Picnic, again, and summer sky.

1) A picnic lunch with friends, at a local country park we haven’t visited together in a couple of years. Reminicising about the times we used to walk there regularly when the kids were little more than toddlers – we walked round considerably faster today!

2) The spotless starling was back at the water fountain, having his daily bathe.

3) A stunning summer evening sky, streaked with pink and blue and gold, brought the day to a close.

Just us, supermarket trip, and fruit.

We’ve had a lovely weekend, filled with friends, family, gardening, barbeques, and general fun in the sun 🙂 .

1) A and I had a morning to ourselves, with M off at camp for the morning. We ran some errands, shared morning tea at the garden centre, and had lots of time to chat.

2) A trip to the supermarket with both kids usually ends up in argument. Today it didn’t 🙂 . M pushed the trolley, and I sent A off to various aisles to get specific items. It worked a treat.

3) A bowl of fruit – shiny red and green apples, sweet pears, yellow bananas, melon, grapes and strawberries.

Holiday, video, and eating out.

1) The kids and I had a lovely relaxed start to the morning – holidays are good 🙂 .

2) I put a video (yes, you read that right – a video!) in the player and was impressed to find it just worked – the player hasn’t been used in a couple of years.  M was particularly confused by this strange object, and I had to explain about how fast-forward and rewind used to work in the past!  (We were watching Anne of Green Gables, in case you’re interested!)

3) To sit out on the deck and linger over dinner with a friend. When the evening light fades at last, we’re glad to head inside to the warmth.

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 🙂 .

Shopping, meeting up, and disappeared.

1) I spent a couple of hours browsing the shops this morning, and successfully got most things on my list. Everyone seemed very cheerful this morning – certainly all the shop assistants who helped me were. I wondering if it’s the approaching summer holidays?

2) The kids and I were invited round to visit some friends this afternoon. We haven’t seen them in nearly two months, and it was so nice to see them again,

3) I made fajitas for dinner (with some turkey that needed used up). Judging by the speed with which they disappeared, they were much enjoyed by all (despite the fire!).

New, out to play, and easy.

From Tuesday:

1) I went to a new hairdresser this morning – and feel like I’ve had a proper haircut for the first time in over a year 🙂 . Now I’m wondering why I stuck with the last one for so long given that, nice as she was, she really didn’t understand my hair.

2) “What time do I need to come home, Mummy?” . It’s lovely that the kids are so keen to get out and play with their friends, they’ve beeen having a lot of fun recently.

3) Our new system meant that this evening, when we tired and hungry, we were able to go to our List of Meals, and quickly find something to cook for dinner.

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 🙂 .

Small things, out to play, and lift.

1) Today I did lots of small “bitty” things, made phone calls, organised appointments, got through laundry, did ironing. Small things, but they all took time, and I’m glad it’s done now.

2) A went out for a bike ride, and one of M’s friend’s came round to play. They both had a lovely hour or so after school 🙂 .

3) A friend kindly came to our rescue and drove us both up the hill, at the end of a hard (and hot) zumba class. We’d both walked down to the class, but neither of us felt like walking up again afterwards, consequently we were both extremely grateful for the lift!

New project, to bed, and refresh.

1) Today I cast on a new project. I love starting new projects; the anticipation, and then starting to see something I’ve envisaged taking shape.

2) To finally put a very tired small girl to bed, after a very exciting and busy couple of days. She did really well at her dancing display, but I’m glad it’s over for another year!

3) A long refreshing shower, after an evening spent in a hot changing room.