Quick pics update #12

I thought it was all very well and good giving you a synopsis from our photos but there are lots of days I didn’t take pictures of, or I haven’t used pictures from.  So this quick run down of our days shows what we’ve been up to.

These photos were taken between 17th to 21st May 2013 of the MGGB Tour.  We were still in Norfolk heading towards Lincolnshire.  A run down of those days is as follows:

17 – Went to Holt Country Park for a walk/play, drove to Burnham Thorpe, birth place of Nelson and overnighted at his local pub (which he also frequented), The Lord Nelson.  There was a weekend gathering of Italian Spinone dogs in the village and the pub itself was overrun with them.

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18 – Took a walk to the spot where Lord Nelson was born.  Sadly the house was pulled down years ago but there is a plaque to mark the spot.  Kids played in the village playground. Drove off to stop at another pub ‘The Lifeboat Inn’ in Thornham just down the road.

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19 – Went for a walk along the beach, headed to Hunstanton and went to the Sealife Centre there.  Stopped off at Sandringham Park for a play and walk before staying at another pub ‘The Anvil Inn’ in Congham, Norfolk

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20 – Stopped off to see an old friend on our way ‘out’ of Norfolk.  Aubrey’s back is giving him trouble so I am now designated driver – see my post ‘in the driving seat‘ and ‘not again!?‘ about my driving experience!  Overnighted at another pub ‘The Red Lion’ in Ravesby.

Tattershall Castle, Lincolnshire

Tattershall Castle, Lincolnshire

21 – Visited Sibsey Trader Mill, drove into Boston for a little while, went to Tattershall Castle before heading to …… yes you guessed it, another pub!  The Riverside Inn, Southrey.

You can just see all four children at the bottom of the castle.  They loved it as they had audio tours specifically for their age.

You can just see all four children at the bottom of the castle. They loved it as they had audio tours specifically for their age.

I can't say I like being at the top of castles.  Even with no risk of falling unless you jumped I end up a foot back from the wall.  The feeling is not made better by the fact that I worry about all four children toppling over the edge of a wall they can hardly see over the top of!

I can’t say I like being at the top of castles. Even with no risk of falling unless you jumped I end up a foot back from the wall. The feeling is not made better by the fact that I worry about all four children toppling over the edge of a wall they can hardly see over the top of!

View from the top

View from the top

A lot of ale was drunk in those few days, none of it by me!

And finally….

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The children enjoying a late picnic at our last pub stop in Lincolnshire.  Right by a canal and an old railway line/station, now a cycle path.  I think I’d be praying if I had three brothers, too, Isabel.

Ochina! x

Quick pics update #11

Moving from Suffolk to Norfolk rather quickly.

We loved Norfolk!!

Spent a great day at Bewilderwood with hardly anyone there; so perfect for the kids.  Bewilderwood is a children’s adventure play park with lots of high rope bridges, slides, tree houses, zip wires etc.  A great place!

On the way into Biwilderwood, the best adventure play park ever!

On the way into Bewilderwood, the best adventure play park ever!

Just a tiny section.  Sadly we were rather rubbish at taking pictures here - we were just enjoying the day!

Just a tiny section. Sadly we were rather rubbish at taking pictures here – we were just enjoying the day!

Just one of the high rope bridges

Just one of the high rope bridges

One of the high slides.  Even I found these quite exciting to go on!

A couple of the high slides. Even I found these quite exciting to go on!

No queuing for the zip wires - perfect for busy boys

No queuing for the zip wires – perfect for busy boys

The next few pictures are taken on one of our ‘days off’!  Spent some time with friends on a gloriously sunny day (and a couple of boozy nights!).  Still the kids were busy practicing their low ropes skills, air riffle shooting, trailer pulling and car washing amongst other things.  And Aubrey got to go stalking – although didn’t have a clear shot so no venison for supper!

IMG_3401Below shows the boys on some low ropes, crossing each other

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Follow the daddy

Follow the daddy

Car washing

Car washing

And finally…

Snug as a bug.  Spot the small boy still fast asleep in the morning after his busy day.

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Ochina! x

 

Quick pics update #10

Well well well.  I have rather left this haven’t I?! So just a few pictures on this post to get me back into the swing of things.

I’ve still only managed to post pictures of our trip into the beginning of May!

Moving on from Churchill’s house we headed north east to Suffolk.  Managed to hit two National Trust sites in a day.  We were on a roll for National Trust!

