"Although I speak from my own experience, I feel that no one has the right to impose his or her beliefs on another person. I will not propose to you that my way is best. The decision is up to you. If you find some point which may be suitable for you, then you can carry out experiments for yourself. If you find that it is off no use, then you can discard it." Dalai Lama...

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Walk and talk.....

We had plans to meet friends for a walk in the forest today. Milly had started with a very sore throat and headache yesterday and when I woke this morning I wasn't sure she would be up to going. I woke her as late as I could leaving her enough time to *come round*. She likes to have time before we leave the house - she really hates being rushed in a morning.
Can't say I enjoy it either:-)
I woke her and lay with her to read the book we have on the go. We decided we should give it a go and if she felt unwell we could just come home.

We haven't seen these friends for quite a long time ( far to long!) and were excited to meet up :-)

Whinlatter Forest has had a bit of a makeover and has a fabulous range of new play equipment.

We walked and talked and played and their very lovely and bouncy Labradoodle made himself known by launching himself on us at various points round the walk :-))

The weather stayed dry and we made our way around some of the paths through the forest before heading to the cafe for a sandwich. Then more walking and we reluctantly said goodbye with plans to get together again soon :-)

Home to make tea - lemon and thyme oven roasted veg and potatoes, chicken thighs in a garlic gravy, and steamed cabbage and broccoli. 

A quiet evening ahead - Milly and Alan are watching a Buffy episode together. Next on my agenda - a long hot bath and a meditation I found online.....  

Monday, 29 August 2011

Bit of history, with added cake:-)

 We have had a very enjoyable day with Liz and the children at Birdoswald Roman Fort.

 I was not functioning at full capacity today... Brain on a go slow and not on top form - a tad grumpy if truth be told.;-)  It does make things difficult, but not impossible!

We met early afternoon and had a good time exploring the Fort and Milly saw the Wall for the first time:-)

Foundations to be viewed,

and hills to be rolled down ;-)

 Exploring the museum and the fort foundations was enjoyable and then  it was time for a cuppa and cake in the cafe. The girls chose ice creams and took off to go for another walk along the wall.

After an hour or so we all met up and took a drive to a pub to have tea together.
Good food, very friendly service and - most importantly - homemade twice cooked chips ;-)

We said goodbye to them and headed to get our weekly food shopping at Tesco's on the way home. Wouldn't have been the first choice after a busy day but bad planning on my part - I forgot I usually do the shop on a Monday ( and the cupboards are bare)  when I arranged to go out today - we are out and about over the next few days as well and have no chance to fit it in.

The positive side was that it was nearly closing time and we managed to get the shop done quickly in a very quiet store :-)

Paying a visit to friends tomorrow.
It has been quite a while since we got together, so it will be good to catch up.

Sunday, 28 August 2011


Every so often Milly and Alan plan a day out together. Today was such a day.

They headed off around ten to go to a car boot sale. A very large car boot sale held outdoors. One and a half hours walking round netted a book for Al and a rather nice leather bracelet for Milly. Not a great haul but a very good time together. Chippy for lunch and then on to the beach for a walk. 

While they were out I was kept busy all day with baking - a special chocolate fudge cake for my Sisters birthday celebration, some sweet potato cakes and buns. I also made a Pasta putenesca sauce for later in the week. I got a couple of coats of paint on the table from the sun room, in between doing various other jobs. 

The wanderers returned late afternoon, full of their day :-)

Out to my Middle Sisters house tonight to celebrate my little Sisters birthday. A really lovely night full of laughter. I am so lucky to have such wonderful Sisters - their husbands aren't bad either ;-) 

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Splish, splash, splosh!

Sunny Saturday morning!
 Al up early-  painting the window surrounds - trying to get as much done as possible before the weather changes.
I got up with plans to do a little housework and then set about painting a coffee table I bought a while ago for the sun room.

