bairn blog: a tale of three henleys

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10:02am Tuesday, 23rd May 2006

As promised, a more detailed account of the weekend’s events are due. Saturday was our first BIG adventure out of the house and a good test-run for our several hour drive-a-thon down south on Thursday to see rellys. We embarked to New Lanark to see the fantastic Cotton Mill and industrial village there, a site which Cole had been doing some work on for his organisation’s web site.

It was a fab place and quite ahead of its time. It was set up as a cotton mill in the 18th century on the Falls of Clyde, a deep gorge chosen for its water power. The mill was taken over by a Welsh Entrepeneur call Robert Owen who was keen to establish various social principles for his workplace, including the provision of health-care, education and good quality housing for his workers, and the abolition of poverty and crime. A lot of the buildings had been restored to their former glory and the complex was idyllic, set amongst the wooded sides of the gorge and seemingly a million miles away from the industrial landscapes which surround Lanark.

After a lunch-time snack and negotiation of the changing facilities by Cole, we went on a stroll up the Falls of Clyde to Corra Linn, an impressive 28m waterfall. The walk was lovely, set alongside the banks of the Clyde surrounded by lush woodland, bluebells and diverse wildlife. Gethin enjoyed being carried in the front-facing sling-thing that Ruthie and Ben had lent us for the day (well, I think he did as he seemed to sleep through the fantastic scenery), and the waterfall was super-impressive, like something out of a Victorian grotto.

We set back and the weather decided to take a turn for the worse, throroughly tipping it down as we drove back through the grey, ghost-like mining towns of South Lanarkshire and West Lothian. Suitable weather for our next port-of-call: a Eurovision barbeque in Linlithgow at our friend’s Kenny and Jans. Well, the skys may have been damp but the spirits were high, the burgers suitably carbonated and the music suitably attrocious, although the saving grace was the death metal exploits of Finland, trouncing all in their wake with the (quite literally) explosive song, Hard Rock Hellelujah. Ah, how it took Cole back to his teenage years! A fab night was had by all and Gethin seemed to enjoy his first Eurovision Song Contest, although the excitement proved too much for him and he fell asleep shortly after the Lithuanian entry.

On Sunday we had Neil and Linzi over, from Cole’s dads2b group, for lunch. Cole set about an epic task of Sunday Lunch for four, something he hadn’t done in many a year, and after about three hours in the kitchen an edible dish of roast chicken and rhubarb crumble (not together) was consumed and all seemed suitably replete. A lovely time was had by the Three Henleys, munching and chatting our way through the afternoon, and after the weekend’s excitement we all set about having an early night.

Just wanted to say happy 50th birth-day (not birthday i hasten to add) to Gethin, halfway to the magic hundred day celebration which we will be having. Peta has been told by some Chinese friends from work that this is a massive celebration in China (and 1.4 billion people can’t be wrong!). Also quite impressed that of all the Gethin’s in this world, out wee fella makes it into the top 15 on Google. Go son!

Finally, it is early days but Gethin might already have a girlfriend as the lovely Ben and Ruthie from next door gave birth to a smashing wee daughter in the early hours of Sunday morning; the delighfully named Wren. Many congratulations to y’all!