First was Bridge House at Flatford, where Constable painted the Hay Wain amongst others.  It was very pretty with no vehicular access apart from residents cars.

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Flatford

The family at Flatford

Another Flatford view.  This swan didn't bite Isabel

Another Flatford view. This swan didn’t bite Isabel

Flatford

Flatford

Moving on from here we headed to Sutton Hoo.  Sadly only one picture here.  It was a fantastic place historically.  As you can see Finlay humoured us with his dressing up.  The mask he is wearing is a copy of the one found in one of the huge burial mounds that was dug up here.  It is thought to have belonged to an Anglo Saxon king who was buried with his boat in the English countryside in Suffolk hundreds of years ago (around 420 ad), if memory serves me correctly!

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Next stop Norfolk

And finally…

enjoying a family film night

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Ochina! x

Quick pics update #9

Next stop was Chartwell, the home of Winston Churchill, now a wonderful National Trust property.  It was a perfect stop and we even managed to cook supper and eat it before heading off.

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Children outside the front of the house

Children outside the front of the house

Children outside the front of the house with Aubery

Children outside the front of the house with Aubery

Children enjoying the swans, of which then bit Isabel!

Children enjoying the swans, one of which then bit Isabel!

The best parking spot!

The best parking spot at Chartwell!

We decided to stick around until they kicked us out!

We decided to stick around until they kicked us out!

Even managed to cook supper! Great day out.

Chilling whilst supper cooks! Great day out.

And finally….

Finlay getting some ‘air’ at the one and only camp site we stayed out – at Clacton on Sea!

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Ochina! x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fun and Games

Well there is just no way to share our whole journey without either a) boring you or b) boring me!  I thought I would, though, just give you a snippet of a few moments of our grand tour.

I won’t regale you with the story of our first attempt (and ultimate success) of emptying our portaloo.   Other than to say it isn’t our most pleasant of jobs!  We didn’t read the instructions, men don’t need them don’t you know, and we didn’t have a clue on the best ‘method’ but we managed it with only a few splatters.  Note to self, wear a bin liner next time.

A ride on a replica of the 'The Rocket' train

A ride on a replica of the ‘The Rocket’ train

We’ve walked through fields of cows who insisted on both getting in our way and following us – a little hairy, we’ve gone on roller coasters aimed at small children with myself and Aubrey shrieking like babies, we’ve rock-pooled in Northumberland, built wonderful dens at National Trust properties, eaten a lot of ice-cream (and sandwiches!), travelled on steam trains and boats, dressed up in a lot of costumes and been into a lot of parks, houses, castles and abbey’s.

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Comments to note have been (mostly by Barnaby, not unusually):

‘we don’t live in a house, we live in a bus!’ to the ‘purple’ man in York when he suggested we paint our house purple

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‘do you have a real house that you go to? we don’t have a real house, we live in our bus!’ to another motorhome owner – you can see a trend here with Barnaby can’t you. It has been said on many occasion, so much so that I now believe we live on a bus!

‘Mummy if we get there and the steering wheel comes off, we’ll be there forever but we won’t die’ on travelling to some wonderful friends’ house

‘mummy can you ask if we can stay here until next summer?’ on meeting the above friends. The next morning he questioned me ‘did you ask if we could stay until next summer and what did they say?’  I was in a lot of trouble for not asking

‘The end of the rainbow is probably in France or maybe South America’

‘Mummy it’s RUINED!’  said by Isabel on visiting…… some ruins

‘Mummy it’s not ruined, it’s new!’ said by Caspar on visiting Durham Cathedral

A notable moment was setting off the powdered fire extinguisher in the bus today!  For some reason the pin had come out and Caspar stood on it to open the front door.  It’s amazing how much powder comes out from a split second blast!  Gave us all a shock, most of all him as we were all covered in what looked like plaster dust and left coughing and spluttering.  Just to let you know, it’s pretty difficult to breath in and also quite a pain to clear up.  The front area of the bus is now covered in a thin layer of dust!

And showing me that my children’s heart is still in Ghana, yesterday whilst Aubs and I were inside at a pub we’d just eaten in we went outside to discover it was raining and our children were running around naked in it, in full view of the A583 in Preston. Oh happy days!

And finally;

Just one of the many costumes Finlay has tried on, this time a Edwardian gent.

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Ochina! x

Quick pics update #8

Moving north(ish).

