Needlework, Truck Driving, Seaside and Chinese

Wednesday of half-term holiday –

Cindy and Rose went to the City of York Embroiderer’s Guild children’s session with Nok. All the children were making embroideries on the theme of sheep. Rose’s is an appliqué picture of sheep in a winter scene. Apparantly they had lots of bits of material and thread to choose from and Rose had a fantastic time. She couldn’t wait to go back for this morning’s session. Cindy said that Rose’s sewing skills were high compared to the other children there and was very proud of her.

Meanwhile, Toby, John and I took Toby’s car down to the Knavesmire – and managed not to crash it! Toby let John and I have a short go – thank you. It went really well up and down the slopes and bumps at the side of the ‘mire. See Toby’s post about it on his new website!

In the afternoon we went to Bridlington with Lance and Mary. John took his skimboard which we got him for Christmas, but even he wasn’t brave enough to go in the February North Sea. He did some backflips on the beach – I’ve uploaded a video from his digital camera, to compare with the photos of his backflips from a couple of years ago. We had fish and chips before we came home, as is traditional when you go to the seaside.


In the evening we went into town to see York’s Chinese New Year parade.


Wedding List

In a very sad, geeky way, I’m very proud of a new website I’ve set up for my sister Jane’s wedding list.

I’ve used the php web scripting language with a mysql database to make a site that makes presents disappear when someone has said that they will buy them, it’ll email Jane and Andy to tell them that someone has selected an item and you can add items to the list through the internet. It’s really something like an Amazon wishlist for whatever you want – even if it’s not on amazon (though most things are these days!)

If you’re feeling as geeky as me you can play with a diferent version that won’t affect Jane and Andy’s presents here.

Half Term

School has finished for a week. We’ve no major plans – seaside probably, some making no doubt.

John is out at a fancy dress party at the moment. Cindy spent a lot of yesterday and this morning making him a pharaoh costurme and he does look super in it. Just before we left to go to the party he had to check that he could cartwheel in his costume.

Rose got back a short time ago from her friend’s house, where she’d been for tea. When she’s out of the shower I’ll read her the next chapter in Anne of the Island – her current bedtime book.

Toby is out at Southlands Church Youth Club, where he is helping out as part of his Duke of Edinburgh award. He didn’t think there would be many people there, as a lot of them are at the same party that John has gone to.

Truck moved

Just to let you know that all updates about my truck have been moved, to a new website that I am making myself, I’ll probably post a few things about stuff going on, but not much. Mainly it will be about the truck. The website is set out the same way so it won’t be hard to use. For your updates go to

By the way the truck is going great!!!

Surprise for Cindy

As it is getting close to time for me to go back to school, I thought that Cindy and I should try and have a night away together. I arranged with mum for child care for a night, and set about booking somewhere.

On Monday night I told Cindy that we would be going out the next day to the Star Inn, in Harome near Helmsley. Initially, she thought that we would be going for an evening meal, but I was able to tell her that we were staying the night as well.

I decided to tell her that evening, rather than the next morning as I had planned, because she kept saying she had a sore throat, or a bit of a cough and she might be going down with something. I was starting to wonder who we could give the room to, as I would have to pay for it anyway!! Anyway, this bit of news seemed to give her some more energy, and determination not to get ill quite yet!

We went to the Star for lunch once last summer and had an absolutely superb meal – with the best summer pudding I’ve ever had, made even better by being served with a generous glass of home-made raspberry vodka. So our hopes were very high for an evening meal and B&B. I had had to reserve the largest room in the place, as I booked so late that that was the only one left, so we were expecting that to be quite nice as well.

We had a lovely morning in York doing some shopping – Cindy had bought a skirt (50p) and shoes (£3) in Age Concern at the weekend and wanted a blouse to go with them (£27 – not such a bargain). She was able to wander around all morning, which is a huge improvement on a few months ago. We went home for lunch, made a list of evening activities for my parents and set off.

When we arrived, after discovering that the accommodation was just over the road from the pub, behind the village shop (also owned by the Star, and selling lots of their goodies), we were shown to our room. It was huge, with an enormous bed, pool table, lovely bathroom with double size bath, home-made chocolate cookies and a view out over fields with huge-horned highland cattle in them. The stereo even had speakers in the bathroom, so you could put a CD on (luckily we had some of our own in the car) and listen to it in the bath.

We went downstairs to the sitting area, which had a raging open fire, super comfortable armchairs and sofas, lovely olives and nuts and a write your own bill honesty bar and drank sherry, read the paper and tried to do the crossword.

We went over to the pub at about 6:30, had more drinks while reading the menu, ordered and were taken into the restaurant. The bar is like an English country pub out of a film – just like the stereotype, except for the huge wine list and enormous bowl of olives out on the bar. The restaurant uncrowded, lovely old wooden tables and interesting cutlery.

The meal was superb. Cindy had wild mushrooms on bruschetta, followed by woodcock; and I had pheasant risotto and then beef steak. There was plenty to eat, so much in fact that neither of us had any room for dessert, much to my disappointment.

We had coffee upstairs in the loft, another charming space with lots of arm chairs, noise from the bar coming up, but seclusion from the bar. Up there, there was cheese and biscuits and grapes out on the side, nuts, raisins and other bits to pick at. This was one of the things that really struck me – things that you might expect to pay extra for, were just around for you to take – it seemed extremely jealous.

We went back to our room and played a few games of pool, before bedtime.


The next morning we didn’t get up till about half nine – to try and give our appetites a chance to build up again after the previous day’s huge meal.

Breakfast was equally lavish – a buffet of croissants, smoked salmon, ham, melon, parma ham, fruit salad, pineapple, freshly squeezed juices ans smoothies. You could ask for porridge, kippers, or full English, or any combination! Cindy had full English (super black pudding), I had mushrooms on toast and some bacon, then smoked salmon on toast, parma ham, fruit salad… didn’t want to starve.

A bit more sitting around digesting, enjoying the comfy chairs, pay our bill (!!!) and gently back home a pretty country route.

Superb, gorgeous, can’t recommend it highly enough. Repeat visit sometime.

And a huge thank you to Lance and Mary for looking after Toby, John and Rose.