Happy holidays!

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23rd August 2017
Sharon and Shirley enjoying the beautiful blooms at the Botanic Gardens, Southport

 Summertime – what better time to pack your bags and get away for a while! When our wonderful guest writer Shirley came to stay at Sandpipers for Southport Flowers and Gardens Week last week, we invited her to keep a daily diary of her time with us to share exactly what it’s like to feel the Revitalise summer breeze…

Written by Shirley Salzedo

Sunny Sunday:

Sharon and Shirley enjoying the beautiful blooms at the Botanic Gardens, Southport

Sharon and Shirley enjoying the beautiful blooms at the Botanic Gardens, Southport.

I’ve had a lovely sunny Sunday today at Revitalise Sandpipers in Southport. After tucking into a hearty breakfast and lunch, my friend Sharon and I went on a trip to the Botanic Gardens in Churchtown, Southport, along with Linda, a Revitalise volunteer. Sharon and I have been friends for 45 years, since our school days. We sat on the lawn on a perfect summer’s afternoon listening to the live brass band that played to a packed audience. It was lovely just to sit and take some time enjoying the atmosphere as children played together – a perfect way to spend the day.



Shirley enjoying a cup of coffee on Sandpiper’s sun terrace.

Shirley enjoying a cup of coffee on Sandpiper’s sun terrace.

When we arrived back at Sandpipers, Sharon and I spent some time catching up with one another over a cup of tea and coffee on the centre’s sun terrace. It was such a pleasure to watch the beautiful sunset with its gold and red tones as it went down over the Marine Lake, whilst listening to the evening entertainment that featured a live guitarist. A perfectly relaxing start to our week’s holiday together, and one is never alone with the friendly staff and volunteers.



 Making friends on Monday:

Shirley with Revitalise volunteer and friend, Linda.

Shirley with Revitalise volunteer and friend, Linda.

Today is ‘friendship Monday’, and I am lucky to be spending it in the company of my lifelong friend, Sharon. Four years ago I met and made friends with a volunteer at Sandpipers called Linda. It is so lovely to see her in person again on my holiday and to go out for the day to Southport.

I have a friend who lives nearby and he sent me a beautiful bouquet of pure white flowers. And through my blogging for Revitalise I feel that I belong to their family. We have had wonderful food and congenial company, all completed by melodious live music, I feel very contented tonight.


Taking time out on Tuesday:

Today was certainly a memorable day for me. There is a piano at Sandpipers and I spent the afternoon playing different songs, while Sharon sang. It was just like old times and certainly gave me a trip down memory lane. My local friend Brian visited me today and gave me a lovely gift – some music to remember our holiday together. We have just finished enjoying a mouth watering barbeque and are now being treated to some evening entertainment. It has been such a special day – two musical school friends reunited by Revitalise.


Winding down on Wednesday:

Shirley after her pamper session.

Shirley after her pamper session.

Today I treated myself to a special pamper day. In the morning at breakfast time the chef very kindly cooked some kippers, especially for me. They were yummy! Then I spent the morning with a beauty therapist who came to visit Sandpipers. If you’ve never stayed at Revitalise before, this is something they offer guests to enjoy as part of their stay. I had the most therapeutic luxury facial, together with a hand and head massage. It was bliss and I came out glowing!


In the afternoon, Sharon and I went along the Marina to my favourite store, Marks and Spencer. I’ve enjoyed doing a bit of shopping while I’ve been here and have brought myself a turquoise necklace, a sequined scarf and a smart black handbag. Sharon has remained by my side the entire time, and while we were out we decided to celebrate our friendship with a lovely afternoon tea at M&S.

When we arrived back at Sandpipers we enjoyed a wonderful supper and more entertainment. I’ve also enjoyed blogging about my experience every night and couldn’t have done it without the support of volunteer Leuan, who has sat with me every night while I’ve been here, helping me in a very friendly and encouraging way. I’ve had a very therapeutic day, the memories of which will remain in my heart forever.


Enjoying therapeutic views on Thursday:

Shirley aboard ‘The Swan’ on Lake Windermere

Shirley aboard ‘The Swan’ on Lake Windermere.

Sandpipers – what a lovely name for a holiday centre giving lovely respite holidays to disabled people and their carers. Today the sun has shone brightly over the Marina and we enjoyed a day trip to Bowness on Windermere, where we boarded the Swan boat. The sun glittered over the water and thankfully we had perfect weather. The green scenery was so beautiful. When the sun shines England shows its full beauty.

Since I’ve been here I can say that the care staff and volunteers all go the extra mile, without exception. The place has a breathtakingly beautiful view, in prime position on the beautiful Marina at Southport.

Spending time to sit and admire the view is therapeutic in itself. The food too is plentiful and of an excellent standard, and it’s nice that we can have complimentary tea, coffee and water whenever we wish. Everything is effortlessly prepared and always served with a friendly smile. I feel safe and happy in the wonderful care of Revitalise and I have made new lifelong friends, including Leuan and Ellie, Linda and John. When I come to Revitalise I am never alone, there is always someone to talk to and I will always have very fond memories of my time at Sandpipers. I couldn’t wish for a better holiday!


Friday, time to party and enjoy the finale!

Shirley and friend Sharon making musical memories together.

Shirley and her friend Sharon making musical memories together.

It’s my last day on holiday today!  I’ve had the chance to spend time with Sharon, and we’ve spent most of our last day together singing and playing the piano. It’s just like old times when we used to perform together at school. We’ve never lost touch and Sharon has always been my personal singing angel. I feel very grateful to Help Musicians UK and Revitalise for giving us this magical musical reunion.

Now I’m off to party with wonderful food, music and my new found friends!



If Shirley’s diary has left you wanting to explore what other themed weeks we have in store, you can take a sneaky peek here!

Stephanie Stone

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