Friday, 18 November 2016

August, September, October 2016

August, September, October - summer slips into autumn

You would imagine that over the number of years that I have kept this blog that I would be used to coming back to it and being astonished by the fact I hadn't visited it in three months.  Not so.  Here I am realising a new month has begun and thought I had better write up last month.  Hey ho, it seems I have three months to tackle.  It is lucky that us oldies don't seem to do a lot.


My daughter, husband and baby arrived for a five day stay right at the beginning of the month so we could help her celebrate her birthday.  Sitting around the table we all remarked on the endless surprises that life brings us and how none of us can ever predict what we will be looking back on when we toast her next birthday.  In the last three years she has married, moved house and had our wonderful baby O..... who'd have thunk it!

My other half also has his birthday in August, so, mid month we were off to Lymm Hotel for a short stay for his birthday dinner along with two friends.

Lymm Hotel

We began in rather an odd way as Ken and I wanted to visit Arley Hall as neither of us remembered ever seeing it.  Our friends wanted to visit Dunham Massey (which K and I know quite well) so we decided it was fine to make our own way to the hotel via our own Stately homes of choice.

Arley Hall

If you want to see a bunch of photos just click here:  Arley Hall

I have to admit to not being particularity overwhelmed by Arley Hall and gardens though I hear its praises sung far and wide, so don't use me as the yardstick.  I think I am a died in the wool Regency fanatic.  I did, however, love the little tea house in the gardens.

sweet little tea house

The following day we were off to Tatton Park for my companions to have a whale of a time riding Segways.  They have done it quite a few times in different places but all agree that riding in the sunshine in Naples (Florida) probably wins out.

We went into the park half an hour before it opened to the public, so off I went to wander the gardens.  I can honestly say it was one of the most wonderful garden visits I have ever experienced.  I had the whole of Tatton to myself.  It began with the the best wildflower meadow I have ever stood in.  Waist high with every flower you could imagine and full of bees and butterflies and sunshine and silence!!!!  It is very hard to share via a photograph as this was an 'experience' not a snapshot.

heaven on earth

Again if you'd like to see more, click here:  Tatton Park

I could wax lyrical about my couple of hours alone in Tatton's wonderful landscapes but I am aware I am trying to just 'list' the things I did and saw over a three month stretch.  So....onwards and upwards.

We got in a lot of our usual lunches out and even a movie - the latter being so tedious I don't even recall what it was!  Maybe a Bourne something or other?

We visited my (slightly confused) aunt on her 84th birthday and set up a Skype to my sister in Canada - this, as you can imagine caused quite a few laughs.  At one point Jean, finally managing to see her own small image in the corner of the screen asked,  "What am I wearing there?".  This took a bit of explaining,  She was also pleased we were 'filming it'.


We drifted into September and our major buy this month was another car.  We changed our car earlier in the year, having been seduced (we now think) by the colour of the new one!!  After a few months of running around in it we discovered a lot of things which didn't suit us, so off we went to swap it.  We now have a decent size seven-seater (!) to carry us, plus two, plus baby in car seat,  plus all the other baby kit when we go any where.

At the beginning of the month we were back in Edinburgh and we started our visit in some style with a stay at the Melville Castle for dinner and overnighter.

Melville Castle Hotel

Our four days in Travel Lodge after that was a bit of a contrast.

We travelled up to the hotel, in our new big car, with a ton of space for our bags and baggage and a dolls house.  Have dolls house, will travel   The story being I had bought the house in a mad moment late one night from EBay (as you do) and on consideration realised it was a really daft thing to do - lack of space and a project already on the go.  Luckily someone bought it from me for what I paid and, even more luckily, she had a husband travelling through Edinburgh, within shot of the Melville on the day were were there.  He dutifully arrived and collected said house from us.  Serendipity.

Our visits to my daughter's often consist of much food and ice creams, walks along the front at Portabello and garden centre visits (these also seem to include eating).  This was such a visit.  Lovely it was too.

The difference this time was, when we left my daughter and baby came home with us.  Technically, Ken drove on his own and I sat in S's car as 'nanny' while she got O and me back home.

We had a lovely week with them at home in the sunshine.  It included a walk around Burrs Country park (almost our neighbour) and a drink in the Brown Cow beer garden - almost a first for Ken , not being a 'pub' type chap.  It is waaaay to complicated to explain why reading this again will make S and I laugh, but it will.

We took O swimming.  He is such a great baby, nothing phases him and has been swimming each week for a while now and it seemed a shame to miss his outing.  I have no idea how mom's manage all this single handed - the dressing, undressing, drying, etc etc etc.  It seemed a challenge for two people to manage.

My son-in-law came down for the weekend on the train so they could all travel home together in the car after Sunday lunch.

My lovely grandson left us all with his cold.... this lingered for a month - what an efficient little chap.

Some friends celebrated fifty years of wedded bliss this month and my grand daughter, Lucy, turned six (!!)  I have no idea how in both cases.

The last day of the month arrived and we were ensconced in the Holiday Inn at the NEC, Birmingham ready for the show the next day.


Such a great way to start the month for me as I was spending a couple of days at the NEC to take in a pretty big miniatures show.  Miniatura is held twice a year and any time we are around I get to do it.  Usually for the past few years I miss the autumn one because we are in Naples Florida - with that home gone now, our year is adjusting to a slightly different pattern.  If you have any interest at all in my miniature passion there is a show blog and a current project blog you can trail round.  There are links to them on the left of this blog.

A week later and my best chum and I could be found in Manchester Art Gallery.  If any of you ever make it to this neck of the woods I commend it to you.

  It is an interesting building with some lovely permanent galleries - especially the pre-Raphelites for me - and often hosting great temporary exhibitions.  The one we had gone to see this time was  the Vogue exhibition.  It is the oddest feeling to see much of your life turned into historical displays.  So many of the famous people of the fifties and sixties zeitgeist seem to be intrinsically part of  who I am.  Going around the exhibits was less about observing and more about reminiscing.   

can I claim this as me on a night out?

It was, of course, followed by a scrumptious lunch - always great food at the gallery - and with the best of company.

Couple more piccies for those of us of a certain age:

Mid month and I was in a huge 'shop' (Boundary Mill) being reminded of how much I hate clothes shopping these days - what a contrast to the Vogue exhibition and remembering my younger self loving all things sartorial.

Mid month and we were doing our (now becoming usual) trip to Edinburgh.   

We did manage to get back in time for our friends Golden Wedding celebration and caught up, as you do, with the people you see at these gatherings now and then.

I am writing this on 2nd November and wondering how many things November will bring.

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