Saturday, 27 June 2009

Wrynose and Hardknot Pass

This is Wrynose Pass in the Lake District. On Friday I had to go over both Wrynose and Hardknott pass in the car to collect teenager from a walk that he had been on with his dad, and dad's pals.

Every year other half sets out with his longtime amigos ( they all met at school- lovely eh?) for a walking and drinking weekend. Schedule is something like: big walk, real ale, food, sleep in rural bed and breakfast, eat large greasy fry up in bed and breakfast, big walk, real ale, food, sleep....

Get the picture?

Last year teenager went along for the 'big walk' and loved every minute of it. I collected him at the end of it so the oldies ( sorry lads) can continue their amigos weekend. This year they planned to do Scafell Pike (3209 feet) which is England's highest mountain. And they did it, and had a great time.
Hope to have photos for you soon.

We bought teenager some new post Oz trip walking boots and apparently he was like a mountain goat. All that Aussie rules football has been keeping him fit obviously.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Meme- thanks to Moments from Suburbia

Here are the rules:

1. Mention the person who tagged you 
( thanks Suburbia)
2. Complete the lists of 8s 

3. Tag 8 other bloggers and let them know

8 Things I'm looking forward to:

1. Getting my sore mouth sorted out- there is something going on with my teeth!!
2. Going to Disneyland Paris with my son, my friend and her daughters.
3. Losing the rest of my excess weight.
4. Spending a whole day in the office tomorrow, getting myself reorganised and focussed
5. Time in the library to do MA essay number three
6. Going back to Seattle and showing teenager all the things we think he will like.
7. Having teenager round during the summer holidays and spending time with him.
8. Time outside in the summer evenings barbecuing and drinking wine.

8 Things I did yesterday:

1. Had a quick coffee with my friends
2. Went to university and attending a 'Bible and Culture' class.
3. Got weighed at slimming class and lost three pounds
4. Got caught in very heavy rain showers in Preston.
5. Had a glass of wine with mum.
6. Enjoyed having teenager back and hearing how his first day back at school went.
7. Slept well
8. Appreciated the sunshine

8 Things I wish I could do:

1. See my dad again
2. Sew
3. Travel first or business class on all flights
4. Pop over to Seattle every month to see my friends
5. Guarantee health for my family, friends and good self
6. Sing and dance brilliantly
7. Afford a bijoux flat in Knightsbridge
8. Ask God a few questions right now

8 My favourite fruits:

1. Melon
2. Strawberries
3. Raspberries ( the absolute fave)
4. Peaches
5. Apricots
6. Blackberries
7. Mandarin oranges
8. Pears

8 Places I'd like to travel:

1. New York
2. Hawaii
3. Canada
4. Hong Kong
5. Dubaii
6. Finland
7. Australia
8. Denmark

8 Places I've lived:

1. North Shields
2. Tynemouth
3. London: New Cross
4. London: Kensington
5. London: Islington
6. Lake District- Bowness on Windermere
7. ..........would love to live a year in Paris
8.................would love to live six months in Rome

8 People tagged:
Anyone fancy having a go? Come on folks, especially those on my blog list and followers.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

The sound of dust settling

Teenager has been back for two nights, and there is little evidence of jet lag. The occasional heavy lidded look, but in general it is fair to say he has bounced back remarkably well. Oh- the joys of youthfulness!

He goes back to school today. He is really looking forward to seeing all his pals again. They are all going on ' geography school trip'. This appears to be an excuse for hanging round Bowness on Windermere all day eating picnics and talking to tourists. The topic is indeed ' tourism' and they are doing a survey. They should find plenty of that species for sure. Apparently we are having a record year tourist wise as many Brits are avoiding the airports in favour of home.

Tonight Grandma is collecting him from school and making tea. Other half is going off on business. I am going to University to my ' The Bible and Culture' class to talk about Franco Zefferelli's ' Jesus of Nazareth' ( mini series made 1977 - remember it?).

