25 Nov 2013
Talking of things not done for a while – we went out walking on Saturday.
We headed to Dovedale to show the kids the stepping stones and maybe walk up a hill a bit. Well by the time we got to the stones J’s feet were well and truly soaked. L was in the back pack (my fingers just automatically typed “pain” after “back” there – must be a habit) so was ok and well wrapped up against the cold. N wanted to walk up Thorp Cloud – a smallish hill but quite steep. There was no way J was going up; he’d already dragged his heels on the flat walk so far, and with wet toes it just wasn’t going to happen. Poor R had to take him back to the car and sit and wait for the rest of us.
N was so keen to climb up this hill that I decided to go for it. With L in a backpack.
As mentioned it is quite steep. And it was a tad damp. So footing wasn’t the best. Not normally a problem but then I was more worried re L than me. We made it up with few difficulties but down was going to be harder. I’d already seen someone fall on their bum as they descended and I did NOT want to do that with a small one on my back.
There was a bit of sitting and bum shuffling used but we made it down in the end. My legs had certainly had a bit of a workout but felt ok at the time. Now the DOMS has set in a bit and I’m a wee bit sore. We should do more of this.
29 Aug 2013
24 Aug 2013
N’s folks both hit a big age with a 0 at the end of it this year so a couple of their children organised a do in a farmhouse in Wales for as many of the family wot could come. In the end I think there were 27 people there at peak attendance. Not all stayed for the week. We did.
The week was Friday to Friday so we headed off after I got home from work last week. The journey was pretty uneventful until we reached the last leg where we appeared to have arrived at the road to Narnia. The house was around a dozen miles along a single track road with high hedges either side. We’d already been warned that there was lots of reversing back to passing places to be done but we were there late so we didn’t see any other traffic. The road weaved and wound around, we passed through tunnels of trees and alongside sheer drops. Great fun. At the house they’d put out a lantern for us so we’d know when to stop along this road. Made it for 10pm. Not too bad.
The house was lovely. Big and inviting. The children were pretty much all staying in the barn in bunks. We had the babies in with us in the bedroom adjoining the kitchen (complete with adjacent bathroom).
Pretty much everyone was already there. In long there were: elder statesfolk D and A; Uncle M with gf A and children b, t and c; Uncle P with wife R and kids s and s; Sister B and husband J with son a; Sister F with bf I and kids L, F and e and L’s bf S; me and R with n, j and l; and dog M. Later in the weekend came eldest sister M. Not a bad crowd, we were only missing one sister out of the entire direct family and assorted hangers-on.
That first night was catered by a number of folk bringing meals for us all. I remember eating a lot of a lovely chicken and pasta thing that A brought along. The curry that “I” had made (that’s the person “I” not “me” saying that I brought it) was also very nice indeed. After food and welcomes we went to bed.
Saturday was the big day. M and B with help from others were cooking for the party. B had made a cake for the parents too. The prep meant we were excluded from the kitchen most of the day but the smells from there were marvellous. A small bunch of us took the opportunity to go for a walk up the hill opposite the house. It was a tad muddy and over-grown and there was no path for a lot of it. And we didn’t get very high up BUT it was a nice walk which did include time spent watching L and S running for their lives away from a galloping herd of cows.
Come the evening the crowds gathered for the birthday celebrations. Food was delivered and cake was proffered. I can’t think of any of it that wasn’t at least pretty good. There were speeches, there were songs and lots of chatty noise. At one point during the meal sister M arrived after a nightmare journey which included someone running into the back of her car. And so the party was as complete as it would get. I think a memorable evening was had. I ended up washing up with P’s wife R, for what seemed like 2 hours but the conversation was good and people popped in with beer and more conversation so it didn’t seem such a chore. And once it was done then more beer was had. A good evening.
Sunday started slowly. We were up at 6:30 when the babies woke. Others didn’t get up ’til much later. Breakfast seemed to go on for hours and hours. So did the prep for a country run that M and A had decided upon. I can’t remember exactly how long it took for them to get out of the house but it was at least 2 hours and involved at least one instance of them saying they were going and then moments later them sitting down with coffee. Re breakfast I suggested we do a B&B thing and stop serving it at 9. It didn’t go down well, particularly with the teenagers in the group.
