Thursday, 7 August 2014

A Look Back Over June and July

Weather wise June and July were very good months.  I know I spent lots of time outside enjoying glorious sunshine.


In June World Cup fever took hold for a while.  William raised the England flag in the garden in support of our national football team.  Until they were knocked out that is.  Then sadly the flag came down.  Charlie was there to help and gave it a twirl or two.IMG_4587b

A walk through Ealees with Caroline is always a pleasure but sunshine can double the pleasure for sure.  


Summer sunshine equals water fun and paddling pools in the garden.


A break from the water and Gary cuts George’s fingernails for  him. 


A drink of hot chocolate always goes down well.  It puts life back into chilled hands and feet.  Yep, even on a sunny day!


Looks like Charlie’s was a little too hot!


At the very end of June we had a fun weekend in the caravan with Caroline and Charlie.  Here we’re enjoying a drink outside the bar on the caravan site.


A leisurely stroll down by the salt marshes brings us to Bay View Garden Centre which is now under new management and much improved.   It almost has the feel of a cottage garden now.  Very nice!


An early evening walk down that same path ..


.. and the light was stunning.  Very pretty!



Of course, the sun didn’t shine everyday and the one day when it would’ve been really welcome was George and Nicholas’s school Sports Day.


Instead it was an umbrella day.  Last year I needed my umbrella to shelter from the sun’s rays.  Not this year. It was a very cold, wet and dreary day.   The kids didn’t seem to notice.  They all just got on with the races and had fun regardless.  Eventually though rain stopped play and the remaining races were abandoned.


On the 5th my lovely cousin and one of my favourite people, Sylvia, had one of those big birthdays with a zero on the end and celebrated with a ceilidh for family and friends.  It was so much fun!  It seemed like everybody there got up and danced their hearts out.  Not one of us was expert at this kind of dance but it didn’t matter one little bit.  It was plain and simple, honest to goodness fun all night!


Le Tour de France fever took over our neck of the woods in a big way!  The race hurtled its way over Blackstone Edge, just up the road from us.  Yellow bikes and bunting were everywhere. IMG_4773b

The owners of this cottage on Blackstone Edge even painted the outside of their home in Le Tour colours!  Billy and I loved Le Tour de France and must’ve watched the TV highlights every evening.   As much as I enjoy the racing I also like to watch the Tour for the scenery the riders passes through.  The brilliant weather in England for the first three stages really showed our beautiful countryside at its best!  And the crowds that turned out all along the route were phenomenal!

On the day the tour came through our area our local park held a party complete with large screen TV for everyone to enjoy the race while enjoying the party atmosphere. My girls and their crews went along to the park but William and I stayed at home and watched it happen on the television. 


After the fun in the park the kids all came to our house where we had a barbecue in the brilliant sunshine.


Followed by a game of boules.


Gary and the boys played…


.. while Grandad watched and gave advice.


William and I have been taking advantage of the sunny summer and more than a few times have enjoyed an early morning trip to Hebden Bridge for breakfast at our favourite cafe.


A tree festooned with dinosaurs in the town centre.  Strange I know, but pretty all the same!


Another lovely weather day Caroline invited me to go walking with her and Harley.  This time to Dove Stone Reservoir.  (Shame Harley’s head is cut off in this pic)


Caroline’s dog is never happier than when he is chasing the stones she throws into the water for him.


Here’s cheeky chops Charlie.  As soon as I pointed the camera at him this particular afternoon he pulled these cheeky faces.  He thought he was hilarious.  Little monkey!


Nicholas had a sleepover with us recently.  This little boy loves to sleep with his cuddly toys.  Note, James Bond, his birthday present Build a Bear, is still a firm favourite and is properly attired in his pyjamas!  Go Fish! is Nicholas’s favourite card game just now.  We played it a lot!


During these last two  months I have spent time in the garden shaded by our sun umbrella and crocheted away while listening to the BBC iPlayer.  Not a bad way to while away an hour or two.

