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Easter 2024

We've had an Easter tradition for about the past 18 years or so of visiting Granny and Grandad's house on Easter day for an Easter egg hunt. It had to be skipped during lockdown year and there has been at least one occassion where it had to be held indoors due to the weather but other than that, I don't think it's ever been cancelled. 

It's even made it onto the blog a couple of times... 9 years ago for Easter 2015 - I remember Miss T's gorgeous yellow dress which was perfect for springtime! And Easter 2018 - I tell a lie, reading that post, it looks like we did have a year when it got postponed in 2017 when Miss T ended up in hospital.

If you want to watch a truly heart-melting video, this is our post following Easter 2017 on the day Miss T returned home from hospital. She was such a cutie!  

The sun was shining this year so we popped to our local lake to enjoy a bit of nature. 

Instead of Easter eggs, we chose chocolate gifts in line with some of their hobbies. So D had guitar-themed chocolate. 

And Miss T had cricket-themed chocolate. Both were from Choc on choc

 By the time it was time for the Easter egg hunt, I had overdone things. My right hip has been rapidly deteriorating (I'm dreading the day it will need replacing like my left one) and then I had a really painful headache that ended up lasting all night. 

So I had to stay home and miss the easter egg hunt! The others went and had a lovely time. 

In place of characters to find this year, Granny had created a bit of a maths challenge for the kids! 



Raisin Flapjacks


A very speedy write up of the flapjacks that turned out well today so that I don't forget the recipe.

I did my usual 'not measuring very accurately' so I have no idea if repeating the recipe would turn out as well.


200g butter/margarine

100g coconut sugar

7 tbsp maple syrup

2 tsp vanilla extract

Pinch salt

400g oats

160g raisins


1. Line a tin with baking paper and preheat the oven to 160 C degrees (fan)

2. Gently heat the butter/margarine with the coconut sugar, maple syrup and vanilla on the hob. 

3. Add the oats and rasins and stir well.

4. Spread into the tin and bake for 25 minutes. Them remove from the oven and leave to cool. 

They probably won't last long as my whole family loved them that most got eaten already! 


CALLING ALL COMPERS: Competition to WIN a Comping t-shirt or mug GIVEAWAY

My lovely comping friend Jo wearing her new comper t-shirt

Today, I'm so excited to be sharing a NEW competition with the comping community. Whilst this competition is aimed at those of us who love entering competitions (compers), it is open to non-compers too. 

As many of you will know from my comping books, for over 10 years, I have loved the hobby of entering competitions. It is a hobby that has enabled me to have the most incredible money-can't-buy experiences, some amazing holidays, has got me through some difficult times and dark days and very best of all, has brought me some very special friendships with others that also share this hobby. 

After many years of wanting to do this, I have finally created some Comping products. There are Comping T-shirts, sweatshirts, and now mugs too. 

They make the most perfect gift for comping friends or as a me-treat for yourself. You can see the full range at https://happycomper.teemill.com/

In the interest of full disclosure, setting up the shop is not a big money-maker. For me, it was really important to use a supplier with strong ethical credentials and I have found a supplier that uses fairly traded ethical cotton for the clothing products, printing everything on demand in a renewable energy powered factory. So with the higher costs involved in ensuring extremely high environmental and ethical standards, mean that for each item sold I only earn between 83p up to a few pounds depending on the product. But it is something that I really wanted to do for the comping community as I love being a comper, I love talking about comping and now we can all have comping clothing to wear too! 

So to celebrate the Happy Comper shop, I am running a competition where you can win either a t-shirt or mug of your choice from the Happy Comper Co shop


Simply fill in the form below and follow HappyComperCo on Instagram - with optional extra entries for sharing on social media. 

IMPORTANT: Please note that the winner will be contacted ONLY by the email address provided and NOT through any messages on social media. Please be aware that these days many scammers and spammers target social media competitions so be aware of anyone asking for your details on social media. I will only ever contact you via email. 

It would make me so happy if you can tell your comping friends about the competition too. I know as a comper, it is always great to find low entry competitions but if lots of people enter, then I am more likely to run a future giveaway again. 

Read on below the form to hear what compers are saying about the Happy Comper Shop.


Rebecca wearing her "comping mama" tee

My new comping t-shirt has arrived and I love it...what a great idea for our comping community.

My comping friend Joan asked for a design specifically for grandmothers who love comping and so the "nana is a comper" and "comping nana" designs were added to the shop as a result. 

“I have never added something so fast to my cart. I've ordered two!”

I'm so grateful to my comping friends who have supported me in this exciting new venture. I've had the most wonderful feedback saying what great quality the clothing is and how they've even brought extra comping luck for people (though I can't make any guarantees of luck!)

