July, 2013 Archive

A 2013 View of Centerparcs

This weekend we did our annual trip to Centerparcs..this year we went to Whinfell.. and its likely to be our last as not only have we now got Cooper so we will be going on more dog friendly holidays in the future, but to be pretty frank about it, it’s got so stupidly expensive for a weekend away, there are better places you could go.

We have been going to Centerparcs for many years with the kids and its always been pricey, but the last few years it seems that everything has just increased in price and you are paying for absolutely everything in some form or manner … we spent well over a grand just on the accommodation and activities before we even got there.

Anyway the reason for the post wasn’t to moan, but to say what a great time we had. This year as per the 2013 culture we just went with our phones and left all the good camera equipment at home. It’s surprising these days what people put up with in terms of picture quality, its like going back to watching VHS tapes rather than HD Blu-rays. Cameras on phones are getting better but you still can’t beat the image quality from a “proper” camera.

Anyway here are a few snaps of the weekend.

We booked a Lakeside Lodge this year and what an amazing location with a great view.


We were treated to some pets to look after for the weekend

becky feeding ducks

dave feeding ducks

Here is one of the cutie ducklings


We did a few activities during the weekend, including Badminton


Field Archery which was excellent, going around the woods hunting pretend animals rather than targets


The kids did the Caving Adventure which they really enjoyed


And we had a couple of sessions of 10 pin bowling and the final game was really close between me and Ethan (Neymar!) as he got a spare on the last go, to then have an extra bowl ending up with 107 to my 100. The kids both played really well.

Ethan wins

and while we were all having fun.. Cooper was being looked after by my sister and Kelvin at our house. Here’s Cooper having a bit of help completing a long walk at the weekend 🙂


Have you seen a Bullfinch before?

We had a new guest in the garden yesterday that has since come back with his “wife” and hopefully will stick around. We had to ask the bird expert (my mum) what it was and turns out we now have a couple of bullfinches in the garden. The male bird is stunning with his striking chest.

male bullfinch trees

male bullfinch

male and female bullfinch

The Joys of Owning a Splittie

There is nothing quite as iconic as a VW splitscreen van … its such a recognisable and loved vehicle. We’re very lucky to have 2 of these beauties, Bob & Mollie. We have had Bob for 4 years now and Mollie for 2 years, but we didn’t have Mollie for long before she went in for massive restoration and have only recently got her back.

I took Mollie for a drive to Ripley at the weekend. I have to get my bravery levels up before I drive one of the vans as its a bit un-nerving getting into an old vehicle with no power steering, stiff pedals and wide gear changes. Also you have no air bags or protection at the front so I am always very careful… plus I don’t want to bump or scrape any of the paintwork! I love it once I’m out onto the open road roaring along, and you soon become used to the handling.

Here’s a couple of pictures of me driving Mollie, and what a great view you get out of the front

becky mollie

becky more mollie

And this is Mollie parked up in Ripley on the main street where she got lots of attention

mollie ripley

What with having a gorgeous 23 window Samba and a puppy … it took a while to head home after an ice cream as you find you have lots of people coming to either ask about Cooper or to have a look at the van, its great!

Cooper at 10 weeks

Its been 2 weeks since I did a puppy post .. shows how busy I have been looking after him and getting him settled in to his new routine. He is now 10 weeks old and growing up fast. When I look back at the old pictures of him its hard to believe that he used to be so small.

post pic cute (1280x907)

Having a puppy is just like having a baby except that they progress faster and learn quicker. He can now sit and lay on command, as well as fetch (he was fetching instinctively before we brought him home even). With the fetching he still isn’t brilliant at giving the toy back as he loves to play with his toys. He’s pretty toilet trained but does have an odd accident but that is our fault for not letting him out in time. He’s sleeping through the night… well between say midnight ish and 6.00 – 6.30am so I’m managing to get some sleep.

He’s has all his vaccinations now so on Monday he will be out and about wherever he likes. We have already been taking him to non-doggy areas, on the vets advice, so that he can socialise with lots of people and get used to his new environment and he has been getting on great. He spent most of the day in the office on Friday and was fine, so we’ll be having him with us most of the days in the office with plenty of people to play with and walks.

Here’s a few pictures from the last week or so..

Such a handsome boy

handsome boy

Playing with his favourite toys

cooper playing

Playing in the garden

cooper action shot

Hiding in the grass

hiding in the grass

Lots of snoozing

cooper after a hard day

He has really quickly become a special member of our family and he gives so much love back all the time. My favourite time is early in the morning whether its 5.30am or 6.30am … before everyone gets up so its just me and Cooper playing and training, and getting a really strong bond.

The 99 Second Challenge

So what is the 99 second challenge … well I didn’t know what it was until earlier on this week. It seems the 99 second challenge is making its way around the local schools with different consequences.

Do you want to take the challenge? You can either do the challenge to yourself or carry the challenge out on someone else. Ethan was the first one that came home with signs of having taken the challenge but told me it was a football injury, then when Miles had a similar mark I knew something was up.

99 second challenge

So here it is. To do the challenge you have to scratch yourself or someone else for 99 seconds.. simple! Lots of kids are walking around now with varying degrees of self inflicted grazes on their arms where they have literally scratched off the top layers of skin… ouch! How on earth this all started, who knows, but its seems pretty crazy, as well as being extremely painful and with potential of causing some scarring if the wound is deep.