Saturday, 22 March 2014

Family Day in Cleveleys

Last Sunday found me, my girls, their boys and our men heading to Cleveleys for a fun day out.  All the men except Caroline’s husband, Trev, who was working, poor thing.  The weather wasn’t what we had hoped for.  Instead of a bright and fresh spring day we had a dull, windy and quite cold day.  We still took a picnic, albeit eaten sitting in our cars instead of in the open air, after which we braved the elements.  We took a bracing walk along the promenade and beach and breathed in that glorious salt sea air.

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The boys found a wall to climb up, over and jump off.

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You can tell by the number of layers my beautiful, windswept girls are wearing how cold it was.  Here’s my first born, Victoria.

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My second born, Caroline.  Both smiling even though high winds were whipping around their ankles.

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Gary, Victoria’s husband.  He was feeling the cold and definitely not impressed by the weather but still smiled, kind of, through it all.

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George throwing stones in the sea and Harley chasing after them.  That dog should have been born with webbed feet.  He loves the water and it doesn’t matter how cold it is.  He just dives right in!

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George and Nicholas running away from the waves.

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Charlie had lots of fun riding his bike, which was good to see.  Up until now he hasn’t been very interested in it preferring his scooter.

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All three boys playing together.  That’s what I like to see!

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With Caroline at the water’s edge. 

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You can see here that Nicholas is carrying a huge pebble under his arm.  He carried that and others for miles.

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Nicholas smiling sweetly for me even though I was pointing the camera right at him!  I love his freckles.

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As we walked along the beach together Nicholas shared his finds with me.  He did offer me some huge ones but I graciously declined those and stuck with the ones that would fit more easily in my pocket.

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We had parked at the less pretty end of Cleveleys beach but that didn’t mean we had any less fun.  This part hasn’t been modernised.  Those stone columns are part of the sea defences and have been there as long as I can remember.  I can clearly remember the fun my cousin, Sylvia, and I had when we were kids jumping from one to the next as our mothers walked along chatting together.  Happy days!

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The boys had great fun running in and out of, climbing up and over the columns.  I chased them with my camera and I have a hundred of those pics.  I'll turn them into a scrapbook page one day soon.

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Meanwhile the girls watched and chatted together.  They’re never stuck for something to talk about when they’re together and that pleases me no end!  I have to mention that while all this was going on the men had retreated to the shelter of the car.  The big softies!

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Getting to the end of the afternoon now and time to re-load the cars with bikes, scooters, kids and dogs and hit the road back to the ranch.  (American terminology creeping in.  Our trip to the USA in a couple of days must be in my subconscious!)  Anyway… there’s always somebody with wet feet on days like this.  This time it  was Charlie and he was the only one with wellies on!

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Nicholas kindly helped sort him out by taking Charlie’s wringing-wet-through boots and socks off for him.  Charlie was more than happy to let Nicholas do it too! :-)

And so ended another family day out.  Everybody had a good time.  The boys and dogs ran off a lot of surplus energy and had loads of fun.  All these photographs will help the memories we made stay in their minds and that’s what blogging is all about for me.

Until next time,

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Tuesday, 18 March 2014

One Way or Another it’s Been a Busy Month.

For one thing I’ve been shopping more times this month than is really good for a person.  Now, I don’t mind shopping, and I certainly don’t mind shopping in Manchester but, I prefer it when it’s for fun and not when I really want to find a particular item.  That way lies disappointment and nothing but aggro.

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And what’s more, my other half has been to Manchester shopping with me at least three times!  You see, we’re going on holiday soon and we needed stuff to put in our suitcases.  Happily last Sunday saw the last shopping expedition, thank goodness.

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To be honest, it wasn’t all aggro, we enjoyed several coffee breaks in between the frantic trying on of clothes in Marks and Spencer changing rooms and chatted about our upcoming trip to Arkansas, USA.  On one trip we spent time sitting outside Starbucks in St. Ann’s Square listening to a really good street musician and watching the crowds go by.  That’s the fun part of a shopping trip for me.

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I took this pic in a coffee shop.  I wish this trend for wearing trousers with the seat of the pants practically round the knees would go away.  In fact I wish it had never been invented.  All I want to do is tell every male I see wearing his pants like this to pull the things up!

Moving on… Bay View opened for the summer season on 1st March and despite the gloomy weather William, Caroline, Trev, Charlie and I zoomed up the motorway to prepare the van for habitation.

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Well, to be more accurate William and Trev fiddled about with the van…

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…while Caroline and I took Charlie and the dog for a walk on the front.  The tide was very high so we couldn’t walk very far but it was just lovely to be beside the sea.  We’re all looking forward to the summer ahead.  We have had the van moved to a different pitch and we know it will make a big difference for the better to the fun we’ll have this year.