“These tees are actually so soft and comfy too! I want to order more!”

Lots of new mug designs have been added: 'Happy Comper', 'Winner' and colourful 'comper' mug shown here

Terms & Conditions

(1) Open to UK residents aged 18 and over.
(2) To enter, you must complete the form providing your full name and email address.
(3) Bonus entries may be made by:
- Sharing the competition post on Twitter/X
- Sharing the competition post on Instagram
- Sharing the competition post on Facebook
For a bonus entry to be included, entrants must ensure the shared post is 'public'.
(4) Bulk, automated, spam or similar entries are not permitted and may result in disqualification.
(5) Entries must be received by the closing date of 14 December 2023, 23.59 GMT.
(6) By entering, you agree to accept and be bound by these rules.
(7) The winner will be chosen at random from all eligible entries. No correspondence will be entered into.
(8) Winners will be notified by email only, not direct message on social media.
(9) The prize is one mug OR one T-shirt from the Happy Comper Co shop (happycomper.teemill.com) excluding Studio/Design-your-own styles. Allow 28 days for delivery.
(10) No cash alternatives, and prizes will not be substituted or exchanged.
(11) Prizes not claimed within 14 days of the prize winner being notified may be redrawn and awarded to a new winner.
(12) The organisers reserve the right to cancel or change the competition or any of these rules at any stage, if deemed necessary in its opinion, or if circumstances arise outside of its control.
(13) Winners agree to their names being used for promotional purposes.
(14) The prize will be sent to the winners' UK address only.
(15) This giveaway is not affiliated with Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
(16) By entering, you are agreeing that your details may be stored and processed for the purposes of administering the competition.

SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky: the UK's biggest list of blog giveaways

A perfect 3-night stay at Jardin des Douars in Essaouira, Morocco

It's the second day of our 3 night trip to Morocco staying at the stunning Le Jardin des Douars and I'm laying on a sunlounger in 25 degree heat next to a blissful swimming pool whilst writing this. 

We knew we were in for a treat when upon arriving at Essaouira airport, the passport control officer, after asking where we were staying, nods in approval and says its a very nice place to stay. 

Despite it being Mid-November, the sun is shining and warm. We've swum in the outdoor heated pool both yesterday and today and our room, one of the Pacha rooms, is just a stone's throw away from the adult-only pool. There are two pools here - the other is family-friendly and situated away from the adult-only pool. 

We had an early start yesterday with a 6.20am flight. Ryanair flies direct from Stansted Airport to Essaouira and despite the early start (staying overnight close to the airport, getting up at 2am to be at the airport 3 hours before the flight), everything ran smoothly and to schedule.
Sunrise view from the airplane

Le Jardin des Douars had arranged an airport transfer for us at this end so there was a driver waiting who brought us to the hotel.

I don't think hotel is the right word - it's more than that. Our room is set away from the main building and they have other suites sleeping up to 6 people and villas that sleep up to 14 guests. 

Our perfect 'Pacha' room for 2 people

And it is so beautiful.  Every corner of the place is just stunning - definitely the most instagrammable place I've ever stayed. 

Every corner of this place is stunningly beautiful

We are welcomed with smiles by every staff member and it's one of those unique places where nothing is too much trouble. The staff just ooze a genuine friendliness, kindness and warmth.
Our welcome drink: freshly squeezed orange juice with a view

Our stay began with a welcome drink of freshly squeezed orange juice overlooking the exquisite view. We were brought some sweet treats to accompany our drinks until our room was ready.  Check-in isn't officially until 3pm but after a spot of lunch - outdoors in the restaurant (I chose a polenta and vegetable dish and Richard had prawn salad- both delicious and very ample portion sizes) - our room was ready so we were able to check-in earlier than 3pm. 
My delicious polenta dish for lunch

We couldn't wait to go to the pool so that was our number one priority on day one. 

A stunning heated outdoor pool - we couldn't wait to get in it for a swim

We headed to reception and booked our shuttle to Essaouira for the next day (i.e. this morning) - they run regularly from Le Jardin des Douars at a favourable price compared to local taxis. Just book ahead with reception.

Then after a swim and some leisurely reading in the sunshine it was time for a shower in the fantastic big bathroom in our room followed by dinner.  

The beautiful big bathroom in our Pacha room

There are two restaurants but both serve the same menu. One seems to be more lively and family-friendly and the other, which we opted for, was much quieter though it quickly filled up through the evening. 

We opted for the quieter restaurant for dinner

Courgette Veloute for starter 

Vegetable tagine

Service was incredibly speedy both at lunchtime and dinnertime. 