As often happens plans had to be changed and the day took a different turn.
Beauty had been licking and nipping her paws for a few days. The same thing happened last year about this time and we bathed her with tea tree and lavender and it went away quite quickly. We had assumed it was something from the fields that had caused an allergic reaction.
This morning it was obvious something was causing her a great deal of discomfort - even though Milly had bathed her paws a couple of days ago - and she was biting in between the pads. Luckily when I rang the Vet they had an appointment for 12.40. Al's bike had failed it's MOT, it had been fixed and was due to be picked up so we combined the two things in a trip to town. I woke Milly and made her eggy bread before we set off. I sat in the car whilst Milly and Al took Beauty in for the appointment and eventually - half an hour late - the Vet diagnosed Harvest mites as the problem, sprayed her feet and gave us pills to give her. Beauty had got quite agitated - very nervous temperament - and before trying to cut her nails the vet put on a muzzle. Apparently she began to growl and became very aggressive and the vet managed to do one paw and then had to give up as she was becoming too stressed. So £30 later and one stressed out doggie we moved on to pick up Al's bike, good to go but a £170 bill..... 
Money flowing out like water....

Back home and we - luckily - remembered that the pool closes at 5.30 on a Saturday. We had a quick lunch before Al got back to the painting and Milly and I headed into town to look for a new sketch pad and go swimming. We looked in The works and she found a notebook that was just perfect to write a story she had been working on. Wilkinsons had the sketch pad she wanted. A nice quick shopping trip ;-)

The pool was busier than it normally is. There were about 4 people swimming lengths. It makes it a little more difficult for us to do our thing but we manged to find a corner and eventually a couple of folk got out giving us more room to play ;-))

Time for a breather so the new notebook came out and the start of the story was recorded whilst I went in the Sauna.

Then - after a cold shower it was time for us to head in here...

More swimming and playing followed. Lots of love and kisses and cuddles today, she said she was in a very cuddly, loving mood:-)

Pulling a face as I took another photo :-) 
ipod in to listen to a story and draw in the new sketch pad whilst I listened to a meditation. So nice that we are able to lie side by side relaxing.

Pool to ourselves now....Milly then went back in .

 She likes to go down the steps and fall forward half way down making a massive splash. I tried to capture it but failed :-)

A trip to Morrisons for some bits and bobs then home for tea. Al was still up a ladder but got cleaned up and they both went out for a walk with Beauty just as the heavens opened. Wet walk and talk ;-)
Tea whilst watching Dr Who.
Milly not at all keen to watch next weeks one after seeing the trailer for it though!

Friday, 26 August 2011

Home days.....

After all the fun and games of the past week it was time to recoup:-)

We had a couple of home days and have spent them very quietly. Milly has been in Buffy heaven... A friends son has lent her the full series on Video. So her days/nights have involved lots of vampire slaying ;-))

I have been sleeping quite soundly but waking early . A little frustrating as I am so tired but I have spent my mornings ( whilst Milly snoozes on ) in my nightie. I have been watching morning TV - not something I normally do - but I have been eating breakfast and browsing for a while as well. I have got around to doing little jobs that have needed doing for ages but have been put on the back burner for one reason or another. The stainless steel cooker hood and back splash have been cleaned and oiled, the glass doors in the hall have been cleared of finger prints, paw prints and other unidentified smears;-) Meals have been prepped in the morning ready for tea. The usual jobs like washing and dusting have been slotted in, a bit at a time. No urgency to get things done - just pottering - with plenty of time to rest up. Book reading, long baths and meditation.

When my Nana died I was given a sewing chest of hers filled with knitting needles, crochet hooks, and all manner of embroidery kit. Many memories stirred for me of summer holidays spent crafting with her :-) My Mum has started knitting again and we took her the selection of needles. Milly asked to attempt knitting again and I kept a pair of the thicker needles. Over the last week we have knitted the Monster high girls some blankets and knitted, then sewed and stuffed, cushions for them. It is left out and one or other of us picks it up whenever the urge strikes :-)

I went to the pool on my own after tea tonight - Milly chose to have a walk with Al and watch Buffy rather than join me on this occasion. I swam a little before spending time in the sauna. A cold shower and straight into the jacuzzi for a while before a couple of lengths to cool down again. The hot/cold routine has proved to help me with hot flushes and other symptoms I get because of M.E.

