Sunday 14 August 2011

The 'Up North' Post

It is hard to believe that we have only been back home from our northern regions holiday for three days. What with the quilt show, hectic day yesterday and entertaining today it seems like ages ago.

Mum getting hospitalised at the beginning of our trip made a pretty rocky start to things. Happily she improved, and agreed that my decision to head to Aberdeen early and give her some time to rest up was the correct one. She got some quality time in with the girls on our return (and me) and was able to cope with us without a problem. Before we headed for my brother's I did get one good day in at Long Sands in Tynemouth with the girls.

They spent the whole time in the water. Mad!!

They have finally got the knack of catching the wave at the right moment.
Were totally oblivious to the cold.

They argued profusely when I made them get out. But look at this child. Does she look on the verge of hypothermia to you?

I wrapped them up and ushered them into the Beach Hut - a delightful restaurant right on the beach and not to be missed if you are in Tynemouth. Great location, lovely food and the nicest people working there. Did I mention great location? They rustled up two massive hot chocolates for the girls, with mountain peaks of whipped cream, sprinklings of cocoa and a flake to top it off. The heat of the drink and the sugar rush soon had the girls right as rain.

The next day was a hellish five hour drive to Aberdeen in heavy rain almost the whole distance. I so did not enjoy that! The girls adore my brother Andrew. Most likely because he never grew up himself. (Yes, of course he reads this and should a little sister ever miss an opportunity?)

Besides spending hours in his workshop hammering nails into any piece of wood they could get their hands on we did lots of fun things with him.

There was the beach. If you have never been to Scotland and beaches do not come to mind when you think about it then have another thought. The beaches are amazing! Beautiful, unspoiled stretches of sand going on for miles, backed by sand dunes and not a tacky tourist trap in sight. If you are lucky you will spot a seal or two. We were lucky. (No photo though - not that lucky!) Besides lots more time in the water for the girls there was some industrious fortress building.

I watch and take photos. They dig. Works for me.
They tried to hold back the tide.

And failed.
Andrew terrorised Emily.
Helen terrorised Andrew.

Other highlights of the stay were most definitely the ice skating. Helen's second time and Emily's first. They did really well for novices. The Canadian in me did loops, twists, and...

... Of course I didn't! I'm happy to be moving forward and I never, ever managed (even in the most competent moments of my life) to master going backwards or stopping properly. But I always had fun, as I did this time.

Helen said the ice rink in Milton Keynes had loud disco music and lights.
Think I preferred this one.
Lots of hanging about in playgrounds.
And in trees.
A major highlight of the trip was shooting off the rocket Andrew had built.
It involved a 'v' shaped rack,
an empty 2 litre soda bottle,
a cork,
a foot action air pump,
and a needle type  nozzle used for putting air in footballs.
It worked a treat!

Many thanks to my brother for being such a great uncle, and to his wife for being a good hostess and feeding us so well.

I didn't really get many more photos after we returned to Mum's. We did fun stuff like browsing the Sunday Market in Tynemouth - especially the second hand book stalls. I took the girls into the city centre for an exhausting shopping day. After a very enjoyable, but not cheap, meal at Yo! Sushi in Aberdeen, I opted for the all you can eat buffet at the Chinese in Newcastle. £2.99 for each child. Ha! They had obviously never met my children before. Emily headed straight for the peal and eat prawns. Helen just enjoyed the whole thing and I got to near bankrupt the restaurant by taking my two in there!

Mum took the girls swimming one of the days and we finished the trip with a visit to a fantastic Chinese restaurant in Whitley Bay that we have been going to for years, and years. It was a treat for in honour of Emily and her cousin's birthdays which are coming up.

And that pretty well sums up our holiday in one blog post. Hope I didn't bore you too much!



  1. Susan you did all this before coming to FoQ and then drove there and back and walked around all day chatting, shopping - it exhausts me just thinking about it!

    You deserve days and days of sewing...

  2. Sounds like a brilliant holiday (how on earth are you not knackered?!) Glad to see the girls up trees :-)

  3. wow, sounds like a fantastic time. some of our best holidays have been in this country (Devon and Cornwall) surfing and bodyboarding, and seeing your girls in the sea makes me really miss it - this is the first year we havnt been in ages. It really is all about making your own fun and laughter isn;t it! You just can't beat that

  4. Wow!! Don't stop or sit down, or you may never get up again - trust me, as sat in the sunshine today, and I am now incapable of doing anything again until school starts (OK, tomorrow, but the thought is there!).
    Looked lovely x

  5. Oh it looks such fun Susan and your brother looks like he was enjoying it as much if not more than the girls! He doesn`t read the comments does he?? Love your photos and that portrait of Emily is wonderful. I command you to print it out and frame it! You on the other hand are like the proverbial No 33 bus - we wait 8 months for a photo of you and then get two in a day! Lovely memories for your girls!

  6. You packed all of that into a short time and it looks like you had an absolute blast.

    Letting off rockets sounds like fun...I bet everyone enjoyed that part. I liked the sound of hot chocolate.

    Thanks for taking us on holidays with you!

  7. Your holiday looks fab! What great pictures :)
    And I told you, blue lips is how children look on the beach in Scotland!!!! ;)

  8. Looks like such a fun time! But i have to say that those photos of the girls swimming in Scotland positively make me go brrrrrr! Even if it is supposedly summer there lol...

    Gosh you are entitled to put your feet up this week! Or upon your sewing pedal- one of the two :)



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