Camping weekend

1) We spent the weekend with a wide-angle postcard view of Islay and Jura in all its moods from our tent window – stunning sunrises, glorious sunsets, early morning sea mists, stormy clouds, and blue skies. Just beautiful!

2) The campsite at Port Ban is fab, and we’ll definitely be going back. We had such a fun weekend there camping, with friends next door. We walked, and talked, and forded streams, and played on the beach, and climbed hills, and ate icecream, and barbequed over a campfire on the beach…

3) Our drive home included a stop at Luss, and a visit to our favourite coffee shop for afternoon tea. It’s years since we were last in there, and it was lovely to find it was just as we remembered, and the cinnamon toast just as good!

Summer holiday 2013

We’re back from holiday – actually we arrived back on Saturday, but it’s taken me a few days to get back to normal again).  Here are some highlights from our time away:

1) A lovely weekend visiting our friends in the Lake District – as always a time of refreshment, and relaxation 🙂 .

2) We spent Saturday at Woolfest – a little to my surprise, the kids loved it (and behaved beautifully) and were quite content to spend all day there!

3) A lovely trip across country and up to the Northumbrian coast, where we set up our tent and settled in.

4) A couple of days doing not a whole lot, while the kids disappeared off to play around the campsite with their newly-made friends. This set the tune for the rest of the week – any time we were around the campsite, we barely saw the kids 🙂 .

5) It rained for a while on the second day – this didn’t deter the kids, who came back at lunchtime, gathered food onto their plates and took it to eat in the shelter at the top of the climbing frame.

6) We cycled along the coast to Bamburgh, ate delicious icecream, and played on the beach.

7) We drove up to Berwick-upon-Tweed, where we spent a happy half hour in a second-hand bookshop (and had an amazing morning tea in a fab little teashop!).

8) A beautiful cycle across the causeway to Lindisfarne, a wander round the museum and picnic lunch in the old priory. After that, we cycled across to Lindisfarne Castle and spent a happy hour exploring it, before a cross-country cycle around the island. Afternoon tea sustained us and gave us the energy for the cycle back to the mainland, which was much needed as we cycled into a strong headwind the entire three mile trip back! The kids coped amazingly welll, although K had to teach M to slipstream him to try and give her wee legs a bit of a rest!

9) We hired a firepit and bought some logs and had a campfire by the tent. We toasted marshmallows and baked damper – one of the best suppers ever!

10) A cruise around the Farne Islands – a collection of small rocky islands, home to several species of nesting birds – cormorants, kittiwakes, guillemots, shags, and puffins. We scrambled across the rocks at Staple Island, to get within metres of the birds, and we cruised out to see the Atlantic grey seals sunning themselves on the rocks, and playing in the water.

11) We played crazy golf, and A won comprehensively!  Clearly his golf lessons with Grandpa are paying off 🙂 .

12) The coastal drive home on a beautiful clear day 🙂 .

Solas 2013

We’re home from another fantastic weekend at Solas – the creative arts festival we’ve been going to for the last three years. We’ve loved it each year we’ve gone, and it certainly didn’t disappoint this year.

Some beautiful things from the weekend:

1) The new location – a lovely venue, set in the middle of Perthshire. The campsite was well-run, and our surroundings were beautiful.

2) Some fabulous music, good discussions, a cooking demo (using local ingredients), and some fun songs and stories.

3) The children’s programme was, as usual, really excellent. Our kids spent a wonderful four hours making shelters, making nettle strings, toasting marshmallows over the campfire, and other fun things with BEES.

4) The kids slept in until 8am on Saturday morning (a very rare occurence!).

5) Meeting up with friends we last saw a year ago.

6) Time just to wander, and soak up the atmosphere.

7) A wonderful communion service on Sunday morning, accompanied by some beautiful singers – I could have listened to them for hours.

8) While there were several short, very sharp, rain showers, but somehow we never actually got wet the whole weekend. Not only that but the wind picked up in time to perfectly dry our tent before we needed to pack it away!

All quiet, all ready, and delicious.

1) The house suddenly went quiet, as M went off round to play at a friend’s place, and A went out cycling with one of his friends.

2) To get out all the camping gear for the first time this year, and discover that we really had been organised after our last trip last year… everything was clean, in order, and ready to go.

3) Freshly made mango sorbet for supper. A perfect end to a warm evening 🙂 .

Toast, letter, and WIP Wednesday.

1) Hot tea, cold apple juice, and toast, multi-grained, buttered while still hot from the toaster, for breakfast. Sometimes the simple things are the best 🙂 .

2) M is so excited to receive a letter addressed just to her!

3) I haven’t had much time to knit this week, but I have managed a few rows (mostly while sitting of an evening in a tent!) of Autumn Project #1 – the stripey Oddments Knitting Bag:

Autumn Project #1 Oddments Knitting Bag

To see more of today’s Works-in-Progress, head on over to Tami’s blog

Morning cuddles, packing, and FO Friday

1) She crawls in between us for a cuddle, lies quietly for some time, then disappears under the duvet to reappear at the bottom of the bed, before running off downstairs.

2) The excitement of packing up…  we’re off camping with friends later today.

3) I’ve finished M’s Big Sister Dress 🙂 .  Knitted in Sublime Cashmere Merino Silk (4 ply), colourway Sleepy.  She’s one very happy girlie today!

For more of today’s Finished Objects, check out Tami’s blog over at Tami’s Amis

A relaxed weekend.

1) It was K’s birthday on Friday – we celebrated by going camping for the weekend with friends. Once again, it only rained while we were in the tent 🙂 .

2) The campsite setting was beautiful, right at the foot of the slopes of Dumyat.

3) We camped, we barbecued, we walked, we talked, we enjoyed some bubbly, we ate cake.

Weekend fun, and weekday madness

Wow – I can’t quite believe that it’s been more than a week since I last had time to blog. We had a fabulous weekend away at Solas Festival, and then M had her end-of-year dancing display on Monday and Tuesday nights…

So, we spent the weeknd doing this:

  and then there’s been rather a lot of both of these…

The kids have enjoyed doing some of this…

and there wasn’t as much of this as we anticipated!

Megan had lots of fun at her dancing display.  Her ballet class danced in
the candy stripe outfit to “Truly Scrumptious”, and
she was a ladybird in her tap performance of “Talk to the Animals”.

And here she is, all ready for the Finale 🙂 .  
And me?  Well, I’ve spent the last few days running around frantically, taxiing children from one place to the next, being chief hairdresser-cum-makeup artist, ensuring the correct outfits/uniforms are all ready and in correct order, and cleaning all the camping equipment. Thank goodness school breaks up for the summer holidays tomorrow!

Perfect drying weather, and an afternoon of perfect behaviour.

1) The weather is dry and sunny, with a gentle breeze. Perfect for drying our sodden tent.

2) This afternoon, the kids do that thing they do every now and again… namely, they (temporarily) transform into angels. I’m not sure how long this angelic state will last, but so far it’s been four hours!

3) The products of this angelic state have been interesting… firstly they played together on the Wii for a while, then they voluntarily switched it off and headed to the craft table, where they proceeded to create wonderful Christmas (go figure!) decorations… then they played separately for a while, before eating all their dinner, clearing away and putting the dishes in the dishwasher before Then tidying up the mess from the craft, sweeping and mopping the floor, and cleaning the windows!