Thursday, 19 September 2013

That Was Summer 2013

There is an autumnal chill in the air, and my blogging has been sporadic at best this year, so I'm reduced to recording for posterity the highlights of our summer in a quick multi-purpose post.

I missed out on mentioning my son's 6th party this year. 30 kids, one leisure centre sports hall, one bouncy castle and this cake which I made for my WWE obsessed child:

Followed in short order by my daughter's 4th party. Quite possibly one of my favourite parties ever. The Lavender Barn Farm in Dunham Massey was the perfect location for a summer birthday party for my pony mad child. We all loved every minute of it.

I embraced the pony theme by making this cake:

Summer moved on, and there was a tear in the eye when my daughter said goodbye to her nursery. She had attended nursery since she was six months old and I have never doubted that she (or her brother) were happy, secure and well looked after. However I could have paid off a quarter of our mortgage with the money it has cost us to send them there, so the thought of free state education, quickly banishes any sentimental moments!

Up we went to Ullapool in the highlands of Scotland to visit my 95 year old Gran, now in a residential home. Even though she couldn't remember who we were, she knew I was familiar and was delighted to see her great-granchildren. They pulled faces at each other, made rude noises, sang nonsense songs and showed each other the food they were chewing in their mouth, before collapsing into giggles whilst I mock-disapproved of the naughty co-conspirators.

We went on airplanes, boats and ponies, and enjoyed some of the beautiful beaches in this amazing part of the world.

Standing on the pier looking up Shore Street

Aboard the Summer Queen looking for Sammy the seal

Gruinard Beach on the way back from Gairloch.

Pony trekking in Gairloch

A quick turn around and we were in a static caravan in Northumberland with some lovely friends near some amazing beaches. It was our second trip to Alnwick castle this year. This time we met Harry Potter and Hagrid, and the kids also received some valuable broomstick flying lessons.

Then another quick turn around and it was time for our annual camping trip with my two closest friends and our six children. We went to an amazing campsite in Anglesey with its own private magical pathway to Lligwy Beach. The weather was perfect and we had the best camping trip ever. We went bear hunting at dusk, toasted marshmallows over the campfire, played on the beach, and visited Pili Palas where the kids walked among the butterflies and stroked all manner of creepy crawlies and reptiles. I can't wait for next years adventure.

 Splashing in the sea at Lligwy beach. Rather them than me - it was freezing in there.

Ghost stories around the campfire.

Our camping spot, looking straight out to the beach.

It's still possible to be glamorous whilst camping.

It was a very busy summer. Before we knew it the big day had come and it was the first time we took both of them to school together. Summer was over and a new chapter begun.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

First Day At School

There we were at 8.50am this morning. My husband and I suffering from butterfly tummies, dry mouths and a hot lump in the throat. 

She skipped into school without a backwards glance. Just as it should be. How proud we were of our brave girl.

I didn't cry until we drove past the Salvation Army hall, when memories of newborn baby massage classes flooded back to me. Someone very wise once told me that the days can drag but the years fly by. The pre-school years are gone. In a heartbeat.

Good luck my beautiful, funny, sweet, kind, clever girl. We couldn't be more proud of you.