Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Hiking in Bedfordshire

On Saturday 26th May, our youth organisation at church had arranged a hike in Bedfordshire. I was taking Lucy, Jack, one of Lucy's school friends, Georgia, and a church friend, Bethany. We stopped off near church to pick up Bethany, but then the people carrier wouldn't start again. I called Scott to come and bring the other car out for us, so we could still go, but by the time he arrived, the car had decided to start again - worrying though, seeing as we were driving round Europe in it in 4 days time!
Here are the girls waiting by the roadside for Scott to come.
We eventually made it to the starting point, and everyone else had kindly waited for us. We split into 4 groups taking 4 routes, meeting up at the same point. (I haven't got pictures of Jack because he went in another group with his friends.) We were lucky - it was gorgeous weather, and the countryside was beautiful.
Lucy and Georgia, with her improvised sunhat.
What kind of a hike is that?! Flagging down an icecream van!!
We all met up for lunch at a park in a little village. The park was really good, and had a big spider's web thing, strung between 2 climbing walls - which seemed A LOT HIGHER UP than they looked, once you were up there!
Some of the group hiking back.
We walked along a river at one point, and then ended up stopping at a grassy area the other side of the bridge, when we realised we were going too slowly, and wouldn't be back to meet up with parents in time. Leaders took it in turns to ship the kids back to the starting point again.
We had a lovely time hanging about (I waited with the kids till the end), and inevitably, Lucy and Jack and a few others ended up in the river, soaked from head to toe. (I was dying to join them, but thought it best to at least pretend to be a sensible youth leader.) It was a great day anyway - we all loved it.

Monday, 9 July 2012

The Rest of May (nearly)

Other bits and bobs going on in May:
We had the new service missionaries, the Jepsons, round for dinner one night. Harry had decided to make a welcome sign for them, and stuck it on the front door... 'Welcome to the Cryer's house missionaries. What ever your names are.'  Nice! So welcoming! We had a nice time with them anyway.
I also got round to digging out my raised vegetable bed, and sewing some seeds. On 16th we also had the fencing replaced down the side of our house. It had got damaged in the wind a few weeks ago, and we had bought some new fence panels to fix it ourselves, but realised it was going to be a horrible big hard job, so we paid for a company to do it properly with concrete posts and bottom boards etc. I'm so glad we did - the guy did such a good job, and I admire the new fence every time I go out.
On Friday 18th, Scott and I took a rather unexpected trip to Wales. Scott has always liked the idea of getting a sports car, and for fun has researched them. Anyway, he found a good one, and I said we should just get it, and not keep talking about it forever. He rang the people up, and agreed a price, and so the next day after we dropped the kids off at school, we drove to a supermarket near Cardiff, and met the people and bought the car. It's a Toyota MR2, about 9 years old, but well looked after and with quite low mileage. (I'd never even heard of one before!)
Somewhere on the way...
The car in the picture below is exactly the same as our car (haven't got any photos of ours yet). Scott and I took it in turns driving the two cars home from Wales. It was a bit of a long day - we set off at about 9.30am, and got back about 7.15pm - driving most of that time! We couldn't quite believe we'd done it - for a couple of weeks we kept looking at it on the drive, and laughing!
As soon as we got back, (after taking the boys for a quick spin round the block), Scott took Jack and Tom off to our church's Father and Son's Camp. The next morning Harry had been invited to the cinema with his school friend Joseph Lamin, so Lucy and I had the chance to go out in the new car. (Very excitingly to Tesco...)
The next day (Sunday 20th), Lucy and I went to Kettering Ward Conference in it too.
The following week, I went in to help Tom's class with their 'Viking Day', which was nice (all the kids came to school dressed up), did my visiting teaching, and another day I went in and had school dinners with Tom.
On Friday 25th, we had another church youth choir practise in Northampton. Lucy and I stopped off quickly and took a couple of pictures at the church farms, on our way to picking up the Amos kids.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

May Bank Holiday

Usually on the early May Bank Holiday we get together with Mum and Dad and some of the family to do something for my birthday, but this year (7th May), Mum and Dad were up at the Preston Temple for their two weeks in eight. I felt slightly abandoned (well, not really, but we've never been at a loose end for the bank holiday before!) Luckily our friends the Hirsts invited us to go out for a walk and picnic at the last minute. 
It started raining as soon as we arrived at the bluebell wood we were going to picnic in! 
We had fun though, and ended up going back to the Hirsts' to eat our picnics, and for dinner. The kids all got on well and went off and played, while the grown-ups enjoyed chatting.
Lots of sword fighting going on
Slightly muddy!

