Big daughter is pretty self-sufficient these days. She's usually to be found in FaceTime conversation with one friend or another, working at a local pub or studying (although how much studying goes on with the music playing full blast is another matter - listen to me, I'm sounding like my own mother! J) She's also working on a guest post for the blog to tell you all about her preparations for going to Peru and I'm hoping that it's going to be ready very soon.
Small daughter would probably spend the entire holiday glued to Minecraft given half the opportunity, so I have made a point of distracting her as much as I can. We've done fun things like buying new school shoes, sorting out her clothes and tidying her bedroom. And just in case that wasn't anything like enough fun, we've done some other stuff too.
Small daughter nearly fell off her chair laughing at the pantomime which featured Keith Chegwin as the King (I remember watching him on Saturday morning TV when I wasn't much older than small daughter) and Basil Brush as the Beast's sidekick. "A lady bet me I couldn't make a car out of spaghetti ... and she couldn't believe her eyes when I drove pasta". Oh, the jokes went on and on.
We took a drive up to Skipton yesterday. The rain was bucketing down when we opened the curtains but as we got further north the skies cleared and the sun came out, much to my relief. We spotted lambs in the fields ...
and new flowery wellies in the supermarket ...
which were just what was required when we headed up to the woods with Lucy and her younger Little Peeps. It was a bit muddy!
It was definitely worth all the squelching, though. Within minutes, small daughter and the Little Peeps had disappeared up ahead, chatting as if they'd known each other forever in that wonderful way that children so often do. It's such a shame that we grow up and become self-conscious - too self-conscious, sometimes.
Lucy and I were distracted by the sea of wild garlic leaves. They stretched on and on (much like the pantomime jokes) in a vibrant carpet of green. It won't be long until the flowers come out and I can imagine that the scent will be almost overwhelming. I've never seen so much wild garlic!
The water was much calmer than the last time Lucy and I walked by a river; the water flowed so smoothly that there was hardly a ripple and the reflections were perfect ...
until the sticks started hitting it, hurled by small people who cheered them on as the sticks raced each other over the edge. It's what you do with a stick and a waterfall J.
The woods behind Skipton Castle are much bigger than you'd expect them to be, with paths leading in different directions, following the tumbling water back upstream to the fields. The Little Peeps had gone on ahead again but we found them waiting for us a short way away, sitting on a bench, sharing chocolate, and discussing which path they thought we should take.
We all ate our lunch together and then we left Lucy and the Little Peeps to go back into Skipton. Small daughter said she fancied visiting the castle but changed her mind and instead we walked along the canal to the park.
Small daughter loved the narrowboats and chatted away about how people are able to live on them. She even pointed out one or two of them for sale, but she'll need to save up a bit first. I'm not planning to swap my garden for the water any time soon, however romantic the idea of life on the water might be!
We spotted this handsome Mr Blackbird with his unusual white plumage ...
and stopped to watch the bridge being swung out of the way for a sightseeing boat to pass through. Small daughter was fascinated by the way that the young man was able to move it so easily and someone more technical than me would have been able to explain about pivots and other things that would be involved in getting something so large to swing so smoothly out of the way. Instead, we just watched as it was spun back the other way into place as if the boat had never been there.
Now it's Friday already - the end of big daughter's holidays and the end of the first week of small daughter's. We've got more plans for next week, but for today I took advantage of having a babysitter at home and took the dog to walk in the fields near to my Dad's house.
It's good for the dog to walk in different places on a regular basis - I've noticed that if we do the same walk too often he starts to ignore me and do his own thing as he thinks he knows where we're going. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that I have an independent dog as he lives with a family of independent people, but it can be a nuisance if you're trying to walk to a time limit! He had a great time today, leaping over the channels made by the plough at the edge of the field and digging up revolting things that had been left by the muck spreader. It's better not to look closely sometimes.
I've also managed to fit in a bit of knitting this week. My second Bleaberry Tarn sock is nearly done, but I've been distracted by the Cuddlebums yarn that I bought at The Wool Stop last year. I decided not to make socks with it but instead this is going to be a scarf/shawl which will show off the colours rather than hiding them in my boots. It's my own pattern, and I've had a nice time deciding on the structure. It's a quick knit too, so I'm planning to have the pattern ready to share very soon.