I take my phone in with me and lay on a lounger listening to a guided meditation and tonight  I had time to listen to an eclectic mix of music including, Amy Steinburg, Pink, Micheal Buble and Arctic Monkeys. Two hours flew by - very nice to have that time on my own but I did miss my little playmate :-)

Plans for tomorrow include - amongst other things - fiinshing painting the exterior of the house for Al and Milly and I will be going swimming and shopping. She has been drawing -  creating some lovely new characters and is in need of a new sketch book.  Dr who is back on in the evening so we have a date to watch that together :-)

Sunday is a Dad and Daughter day. Car boot sale, beach walk, lunch out, and then another beach walk have been planned :-)

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Friends came to play...
We ate lunch at ours and the kids played for a while before we headed out.  It wasn't the hottest of summer days - however it was mild and we're not ones to let the weather stop us - so we set off on the planned outing to the beach!

The girls are hardy and were in the water within minutes!

They were splashing and swimming for well over an hour. After a quick clean up and change of clothes it was time to hit the ice cream shop and saunter a short way along the road to a play park.

After a while hunger pangs encouraged us to move on to the next town where we could eat fish and chips overlooking the Harbour.

We then walked to another park Milly had been keen to show them. Unfortunately it was short lived as they came to close it five minutes after we got there:-(

A pity, but there will be another time....

Milly wanted to take them to a park near home. However Liz was in dire need of a cuppa so we made plans to head back to ours with a promise of a trip to the park and then they could set off on their two hour journey home from there.

We got to the park about seven thirtish and reluctantly the girls came away around nine thirty!!

Pleasurably exhausted at the end of a very full day :-)

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Days full of joy!

We have had a bit of a sleepover fest recently.
 Last weekend we had another wonderful stay with friends over in the Northeast. A two night sleepover became three and included a very tasty Sunday roast dinner together. Emily and I travelled home on the Monday in good weather and in good spirits. We are really enjoying our journey's together. So glad I have stepped out of my comfort zone to travel further afield. It is working well, so long as I have plenty of rest time after the journey. Another big leap out of the comfort zone when I take us to Blackpool to join the same friends for a Caravan holiday there next month :-)

Back home and a couple of days just taking things easy. Being at home in PJ's til late - visiting the pool for a swim, reading by the pool for Milly and a guided meditation on my phone for me - spending time chatting together in the sauna, jacuzzi and steam room. Some impromptu shopping after a visit to the library to buy Milly some funky boots with a small heel. Friday and a planned sleepover with Amy at ours. The girls called on another friend in the village and all came back here to hang out, which then obviously led to an invite for her to join them for the night ;-))
After a while Alan and I retired to the living room and watched a film - whilst they did what they do on a sleepover ;-)) Didn't hear much from them really. I left them at 12.15 and got in a bath and didn't hear a peep out of them. They got to sleep around 3ish apparently.....

I woke at 9.30 feeling very groggy after an obviously deep sleep and as I looked at the clock I noticed a cup of tea on the beside table. I was racking my brains to remember having brought a cup up to bed with me, I thought my problems with memory loss had taken another turn!
 I went down to get the breakfast ready for the girls and they were already eating. Alan had got up and walked Beauty then got back and brought me a cuppa in bed - apparently I did acknowledge that but obviously fell back to sleep! He then made porridge for the girls. They had enjoyed it but Milly said she had been hoping I would make pancakes. I said I would make eggy bread which they were very happy about and all had a mammoth potion of that as well!

The table had been moved and the dining room had become a bedroom - this always works best on a weekend when Alan isn't at work and getting up at 6 - they don't disturb us and can giggle to their hearts content.

The sun room was a Bratz and Monster high world with little set ups all over the room....

