Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Visiting Off the Path!

Well we're back from Jon and Jan's and very tired, but we had a fabulous few days. It is always so good to go there and I feel that if were not for the blessing of being able to do so my children would not get to experience the countryside in such a fabulous way. Being there I get to see my children do all the things I dreamed of doing as a child and have always wanted my children to grow up being able to do. Well the latter is not possible (at the moment), but at least an intermittent dose of country living is better than none at all. To paddle in streams and eat wild billberries seems such a world away from our ordinary life - and it's fabulous. So I guess a big THANKYOU to our very good friends who host us in all our hoards!! Here is my photo diary of the last few days!

One of our ideas for the visit was 'big art' as we had a large number of children to contribute to it.

We spent Friday watching an episode of The Blue Planet (fabulous program) and then painting fish of various descriptions.

more fish...

sparkly fish..

...and skinny fish!

Saturday morning Paul & I took Jacob and four small girls for a walk on the Moors

On our returning to J&J's we met Jax coming up the road and later Kirsty joined us - great to meet you both and your littl'uns! We had a fabulous day and were surprised to see how well the children played together all day with next to no disputes. Thinking on a collective noun for this scene I came up with ; a swarm/hubbub/gabble...of children (11 in all!!) - any more suggestions people?

Jacob amazed me Saturday evening when I asked him to tidy the playroom while we bathed the little ones and this is what he did! (Oh if only he would do this at home!!)

Sunday was church and then a beautiful lunch, very kindly provided by Jan's Mum, followed by another walk up on the moors. With billberry picking (yummy!) and paddling in streams.

Billberry picking

en mass..

turning purple...!


up to our eyes in billberries!

and learning lots (thanks to Jan)!


looking on...

and building dams

One nice thing is that I have seen all my children able to take time out for themselves in one way or another these last few days - even when surrounded by lots of 'goings-on' and it has been SOOOO good for them.

Boo's time out in a castle!

What J&J's is all about - books and time out (Joel)!!

Beefy's time out with a train!

time out striding out...(that's Jacob)!

This morning the children awoke tired and continued tired and shouty and generally horrid - sorry Jan!! So Jan and I (the children bored of the task very quickly so that left the Mummy's doing art together!) made sea and 'kelp' seaweed for the mural background. Then at the last minute the children stuck on their fish before we left to catch our train. This was the end result;

The shiny turning fish still need to be added in, but time expired on us, so that's in Jan's hands and I believe she has plans for some rocks at the bottom to hide the kelp roots! So you might have to watch her blog for the completely finished produce!!

We were also joined part way through the morning by Barbara, with her three children, so it was nice to meet them all too. It will be great now to talk about you folks with the children and we will all have faces in our minds and know who we mean :)

I'm hoping for a quiet couple of days now because it gets hectic again on Thursday when we have a friend + her four children coming to stay!! Tomorrow though, a teenage girl from our previous town is coming to stay for a few days and she is great with the children - so they have a playmate and I should get a little rest!!


Jules said...

Sounds like a fabulous time, and yes, I share your ideal of a life in the country...

Jax said...

Jan lives less than a mile from where I did grow up - so those moors are very familiar to me. I quite often browse through the estate agent stuff for their location ;-)

Was lovely to meet you, and I know Big thoroughly enjoyed her day, she told me so. (I think Small enjoyed it too ;-) ) Great photos!

merry said...

Awwww... .what fun!!!!

Jan said...

Great photos Caroline, thanks for putting them up. I got the shiny fish and rocks stuck on last night, now just need to hang it up somewhere and we can post photos of the finished product.

Kirsty said...

yes it was lovely to meet you too :o) The photo's look lovely, I would so love to live somewhere like that too.

dottyspots said...

It looks like you all had a fantastic time! Picking wild fruit is one of the most satisfying outdoor activities ;0) I've not had the privilege of visiting the Moors, I'd love to at some point. We go picking wild blueberries, raspberries and strawberries in the mountains by my Mum - I wish we could offer that sort of lifestyle the kids permanently, they are so much more relaxed when surrounded by open countryside (Richard's much less stressed).

The 'big art' looks wonderful :0) It's great to get together and collaborate. Good to hear you had a fun time.

Little Minx said...

Yet more coveting from here for where J and J live! How far is the sea though? I need sea very near me. Cool photos and happy times.

Jonathan said...
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