Friday, 28 June 2013

S’mores and Sparklers

I’m a bit late with these pictures.  They were actually taken last Saturday night and I only remembered about them today when I saw them in the camera as I was about to take some photos of Nicholas.  It actually rained during this little bit of fun.  But nobody headed for cover – it was just like water off a duck’s back!


George and Nicholas were sleeping over with us while their parents had a rare night out with friends.  Caroline and Charlie joined us.


Not the best time to take a photo when everybody has got a mouthful of food I know, but it was the only halfway decent photo with everybody in the frame so, for posterity, here it is.


Three sparklers left over from Bonfire Night last year finally got used.  The boys might not looked thrilled with them but they were!  And of course S’mores always go down well – with all of us, not just the boys.


Nicholas was here with me this morning.  He should have been in school but because of conjunctivitis in his right eye he couldn’t go.  Not that that was a problem for him.  An unexpected day off school is always a treat isn’t it?


In exchange for him using my binoculars he let me take a couple of photos.


Wasn’t that  nice of him?  I do like the pictures so it was a fair exchange.

All the excitement of American and Australian visitors is now in the past.  All of them are thankfully back home safe and sound.  William and I are off up to Bay View in the morning for a week’s holiday.  We’re hoping for a bit of sunshine but we’ll enjoy the break no matter what the weather throws at us.


Wednesday, 19 June 2013

A Sunny Sunday by the Sea.

Sunday (16th) dawned damp and dull and a daytrip to Cleveleys had been planned.  The weather was no problem for us though.  Picnics were still made and with positive thoughts for a good day beside the sea three car loads of my family set off individually to meet up at 11 a.m. at the Anchorsholme end of Cleveleys beach.  There should’ve been four car loads but Victoria, Gary and the boys stayed home. Unfortunately Gary was on call from work and it being Father’s Day Victoria hadn’t wanted to leave him home alone.  Such a shame the timing was wrong for them, they missed a fun day out.

I had been very organised and checked the tide times.  I wanted us to be there for low tide making play on the beach a definite for the kids.  Planning ahead paid off and play on the beach was fun for all.


My Australian nephew, Bernard, watches Charlie play while my niece, Lindsey, her daughter Bethany and my daughter, Caroline, chat by the water’s edge.


DSC_9525.jpgb Maureen, Jerry, Bethany, William, Caroline, Amelia, Luke, Lindsey (just visible), Trev, Charlie, Jordan and Melissa.DSC_9527.jpgbTrev and Harley.DSC_9528.jpgb

Charlie was in his element surrounded by his big cousins, Jordan, Luke and Melissa.


Picnic in full flow.  I’d had visions of us sitting on blankets and chairs on the sand - that didn’t happen the sand was too wet.  The prom was the next best thing. 

DSC_9542.jpgbJerry, Maureen, Bethany and Charlie.

With picnic consumed fun on the beach resumed.


Charlie gets a donkey ride from his American cousin, Luke.  His cousins Amelia, Jordan and Melissa are in the background.  Jordan and Melissa did not have swimming cossies with them but they went in the water anyway.  I think they may have tried to stay dry??  Then again maybe not!  Needless to say they ended up wet through!

DSC_9551_edited-1.jpgbLuke, Maureen, Bethany, Jordan, Amelia, Melissa.

Luke, on the far left, rescued Jordan’s abandoned clothes before the incoming tide swallowed them. 



The two littlest cousins Amelia and Charlie played together on the sand.  Imaginary visions of kings and queens, castles and moats kept them happy.

DSC_9574_edited-1.jpgbLuke, Charlie and Bethany.  William and Maureen in the background.

The obligatory walk down the promenade with the promise of an ice cream at the far end of the walk.  Lindsey, Jordan’s mum, had to take a detour via the shops to buy Jordan and Melissa a pair of shorts each and also a t-shirt for Jordan for the journey home!  Otherwise they would’ve been miserable in their wet clobber.


And finally Trev gives Harley a shower before the walk back down the promenade and the outing drew to a close.

From the dull and damp start the day turned into a scorcher.  So much so that poor, fair skinned, Jordan got a touch of sunstroke and was unable to go to school the day after.  That aside I think it was a day to remember and a good time was had by all.

As I type this the American visitors are up in the clouds somewhere over the Atlantic, goodbyes having been said last night.  It’s amazing how quickly two weeks can go by isn’t it?  Memories have been made, good times have been had and now we look forward to the next time.


Wednesday, 12 June 2013

My American Sister and Australian Nephew

My American sister, as in married to an American and has become a US citizen herself, her husband and grandson arrived here in England a week ago today for a fortnight’s holiday.  Not only that my Australian nephew is here too.  He is also English born but emigrated to Australia with his family in the late 60s when he was about 14 years old and this is only his second visit home in all that time!   It’s so good to have them here.