Walmer Castle

Walmer Castle

Walmer Castle, Cinque Portes, South Coast

Walmer Castle, Cinque Ports, South Coast

Between Walmer and Leysdown we spent the day in Canterbury and can’t believe we have no pictures to prove it!  We even slept overnight in the Canterbury Park and Ride, one of our more glamorous night stops!

Sunset at Leysdown-on-Sea, Isle of Sheppy - it's us on the beach getting very muddy 'fishing' for oysters.

Sunset at Leysdown-on-Sea, Isle of Sheppy – it’s us on the beach getting very muddy ‘fishing’ for oysters.

Sunrise at Leysdown-on-Sea, Isle of Sheppy

Sunrise at Leysdown-on-Sea, Isle of Sheppy

One of our more peaceful night stops, on the sea front at Leysdown-on-Sea, waking to an amazing sunrise, which sadly didn't last long

One of our more peaceful night stops, on the sea front at Leysdown-on-Sea, waking to an amazing sunrise, which sadly didn’t last long

The next day was spent at Down House, Charles Darwin’s home, which was fantastic.  Lots of hands on things for the kids to do and fascinating for all of us.  Again rubbish, as no pictures, but well recommended.

Next day, Chessington World of Adventures

Next day, Chessington World of Adventures

Watching the Sea lion in the rain

Watching the Sea lion in the rain

On the carousel

On the carousel

Going on Safari.  We have quite a few pictures of the truck as it was of more interest to Aubrey than the animals!

Going on Safari. We have quite a few pictures of the truck as it was of more interest than the animals to Aubrey!

On Safari.  For some silly reason the younger two were considered too small for this 'ride'.

On Safari. For some silly reason the younger two were considered too small for this ‘ride’.

And finally:

Evidence that I do drive the bus.  Taken here by one of the children driving through the Lake district. You can see my bangles, which is me, honestly!

104_1243Ochina! x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love our bus!

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I never thought I’d say that, but I do love it.  I can’t believe I would find travelling around in a bus so liberating; having few possessions, no shower, everything on hand, five steps from car seat to kitchen to bed, travelling with everything under one roof so you don’t ever have to think about what you might have forgotten. Hey, if you fancy a lie down in bed whilst cooking supper what’s to stop you – you can still keep an eye on the food!

Best thing is that it allows us to visit friends without having to worry about whether they have room and we are totally self sufficient although we’ve been so spoilt by everyone that we’ve not had to ‘use’ our self sufficiency.

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The bus has also been wonderful for the family (although, yes, we do have our moments!).  I’m sure a lot of people couldn’t think of anything worse than sleeping in, what is effectively, the same room as their children, but when do you really get that opportunity to be all together through the night hearing their breathing, their sleep talking and general restlessness.  For them they have never slept better, perhaps because when they wake in the night they know we are close.  They are so used to noise at night that we’ve had no problem watching something, chatting or listening to music whilst they sleep. In fact it can be difficult getting them up in the morning!

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Surprisingly it has been much easier than I envisioned to find places to park or places to stop.  I was a bit worried about getting into towns and finding a space to park the bus when we visited places, but rather than being tricky we have ended up with having the best parking spots in some areas.  Coaches/buses/motorhomes seem to be generally well catered for, and in fact when we visit places such as National Trust properties the parking can end up being better than it is for cars.  When we went to Chessington World of Adventures, the parking for buses etc. was free, and bang next to the entrance (we won’t talk of the emissions warning we were sent for entering the low emissions zone)!  We are lucky in the fact that we fall into both ‘motorhome’ and ‘bus’ category.  Well it’s worked this far!

I also love the fact that we can just pull over to the side of the road for the night and don’t have to worry about pulling out beds, shifting tables or getting bedding out as it is all permanently ready to go!  The children’s beds are a Godsend.  Many a day we have banished them to the back of the bus to play in their ‘pods’.  They love it in there having all sorts of fun.  Great for them and great for us.

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I insisted on putting bunting up!  I think Aubrey was less keen but it makes me feel like it’s a little more homely.  We’ve had lots of people staring (I think it’s the bunting touch!) – no different to being in Ghana really!  We’ve also had lots of people chatting to us about it and what we’re doing, with most if not all of them loving it!

We’d love it if anyone wanted to use her, so all friends and family out there, just give us a call and book her out for a week.  We know you’ll love it too! And if any of you are wondering, she starts on a turn of the key and has never let us down…..yet!

And finally:

Bad hair day, good long sleep on the bus

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Ochina! x