Phew!  This post has taken me ages to put together.  I must stop being a lazy blogger and post more regularly, it’s much easier that way.  I’m sure there are more photos to post but if there are they’ll have to wait for next time.  I’m off to put the kettle on now.



Tuesday, 22 July 2014

To Big Cedar Lodge via Arkansas Scenic 7 Byway

Here I am with another instalment of our trip in March/April of this year to the USA.

Having recharged our batteries after our epic road trip (approx 2,000 miles)to South Carolina and Georgia we now embarked upon a shorter trip to Big Cedar Lodge in Missouri taking a leisurely and scenic route.  William and I were both really excited about this trip.  Big Cedar Lodge had been on our wish list for a long time.


The route my sister, Maureen and her husband, Jerry, had planned took us along Arkansas Scenic 7 Byway and through some fantastic scenery.   Breaking our journey at Arkansas’s first official rest stop we posed for a photo with the Ozark National Forest as a backdrop. 


Information boards in the rest stop building gave a brief history of the stop.  It was interesting to see the picture of the car and caravan combination of the 1940s , a world away from the fantastic RVs of today!


Further along Scenic 7 another stop.  This time it was Upper Buffalo Wilderness.


Taking the scenic route was so much more fun than driving along the Interstates.  We were able to take a detour off the main stretch and easily explore the area we found ourselves in.


Rustic country back roads.



Not sure what purpose the covered part of this gateway served but it made for a nice picture anyway.


I always find the old barns appealing.  I must have taken a dozen pics of them throughout our three week trip.  It was good to see the one above obviously still in use.


A little bit further on along our route and another stop.  This time it was the beautiful, atmospheric Boxley Valley.  This is Old Boxley Church/School House which dates back to 1877.  It was in absolute pristine condition.  I would’ve loved to hear that bell ringing in its early days and see the churchgoers in their Sunday best.  What a history there must be within those walls. 


Picturesque Walnut Grove Cemetery at the side of the church.



More old barns. They are so different from anything we see over here. I must say though I also love our old stone barns and farmhouses over here, they have a charm all their own too.


In April though I was in America and soaking up the differences between our two countries.


Like I said amazing scenery all the way.  Blue sky. Big fluffy clouds. Beautiful!

It had been a great day driving through Arkansas and we loved every minute of it. Being in good company doesn’t hurt either - we never fail to have a good time with Maureen and Jerry!


And finally we made it to Missouri and …


… Big Cedar Lodge! 

I’ve really enjoyed going through all my photos from this trip and reliving the memories but the photos from Big Cedar will have to wait for next time.

Until then,


Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Manchester to Blackpool Bike Ride and Cleveleys

On Sunday my son-in-law, Trev and a few of his friends, cycled from Manchester to Blackpool!  At around 60 miles that’s one heck of a bike ride!  It was all for a good cause though being a fundraiser for The Christie Hospital in Manchester.  Approximately 8,000 riders took part!


Along with my daughter, Victoria and her family, Charlie and I were there to cheer as Trev and his friends crossed the Finish Line.


Trev (in blue) and his friends cross the line.


As soon as Trev crossed the line we made our way round to the refreshments field where..


.. Charlie proudly greeted his daddy.  George and Nicholas looked on.


And one for the album.  After this greeting as we walked back to the car, Charlie holding my hand told me, “I love my daddy”.  He really could not have been happier at that moment had his daddy just crossed the finish line of the Tour de France!

Leaving Trev in Blackpool the rest of us carried on into Cleveleys. It was later by this time than we had anticipated and we all were more than ready to tuck into the picnic we had brought. 


Gary, looked like The Pied Piper, as he led his tribe of boys..

DSC_4352b the perfect spot for some digging. 

It was an extremely windy and therefore cool day at the beach on Sunday and because of that the boys missed out on playing in the sea.  We had gone hoping for a hot sunny day intending to spend the afternoon on the beach but unfortunately it was far too cold for that.  However, school holidays are imminent so there’ll be plenty of opportunity for fun in the water over the next seven weeks. 

Roll on summer!