October? I haven't been here since October? I knew it was a while, but not that long! We have done quite a bit more travelling since then. In February we went to Edinburgh with our 10 year old, did a whistle stop tour of the city and visited yet another zoo. Edinburgh Zoo had been on her wishlist for some time as it is the only zoo in the UK which has giant pandas. The female panda Tian Tian was in her private den, but the male Yang Guang was just finishing a snack. He took one look at us, decided we were boring and went to sleep.
Over the last two weeks I have been on two contrasting journeys. First to Northern Italy, taking DH on a surprise trip to celebrate his 60th birthday. His uncle and grandmother spent time in the city of Trieste during the Second World War, before - or so we assumed - being sent to Auschwitz. His uncle survived and returned to Trieste, dying there in 1947; his grandmother did not. I knew he had always wanted to visit his uncle's grave, so this was an emotional and memorable journey as well as a celebration. We were also able to find out more specific information, filling some gaps but also leaving questions.
This week I took my 18 and 10 year old daughters to Disneyland Paris, which could hardly be a more different type of holiday. DH and I took our two eldest daughters when they were young, and he has no desire to go back - he just finds it exhausting and it is really not his cup of tea, so he opted out of this trip as he did when we went two years ago. This time round our timid small daughter had become much braver and we were able to go on a lot more of the rides. Much to our surprise she has even decided that rollercoasters are fun, so long as they are not too fast and scary. She had a lot more stamina too, and my Watch told me that over the five days we were there we walked over 40 miles.
Not much has changed in the last six months. My 18 year old is still loving life at university and finding it hard to believe that she is nearly through her first year. My adult daughter is busy adulting - I am still shocked that I have a 22 year old. The littlest one is still little in size but noticeably maturing in other ways, become more independent and capable. DH and I are enjoying our semi-retired lifestyle, working part time and trying to get out and about as much as possible, whether that is local walks or trips further afield. All in all, life is good and there are many blessings to count.