Worm catchers, open water and baby walker

31 07 2012

1. Breaking the habit of a lifetime, today we are early birds, arriving at Tarn Hows ahead of the crowds, bagging a parking spot and a tranquil walk around the tarn. I’d love to say it’s a new leaf but it’s down to Sarah’s amazing organisational skills not our own.
2. We watch in amazement as the cozzie-clad woman wades out into the lake and starts swimming. Having just read Roger Deakins’ Waterlog about swimming in open water across Britain, it makes me even more determined to give outdoor swimming a go.
3. For the first time ever, Isla grabs the handle of the bus walker and walks herself across the room. I turn the bus round and she heads back again.


Bin lady, soul country and Bowness buddies

30 07 2012

1. Day four of our grand tour of the north west and we head up into Bradley Wiggins’ territory just west of Preston to see one of Mat’s uni mates. Doris is fascinated by the mini refuse truck, complete with working wheelie bin hoist.
2. My heart lifts as we exit the M6 and enter the Lyth valley on the way to the Lakes. Lush, green, undulating, dotted with sheep, this countryside is good for the soul.
3. Used to Doris’ mates, it’s lovely to see Isla interact with other babies for a change. She plays with Harry and Zac on the mat after we arrive in Bowness. The late afternoon sun is glinting off the lake as we take our things up to our room. The house is so pretty and there are so many rooms, Doris asks if it’s hotel.

Lunch, street art and salmon

29 07 2012

1. A relaxed Sunday lunch at Giraffe. Isla has a whale of a time, hoovering up cottage pie, fish and chips and having a good gawp around the restaurant, especially at the tantrumming toddler at the next table.
2. There are some weird street performances around the canals in Manchester. Two men who look as if they have loo rolls up their sleeves perform a dance and two women in blue with balls of wool in their hair and carrying a crook stop Doris and Daisy to ask if they’ve seen their sheep. For the rest of the afternoon the girls insist on looking for those damned ewes…
3. Crispy salmon with spicy guacamole and courgette salad – Rachel puts on a delicious dinner.

Breezy beacon, a lot of chocolate on your biscuit and bosom buddies

28 07 2012

1. It’s a breezy but bright morning and we walk up the Malvern beacon. Isla sits on the circular map at the top and we point out the different directions to Doris.
2. A cuppa and an orange Club biscuit when we arrive at Rachel and Gareth’s in Sale. Reminds me of when I used to raid the biscuit cupboard when I got in from school.
3. Doris and Daisy haven’t seen each other for 15 months but they pick up where they left off, running round the garden holding hands. Later they perform several ‘shows’ for the adults, singing songs and telling stories. Doris’ mermaid impression is something to behold!

Smiley welcome, swinging and Olympic wonder

27 07 2012

1. We eschew the service stations in favour of a field just off the M40 for our mid-journey break. At the end of the subsequent journey from hell, we meet baby Catalina for the first time and she welcomes us with a smile.
2. Swinging in the hammock with Doris and Isla in Steve and Clara’s garden.
3. Watching the Olympic opening ceremony in wonder – wow.

Hungry tomatoes, egg sangers and afternoon cycle

26 07 2012

1.There are several green tomatoes on the vines so I give them a feed with the liquid tomato food I find in the cupboard.

2. I was craving egg mayonnaise sandwiches all last week in Spain so I make some for lunch.  Doris turns her nose up at them but they rest of us wolf them down.

3. We head down to Bedgebury for an afternoon cycle round the family trail.  I turn round every few minutes to see Isla  grinning back at me from the trailer I’m pulling her along in. 

Sorting, library and barbie

25 07 2012

1. Planning and organising to do for next term which i was dreading but I find a strange and unexpected satisfaction in getting stuff sorted.
2. It’s lovely and cool in the library when we pop in to pick up my book. Doris chooses three of her own and checks them out herself in the new(ish) automatic machine.
3. An impromptu BBQ with neighbours Tim and Sue. More of Mat’s teriyaki sauce and we also discover elderflower cordial, fizzy water and white wine make a marvellous spritzer.