Sunday, 31 August 2008

Our Holiday is over ....

Our faithful Sat Nav directed us perfectly to our campsite again this year, only having 2 detours one of Newmarket & the other of Windsor. Julian decided we weren't paying the high prices at motorway services for out lunch so tried to find a supermarket in the aforementioned towns - but failed. So we did indeed stop at a service station and bought sandwiches & drinks for us & a burger & drink for Ben.

The tent went up quite easily this year (gale force winds last year made it a bit trickier !)

The campsite & the owners were very nice, and you could get up close to the cows, chickens, cats etc - you could even help out with the milking & mucking out if you so desired (Ben didn't, he was too busy texting his friends)

We visited Exeter, Teignmouth, Lyme Regis, Illfracombe, Dartmouth & Dartmoor. We climbed to the highest waterfall in England - Canonteign Falls - it was beautiful there.

And the view from the top was well worth the climb !

The best bit for me was meeting up with my Aunty Kay, Uncle Nigel & family. They were holidaying in some cottages about 10 miles from our campsite, and I hadn't seen some of my cousins for quite a few years and I hadn't even met some of their spouses or children !! It was lovely to see everybody.
You may be wondering what dreadful ailment Ben came down with on holiday - fear not, he was experimenting with the digital camera's colour swap facility - he wanted to see if he could make his hair go black in the photo - as you can see - IT FAILED !

The weather could have been kinder to us - every morning it was grey, misty & damp - except our last day when it poured with rain - so yet again we had to put the tent away soaked & muddy.
Thankfully the sun did appear for one day at the campsite !

Sunday, 24 August 2008

We're all going on a Summer holiday .....

Sam woke up this morning bright and cheerful - so I gave him some fortini for breakfast - it stayed down - a trip to the bathroom showed that he had passed several large gooey, gritty lumps in his pad, so that was the cause of yesterday's discomfort (I wish he could tell us how he felt !)

I quickly dressed him in his Scout uniform and Julian set off to Eaton Vale with him and all his baggage in the rain !!

Ben & I quickly collected together everything else we needed for our holiday (I say quickly, but when Ben is involved nothing goes quickly !!!!) Anyway to make sure Ben didn't wander off or go on MSN or his x-box again I got him to sit in the car and wait for Julian.

40 minutes later Julian arrived home after dropping some of Sam's stuff off at friends (they are picking Sam up from camp tomorrow and then taking him over to his respite place, so we can go away) We set off for Devon at 10.10am - not too bad, except that it is pouring down.

We are camping at West Middlewick Farm.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Sam's Scout Camp

Today should have been the start of Sam's 2 night camp with the 46th Norwich Scout patrol.

But the day didn't go to plan.

Sam woke up early and unusually for him he was whining while in bed - he usually cries if he wants to get up. So we left him a little while. When I went through to his room I noticed he had been sick and was covered in it. I quickly went a ran the bath and Julian carried him through to the bathroom. After being thoroughly cleaned, dried and dressed I took him through to the front room. He then proceeded to be sick again !! Another quick tidy up, a towel wrapped round him, he went to sleep for alittle while.

I phoned up to tell camp he wouldn't be joining them today.

He continued to alternate between being sick & sleeping during the afternoon.

As we were supposed to be going on holiday today - we decided to be optimistic and pack the car up with all our camping gear, just in case Sam recovered in the morning. We were 99% sure it was a kidney stone causing his problems.

In the evening the colour started to return to Sam's face so I gave him some of his fortinin diluted down and pumped through slowly - he kept it all down - so he went to bed and we kept our fingers crossed !

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Fishy News !

Today Julian got up early to go to Cley on the North Norfolk Coast to try his luck at mackerel fishing. He has been a few times this year but has come back empty handed. But this time the tide was right, the weather good and the fish were in the sea ! So now we have 23 mackerel - yum yum.

Sam has been to the Hamlet Centre playscheme again today and had a great time. He had a foot spa treatment, massage and his toe nails painted. He was very keen to show his toes to everyone at home, and also to all the Guiders tonight when I went over to Patteson Lodge to deliver the food for this weekends Division Guide camp.

Monday, 18 August 2008

Special Kids Camp - a brilliant weekend

We have just returned from a fantastic time in Derbyshire camping with loads of friends from Special Kids in the UK. This is the 4th year that we have camped with them and it gets bigger & better everytime - thanks to everyone who organises it all - you know who you are !

As usual we can't wait for next year's meet.

The weather wasn't as kind to us as it could have been -but at least it was mainly dry during the day - except Monday morning when we were packing up, so our tent was wet & muddy.

My Dad & Sylvia came in their camper van for 2 nights - this was their maiden voyage - and they survived - but they realised they are going to need some bigger wine glasses !

