O Children

OK I know I’m late to this but Nick Cave really is something special.  Can’t get this one out of my head.

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Wondrous

We had a busy weekend!

It started as usual with J and L going to their swimming lessons and N going to her music thingy (she’s sounding bloody good at her violin at the mo – grade 4 exam coming up in a couple of weeks).

After this we headed to Nottingham Uni to see their “Wonders” day.  It was basically lots of stuff for kids to come and look at and do.  We were hoping to meet Nicky and her boys there too (and Roger et al if they made it).  It was hot.  Very hot.  We parked up but there was no sign nor anyone to point anything out – all we saw was the Uni campus (a very nice one it should be said).  Eventually we headed somewhere – kids were whinging due to the heat and needing to eat.  We called Nicky and said where we were.  She arrived soon with M and m and we chatted for maybe 5 mins before they headed off and pointed us at somewhere some stuff was on.  Hopefully we’ll meet up again later in the afternoon.

We ended up in the pharmacy building and did experiments with sweets and star jumps and reaction times and illusions and dinosaur stuff and 3d printing and and and.

We ended up there for 2.5 hours.  By which time we had had enough (and had to get home) and Nicky et al had gone home.  And we’d seen 1 building worth of stuff.  Turns out we missed about 90% of the event.

So home with a bunch of whingy kids (still hot, hungry and wanting ice cream).

N and R had to go to a scouts thingy in Derby pretty much as soon as we got home.  J and L played with water in the garden.

And that was Satdy.

Yesterday I had my yearly enforced lie in with breakfast delivered after some apparent stresses audible from downstairs.  Still it was a lovely bacon sandwich with mushrooms.  Ta.

Then to the park to meet friends for food and chats but then we had to zoom off to sit in a different field with family and others at “The Big Lunch”.  We had to leave the first one early to get to the second one late.  Too many things!

And then L went up to a friend’s place to play in a pool.  J and N played with water bombs and such for a bit whilst we drank beer and cooked.  And then dinner with B and J from up the road.  And then it was 10 o’clock.

And I’d forgotten to call my dad.  Happy Father’s Day for yesterday pops!

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Betsy Co-ed?

What a week in Wales!

On Satdy we packed up the Zafira in the morning.  Then unpacked it as there wasn’t enough space and repacked everything in the Roomster (plus a roofbox).  And then we’re off.  A 3 hour trip to the campsite.

3 hours later we arrived at the campsite only to see a “Sorry we’re full” sign.  Oh great.  This is a site you can’t pre-book for.  So that’s out for the weekend at least.  Ah well there are loads of other sites around.  Next one was a short hop along the main road.  Oh that one’s full too.  Oh look here’s the place we saw in Feb that we thought about coming to – it appears to be full.

And so were the next 4 or 5 sites we tried.  And every hotel was full.  And every B&B. And every AirBnB.  Oh bloody hell!

And of course we’re in North Wales so there’s intermittent internet (at best).  R ended up calling her dad and he found us a campsite that could “squeeze us in”.  So after about 7 hours on the road (complete with stressy moments galore) we ended up near Betws y Coed, pitching our tent in the pouring rain, on a slope.  On a site apparently owned/run by a right barmpot.  Sigh.  And that was Satdy done – no time or energy for much else once that was done.

Sunday started wet and grotty but we headed into town and poked about a bit.  Discovered there was precious little we could buy J to eat (bloomin small town cafes) and met a lovely shopkeeper who remembered us every time we went in.

Then we headed to a waterfall to have a look.  The place had a car park and we drove despite it being only a few minutes walk (we didn’t really know it was that close tbh).  As I reversed into a parking space I noted the car next to us had a “I hate speedbumps” sticker on the back.  “Tool” I thought.

Then J, in his haste to get out the car, opened his door right into the side of this, it turned out, very well kept, nice BMW.  And the man was there and came over to tell us off.  Actually he spent most of the time telling us how nicely his car was kept.

Me – “So ok then how do we deal?

Him – “Look around the car there are no dents or scratches”.

Me – I understand that; how do you want me to deal?”

Him – “I make sure I keep it nice.”

Me – “Yes ok.  Do we swap insurance? Or what?”

Him – “I don’t know. I try my best to look after the car.”

Me – “I DON’T BLOODY CARE! I WANT TO GET ON WITH MY DAY – WHICH IS NOW A RUBBISH DAY BECAUSE OF THIS!  WHAT! DO! YOU! WANT! ME! TO! DO!?”

Him – “I mean look around the car; there’s no other scratches.”

Me – “AAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!” [stabs him in the face with my car keys]

Eventually he understood enough to exchange details.  He’s hopefully going to get back to me with a realistic estimate for repair.  We’ll see.  No doubt he’ll send me a long text about how nice his car is instead.

Soured the mood rather a lot. Later in the evening me and R and N tried sitting outside for the evening but ended up being eaten alive so went to sit in the tent instead.  Plan to buy a BBQ tomorrow and have a fire!

The next day was better.  Me and N headed up Snowdon.  R took the wee ones to Caernarfon to the softplay place we went in Feb.  J later said he did the big red slide (that none of them would do last time) about 10 times.  Very proud of himself.

Me and N’s walk up the hill was quite a thing.  We got annoyed with teens playing music out their phones whilst walking up. Could they leave that sort of behaviour for bus journeys please?  But generally everyone was lovely.  We made it to the top and N was proper happy.  We sat in the cafe for a good 45-50 minutes and I ate a pie – a proper hot gravy-y pie.  Lovely.

As we left the cafe there was a about 12-13 year old girl and her mum having a spirited conversation about climbing the last few steps to the bollard wot marked the very top.  The young one was NOT happy.

Mum – “Come on it’s just there look.”

Girl – “I’m tired! I’m going inside.”

Mum – “But it’s just there look.”

Girl – “I don’t care I’m tired!”.

Excellent teen strop with only about 10 more steps to climb to complete the ascent.

And then down.  We’d organised with R for her to pick us up at 4.30 (after a 10am start) and we got back to the car park at 4.23.  So not a bad estimate.  The weather had been awful but any hotter would have made the day far harder.

When R came back she’d bought a BBQ and fuel so hopefully our evening would be far less buggy.  And lo it were.

Bit achy since but it’s easing well.

Tuesday was spent with the kids on the campsite, playing on the rope swing (annoyingly made too high by some teenagers) and sorting my stuff out for me to come home – leaving R and kids there ’til Friday.

And then I got the train.  Then stuck in Crewe (pron “KREE WEE”) for an hour then home to Derby just 2 minutes too late for me to get a bus home.  Didn’t fancy an hour’s wait so got a cab home.  And that was that.

Photos to come I hope (didn’t take many but did ask the rest to get some over the week)

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Bridget Christie

We finally got to the end of R’s birthday presents this Satdy.

I’d bought us tickets to see the comedian Bridget Christie in Nottingham.  It was in a lovely little theatre in an arts centre at the university.  We wondered just what she’d be up to in the 30 mins we were there before the show.  Maybe walking up and down with stress and anxiety?  Or chilled with a bottle of wine on the go?

Anyway she comes on in her evening gown (well alright then jeans and t shirt) and we’re off.  It was a wonderful cathartic hour of political and gardening rants giving her audience just what they (we) wanted to hear.  I don’t think there was anyone right of centre in the audience as I didn’t see anyone walk out and I assume they would have.  I’m pretty sure she must have had heckles in some of her shows – somehow I doubt she’d struggle to express her arguments tho.

Highly recommended.

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