Here I am again, back from my Suffolk trip to see Jason, Sam and Jack, plus Sam's Mum Rene.
Day 1 Friday, October 3rd
Up at 4.15am as my flight was the first of the day. Jim informed me the car was without diesel, which was a bit of a worry as nothing would be open at that time of day. However, we managed to make it on a wing and a prayer, though I didn't know whether Jim would make it to a petrol station to get back. Uneventful flight as usual. As I walk down the tunnel to where Sam parks, a broad grin always spreads across my face as I imagine Jack's smiling face. Sure enough, there he was, waving away with Sam and Rene.
We did the usual trip to Lakeside shopping centre. Jason had bought me a Gucci watch for my 50th birthday and it had stopped working, so we took it into the shop from whence it came for repair. 10 years old now! Rene was on a mission to buy some new clothes, as was Sam, so it was a bit of a shopping fest. We were all worn out and bought sandwiches from M & S for a picnic in the car before we drove to J, J and S's home. Quick tea of cheeseburger, chips and a roll, time to play with Jack before his bedtime and catch up with Jason. Spoke to Jim on msn messenger then I fell asleep while watching a film and went to bed before 10pm, unheard of for me!
Day 2 Saturday, 5th October
I was woken by Sam with a cup of coffee at 8am and she said, 'Did you sign in the guest you had in your room last night?' I was a bit confused then realised I'd been talking in my sleep. I think I do this most nights but they had heard me. I was laughing and chatting away for ages. I remembered my dream, which was quite a cheerful one!
We were off to the Colne Railway for the Thomas The Tank Engine Day. Jason, Sam, me, Jack and Rene. It was quite a bright day, but cold and breezy. It's a lovely place with a little animal park and a mile of railway track with various engines and old coaches all around the place. We soon spotted Thomas in all his finery. Jack was most impressed. Lots of steam was belching out and his smiley face was a bit smutty. We were booking into a ride at 11.30, so went round the little wild life park. There were 2 amazing chickens and loads of pheasants running around plus a wild hare ran in front of Jack. A large enclosure was full of pigs of all shapes and sizes. One female was chomping on a stone for ages! It looked as though we had to cross the field of cows so we doubled back to the main site. There was a little cafe in an old buffet car with a couple of carriages used as the seating. We warmed up with coffee and cake before we headed over the old railway footbridge for our ride.
The chickens - how splendid they are
Jack and Rene admire the motley assortment of pigs.
Thomas the Tank Engine
It was rather a quick ride as the track wasn't very long and Thomas had to un-couple and go to the other end of the carriage to pull us back again. We sat for a while at each end as this happened. The 'ride' Jack found most exciting was an old tractor disguised as 'Terence' which hadn't moved for many years! He was able to play with the
levers and loved it.
Jack driving Terence.
After our ride, we went to watch the Thomas 'show'. Jack quickly became bored with this and Jason took him off to see Terence again. Rene, Sam and I stayed and watched it and it was actually quite fun. Jack returned in time to see the robbers apprehended and one of them receive a custard pie in the face. You can't beat it!
Back to the car for our picnic lunch, brought by Sam. Then we had a look around the tents and in the Thomas shop to buy postcards, etc. We were all pretty tired by this time and decided to go home, but not before I treated everyone to a waffle, sauce and cream! Jack really enjoyed his, as you can see:
I took lots of photos of other things of course, so here are some of them:
The Station Clock
There was a wonderful fairground organ. This is Mabel, the conductor. Fetching hot pants, I thought!
Jason took this photo of Me, Jack, Sam and Rene all squashed on a bench.
I took this photo from Thomas's window. A fine fungus
We all had a wonderful time and chatted to Jack on the way home so that he wouldn't go to sleep! When we did get home, Jason played with Jack while Rene, Sam and I had a sleep. We then played with his play doh and made a river and garden, well, sort of, this was the result!
Day 3, Sunday, October 5th
It was a horrid day today, raining most of the time. We did a bit of a quick shop and then our friends, Ivor and Maureen and their son Paul came for Sunday lunch. Utterly yummy it was too with Sam's home made Eve's Pudding (with plums instead of apples) for desert. Some Jack playing and chatting to our guests and the day flew by. Sam and I watched Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in the evening, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
Day 4, Monday, October 6th
Today was beautiful. Sam worked in the morning, Jack was at 'school', so we picked him up from there at 1pm and went into Bury where we met Rene. She treated us to lunch, a good old fry up. Lovely. After a bit of shopping, we went to the Abbey Gardens in the centre of Bury, a wonderful park full of ruins of the old Cistercian Abbey. It also has an aviary and beautifully kept flower beds, plus ducks, squirrels and pigeons to feed!
This is the first time Jack has actually been brave enough to have the pigeons eating out of his hand
The sensory garden, a lovely relaxing, calm place to spend time
The evening sun cast long shadows through the arches of the ruins
A happy squirrel eating the nuts bought by Rene
Then it was back to Sam's, goodnight to Jack, a portion of Eve's pudding and off to the airport and back to Shannon.
Thanks for a great time Sam, Jason and Jack.