I am then saddling back up to my diet class in Preston. It's time to slay the next two stone.

Indeed, the dust is settling. The suitcases are put away. For a couple of weeks there is the routine of school and work, and enjoying the light nights and lovely warm weather ( last night we were playing boomerang in the park- I am hopeless at it).

Then the school holidays start, and the non- routine of the summer comes into play. I will enjoy a little bit of structure while it lasts...

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Guess who is back? Looking fabulous after over twenty four hours on the move! Two hours sleep and full of beans. Here is grandma and dad at the arrivals section of the airport- overwhelmed with relief!
I was so excited! I cried buckets.

Ignore the red eyes and nose. I think it's justified don't you? Ten weeks without him.

Back at home with dad. That is a welcome banner above them. Pity the sun wouldn't shine! Teenager was delighted to see his beloved Lake Windermere and all the lovely greenery everywhere.

Jet lag? What's that? After sausage and chips, photos ( watch this space later in the week) and distribution of souvenirs it was straight out with best friend D for a try out of Aussie rules football. They are back to being inseparable already, like a comfy pair of slippers they just fall back into a relaxed and happy relationship. Back from the bout of fresh air for celebration lemon cake and then hanging out in the lovely new revamped bedroom commenced. It has been a complete success. Extreme makeover team here we come. Its a real teenager's pad. He managed to stay up til nine. then the eyelids could no longer manage another minute open. We have lots of cuddles. He's pleased to see us. Lovely!
He is now fast asleep in his glam new bedroom. He looks very happy. I know I am. Other half and I are so glad to have him back. What an adventure.
( for new readers who maybe puzzling: our teenage son has been on a school exchange in Melbourne Australia for ten weeks).

Saturday, 20 June 2009

The excitement is growing...

I am up in the middle of the night. I can't sleep a wink. I haven't felt as excited as this as when I was a small child at Christmas.

The excitement is bubbling up in me like bottle of champagne which has been shaken up- I am about to burst open and spill all over the place.

Tomorrow at about noon teenager will arrive back at Manchester airport. After ten weeks with a wonderful family in Melbourne, who have done such a brilliant job looking after him, he will be back to mum and dad ( and grandma too!).

I feel completely over-whelmed about seeing him again. I can't begin to describe it. I feel as if I have a put a ( very large) lid on all my emotions about him being away, and soon I can take the lid off again.

We have over-hauled his bedroom ( a la extreme makeover) and it looks lovely. Very grown up. I really hopes he likes it.

Thanks to Daryl, Cindy, Elana and Joshua for a wonderful opportunity. We are so excited about the reciprocal visit. It will be a real adventure. Roll on September.

In the meantime, pray for a peaceful and safe flight for teenager today. I will post tomorrow when I have got my baby back again.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009


Far be it from me to moan, but I dread this time of year when the news or sports programmes come on. We have relentless coverage of the pre- Wimbledon ' will XYZ British star will Wimbledon this year??'. The pre- tournament hype is relentless: this year Andy Murray, previously Tim Henman, John Lloyd, Sue Barker.... the list goes on. It really is deadly.
I am patriotic and would love to see a British win, but my life will go on if it doesn't happen. Really. It's fine.

The media start this incessant hype every year and the nearer it gets the more intense the nonsense becomes. It puts me off watching the tournament at all: at least if I don't switch on I don't have to suffer the continual speculating and interviewing of 'experts' and past coaches.

For those of you who enjoy tennis, I hope you enjoy Wimbledon. Me? I will be somewhere in a dark corner poking myself in the eye with a plastic daffodil. I have had enough sporting misery watching Newcastle United all these years.

Monday, 15 June 2009

London and oyster..

Oyster Cards...

I am on business in London this week. We came (mum is with me) on Saturday and we go back on Thursday. I am working Monday to Wednesday and mum is touristing and chilling out in the sunshine.