A bunch of folk went walking again. I had 2 babies and P’s daughter s (aged 6) to keep an eye on so we took the car to the end of their walk and met them there. Once we were there we saw no sign of them so sat down for a snack. 20 minutes later one of their group pops round a rocky outcrop and spies us. They’d been just round the corner for about 20 minutes having snacks apparently. Sigh.
The rest of the week consisted of more slow starts, more communal meals and occasional trips out. I went with D and A to the local priory one day with babies as R and n went horse riding. Apparently R had an undersized critter that “doesn’t like other horses”. It kept biting the bums of the other horses whenever it could.
During the days the children played anything from poker to football to connect 4 etc. But then, with acres of countryside and long hours of daylight available I did often find them sat in the darkest room of the house watching tv (invariably Takeshi’s Castle bizarrely). One evening we grown-ups were in the dining room chatting for a while before one of us noticed that they were all watching Shaun of the Dead. A great fillum indeed but hardly one aimed at n (aged 8) and s (6). Cousin L put n to bed and apparently n was absolutely fixated on zombies for a good half hour. Thanks be to cousin L tho for calming her down so well.
The evenings were usually spent in front of a roaring fire either in the house or outside on the fire pit. One night a couple of our resident pyromaniacs (P and J) put on a firework display for the guests. Possibly not the greatest display ever but it was fun. Talking of pyros cousin L’s bf S turned out to be a demon fire starter.
A couple of days later we went canoeing. It was great, if eventful.
There were a good number of us up for it. I think there were 15 of us in the end who got into boats. My turn this time as R looked after the kids. I was in a boat with n, P and his lass S. Once the life jackets were on we were off. It took but a little practice to get adequate at steering and paddling. All was fine until m the dog went overboard from his boat. Lots of yelling and frantic paddling from both the dog and the owner before he was bodily yanked out of the water back into the boat. Phew. We saw and heard birds of prey including one rather large one which we decided was a Red Kite. And lots and lots of swallows or martens or summat.
Then, just as we got to some pretty quick rapids (at least compared with the rest of the journey) s and n decided to have a little contretemps about who should sit where. They were side by side in the middle seat and I think one had decided that she wanted to sit on the other side for a change. Both me and P were a tad distracted by the boat wobbling as this discussion wasn’t simply verbal but included them moving about such that both were on one side thus making the boat tip unexpectedly. So we needed to get them to sit back down and shut up. They did eventually. But we were now far too close to a big tree sticking up out of the river to avoid it. We tried but all we managed was to turn the boat sideways and hit the tree broadside on.
Cue lots of screaming and the boat turned over to the tune of more screaming. At this moment I realised that my idea to leave my wallet and phones with R was a good one. We ended up in the drink with the current carrying the boat along. I was in front of the girls and thought I’d seen one of them hanging on to the outside and having their legs dragged along under the boat. N was hanging on to the outside of the canoe with her eyes tightly shut. Despite her yelling I managed to get her to understand that we were only in about 6 inches of water and she eventually let go and stood up when I offered her my hand. P had stopped the boat continuing on its way and s was standing up on the bottom too. We were right next to a shale island so we hauled the boat to that and took stock. Nothing hurt too badly, all safe, canoe undamaged but upside down. S and L came back to help out and between us all we emptied the canoe and righted it. About now I realised that I’d lost my fleece in the incident. I started the trip wearing it but had taken it off as I got hotter. I wasn’t sure just what was in the pockets but I think it was only a couple of quid in coins. Certainly there was no car key nor work keys nor phones nor wallet. Phew. A pain but only a minor one. Physically everyone was ok, I ended up with a bruise under one arm and on one knee but I couldn’t feel any aches or pains at the time. The main physical effect was one of overwhelming dampness. P then told me that he’d had his phone on him and it’d been under the water. Poor thing.
A few minutes of calming the girls followed and we set off again chatting about how we’d had the biggest adventure out of all of the boats today and that there’d be lots of things to tell people when back at school. n agreed but also admitted she wasn’t going to highlight the bit just before the impact.
