Saturday, 31 August 2013


Well before the summer finally disappears, I have one more long overdue milestone to share and that is we actually had a holiday, the first in over four years!   We stayed in a cottage at Beadnell Bay but on the way  broke our journey in Hexham:

We had tea in Mrs Minnigans coffee house followed by a short walk to the Abbey, there we followed an excellent children's trail, Pip wrote a prayer for her daddy and I admired some beautiful tapestries, made by this textile artist  We had time for a quick ice-cream treat before completing the last leg of our journey. 


After a good night's sleep and a yummy breakfast, the kids and I made our way to the beach, which was quite literally a two minute walk from the house:

We examined rock pools, built sandcastles, found a water snail and left a beach mandala as a gift to the sea.  After lunch a Sunday nap was the order of the day, followed by outdoor play on the front lawn and a tea on the picnic bench.


On the Monday we visited Alnwick Gardens:


Benedict and Pip had a great time charging around the green space and paddling in the various mini rock pools.  The rose garden smelt divine and the serpent maze was a welcome oasis of shade from the blistering heat.  We saved the splash park until last and it was well worth the wait!  Once the kids had dried off we made our way to the café for a pot of tea and some gluten free cakes.  Despite having been on the go all day, B and P still managed to find the energy to run around the lawn just before bed!








On Wednesday we made a trip to Lindisfarne  it was not our best day, which was a real shame since it was the only place I had really set my heart on visiting; never mind it's an excuse for me to return before too long!



Our summer scrapbook was  very useful for documenting our days.  The Lindisfarne centre was a hit with the kids; Benedict enjoyed pretending to be a Viking and Pip made a friendship with a retired teacher!





Our last visit before returning home was a trip to Bamburgh Castle:


This place was great value for money and had loads for us to see and do.  A children's quiz sheet had been thoughtfully constructed and for anyone with a disability, there was a DVD of those rooms which were inaccessible.  After lunch we made our way to the smaller museum housing various  inventions courtesy of Lord Armstrong, followed by a mini dig in the children's archaeological pit!  From our seated position we could observe various archaeology students working on a full scale excavation.





Happy Memories!

Wednesday, 21 August 2013


With all the chaos of these past few weeks, I failed to document some important milestones within the family, but working on the premise "better late than never", a worthy achievement was reached and duly recognised on Friday July 12th this year.

Sara was awarded First Prize and The Milburn Cup in recognition as an outstanding student.  We thought the prize was in relation to the horticulture department, but in fact it was against all the other graduating students in her year, across all the departments!  Without a doubt it was well deserved as she gained distinction grades in all her assignments and modules throughout the two year course, her final mark was a triple distinction star, which amounts to three grade A* at A'level.  These marks have assured her a place at Sheffield University to study Landscape Architecture.

This was her official photograph as posted on the college website.
This past week both Sara and I have been planning a student budget, hunting out the best places to shop and road testing student grub!  All delicious I might add and definitely within a budget, our favourite economy gastronomy site that is non student based, but a true inspiration is this place.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Hyning Monastery

We visited here this morning.  We had hoped to attend our local church over the hill, but a combination of health issues and the clock ticking meant otherwise.  The sisters at Hyning who follow the Rule of St Benedict, were very welcoming since  all guests are to be greeted as if Christ himself were awaiting at the door.  I for one was in great need of some peace and quiet as the events of this past year have taken its toll and my spirit has been laid low for some time.

  The kids were very quiet in the chapel, we spent twenty minutes in silence, Benedict read some of the prayer book and Pip gazed at the icons dotted around an otherwise sparsely converted barn.  At twelve o'clock we joined the community for the noon time office of prayers.  Upon leaving we were handed a bagful of delicious tomatoes, our own crop having failed due to inadequate watering, they made tasty sandwiches for lunch!

After lunch Pip and I decorated two large church candles, which were originally intended as part of an Easter project, but a grand-baby's arrival put paid to all sorts of planned activities!  We left them to dry on the outside table and spent the rest of the afternoon building jigsaws and playing board games.  Dave made a yummy chilli for lunch and Benedict played with Lego.

Psalm 147 v 3 "He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds"  This quote from scripture has been running around and around in my head today and at the days end, I can look back and see His healing hand in my present circumstances.  His love is faithful and never ending.

Friday, 9 August 2013

River Fun and The Fig Tree

This afternoon Sara, Benedict, Pip and I met with Debs and her boys.  We visited our favourite fair trade town but this time we headed for the river with towels, nets and high spirits:

This cheeky face is usually a pretty good indicator that a hypo is in full swing!  Needless to say at least two of the kids ended up in the river clothing and all ... they shall remain nameless ... hmm, cannot for the life of me think who they might be!!
Once dried off we headed to the information centre and recently opened Fig Tree Café:

Chocolate for Benedict.

Strawberry for Pip.
Fairtrade information display at the bottom end of the seating area.

Words of Wisdom.
Beautiful Blooms.

We'll no doubt be back here before too long!

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Sports Reach

Benedict took part in a soccer camp this week organised by these folks.  He attended Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings from 6 pm until 9 pm.  We shared the driving and diabetes supervision with our dear friend Peter John.  He has agreed to be an honorary uncle to the kids and in particular a mentor and friend to Benedict. As Benedict is growing up I can see that he needs other male influences outside of the home environment and PJ fits the bill.

Today Benedict took part in the soccer warm ups in the morning and the world cup matches this afternoon:

Listening Hard.

Blocking a goal.
Pip watching with Peter John.
"Pip this is football not rugby!!"
Pip overjoyed to see Jan one of the preschool leaders, it was huge hugs and smiles all round!
Barbecue Buns.  These were most welcomed, especially by Benedict since he was having his fifth hypo of the afternoon and by this point was feeling thoroughly ghastly!
Glorious Grub on A Fab Fun Day.