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Posts from July 2007

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09:46pm Monday, 30th July 2007

well, what a manic morning. after a pretty despondent weekend went in to the solicitors this morning to see if we could afford our dream home. within two hours we had an offer in on the place, received a mortgage agreement (in principle) and had our offer on the property accepted. how grown up are we!

within 10 seconds of our offer going in one was faxed through from another bidder so we just made it! things are going to be pretty tight here on in but well worth it and a huge thanks go to the henley folks and grandfolks for helping with the deposit and some moral support over the weekend. just keeping fingers crossed that the mortgage offer we have been offered will be formally confimed, then a new rural abode for henley’s 3!

03:02pm Sunday, 29th July 2007

another fortnight with no news from the henleys 3. well, we have been on a jolly down south to see p’s folks in deepest, darkest somerset for a week.

it has been a really relaxing week. we flew down on saturday and went straight to peta’s grandparents for a spot of lunch (including a vegetarian soup for cole with “only a little bit of lamb” in it). on sunday we all headed off to church as it was gramps’ last official service as a navy chaplain before his retirement from the forces. gethin seemed quite keen to roam around during the service so c and g darted off to play with some toys whilst gramps preached. then afterwards it was some beverages and fodder with curry for all. kurt, an old friend of peta’s from gibraltar popped round. it was lovely to catch up and hopefully he will try to come up to visit during the forthcoming fringe. then cole, p and uncle martin headed into yeovil whilst the grandparents babysat for a night at the flicks, martin checking out transformers (very excited about seeing that) whilst the henley’s took in the rather good new harry potter film.

on monday we went off to see the animals at longleat. the day was dour but we saw lots of animals – lions, tigers, giraffes, wolves, rhinos, monkeys (intent on ripping every car in their wake to bits) and lots more. we then went off to see p’s aunt and uncle claire and bill who live in exeter for the largest feast known to man – a four-course monstrosity that almost defeated cole.

on tuesday we headed into street for a spot of shopping. gethin unleashed his fiercest tantrum to date, audible from across the shopping village, after not being allowed to stay on those moving car thingys you see at supermarket checkouts – and that was without putting some money in. fiercely intent on driving he was not impressed when a paying punter wanted a go. anyway, he was soon placated by a trip on a merry-go-round, although he didn’t seem to enjoy it nearly as much as peta did.

on wednesday c, p, g and gramps headed into bath for a spot of site-seeing, pasty-eating and window-shopping. we hunted down some lime pickle for the neighbours (as a thanks for cat-sitting) and stumbled upon the loveliest kids shop known to man, my small world: floor to ceiling of wooden children’s gifts which could have consumed gethin’s attention until his teens.

on thursday cole and peta had a day off from bairn and headed to the historic city of wells, setting for the wells cathedral and the excellent film hot fuzz. it pissed it down all day, we got soaked, cole got told off for taking photos in the cathedral and we dined on a pair of gorgeous veggie burgers at the crown pub. yum.

friday was the last day of our trip south so we headed to the beach in lyme regis (where the sun finally shon) for a spot of fish and chips, sea-front strolling, gallery spotting and a snack at the town house bakery, well worth a visit if you happen to be in the area and are experiencing a tummy rumble or two. sadly, our day at the seaside had to draw to a close as we headed back to pack and get our plane back to northern climes. G was fine with the flying thing (more so than P who hates it) and depite a late night for all we got back in good time.

all in we had a very chilled and enjoyable week. it was good to spend some time with peta’s folks and brother and get a lie-in or two, even if it came at the cost of having drunk my volume in gin (now undergoing chronic gin withdrawal). plus baby g is now a fully fledged member of the walking classes, ably strolling about like he owns the place.

on that note, we all went to look at place that was for sale on saturday. we had seen it before when it had previously been available but it was now back on the market and this time at a fixed price, seeming the perfect opening for us to make a break from renting and start thinking about establishing a family home. hussah! that is, until we looked at what we could afford and cole had a mad day dashing about banks in edinburgh getting mortgage quotes. some of the family have super-kindly offered to help with putting down a deposit but even then the monthly repayments are likely to be extremely high and above what we can afford. i don’t know how the government/banks expect any young family to get on the property ladder. ten years of university education between us and our closest hope of buying a place to call our own is finding a shoe with an elderly female tennant on her last legs!

