Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wednesday 24 August

We had a lovely week in Holland last week. Crammed full of activities and in some ways very tiring, but as they say, a change is as good as a rest!
We managed a long bike ride (almost 30 miles!) with lots of sight-seeing along the way

Entrance to castle Doorwerth

Watching barges in the many sluices you find along the Rijn (spot the cat!)

The other side of the sluice gates

A little church - often not as richly decorated as in Britain

And funny little ferries to cross the river

Including a seagull hitching a lift!

This one only took bikes and pedestrians

We went for a long walk, with much protesting until we found this

where some paddling needed to be done of course

Lots of good food


The best cheese sandwich

Patat (chips) at the station

With the best mayonaise in the world, according to 12yo

Some retail therapy

And a very unusual activity

A few weeks before we went to Holland, mum discovered a 'pick your own bunch of flowers' garden. I didn't expect too much but it was actually a lovely place, all set out in semi-circular borders, with a pond in the middle, plus lots of seating areas. You get given a basket and a pair of scissors, pick what you like and then pay for your bunch of flowers. It had only been open a few weeks and they hope to offer tea and coffee next year - but as it was, it was a great place with lots of beautiful flowers.

And we did lots of tourist walks in the town where I grew up

Square with town hall and second tallest church spire in Holland

Before we knew it, it was time to go home again, and none of us really wanted to! Still, it was lovely spending time with mum (who had her last radiotherapy treatment while we were there, so we celebrated with coffee and cake), dad and seeing some friends too. Already counting the days till November!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunday 14 August

Having a well earned week off work with a few days in Holland with some of my favourite people.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tuesday 2 August

It's been a little quiet around here. Not quiet as in nothing to do, but quiet as in silent. Last week on Saturday night I dropped 12yo and 9yo off with J. and the following Monday they set out to France to see their paternal grandmother, who recently moved there. They are travelling back again today and tomorrow morning I pick them up again.
As there was a computer available at work (I normally share a desk with a colleague who works part-time), I grabbed the chance of going to work all last week. I only work from home for the kids' sake and if they're not here, I'd rather be among people. It was great fun, I worked with someone who I hadn't worked with for months, I got to know several new faces, we ate far too much cake, we all worked hard, we went out for a celebratory milkshake and by Friday I was well and truly ready for the weekend.
The weekend was the usual flurry of doing chores (cleaning the car - yuck!) and things you've been looking forward to all week. It was no time at all before it was Monday and I was back home and back to working from home. And suddenly, out of nowhere, I really began to miss the kids. As in properly miss them, want them back NOW miss them. It's terribly quiet here, just Radio 4 and the two goldfish for company, the only mess around the house is the mess I make myself, nobody is arguing with each other, nobody is asking what we are going to do today. By this time tomorrow, I'll have them back with me and we will have been to the library and had a coffee in town. I am very proud that I haven't been bored a single second while they've been away, but now I'm ready to take up mothering duties again. 18 hours and counting.

Progress on the barn renovation. The grey you can see, is insulation. Windows are all in, so is the front door. Back doors are awaiting special hinges.

Yes that's me in my very unelegant cycling outfit cleaning windows in preparation of painting them.

Leaving presents for 9yo's teachers (washcloths with handcream). I now no longer have any children at primary school, which is a very odd feeling!

A beautiful stone porch to one of the many churches I discover during my weekend bike rides.

And this blur is B. going down the dry ski slope in Norwich. My camera doesn't cope well with lack of light which adds nicely to the impression of speed. He definitely was the fastest one there on Sunday night!