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  • Above top left, Nicholas enjoys his pancakes after a sleepover with us. 
  • Next pic was  on a Wednesday after school visit.  I had been in the kitchen for some time while the boys watched television.  I walked into the living room and there’s Nicholas, very relaxed sitting in my office chair!  Of course, that chair does not belong in the living room, Nicholas had dragged it in from my “office”.  Bless him. It made me smile.
  • Charlie and George in their jammies before bed.  Charlie was sleeping over with us because both his parents were at work and George rang me and asked if he could sleep here too. Bless them.
  • A sweet Instagram picture of Charlie.

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I was given a little gift a week or so ago.  Charlie decoupaged this plant pot at a local craft studio with his mum one afternoon.  Caroline sort of presumed he was making it for her but he told her he was giving it to his nanny.  What a little sweetie pie!  I think I’ll find a geranium for it when we come back from holiday. 

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I haven’t been too busy to read though.  I finished reading this book a few days ago and I would say it’s now down as one of my favourite reads of all time.  It’s the first Fannie Flagg book I have ever read but I know it won’t be the last.

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And finally a blue sky picture.  We’ve had quite a few of these this month, although not so much this last week.  It was taken down Ealees on a walk with Caroline.  I love walking with my girls.  We talk a lot on our walks and I like that.

I’ll be back very soon with pictures from a family day out in Cleveleys last Sunday.

Until then,

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Monday, 24 February 2014

Before this month gets away from me..

.. I’d better play catch up.

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A couple of weeks ago on a damp, windy and very cold Tuesday morning I hiked a six mile route high up over Blackstone Edge with Caroline and Trev.  Sounds like a crazy thing to do I know but we all three had a thoroughly good time.  Half of the time we couldn’t see further than a few yards in front of us because of low lying clouds and mist but we soldiered on and on…  It took a couple of hours until finally we reached the lake where we had a much appreciated piping hot coffee at the visitor centre.   The day after my thigh muscles complained, rather loudly too, but I didn’t.  I’m hoping we’ll do it again some time soon!

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Charlie has stayed with us a couple of times this month. Granddad told him to bring his Lego and they would play with it together. I’m no good at building anything but I had great fun lining up all his little figures for a photo op and heaven knows he’s got plenty of them!

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At bedtime we played cards and I taught Charlie how to play Strip Jack Naked. He was thrilled with his new skill especially when he won the first proper game we played! I know he’s played it several times since at home. So now that’s all three of my little treasures on the way to being card sharps!

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George stayed overnight recently too. 

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He brought the game Beat The Parents with him.

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We enjoyed a game of that and then watched the television.  Faulty Towers was on.  George thought it was hilarious and was beside himself laughing at Basil’s antics.  In fact we were both tickled pink by it and it’s making me chuckle now just thinking about George rolling around on the couch laughing his head off over it!  Fun times.  This boy seems to be growing up fast now.  It won’t be long before he’s as tall as I am.  Time, slow down a little bit, please!

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The Valentine’s fairy called at our house.   Sweet of him wasn’t it?   I have to say he doesn’t usually forget me.

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Our house has been ringing with the dulcet tones of these two old favourites almost permanently since William got them as Christmas presents from the girls.  They both make me feel nostalgic, particularly the John Denver, since watching a documentary telling his life story before Christmas.  I had no idea he died at such a relatively young age.   Such a shame. 

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And finally, today I went on a little shopping trip.  It wasn’t very successful.  So, on the way home I called in at a McDonald’s and consoled myself with a Munchies McFlurry.  Every so often McD’s bring out a McFlurry that really does it for me and this is one of them.  It’s only the second one I’ve had but it probably won’t be the last.  There again it wouldn’t surprise me if I’m a little late to the party and I’ve discovered them at the end of their run!  Never mind.

Until next time.

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Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Billy Bob’s Ice Cream Parlour

It’s half term school holidays here this week and on Monday Caroline invited me along with her, Trev and Charlie on a trip to Billy Bob’s Ice Cream Parlour.  Billy Bob's is a 1950s American themed diner complete with soda fountain.

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Set smack dab in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales and not far from Bolton Abbey, it’s an unlikely find housed in this Cape Cod type building.

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Caroline had come across mention of it on FaceBook and thought it sounded good and worth a visit.  She wasn’t wrong. 

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Inside is nothing but pure 1950s Americana.  A blurry iPhone pic above of the espresso bar but it gives you the general idea of the place. 

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We had arrived in time for lunch.  Food was ordered and here Charlie’s waiting patiently for his pancakes…

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..and tucking into them with gusto!  I’m sure he even said Billy Bob’s pancakes were better than mine and he thinks mine are awesome.  All I can say is Billy Bob’s must have been very good!  We all enjoyed the food, in fact we almost licked the plates clean! and I just know we’ll go back for another helping one day soon.

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Outside there’s a fantastic play area for the kids.  Plenty of seating for grown ups and those table and benches combination thingies where Trev and Caroline are stood were on sliders.  Looked like fun to me!

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Lots of big, sturdy, fun stuff to climb over.

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Shame about the weather on Monday but imagine that view on a good day!  Easy on the eyes to say the least I can assure you.

So, Caroline, another good find of yours.  You’re a regular little bloodhound when it comes to sniffing out new places to visit aren’t you? 

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