Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Last Days of Summer

Dan started college in Bangor on Monday on his Electronics course.  The boys went back to school on Tuesday and Cait started Year 8 today (that's Form 2 to me!) thanks to a well-scheduled INSET day.  And I must say I'm a little bit meh about it, I could have done with a few extra weeks with the children if I'm honest?  Is it just me, because when I was a child, the summer holiday seemed to last forever?  Too long?  Come the last fortnight I was praying for time to hurry by, so I could go back to school just for something stimulating to do.   Now I'm a parent, it goes by so quickly.  The house was soooooo quiet at 9 am this morning, all you could hear was the clock ticking!

Mr G is in hospital... but it's an appointment.  He saw his consultant a fortnight ago, and he apologised for the fact that Mr G was still in pain (fair play) and said that he wanted him to have an MRI scan as there may be stones in the bile duct... *sigh*.   So he's there now waiting to be scanned.  His parting words were - 'Do you want to put my ring on your finger?'  and I turned into Beavis and Butthead.  On the plus side, we only had to call an ambulance once this summer holiday so...

We managed a grand total of one camping trip.  But it was a goodie, I do have to say!  I mentioned in my last post that there was a site I had fancied in Corwen, but when we phoned to book, it was full.  We had every bit of camping gear out ready, packed, and nowhere to go.  So Mr G and I both went on UK Campsite, searching through the different counties in Wales.  But I had my heart set on that particular area.  And I found a site in Llangollen, I'd never heard of it or come across it before.  We phoned up and they had space so we booked for five nights.  It looked really pretty, Abbey Farm, with a shop and restaurant, and the ruins of Valle Crucis Abbey were on site too.

Standard.  Even when I camp, I get a kitchen!

The little on site restaurant

The Reception and very well stocked shop

Valle Crucis ruins

On the Thursday we went into Wrexham, I had pre-booked tickets for us to go and watch 'Frozen' at the cinema.  Sing a long.  Yes.  Sing a long... ♫ Do you want to build a Snowman? ♫   Although Mr G and I were both dreading it, we both really enjoyed the film.  And he admitted to belting out 'Let it Go'.  The sad case that he is.  We went around the shops, Cait hit Primarni, and Adam decided that he wants us to move to Wrexham.  Because he walked past three different Greggs shops in the space of five minutes. 

The Mother Ship calling Adam home...

That's him sold.  Doesn't take much.  Literally a whiff of a Greggs sausage roll and he's anyone's... #pastrywhore.  They've also got a Nando's, so that's me and Cait going with him. 

♫ Do you want to eat a Pastie?  Doesn't have to be a Pastie ♫

On the Friday morning we went to Plas Newydd, which I remembered had been featured on an episode of 'Most Haunted' a few years ago.  Ryan had already seen the episode, Cait watched it on Youtube before going but quite sensibly we didn't tell Adam.  Or he'd have been in the car for the duration.  The home of the Ladies of Llangollen, quite a bit of activity had been documented there.   Inside the house was beautiful, with intricate wood carvings.  Unfortunately we weren't allowed to take photographs inside.  

Plas Newydd

"A heavenly evening - Blue sky with patches of Cloud scattered over. My beloved and I went to the shrubbery, spent the Evening there, brought our books. Planted out our hundred carnations."

Carving on the front of the house

The back of the house

We had a walk around the lovely grounds, and then as the heavens opened, we made a mad dash for the little cafe to get a homemade scone with jam and cream.  Naughty but very nice indeed. 


Friday afternoon, I had pre-booked us on the two hour horse-drawn boat trip down the canal.  It took us from the centre of Llangollen to the Horseshoe Falls and then back.  We had a twenty minute stop there, before we made our way back.   It was really relaxing and peaceful.  

Our boat coming to pick us up

Mr G and Ryan

Cait and Adam

Horseshoe Falls

Our horse, leading us back along the canal

Mr G had booked us into the little Bistro on site that evening, and we had a lovely meal there;  Mr G and I opted for the Lamb Shank, Cait had the Cod, which was so huge that I nearly cried and sent my Lamb back. It was a bit pricier than the places we usually eat, but it was a one off, it was our only 'holiday' this year, so we decided to treat ourselves. 

Caitlin lured by the promise of free wifi and fresh fish.  Shell lured by the Merlot...

Just realised Ryan had his hood on, indoor and out, for the entire duration of the break

Look at the bloody size of that!

After we'd eaten, the kids rushed off back to the park and their new friends, and Mr G and I had a good half hour together in peace, having a drink.  Which was nice.  Once he'd stopped taking weird photographs of himself with my Photobooth app.  I'm not even joking.  One of the pictures looks like he has what can only be described as a vagina, on his face.  That's what happens when you mirror my husband's face, apparently.  I'm not sure whether to put it in my 'Not Quite Right' section of photographs, it's a corker, but it looks like a fadge.  I don't know how I can better describe it.

Saturday morning was spent just having a mooch around the shops in Llangollen.  We found a church that was having a book sale, and seeing as the battery on my iPad had long since fizzled out, I bought some paperbacks, and a couple of bottles of wine, and we headed back to the site to chill out for the rest of the day.   It had been so long since I'd read a proper book.

Sunday, we headed to Oswestry, to Park Hall Farm.  This was a lovely day out for the family, we all enjoyed ourselves.  Petting and feeding the animals, pig racing (mine won!), a maize maze, tractor rides, brilliant indoor and outdoor play areas, a military museum, hall of mirrors... all sorts of fun activities and exhibits kept us amused all day. 

My winning pig


We headed back to camp for a quick change before going to our favourite local pub, The Berwyn Arms for our tea.

Monday morning, we had the enjoyable task of packing and taking the tent down in the rain and fog.   It had just rained non stop since about 8pm the night before.  We were soggy, miserable, cold and very hungry by the time we arrived home! 

So... September!  Ryan and Dan have their birthdays, and on the 21st, Mr G and I are Manchester bound to go and see The Pierces in concert!   Eeeek!   If that wasn't exciting enough (well, it is for me, most people don't know who they are... including Mr G...) we have booked a hotel for the night too, so we don't have to travel home at stupid o'clock and then get up with the children for school the next day.  Woop!  Thanks Mum! 


And finally, we've ordered a new mattress.  An orthopaedic one, with 5 five star reviews, all of which claim to have helped the purchaser's (or their spouses) back problems.  8 more sleeps!  Feeling very optimistic about it :-)  Could this be the end of my back pain?  I really hope so!

M x

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