Picnic, colour, and camp.

1) It’s a lovely sunny day, so the kids and I share a picnic lunch out on the deck.

2) The garden is, if anything, more colourful than it was when I left on Tuesday 🙂 .

3) Waving my big boy off, as he goes to his first every Scripture Union camp. Two nights away – he’s never been away so long before!

I miss him already.

Holiday weekend…

It’s been a holiday weekend for us, and we’ve been making the most of having a few days off together.

1) On Saturday we went to one of our favourite swimming pool’s in Perth – it comes complete with flumes, rapids, outdoor pool, and whirlpool…  I was so impressed to see how M’s swimming is progressing, and how much her confidence has grown since the last time we were there.

2) On Sunday afternoon, we added another location to our 45 Minute Project.  M wanted to see some snowdrops, and we discovered that a Scottish Snowdrop Festival runs from the beginning of February until mid-March. So we ventured forth to Gargunnock House Gardens, and wow, were we in for a treat! A veritable carpet of snowdrops 🙂 .  K writes it up in detail (and with plenty of photos!) here, so do head on over for a peek!

3) Today was such a lovely sunny day that we did three things to make life better!

a) We bought (and fitted) new windscreen wipers for the car – what it is to have clean windows again!

b) Our replacement light for over the sink in the kitchen arrived. K fitted it this evening, and what a difference it makes 🙂 .

c) We discovered a new park, Almondell and Calderwood Country Park, (another of our 45 minute project locations), and had a picnic lunch before enjoying a lovely walk along the banks of the River Almond. This is definitely a place we will go back to 🙂 .

All in all, it’s been a pretty near perfect holiday-at-home weekend 🙂 .

Jumping high, out for lunch, and trainspotting

1) A comes home full of excitement on being allowed to try for the full-height vault tomorrow at gymnastics.

2) The weather was warm and dry, so we spent the morning at the park, followed by a picnic lunch, and a tramp through the bush at the edge of the park.

3) He’s got a garden model railway in his back yard – all the models, and trains, are handmade by him. The kids were enthralled, especially by the live model steam train!

Blueberries, walk, and indoor picnic.

1) We start the day with homemade pancakes and blueberry syrup. I love the way that the blueberries turn the pancakes purple.

2) The rain holds off for our walk – alongside the river, and back over the hills to the playpark. The last time we were here the kids were much smaller – this time they race to the top of the climbing pyramid like old pros.

3) The dining room is still messy as we’re in the middle of tidying up the understair cupboard and the table is covered in stuff. So we camp out in the lounge and eat dinner, picnic-style.

Picnic, nice mail, and Finished Object Friday.

1) The children come home from school for lunch, and promptly put picnic blankets down and have an impromptu indoor picnic.

2) Birthday cards, vouchers, and a cheque arrived in the post today – all good 🙂 .

3) Woo hoo – I have a Finished Object… Knitted in King Cole, aran-weight, Kingfisher, here’s my basket-weave hat. I’ve knitted it on the big side, so that it will be a bit slouchy, something I think appeals to the intended recipient. Hope so anyway!

For more of Friday’s finished objects, check out Tami’s blog

Druim Glas, Ariundle and Falls of Dochart

1) Yesterday a group of us went for a walk beginning at the Ariundle Nature Reserve. We walked through the beautiful oakwood forest, then out past the Strontian lead mines, and up Druim Glas which, at only 435m is only a mere bump by normal Scottish standards, but still constituted a nearly six hour round trip. The views from the top were fantastic, and Aidan and Megan were wonderful – they barely grumbled at all during the entire walk. We’re really proud of them!

2) A (very) welcome afternoon tea at the Aruindle Nature Reserve tea room – lovely service, and yummy food – would definitely recommend it if you ever happen to be in the area!

3) We drove home today, thoroughly tired out, but we still managed a short walk this morning up to a waterfall near Corran, and then stopped to have lunch at the Falls of Dochart (which had considerably less water this time than the last time we were there). A perfect end to a wonderful holiday.

NB Sorry there are no pics up yet – minor technical problems just now, but I’ll get some up soon!

Picnic, trophy and peace

1) K manages to escape from work for an hour, and the four of us enjoy a picnic in The Meadows in Edinburgh. Definitely a repeatable experience!

2) A wins the trophy at Enjoy-a-ball this afternoon for being the quickest in the class to pick up the new sport (Hand ball).

3) During a few moments of peace, as the kids eat their tea, I take the opportunity to read a chapter of my book.

Our Easter Holiday

Some beautiful things from our holiday last week…

1) From our cottage conservatory, we could see the sea, and the lighthouse on the north coast of Lindisfarne, the Holy Isle.

2) From the back garden, without the glare of Grangemouth, star-gazing became, once again, a favourite occupation.

3) At Cocklawburn beach, we clambered over the Skerrs, ambled along the beach, and built sandcastles and moats

4) We spent ages watching as the birds dive-bombed the sea, fishing.

5) Megan learned to knit, and both kids spent some time working on knitting their blankets for their special teddies.

6) We picnicked on the Bamburgh Dunes, watching the river of sand drifting along the beach. A and M pretended they were on Mars, and went exploring leaving “flags” to mark how far they got.

7) At the beach at Seahouses, we explored and walked and scrambled over and around the sand dunes.

8) We walked through the wind to Linhope Spout, a spectacular waterfall in the Cheviot Hills; and were blown back to the car on our way back.

9) We ate dinner together every evening.

10) At Bamburgh Castle, we loved seeing the castle in its splendour, and playing games from “days gone by”…

11) One of my lovely cousins came for tea…

12) The kids had a ball running around and climbing at Lindisfarne Priory – they learned a fair bit too!

13) At Spittal Beach, we found a fab play park, ate ice-cream and wandered along the promenade.

14) We visited Cragside House, ate lunch at the top of the estate, explored the rhododendron Labyrinth, were fascinated by the house and all its inventions, walked through the rock garden, and crossed the Iron Bridge. We loved it.

15) We went to visit my aunt and uncle. The kids had lots of fun playing at the park with my cousin, whom they haven’t seen in over two years.

16) We stopped for another walk round the Formal Garden at Cragside on the way home, followed by a delicious afternoon tea.

Picnic, recovery, Sunday roast

1) The first outdoor picnic of 2011, on the riverbank in Cockermouth, shared with good friends.

2) Human resilience is truly amazing. To walk in Cockermouth, several times crossing the river which, just over a year ago, burst its banks with devastating consequences. I felt incredibly privileged to see how that community has come back from such destruction.

3) My Mum’s Sunday roast – can’t think of a better way of bringing the weekend to a close. Thanks Mum xx

Picnic tea

Fab evening tonight 🙂 – we found ourselves down near Saint Heliers beach around about teatime this evening, so what else could be done but a picnic tea on the beach? Then a roam along the shore – it was low tide, so we got to explore areas we can’t normally reach. Kids had lots of fun scrambling over rocks and finding “treasure” (shells, broken pieces of glass which have been weathered by the sea until smooth and so on).

K’s back is on the mend or, at least if it isn’t, it’s pretty well disguised by the hefty painkillers the doc gave him the other day 🙂 .

A’s been a little under-the-weather this week – quite feverish through the night and clearly fighting a cough/cold. We decided to try to help him win by keeping him off school today and having a quiet day. If he sleeps well tonight, he’ll go back to school tomorrow.

Oh, and did I mention he has a girlfriend in his class at school? V cute!