It's been quite a busy old weekend here in Cookieville.
On Friday we trotted off for a day out to Stockley Farm to meet up with Louise and Rach and their respective broods. We had a fabulous time in the lovely sunshine (which made a pleasant change from the recent rain). It was lovely to see Rach and the kids again (the last time I saw them Rach wasn't even pregnant with Caitlin (who is now 6 months old!)). We had a lovely pic-er-nic, the kids played for ages in the outdoor play area and had great fun feeding and petting the animals. Add a couple of bumpy tractor rides and an icecream and it was pretty much a perfect day out.
On Saturday we were supposed to go to the St Helens Music festival (which you might remember from previous years has always been a great day out). Well, the Council completely let us down this year with an appalling line up of RnB acts (to "attract a younger audience" apparently) and a charge to get in (previously it's been free). Clearly seeing N-Dubz and Chipmunk perform is not really up our street, so has we still had the offer of babysitters overnight Kendo and I decided to do something anyway (we don't often get time together just to two of us).
So, what would we do being child-free for an entire afternoon and evening?? The pub?? The theatre?? The Cinema??Run up a big hill?? Er.......yes..... the last one!!
I know. Completely unprecedented that we should have free time and voluntarily choose to spend it exercising, but that's what we did. Scary.
We decided we would go up to Rivington Pike for a run/walk. To be honest, in the end there was much more walking than running, but that was mostly to do with the fact that the paths are made up of large uneven cobbles and you'd be in serious danger of doing yourself a mischief should you attempt to run on them.
We used to go to Rivington Barn a lot when we first started dating. It's a big biker hangout on a Sunday with a little cafe and usually a craft fair. We'd never been any further than the barn though so were pleasantly surprised by what we found up there.
There's a whole collection of interesting little buildings and follies. Lord Levenshum who previously owned the property had a big thing for landscaping and design and built a huge terraced garden as well as several towers, and a dovecote. The buildings are mostly still standing but the gardens are pretty much in ruins (which is a huge shame, because looking at the old photos of them on the information boards they were amazing).
These are the terraced gardens (I think this might be the aviary):
See how energetic we were:
and no, you don't get to see the one of my running up, my arse looks huge!! You can see this one though:
The fantastic Dovecote tower (very Harry Potter-esque we thought):
Yes, this really is as far as it looks:
but we made it right to the top:
(if you squint you can just about see me leaning against the tower)
This is the view from the top:
(just breathe in all the geography!)
On the way back down we discovered this lovely lake:
with a waterfall:
Then on the way out we stumbled across the information board for this section, turns out it used to be a Japanese garden. What a shame it's gone to rubble:
We did manage a bit of a run when we finally found a flat bit on the way back to the car (which was quite impressive that we could even run after walking for 2 hours (most of it up a vertical path!!).
We were rather hungry after all that exercising, so decided to treat ourselves to a pub tea when we got home. Well deserved I thought. Kendo was very good and had a salad! I figured I'd earned my gammon egg and chips!
Continuing with the productive and energetic weekend, I did a little more scrapping last night. It was important we test drive Louise's new scrap space so we had a little MSNing cybercrop so she could test it out. I didn't quite manage to finish my layout (it still needs some journaling) but I hope to finish it tonight so will post it later.
Right, best head off - almost time for work. Deep joy!