Bellerophon symbol, variation 7
Saturday 3rd August 2013

P8036355.JPGP8036356.JPGP8036357.JPGP8036359.JPGP8036361.JPG Yeah. So . . . Liz and Anthony were over in Halton and so we invited them over to ours for dinner, along with Max and Charlotte, of course. This is odd, I've just realised: I only have five pictures here and the children featured in these pictures are Max and Charlotte; no sign of A****** and R******. Oh, and we had also invited Mouse and Simon over for the weekend, so I think that's all of the people accounted for in these pictures. In those last two pictures I was trying to explain the frustrations of missing crayons and how the crayons remaining ought to be put back in some kind of order. Richard of York gave battle in vain, and all that. Maybe some of it went in. Who can say? Perhaps instead Charlotte was thinking, "They're crayons. Get over it."

Sunday 4th August 2013

Leven's Hall

Friday 9th August 2013

Forestside Farm, Day 1
P8096421.JPGP8096422.JPGP8096427.JPGP8096428.JPGP8096429.JPGP8096431.JPG So . . . I'm not sure what time we arrived . . . kind of 3pm-ish?! We arrived from the North, AJEO (see what I did there?) arrived from the South and we arrived about 1 or 2 minutes after the AJEO posse. My ever unpredictable sat-nav (i.e. smartphone), barely south of Preston, suddenly announced, "Christ on a bike! I've found a faster route! Do you want it? Yes? No?" so I hit on the 'Yes, thanks' button and then we were re-routed via the Manchester ring road or something . . . kind of. It basically meant we by-passed all the really bad M6 traffic. When we re-joined the M6, it was still busy but the traffic was moving. So it was all good. Whilst putting the tents up, R****** borrowed Eve's bike and proudly announced, "Mum, dad, I can cycle down the field on my own," P8096432.JPG and of course we were like, "Yes, that's nice, R******. Can you not play near the tent, please, we're just trying to get these things put up, so that we got somewhere to sleep tonight." So those are the pictures of R****** cycling, unaided, on Eve's bike. We did actually pause the tent erecting to praise R****** and his cycling, this being his first proper unaided (and successful) cycling attempt. So yeah . . . we got the tents up, had dinner, and eventually put the boys to bed . . . I say put them to bed, what I actually mean is this: we got the boys ready for bed, then had them lie down in their beds, said good-night and zipped the tent door shut. Lord only knows how long they stayed awake for, messing about with their torches. But hey . . . it's a holiday. Who cares? Annie and Ed arrived quite late, having got caught up in previously-mentioned M6 traffic. I dunno why there's still a picture of a cow here. 500770, as we affectionately named her, showed a keen interest in our comings and goings and didn't even seem that bothered about what we were cooking over the barbecue the following day . . .

Saturday 10th August 2013

Forestside Farm, Day 2
P8106435.JPGP8106437.JPGP8106441.JPG After a leisurely morning, we made our way towards Abbots Bromley, thinking we would have lunch first and then go for a walk at the nearby reservoir. Anna had some printed out guides for walks in the area. These pictures above are taken after lunch, as the children practised 'hand-stands' in the pub garden. The pub was The Coach and Horses, which was pretty much the first pub we got to.
P8106469.JPGP8106470.JPGP8106471.JPGP8106472.JPGP8106474.JPGP8106476.JPG So I was gonna write something about these pictures but I think they kind of speak for themselves. At some point during the walk there was a split whereby Annie, Ed, R******, A****** and I followed the trail through the woods, whilst the others took the easier (and quicker) route along the almost parallel road. I think we were walking through those woods for about 30 / 40 minutes and I think throughout that entire time R****** was talking constantly to Ed. After a while A****** and I were kind of thinking, "So how far away is the car park anyway? Is it much further?" . . . and then as if by magic, we re-joined the road and there was the car park and everyone else. Blithfield reservoir, that was it.
Above are some pictures that Annie or Ed took.

Sunday 11th August 2013

Forestside Farm, Day 3
P1090285.JPG So a lazy morning was spent having breakfast (having had a bit more sleep than last night . . . it seemed) followed by lots of packing up of tents and camping equipment. I'm not sure when we all set off . . . not long after midday, I would think.20130811_161512.jpg We stopped off at the KFC and Tesco at Uttoxeter for lunch. KFC for the boys, Tesco sandwiches for M**** and I. And then it was an uneventful journey home followed by loads of unpacking, not that my heart was really in it. Camping seems to involve a hell of a lot of . . . stuff.

