Bellerophon symbol, variation 7
Saturday 4th August 2012

Somewhere around Warton Crag
P8043743.JPGP8043744.JPGP8043747.JPGP8043748.JPGP8043751.JPG So we're in an area that we think we know pretty well, having been on countless walks around here but then . . . we kinda wondered where this path goes, a path we hadn't tried before. And so ended up in this field and followed the signs and kind of made a long circular walk, ending up in familiar terrain, heading up Occupation Road and back that way. All the while we had this ominous storm cloud lingering around, sending out the odd, menacing rumble every so often. When the heavens occasionally broke, we just took shelter under a tree or two and all was good.

Sunday 5th August 2012

Loughrigg and around
I think I got my thumbnails a bit too small. Not to worry. Anyway, where are we? Well, there's Loughrigg, so I reckon we must have started somewhere around Skelwith Bridge. We probably went to this 'Chesters' place twice, once on a failed attempt to find somewhere for lunch (very busy) and a second time, on the way back, when we picked up a few 'keep-sakes' from the gift shop thing. Anyway, there was a vague attempt to capture Loughrigg from the same angle as that picture in our lounge. Probably completely failed.

Monday 6th August 2012

Maize Maze Maize Maze
P8063772.JPGP8063771.JPG I don't think we've ever been here before - some kind of maze made of maize on the edge of Sedgwick. It wasn't just the maze, though, there were also various playgrounds (indoor / outdoor) and a tiny little bouncy castle thing (more of a bouncy slide, really). So we managed to idle away a couple of hours there. Later on, we somehow ended up at Pizza Hut. I don't know why I bother with the chilli flakes; they do nothing.

Wednesday 8th August 2012

Clearout at work
20120808_152508.jpg20120808_152619.jpgNothing really says old, obsolete technology like these bad boys.

Friday 10th August 2012

the degrees of freedom correspond to the configuration of the system
P8103777.JPG This is the first night of our two week holiday. We drove over to Manchester, staying overnight at a Marriot hotel (the Marriot hotel probably) in order to wake up early the next morning to catch our flight to Nantes Atlantique airport. We had dinner at the restaurant contained within the hotel. I thought the food was fantastic (expensive, of course) - I ordered the salmon with steamed vegetables - but M****** thought it all a little too salty. Yeah, whatever. During the evening, we did not discuss Hamilton mechanics, Langevin dynamics, the Calgary-Edmonton Corridor, Nubian pyramids, evolutionary game theory or Bovine spongiform encephalopathy

Sunday 12th August 2012

Crazy French caterpillar
P8123780.JPGP8123783.JPG Saturday was just a load of travelling . . . early morning taxi ride to Manchester airport, breakfast at the airport, checking-in, waiting around, eventual / uneventful flight to Nantes following by a fairly straightforward drive to the holiday house itself. On account of the events of Saturday, we had a lazy day today. Lounging around by the pool, taking pictures of massive caterpillars (you know, I actually had to look up how to spell that word . . . catapillar . . . doesn't look right . . . catepillar? Nope, still doesn't look right. Erm . . . Google, help me!), further unpacking and settling in . . . trip to the supermarket? Or was that done yesterday? Most days would involve a trip to the supermarket.

Tuesday 14th August 2012

Valley of the Monkeys
Today was Liz's birthday. Liz fancied checking out this La Vallée des Singes, so that's what we did. There are many things the French do better than the British (public toilets not being one of them), this being a good example. I dunno what the generic term for one of these places is . . . theme park? Perhaps. Anyway, it was another very hot day but this place had loads of trees to shelter under. In fact I don't think we used any sun block all day. There were monkeys plus loads of other animals. As with similar places to this, the animals seem to be given priority here, with a great deal of freedom afforded, but then it never felt the humans were an after-thought either. I dunno . . . it just seems you don't often get a place like this in the UK - spacious, well-maintained (well, okay, give or take a dodgy multi-media display here and there, but hey, we can let them off that), interesting, places to eat lunch, loads of stuff to do and explore. Adults were happy, children were happy.

