Monday, 26 October 2015


A trip to the beach
Are you going to get dressed? No!
Eat up your dinner! No!
Let GJ read a story! No!
Shall we go for a walk? No!
"No" seems to be my grandson's favourite word at the moment, but bless him he is cute and he has his moments when he is cuddly and makes us laugh. It is just the joys of a two year old and the phase is kind of short, until they learn different ways to mean the same thing. At least we hope it is a short phase. Poor little soul, his routine has been a little disrupted with me around, but we have still had some lovely moments. Like when we went to the beach together. We redistributed pebbles around the beach and discovered some stones roll and some make a big splash - great fun with a little one! We also sat on a wall together and watched race karts go around a track. We drew in the sand and watched a horse trotting along the beach too. We found pebbles with holes in that you can see through, we found shells of different kinds and we even found the empty egg cases of skates, sometimes called mermaid's purses and possibly of the catshark too.
A happy face
Another happy smiley face of my little
granddaughter this time
I like this rock garden outside a café we went to
The day after I arrived in England I went along with my daughter-in-law, grandson and granddaughter to toddlers. It has been a while since I have been in a hall full of little ones, so a little noisy. Alpacas aren't quite so boisterous as a hall full of under threes. I got roped in to help in the kitchen as someone was not able to make it that morning, so it was nice to feel useful. Despite the absolute change in routine for me I have enjoyed it. Plenty of opportunity for cuddles and changing nappies - well a couple anyway. I am pleased I haven't entirely lost the knack of changing a baby and putting their clothes on. Toddlers was followed by a harvest festival at the church that ran the group. It was amusing to see someone else trying to get the children involved in the story. I rounded up our little one and got him to join in the songs at least.
A novel use for a boat

The one that got away. This would
have been good for chunky knits, but
it wasn't meant to be.
A friend of mine told me about a weaving, spinning and dyeing biennial exhibition near to where my son lives and so I decided to go. It was delightful to talk to some of the stallholders and I also managed to buy some carders and a second-hand spinning wheel (picture later, it is sat in the boot of my car at the moment). These wheels are often really expensive, but second-hand they are a quarter of the price. I just have to work out a way to get it back now. It was great to see all the possibilities for woollen crafts, but I was a little disappointed that some of the prices on crafts were rather low. I realise that some people only charge for the materials, but when they do that, it makes it difficult for others to sell their goods at prices that properly reimburses their time, or at least goes a substantial way towards it. The argument often goes that people will not pay the prices expected, but then again why should they when people are prepared to work for a pittance?

A great moody shot of the sea, but not
one I can take credit for. My son took
this with my camera, along with the
picture of a happy smiley grandson
After the exhibition I went around to my friend's house for a coffee and to practice on her spinning machine. I was pleased that I sort of got the hang of what to do and just really need some practice. When I say friend though, in reality this is the first time we have actually met in person. Ian met her earlier on in the year and I have got to know her online over the last year. We got on rather well and had a wonderful time. It is nice when online connections work and it was fantastic to see my friend's work in the flesh so to speak. You can see some of the fantastic creations she makes on her blog, Fibre Frenzi. The day was rounded off with a nice plate of fish and chips with the family. A lovely way to finish a day.

A chilly walk along the promenade
Saturday was a day to chill out with the family and we took a walk along the beach. It is funny to think that most of my life I either lived in a seaside town or visited regularly to see grandparents, but I never really spent that much time actually visiting the sea. I do remember trips to the beach, where I built sandcars and not sandcastles. I remember the bracing Boxing Day walks along the promenade to walk off the Christmas Dinner. Rarely though did we play the tourist on the beach, it was not a place for holidays or days out, we usually headed inland or up to The Lakes, in other words the opposite direction to the tourists often.

My son racing 
On Sunday morning my daughter-in-law, grandson and granddaughter stood on a cold roundabout in the middle of the countryside waiting for my son who was racing. We got there a bit early which did not go down well with our little two year old and soon he was whinging to get out of the car. Then he whinged because he was cold, so he and I went for a little run up a path to get warmed up a bit. He then sat in the car for a little while before we managed to convince him to sit in the pushchair with a blanked on to watch for his daddy.  Eventually he cheered up, after I let him push the button on my camera, every time a cyclist went past. We didn't always capture a cyclist on camera, but at least he cheered up and I still managed to capture our son on his bike as he sped past briefly. He cycled past twice as he headed back to the headquarters and so the second time we shouted "Go, go, go!"
My little grandson's pictures! He didn't do too bad really

Whoops missed

Autumn in Latvia. Ian took these
Today I went to another harvest festival for youngsters. It would have been for toddlers but since it is a half-term, some were a little older. Unfortunately though, it was time to move on and I had to say goodbye after some lunch. My little grandson wasn't too bothered, but he did want to come with me to see his Uncle Mate. That's not his real name, but one he calls my youngest son. "My come!" he told me many times. Fortunately he was persuaded that he couldn't come with me, as he had to go and see his cousins.
Autumn in England - Steyning to be precise

Ian has been busy while I have been away and the alpaca
house is complete. 
So finally I have arrived at my youngest son's home, but it was not without a little adventure along the way. I crawled around the London car park, aka the M25. After drawing close to where my son lives I managed to miss the final exit. I took the next turning and then kind of headed in the right direction until I saw a largish supermarket where I could call my son from. The problem was that my credit ran low on my Latvian phone which meant I couldn't call him, only text and it wouldn't even let him call me. I ended up having to get an English SIM card after I realised that my son must have gone to the wrong supermarket and therefore I wasn't where he thought I was.
A nice panoramic shot from our ski hill

Where there's a box, there's a cat - or is it the other way around?

Another panoramic shot, this time from the Oak hill

Estelle and Brencis. Brencis will only move to the new
alpaca house for a short while, before moving back to the
one he lives in now, as the girls will be the ones living in
the new quarters, so they are nearer to the electric points
in case we need to supervise them during births or keep
little ones warm.




  1. Looks like you have a nascent photographer there! I also like the larger format for some of your landscape shots! They're beautiful.

    Can't wait to see how you get that spinning wheel home.

    1. They are definitely going to encourage him in that - he did enjoy taking the photos

      The landscape photos were an accident and I thought they worked so left them like that. They don't normally work with the text, but at the bottom of the page they worked

  2. I remember that 'no' stage! But lovely to spend time with your grandchildren. I always like to see your alpaca photos, they have such lovely faces.

    1. I do too and I think that is why I find it amusing, although at times it is a little frustrating :D I know they grow out of it and I guess that is the advantage of being a grandparent.

      I like our alpaca faces too. Apparently there is a fashion for more fleece on their faces and I can't say I like that style.

  3. he is indeed very cute.....embrace the ''no'' stage because the next one is ''why''!! Are you still here? Have you gone back? I am so out of the loop....

    1. You are so right to say embrace the stage. They pass by so fleetingly in reality, despite the fact they feel so long at the time.

      I'm not back yet. Ian is still home alone with the alpacas


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