Notice I said ‘days’ not weeks or longer! Where are the long sunny days for pity’s sake, the weeks in the garden and the hosepipe bans?? So much for Summer Lovin’ – I’d love a bit of summer, but it would appear to be in short supply thus far!!
Now, I’m only going to hit you with the positive stuff, as is my way for an end of month post. This month has been all about growing up, sucking it up and hamming it up wherever possible. So here’s this month’s fix of things that have managed to raise a smile against the odds…
We had two birthday’s in June – those of my husband and my daughter, both which we celebrated to each of their likings.
For Pete we took a family stroll around Swinsty Reservoir, which is a beautiful and peaceful walk, a little testing at times (pushing Archie in his wheelchair) but a good 2/3 hour workout that we all enjoyed and the weather was relatively kind. Just over halfway, we decided to stop and check out the Tea Room at Washburn Heritage Centre. http://www.washburnvalley.org/tea-room-with-exhibition
There was an incredibly steep path to get up there … pushing an Archie it was exceptionally difficult – and ‘hands up’ I wasn’t strong enough – Pete had to take over. When we reached our destination it was worth the wait for the Millionaire’s shortbread alone!
It was a lovely setting and the staff were very friendly and attentive. We sat outside in the sunshine – the kids loved the stairs/stage where they perform outdoor theatre on occasion. I treat us all to lunch (a small gesture for the birthday boy – from his wife on a paltry income) but salmon sandwiches, tea, scones, cakes and juices and we found the energy to roll down the hill and continue our walk back to the car.
For anyone who loves a walk I’d definitely recommend this one. It’s one of our favourites. The kids love to explore the shores of the reservoir, the paths and the trees, and my husband always skims a few stones!
The 6 books (goodness knows how) I read in June went from the helpful to the bizarre and most places in between.
From an ‘out of my comfort zone’ point of view, I enjoyed reading Goodbye Heiko Goodbye Berlin. I wouldn’t have chosen it and it was a bit eclectic for my taste. It also tested my German language skills which were more than a little rusty after a 15 year hiatus! I was surprised how much I learned reading about the East/West divide, the Berlin wall (and the falling of the same), the politics, the extremism of being young, and alternative, growing up in a time when the country was in a constant state of flux. Oh and surprisingly no mention of The Hoff!?* If I’d have written the book I’d have had to have mentioned the Baywatch lothario- and to be fair it would have segued into the text perfectly!
My favourite of the books I read this month was undoubtedly Cecelia Ahern’s latest offering The Marble Collector. It was an easy read, an emotional read http://bit.ly/28WpHMP . I don’t want to give the story away – but it struck a chord with me in my present situation with my Dad. It was cleverly and sympathetically written and it had real warmth to it. You can read this and reviews of other books I’ve read on www.goodreads.com.
The second birthday this month was Scarlett’s 8th! We’re still not entirely sure how that happened. My gorgeous girl had already had a birthday party in the park with friends with a dance session by the fab Rawgina & Beanz, a bouncy castle, a rainbow cake and generally an overdose of excitement and sugar!
We were in Center Parcs when her actual birthday fell, as we’d pre-booked a break with the LS29 Group, a support group for families with children with special needs. We always have fun on these excursions and it was good to celebrate with family and friends … and the birthday frog even came to visit!
We had more cake (chocolate fudge) and the most bizarre flower opening candle thingumy (sent from Granny Jill) and we’d taken lots of pressies and cards for her to open too.
The birthday girl chose the activities on her birthday and decided on swimming and caving! You can’t go wrong with the swimming pool – a firm favourite with all of us
As for caving . er well we hadn’t been caving at Center Parcs before, and the least said about the later probably the better … as Pete pretty much got stuck! Probably a trip he won’t forget in a hurry. Fortunately for him no emergency services were required to extricate him … but seeing the width of the shoulders and the size of the hole, the instructor showed Pete a secret door with an escape route! Shhhhh. The boys loved it though and whilst Scarlett had a couple of hairy moments she stuck it out to the end.
On the evening, we had been booked into the entertainment Party in the Parc (a music and dance extravaganza) as part of the LS29 Group and subsidized in part by the Suzie Baxter Fund. It’s thanks to charities and sponsorship that the LS29 Group is generally funded to enable families with children on specialist benefits and requiring specialist provisions to access activities that wouldn’t necessarily be possible. Thank you to all those people who help to make these activities happen. It means a great deal to families like ours.
Jem’s taken a recent shine to Bean Boozled! I’d love to say we all share his taste – but I’d be lying. This said we spent a hilarious hour waiting for the entertainment to start whilst playing ‘Jelly Bean Roulette!’ Now I’m a huge fan of Jelly Belly beans as a rule … but vomit, grass and baby wipe flavours left me pretty cold!
Jem liked to think he had the upper hand … but he got caught out himself on more than one occasion! Ha!
It rained a fair bit during our stay – The Lakes in summer is on a par with Yorkshire – as lovely as it is – wet seemed to be the default setting. So we spent a lot of time in the arcades after hours! I’m a bit of a fan of slots (despite their money guzzling tendencies) and the motion games, dance machine and air hockey were all heaps of fun too.
My kids both seem to go through shoes like fun! There was a time when a certain person got 4 pairs of school shoes in one term!! Anyways – a big shout out to Ralph Lauren. Scarlett’s last pair of school shoes were navy blue leather pumps with rubber toes and I think they’ve lasted her almost 6 months- which is practically unheard of! Moreover she says they’re incredibly comfy and I think she’d wear them every day if I let her. I played a blinder when I saw a pair of summer canvas pumps in the same style in TK Maxx the other day – so I snapped them up for the summer months … on the proviso that the rain stops and she can get some wear out of them!!
School Sports Day is always a blast and we were gutted that it was rained off last year. Despite the inclement weather we managed a sunny afternoon and had some success with the skipping and long distance events!
At the end of the month my friend Soph and I did out own sporty challenge in the form of the 10 mile Midnight Walk for St Gemma’s Hospice, in support of their 10 year anniversary and in memory of both our lovely Mums.
It was a physically and emotionally tiring evening …. but, bar sore feet at the end of the night from pounding the pavement, it was a huge success and I managed to raise over £100 for a very worthwhile cause too. My Mum spent just her very last day at St Gemma’s and the nursing staff were exceptional and I was so relieved that she passed in such comfortable surroundings and with such care.
Scarlett ended the month on a fundraising high too, baking chocolate drizzled shortbread biscuits for the Brownies Quiz Night all by herself (turns out she’s a master baker and I think she might just get a badge too). With her efforts, and those of her brownie pals, they managed to raise a very respectable sum for Martin House Hospice. I’m so proud of her already understanding how important it is to support good causes.
Speaking of good causes it’s Training Day from school tomorrow and if I want to survive it I most definitely need some sleep!