Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Daughter and Granddaughter's Visit - Galway +

We decided to go to Galway for the day as if the weather wasn't good, there are plenty of places to dive into for cover! We walked down to the lake first, as Jim wanted to look under the car, and it was so windy there it almost blew me off the fishing stand!

This was the sky on the way down to Lough Graney! What a sky.

Lina and K both had lollies!

Kevin the farmer was outside his barn and this little chap was too. He was about 10 days old:

How cute is he?
This is 'dad', but he wasn't interested in his progeny, just the food!

The familiar view (to most of you) of the fishing stand with Flagmount behind. Choppy waters!

I ventured a little way out and took this shot of 2 rather chilly people!! Lina and K.

K doing her 'I see no ships' pose!

Eventually we set off for Galway, stopping in Gort to buy Lina a drink. I spotted these donkeys and ponies on rough ground near the river:

They seem to have plenty of food. The donkey came over to chat!

I want a donkey!! K then called from the shop doorway and asked if I'd like an ice cream. Oh yes, Magnum time.

Now the photos are taking ages to load tonight and I'm really tired - and we still haven't reached Galway. Tomorrow, I promise.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Daughter and Granddaughter's Visit: Ennis.

I know I've only just done a post, but if I leave this too long, I'll forget the details, woolly head that I am. My daughter K and her youngest Lina (aged 12) visited us for far too short a time last week, from Wednesday afternoon until Friday morning. Still, we packed a lot in! Having met them at the airport and hugged and squished each other, we set off to Ennis to do a bit of shopping and generally show them round.

I didn't take many photos but K, over the 3 days, took over 300! I'll get her twitter link if you'd like to see them all. This is a doorway in one of the Ennis churches. There was also an amazing sculpture of a hand - I don't remember having seen it before:

We wandered the streets and peered in shop windows. I love the shoe shops in Ennis, they have some really unusual ones.

Jim and I hadn't had any breakfast or lunch and decided, in Lina's honour, to take them to Supermac's! This is the Irish version of MacDonald's but with nicer chips. We all ate heartily and felt much better afterwards. Jim and I often make up silly songs and we always sing 'Super-Macs, Super-Macs' to the tune from the 'A Team' TV series!! It wasn't long before K and Lina were singing along too.

We walked across the new footbridge over the river and I tried to take a photo of Lina:

She's at that 'I don't want my photo taken' stage!! The lady walking her dog had a marvellous stick with her. It was completely covered in hair bands!

Isn't that such fun?

Jim then decided to make Lina have her photo taken!

I think Lina won!

I did manage rather a good shot of Jim though:

Here is K clowning around with the lifebelt by the bridge. It's so small, I think it must be for Leprechauns!

I couldn't resist a couple of photos of the Abbey spire. It's so striking against the blue sky. I think many of K's and my photos will be the same.

A closer shot. All the bottom of the abbey is clothed in scaffolding so I had to be selective here.

Next to the abbey, on the pavement, is this lovely old post box:

Yes of course they're green in Ireland!

Just near to the post box was an arch and above it, I spotted this little piece of Spring:

Jim was worried about the car over running the parking ticket but I wanted to take K to the museum in Ennis. Jim said he'd go and move the car and go to Tesco to get some supplies and to our surprise, Lina went with him. I think she was going to make sure Grandad Jim bought some goodies for us all!

K and I spent some time in the museum, K taking loads of photos. I just took this one of a lovely stained glass window:

We headed to the museum shop as K wanted to buy an 'Ennis' fridge magnet to add to her collection - when Jim rang to say they'd finished shopping and within a few minutes they came into the shop. Off we went home, enjoying the drive in the sunshine. K snapped a photo of the Court House with my camera as Jim drove by:

We gave Lina and K a tour of the house (K has been before pre-extension) and some of the land outside. Jim rustled up a meal and after a wash and brush up, (and a little catch up sleep for Lina), we headed off to 'Peppers Bar' at about 9.50pm. Wednesdays is always music night there, and Jim and I thought it would be a good opportunity for our guests to sample some Irish music. It was quite crowded but we managed to find seats and thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment. We stayed until midnight then it was home and not too long before we fell into bed.

Part 2 tomorrow. The first half day was lovely.

Monday, March 29, 2010

29 March 2010 Rabbit Hole Challenge from Bea

Down the Rabbit Hole with Bea - 5 Week Challenge


Below is the next stage of my Rabbit Hole challenge from Bea. We were asked to add a backing (felt or batting) to the back of our piece/s and quilt it on using various stitches.

