Friday, 6 July 2012

Picnic

Working anti-social hours and not having a reliable car limits my visits across to Immingham to see family. Luckily, Justine has family in Liverpool and calls in en-route. We thought we would celebrate this particular occasion with a picnic at Witton Park.


Thursday, 5 July 2012

Malham

Our good friends Paul and Liz visited, always a hoot. During after-dinner discussions Liz mentioned that she had always fancied visiting Malham cove, to which Craig replied it's only up the road, let's do it tomorrow! So, here are some shots of the expedition. Paul and Liz have three children and exploring with them has taught us all we need to know about motivating kids on long walks, mostly centred around praise and a large sweetie bag. Freya and Edie required some carrying up to the 'Limestone Pavement' but it was well worth it.


The route to the large rock face takes you along a valley floor, a stream runs through it with little bridges to cross for fun. It has always reminded me of a small scale Yosemite National Park.


Moomin enjoyed the walk along the valley floor, particulalry going for a swim in the stream but was less happy 'up top'. She was terrified of the 'clints' and 'grykes' that she had to traverse on the top of the cliff.


All in all, a great walk.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Sleep


A random post just to mention Freya coming out of a cot into a big girl bed, and here it is. We have had surprisingly few hiccups so far.


While we are mentioning sleep... this is what I see whenever I pull up to the shops. They can be arguing, being noisy and kicking seats almost up to the second that I need to get them out of the car... then this happens, like some form of enchantment just to piss me off, but they do look cute!


Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Converse

Converse trainers are part of my mummy uniform. I did once comment that I would have been better off with two beer mats strapped to my bare feet, after a particularly painful pram push around Manchester. I have since relented and am now accustomed to them, although I wont be climbing Kinder Scout in them.


Thanks to Aunty Becky and Uncle Serge the girls have some snazzy 'only available in the States' mini Converse trainers to match mine. Here they are all lined up like little soldiers at 'Fidgets'.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Book reading

I am so excited. I am a massive book lover although as an adult I don't often get to indulge. I distinctly remember the joy of reading 'Jamaica Inn' from cover to cover whilst on holiday in Greece. It was the first book I had completed since Freya was born and it felt great.

Books have the ability to enrich our lives in a myriad of ways. I found this quote from Julia Donaldson, the new children's laureate  to illustrate this.




The reason I bring this up? Freya and I have just finished her first chapter of a real book, whoop,whoop. Fantastic Mr Fox, where better to start. There is so much that I want to share with her... the Magician's Nephew, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Willard Price and the list goes on and on...


This is my copy of the book from when I was a child and we even made our bookmark. I hope both girls develop a love of reading but really, what's not to love?

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Huntington Nature Trail

I have probably already waxed lyrical about the park opposite our house. It is fabulous any time of year and has provided hours of solace and excitement for children, adults and dogs alike. There has been a lot of care invested in the park and this exhibition is a testament to that. The Huntington Heritage trail in Bold Venture Park is a group of sculptures related to local history. It was commissioned by The Friends of Bold Venture group and funded with a lottery grant. The day of the unveiling was awash with Bucks Fizz and sunshine.


There were walking tours going on but we opted out, having been lucky enough to see all the pieces in various stages of installation and getting to chat with the artists to boot, very cultured. One of my favourite pieces are these contemporary speech bubbles that are barely visible in the trees.



Here is Edie exploring the 'Who Pays the Quarryman' carving in the rockface, it was created by the same sculptor who made the stone mason sculpture at the motorway junction, Thompson Dagnall.


The installations span across both top and bottom parks and here is Moomin sitting on 'Huntington's Parlour', an installation dedicated to a wallpaper designer from Darwen.



The sculptures are just weaving themselves into the fabric of the park now and, we probably don't even notice them but it is a really cool trail to follow for visitors to the area.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

The Garden.

I have dreams for my garden, and drawings for that matter but they are just pipe dreams at the minute. In the spirit of making the best of what I have got, here is what is happening at number ninety one.

After seeing it at a friend's house, we decided to make a pine cone weather station.


Here it is open, predicting a bit of good weather, good job I got a photo of it as it isn't a frequent occurence at the minute.


It sits just outside the kitchen window, suspended from our strawberry hanging basket.


Ah, now that is more like it, tightly closed and dripping with rain water.


Our next door neighbours have a large shrub teeming with sparrows, so this year I have gone a bit mad with coconut halves, feeders with sunflower hearts in and a window feeder full of meal worms.


There is something really cool about washing up and watching the birds feeding, god damn I am middle aged.

My free delivery of strawberry plants from Em has been given a good home in a disused part of the garden, within picking reach of the kids too.


I am rather proud that I filled the bed with our own homemade compost, the circle of life and all that.


After disucssion with Sharon at work, I have since constructed a bird proof net system for our crop.


More for the kids, we have our violas and purple flowers in pots everywhere... which is actually rather nice.



The Lilac tree is sprouting nicely after a savage pruning from Craig.


