Monday, 13 September 2010

Ripple Baby Blanket

This is done! Based on the Attic 24 neat ripple pattern. Intended for elder stepson's imminent offspring. They haven't found out what they are having and I don't really do neutral so here it is in all it's gaudy glory!
It's purple and lime green. I love it.... not so sure they will but hey ho!

Bike Accident

Elder stepson is currently in Wythenshawe hospital after coming off his motorbike. Broken elbow and badly damaged foot as a result. Very bad timing since first baby is due in 6 weeks. Could have been so much worse though. No other vehicles involved, no head or spinal injuries. We are thankful for that.

Will take some time to sort out though. Surgery on the day to fix the top of his foot but more needed to sort out a smashed up heel.

What a bummer.

Lost Things

Elder daughter's ability to find and proudly show off the most bizarre stuff never ceases to amaze me. On Pendle hill she found a dentist's scaling tool. Weird. Then there was the mohican-ed Barbie hairdressing head in the woods at the back of the house which was converted into a decidedly spooky scarecrow. And the animal bones, and the ripped painting, and the £10 note on the way home from school. Don't know how she does it.

Doggy Doings

Sally has been rather spoiled lately.

A dog grooming parlour opened in Padiham recently called Shampooch. Now up until now we have trimmed Sally ourselves using some dog clippers. This invariably starts off pleasantly until we get to feet, posterior and ears. Things turn a bit testy then and she always looks a bit wonky by the time we give up. So I decided to book her in for the works.  She had a wash, trip and nail clip. Brilliant.

Also treated her to a new collar from Podgy Paws in Keswick. I can't believe all the stuff you can get for your canine buddies these days. Goretex jackets, life jackets, rucksacks, walking shoes.... the list goes on. Check out their website to see some of these items being modelled!
Sally looking smart with her new hairdo and collar

These Boots Are Made For Walking

New boots taken using new camera
After all the misery of a dodgy knee it was definitely time for some new boots.  Also got some shock absorbing insoles so it was off for a hill walk to test them out.  The girls needed some new boots too so they had some trying out to do as well. In fact, as I only have teeny tiny feet I've actually got the same kids boots as them!

Off we trotted to Pendle Hill to test them out.
Pendle looking lovely, no sign of mist or witches.

In a fit of nostalgia, Nick ordered some Ron Hill Tracksters for the girls and I must say they did look the business all kitted out for our walk.  Expected a lot of whining and moaning but the boots were a huge success and were no impediment to the usual haring about that they do.
Off-road testing of new boots
Everything seems to be breaking and wearing out at once at the moment. The camera conked out at the weekend which was really annoying as the Tour of Britain cycle race passed through Padiham on Saturday and I really wanted to get some shots. It was dead exciting.  They closed the road and I think just about every single Police motorbike in the county came zooming through followed by a shedload of support vehicles and then the cyclists. Very impressive and exciting. Sadly, not a single photo could be taken to show you. Grr...

Nipped out just before the walk to get a new one. Can't live without taking pics for too long. First time I've ever had a camera with no viewfinder so that is taking a bit of getting used to but I like some of the picture 'modes ' that it has and am having oodles of fun trying them all out.

Other items to conk recently out include the iron, the washing machine, the fan part of the oven (I'm pretty sure the rest of it will go quite soon as well) and the toaster. Sigh...

End of the Holidays

Well we are all well and truly back in the routine. Girls back at school and me back at work. Sigh... it's been another fabulous summer break. If only it could always be like that. Still it gives us all something to look forward to. It will be great again I'm sure but a little different as the girls will be that bit older and independence is slowly creeping in. Got to make the most of it while I can.

Not feeling too glum though as it's only 6 weeks until the half term break.  Hooray!!