Shallot, stracciatella and balsamic tart tatin was one of my favourite starters! Being vegetarian, I chose to have it as my main meal on 2 of the evenings

Beetroot salad, Meskala goat cheese, beetroot chips and dust was another of the delicious starter options

With such generously-sized meal portions, it was hard to make room for dessert - but we did manage to!

We managed to get our favourite table at the restaurant by the window every evening for dinner

This morning we chose to do a trip to Essaouira. We had been told how beautiful it is and that it is a very safe place to visit.

Essaouira boasts a very long beach and though the waves looked gentle today, it is supposed to be a great place for surfing. 

A sea of blue boats at the port

We visited the medina and souk which is packed with locals selling fabric items like scarves, clothing, and cushion covers. There were lots of shops and market sellers selling everything argan oil as this is apparently where all the argan oil in the world comes from. Argan trees which used to grow in several places in Africa, now only grow in Morocco and Mexico. Thanks to their deep roots they can survive the drought conditions that the area has been experiencing in recent years. There were also places selling artwork, wooden ornaments and items, and fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs.  

And cats - they were not for sale - but there were stray cats everywhere we looked. We took photos of the first few we saw but then couldn't keep up with how many there were. Some seemed to be looked after with some of the sellers putting out food and water for the cats. One even had a litter tray. 

But they didn't seem to cause a problem and even the couple of stray dogs that passed us were just minding their own business and didn't seem to bother anyone.

One of the other notable things was a very relaxed approach to sales - no-one trying to persuade you to buy anything. Even those couple of people walking the beach selling sunglasses would walk by when we said a simple no thanks. 

We grabbed a quick lunch at "m beach" restaurant along the seafront overlooking the beach before being picked up by the shuttle car to head back to the hotel.

Lunch at M beach restaurant in Essaouira overlooking the beautiful beach

We found restaurant food prices to be very reasonable in comparison to UK restaurant prices

Once back at Le Jardin des Douars, we headed straight to the pool enjoying the cool water and then sitting in the sun reading.

Pool with a view

Tomorrow we have our hammam black soap exfoliation and massage booked and sadly that will be our final day here before heading back to the UK early Sunday morning. [edit: the hammam is a great experience not to be missed - something totally unique and different to anything I've experienced before].

It already feels like 3 nights is definitely not long enough. But still a very welcome short break from our busy hectic lives. 

We'll be back- I'm sure.

I was the incredibly lucky winner of a 3-night stay at Le Jardin des Douars via Garden's Illustrated magazine and organised via Peter Da Silva Communications. We are incredibly grateful to Le Jardin des Douars for this amazing stay and many thanks to all involved in organising and providing our wonderful prize. We hope to visit this warm and welcoming place again soon - This visit has definitely put Morocco on the map for us and Le Jardin des Douars is firmly in our hearts too.   

Photo album continued... We took hundreds of photos as everywhere we looked was another stunning site. So here are a few more memories captured in photos...

Those beautiful beaches: view from the airplane

It is strange seeing a landscape so different to the one we are used to

Arriving at the airport in Essaouira

Beautiful doorways and arches everywhere

Our wonderful room also had it's own fireplace! We didn't need to use it as the weather was warm compared to November in the UK

We loved this feature of our domed ceiling: beautiful star shaped glass in different colours letting in the light like tiny stained glass windows

Attention to detail: Even the fresh flower in the bathroom was changed daily along with a very thorough housekeeping clean of our room.

Our room (as with most or maybe all of the rooms) had it's own little terrace

Sunny skies

Stunning views

Exploring the medina

Another "sea of blue" was the fleet of taxis in the city. We didn't need to use them as Jardin des Douars could arrange transport in one of their shuttle cars

the obligatory 'hot dog legs' holiday photo - this one shows the issue with my leg length discrepancy from having Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis since the age of 10. The warm weather definitely helped. 

Our favourite kitten - we saw this one with mum several times taking wobbly steps as he learnt to walk and jump


Some of the local wildlife

More stunning archways

A cosy seating area indoors by the fire

Patterns of Morocco

Textures of Morocco

Colours of Morocco

Textures of Morocco

Colours of Morocco

More of the local wildlife!

There were plenty of sunhats to borrow and soft towels for use at the pool

Afternoon snacks on the terrace

Though our phone cameras weren't up to the job of getting decent photos - the night sky was stunning. With little light pollution, the sky was a dark inky blue and the planets, stars and moon shone more brightly.

Waking up to a roaring fire at breakfast each day

On our final morning, we decided to try some items from the cooked breakfast menu - This is a Moroccan pancake and Richard had french toast.

More doorways and arches

The pool bar. There was a pool bar by each pool and another main bar too.

We didn't want to come home! We had a 1.5hour delay to our return journey and with Essaouira airport being so tiny that could get boring so luckily we had taken plenty of books with us to read.