Apologies for the delay with this update. I’ve had a few things to work through/out over the last few days after what seems to have been a week of one thing on top of another. I won’t go into all the specifics here as I don’t want this to become a rant about what’s been happening. No, I want to write about the great weekend I had with my two little angels.
My wife brought the girls up and as usual they didn’t leave until after tea time, thus hitting the traffic on the M25 at peak time. All things considered it wasn’t a bad journey for the girls as they were here around 7:45pm, about an hour and forty five minutes on the road; could have been considerably worse on a Friday!
As usual, after saying goodbye to her the first thing they said – in unison – was “can we eat something!”, it happens every week. I found them a little snack each and we sat down to go through all their artwork they’d made/drawn/stuck for me. Always love that bit of the weekend. I’m running out of room for all their pieces of art and I seriously need to sort some sort of storage out for it all!
After a bit of a play I got them ready for bed, had a massive cuddle and off to the land of nod they went. The place always feels so much better when I know they’re just upstairs.
Even though they know not to come into my room before 7am I can’t remember the last time they actually managed to do it, even with the clock in their room that they can quite adequately read. Normally it’s Elisa who’s the first to try it on but Saturday morning it was Alice, but it was only being 6am so I put her back in bed, hoping that I’d be able to rest until 7am as there was a long day ahead. Wishful thinking I think that’s called as I eventually gave in around 6:30am.
Knowing that I wanted to be on the road somewhere between 8am and 8:30am we didn’t hang around now that we were all wide awake, so we had breakfast and got dressed for the day ahead, hoping that the weather was going to stay nice as we were off to the Cotswold Wildlife Park for the day. We’d never been there before so I think I was just as excited about it as the girls were.
Fed, watered and dressed for the day we jumped in the car and headed up the M40 past Oxford, listening to the girls’ playlist on my iPod. Other than a few tracks it’s not exactly what I would choose to listen in the car but it’s lovely to hear them singing all the songs and being so happy, especially on a long[ish] journey.
We got to the park about 10 minutes before they opened so we pulled up behind the few cars already queueing and got out to have a play on the grass instead of sitting in the hot and stuffy car until they opened the gates.
There was quite a bit to see at the park and we spent a good four and a half hours walking round looking at all the animals and birds. I think the girls’ favourite bits were the playground, merry-go-round and the narrow-gauge Railway that runs round the park, unsurprisingly. The girls had a bit of a rest along the way for while as they did a brass rubbing each. There were quite a few to choose from and Alice chose a butterfly and Elisa chose a swan. They’re now hanging up in the kitchen with more of their artwork.
Not only was it a great day out but it wasn’t the most expensive day out either. Okay, there was petrol to factor in too but entry for the three of us came in under £30, the merry-go-round was 60p a go, the train was £1 per person and the brass rubbing was £1.50 each – all pretty reasonable.
All in all it was a great day out and the girls had a great time, getting yet another cuddly animal from the gift shop before we headed back home.
Not wanting to cook when we got back we had a quick drink and then made our way down to the Italian restaurant in the village for pizza – one of the girls’ favourite places to eat. It’s always really good food and they’re great with children in there too, not that that’s too much of a problem as we normally go there early so we’re back for their mum to phone, so we normally have the place to ourselves.
Other than a bit of mucking around before bedtime that’s about it for Saturday. I’m really glad I had a bit of a poke around for something different to do as the wildlife park was a really great place to visit. We’ll definitely be going back!
Sundays are always a funny day as I constantly feel like I’m against the clock, having to drive the girls back to Kent in the afternoon. Again we were up early and we were at Bracknell Leisure Centre for 8am ready to go swimming. Obviously it’s nothing like the Coral Reef swimming pool but it was nice to laze around in the pool while the girls had some fun in the water.
Other than swimming, the only thing we had planned for the day was popping round Alice’s old school for their summer event. I didn’t really know what was going to be there but I’d mentioned it to the girls the other week and they were keen to go along. So after having a nice cooked lunch – it’s easier to have a full dinner at lunchtime and a smaller tea on a Sunday – we walked round to the school, Alice showing us the way bless her.
We spent a good couple of hours round the school having a go on the majority of the stalls – lucky dip, whack the rat, panning for gold etc. – and the girls had a riot on the battery-powered go-karts! The event had a theme of “Around the World” and as we went round playing the games the girls got a stamp on their “passport”, the aim of which was to get all the required stamps for a free gift. As it turned out, the free gift was a small globe keyring but the girls didn’t mind, they were happy with it.
We caught up with some of Alice’s old friends while we were there but all too soon it was time to head home for tea and then into the car for the drive round the M25. Fortunately the roads were pretty good on the way down but I had a major hold up on the way back – I wasn’t happy. I hate that drive but needs must and all that.
It was a fantastic weekend with the girls and we had so much fun together. The only thing that detracted from it all was when I dropped the girls off. Having already cuddled Alice by the car, as I took their case to the door she came running back out and jumped in my arms, not letting go. She didn’t want to leave me and she’d said a couple of times over the weekend that she didn’t want to go back but wanted to stay with me. What can you do with that? It tore me to pieces and after having to literally rip her off me I pretty much cried all the way home. It was all too much after everything else that had been going on.
I’m better now and Alice has been fine on the phone these past few days. It doesn’t make it any easier though that’s for sure.
In case you’d not spotted or checked, there are two new photo galleries from the weekend for your viewing pleasure. After spending a lot of time using my big camera last weekend I missed using it while we were out over the weekend. It’s just not practical when I’m out with the girls on my own so apologies for the quality of some of the photos.