Sunday – Beach

Went to Harlech beach – about a 20 minute drive. It’s a lovely flat sandy beach, with views of Harlech Castle, the Llyn Peninsular and the Snowdonia hills behind it. The sea was nice and warm – much warmer than the North Sea.

John got quite badly sunburnt unfortunately, due to not having his sun cream renewed often enough.

Journey to Wales

Saturday – time to go to Wales.

Cindy woke up not feeling very well, but we loaded the car up and left anyway. The journey to Ffestiniog was about 5½ hours, with Cindy sitting throwing up fluid every half hour or so all the way. In spite of that it was a surprisingly good journey, with the children all being fantastic and Toby map reading very well.

When we arrived, we unpacked and Cindy went to bed. Jane and Andy had already arrived; Katharine, Simon and Thomas arrived at almost the same time as us; and Lance, Sarah, Will, Jack and Grace, who had all been camping, arrived soon afterwards.

The house is lovely – very large, spacious bedrooms (8 of them), big sitting room, well equipped, slightly run down kitchen and amazing garden and grounds. The children all ran around working off their pent up energy, while Andy and Jane cooked a lovely meal.

Maurice at Thruxton

Maurice used his birthday present today – a driving experience at Thruxton.

He went round first in a Mazda RX8, first a passenger, then as a driver. Then he went round in a single seater racing style car. He was really good and overtook a few other cars.

There were loads of amazing cars there that you could pay to have a drive in. I was amazed by how interesting I found it!

Jayne’s Birthday

We all (Jayne, Steve, Christopher, Pat, Maurice, Mandy, David, Amy, Tom, Cindy, Me, Toby, John and Rose – Matthew AWOL) went out for Jayne’s birthday last night to a very nice Italian restaraunt in Emsworth called Niccolino’s. David had said that the portions were big, but they were truly enormous. Really wide menu, very good pizza.

We all had a really good time, especially when the waiter came round to help Steve sing to Jayne in Italian!

Badminton

I played badminton against Simon on Tuesday and John and Toby had a game. They played together really well and John picked up a lot. Toby has decided not to play football in the autumn, so he’s looking for a new sport to play regularly – he’d really like to play tennis, but I’m not sure if there’s a club with indoor courts. Maybe he’ll end up playing badminton at the RI.

Spy Game

We went to the York Castle Museum to try out their August activity. Followed a booklet around, looking for clues as to who was the spy finding out secrets about the Rowntree’s chocolate factory. Good fun and it made you look more carefully at things you might otherwise ignore. There were a few characters dressed in period costume who introduced activities that were fun, including one solving a code that I couldn’t work out! We found the spy in the end.

Weekend at Home

We got back to York in time for lunch, unpacked and started on the mammoth washing pile! We ran out of washing powder before it was finished.

In the evening we went to a party at Matthew and Clare’s. Fantastic food, lots of salads (didn’t have enough of those while we were away), olives, bread and smoked salmon. Thomas and Joseph have grown loads since we last saw them, Thomas is off to school in September and Joseph is running around chatting.

On Sunday morning John, Rose and I went swimming. We had to go via Tesco’s because I couldn’t find my swimming trunks. Ended up with some horrible green and yellow shorts, disliked by one and all, but they were only £2.50. Good swim – and I booked myself onto a “Swim for Fitness” course in the autumn. I’ve always wanted to have a relaxed, efficient looking front crawl and have finally decided to do something about it. The classes are from 9:20 till 10:00 on Wednesday evenings, so that’ll be tiring.

Later on we went to Chrissie and Jonathon’s for a BBQ. Nice to get together with them.

Lake District

We had a fantastic week in the Lake District, staying in Keswick.

Some of the highlights included:

Scrambling up a waterfall to the ridge on the west of Derwentwater, and running for half an hour from the top of Cat Bell to make sure we got the boat.

Go Ape – high ropes through trees followed by mountain biking all afternoon.

Tea at Bryson’s in Keswick! Yum yum.

Swimming and playing in Toby’s new inflatable dinghy in the Lake.

Card games on a rainy afternoon.

Fish and chips – more food.

A good time was had by all.
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