12:43pm Saturday, 14th July 2007

Gad zucks – has it really been 4 weeks since we put digits to keys on the bairn blog? What a bunch of slackers. Well, in our defence a week of that was spent in the Lakes and since then we have had two grandmothers plus a pair of city slickers from londinium visiting.

anyway, to begin at the beginning we set off to the lakes four saturdays ago today for a week with 3 henleys, 3 withers and an anderson – ages ranging from fourteen months to 89 years. ‘twas a fun filled week with trips to the sea, more apeing about up trees, plenty of cream teas, gibbons (and other animals to boot), a boat trip, a swim (baby G NOT impressed with his aquatic experience) and a fish supper or two, plus the odd drama (what family holiday is complete without one). it was cool for cousins samuel and G to see each other again and play together and learn from each other. Sam is much more mobile than G but he picked up a thing or two and by the end of the week G was making his first few unaided steps into the big wide world, shuffling like an excitable zombie. plus, we got a few lie-ins courtesy of uma and oompa’s baby-sitting prowess. hussah!

in all another relaxing time away for all at redmain which sadly flew by rapidly and before we knew it it was friday and cole had packed his bags for cambridge, off to dj at his friend’s corrina and dave‘s wedding. a whirlwind weekend followed: carlisle to cambridge to edinburgh with a night of heavy drinking in-between. meanwhile, P and G pootled and packed before heading back up home for a mid-summers soiree at the farm.

A quiet week back in Bonnytoun followed before a trip north by Uma for a spot of bairn-sitting as the child minder was on her hols for a fortnight, followed by a trip from Moomin the following week. It was so nice to have some help with G and get a night or two off (including a trip to the cinema to watch the bum-numbing pirates III), and cole even had an unprecedented stint in the kitchen, cooking 3 nights in a row at one point! Fortunately grandfolks were on hand at all times to wash up as would quickly have run out of dishes/crockery/utensils. The visits from U and M were fleeting but lovely and G (and us both) got to spend some quality time with his grandmums.

After Uma’s departure we headed to Ben and Ruthie’s for an independence day celebration. There had been wild storms in Linlithgow and the power had been knocked out around the farm and cottages so we were stranded a bit. Made us realise how dependent on juice we are – no light (thanks for long summer days), no heating (thanksfully not winter), no hot water (thankfully cole doesn’t wash too often), no cooking (that might be a problem), no telly or computer (eep!). anyway, we all popped round the farm for some candle-lit 4th of july tucker and a lovely evening was spent with our trans-atlantic chums (ruthies devilled eggs = yum). it was great to see G, casper and wren (B and R’s kids) play so well together. We could just leave them to entertain themselves whilst tucking into devilled eggs, some of Ben’s lovely home brew and indulge in some good quality chatter. Back home before dark and thankfully power was restored before the visitation of Jo and Charlotte who popped in en route to the T-in-the-Park music festival.

It was great to see J and C. Jo had sent G some lovely new shoes which fitted perfectly so she caught up with the wee fella before some wine, food, film and more chatter, staying up way too late for a school night! Have to admit I was momentarily jealous of them going to a festival (has been eleven years since Cole last went to one) but then when it pee-ed it down on Friday and Saturday thought better of such wishes. Still, would like maybe next year to take G to a more chilled, family-friendly festival such as the wicker man in dumfries or the green man festival in the brecon beacons. festival-going was such a fun part of my childhood memories what with trips to glastonbury in the early 80s and the folks helping to run the leamington peace festival back in the day when peace meant something. whilst on memories, am also hankering after getting another deux chevaux. as much as i love the panda, want driving to be fun and something G can enjoy rather than every car journey being a struggle (he is not too keen on his car seat at the mo). got my eye one so will keep you posted…

anyway – that brings y’all up to speed. will try to get some of the many snaps have taken up on the blog for you to peruse and will try not to leave it so long until the next time.

C P and G xxxxx

PS Summer in scotland is pants – have had about half an hour of sunshine in the last three months and more rain than that Noah chap. Not impressed!

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