Monday, 31 August 2009

A cheese hangover

I should be doing the washing resulting from a fun filled week in the sun. Instead I'm trying to stay in the holiday mood for a while longer by sorting through the hundreds (literally) of photos taken.

The holiday started with a bit of an unfortunate journey - we were expecting the trip down to the South of France to take about 15 hours. It ended up taking a lot longer! An important lesson to be learnt is never put your trust solely in the satnav! We had just discovered that we were on the outskirts of Paris (the satnav decided that this was a short cut even though we shouldn't have been within 100 miles of the great big stinking place!), when this happened.....

Luckily Tim had gone into the rear of a very nice American man (far less scary saying sorry in your own language). Also very luckily I had taken out AA international cover (never had done before) - so a nice man French speaking man in London called Joe sorted out a recovery truck and taxi to take us to the garage while he attempted to find a hire car (apparently the state of the car market has made them in very short supply). We ended up sitting in the waiting area of the garage for 5 hours while Tim took various taxis around Paris trying to find the promised car. All I can say is that I never want to go to Paris again, my French truly is awful and if I ever meet Joe I would love to give him a big hug!

The rest of the week passed by in a major-event-free, relaxing (as it it can be with kids), wine and cheese filled way. We stayed in a holiday village in the Ardeche with three other families, the sun shone, the children got on amazingly well and had lots of evenings full of laughter (including one where the 'girls' got told off by security as our conversation could be heard throughout the whole village - very embarrassing as we were discussing extremely personal issues!).

Euan's second birthday was celebrated with a party on one of the beaches of the Ardeche River in a beautiful village called Balazuc. We swam, barbecued sausages and caught fish until the sun went down. Definitely beats the hated softplay area/magician parties! The only hitch of the evening came when handing out the birthday cake - Patrick really couldn't understand why he couldn't have the half of the cake that hadn't been sliced (he really does love cake).
The children's swimming progressed amazingly well over the week - Anya swam two widths of the pool on her own (must have been at least 10 metres) and both Patrick and Euan were taking running jumps into the pool. So not really much time for sitting by the pool with my book (although I do blame my cousin for some late nights after introducing the Twilight books to me - Sarah that's you!).

The journey back through France was pretty easy until we hit Calais where we were due to swap our France hire car for an British one. I thought we might be in for trouble after hearing a family shouting at each other about trying to fit into a small car (Tim again is lucky in having me for a wife and not having 2 teenage daughters - I felt for the poor man and hope is now at home with earplugs!). We were offered a Corsa - even in our most optimistic frame of mind we were unable to work out how to get the contents of an MPV and three child seats into an ultra compact car! We ended up with two tiny cars to drive back separately, but at least we got home in one piece!

These are cars 2, 3 and 4 (spot Euan in the front of car 4, his first front seat ride, grinning from ear to ear).

Well back to the washing....

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Skywatch Friday - cars to lust after

The gorgeous blue skies at the weekend helped me imagine life without the MPV/baby seats/assorted rubbish/plastic toys and other unmentionable detritus of my current vehicle and instead picture driving along an empty road surf board in the back (not that I would be able to use it for any more than a picnic table) heading for the beach.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

A mixed bag

Another action packed week including: bowling, a trip to the cinema (Patch's first time - he loved it and didn't move for nearly 2 hours - we WILL be making a return visit), colouring in trees with chalk (I didn't get it either but it kept them occupied for over an hour), paddling in freezing rivers, more parks and ice-creams. The down side of the week was the wasp stinging Euan and a Sunday afternoon birthday party (boo) but no magician (hurrah - it was a Punch and Judy show).

Granny, Grandad and Ba Bags visited, we had an early Euan birthday celebration at the Chinese buffet then went and lusted after classic cars (and in Euan's case steam trains).

Quotes of the week -
To Patrick "you have an eyelash on your cheek". Patch "No I haven't, I'm a boy!". It took a while but I managed to work out that he was once again living his life through The Simpsons where only the girls are drawn with eyelashes. As my Dad used to say to me "If you had a brain you'd be dangerous".
"Look at that car over there, it's dirtier than a whistle" ~ Anya. Spot the well known phrase or saying.
"Who are you going to marry?"
Patch "Auntie Jax, because she's on her own"
"Why not Ba Bags?"
Patch (while looking at me as though I'm stupid) "she's already married to Granny and Grandad"
Anya (pointing out the obvious flaw in the plan) "You can't married Aunty Jax, she's too old for you"
Thought of the week - "He who strikes the first blow admits he's lost the argument" ~ Chinese proverb

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Skywatch Friday - flying and swooping

Having three young children means that I spend an inordinate amount of my time under the skies of parks. I expect that in another few years I will walk past these parks without ever going into them but for now I'm exercising my bingo-wings pushing swings.