My Birthday

I had a really nice 37th birthday at the beginning of May. (It's nice to finally be 37, because I have been mistakenly telling people I was 37 all year, with the kids correcting me.) 
I went out for breakfast with some of the Mums from school, and received lots of lovely gifts and cards (they know me well - there was a heavy cupcake theme going on!) 
I waited till the kids got home from school, so Lucy and I could work on the cake we planned to make - a layered toffee/peach/ cream thing. Lucy went slightly overboard with taking pictures (she took 214 to be precise)... we had fun, then all ate most the cake straight away!
In the evening we went out for a meal booked by our friends Jo and Richard Blackhurst - a very civilised and pleasant evening.

Also in the first week of May, we got the dishwasher fixed after a couple of weeks of handwashing, Lucy, Jack and I had youth choir practise, I had a youth meeting, and a youth fireside, all at Northampton. (After the fireside I had a little drive in President Hirst's new Jaguar in the carpark - very nice car!)

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

The rest of April

On Saturday 14th April, we had some friends from church come over for the afternoon - Gill, the Stake Young Women's secretary, and her son Elliot (who's Jack's age). We had a meal first, then went for a walk round the local country park. It was really nice to get to know them a bit better.

Lucy and Jack went back to school on Monday 16th, then Harry and Tom the day after.
On Friday of that week (20th), I went to the hair dressers in the morning, then in the afternoon our friends from Cardiff - Ali, Pete, and their kids Charlie and Rosie came for a visit. I've known Ali since uni days in Birmingham, and it's been a few years since I last saw her, but it felt like only a couple of weeks... it was just SO good to see them, and the first time I got to meet Rosie.
Here is Scott with Rosie. She is such a gorgeous baby!
They came with me to pick up the boys from school, then stayed for tea. After they left, I went with Lucy, Jack and some of the Amos kids to Northampton for choir practice.

The next night (Saturday 21st), Scott and I went to the joint 40th birthday party of Jo Waters and Clare Garrick from church. I spent most of the day making a cake for them, then Scott and I had fun getting dressed up in our 70's clothes! Loads of the ward were there, and looked fantastic in their outfits - I didn't even recognise some people! Scott didn't stay all night, because Lucy was babysitting, but I stayed till the end, and had a great time dancing away with friends. (Though I did so in my electric blue 4 inch heeled platform sandals, and paid the price the next day!)

The Lake District

In the second week of the Easter holidays, we went to the Lake District for a couple of days (Tuesday 10th - Thursday 12th), staying for two nights in a Travelodge hotel.
When we got there, our room wasn't yet ready, so we went to Beatrix Potter's house, crossing Lake Windermere in the little ferry on the way.
Lake Windermere

On the ferry
At the Beatrix Potter's House ticket office, in a sudden heavy hail storm!
Some rabbits in Beatrix Potter's vegetable garden...
We had a tour of Beatrix Potter's home, and Harry spent the entire time looking for rat holes in the wainscotting (one of the guides told us about them). It was nice because one of the books in particular has lots of illustrations based on rooms in the house, so we bought that book afterwards.
Afterwards we went to Ambleside, and had dinner in a restaurant just down from here.
The next day we went to Consiton, to hike up the Old Man of Coniston.
Getting higher as we hiked...
Everyone else out hiking that day was all kitted up in proper walking clothes and footwear, and there we were in our jeans and trainers etc. (and in Lucy's case, plimsolls with no socks). What a bunch of townies! We also had no map, and only my vague idea that there would be a lake somewhere on the mountain - from when I was last there as a teenager! The kids all did brilliantly though, and we did eventually find the lake!
When I came here as a teenager, I had swum in the lake... not this time!
We stopped here for lunch and had a lovely time paddling.
The kids with their first ever Kendal Mint Cakes!
Back in Coniston, we had a good lunch in a hotel. Harry with his rather large burger.
We then found a park in Coniston, and the sun came out, so Lucy felt she should protect her skin...
After that, we drove down to Lake Coniston, and went for a trip round the Lake on the National Trust's restored Gondola.
Inside the boat.
Harry loved the snakes on the front of the boat.
It was a brilliant day - everyone enjoyed it thoroughly. I was glad the kids liked the Lake District as much as me.
The next day, we headed back for home, stopping off at Morecambe Bay on the way. We just had a walk along the beach. The BBC were filming some scenes for a History/Drama programme which should be showing in Sept/Oct this year. I spoke to one of the film crewe. It was nice seeing people in period clothing, and a vintage car.
We also stopped off at the Preston Temple for a few moments. The kids have never been here either.
And lastly, we stopped off at an American diner for tea, before finally getting home.