Just next to the lilac are our potato bags that seemed to have sprung to life without us doing anything, so I don't hold out much hope for the crop but we'll see.


I washed all our decorative pots which are unimaginatively  filled with hostas but we like them. After several unsuccessful years using organic warfare (Nematodes) I decided to try out some coppper tape on the pots. I am quite proud of this bit of hard work.


I also slug pelleted like crazy for good measure.

In summary, we have a nice homley spot for a cup of tea and a chinwag but I won't be having an 'open garden' event this year.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Happy Weekend

Happy start of the weekend everybody!


This weeks treats are sadly not homemade but are Mr and Mrs Jubilee bought from the shop (I have just finished nights so trifle or cupcakes was out of the question)

Just waiting for the other half of Team Chambers to arrive now....

Monday, 7 May 2012

How we spend our days

I had a particularly tough morning one-time when Edie was new. I was stood in the middle of the room crying at about half past eleven in the morning because I couldn't get washed or dressed, the baby was crying and crying and refused to be put down. Freya was taking full advantage of this by misbehaving and making a massive mess.

I had been up for four hours and wasn't making any progress and I couldn't see how I was going to be able to move forward in my day. I worried that I would still be stood there when Craig came home. I posted on Facebook "Sam Chambers is having a really shit day at Guantanamo ranch" and got loads of support and lovely replies. One friend, Liz, recommended that I read 'The Fish Finger years'


It was a good read and has a really great passage at the end about the fact that all children grow up.

'We may still wander through parks, but we won't loiter for ninety-five minutes at the swings, with a small person bellowing,'Higher!' We'll be calmer, cleaner and, if we look knackered, we'll only have ourselves to blame. Our lives will become ours again.

And we won't know what to do with ourselves.' (Gibson, 2005)

I dream about having time to put make-up on, go for a run, go to the cinema and 'pop' to the shops but this quote brings tears to my eyes. I think one day, my daily trips across the road to the park will become very boring. A bit of a long intro for the post really but as is usual, I have a random collection of photos on my phone.

I thought I could tie them together in a post about how we spend our days. One day when I have my life back and the girls are safely in school, I will wonder why the days felt so chaotic. Here is how we fill our days

Playing in the shower...I actually have to get a grown-up shower whilst trying not to tread on them, it feels a bit like playing Twister and washing your hair at the same time.


Cuddling them dry,  although this is wonderful, by the time we are all done, the girls are ready for their snack, so, fast forward past any beauty routine for me (that's my excuse anyway)


Playing in the cot, they just love 'visiting' each other's bed.



Strutting our stuff at the shops. This is the day Edie inherited Freya's doodles, she kept shouting 'Shoes, shoes'. Now she shouts 'rainbow' because that is the design on the front. I always loved doodles ever since seeing Cameron in them, they have a retro toddler feel to them.


Here's Cameron's pair from 2003!


A rare moment of levitation above, and coming back from the pool with his aunties. How times have changed, no Cath Kidston swimming bag, I had to content myself with a Matalan shopping bag, ah simpler times.


Back to us. Having lunch in the garden, after spending half an hour hanging out a 'kids load' of washing. You wouldn't believe how many tiny clothes you can fit in an 8Kg drum.


Going on playdates with Aunty Emily and Amelia. This particular time we threw stale NHS bread at the ducks, then had a whale of a time with pink balloons in the playground. Freya and Amelia are so cute they have the same little shoes, Freya in purple and Amelia in blue.



An afternoon colouring with Aunty Fran, when she dropped their Easter eggs off.


Going swimming, going to the library, visiting the pet shop, going to see Nanny and Granddad, walking the dogs, playing the park, gardening... it is endless.


It's no wonder we are all shattered...

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Craft Fairs

I am excited, in a few weeks time I will be doing a craft fair with Emily. She makes such wonderful things and now has an Etsy shop of her own. We will be travelling to Harrogate to go and 'play shop'!

She has made such beautiful things and I am lucky to have quite a bit of it round my little house, as her official tester.


Doorstops with rustic string ties.


Her ubercute, better than Cath Kidston labels, 'Dolly Doulton Lovingly Handmade in Lancashire'. The name actually comes from her grandmother (correct me if I am wrong Em!)


Really great quality peg bags. She has even knocked up some vendor aprons for the big event.


Emily did a craft fair in a nearby town a couple of months ago. It was a charity do and managed to raise some cash for a local cause. Em even got her tea cosies on the front of the paper. This was the photo shoot... sorry not great pictures, couldn't have stood further away really.



I had a poke around the other stalls and ended up buying some amazing cupcakes, aren't they the cutest.


Emily had suggested that I sell something but this is all the crafting that I have done in the past few months.


A fabric toy tea bag, that took me hours, I think I made five and gave three to Emily! Anyhow, I hope that I am useful even if it means that she can go to the toilet without all her gear getting nicked. Maybe I could make some macaroons to lure the punters in?