To see lots of other skies (or other parts of the same sky) from around the world, click the button below.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Never work with children or animals

Ruby is our fifth beagle. By now I should really understand how the brain of a beagle operates. If I had thought about how her brain works for more than a millisecond then perhaps I may have had a more relaxing afternoon and a longer walk.

Euan was at nursery and I had dropped the other two off at Yogabugs, I had an hour and a half to myself (first time for a long time!). I finished a doughnut off at lunch so thought I could walk it off. This is a photo of the gorgeous field I began walking through - note the cows, they are the origin of all the later evil!

So being nice and relaxed I let my guard down and let Ruby of her lead. She galloped off at full pelt heading for the first wet cow pat - now this is the thought that ran through her head "eat it or wear it?". This photo shows the conclusion of that particular decision.

My choice then was walk home through the village with a poo splattered dog or 'encourage' her to go for a swim. The result of that choice is shown in the next photo. The twist in this tail/tale is that all five beagles we have owned hated water, but on showing her the river, Ruby jumped straight in (no throwing involved). May be after five years she has finally learnt about consequences?

I will not start on the cat, except to say if she wasn't so expensive she'd be dead!

Monday, 10 August 2009

Walks on the wild side

Spot the feral children. It finally stopped raining long enough to let the children run free without wellies and waterproofs. We visited a variety of parks, the local Wildlife Trust Centre's 40th Birthday celebrations, went for bike rides, had sprinkler fights in the garden, played football and tried out skate boards. Patrick's amazing sense of fashion - the making of this ensemble is the inside out t-shirt! Have a feeling that he may become a designer - this is the look of 2025, you have been warned! Click on the picture to get the full multicoloured, multipatterned effect.
Anya was very proud of herself after mastering swinging the swing alone! Euan was equally proud of himself having a first go on a big boy swing.Euan has lots of love to share with all types of animals - he particularly likes cok-cor-rowls, but this one crossed the line at trying to get his ice-cream.

We managed to have a family picnic on Saturday followed more ice-cream and more playing in the park. I feel better that we had a jam packed Saturday as Tim and I were very incapable on Sunday - we really are old enough to know better and I am firmly back on the wagon! On Saturday night we went to a Barn Dance in a real (cow manure smelling) barn. The venue was perfect, the sun set over acres of ready to harvest wheat and shone in, through the great barn doors, on the band. The band played on a stage constructed from a wagon, while the smell of the hog-roast nearly masked the farmyard smells! It was bring your own booze and as we were walking the few miles home we did our best to have nothing to carry back. It was a brilliant night, my first but definitely not my last barn dance!
The never to be looked at again photo - A very pretty flower from our picnic.
Quote of the week - "There's Eu-Eu" ~ Euan looking at himself in a photo.

Thought of the week - "Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut" ~ Ernest Hemingway

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Skywatch Friday - sunset rainbow

I have been thinking about posting a Skywatch Friday for a while since seeing some gorgeous photos on Postcards from Wildwood. However, it took the journey home from hell to produce a sky worth posting about. These photos were taken shortly after the hour long wet walk to the car park and while being lost on the unsigned roads of Cambridge. The rainbow is the first I've ever seen at sunset, the photos don't really do it justice.
To see lots of other skies (or other parts of the same sky) from around the world, click the button below.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Through the eyes of babes

Patch proudly presented me with this picture - "It's you Mummy".

I love the tummy button and fingers - I'm sure that it says a lot about how his mind works and how he sees me. I'm not too sure I want to find out?

Monday, 3 August 2009

Jigging in a field

I am definitely getting old, gone are the days of clubbing until the sun comes up, loud rock music and so much beer the events of the night get blurred. Instead the whole family spent Saturday at the Cambridge Folk Festival, listening to the jiggy music, having a very civilised picnic (with hummus and crudite) and splashing out on a Pims!

Euan and I enjoyed shaking along to a band in the bar tent, Steamchicken were very funny and got everybody moving.

Anya and her friend Jack wiggled along with The Shee.

Patrick liked the cockroaches thrown out by the storyteller.

Everyone liked having a try with the flower-sticks.
We will definitely making a return visit. BUT we will pay more attention to how we got from the carpark to the festival site and not rely on 'helpful' strangers sending us to the wrong carpark in the pouring rain (a less than 5 minute dry walk turned into a circular lost wet hour walk!).
Related Posts with Thumbnails