We went out for Pizza for lunch – my mum and dad’s idea – lots of kids, vigorous exercise and then a treat – can’t much argue with that.
My dad sensibly peeled off from the park early to go back up to the town to book us a a table, but we were sufficiently early that we almost had the place to ourselves.
It was time to see the children in England. I’d booked the flights ages ago – but as the Olympics were on, they were massively expensive and only the less desirable flight times were available. I worked all day Friday and then caught the flight out at 2am *bleaugh* was a very long day. I got a bit of sleep, did the 2 hour stop at Singapore and then the next leg – the joyous 14 hour hop to London.
Anyway, it was all good – the airport was unusually quiet and I popped out into arrivals into 32 degree heat – rare for England and almost summer temperature for Perth! Picked up my hire car and drove to my parents house where my children were waiting for me.
Time, as ever, is the mortal enemy and pretty soon we were down to the last full day together. It was very overcast and threatening to rain bit we decided on an outside adventure anyway.
There’s a lovely old stately home only 15 minutes drive from my parents house that I last went to probably when I was Ella’s age. No, really, it was that long ago.
Penshurst Place has gardens and an adventure playground open all year (but the house is only open in the summer) which sounded perfect – combine that with a toy museum and some lunch, we thought that would be a good day out. Read more
It was still freezing cold, but we refused to be couped up indoors – I only had a week and I wanted to get out and about with the kids as much as possible.
We went off to the duck ponds for a wander around – there was still a little bit of snow around and the lakes were still frozen several cm thick – probably more in the middle
Brrr! Read more
So, we’ve been having a great time here – it’s been a relatively quiet one this time as it’s been freezing cold, most cool places are actually closed for the winter and we’re all too busy kicking back.
We did go swimming which was cool. No, litterally, it was freezing. The poor boy (who has the physical appearance of the terminally malnourished) went blue and his teeth were chattering uncontrollably.
He did try to swim, but the belly ache he had when he got out indicated that he was actually trying to drink the pool level low enough so he could stand. Read more
So, it’s that time of year again.
Where parents frantically try to get what their kids want without going overboard
Where husbands and wives think frantically what their spouses would like this year
Where inlaws buy socks
Where children make handcrafted trinkets with love for their parents
Where vouchers are the ultimate safe haven when you just can’t work out that perfect gift
Actually, the ultimate safe haven are pamper packs of bath salts and smellies.
But not this year..
I, well, Jay and I, decided that it had been too long since we had used the studio lights and taken some proper shots of the kids goofing around, so whilst they went off to the shops, I set up the Bowens in the lounge, fired up the camera and waited for their return with props and ideas.
And so it was time to take the kids back home so they had time to unwind before school started. This is the bit that’s hard – that still having fun but knowing that its almost time to go bit. Still – have fun we did and Ruth cooked us all a lovely late lunch/early tea as we played in the last of the English summer warmth.
We had a few hours, so I took some nice photos in the lovely light she has in her house.
We had almost come to the end of the holidays and there were so many fun things still to be done. I decided to go see what one of the locals parks had to offer as I’d heard it had been done up since I was last there. And done up it had been – lots of new play equipment, remodelling and the two decade old mini golf had finally been redone.
100 years ago, England was criss crossed with railway lines. Small towns and villages were all connected with quaint single track upon which steam trains chuffed their merry way about, ferrying passengers in their wooden well appointed carriages. Sadly, the second world war meant that the upkeep of a lot of the track and rolling stock fell far behind, and budget cuts meant that a lot of the smaller branch lines were uneconomic to operate.