Weekend away, getting it done, and in time for tea.

1) We had a fun weekend, heading north to visit my sister and the family.ย  Both drives, north and south, were stunning – beautiful skies, amazing scenery, and excellent visibility.

2) K was kind enough to drive both ways, while I got some much needed knitting (more on this on Friday) out of the way.

3) We got home in time for Mum’s Sunday roast dinner – very welcome after the long drive south!

Catching up.

1) School restarts after the half-term break tomorrow. It’s been a lovely holiday though, and we were all glad of the break.

2) The holiday was a nice mix of time away and time at home. We caught up with family and friends, celebrated birthdays, had a couple of daytrips, and enjoyed an evening at the wonderful Enchanted Forest, and a night in a camping pod!

3) Today was spent catching up on things around the house. I’ve organised paperwork, laundry, planned meals and sorted all sorts of school stuff. Now for an early night ๐Ÿ™‚ .

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!

Holiday, video, and eating out.

1) The kids and I had a lovely relaxed start to the morning – holidays are good ๐Ÿ™‚ .

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.ย  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!ย  (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).ย  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 ๐Ÿ™‚ .

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ .

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!ย  Clearly his golf lessons with Grandpa are paying off ๐Ÿ™‚ .

12) The coastal drive home on a beautiful clear day ๐Ÿ™‚ .

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!).

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!

Day off, old jeans, and going away.

1) K has a day off work, and the kids are at school. It’s great to finally get on with some stuff which has been piling up for a while.

2) To wear a pair of comfy old jeans.

3) To pack and get organised – I’m off on a wee jaunt on my own for a few days. I’ll be back on Thursday…

Warm, unexpected, grass.

1) It actually feels warm as we walk to school this morning.

2) K’s parting shot as he left the house this evening was to ask if I was remembering that he has next Monday off. I wasn’t. His company has its main office down south, so they get English bank holidays. The kids will be in school, and we’ll have a day to ourselves ๐Ÿ™‚ .

3) There’s a large patch ofย mossy grass in our back garden (the price we’re paying for letting the kids play on the snowy grass in winter!). Tonight, I took the rake to it, and raked up as much as I could.ย  It looks muddy, and I’m sore, but at least the grass has room to grow!

A Lake District weekend.

We enjoyed a lovely weekend break in the beautiful Lake District…

1) Both our journeys, north and south, were unmarred by bad traffic, bad weather, and badly behaved children! Consequently, they were fast, fun, and relaxed.

2) A lovely walk around Buttermere, including a stop for a picnic lunch, a midway point stop for icecream, and a stop for afternoon tea on the way back to the car! Such a beautiful location ๐Ÿ™‚ .

3) There’s something very special about visiting with friends who have been around for more than two decades ๐Ÿ™‚ .