I am getting back and forward from work using an 'oyster' card. For those outside the smoke, this card is prepaid and can be used on buses and tubes. I loaded mine with twenty quid this morning at the tube station ( one place where they are sold apparently) and jumped on a bus to Clapham Common on Sloane Street. I flashed my card at a screen next to the driver and a green light flashed. It was all over in a flash and off we sped. Very handy, very civilised. Good idea but no idea what the name is all about. Any ideas folks?

I felt very urban today. Zipped out of the hotel for a Starbucks, and then off to work on the bus with my oyster card firmly in hand. Pity I had my phone nicked on Saturday or I would have looked just the part, texting on the bus with a pair of headphones on!!

As it was, I was happy to stare out the window, people watching and shop window gazing. It is a real change.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Poler girl

Anyone else follow PolerGirl's blog? I clicked on a link today and it said that the blog has been removed. Anyone got any news? I will be sad is she isn't blogging anymore.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

chocolate chillis and coffee in Seattle

More pictures from my wonderful holiday....

How difficult is it to stay on a diet in the US? Look at these chocolate tempatations at Pike Place Market. I think the shop was called Chocolate Mountain. Other half and I had chocolate covered strawberries, and I had a white chocolate and pecan covered marshmallow on a stick. Yum.

These are chillis in a hanging arrangement- wonderful aren't they? I would have brought one back but exporting veg to the UK is not allowed sadly. Bah!

The first Starbucks ever was started in Seattle in Pike Place Market- the front of the star is like the original apparently. We had a coffee there- it was exciting to know I was at the original store.... we got some mugs and other half bought some coffee beans. I have since pointed out to him that we have no coffee grinder ( small detail).

Friday, 12 June 2009

More pictures of Seattle - Pike Place Market

One of my favourite holiday visits was Pike Place Market in Down Town Seattle. I could have spend lots of time there.

Pike Place Market Seattle- beautiful vegetable displays

How easy it to eat healthily here? Fish and lovely veggies

Lots of fish at Pike Place market- when they sell them they toss them in the air and across the market stall. Famous apparently?

Crabs at Pike Place Market

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Heaven on Earth- the San Juan islands

Wildwood Manor - the bed and breakfast in the San Juan Islands. I loved to sit on the rocking chair. We saw deer, racoons, lots of lovely birds. I even slept in a hammock.

Roche Harbour in the San Juan Islands

A little white church at the winery on the San Juan Islands

The beautiful blue sea- in the San Juans.

Another fabulous view from the boat trip to see whales....
Tomorrow - we go home. Fly out at half six Seattle time. Expect more photos when I have time to blog when I get home. Luggage full of Coach goodies and new clothes.

We have had a wonderful time!!!

Friday, 5 June 2009

Teenager in Oz and the Kangaroo

Aren't they both gorgeous?
Thanks to all of you for asking about the teenager, who continues to have a marvellous time in Australia. He is now thinking a little bit about home and packing, and what is happening with the Lakes and his friends. Signs that it is time to come back. In the meantime here is a picture of him enjoying the company of a kangaroo and a koala.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

San Francisco and a busy week

Alcatraz island....

Other half in a cell in Alcatraz. I pleaded with them to close the doors but no deal.

Mojitos in a lovely bar in Fisherman's Wharf!

Cheers - they tasted great!

The famous Fisherman's Wharf sign and yes the sky was really that blue and I didn't touch it up. Unfortunately there was no heat in the sun and the wind was freezing. We turned up for California sun, and the locals laughed. Apparently tourists getting caught out is common: the fog, the wind and the cold are a regular feature.
We have had a great time since our return and I have been too busy to blog! Tomorrow we are off to the San Juan Islands on the ferry. The sun is blazing here and the forecast is wonderful. Back Thursday and I will post about our adventures on Friday.
( I went to the original Starbucks today in Seattle at Pike Place Market- brilliant!