Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Half term and Halloween

Life has been pretty hectic around here recently, what with half term and lots of extra time spent working in the library. There has definitely not been an awful lot of time left over to indulge in much crafty stuff ~ although I have managed to snatch a little time to knit up a bit more of my lacy scarf and am now on to my third and final ball of yarn.

I am desperately trying to have a bloggy catch up before some of the moments get lost in the camera ~ never to see the light of the day!

We had our half term a couple of weeks ago here in Scotland and we headed off to the beautiful little village of Alton in Staffordshire to visit family. And of course, a trip to Alton would not be complete without spending a day up at Alton Towers. We scared ourselves completely silly on some of the bigger rides ~ in fact after going on some of them it was almost impossible to walk!  

We were really lucky with the weather the day we visited as it was a beautiful Autumn day ~ very cold but thankfully no rain! The leaves on the side of the Towers were a spectacular colour.

There were lots of Halloween decorations dotted about the place as it was the start of the annual Alton Towers Halloween festival ~ Scarefest.

We hid in giant pumpkins!

And came across some very strange residents!

Who were driving some very spooky vehicles!

The following day we had an enormous amount of fun at Splash Landings ~ which is a water park inside one of the hotels at Alton Towers. There were lazy rivers, crazy cannons and a VeRy fast and VeRy scary Master Blaster water coaster. This is an extreme water ride and definitely not for the faint hearted and most definitely NOT for me! Once was more than enough and I will never venture on it again! Needless to say the kids loved it!!

Tonight, following in our own Halloween traditions, the small people will be dressing up in some scary Halloween outfits and we will play hide and seek in the dark with torches. We will get absolutely soaked dooking/bobbing for apples and then we will get cosy and snuggle up on the sofa to watch some spooky Halloween movies with maybe a little bit of Scooby Doo thrown in for good measure.

I hope you all enjoy your Halloween happenings as much as we will!! :O)xx

Monday, 1 October 2012

Weekend away

I spent last weekend away visiting my best friend who lives in the beautiful Scottish Borders.

There is something quite nice about going away by yourself for the weekend. It's not something that I do very often, in fact hardly ever, but when I do I find the whole experience very enjoyable indeed. The very fact that you can completely do what you want to, when you want to, without having to stop for a minute to consider the needs of others is quite wonderful! Of course I did miss my little family very much ~ but I made up for that with lots of cuddles when I returned back to the fold on Sunday morning.

My friend and I had arranged a little bit of retail therapy for ourselves, and as we were in the Borders we headed off to the Gretna Green Outlet Village. Before we went shopping we decided to stop and have a look at the Blacksmith's Shop at Gretna Green, which is famous for marriages and for the place where Scotland and England meet.

We had a stroll around the sculpture garden and stopped to admire this lovely sculpture of two hands clasping. The sculpture was designed and created by County Durham artist Ray Lonsdale. It only took two months to create and is made from weathering steel and standing at 13 feet tall it is rather impressive to look at.

It can be interpreted in lots of different ways ~ are the hands coming together? Parting? Meeting up or saying Goodbye? Is it a happy or sad embrace? Are the hands joining in friendship or is it an embrace of love? Personally I like to think that it is an embrace of love.

There was also a wedding taking place at the Blacksmith's shop whilst we were there and as is often the tradition at Scottish weddings there was a lone piper playing his bagpipes. There is nothing quite like the sound of the music which comes out of the pipes. I really do love it!

Which is quite fortunate really ~ because for the last few months my little boy has been learning to play. He started out learning on an instrument called a chanter and he has now progressed rather quickly onto his first set of bagpipes ~ he is aiming to get his full set of pipes complete with drones, which are the really noisy part sometime very soon. I think the reason he loves his music so much is the very fact that he is allowed to do something noisy without getting told off for making a noise!!

I hope you all had a lovely weekend too  :O)xx