On the Sunday my Dad's friends Sandra & Bob came over for a visit in their camper van - they only live round the corner from the camp site "Golden Valley" but didn't know it existed. We sat outside their van and chatted, then a few spots of rain enticed us into the van - just room for 6 adults, 1 tall teenager & 1 small Sam - very cosy ! Sam thought it was all hilarious when he decided Grandad should be sat next to him - so without anyone leaving the cosy van Grandad managed to squeeze past Sylvia, Sandra & Julian - it was like playing twister in a very confined space.


On the Saturday afternoon, we had a balloon release in memory of the children from our group that have died in recent years - it was a very moving time.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

East Coast Truckers

We have a wonderful charity it East Anglia called "The East Coast Truckers".

The charity's aim is to give disabled, underprivileged or fostered children memorable days out
and their parents a well-deserved day off. The main event of the year is the Children’s Convoy,
on August Bank Holiday Sunday, where a convoy of about 90 trucks leaves Norwich with the children and drives them to Pleasurewood Hills amusement park in Lowestoft. They spend the day there and have a picnic tea then they return to Norwich via Great Yarmouth seafront where 1000's of people cheer them along.

It is a fantastic day out and Sam has been with them on this day 3 times. This is the truck Sam & I went in last year :-

They also arrange several other events during the year, and today Sam was invited to go with them to Swaffham Raceway to watch the banger races. I went with him too and he really enjoyed the mini bus trip and all the racing.

Friday, 8 August 2008

Chutney Glutney

As we have a glut of tomatoes and courgettes I decided to make some Tomato & Apple chutney yesterday and a Courgette & Tomato today.

So I have had the preserving pan bubbling away with tomatoes, courgettes, apples sultanas, onion, sugar, vinegar, ginger and spices for hours over the last 2 days and we now have 9 jars of chutney to store away and eat with cooked meats & cheeses :)

And tonight for tea to use up more veg we are having marrow stuffed with savoury rice topped with grated cheese.

And because I have used up almost 4 lbs of tomatoes in my chutney - Julian picked some more !! I think I'll have to make some pasta sauce to freeze.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Elephants in Norwich !

Today Sam went to a playscheme at his school. They all went on a couple of mini-buses into Norwich city centre to do the "Go Elephant ! trail" . There are 53 lifesize baby elephants around Norwich that have been painted & decorated by artists and local groups. They are really attracting lots of people to Norwich this summer.

Martin Clunes was in Norwich today to support the Go Elephants ! He is a supporter of the Born Free foundation which will be helped by the auction of the sculptures in September. Sam and his friend Nicole managed to interrupt Martin's interview to say "Hello !" This is Sam's claim to fame to-date.

We rushed home form the playscheme because we had a home visit at 3.30pm with the Occupational Therapist (OT)and Physiotherapist (PT) from school. They had come to review Sam's comfy chair, sleep system and to check his wheelchairs as he has grown quite alot this year. His comfy chair is a JCM Jupiter chair which we have had for about 6 years now, but he has almost outgrown it and the headrest has broken.

As you can see it is still comfy !!

The OT will organise a rep to come into school so Sam can try out a new chair.

Monday, 4 August 2008

Our Allotment So Far

The allotments in our village are only just over 1 month old - the council have rented part of a field off Farmer Mack down Mack's Lane. There are about 35 plots of varying shapes & sizes, our is about 23m x 3.6m.

The meeting for the official handing over the the allotments was on 25th June, so we didn't start work until the 28th June and this is what we started with :-
So after quite a lot of digging, stone, weed & grass removing we had 2 raised beds ready to fill with horse manure. The next day Julian & I went out to get the manure - armed with sacks, wellies & garden forks, over the course of the day we collected 38 sacks of manure and took them up to the allotment.

As we had been waiting for our allotment since Christmas, Julian had already got lots of vegetable plants at home that he had started off from seed. So over the next couple of weeks he worked very hard making 2 more raised beds, digging in the manure and planting the vegs.

By the 12th July it looked like this :-

And by the 2nd Aug it looked like this :-

Over the last 2 weeks we have been inundated with these horrible critters :-

This week we collected another 20 bags of manure and Julian has put together another raised bed and planted some of our strawberry plants.

But we have started harvested vegetables - this week we had a lovely bag of mixed salad leaves - much to Ben's delight or should I say DISGUST, a huge marrow and we swapped a beetroot for 5 radishes !

Saturday, 2 August 2008

Scout Camp - we have returned !

Ben & Julian have just returned from Scout Camp - they have had a great time, are extremely tired - but the best thing of all is they didn't fall out with each other during the week !!!!

I now have loads of smelly & wet clothes to wash, dry & iron - oh well.