Sunday, 23 August 2015

Golden Wedding Anniversary

 We helped my mum and dad celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary today. There were 14 of us there including dad's brother and his wife, and one of mum's oldest friends. It poured down with rain all the way to the Commodore Hotel in Instow, but not long after we sat down the sun came out.
 We all had a lovely meal and were very full afterwards. Then it was back to mum and dad's for a cup of tea and a bit of a chat. Adrienne, Caitlin and Ellie all but cleaned mum out of jewellery. It was a rescue to stop her sending all our family heirlooms to the charity shop.
Mum looked very lovely in her posh new frock. Caitlin decided she would try mum's wedding dress on. Don't they both look lovely!? Here's to a very happy next 50 years, mum and dad.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Tarr Steps

 We had a nice day out on Sunday. Once we eventually got to Tarr Steps. It seems it does matter how many times we've been before, we can never remember the way, so out comes the Sat Nav, and what do you know, the Sat Nav never takes us the same way again either. This time it took us down the link road and then left along some tiny country lane and half way round Exmoor trying to find Dulverton. Eventually we ignored and took the first turning we found signposted Tarr Steps. Of course this brought us to the wrong side of the ford, which is where we usually end up, but this time we were prepared. We were in the Land Rover. So we drove through the river. This caused much embarrassment to the girls because everyone stops and stares.
  Never mind - we had arrived! We parked, ate our pasties (now somewhat colder) and then set off for a walk. We did what we usually do, headed up-stream until we found the footbridge, crossed over and then walked back where the path is high above the river. Willow had a marvellous time, ran round like a mad thing and voluntarily went in the water several times. Caitlin took lots of photos as part of her summer Art assignment. We spotted several poetry boxes on the walk around so Ellie composed a poem, wrote it down on her phone and copied it into the book inside the box next to where we had our lunch. It's going to be up in Lynmouth Pavilion in September.
  After our walk we went to the cafĂ© for a hot chocolate and cream tea (cos you can have them with hot chocolate instead of actual tea) and completely confused the waiter by moving to an indoors table between placing our order and it arriving. There were wasps outside. Tarr Steps is definitely nicer when the sun is out and you can paddle in the river, but it was still a nice day out. We didn't get home until 5.30. I am writing down the way so we don't forget it next time. Link road - North Molton - Withypool then turn right to Tarr Steps. Stupid Sat Navs!

Sunday, 9 August 2015


 We've been back a week now and already it feels like ages ago we were in Portugal. It was slightly strange to arrive and not need to adjust our clocks - I am so conditioned into thinking that whenever you fly to Europe and the sun you have to adjust your clock. But we soon got over that when we realised we were actually in THE SUN! After so many busy holidays this was going to be a 'do nothing' holiday.  Most of our time was spent on the beach and by the pool and when we weren't doing that we were taking a break from the sun by lounging around in our apartment. But we did manage to do a few things, of course.
 We went for a boat trip along the coast to see the caves. This wasn't nearly as scary as Caitlin is making it out to be here. She actually enjoyed it and despite the bumpy waves, so did I.
 We had a few meals out in restaurants overlooking the beach. The food in Portugal is very cheap but the service can be a bit hit and miss. This restaurant was a bit like being in Faulty Towers, with a doddery old waiter who kept wandering off to serve other people half way through taking our orders.
 Cocktails in beanbags on the beach were great. Carl had a few too many and had a bad head the next day, but it was his birthday.

 We went to Slide and Splash, a water park, on one day. It was quite windy but we managed to enjoy the sun too. Caitlin and I got stuck in the middle of one ride, Ellie got caught under a boat and cut her foot and knee trying to get back out, and Carl managed to lose 40Euro on a water slide cos he didn't listen when we told him to put his money in my purse, but insisted on keeping it in his back pocket instead.
Water parks are dangerous places!
We had a nice, relaxing time though. Which was the main point.