After a leisurely morning, I took them into town and they headed off to shop for sweets and stuff and I went to get some food shopping. We made plans to meet at the park. When I met them they had arranged to meet Millie ( older teenage friend ) after she had finished work at the Toy shop in town. That was fine - however it meant hanging around in town. I only had two pound coins in change and that wasn't enough to pay for parking for the three hours I needed to be there for. I had seen the parking attendant around so wasn't keen to chance getting a parking fine. As I decided what to do they got thier gear together and Milly got changed. Amy offered me a boiled sweet ( they had been to the Old sweet shop in town ) I accepted it and as I popped it in my mouth they were keen to know if I liked it. Hmmm, alarm bells rang - what had they done with it? Nothing - honestly, came the reply!
They headed off to the river and I sat in the car and killed time til I could put 2 hours on the parking which would give us just enough time to see Millie when she finished. Then I headed down to the river to see them.

I expected to find them swimming but apparently it was cold and the current was fast so they hadn't been in long. They were all keen to know if I had enjoyed the sweet and what it had tasted like. I said it was like an aniseed ball I remembered from my youth. The looks on their faces told me they had done something with it. Through thier laughter they told me it was a Mcfarty fart sweet!!!! They had been given them for free from the lady in the sweet shop and Milly and Emma had tried them and spat them out but Amy had kept hers and Emma and Amy though it would be a hoot to try it out on me!!

I sat on the bench admiring the view for a while. Cockermouth castle was just the other side.

A turret of Jennings brewery was in view looking the other way.

I saw the girls coming towards me and knew that there wasn't going to be much more swimming and I was very aware that we had two hours to fill in!!

That's when the madness began!

Filling in time til Millie finished work.
What a giggle we had ;-)
It got cooler and a decision was made to go and sit in the car for a while. I joked that if the sweet began to work it's magic I would lock them in with me and not open the windows ;-))

Good times were had on this here bench. Of course it had to be photographed for posterity!!

More hilarity in the confines of the car!! Oh so giddy...
I got a serious crick in my neck trying to photograph them all :-)

They are crazy chicks but such good company!
Finally they went onto the park and left me in peace :-)

I watched them from the car and eventually Millie finished work and came to spend a while with them. Plans in the pipeline for a sleepover in Oct with all of them together at our house.....

Back home to ours via Aldi for the last of my shopping and a pack of pringle like crisps for them to share.They hung out for another hour or so and then the two girls went home. We ate and shortly after 7.30 Milly was tucked up in bed. She came back down at about 10.30. She had been asleep but she said she wasn't tired and didn't want to go back to sleep. She was very emotional and obviously very tired. I said I would lie with her til she nodded off but she asked me to read to her. I went up with her and within a couple of pages she had turned over and snuggled down to sleep :-)

I love to record days like this.
A good day - full of joy :-)

Another sleepover tonight when most gorgeous Nephew comes for a film night. No film organised yet but there is always film 4 OD or Love film Watch now. We do however have crisps, prawn crackers, and three different flavours of chocolate. We might even melt some with cream to dip strawberries in, Mmmmm.

Oh, by the way... The Mcfarty sweet didn't quite have the desired wind effect, but I have had an almighty sore tummy today !

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Newcastle with Amy

Amy stayed with us on the Sunday night and we woke bright and breezy - well almost breezy :-) - at 7.30. That is a time of the day Milly and I rarely see!. Breakfast and then off we go. Alan drove us to the station and waved us off from the platform :-) It brought back many memories for us - I waved him off so many times when we were courting and he was heading to different parts of the country. He was in the Royal Navy and there were many tears spilt on various platforms over the years.

The girls settled in and I sat opposite. I had my ( well technically it's Milly's ) Kindle and my phone with music and guided meditations on. The train was busy but I did manage to do a meditation :-)

We ate at the station, put our bags in the left luggage and set off to find the shops!!

Milly was on a mission to find Argos to buy a monster high doll. Amy ( being the generous type of gal that she is ) was ok with it being first on the agenda.

