Friday, 20 November 2015

Happy birthday my boy

Happy birthday Thomas!  What a brilliant boy you are.  You're cheeky, you love putting on a funny voice, you have a great giggle, you get excited about trains, you share so well, you enjoy cake and party rings and pizza and would rather play with presents than opening more.  You're a fun person to have a birthday with.

Monday, 26 October 2015

I went to Hardcastle too

It was really nice to be out walking in the woods with everyone today.  A beautiful sunny day, a good 3 mile walk which Marisca walked all of with barely a complaint (Thomas probably 2/3rds), and bat hat making for good measure.  I'm not sure that my photos were any better than Marisca's - except for featuring my lovely girl - but there was one ciew I liked (below) and lots of the children that I liked too, obviously.

Catching up

Ooops.  We've not blogged for a number of months.  I've not really photographed either, but here are a few out and about as Nostell Priory, our new "nature reverse" down at Hirst Lock, and a blackberrying walk in Hirst Woods.

Marisca the Photographer

Today we went to Hardcastle Crags.  Marisca chose to take my old camera with her - here are some of the results, plus her commentary.

I loved the view of it.  It was really fun!

I love Mummy because she's looooovely

This is a photo of a bit of broken wood with lots of autumn leaves and some rocks.

This photo is a gigantic crag with green on one side, and a bit of brown on the other, and silver in the middle.  Like a real rock should.

This is Daddy and Thomas crossing the stepping stones.  I love taking the pictures!

This sign shows an acorn tree.  We also saw a silver birch tree.

I love Daddy!  He's really funny.

This picture makes me laugh sooo much because my little brother's bat hat is the wrong way round.  It's really funny isn't it!

We had a really fun time and we loved going on the way home and the packed lunch.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Gardens and the like

I suppose I need to wrap up this rather haphazard set of posts about our holiday.  So the other things we got up to are here.  Mostly gardens.

On the way North we stopped at Preston Park, entirely because it was there when the children/parents got grumpy.  It has a lovely big playground and bouncy castles and a reasonable cafe.  Loads more (such as 'grounds') but we focussed on the playground and the cafe really.  Marisca did really well at these swinging things, "challenging herself" and eventually getting up to the 4th handhold.  Quite impressive.

They love bouncy castles...

...and of course each other.

On the train and Etal castles day (did I mention the train?  There was a train) we found ourselves at a cafe at Heatherslaw Watermill that had a load of outdoor games outside.  Marisca is surprising good at hula hooping.

And then we popped up to a Big Horse Place (I forget the name).  It had big horses, two of which were called Emily and Thomas (being the names of local friends, this amused us).  Marisca would like me to tell you that there was a sheep that sounded a lot like a pig.  Plus Big Horses.

On a different, quite sunny day we went to The Alnwick Garden.  Not just Alnwick Garden, it has the be The Alnwick Garden.  Anyway, despite being quite a way from the parking, and being incredibly crowded with tourists and probably not too cheap, we had a very lovely time.  They had a fairy tales treasure hunt thing which was great - Marisca chose to dress up and we raced round the gardens looking for clues.  Without the hunt I'm not sure we'd have had quite so much fun, the gardens would have been equally nice for us but a challenge to drag the children round.

Hint: in busy places, dress Tom in bright orange.

Clue #2...

I think per the clues that this is the Beast's rose.  It was just quite nice so I took a photo.

Tom, not getting lost (although he id taking an illicit path down the endless switchbacks through the cherry orchard).

As a bonus we saw some ducklings heading for the big pond!

We actually got away with it in the water features.  There's a bit of fountain sprayingness for fun, and then some really lovely water sculptures further round.  Clearly one of these does a big water show designed entirely for drenching children, but it had just finished by the time we got there, and as we weren't equipped with towels, we survived with only slightly wet children.

Finally, as I don't have pictures of the bamboo maze or of the enormous tree house, here is a familiar picture...  Remember this?  They're even wearing the right colour tops...

Not really a garden, but a farm park on one of our wet days (the other featured a trip to a science museum in Newcastle).  The highlight wasn't really the farm but watching Risky on the go carts.  Obviously having built up her pedalling muscles, she was awesome on them!  Lots of fun.

Oh, and proof of animals.  These ones are called goats.

Our last garden was at Howick Hall, near where we camped.  It's the home of Earl Grey so we went to the tea room (Elspeth had coffee.  Odd choice) and had a potter around the garden.  The children mustn't have been very photogenic that day, so here's some flowers.

So that's it.  What a lovely holiday, lots of things done and seen but lots of relaxation too.  We coped with lots of rain in our aging tent and all remembered again how much we love camping.  Next up is Teesdale again in a couple of weeks.