Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Coffee and a Catch Up….

….with Abi from Creating Paper Dreams.

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Where to start? It’s been such a busy month and I have so much news to share with you. We had a chilled out first few days of the school holiday. My girl was so happy to finally have some relaxing time at home, after a busy term, and join her brother, who had finished school at the end of his exams, in the middle of June.

And yes, we do all have the same shoes!

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During the first full week of the holidays we planned some more constructive activities. I wanted to get my girl more comfortable with the sewing machine, after her textile lessons at school had left her feeling wary. She tackled the first project with ease and ended up with a lovely new head band cut from an old school dress.

My boy likes to get out and about, but hay fever had other ideas and he was cooped up, with the air purifier going full blast, during the early part of August. He enjoyed spending time skyping and online gaming with his friends, painting a succession of Warhammer figures and having fun with his sister’s collection of Hama beads.

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Last Thursday was GCSE results day, one anxiously awaited by 16 year olds all over the country. I can’t begin to tell you how proud I am of my boy. His results are good by anyone’s standards, but even more so when you know that he is on the autistic spectrum. The school environment is such a challenge for him every single day and he has done amazingly well, in spite of all that life has dealt him. So proud.

We celebrated by taking a trip to Stonehenge. We walked around the stone circle and I had a few attempts at capturing sun flare. Something I love to see in other’s photos. We parked the car nearby and enjoyed a picnic as the sun went down.

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On Friday we went to Bristol and spent a good few hours hunting Gromits. This one, aptly named ‘A Close Shave’, was in the Tourist Information Centre. They closed 5 minutes before we arrived and I had to content myself with snapping him through the window. The most tantalising thing was the sight of the passport franking gadget on the table at the back of the room. You can just see it top right in the photo. We tracked down 31 of the 80 on display all over the city and surrounding areas. I don’t think we’ll have a chance to visit the one on display at Paddington Station.

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Yesterday we went to visit magnificent Montacute House and I had another attempt at capturing sun flare! We admired the architecture, played croquet on the Cedar Lawn, took a tour of the house and spent an hour among the past Kings and Queens of England, in the portrait gallery at the top of the house.

It was interesting to stand in front of the painting of Richard III and think of the actor who played that part in the recent dramatisation of The White Queen. Did you watch it? What did you think? I enjoyed it, but felt they tried to pack a bit too much history into the series. It was well acted and I like the witchcraft element, which made it a bit different.

There’s not been much time for TV this month, although I did manage to catch Top of the Lake, on the iplayer, which I enjoyed immensely. The acting was superb and it was beautifully shot among the mountains and lakes of New Zealand. A dark story set in a rural community. It reminded me a lot of the Red Riding trilogy, which co-incidentally also starred Peter Mullan. He plays damaged characters so well.

We’ve also been to the beach and the bowling alley, caught Monsters University at the cinema and celebrated my inlaws’ Golden Wedding Anniversary, with a big family party that lasted all day and well into the next one!

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The Mechanic has gone back to work today and will probably be glad of the rest. I always let the housework slide during the holidays, because I’d much rather spend time with my children, but there are some things that still need to be done. It’s a catch up day for me today and now that my coffee is drunk and I have rambled on quite long enough, I’d better get back to those chores.

Thanks for dropping by. I’m looking forward to reading what everyone else has been up to, but that will have to wait until lunch time and perhaps afternoon tea as well.

I’ll be back with my desk tomorrow.

PS That lovely swing, big enough for me and my girl, is at Montacute House and sadly not in our garden.

19 comments:

debs14 said...

Congratulations to your son - you must be so proud.
I'm loving seeing Gromit turning up in people's blogs. Wish I lived closer so that I could have joined in the hunt too!

Twinkle Star said...

What a lovely Summer you have had and congrats to your son!

Hugs, Estelle xx

Shaz Brooks said...

Love your post, very interesting. Glad your son did so well, just goes to show what love, support & determination can achieve, doesn't it? I use the towel to dry off my stamps, you are right, some baby wipes do really foam up! I find as well that the towel gets into all the nooks & crannies because of the fibres. Hugs, Shaz xx

Sandra said...

You have been busy, haven't you :) glad the results were good, makes it all worth while.

I'm enjoying catching up with your life again Fi x

Abi said...

Thank you for stopping for tea with me today. What a fun summer. I like the sound of the sewing and the gromit hunt. I had seen a few around! Congratulations on those results too.

Jess said...

I'm so glad he got good results, well done! I've not heard of Montacort house, looks lovely! I'm v jealous of everyone Gromit spotting, I want to go!

Lisa said...

So pleased that your son had good results and you have all had a good summer too, that swing looks fantastic... I'd love one like that in our garden actually I'd like a bigger garden too

love the matching shoes too, we had that about 3 years ago but they were crocs lol

lots of photos to scrap and did you know there is a Gromit at Cheddar too?

Lisa
xx

Maria Ontiveros said...

What a lovely catch-up! Congratulations to your boy! And what lovely pictures of Stonehenge . . . and I love Gromit, too.
Rinda

Jo.C said...

Great catching up and congrats on the exam results. You don't realise how much you worry until you get them. D and I have the same shoes too. She despairs of mine as they have a bright pink tongue that I threaten to show off :0)
Thanks for the chat, I'll have to get round to sharing mine too xx

Julia said...

Is that your bench for the scavenger hunt? If not - it should be! So pleased to hear the GCSEs went so well - I know how much that means to you xx

Kirsty.A said...

Congratulations to your son. I missed the last few episodes of The White Queen because we were in France - I really enjoyed the beginning of the series

My simple life said...

Great pictures, glad you've had such a good time and well done to your clever boy!

Sinead said...

Hi there, I just found your blog via Abi's tea posts! Thanks for sharing a cuppa and your stories, it sounds like you've had a busy and fun summer. And congrats to your son :D

Sian said...

That's a job well done, Mum! Plenty of fun activities to keep them happily occupied and lots for them to remember in years to come

Miriam said...

What a lovely catch up. Congratulations to your boy and to you with the sun flares! I have seen a few Gromits too, it has been fun to look for them around the city. Oh! that swing! I have garden swing envy now.

Jo said...

Congratulations to your son, that's great news. It looks like you had an amazing summer and the shots you've taken are great. I loved my day in Bristol looking for Gromit and can really understand how frustrating it must have been to see the passport stamp but not be able to reach it! x

ally said...

Hiya. Thanks for popping over to my blog, London gromit is heading to Bristol following complaints that people couldn't get to see him so you may catch him soon.

Deb @ Paper Turtle said...

Wow - you have been busy! I love your photos in this post, Fiona! I think it's great that you are encouraging your daughter to sew, and your son's good news is fantastic! :o)

KraftyKaren said...

I've enjoyed seeing your photos and hearing about your days out on Facebook through the summer.