Here’s a bit of what they/we’ve all been up to.


Friday a trip into Manchester was planned.  In brilliant sunshine we traipsed around the city centre taking in as many sights as we could fit into one afternoon.  Above is China Town.


Saturday William and I took the Americans up to Bay View.  My Australian nephew, Bernard, was visiting with his mother’s side of the family so didn’t join us on this trip.


Archer’s was a must go to for a walk and some good food.  By sheer coincidence William and Jerry had chosen the same colour tops to wear.  They were easy to spot together in a crowd.


Maureen and Jerry had seen photographs and heard glowing reports from me about Kirkby Lonsdale so it was only natural that we should show them the quaint market town for real.


Here they are taking in that view.


Ruskin’s View of course.  No less of a pleasure to behold no matter how many times we feast our eyes on it.


Walking back toward the town centre, admiring the view along the way.


Deciding to walk down to Devil’s Bridge from the town centre we asked the two ladies above for directions. Fortunately they were locals and happily obliged.  Maureen (on the right) got caught up in conversation with them.   It was a looong conversation.  But we weren’t in a rush and the weather was so lovely it just didn’t matter how long we waited really.

We spent a long, happy day together taking in the beauty of our English countryside and enjoying each other’s company.  And what’s more the sun shone all day so they saw it at its very best too!


Monday, 10 June 2013

Happy To See Me?

DSC_9482.jpgb George and Nicholas

I think so.  I snapped these two happy faces today as they ran to greet me when I collected the boys from school with their mummy.  So sweet!


Cartmel and Levens Hall

Following on from yesterday’s post I’m now catching up with Saturday and Sunday 1st and 2nd June.


Saturday we planned to go to Holker Hall.  But after a never ending detour through Cumbria’s country lanes only to find that Holker Hall was really busy with a Garden Festival we cut that visit short and made for Cartmel instead.  I’m sure we’ll visit Holker Hall again in the not too distant future though.


Cartmel is a picture postcard pretty Cumbrian village and visiting on a sunny summer’s day, William and I saw it at its best.


It was lunchtime when we got there and looking for somewhere to eat I popped my head in this ancient pub and snapped a quick pic of the inside.  Talk about Ye Olde England and quaintness - this pub was it!  We didn’t eat in here though and moved on to find somewhere else.


In a little tea shop with soup and a sandwich our appetites were satisfied and we then wandered through the village.  I took a million photos and here are just a few.


12th Century Cartmel Priory.  Full of history, lovingly kept and in every day use.  I loved it. 


A huge copper birch magnificent in the sunshine.  Cumbria seems to have more than its fair share of these attractive trees.


Wandering round the back of the priory the country village quaintness continues.


I’m liking the trend to nurturing wild flower gardens everywhere.  Like in the centre of the mowed field above a patch is left uncut to encourage wild flowers and also the wildlife that comes with it.


Of the photos I took in Cartmel this is one of my favourites.  Sleepy sheep in the shade.


Walking back now toward the village centre.


And on the outskirts we came across these very neat and very tidy allotments. 


On the way home from Cartmel we took a little unplanned detour to the home of a friend who now lives in Cumbria not far from Bay View.  Although it was an unexpected visit, Sandra and Dave, made us more than welcome.  Their little cottage and its situation in the village of Holme is to die for!  I know I say it a lot but I really could live, and happily too, in that little house!

So, onto Sunday. 

After a leisurely breakfast I made a picnic for us to eat at lunchtime sitting, (in my imagination), on the banks of a babbling brook on a blanket in the sunshine.  First up though was a visit to Levens Hall.


This stately home isn't far from Bay View and we will definitely be regular visitors to it in the months to come.


We didn’t have time to do the full tour of the house and gardens but these photos give a taste of the treat in store for us when we do take that tour.


This topiary garden is in front of the part of the Hall that houses the coffee shop and gift shop.  Very impressive don’t you think?  The food looked ever so good in the cafe too and if I hadn’t made the picnic I would’ve happily tucked into the cheese and onion pie, new potatoes and salad I’d spotted  on the menu.  I would’ve enjoyed it in the fresh air too just like the people in the picture above with that topiary in front of me to gaze at.


In this photo William’s stood in front of the Hall and just behind him is…


..this river and age old bridge.  Picturesque to say the least.


Now for that picnic by a babbling brook.  It didn’t happen.  The picnic did but could we find a suitable babbling brook?  Incredibly no!  There are plenty of them we just didn’t find one in the right place for us.  However, we did find this bench on a village green and our picnic tasted good anyway.  The babbling brook will have to wait for next time.

We are so lucky to have our holiday home on wheels and I constantly thank my lucky stars for it.  We’ve had a lovely few sunny weekends up at Bay View already and the whole summer is still stretching ahead of us.  Yes, we’re all very happy campers!