Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Weather Here, Wish You Were Beautiful.

Dear Cookie blog readers,

We interrupt this blog to bring you an important service announcement. The cookie blog would like to apologise for the lack of blog activity over the last week and a half. The reasons for the interruption to normal service were beyond our control (a girl needs a holiday!) and our attempts to restore service where hampered by third party service issues (that would be the total crapness of Haven Holiday Wi-Fi). We apologise for the break, normal service will be resumed shortly…..

Now, in fact ;)

Okay. So at least I have a valid reason (this time) for not blogging for a week. We’ve been away for our summer (hah!) holiday, to Haggerston Castle in Northumberland. It rained. A lot.

It was quite an eventfully week, not always for good reasons. Haven have not scored big on the “Tell us how your holiday went” score card for this year. The caravan we stayed in was a bit poor (the shower was completely hopeless), I spent the first night up and down into Egg’s room rescuing him from being wedged into the foot wide gap between the bed frame and the bed guard which was completely the wrong size for the bed (they did exchange it, but he had a bit of a squished night’s sleep). I could harp on for ages about the rest of the problems, but I won’t, because it wasn’t all bad. Despite the rain. Did I mention it rained? A lot?

We managed to find plenty to do around the local area. Berwick-Upon-Tweed and Alnwick are both lovely places and there are some fabulous seaside villages along the coast which are just beautiful. We also visited Lindisfarne (Holy Island) but our visit was hampered by the fact that they had royalty visiting the island on the day we went (HRH Prince Edward nonetheless) so pretty much everything was shut. Quite rude of him I thought ;)

There’s a fantastic place called Pot-A-Doodle-Doo just outside Berwick. They have their own wigwam village (you can rent a wigwam or a yurt to stay in… how cool is that?) and also a “paint your own pottery” place. Gracie decorated her own plate and it was properly glazed for her (we collected it later in the week). Well worth the £11 quid it cost us! Here’s Ms Grace concentrating on getting her butterfly painting just right:


We did make it to the seaside a couple of times (on the few occasions it wasn’t raining. I did mention it rained a lot, didn’t I?). We found a beautiful village called Seahouses with a lovely beach with sand dunes and rock pools (and even jelly fish along the tide line – I haven’t seen that since I was a kid!). Gracie got chance to make her obligatory holiday sandcastle so she was happy. Quite a masterpiece this year I thought:

sandcastles @ seahouses

Egg didn’t seem to see what all the fuss was about though:


I had a break through parenting moment while we were there and found the perfect solution as to what to do when the small people are driving you up the wall:

upside down Egg

upside down grace

I apologise for the quality of these two photos. Obviously I didn’t take them (on account of having my hands full) and Kendo had been pressing buttons on my camera. Which only ever leads to badness, well, bad photos anyway.

We got back to the beach a little later in the week and Egg realised where we’d been going wrong with the whole sand thing. Clearly sand isn’t for building with….. it’s for eating!!:

Egg eats sand

Or not.

Then there was this moment. Evolution? Hmmmmm. Maybe we haven’t come as far as we think?


Our second seaside trip was completed with a go on an impromptu driftwood see-saw. Which the kids found hilarious (I love that Grace has hold of Egg’s harness like he’s a horse!!)


One of the highlights of the trip was a day out to the wonderful Alnwick castle (where they filmed some of the Harry Potter movies, in case you’re interested). There was loads to do for the kids, including a fabulous “Knight’s Quest” where they got to dress up as knights and princesses and complete little tasks and riddles. Here’s princess Grace and the brave Sir Eggman:

King and queen

It also provide a great opportunity to get Kendo just where I want him:

take stock

A Haven holiday wouldn’t be a Haven holiday without a bit of Tiger club action and Gracie and Egg had a fab time running around on the dance floor. Grace is quite the boogiemeister when she gets going and Egg was just happy to have so much space to run round in I think. We were slightly disappointed with the entertainment as usually there’s a different show each evening but we ended up with the same one 4 times in the week (I’m assuming some technical difficulties on their part, but they didn’t announce anything, which was kind of annoying).

Here’s Egg after a marathon dance floor running session:

All tuckered out

And Gracie doing her dancing queen bit:

dancing queen

Of course, sometimes it was more dragging than dancing:

dragging not dancing

But fret not. The Eggman knows how to get his own back:


We got plenty of good fresh air and exercise throughout the week. Including some crazy golfing action:

Crazy golf girl

Go me!

crazy golf boy

Kendo even took his rollerblades (which have lived in the under stairs cupboard untouched for about 7 years!). Here he is pretending to be speedy:

sk8er boy

In reality, the furthest he got was about 3 feet until he retired from skating for fear he might do himself (or someone or something else) serious injury. I wonder how much rollerblades go for on Ebay?

The sporting action didn’t end there. The one thing I could not fault about the Haven/Haggerston Castle experience was the Learn2Swim classes that Grace went to. She’s been on the waiting list to start swimming lessons at home for about 7 months with no joy so it was great that we could get her started with some lessons. For three of the session there was another boy with her and for the final session just her so she got one-on-one tuition with the fantastic Donna who was just great with the kids and had them swimming off on their own (with their woggle floats) in no time. Grace made it through 3 swimming certificates and got badges to sew on her swimsuit. I’m so proud of her, she did great.

That’s it for now, but I’m sure there’ll be some holiday scrapbooking photos along shortly.

Apologies if I haven’t caught up on your blog yet. I came home to 268 items in my google reader account! It’s going to take forever to catch up. Stop posting all of you!!



Lou said...

Fab photos hun; I especially like the inverted kids and the knight and princess!

BTW, you forgot to tell us about the weather! :P


Mrs Moog said...

Great photos - it looks like you had a great time despite the weather and Haven!!


April said...

Brill photos, sounds like you managed to have a great time. I love it up there. Alnwick is gorgeous - did you go to the huge second hand bookshop??

I love Lindisfarne too and Seahouses - where we played crazy golf in the rain!

April xx

the vicious chicken said...

Ooh, I do *love* a good game of crazy golf! And I've always thought those paint-you-own-places were fab, too - so I'm quite envious of the week you've had, despite the poor weather you were given! I am sorry about that, though... but very glad that it wasn't all bad and that you managed to have some fun :o)

Marmadaisy said...

ROFL at the picture of the nit picking. I think I've said this before, but you are always welcome here. Of course, it rains a lot in North Wales and I can't say much for the children's entertainment (although dogs are pretty good for that) but at least it's free. And even better I have a well stocked wine rack!

kim said...

Sounds like you managed to do a lot despite the rain! I always think that a rainy holiday wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the little people who just don't seem to see the value in curling up with a good book and chocolates for the afternoon.

Unknown said...

oh my word that place looks divine!! I want to go! Glad you had a great time. :)

Charlie P said...

Heh heh- It's so weird to hear about somebody holidaying where you live! It certainly looks as if you enjoyed yourselves despite the accommodation and the rain.
If you ever go again, let me know and I'll let you in on the secret of where to find the North East's best chips :)

Mama said...

Looks like you had a wonderful time - pity it didn't rain : )


Michaela said...

Welcome back! What fantastic holiday photos. We did a Haven Holiday a few years ago - awful doesn't even come close. The caravan stank of stale wee... and then it all went downhill from there really. Never again!