Once the canoeing was over and the story had been told a few times we headed back (via the shops).
There were more evenings spent chatting and eating and drinking. We’d been asked to take games along which I’d done but nobody played them. I even bought them for such an occasion, ah well. I bought n the game Mastermind for the trip and she enjoyed that one even going so far as to try and teach s it (she’s 6). At least one was successful.
On Thursday the GCSE results came out. Not normally a notable day for me but there were 2 grandchildren expecting results. Both of them did extremely well, garnering well-deserved congrats from all and sundry. Well done to you both b and a.
And then sadly it finished. People drifted away for one reason or another from the end of the first weekend so there were only around a dozen or so of us there on the last evening. We ended up at a pub after bedtime which was a nightmare for us. The babies behaved very poorly which meant that me and n had to spend most of the time chasing them around and snatching bites of food as and when. Not a highlight for us sadly. But the nocturnal journey back across a high plain filled with sinister sheep was quite fun. Actually that route was interesting all week, one day we’d been to Hay on Wye and we came back along that road to discover a small herd of 14 pigs just wandering along it with no signs of any human in charge.
We’re back now. Lots of washing done. Photos to come.
16 Aug 2013
We went to Doncaster. Voluntarily.
At the weekend we (sadly minus N) visited my folks for a couple of days. Was a lovely time with food and company and playing and that.
On the Sunday we decided to head to the Yorkshire Wildlife Park. I’d never heard of it but apparently they have lions (even though it’s not in Kenya) – and giraffes. J has recently become excited by giraffes (or as he says “Buhjaffs”) so this would be good for him.
Once we got there we headed out and about around the site. Sleeping lions were among the first stuff to see, tick. J started to get grumpy, probably through being hungry. We saw wallabies, L tried to pet one but couldn’t catch the nearest. And then to the buhjaff house for feeding time. Big buggers aren’t they? They had a reticulated one, they had a Bennett’s one (I think – or was that a kind of zebra?) and a couple of others. J took one look – “Can we have food?” and wouldn’t shut up about food until we took him for sandwiches – so much for buhjaff obsession.
As with all these places there was a play area (both indoors and out) – J loved all of them and I ended up taking him on one of those slides wot you need a mat to slide on with. Grand fun.
And then home.
Definitely worth a trip and we’ll likely be going back sometime soon (with N too) if anyone fancies joining us for the day.
07 Aug 2013
Blimey I forgot all sorts.
We went to the Eden Project. I went there years ago when it was all new and that. This time it was all mature and that. Me and N went to a viewing platform wot dangled from the roof of one of the biomes. It was all a bit scary as it wobbled when you walked on it. N later had to smear some old mushed up banana on her wrist to entice a butterfly to sit on her – she managed to sit still but it was clear that she wasn’t best happy about having a critter on her even one as lovely as a butterfly.
It was also the first place that had me having to push a full double pram up a blinking hill. Cornwall seems full of them and everywhere was uphill. Despite this the place is great and well worth the price of admission.
Other places included a beach or two and a lovely cove down near the Lizard.
The local to us pub apparently did nice food. We went once to see if they could fit us in. They couldn’t. The woman who was telling us the news had a hideous nervous giggle.
“No the fire officer won’t let us push tables together hahahahahahaha”
“We can’t put the highchair at the end of a table for 4 hahahahahahahaha”
“Sorry but we loathe children and wish to see them killed hahahahahah”
Grrr. Actually one other place we phoned told us to our faces (so to speak) that they really didn’t want children there.
I’m sure there was yet more but I’m done for now.
06 Aug 2013
I’ll get round to writing this later but for now here are some pics.
Edit: The rest of it!
