Half Term in Holland

Over half term we went to one of the Center Parcs in Holland. We drove via the Eurotunnel, then stopped at Antwerp on the way there and Bruges on the way back. All together I drove 1015 miles!! A bit too much really.

Once we were there though we had a great time. There was a big “tropical” swimming pool, with slides and waves and bubble pools and so on, where we spent most of our time. We also went climbing, played badminton and bowling and played a couple of board games. We had most of our meals out, and on one evening cooked a huge indoor barbeque.

We’d rented bikes – traditional Dutch one gear, back pedal brake, sit up and beg things they were. There were no cars allowed on the site except on leaving and arriving days, so we could all cycle round without worrying about bumping into anything.

It was great spending time with Will, Sarah, Jack and Grace, particularly as they are leaving for Australia in September.


The stop in Bruges on the way home was fantastic. Will had found an amazingly central hotel, we had a nice Italian meal and spent the lovely warm evening wandering around the beautiful city. There seemed to be loads to do there, lots of galleries and museums, and it would be a good place to go back to. You can get there easily via Eurostar, so maybe some weekend…


Sarah to Hospital

I went over to Will and Sarah’s today to take Sarah to hospital. She’s got a bad case of conjunctivitis which had been agravated by eye drops she had been given. Her sight wasn’t up to driving, and she wanted someone to look after Jack and Grace while she was seeing the doctor. She got another appointment for next week, but the doctor reckoned she should be ok.

Photos of Mandy’s Birthday

I’ve put up some photos from Mandy’s birthday weekend here in York. There are several of Cindy.

Mandy & Cindy

There are also more photos added to the Photos of Cindy gallery.

I’ve had a busy day doing forms for probate, inheritance tax and Cindy’s pension. I also had to go to the supermarket and I met John Rack for coffee this afternoon.

The children are tired, particularly Rose, after her weekend away.

I’m tired too.

Beach Again

Some people went off to Portmerion, but Mary and all 5 of us went off to Harlech Beach again. Not quite as sunny, but still lovely.

Katharine and Simon cooked a lovely barbeque this evening, then Will and I went off to explore climbing rocks for tomorrow’s planned morning climb.

Walks and Trains

Will, Toby, John, Rose and I set off on the Snowdon Horseshoe; Jane, Andy and Mary went on the PYG and Miners trail to Snowdon; the rest wanted to go on the train to the top. There were vague plans to try and meet at the top.

The train was booked up until 5pm, so they went on a different train around a lake. John’s sunburn was really bad, so he, Rose and I went down to a lake and waited till Will and Toby came down the hill. Toby walked Will into the ground apparently, limitless teenage energy! Mary, Jane and Andy did their walk as planned.

Pool in Stream

We walked down to the stream in the grounds and found a waterfall with a fantastic pool at the bottom of it. The pool is deeper than I am tall; big enough to jump and dive into, and have a swim of about 3 strokes across and 10 strokes round. Rose was first into the water, as she slipped, then John and I went in.

Water was freezing!


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!