falling in love with the bath, you can see just beyond the bed that there is a little ladder, which leads to the 'pod' where our children slept. They were delighted by this den of a bed and even more so by the DVD player at the end of it, on which Harry Potter was screened every evening.

Rye, if you haven't been yourself, is a patchwork of cobbled streets, beautiful cottages, interesting antique shops, cream teas and ice creams. We were lucky to see it awash with sunshine for nearly every day of our visit.

When we weren't gooning around in the graveyard of the beautiful St Mary's...

...we were at the beach in Camber building sand castles

Although, I have to admit that my enthusiasm for building sandcastles stretches to the conventional type requiring four buckets of sand, a naive happiness that comes when placing a flag in a crumbling turret and plenty of time left over for biscuit-eating, so I eventually retreated to the picnic blanket to watch the rest of my family beavering away on this 5ft x 5ft extravaganza...and wondered at their endless enthusiasm for coming on holiday to willingly indulge in manual labour.

Although I found it as fascinating as they did to watch how quickly their hours of work could be toppled by the sea as the tide hurried in. We never tired of waiting for this sight each day. In this photo my daughter is standing shivering wearing my husband's jumper after spending too long in the sea.

I took away with me Getchen Rubin's The Happiness Project, billed by the Daily Beast as 'the rare self-help tome that doesn't feel shameful to read', however, the sea air made me too sleepy for bedtime reading and so I am only a few chapters in. However, I love the starting point for Gretchen's book, which is that it isn't necessarily for unhappy people...just happy people who wish to be even happier. Already it's crystallised my thinking into pinpointing exactly which things I could do to make myself happier...and they're so obvious that they feel almost achievable.

Florence x


  1. wow - that sandcastle is amazing (as is the bath) looks like a lovely break. Intrigued by the book too, we could all use a little extra happiness in our lives!

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  3. sorry, last comment had spelling mistakes! Just to say that we love Camber, and especially having a cup of milky coffee from the beach KitKat cafe on a windy chilly day.

  4. There's another pin for my 'potential holiday' board!

  5. Love Rye and Camber - great places for an old-fashioned family holiday. That book sounds interesting - I've gained reading time as I can't knit or sew due to broken arm, and I read very fast. Library, here I come - when I can persuade someone to drive me!

  6. Lucky lucky you. I love Rye. The George has been on my list of unlikely but hopeful holiday destinations for a while now, ever since I spotted a magazine article about the family who own it. It sounds a wonderful place to stay and my children would approve of exactly the same things that seem to have delighted yours.

  7. Have just popped over to the authors blog at

    There is a link there, where you can read some of the book - in her current post. It all looks a bit exhausting if you ask me. Happiness is something you feel not something you relentlessly talk about, pursue or do.

    Having said that, as a basically happy person I wouldn't say no to making me think about ways to be more fulfilled - i.e. what do I want from life etc. However, I wouldn't want to be so absorbed in 'me' as a project that I forgot to just get on with living. There is room for improvement however, so I might just give the book a go. I would be very interested to see what you think of it when you have read more.

    The sea is a most refreshing place isn't it? You have given me the idea of going to Rye for the day - before it gets cold again!

  8. Thank you so much for your lovely comments.

    Anonymous - I completely agree with your sentiments about what happiness is. I haven't actually seen the author's blog yet, so will have to take a look, but my impression on reading the first few chapters has been that the author probably set about this project knowing that she was going to turn it into a book (she was already a writer), so I think it may have been researched in a way that appears to be self-obsession/an intense study of happiness, but I think this was probably for literary purposes, rather than that she's suggesting everyone take it that seriously.

    I don't really see it as 'me' as a project, as the things I think the book focuses on (initially at least) are often those little things that suck away at happiness - like letting your inbox become an unmanageable mess or not keeping in contact with old friends - they're things that might make you feel guilty or just a little less happy whenever they cross your mind and it's basically looking at how much trying to order all those little things would contribute to you just generally feeling even happier. That's how I've understood it anyway.

    I'm saying all of this still having only read a few chapters though, so it may turn out to quite different. I'll let you know what I think as it progresses...I feel slightly fearful of going to view the blog now incase I realise I may not be able to cope with the rest of the book...

  9. I visited Rye last year on holiday in Hastings. We ate in the George that day actually it was very nice - the rooms look AMAZING! I can remember my own George being a very little person then! The whole place is very lovely. However I remember the day trip to Camber Sands on that holiday didn't look half as nice as yours as it was peeing down with rain!!!

    Glad you had a great time!

  10. Hurray - someone else enjoying a non-flying holiday. Looks lovely!

  11. The Happiness Project is one of the better books that I have read this year, I have recommended it to heaps of people! I would describe myself as a happy person and you can take as much as you need from it, i loved some of her suggestions and some were just put in the too hard category! Thank you for your blog, its inspiring seeing what you get up to and makes me want to do more!


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Florence x