We’ve just been on our hols, this time we went South to Cornwall. Makes a change from the icy reaches of Scotland. In fact we were only just in Cornwall at a place called Saltash just over the river from Plymouth. The venue was “Notters Mill” which is a nice place with lovely little houses to stay in. We’d driven down to Plymouth overnight and stayed in a Travel lodge type place (long long journey at stupid hours with ridiculous road closures messing things up wot didn’t need messing up). This left us a very short hop to the venue the following day. We arrived around 11am. Our official check-in type was supposed to be 4pm. Ah well worth a shot. Arrived to be greeted with clear disbelief and middleclass rejection of our protestations. We ended up leaving us bikes there and headed off to Looe for the day.
Once into Looe we made our first discoveries – firstly that nowhere in Cornwall does gluten free food – prolly cos of all the pasties innit? Second was that bits of Cornwall are quite nice.
We’d picked this place as a compromise – there was space but it’s far away from where we really wanted to be. Mind you they have a heated outdoor pool. That sold it to us.
The following morning we took all the kids down to the outdoor pool. It was bloody freezing. N got on with it but the smalls were far too cold once in the pool. J refused to go in pretty quickly and L just shivered so we took her out. So much for the redeeming feature of the heated pool. We later asked them about the pool – they said that the heating depends on the ambient temperature – in other words the hotter the weather the hotter the pool. Which seems like the stupidest explanation there could be – surely the colder it is the more heating is needed. R firmly of the opinion that this feature has been mis-sold by the owners – we didn’t go back in the pool again all week – and the pool was a major reason we chose the place.
Their website also mentions wi-fi (not free despite them charging a king’s ransom to stay there) this wasn’t mentioned anywhere on site or in the bumph wot came with the house. Phone coverage was poor at best so there was little internet access all week.
The weather wasn’t as good as the preceding few weeks but it wasn’t awful by any means. Every day we were out and about which did mean we needed to drive a long way most days.
Gardens were the big initial draw. Glendurgan was fun with its maze although both N and R cheated at getting to the centre. I managed it properly with only one episode of excessive hubris (which R will mention later no doubt – but she still cheated). There was a shingle beach at one end too – very nice place.
Trebah was better with more interesting planting and kid’s play areas. R even had a go on a zip wire there, much to N’s embarrassment.
Trelissick was another one with a beach (in fact I think all of them had beaches) and N decided she wanted to do body boarding there. It does have a beach. On a river. No body boarding was done – instead she worked on her stone skipping skills.
What was noticeable was the calibre of guest at these places – very middle class – lots of foreigners; we really brought down the average.
Other times we went to both Woodlands Adventure Park and Crealy Adventure Park – both parks focussed on entertaining family audiences. What was noticeable was the calibre of guest at these places – very lower class – no foreigners; we really brought up the average. No really. I eventually came to a conclusion: if you have a tattoo of your first born’s name on your neck then the chances are that you’re not as good a parent as you deign to think. You could see why these places attract this crowd though as they gave access for a week for the price of entry. We overheard some people who clearly had spent every day, or at least more than one, of their week there. Saves a lot of money but surely you’re missing out.
N managed a few rides – terror was a stumbling block but she went on everything – we got an ace pic from a log flume of me n her. R managed a couple too.
One further trip was to cycle. We’d dragged the bikes there and went up the Plym Valley Trail after hiring a trolley for the wee ones. Getting there was a nightmare with the startng point not signposted anywhere and it turned out to be a B&Q carpark in Plymouth. The smalls did not like the trolley much and N found the uphill first half of the trip a major slog but it was lovely to be on the bikes with the whole family – this needs to happen more often (J’s bikeseat has now been installed on my bike – just need one more for L).
We eventually found a place wot did understand gluten free and it was Rick Stein’s chippie in Falmouth. Fine fo od and J ate very very well there. Would recommend.
And that was it. The kids loved it – N made a friend (Morgan) and played with her every day and got grumpy when it was time for bed and they had to go their separate ways. J played with them and others and he adored the adventure parks. One notable was him welcoming N into the soft play area (after me and her had been on a roller coaster) with “Come on N – it’s going to be great fun”. L toddled and fell and got messy all week.
As J would say “It was great fun”.
PS: The post title is a reference to the most marvellous shop. “Fishing Mayhem” in Liskeard.
01 Jul 2013
Well what a day it’s been so far. I drove into Nottingham today, usually I’d take the train but I was running a little late after doing family stuff this morning. Ah well.
