Daily Archives: November 2, 2006

Escape again

Did I mention we were going abroad last weekend? I think it may have slipped my memory. We went abroad last weekend. Well, overseas anyway. We decided another few days away together were in order so we packed our passports, checked we had the right currency, and hopped aboard a boat to England. Romsey, to be precise, on the edge of the New Forest. (Ferijen, I am SO sorry we didn’t meet up – I went and forgot to take your mobile number with me. Idiot!)

I’ll bore you with more photos in a moment. The holiday – Thursday morning to Sunday lunchtime – was a total delight from beginning to end. We meandered through the New Forest to start with. It was great fun to give the boys total control of which turnings the car should take (or almost – I intervened when it was apparent that we were going in circles!) and simply see where we ended up. We definitely found some new places and wonderful they were. And so many ponies – I’d swear we’ve never seen quite so many before. We squelched around and walked along various trails, indulging in a picnic at a random carpark which turned out to have the same name as our village! Then on to Salisbury for the afternoon, though we decided against a visit to the cathedral on the grounds that the boys had been before, we didn’t have a lot of time to spare, and I seriously resent being asked for a voluntary donation at an entry desk and being told precisely how much it should be (and it was a lot!). We settled for a coffee in the cafe and a couple of postcards from the shop and said our prayers outside where God just happened to be as well.

New Forest ponies

Boy and horse

Our B and B was wonderful and we’re quite disappointed to know it’s up for sale. Highlight was the talking parrot called Bones. She caught me out on several occasions, especially the first night when I was sitting alone in the lounge, the phone rang and the parrot answered it! Needless to say, the boys were enthralled and spent for ever listening to her. Poor parrot!


Friday’s weather was gorgeous and we took our hostess’s advice and visited Moor Valley Country Park. This is now one of our favouritest places ever. We went on several walks through the forest, rode a tiny steam train, and even hired bikes and went on … wait for it… yes… the most incredibly enjoyable bike ride together. I didn’t even suffer afterwards! We bought a disposable camera and collected photographs of all the fungus we could find, trying not to get any duplicates. What do you reckon – it would seem that we found about thirty different types. Now to get them developed (cheaply!) and buy a mushroom and toadstool book. We also drove each other mad by repeatedly telling our toadstool jokes………


Boy and stag

Saturday was great fun as we went to The Rapids, a fun swimming centre with great long water slide and a bit where water jets create a current that carries you along. There was a huge barrel suspended over part of the pool too, and this gradually filled with water from a massive tap at the top until suddenly a warning bell rang and the barrel tipped, cascading freezing cold water over the assembled bathers below! It was such fun. We played in the water for about three hours. I forced myself to overcome my dislike of not being in control and went on the water slide five times, each time relaxing more and finding it more and more exhilerating. It just took great presence of mind to convince myself that it didn’t matter that I couldn’t stop because I wasn’t actually in any danger and it was actually fun. Now to foster that sense of adventure in other areas of my life!!! Hmm… no, maybe not! 😉

The afternoon was spent in Romsey, with tea at Deep Blue (Thanks Ferijen – fantastic recommendation) and wonderful tour of the Abbey. It was amazing to be in a place of worship that had been there (in one form or another) for over a thousand years!!! There was no pressure to make a donation, voluntary or otherwise! (So we did, of course, with pleasure) It was wonderful to see how interested the boys were, especially Smudgelet who was engrossed in following the Young Person’s Guide and is now full of fascinating facts.


Sunday saw us packing up our few belongings, making our way slowly to the car, and returning home with the prospect of school for the boys and… oh no… more swimming and aquafit for me.

I’m heeeeeeeeeere!

Did you miss me? Things have been a bit busy here this last couple of weeks and computer time has been well and truly limited. Probably did me good, all things considered – just like my beloved friend M has been doing me good by forcing me out two or three times a week swimming/aquafitting. With friends like those….

I tried arguing that the nurse had told me I needed less exercise and more chocolate. She certainly used those precise words. Maybe not exactly in the same order, but what’s an exchanged noun or two between friends? I’m certain that’s what she meant to say. The problem? Apart from being overweight, you mean? (And that one I’m studiously ignoring).. well, I went to see her because I’m all glandy yet again. I think it’s just a random infection, though she’s checking my thyroid just to be on the safe side. Once she knew I wasn’t keen on needles, she ticked all the boxes on the blood test request so’s to get them over with in one go. She’s such a thoughtful nurse.

Other demands on my time have included a week-long visit from my brother who’s contribution to the family efforts to care for Dad is to look after the Smudgelets (well, Tiddles, anyway… Smudgelet’s too young for him!) and to decorate my humble home. So Smudgie Towers is now looking considerably more impressive with new central heating (oh yes, you knew about that! How unusual for me to be going round turning radiators down!), a new coat cupboard, a new linen cupboard, and a fully decorated and totally rearranged kitchen. If you’re going to moan about the colour, by the way, I will not tolerate it. I had enough with him moaning about it. I told him he hadn’t got to live with it, he was just the labourer not the householder. Hmmm… didn’t go down that well. I wonder why! 😉 Tiddles had a whale of a time in a spare boiler suit of my brother’s (courtesy of a hot wash and tumble dry which took it from covering my brother’s beer belly to being just perfect for my shrimp of a son), acting as decorator’s mate and painting all the awkward to get at bits inside cupboards!

Incidentally, my fridge is fine now… and they’ve all gone.