Friday 3 August 2012

The half-way point of the holidays..

It has taken me longer than I expected to get over the loss of little Queenie. The children seemed to bounce back just a few days after we lost her but I brooded and often sat on the bench overlooking her grave. My sister sent me St John's Wort. It's working. (Ta sis)

The other three cade lambs are now huge. Where once they would bleat a delightful hello, now they cry out for us with deep baaas as we pass their latest electrified enclosure. Nowadays these tones sound more like the voices of choirboys well past their sell-by date.

The holidays are progressing well. We three have been camping in Wales and this time we had fantastic weather and a fantastic site. The 7yo was amazed. After last year (where we all spent more time honing our card skills while the rain  drowned out the sound of our portable speakers..) the boy had decreed that he would never camp again and instead would go to work with Daddy. Daddy was horrified, there's only so much slave labour the boy would tolerate before asking to use the fork lift a thousand times a minute! Eventually I insisted and boy came with me, reluctantly.

I found the campsite online and it seemed decent enough. It was near Pennal in the Dyfi Valley and close to Aberdyfi beach. Gwerniago farm Camping is just what we wanted; a small site with enough space for the sproglets to run about without driving other campers potty, decent showers and not to far from the beach. This campsite ticked all the boxes and after the sprogs helped set up the tent they were off marauding with similarly minded sprogs - a weird experience at first for me, being abandoned by one's children, but one I could deffo get used to!

I was much better at packing this year. Last year I took the kitchen sink and spent my time rearranging stuff to make room for us! This year I was more organised. I took essentials and easy prep food. The children insisted on that gourmet of foods (reserved only for camping I hasten to add) Smash. Do you remember the ads in the 1970s? Hilarious. See them again here.

We took our trusty bucket BBQ but most pitches had an open camp fire already, lovely to sit around in the evening with marshmallows on sticks. Still, our BBQ is easy to cook over in pot or frying pan and the 9yo managed to prep, cook and eat 8 pancakes one morning while the 7yo warmed his tinned sausage and beans. Cordon Bleu here we come.

We had some delicious meals, made all the better for the 9yo and the 7yo cooking them. I found a book at the library which was rather fun and it gave me some ideas - The Camping Cookbook. It also gave me a laugh at times, being that Annie Bell the author, must have been cooking all the time while her friends and family had a great camping holiday with restaurant quality food! In any case my children seemed amazed that I was happy for them to cook over the fire and, supervised, there were no accidents. Suddenly it seems the children are really growing up.

Aberdyfi is amazing, made all the better by the gorgeous weather. We crabbed, beached, ice creamed and generally chilled. Such a shame Daddy was at work, he's our expert crabber!

Probably one of the best sights was the 9yo engrossed in a book. To date, reading hasn't really been something she's been interested in, she's more sporty and creative. Suddenly she seems to have added reading to her repertoire and loves to tell you of characters she loves and plots she's enjoying. I'm so pleased.

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