Anyway I was coming into Nottingham somewhere near the university and had stopped because the traffic had stopped. The bloke behind me didn’t notice and rammed into the back of me. My first road accident. And it wasn’t my fault. Yay!
Anyway the bloke gets out and was apologetic – he pretty much came out and said it was his fault and gave me contact details. He’d pushed me into the car in front – this guy had had very little damage but gave and took details too. The first chap’s car had a very large V now in the front of his car. The back of our car looked fine but then he’d hit the towball. It’s perfectly possible that there’s some hidden damage. The insurers I think are looking at whether it’s even worth checking and just writing it off as it’s so old. They’ll make that decision soon. Hopefully we’ll not be too far out of pocket and struggling to buy a similarly specced car.
And one further worry: this won’t affect our no claims will it? Not my fault so the onus is on the guy who hit me yes?
Edit: Oh yes I’d like to thank the white van man who screamed abuse at us drivers as we inspected and swapped contact stuff. Nice to know that “shift your f&^%ing cars, no-one f^%$ing died” is an acceptable thing to shout at people who may have worse injuries than first impressions may suggest. It wasn’t even as if we had blocked the road.
08 Nov 2012
Yet another trip up to the cold barren landscape of Scotland for us. We plumped for another caravan park with heated swimming pool for the wee ones. The last one was pretty good (Hunter’s Quay near Dunoon) and we hoped that the one nearby at Wemyss Bay would be equally so.
The drive up was uneventful with only a couple of stops for wees and food. R phoned ahead and upgraded us to a 3 bed caravan. There was one notable incident en-route where the motorway was empty save for a car in front of us travelling at 1mph slower than us and a range rover in the middle lane behind us travelling at 1mph faster than us. As we got close enough to think about passing I indicated. I kept on indicating. And I kept on indicating. The range rover driver had clearly decided that the middle lane was his. At the risk of cutting him up a bit I moved over only for him to brake unnecessarily sharply and flash his lights at me. He stayed behind me until I’d passed the other car and moved back into the left lane. As he passed there ensued the traditional mutual rude sign exchange. All could have been avoided if he’d known how to drive on motorways and simply moved to the fast lane as I indicated. Ah well.
We arrived at around half six and headed straight to reception. It was closed. Open ’til 8 according to the door. Ah well. A small walk away was “The Venue”. A bouncer type bloke was standing there and he gave me the keys we needed. The caravan was nice and new with 3 bedrooms. Kitchen was well appointed, heating was on (low but easily tweaked to be too hot for us), washer-dryer also there, 2 shower rooms, nice.
Day 2 was spent mainly on site. It wasn’t yet Halloween but there was Halloween stuff ongoing all day for the kiddies. We took J to a dressing-up do where he immediately headed for the “post person” outfit. Just recently he’s become a big fan Postman Pat. Then we all went to the pool.
Now then here’s a thing. The pool was open but it wasn’t “open swimming”. What happened is that they have “sessions” of about 45 mins. I assume this is to stop the place getting over-crowded when busy. It wasn’t busy so I’m not sure why they stuck to the system. It meant we couldn’t just “go swimming” which is surely the point of going somewhere with a blinking pool.
First impression of the pool: it’s a bit small. Into the changing rooms. Next impression? It smells really very strongly of wee. The lockers appear to be all broken too. Sigh. Oh and the pool is really quite cold for a supposedly “heated” pool. Once in and busy it was ok but the session finished sooner than we’d have wished and we were all ushered out back into the “smelling of wee” changing area. J and L then howled miserably for the next twenty minutes. J instantly loathed his hooded, green, frog towel. Henceforth the merest glance would send poor J into convulsions. Most unsatisfactory.
Day 3 Was a day out. A little south is the town of Largs where there is a Viking museum called Vikingar. N was keen to view so that was our first port of call. Turns out it’s a leisure centre with a bit tacked on containing the museum. It also turned out that, rather like the swimming pool, you couldn’t just go round it, you had to wait for a tour. The first was about 15 minutes away and was already booked up by a school group. N and R joined in with this whilst I took J and L to the soft play area in the centre. Twas the smallest and meanest soft play I’ve ever seen. J got stuck on a bridge, stuck at the wrong end of said bridge and then refused to enter the ball pit. Great value.
