Tuesday, 14 April 2009

(Hope You Had A) HAPPY EASTER!

I know, I’m a little late with the Easter wishes. We’ve had a busy, busy weekend around here – in a good way for once. We decided that rather than spend the time slobbing at home like we usually would (with the kids getting all cabin fevered and driving us up the wall) we would try and get out and about every day over the Bank Holiday Weekend. So, here’s what we got up to:

Friday

We (well, I) took advantage of not having a getting up deadline on Friday and enjoyed a bit of a lie in (while Kendo got up with the kids – hurrah). Once we were all up and about we decide we would head out to a local ice cream palour for some lunch. We’ve been meaning to go there for ages, and I was so glad we did. Fabulous, gorgeous, yummy, delicious flavours of Italian icecream. To die for. I had a scoop of kiwi and a scoop of lime cheesecake flavour in my sundae. What’s not to love. Grace informed us that we had to eat something health before we had our ice creams (I don’t know where she gets this stuff from ;)) so we were very good and had sandwiches first. Then we tucked into these:

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Poor Gracie got the obligatory “ice cream headache” (there’s always one isn’t there?):

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After stuffing our faces with huge sundaes we decided some exercise was in ordered so headed to a lovely little park practically next door to the ice cream place. It was fabulous there. The playgroup equipment was in good condition, the ground was clean, the grass cut and the flower beds kept nicely. We have a lot of public parks near us but they’re not always the nice places to visit that they could be so this was a lovely surprise and I think we’ll definitely be paying a return visit.

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The weather was a little overcast and it started raining whilst we were at the park so we headed home for some DVD watching (Doctor Who series 2 (the first one with David Tennant in) and then my best friend (and the kid's Godmother) Paula dropped round to have a few beers and watch this (once the kids were in bed):




Saturday

Saturday began with a lie in for Kendo (we always take turns on weekends like this) and then we headed off up to Nanny Winnie’s to go for a walk with my MIL, FIL, eldest SIL and her dog. I’ve mentioned before the colliery parks that we have in my town and we decide to visit another one of those for our walk. Colliers Moss Common was formerly the site of a colliery and power station but has been turned into a lovely natural walking area. There are markers sunk into the floor all the way around the park showing the way to various points of interest:

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There are also some strange pieces of art dotted around the park, like this one (we’re torn between dinosaur egg or giant Easter egg (although I do think it’s really supposed to be a big seed):

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Grace made herself comfy as you can see:

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We’re not entirely sure what this is supposed to be either – its on a small lake were there are lots of bull rushes, so maybe its supposed to mirror those? Who knows.

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There are also some nice lakes dotted around the park. The dog has a particular liking for this one:

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Although Grace was not amused by getting caught up in the doggy shake’n’spray when she got out:

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There was an awful lot of this going on:

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Which, quite frankly, makes me a little nervous, but the kids love being up there.

We also decided we would walk to the top of here:

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Which was definitely worth it for the view:

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Do you think its at all possible that Gracie was sick of Mummy taking photos?

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After that it was all over bar the sulking (because Auntie Keggy said something nice to Egg and not to Grace. Humpf! How very dare she!):

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And the windmills:


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We, of course, had to make sure we were back home for 5.45, because we couldn’t miss the Easter Special of Doctor Who. There are precious little enough David Tennant episodes left as it is *sniff*

Sunday

Sunday morning was church and then dithering over what we were going to do for the day. We considered going up to Rivington Hall Barn, which is somewhere we used to visit a lot before we had the kids (people go up there on motorbikes all the time, it’s a huge biker hang out (that is there are a lot of bikers that go there, not that they’re all huge, well, most of them are pretty chunky, but you know what I mean ;P). A text from some friend of ours completely changed our plans though. These friends own a piece of woodland in Cumbria (just outside of Broughton-in-Furness) and we’ve been meaning to get up there to check it out for a while. They’ve been up their camping for the holidays and as the weather was beautiful we decide to just bite the bullet and go for a run up there. It’s a trek to be sure (about a 2hr drive) and I couldn’t even get my car half way up to the actual camp site (we gave up after the first rise in the dirt track where my tires lost grip and decide to walk up) but it was well worth a visit. It’s stunning countryside up there and owning their own little piece of it just makes it all the easier. They’re not allowed any permanent structure on site but they have constructed a yurt, which is camping the way I like it – wooden floor, bunk beds for the kids and a calor gas heater! They’ve also now put in a composting toilet, with a proper loo seat and everything (which doesn’t smell, at all, which I was very surprised at) and have something approximating running water (albeit a hose pipe running from their stream at the top of the hill). They have a little kitchen area all set up and a fire pit etc. It’s just a great place. The kids were in their element. Egg was overcome with the amount of sticks and rocks (his very, very favourite thing to collect) and they both had a great time splashing about in the stream (Egg wanting to dive into the small pooled part in the middle of course *sigh*). I fear holidays up there would cause havoc with my blood pressure having to watch what Egg was into but it was a fantastic day out for all of us.

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What happens when you let Grace have the camera. Attractive! Not.


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Egg finds (another) big stick.


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The guys making charcoal (one of the ways they make the woodland work for them).


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Playing on the rope swing with Elle.


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Paddling in the stream. Really cold apparently. I had to man the camera so couldn’t possible have found out :P


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We could barely get the kids to leave when it was time to go home. Egg holding tight onto his sticks and Gracie declaring she wanted to wait for “fire time” but we needed to get back so we hit the road around 4.30 and headed home. We were in plenty of time to stop off at Taybarns for tea on the way home though. Mmmmm. My favourite.


Monday

On Monday, spurred by Sunday’s visit to the woodland and the realisation that it was a shame we couldn’t have camped the night (on account of not having a tent!) we headed to a local outdoor shopping centre to price up a new tent and some camping equipment. It’s becoming patently obvious to us that camping is really going to be the best way to go for future holidays. We’re taking Grace out of school for a week this year while we go away to a holiday park but it’s unrealistic to think we can take her out from next year and the cost of holidays in the UK in July and August is nothing short of scandalous. So, we’re thinking we invest the cost of a year's holiday in some decent camping equipment and make next year's holidays more about regular weekends camping than about one week away somewhere.

Of course, that means that I need to get over my complete aversion to camping and the outdoor life in general. I’m mostly of the opinion that if God had meant me to camp he wouldn’t have invented Travel Lodge and the static caravan. I need to get over this and embrace the camping – and the all-week stinkiness, and going to the loo in the cold in the middle of the night, and living off food that’s got that “cooked on a camping stove” taste about it. I’m slightly afraid though that the thought of camping doesn’t horrify me quite as much as it used to. I think I’m getting old. Next thing you know I’ll be thinking about buying a caravan! Although, I did see a really nice trailer tent in the camping shop…………

We think we’ve actually decided to go for this tent. Which is a great size for us in terms of inside space and how much it takes up when it’s packed. That'll be a tale for future blog posts I'm sure.

So, that’s our Easter weekend in a very large and photo filled nutshell. We had a great time. Hope yours was good too.

TTFN

3 comments:

Lucy Locket-Pocket said...

Golly! It looks and sounds like you've had a really action filled and fun time! Great photos!

Lucy x

April said...

sounds like a great weekend - where's that ice cream parlour?

April xx

Suzanne Vaughan said...

What a fab post!

PS I have Twilight and love it! Edward is so delicious!