We ended up visiting two Argos stores but neither of them had the required doll. Disappointment and a slight dip in the excitement for Milly. Primark next - such a busy, messy place!! However Ames found a lovely outfit of purple skinnies and a couple of T'shirts. Milly tried a lot of things on but was not really that keen on any of them and decided to save her money for the next store. Claires soon perked her up - a new bag and some stationary, notebook, hair slides, headband and super novelty sunglasses were purchased. The sunglasses were priced at £4 but the lady on the till pointed out they were on special offer 5 things for £5. She went back and checked out the other sale items and bought three things for herself and a belt and purse for Amy. Amy bought the bag she had wanted and a lovely set of flowery hair clips. We then went to Waterstones and enjoyed deciding on purchases there :-) Time to head back - quite a long walk back to the station to pick up luggage and then the short walk down to the Quay area.

Seemed much further with all the bags and luggage. Even travelling light I had a reasonable sized case on wheels and Amy had the biggest rucksack I have ever seen ;-))

Met up with Amy's Mum who was staying over as she had a couple of days placement ( work experience for her course ) at a barristers. A meal, a chat and then bed.

Amy decided to spend the night in her Mum's room across the hall from us. The sofa bed was not the most comfortable thing in the world. Milly started the night on the pull out section but then ended up with me in the double bed.

A good nights sleep - so glad I remembered my ear plugs as we overlooked the street.
Milly woke sporting a mohican look ;-))

Tuesday was to be Wet and wild day :-) After a very hearty breakfast we set off to walk to the metro. Found the whole ticket machine thingy a little confusing but were helped by some very friendly people.We found that the case on any occasion we got flummoxed,  there was always a friendly person to help us out :-)

Six hours in wet and wild!! I didn't go in. I had decided it would be best to conserve my energy by sitting at the cafe/viewing area. Basically spent six hours in a Sauna!! I had jeans and a dress over so I took my jeans and shoes off and ( when it wasn't tipping with rain ) I sat outside. I had a paper and my kindle though and people watching passed the time. The girls had a wonderful time.

Metro back to town and then the walk back to the Quay's.

We slumped in seats in the lounge and decided not to go back to the room before eating ( it was about 8pm by now) We ate and then the girls had 20 Min's on the Internet before we got ready to go for a walk along the Millennium bridge. A wonderful warm evening to sit and admire the bridge and watch the world go by.

Can just make out the two girls in this one. They both loved spending time on the bridge. They both said it was the best part of the stay:-)

We enjoyed it so much the girls asked if they could go again before we left the next morning.
We hadn't noticed the night before but on the way to it there was an area made to look like a beach, complete with sand and a volley ball pitch :-)

We sat for a while before heading back to check out and get a taxi to the Centre for life.

We stored our cases in a crate there. £5 deposit but you get £4 back.

First up was a ride to the deep sea on the motion ride. That was only five minutes long. It was enjoyable but  I ( and Amy ) have been on a roller-coaster one that was much better.

One of the exhibits enabled a little bit of acting out their own fast ride!

A Wallace and grommit exhibition was on which was quite good fun. We got to see both the shows that were on. The one in the Planetarium was about astronomy ( Milly needed to go to the loo within five minutes of it starting and Amy and I stuck it out but were glad it was only 20 mins long) The other in the science theatre was a display of science experiments to do with Pressure. Marginally better. Quite interesting -  it lacked any pizazz though and was quite a low energy delivery. Mixed reviews and not sure we would do it again. Bearing in mind we had had a pretty full on couple of days and (certainly in Milly's case) energy was low, so maybe not the best shape to be in to take full advantage of all it had to offer...

We left earlier than we had planned to and made it to the station in time to get an earlier train home.

 A quick call to Alan from the platform in Newcastle and he was waiting for us when we got back to Carlisle. We walked into town and treated Amy to a KFC meal where we all had great fun telling Alan about our trip. Spirits were very high in the car on the way home - lots of  laughter .
Milly got out at Amy's when we dropped her off and they played out together with Amy's brother and sister and a few other friends til ten. 

We are planning our next trip together. Blackpool is high on the list, but could be Glasgow or Edinburgh. Wherever we end up I am looking forward to it. Thoroughly enjoyed my time with both of them. Great fun and lots of giggles. Wonderful memories to treasure.