I'm not sure that some of the distractions have been exactly what she would have chosen herself; there's been some bedroom-tidying and new school shoe-buying, although she was quite happy to be rewarded with hot chocolate after our shopping excursion!
Walking the dog in the rain at Orrell Water Park wasn't her favourite thing to do either, although the rain eased off after a while and she enjoyed jumping across these stepping stones to explore the path on the other side.
We found banks of pale yellow primroses ...
pale blue Pulmonaria (lungwort) ...
and delicate wood anemones. I've never seen these before so it was a treat to find them growing freely along the banks of the brook.
We found gates to walk through ...
and bridges to trip trap across, although luckily no trolls leapt out to bar our way.
Small daughter was very taken with the views across the fields, particularly when framed by the hedge.
And we both enjoyed speculating whether this coot* woke up in a different part of the lake every morning when the wind blew the nest.
Later in the week, we decided that it was about time we went to my Dad's house for tea again. He usually comes to see us but every now and again we like to have a change. Small daughter decided to go with Grandad whilst he picked big daughter up from college so I headed out into the fields with the dog. He's had some nice walks this week; I enjoy walking these fields again where I've walked with other dogs over the years. Mostly, the landscape and the paths are still the same although some of the small puddles that I remember are now considerably larger ...
and some of the trees that I used to climb have now become part of the path themselves.
Back at my Dad's house, small daughter has gone to find my old farm set. I spent many hours playing with these horses and now small daughter enjoys setting them up for herself. You can still buy the same Britain's farm animals and horses now, which I think just shows the timeless appeal of this sort of toy.
We're creatures of habit when we go to Grandad's for tea: sausages, fried egg and chips. Dad has a chip pan and makes us Proper Chips - they're so much nicer than the oven chips we have at home and because we don't have them all the time they're a real treat.
My husband was held up on his way to pick us up from outside the Anglican Cathedral so we went inside for a look around. We were greeted at the information desk by a very friendly man who gave small daughter an animal trail guide book and we followed the clues to find all kinds of animals around the cathedral. I bet you wouldn't expect to see hedgehogs, sharks and monkeys there - but we did!
Small daughter was very taken by the beautiful west window with the sun streaming through and I think she would have happily stood and looked at it for a much longer time than we had. My photographs can never quite do justice to the richness of the colours or the sheer scale of the window, but it's certainly something that you want to take the time to admire.
I'm rather sad that the holidays are over now, although I am looking forward to getting back into routine next week. It won't be long until the next holidays and by then I'll have planned even more distractions!
* Thanks to Mrs Tiggywinkle for spotting my (ahem) deliberate mistake in calling the coot a moorhen! :-)