Sunday, 12 September 2010


Words cannot adequately describe the rare charm of Catbells, or its ravishing view. But no publicity is necessary: its mere presence in the Derwent Water scene is enough. It has a bold 'come hither' look that compels one's steps, and no suitor ever returns disappointed, but only looking back often.
Younger daughter admiring weather and view on Catbells

So says the mighty Alfred Wainwright. So undeterred by a dodgy left knee we decided to take the girls for their first lakeland fell walk.  Catbells was the perfect choice. It's gorgeous, it's not too high or hard to get up and it's mentioned in the Tale of Mrs Tiggywinkle by Beatrix Potter. Lot's of searching for the little wooden door to occupy the girls. We had such a great time. The weather was changeable but didn't spoil anything. You could actually watch the rain approaching in great hazy curtains sometimes from more than one direction.
At the summit of Catbells
I was fine going up  but coming down was not nice. Knee painful and came down in a weird Quasimodo style fashion. Realised that it was time we all got some decent walking footwear as I clearly need something to absorb the shocks coming downhill and the girl's trainers aren't really tough enough.

Love affair with the Lakes

The camping trip was brilliant. The tent was amazing and I am so in love with the Lakes at the moment.

The girls went off to Ibiza for a week with their grandparents and we went off to Hawkshead to try out the new tent. Went prepared for rain but the weather was pretty good while we were there apart from a mega rainy day on the Friday.
Enjoying a refreshing ale in Hawkshead
As you can see from the above picture - fabulous weather.
Behemoth Bivvy
Here's the tent. It's huge! I'm knitting a pair of socks by the light of our trusty old tilly lamps. Lots of the other campers passed by to have a nosey at the tent - caused quite a stir. Love it.

We'd decided to do something we haven't done before and hired a kayak to canoe around Lake Windermere. It was great fun. Once we got our act together we were really zooming along. Got absolutely wet through though as lots of water drips down the paddle. When we were done went to have a look around Bowness looking like we'd peed our pants! Stopped off at one of the little islands which will be brilliant for a picnic next time. We'll take the girls and have a whole island to ourselves. Can't wait.
Island hopping on Windermere
Took the bike with us and had a great day out riding up the Cumbrian coast. I always forget that there is a coast there as the mountains and lakes are so compelling that it simply goes out of your mind. Followed the coast from Millom to St Bees. Went past a very bleak MOD firing range and then cut across to Muncaster (added Muncaster Castle to list of places to visit) and down to Ravenglass for lunch. Arrived at the same time as a biker couple on BMWs and then some Germans (also on BMWs) parked alongside. It was like some kind of BMW convention for a moment! The couple were from Keswick and we chatted over lunch. Bumped into the lady again in Booths supermarket in Keswick a few days later!!! What are the chances of that? On to Whitehaven and a quick look at the harbour, then to St Bees which is truly lovely but way too popular with the shell suit brigade.

Next activity was a walk in the Langdales. Nick's very favourite bit of the lakes and he decided to take me up the Band to Crinkle Crags. All began very well indeed. Good weather and fabulous views.
Stickle Pike in the Langdales
Admiring the view on the Band
You can see the cloud in the first of the above photos. Got to the top of the band to find Crinkle Crags in cloud. Pressed on in the hope of it lifting. It didn't. I didn't like it. Very dismal and disorientating. Couldn't see much of anything and lost all sense of direction. Hit the bad step and didn't fancy it at all. Retraced steps to find and alternative route an ended up back at the Bad Step. Lost the plot at this point and sat down on a rock and burst into tears. Had had enough. Was told to stop being such a girl and we found our way back to the top of the Band and out of the cloud. Me snivelling all the way. At this point my knee was beginning to protest and the descent was a weepy, wailing and painful experience. To quote the Smiths.... I can laugh about it now but at the time it was terrible. Knee has been pretty dodgy since! Would I do it again.... oh yes...

Last planned event was Go Ape at Grizedale forest. Unfortunately we forgot to take the camera for that but it was brilliant. Loved the zip wires and even managed the tarzan swing at the end. With a dodgy knee too.

All in all a really fun week and can't wait to get the tent out again.  Need to seriously rethink the packing though as we filled the boot, the roofbox and the back seats with all of the camping gear. Not sure how we'll fit the kids in as well......