Monday, 29 August 2011

Bank Holiday

For once the sun actually shone on a Bank Holiday! Hooray! We were invited over to Julie and Kens to see their new kitchen, which is lovely, and for a barbeque. First we all went for a walk in the woods behind Landkey. Julie did tell me what they were called but I forgot. It was great. And Willow had a good time, running around and sniffing everything.
We stopped for a drink in a clover field, saw some pretty butterflies on the flowers and two birds of prey circling overhead. Then we went back to their house and watched Ken burn sausages. It's a rule, isn't it, its not a BBQ unless its burnt!
Adrienne was at home all this time, in case you were wondering why she wasn't in the photo, writing her personal statement for uni. I'm such a mean mother.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Cheddar Gorge and Caves

We've just got back from a little trip away. On Friday we went to Bristol and did some shopping. We also went to see 'Rise of Planet of the Apes' at the cinema and walked back to the Travelodge through a torrential downpour. The last time I got that wet with my clothes on was on a Disney ride.
Today we've been to Cheddar Gorge and Caves. The explorer ticket entry gets you in to several attractions. First we did Gough's Cave, named after the man to who discovered it and shown in the photo above. It's huge; the photo is only one little bit of it. There is an audio tour - you get to signs on the wall, push the number and listen to the commentary. Ellie wanted to do every single one. The rest of us skipped some. Caitlin looked worried every time the commentary mentioned the caves getting flooded, or being home to bats.
After a cup of tea we walked the 274 steps up to the look-out on top of the gorge. There were more steps to get to the top of the look-out. My legs are still aching now. We decided against doing the three mile walk around the top of the gorge. Our ticket for that bit are valid for ten years, so we may go back!
Then there was Cox's Cave and the Crystal Quest. This was a bit like the cave equivalent to the Haunted House at the fair. There was a story of elves and their evil enemies who needed to be defeated. Caitlin got even more worried and when a man jumped out at her in the dark she shrieked very loudly! The rest of us laughed.
We got an open top bus tour which lasted about 20 mins.
And we went into the Prehistoric Museum, did some archaeology in sand boxes, painted some cave paintings onto glass, saw some more skeletons to 'freak' Caitlin out, then came home. It was a lovely day out.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Cornwall - sort of...

Me, Caitlin and Ellie have just come back from a short break in Cornwall. It started well, but read on, cos it didn't really end that way. We arrived in Newquay at around 2 o'clock on Sunday. It was lovely and sunny so we headed for the beach and had an ice-cream. I should have known when mine fell off its cone and onto the floor that it was all going to go down hill from there.
The Blue Reef aquarium was nice, if small. (I had a free child entry voucher.) We wandered round, saw Nemo, and watched the sharks being fed. The kids took loads of photos of all the fish.
We stayed in an appartment in a village called Tregarrian, just above Watergate Bay; fabulous views from the balcony. The appartment was in the roof of the house and rather grandly called The Penhouse. It was quite posh and came with a complimentary bottle of wine. Caitlin and Ellie imediately declared they wanted to live there forever and that they should try to keep it looking as nice as it did when we arrived. Five minutes later it looked like a bomb had dropped.
On Monday we went to Flambards. (I had a free child entry voucher.) The sun continued to shine. This was the first ride they went on, by mid-morning they had shed jeans and leggins in favour of shorts and dress. They had fun on all the rides, although they were small and not quite Disney. On our way back to the appartment we had tea in Pizza Hut. (Kids eat free and I had a pizza for £5 voucher.) Are you starting to spot a theme here?
Then on Tuesday disaster struck. We got up early in order to get to the Minack Theatre, left the appartment at 8:20, and half way down the A30 to Penzance my car broke. The engine started to make sounds like a metal woodpecker had got stuck inside. I pulled into a layby and several phone calls later, on a mobile that was just about to go flat, established the fact that my big end had gone. This was confirmed by the AA man when he arrived at 9:55. He towed me off the A30 and we waited until 11:15 for a tow truck to arrive.

The tow truck man very kindly left us in Newquay and then he and my car headed home without us. We could have gone home too but that would have cut our holiday short. So the photo above is Caitlin enjoying lunch in a nice pub in Newquay, recommended by a nice man in the Tourist Information office. It was boiling hot again.
But by the time we arrived at Newquay Zoo it had got cold and cloudy. Still we spent the afternoon looking at the animals. (Discount voucher used, also give us by the TI man.) Then got a taxi back to the appartment.
This was Caitlin and Ellie this morning on Watergate Bay beach. Compare to the one I took on Sunday! Change in the weather. Shortly after this my dad came to pick us up and take us home. I love my Daddy!!!
And the reason for the title? Well we were in Cornwall, no doubt about that, but really we could have been anywhere, in any zoo, aquarium, beach, etc. Ellie kept saying it felt like Spain. What I really wanted to do were the unique things, the only in Cornwall things : the Minack, St. Michaels Mount, Lands End. The stupid car put paid to that! Still they're not going anyway, I suppose.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

An Unsuccessful Walk

This is my poor sad doggy just before we took her home. We were walking in a place called Uppacott Wood, just outside of Bishops Tawton, when she got stung on the bottom by a wasp. We could see her trying to get to the area on the top of her hind leg and when I looked the wasp was still there, stuck in her fur. So I flicked it out. After that she didn't want to walk anywhere at all. Her tail went down and her ears went down, and when we picked her up she was all shivery. Poor doggy!
She's alright now though. And we did make her walk back to the car, which was good, cos she went on ahead as soon as I said we were going back, and she was the one who found the way out when the rest of us didn't know which way to go.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Playing with new technology

Aha! I've just worked out how to do this. I made a book trailer yesterday for a book I wrote ages ago. It was published by YouWriteOn, a website for writers funded by the Arts Council. And now I've worked out how to embed it into my blog. See, you can teach an old dog new tricks! Feel free to have a look.