Tuesday 13th August 2013

Lego and Danish Oil
P8136483.JPGP8136487.JPGP8136490.JPGGod, I've been putting it off for a while but these freakin' worktops really needed re-oiling. So that's what I did tonight. Rubbing down with white spirit first, then sanding down to remove some of the stubborn stains that got through to the wood, then more white spirit and then applying the oil itself. Fun times. And what's the Lego about? Well, I was recently struck by how much they love playing around with Lego. Almost every morning, before breakfast, they'll be working on some new vehicle or building or whatever, proudly showing it off to myself or M**** (whoever's turn it is to do breakfast) when we surface. So yeah . . . that was it really. I was impressed by the imagination that Lego affords and that is being exhibited here. Does that make sense? Note the bear in the left-hand vehicle, who was previously facing the 'rear' of the vehicle. Although as A****** informed me, the vehicle is designed to make the rear look like the front and vice versa. There's probably some scheme or plan here that I'm not privy to.

Wednesday 14th August 2013

Looks like somewhere around Sizergh

Saturday 17th August 2013

Ercol chairs?!
20130817_154240.jpgI think this is when we went to G.B.Antiques and M**** spotted her perfect chairs. No, they weren't perfect actually. The wood was deemed too dark. It wouldn't work in the kitchen or something. Decent chairs otherwise, though. Also I think we only wanted one; not the pair.

Sunday 18th August 2013

The word destrier is derived from the Vulgar Latin dextarius, meaning
P8186511.JPGP8186512.JPGP8186513.JPGAm I here? I think I was. Nothing more to add.

Wednesday 21st August 2013

Driesch's contention seemed incontestable to me

Saturday 24th August 2013

Sherwood, Day 1
So here we are on a long weekend (what with the bank holiday Monday and all) somewhere near Sherwood Forest. There was lots of cycling, of one form or another. On our first day we let the boys cycle whilst we walked and they were happy. Those pictures of that kind of tapered shed-like thing . . . well, M**** wanted those taking, thinking, "Christ, how hard can it be?!" That is, how hard can it be to construct one ourselves. Hmmmmm.

Sunday 25th August 2013

Sherwood, Day 2
P8256618.JPGP8256617.JPGP8256616.JPGI don't seem to have many pictures from today. I remember A****** went off on a cycle with Mouse and Simon, whilst me and M**** went on a very, very slow walk with R******. I don't know if he was tired or what . . . . But, hey, we were on holiday, so it wasn't a problem. I imagine today was a pretty much full-on cycling day, hence the lack of photos.

Monday 26th August 2013

Sherwood, Day 3

Wednesday 28th August 2013

Housesteads and Walltown Crags
Christ, how many freakin' photos do we need?! M**** took a lot of these, so I don't feel entirely qualified to delete at will. Anyway, whatever . . . it was a fantastic day. Here we are, north of the border (the Lancashire / Cumbria border, obviously) and the weather was pretty good. We first turned up at Housesteads, wandered around the ruins of the fort, let the boys do the quiz thing that the visitor centre staff had provided . . . when it was all done and dusted, we headed back home, checking out Walltown Crags on the way back. Of course, on the way back, you have to stop at Shell garage roughly here in order to buy some fuel but, more importantly, buy some 'tablet', which is probably the most fudge-like thing that isn't fudge that I've ever tasted. Mmmmmm. Gorgeous stuff.

Thursday 29th August 2013

Well, I suppose this is Coniston

Friday 30th August 2013

Nicky Nook
20130830_123206.jpg20130830_123158.jpgI'm guessing these pictures (to the right) were taken at the, erm, is it just called 'The Barn', the café at Scorton?! Something like that anyway.

Saturday 31st August 2013

Lowther Castle
Lowther Castle, eh? We loved this place. I wish I had the time to furnish this 'entry' (?!) with praise and superlatives for Lowther Castle, but sadly my time is lacking. There was this amazing sense of . . . raw-ness about the whole place. Is raw-ness a word? Anyway, it was very much a work in progress, very unpolished, with a kind of20130831_153759.jpg . . . 'just have a wander around' mentality about it, which was so refreshing in this word of National Trust and English Heritage and quizzes-for-children and the obligatory gift shop (carefully placed at the end of the 'tour') and the audio guided tour . . . so there was none of that here (thank the lord), but a fantastic café and loads of grounds to roam around in. Fantastic place. Love it. On the way back, we popped into Shap Abbey. I'm not sure why. I think I was trying to remember the many occasions that I would have visited here as a child, but it all seemed unfamiliar. Ah well.