Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Whirlwind Weekend - Leeds to Uttoxeter, via a Chinese.


Golly I have just about recovered from a wonderfully mad weekend. It started with Friday night enjoying a Chinese takeaway with friends. Then Saturday up at 5.30am to head to Leeds. Criminal I know to get up so early on a weekend. We left early in order to help our No 2 child move house by looking after the twins. Think we had the best deal. The other grandparents were busy loading their cars up with boxes and driving backwards and forwards. I did wonder when we arrived whether the girls would be happy coming with us, seeing as they would have to say goodbye to their parents and their grandparents. But as soon as I said the words "park, farm and animals" I was greeted with the words "go, go". Then they got a little impatient with me as I couldn't get their shoes on fast enough. So all my fears were put aside. They cheerfully waved goodbye and we headed off to Saltaire. It was a glorious sunny day, perfect for the moving and for the park.

Could not get the girls to look at the camera and seems as we were in a road, was not going to wait for them. I love Saltaire, it never fails to excite me. I would have never dreamt, coming from industrial Birmingham (well it was when I was a child) that I would be opting to walk around a factory!  Also I can remember growing up and wondering why would people choose to have copies of Lowry paintings! Why factories on your wall?

But we had to walk past the wonderful shops and go straight to the park. There is a wonderful music shop, full of very traditional instruments. I could just see the girls running into all these valuable harps etc and sending them flying - ooh no could not afford to let them lose in there, just had to walk by :(

Over the canal, where Mr P and I have walked many a time - Leeds to Liverpool canal. In fact we have walked the whole canal.

Sorry back to the girlies.

Snowdrop spent the whole of the time playing with the sand, she's not as bold as her sister.

Still hard to tell them apart, but I am definitely better at this. Snowdrop is on the left and Dandelion on the right.

Dandelion loved the swing. I think I must have pushed her for about 15 minutes. During which time grandad and Snowdrop have built a sandcastle.

Both of the girls have lovely long eyelashes.

Isn't sand amazing - keeps us all happy.

I have never seen one of these mini trampolines before but here is Dandelion trying to jump. As an adult you forget that you had to learn to jump, forget what coordination it takes.

Dandelion looking pleased with herself.

Time for grandma to be silly. The girls were not too happy to go on this whatever you call it!

Wonder what they are thinking? Now now don't be too rude!

I obviously got it all wrong this device is meant for storing sand!

Love the way children can just annexe someone elses belongings! Then get quite shirty if another child tries to do the same!

Time to finish the park as we could see they were getting restless and ready for their lunch. So we headed into the cafe inside the factory. Fortunately we had a waitress who was on the ball and saw that these girlies were not going to wait very long for their dinner. So before we were sat down she had taken their order and was off. Thank goodness because we had gone a bit too long after their usual eating time! Ooops - rookey grandparents.

I think if I was a child I would have been a bit disappointed with a large plate of spaghetti in just a plain tomato sauce but the girls seemed to be happy and Snowdrop devoured the whole lot! Even helped her sister out.

One full Snowdrop! They also had some of our food - preferred grandads as he had chips. I had a Greek salad and Dandelion thought I had grapes on my plate and proceeded to steal them. She had a bit of a shock when she tried to eat them!

After lunch we head for the books. Somehow I had thought we could stop and browse with the girls standing meekly by our sides! Stupid granny. No they decided with all the space it would be great to run in opposite directions. I guess they were tanked up on food! Somehow we managed to buy a book for a friend and select one for each of them but it took a lot of skill! Decided it was time to head for the farm, having promised them animals. So off to Meanwood we headed. Trouble was it was not quite far enough and the girls did not get a long enough nap. They were rather grumpy and took a bit of persuasion to enjoy the farm, so sadly I did not take many pictures here. Just one! More rookey grandparent errors!

Sadly the afternoon turned cold and dark and the girls were finally worn out with us marching them around! So we headed to their new home, but not until grandad stopped for some petrol. I said to them "we're going to your new home" and their reply was "ok" but said like a grumpy teenager. Loses something writing this but at the time it was very funny. They happily excepted their new home. It helped with their bedroom being all set up with things they were very familiar with. I got them some tea, they had their very very favourite blueberries which were devoured faster than I could get them onto their highchairs! But of course grandmas have to be naughty and give them chocolate mousse!