I have done 2 pieces for some reason! This is the main side of the first. I added thin batting to the back and used some stitches I haven't used before on my sewing machine. It's rather subtle, but I'm quite pleased with it. On the back (below) you can see the machined stitches:

Here is my second piece. I must admit I've been rather tentative with it, because I love the piece as it was! Still, I hand stitched running stitches in different colours around it. I know, I'm a bit conservative in my approach sometimes:

Again, below is the back so show just the stitching. It was hard to stitch as the texture of the piece is now like leather!

So that's it so far. Today Bea has given us Part 3 and we have to chop it all up and all sorts. AAAAH!! I will try and post my efforts on Friday, which is the due date for 'getting it done'.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Suffolk Visit, Last Day. Brandon Country Park.

Jack in Brandon Country Park

On our last day together, Sam decided to let Jack stay at home from nursery so we could have a full day. We decided to go to the Brandon Country Park, as neither Sam nor I had ever been there before. It was a lovely day, although the weather forecast had been poor. We took a picnic and found the place quite easily. I used to live in Thetford, Norfolk and Brandon isn't that far away from there.

The cafe in the park was open so we started with a coffee! Then Jack had a play on the adventure playground and we had our picnic. The bushes around us were a magnet for the first Brimstone butterflies I have seen this year. They are a gorgeous yellow and quite big, but didn't stay still long enough for a photo.

Jack enjoyed the park area:

We decided to go for a walk through the woods. There are various length walks and we picked the 'red route', which was supposed to take 30 minutes, but with the pushchair and me taking photos and Jack playing, it took us quite a bit longer.

Jack was in charge of spotting the red topped posts for us to follow.

Picnic time.
Kitty, Jack and me pausing for a photo.
Look at the lovely wood and the carpet of leaves on the ground. Jack was running ahead to find the next red post.

Brandon has an RAF base nearby and every now and then some fast, noisy jets went overhead. I tried to photograph them, but because of the trees and their speed, this is the best I came up with:
We came upon this wonderful house - it is now a nursing home. Sam and I decided we'd quite like to live there. It has a lake in front of it.

Jack by the pond, lifebelt reflected.

There were a lot of bull rushes left from last year.

We stopped while Jack had a tree climb:
Jack shooting me while I shot him!!

Jack posed by a wiggly wood sculpture.

We were soon back to the car park after a really lovely, fun walk. Then it was back home and time for me to pack my case, have some tea then Sam ran me to the airport for the trip home.

Thanks Sam, Jason, Jack and Kitty for a lovely few days.

Suffolk Visit Part 2

What a great face

More Colchester Zoo

This post is a bit long and photo heavy - less to read though!

Don't you just love Meerkats? I can't resist their worried little faces and 'look out' alerts - I think the one in the centre has the funniest expression!

This otter was chatting to me through the glass.
So that's where Jack came from.

Ebony and Ivory Wallabies
Or maybe Jack is a marsupial!
In the pet's corner. What a scraggy chicken!

This piglet was a bit shy

Sam and I both loved the donkey.
We all fed Tania the elephant. Her trunk felt weird when you popped the food in.

We all took a turn at feeding the giraffes. Their tongues are so long.

A proud looking vulture with gorgeous feathers.
Kitty and Sam. Kitty was so good all day.

A different species of monkey - the Jack variety.

Phew, it was a long day but we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

On Wednesday, it was my surprise for Mother's Day. We drove to Ipswich while Sam's Mum Rene looked after Jack and Kitty. I realised we were going to see 'Riverdance, the Final Tour' at The Regent Theatre, Ipswich. I have never seen it and was thrilled to be doing so at last.

We had a lovely buffet Chinese meal for lunch, then it was the big show. We all loved it, the music is uplifting and the dancing spectacular. A perfect choice and our seats were the best in the house, centre dress circle. I couldn't have asked for a better present. As we didn't have that much time, I didn't take may photos, but here are some of those I did take:

The Regent Theatre, an old cinema.
One of the many lovely old buildings in Ipswich.

A fabulous church tower.

I loved the brickwork and tower on this building.

I bet the view from those windows is spectacular. Fabulous weather vane too.

On the return journey we had another 'show' with a gorgeous sunset.

And there's another day to go yet!!