Wednesday 15th August 2012

Another lazy day
P8153814.JPGP8153813.JPGP8153812.JPGP8153811.JPGP8153810.JPGP8153809.JPG Looks like we didn't do masses of stuff today. A gentle walk down the walk, just for about 10 minutes or so. Later on, it looks like we went to this nearby park / lake thing, over towards Sauzé-Vaussais. In fact, it was probably round about here - Hey, check it out, you can even make out the crazy golf course.

Thursday 16th August 2012

Niort, probably
Today had a slightly odd dynamic to it. M****** and I (or probably just M******) decided to go to Niort, obviously taking R****** and A****** with us. Helen, Stu, Liz and Max travelled separately, but we met up at Niort once parked. I'm guessing we must have had a late breakfast today, as lunch wasn't till much later. Anyway, so we're wondering around the town centre when we bump into 20120816_135806.jpg David and A******is, just purely by chance. Then there was much confusion and standing around, M****** eventually suggesting we go our separate ways and meet back at [insert convenient meeting spot here] after an hour; this we all did. M****** and I took the boys for a little wander through all the windy, back streets, ending up at this church / cathedral thing and then back down to river. We all met back up again and had lunch at one of the many restaurants that we had passed on the way in. Looks like the time on my camera is an hour out. I reckon we had lunch not long after 1pm.

Friday 17th August 2012

P8173839.JPGP8173838.JPGP8173837.JPGP8173836.JPGP8173834.JPGP8173833.JPGP8173832.JPG Yeah, well, here's my excuse for some of these photographs: A****** or R****** would occasionally ask me if they could take a picture of . . . well, whatever they wanted to take a picture of, really . . . I didn't really question what. So I think A****** and/or R****** took a couple of these, possibly those ones of the water. Perhaps they saw some interesting fish there. Who can say? Anyway, today was another scorchio day . . . temperature was somewhere in the high 30's, I believe.

Saturday 18th August 2012

Back to Sauzé-Vaussais
We were here on Wednesday, but it's decent place so why not, eh? There was a bit of a crazy golf tournament thing with a score sheet and everything, but A****** and R****** quickly just kind of ran around, going from one course to another in a seemingly arbitrary manner. It was all good anyway.

Monday 20th August 2012

Somewhere hot and French

Tuesday 21st August 2012

into the hypothalamo-hypophysial system through neuron axons
P8213937.JPGP8213936.JPGP8213934.JPG I dunno what happened today. Does it matter? Lounging around the pool, reading e-books (whilst frowning) and then, later on, playing pétanque or some variant thereof. I didn't really mention the pool. A****** and R****** would be in the pool almost every day; they loved it. The best thing was that despite the hot weather, the pool was considerably cooler and everyone would kind of creep into it gradually. That's not the best thing. The best thing was how R****** handled getting into the pool - he would just jump straight in. Fantastic.

Wednesday 22nd August 2012

Eventually only Jaffy, Tim, Skip and Dan are left alive
Where are we? Zoo Odyssey, or something like that. Well, that's what the words looked like if they were in English. I think we're kind of south of Niort. Maybe we were meant to go somewhere else, but realised 'somewhere else' was a little bit too far away. I'm not sure. So we turned around and went somewhere else nearer, I think. Hello?

Thursday 23rd August 2012

Laetrile has a M******ting point of 214 to 216 degrees Celsius

Sunday 26th August 2012

Shadow animals
P8263978.JPGP8263977.JPGP8263976.JPGP8263975.JPGP8263974.JPG There's a big gap here.
P8263983.JPGP8263982.JPGP8263980.JPGP8263979.JPG I think we're somewhere in the Lakes again. If not sure, it's probably a pretty good guess. There's A****** making shadow animals with his hands. Spider, rabbit?!

Thursday 30th August 2012

One day, Nasreddin's neighbor asked him, "Teacher, do you have any forty-year-old vinegar?"
Oh look - we're at Sizergh again. However, this time we have a quiz (another quiz?!) and a Pop. A****** had to go around finding stuff, such as the gargoyle-like thing in the middle of the archway there. I know we've done this walk recently, but we love it and we didn't have Pop with us the previous time.

Friday 31st August 2012

Forest Holidays
20120831_164500.jpgThis must be the first day at the Forest Holidays thingy. We usually arrive and after checking in, get a quick drink at the retreat whilst the boys play around in the playground. I'm loving that leaf design on the cappuccino.