Summer Holidays Part One: A Week at Home

I took all these photos a long, long, long time ago, in the first week of the school holidays. We had a really busy start to the holidays. Actually, I don’t think it’s stopped being busy….

Saturday – A visit from out-of-town Grandma, playing in the garden, harvesting the first new potatoes in the allotment and a BBQ

Sunday : Sunderland Air Show – A fab, free day out and hardly any rain.

Monday, Tuesday and Thursday : Visiting the Tees Barrage, rolling down hills, cooking ahead, eating healthily, drawing the air show, making ice cream, cleaning and tidying

Wednesday : Borrowby Show and Gymkhana. Lots of animals to see and ideas to steal

Friday: Much excitement about the start of the Olympics and more ‘allotmenting’. Can you spot the ‘deliberate’ mistake?

Not bad for just one week! Thank goodness I’ve got no career and there friends and family just round the corner. Without them, we wouldn’t have had such a good time.


Olympic Fever Hits Town

The Olympic torch relay came through my town on Sunday. How lucky that we got it on a weekend so that it was a family event. It turned out to be a friendly event too. Here is the Middle Miss scooting along to our meeting point.

We had been invited to join some friends of friends whose house was directly on the route.

As we waited I took out the face paints and soon there were several children sporting the Union Flag on their face. I only wish I had rocked up half an hour earlier and started charging!

We had a great time. The torch passed by relatively quickly but the atmosphere was party-like. The preceeding police motorbike riders ‘high-fived’ the people (especially the children) lining the route. Their lights and sirens really got the sense of anticipation going. Yes, the presence of the sponsors was fairly high but for me, it all added to the excitement. The lucky torch bearers will surely remember their moment in the spotlight forever.
After the crowds had dispersed, we went inside to find our new friends had decided to celebrate with party food. The cakes were beautiful and I was regretting my ‘wheat free’ vows.

The children played together happily and the adults agreed that it was well worth the short trip down the road to experience ‘Olympic Fever’. It’s as close as we’ll get to a live Olympic event!

Reading the reaction of other locals on Facebook,  it seems people were split into two camps. There were the “Wow, that was a great event, I’m really glad we went” and the “Bloody Olympics, what a waste of money, who wants to see a torch?”. Truthfully, I was a bit doubtful before we went but it turns out, seeing the torch wasn’t really about the flame itself. It was all about sharing the experience with the people around you. Isn’t that what the  Olympics should be all about?

The Saltburn Yarnbomber

You might have seen the ‘Saltburn Yarnbomber‘ in the news recently. I couldn’t resist taking the family to view it tonight. Son Number One has to write a ‘non-chronological report in the third person’ (I’m rolling my eyes at that) about the Olympics this week so I thought he might benefit from some knitted inspiration.

Somebody had a lot of fun making this. We had almost as much fun going to visit it. Saltburn (by-the-sea, though no one locally gives the place it’s Sunday name) is a pretty little town with a clean beach, great views of the local cliffs and the only pier for miles.

It’s popular with surfers too so it has a slightly cooler vibe than other local beaches and there’s usually something to watch in the water. The Yarnbomber, whoever he, she or they may be have done a wonderful thing for the local businesses. There have been lots of extra visitors to the town. The great weekend weather probably helped too. Here are some pictures for you to enjoy. I’m not sure that I have labelled them all correctly. You decide.

Volleyball, Cycling, Pole vault, Equestrian, 

Spectators?, Shooting, Gymnastics

Skiing, More Gymnastics?, Para-Olympian, Still More Gymnastics

Weight Lifting, Swimming, Cycling at the Velodrome, Olympic Rings

Canoeing, Sailing, Synchronised Swimming, Swimming

Weight Lifting, Synchronised Swimming, Football, Boxing

Not a bad effort all in all. There were a few more but my computer was starting to steam with all the megabytes (or whatever you call them) that I was uploading.

Now how about some family pictures? As you would expect, the children had a great time on the beach, even if it was only for an hour.


It didn’t take long for them to get fully into the spirit of things and go paddling. Babykins didn’t know what to do first, there were so many dogs and seagulls to spot. He had no fear of the sea either. At least he didn’t eat the sand today. He seems to have got the idea of using his little spade to dig in it. Maybe I dare book a beach holiday this year after all.