Ellie’s First Time Cycling By Herself

Two or three weeks ago we took the stabilisers off Ellie’s bicycle. We’ve slowly been teaching her to cycle by herself.

Yesterday, for the first time she succeeded ­čÖé

She was clearly chuffed to bits and I can’t say I didn’t feel the same way too!



On Saturday we visited Abbotsford, the historic home of Sir Walter Scott. It’s recently been restored and a new visitor centre built, so we’ve been meaning to go for a while.

First we walked around the garden and grounds.

The place looked great, and the house itself was very impressive from the outside (we didn’t go in). We were told at the visitor centre that the way round the grounds was “obvious” and there was no need for a map, but we still got lost! Not to worry – we had great fun exploring inside this giant rhododendron instead:


Then we found the best part of all – the adventure playground! The kids almost enjoyed it as much as me.

Finally, we went into the visitor centre for lunch. Unfortunately the food was overpriced and mediocre in quality. Ben entertained himself while we were waiting for food by running in circles around the Walter Scott exhibition wielding his children’s┬átable knife at the other visitors!

All in all I think Abbotsford is a good local destination and I’m sure we’ll be back.

A Weekend at the Grandparents

This weekend we traveled down to stay at┬ámy Dad’s house for a few days. The kids love seeing their grandparents. Ellie spent most of the weekend playing with Noreen! We also got fantastic weather while we were there.

On Saturday we went to Quarry Bank Mill. It’s a National Trust property┬ácentred around┬áan impressive eighteenth-century cotton mill.


We walked around the estate and then the playground.

On Sunday we visited Dane Meadow, which has recently been given a face-lift with some new paths, signage and disabled access. Oh, and some tree stumps which have handily been turned into seats.


Later that day we went to the Holmes Chapel fete, just in time to see a Hurricane fly-past. Ellie won a toy truck for her brother on hook-a-duck.

And then “auntie Charlie” came to visit with her dog, Henry. Ellie and Henry were best pals pretty much immediately!

On Monday we went to visit “Granny Carol”, “Granddad Clive” and “Uncle Tom”. We all went to Goostrey Home and Leisure in the morning, which has a lovely little play area.

Then I took Ben back for his nap, while Ellie and Jana went to my Mum’s house. Tom taught Ellie how to kayak…

… before they cleaned out the pond, and (to my great excitement!) discovered some newts.

We all had a lovely time. But when it was time to come home, we felt like this!