The funny thing was that Snowdrop was probably rather full that she ended up feeding Dandelion with half of her mousse and announced towards the end to her sister "last bit"!

So you can see why I think we had the better deal of the day! We had a lovely time with the girls, it was a really special day. By the time we arrived back in Leicester we had no energy left to cook ourselves some dinner and just had toast instead!

But the next day up early well not quite as early as the previous day. Off to Uttoxeter with my friend Mrs A. Yes we were heading out for the Quilt and Stitch Show, held at the race course. We have never been to this event and trying to decipher the web site as to what it would be like went thinking it would be very small but never mind it would be nice to have time together. It was a fabulous venue with sooo much character.

Sadly NO alcohol!

Guess because I don't go to horse racing events it was great to be in such a venue. I do however remember, when our children were small, staying overnight at Wetherby Race course with our caravan.

Loved this sign. Later on I did see some grumpy men sitting in there, wanted to take a photograph but thought better not if I value my life! Why do men go! Why not drop the women off and go to the pub etc?

Ok I should say having arrived at the ground it was a wonder we didn't get thrown out! At the very first stall we went to - Mrs A says to the man running it "can I look at your dangly bits?" He did a runner and went off to get some chairs leaving us to his wife! There was much laughter and he dared to come back!

Apologies for the quality of these pictures. It was very difficult to do as the lighting was rather strange. Hopefully you'll get a taste of what it was like.

This is a small portion of a huge quilt. If you look carefully you will see the stitching and then all the beads which were individually sewn on. Wow what patience and skill.

Wish you could have seen them as the colours and craftmanship were amazing.

OK so the quilts were lovely and then we went to the embroidery huts! Oh boy this was when we became really inspired.

Having been to the NEC numerous times we couldn't help but notice the relaxed atmosphere here. The exhibitors had time to talk and were keen to pass on bits of knowledge.

The designer of this fabric was explaining how she dyed the pieces so that the colours matched etc. She went into lots of detail, even stopped eating her lunch to pass on her passion.

We loved the simplicity of this seed head and Mrs A is keen to use this in a new project.

Oh it's so hard to pick out a few pictures but I must.

The next picture should have been much larger. It was a collection of individual river scenes all put together.

The units that were being used were defined by buntings. I think the man in the background is heading off to the men's creche!

Then this lady gave us much to think of.

We had an amazing day, came away with our heads bubbling over with ideas. We were soooo pleased we went. It might be a smaller event, but size isn't everything!

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Stop...Can I Have A Break

I have only been back home for 10 days and already I can hear myself saying the above words. First week back at work after a holiday is always busy. My clinics are full because I have had to squeeze everyone into one week instead of two. Then I am my own worst enemy and insist on trying to do everything. So been trying to visit someone dear in hospital, bake cakes because I decide not only to invite my dad on Saturday but also invite my Bristol family for the weekend, also continue doing crafting! Hence no blog for a week. But I do have some cute pictures of my grandchildren.

Spud is trying to ride the scooter. This was my bargain 75p from a charity shop!

Dumpling enjoying grandma's chocolate cake. My favourite one to cook is called Devil's Foodcake and it never fails to come out beautifully moist. Chocolate is not used it is made all with cocoa powder.

Just to prove that I don't just feed the grandchildren only cake! Now Spud was not his usual self at the weekend and was rather moany. Yesterday he didn't want to eat and just had cuddles so he was obviously brewing up some bug. He usually is a happy chappy and hard to take a picture where he is not smiling.

Time for some music!!!!!!!

I got some new bucket and spades for the sandpit in the local park, but as you can see he tried to carry them all!

The way he runs is so funny, he looks as if he has had too much to drink!

Dumpling too was not her usual self and objected to being put down, but was happy to play on someone's lap.

I'm not too sure who I bought the buckets and spades for ! As their daddy loves to build impressive castles and has to have therapy in order to leave them to small children to walk over them!

We had a lovely busy weekend and now I have just seen the time and must fly as need to be out for work. Bye have a good week.