Saturday, September 25, 2010

Zip Wire

video

Tried to post this with the still photos, but for whatever reason, that failed. Anyway, here's Sarah going down one of the zip wires - not even the longest one...

Go Ape!



Sarah chose to go to Go Ape with a friend as a birthday treat (in lieu of a party, etc). Go Ape is a high ropes course with a variety of obstacles or challenges, most of which are quite high up in the trees. It's all very safe and professional, so any grandmas reading this don't need to worry. Under 18s have to be accompanied by an adult, and 15s & under can only have 2 kids to one adult, so Sarah and her friend Jess went; I went with them. I have to say, it was great fun, especially the Tarzan swings and the zipwires. I could have easily done just those sections several more times...








I love the way the course is laid out in the treetops, so that you really feel you are part of the forest while doing it. At Alice Holt, the forest that our local(ish) course is in, there are walking and cycling paths which run beneath the course in places, so you often get folks watching as you navigate a particular challenge or wait on a platform for your turn to go.











It really was a lovely choice of things to do - we all had a great time.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Weekend of cooking...



Made these this afternoon - miniature pumpkin pies (and some jam tarts). School is having an international day tomorrow, complete with food tasting and I said I'd bring a pumpkin pie - then I got to thinking that actually it would be quite hard to cut into small pieces for sharing, so I decided to use the Pampered Chef miniature tart thingy and go for individual pumpkin pies, which actually, worked very well. I did use some of the second piece of pastry (I just used bought on this occasion) for some jam tarts - raspberry, plum (from jam made by a friend from her own plum trees) and lemon curd on the end. Mmm.




This morning, pancakes were the order of the day, as I had two extra girls in the house from Sarah's Birthday Sleepover, Part I (Part 2 next weekend - two different groups of friends, so she wanted two sleepovers - ok with me as I'd rather have two lots of two extra 12 & 13-yr-olds than one lot of 4 extra. Not to mention, easier to find space to sleep).




Last night it was homemade pizza for the girls. And the rest of us, too. Next weekend, pizza is on the menu as well, but as we are out all afternoon, Domino's is going to be cooking it!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Spotted outside a charity shop



...so we did...



...apple crumble with walnuts. Mmm.

Cousins...



Our nephew David is visiting with us again between stops on his whirlwind world tour - the kids have a blast because he's essentially just a big kid...





Olivia took this one...

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Hever Castle



Hever Castle in Kent is the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, and a fine example of Tudor architecture. It also has a hedge maze, a wooden maze, a water maze, an adventure playground, and one weekend in early September, a small but really lovely quilt show. We try to make an annual event of it. Especially because the weather in early September is almost always sunny and lovely. We missed the show last year, but this year, we managed to make it.



We had a picnic lunch on a bench by the lake, looking across to the edge of the Italian Gardens. Some ducks came to join us...






...and later a swan.



There was a lovely border of every kind of dahlia under the sun - this is only a small selection.



We found our way through the hedge maze to the middle...





...admired the topiary...



...swung on some swings, ate ice cream,



and finally, made our way through the water maze - we even remembered to take swimsuits and a towel this year (it is, I can vouch, entirely possible to make it through the maze staying completely dry, but if you are a 7 year old boy or a 10 year old girl (Sarah not being with us on this occasion), that's not really the point...).



And here's Olivia at the top of the tower in the middle of the maze.