Saturday, 29 August 2009

Blackberry Picking

I made the most of possibly the last (only) day of summer this August by ignoring the housework and sitting in the garden. Then Jo came round and we took Ellie and Kia blackberry picking. That's a proper traditional end of summer activity, the sort of thing real children did years ago, before they invented computers and DVDs. It was wonderful in the sunshine.
We walked right down the lane until we reached the back of the cricket club. Of course we were the wrong side to get in, but it was lovely catching glimpses of the cricketers in their whites, against emerald green grass and blue skies. If it's nice next Saturday we are going to walk the other way, with purses, and sit and watch the game with an ice cold beer. It's going to rain for the next five days though so I don't hold out much hope.
Ellie has so far refused to eat even one blackberry, but she had a great time picking them - fighting with the brambles and the stinging nettles.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Exam Success!

Adrienne went off to school yesterday morning all nervous. She met her friends at 11.00 and didn't come home til 11.40 to tell me what she got. She was smiling. She got a B in Maths and English Lit, 6 Cs, and a D for French. The latter she was a bit miffed about, but it doesn't matter cos she got enough to go to North Devon College to do her A levels. And she got more Bs than me when I was at school, so that makes her the cleverest in the family, doesn't it?

Monday, 24 August 2009

James May and the Tarka-Hornby Train

Today was the day James May had chosen to try and break the world record for the longest model railway with a Hornby train track running from Barnstaple to Bideford along the Tarka Trail - 10 miles. Adrienne managed to get onto a team and reported to Barnstaple train station at 7.30 this morning. It chucked it down with rain until about 10.30, then turned into drizzle on and off for about another hour. They carried on regardless! Caitlin, Ellie and I got there during the last downpour, which lasted only about five minutes, then the sun came out. We found Adrienne under the road bridge just outside the station having laid her 100 metre track and been up and down the Trail helping others. So this was the only photo I got of her involvement in the attempt.

We walked on down towards Fremington Quay and passed James May coming back the other way. This is him with a 'Why-is-that-stupid-woman-pointing-a-camera' look on his face.

Along the way there were lots of camera crews testing the track and filming fake-cut-in bits for the TV show. There were also lots of gaps in the track which was a bit worrying but a nice scout man told me there was a technical crew coming along cutting bits of track to fit in the gaps, which were inevitable when you had lots of teams of people starting and finishing thier bits in different places.

When we got to Fremington Quay it was 1.30 and time for lunch. They were due to set the first train off at 1.00, which, travelling at 3mph, should have reached us by 2.00. So we waited... and waited... and waited.

My friend Julie, arrived and the girls were distracted by playing with the dog, taking him for walking and accidentally feeding him ice cream. Every now and then some one from the TV company would come along and say things like, 'It'll be here in 30 mins' or 'Its only 10 mins away' Ha! Then we heard stories like: the power pack blew up, someone stole some of the track, the train broke.

Eventually James May appeared on his bike, then disappeared again behind the bike shed! What was that all about? The crowd moved onto the grass verge next to the concrete bit of the Tarka Trail and settled down to wait some more. James reappeared.

He looked... We looked... Surely its got to be here in a minute?

YES!!! There it is, at 6.30 in the evening, tiny little train chugging along its tiny little track. I have no idea if it made it all the way to Bideford. We went home shortly after this, but for all I know, its going still!

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Murder Mystery

Adrienne's long overdue birthday party is still in progress as I type, but I've finished slaving in the kitchen now and am typing this for a bit of light relief! Feeding eight sixteen year olds is bad enough, but trying to subtly guide them through a murder mystery night from a distance without looking like an overbearing mother is quite a task. Still, this is what she wanted to do. I think they did OK. They got a bit confused in the middle but then so did me and my friends when we did it last month (of course our confusion had more to do with alcohol than anything else, I'm sure!) Adrienne and her friends do not have that excuse. So, here they are, still trying to work out which one of them is a murderer. There are a few more photos but Adrienne has the camera with those on in the room with her and I dare not go back in! I'm sure they'll be all over facebook by lunchtime tomorrow though.


Yesterday we went down to Claire's for a party in honour of the arrival of Noah. He was two weeks old, but this photo was one that Carl took when he was only three days old. I took my camera to the party yesterday but was so busy talking and eating all the yummy food that I forgot to take any photos! How does Claire manage to run a house of six children (accepted the oldest two are not children any more) with a two week old baby and still find time to cook?!!!

Ah, but isn't he cute??