Monday, 31 October 2011

Weekend Away

We've just come back from a lovely, if knackering, weekend away. We travelled to Reading area on Saturday and made the mistake of leaving late at just after 10. Byt the time we'd detoured for petrol it was closer to 10.30 and it took us half an hour just to get out of Barnstaple. The link road was horrendous, I have never seen so much traffic and Ellie was car sick before we got to the motorway. She is never sick!
Anyway, we made to Louise and Ian's by 3 o'clock, but really it should have taken half that time! After a lovely cup of tea to recover we took the kids, and thier dog, out for a walk in the woods. Then it was back to theirs for lots of lovely beer, food and chats. We were even treated to some fireworks in the back garden. It was great.
We spent the night in a Travelodge. In a family room purchased in one of their sales for £12. I didn't get much sleep. Carl did. I know cos I had to listen to him snore for most of the night. And the next day we were up bright and early for our day at Chessington World of Adventure.
For some unknown reason they decided not to open the most popular ride, Dragon something or other, until later, and they were not saying what time for anyone who asked. So we ran off to do 'Vampire' first. It's the first time I'd done a rollercoaster where the seats hang and your feet dangle. I survived, though. It was fun. And they got to do the Dragon ride eventually, although there was a 45 minute queue by the time we noticed it was open.
We did most of the other things we wanted, although the queues for the Halloween walk-through things were also mega, and the kids had got fed up of queueing by then so we restricted ourselves to just the one, 'The Krypt'. It made me scream when something shot rice down my back but other than that it was pretty rubbish.
They're favourite ride was 'Kobra', a giant disc which spins and goes backwards and forwards along a bumpy track at the same time. They did that twice, first thing in the morning and again in the dark just before we left. We were all knackered by then. It was 10 o'clock when we got home but they've all managed to get up and go to school this morning. I'm glad I've got the morning off!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

A WOW Moment...

Just got back from walking the dog along the river front. The sunset was amazing, as was the very high tide. What made it even more amazing were the hundreds of starlings that flew directly overhead just as I got to the Pathfields building and the slipway. I so wished I'd had my camera. By the time I realised there was a camera on my phone the birds were swooping and wheeling on the other side of the river, you can see them as a line of black dots in the sky on this photo but it was much more spectacular that this in real life. There were just so many of them.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Ellie's 11th Birthday

Eleven is when I stop doing birthday parties. So this weekend was my last big party for my youngest daughter. I don't know whether I am relieved or sad.
We had about 25 kids all in all, at the church hall, with a disco. And I have to say the lady who did the disco was fantastic. She kept them occupied for the whole two hours with dancing and games, etc. There was a half an hour break in the middle for food and present opening, but other than that they were fully engaged from start to finish. Worth every penny.
Ellie had a lovely time and was completely knackered by the time we got home and finished watching 'Strictly' and 'Merlin'. So was I!

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Visitors from India

Today we played host to two very lovely children from Lourdes Central School in Mangalore, India, Alison and Gavin. They are cousins and live in the same house with three generations of their family.
Alison and Gavin are here with eight other children and three teachers from their school as part of the third year of our India project linking the two schools. Alison is Ellie's pen pal. They came for tea and had great fun playing on the Wii. They were very confident and talkative, as well as being very polite and helpful. I liked the way they called me and Carl 'aunty' and 'uncle'.
The only time it was quiet was when they were eating, although I'm not sure they knew what to make of my roast dinner. They'll be in school until Thursday, then Ellie will see them again in February when she goes to India.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

October sun

Here are just a few photos of us enjoying the October heatwave. Most of the weekend we have spent painting the outside of our house. But this afternoon I decided we ought to do something else too. And as they all moan about going to the beach the next best thing was walking the dog somewhere you can look at the beach. So here we are in the hills above Woolacombe.
It took me ages to get Willow to sit still long enough to take this photo!
Use the self-timer for this one, just after we'd stopped on a handy bench for a drink and snack.
This was taken on our way to the sand dunes and the walk back to the car park.