Once out of the place we walked a little on the beach and introduced the smalls to the pleasure of hurling rocks into the sea. J very interested in this, N desperate to manage to skip a rock.
Lunch time loomed so we found a nice looking cafe. Once in and settled I made the mistake of looking it up on Trip Advisor, bad reviews abounded not least due to their apparent dislike of very small children and the almost guaranteed mess they make. It did seem to be so. Food was good tho.
Koala is missing! Nooooo! Retrace steps now.
Turns out he’s back at Vikingar. That’s where we’re parked so we picked him up on the way back.
After more beach action we were all back in the car and the smalls fell asleep almost immediately. Perfect time for a scenic drive. We drove up hills, around little lakes. At one point we even went off the beaten track down a lane that had a sign post pointing to somewhere. The lane had loads of gates we had to undo to get down there and the road was rough. And it ended in a dead end. Well worth the effort.
Day 4 in the Big family caravan
We wanted to get walking today and looked for somewhere to stretch our legs. We’re right next to a ferry terminal and the local ferry heads across to Rothesay on the Isle of Bute.
The site is on a hill so it was a walk down in the rain to get to the ferry. N quite animated as there was a ferry approaching as we were just heading in to the terminal. She hadn’t quite understood that there was some time needed to disembark, get ferry ready, embark again, finish checks and then set sail.
The terminal was actually in the same building as the train station. And what a lovely old Victorian building it is. There are still vestiges of the grand holiday destination of that era. It’s a little faded now but must have been quite opulent at the time.
Once in Rothesay we looked for anything that was indoors. Rain was on and off and it was cold and windy. The first place visited was the discovery centre which is housed in the old winter gardens. Rothesay seems to have been quite the fashionable place to holiday.
Anyway we saw a little about the area and its history. Then we needed to change a nappy. Luckily it was L’s rather than J’s. There wasn’t a baby change facility but they did offer us the floor of the disabled loo. R not keen on that idea so she cracked on with it on a bench in the main gallery. All went well until the end where R decided to hurry a little to get it finished. Just pop the nappy in a bag? No. Zoom it there and manage to get some of the contents on her hand. On the bench. A big dollop on L’s bear outfit. Oh and a tiny splodge on my face. Yes, my blinking face. Oh the humour. Tears rolled down R’s cheeks as she just convulsed with laughter.
And then a walk down the prom. J loved the big puddles and splashed around in them for what seemed like ages.
N’s gloves are lost. Then she remembered she’d left them in the discovery centre. Yay. Koala yesterday and gloves today. What else tomorrow?
To the museum (more indoors stuff). Highpoint for me was a shield remembering locals in the second world war. Specifically those men who’d worked in mini submarines and “human torpedoes”. Wow. never heard of those before but I bet it was something horrendous to do.
Earlier in the day R had been told about a soft-play place that had opened this week. N had asked about it so we headed there. Well it wasn’t the nicest place. The guy running it was a nice chap but there were a good few issues with the place. It wasn’t a soft-play place it was just an ex-nightclub with a load of toys in it. The kids enjoyed it. R didn’t, too cold, smelly and the facilities were very very low-rent from the inflatables around the pillars instead of proper padding to the bust locks on the loo doors.
After noticing that the time for a ferry was fast approaching we ran down the hill as fast as possible to make it to the boat. And then back to the caravan.
Steak for dinner that night. Nyom.
Day 5 After the frankly appalling experience at the site’s swimming pool we went back to Largs for swimming at the Vikingar centre. This was much better, clean showers, no smell of wee, warm water. The guards were very over-bearing though and kept a grumpy, over-close eye on us at all times. Yes L managed to poo in the pool but it was only a tiny bit. We left quickly.
We ate lunch at the one restaurant in the village of Wemyss Bay. Was good food.
Being Halloween N made a scary witch face out of leaves and other flotsam on the path to our caravan. It was very good especially considering all she had to work with were leaves and sticks and stones.
We’d missed some of the kids halloween stuff (making costumes etc) but we were there for the kids’ disco. Lots of good costumes even for the weeest of ones (except ours ‘cos we’d failed to plan ‘owt). N was runner-up in best costume, witch with spider web hair (complete with spiders). We left before the bingo.
Day 6 N started the day by playing with the kiddies in the next door caravan. She’d met them at the disco yesterday and was very brave in going to their door to ask if they could play. The day was planned as a day out on the train. We headed up to Glasgow and the science centre. For some reason the centre had decided to run on “winter hours” which meant that it closed at 3. Not only that but the IMAX wasn’t running today, nor was there any show in the science theatre, and one whole floor was closed. So for shorter hours and fewer facilities they charged us full whack. Not impressed with that.
There was an awfy lot of walking as well. Seemed like miles from station to the centre, around the place, back to the station and then up the hill at the caravan park. Some nice industrial heritage to look at tho.
The return train trip was marred somewhat by the smell of poo (again). This time it was from J’s general direction. But what’s this? No loo on the train? Train too busy to manage to change him subtly. Grr. Once back at Wemyss Bay train station I went to the loo to change him. Poo everywhere! On his clothes, down his leg, up his back. Sigh. I could have done with a hand to keep his hands out of the mess so called for R to help. “But it’s a gents”. And other replies that I couldn’t hear ‘cos of J’s very loud crying. Apparently I was very grumpy about this.
That evening we ended up back in The Venue as N and J danced in the junior disco with the kids from next door. There were team games and N joined in with gusto. No wins sadly but there would always be tomorrow’s disco to try and garner a win.
Day 7 Gorgeous weather and we’d not been out much due to rotten rain all the time so this gave us a window to get up to Loch Lomond. Ended up at a place called Loch Lomond Shores. Very nice views including snow capped hills, N very insistent that she’d never seen snow-capped hills “not even on tv”. As photos were being taken N popped L on her feet after forgetting that she can’t yet stand up. There was a very unhappy L very shortly afterwards.
That evening N was back at the disco. The next door kids had left by now so she didn’t know anyone. The team she was on had previously been bigger than the other. Now, however, she was in a team on her own against all the other children. This was war! She needed some support so both me and R joined in as vocal supporters. At one point I got told off for “booing a little girl”. I bloomin didn’t, I was booing the other team. yes the other team was all little girls but that’s not the point. And then I had to do some dancing. The less said the better. But N did win a game tonight and single-handedly beat the other team in terms of points won over the evening. Star.
And home via the usual diversion to visit an old friend of mine in Dumfries.
30 Sep 2012
I’ve not put up many posts about family trips this year. This is mainly to do with time issues and lack of trips out. However we did get out today for some hours. A family trip to Carsington Water. Was fun.
And only 4 weeks until we finally get our holiday. Scotland beckons again!
30 Jan 2012
We went on a little jaunt last weekend. The four of us in a car up into the Peaks to a place called Cressbrook.
The ominous weather didn’t stop us. Didn’t even cause us pause. We parked up near’t mill and got ourselves ready in a howling gale. The walk started well with a small hill and tarmac. Eventually we ended up near some old lead mining houses and passed onwards into a dark wood.
The main issue seemed to be that it was muddy. Then J started howling.
He was sat in a kiddie backpack thing behind me. Turns out I was passing under tree branches but he wasn’t managing to avoid the odd snagging. Poor thing got very upset.
Then we headed upwards to a ridge and exposure to the wind (which had been nicely minimal under the cover of the woods). The gusts nearly blew N off a ledge at one point and then J just kept howling every time a heavy gust came his way.
Would you believe that we picked now to have our lovingly prepared picnic? Well we did. Exposed to the wind and rain. Was great fun.
But should we return and carry on. Carrying on meant miles further in the exposed wind and rain. Returning meant getting J through the thorney trees. We went back in the end but it wasn’t without incident involving mud and loss of balance. But we all got back in one piece.
Might do it again on a better day.
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