Campervan curry in a hurry!

Well… it would be rude NOT to use the campervan at least once during our half term holiday…. so we did!!

On this occasion we decided to take Megan and William to the little wild camp spot Lay and I had discovered earlier in the year and do an overnight stopover in advance of a grand day out in the hills we had planned for the following day.

It was starting to turn dusky when we arrived at the site so by the time we had set up the camper and fitted the insulated covers on the pop top we found ourselves cooking tea in the dark (or at least Megan did!!)

We used the saucepan on the Cobb to cook the chicken before adding a homemade Korma sauce Lay had kindly prepared earlier.

Megan in charge of the Cobb

Pairing this with some boil in the bag rice, naan breads (baked in the moat under the saucepan), poppadoms and mango chutney I am sure you will agree this was a true campervan feast – thanks Megs.

Taa daa – yum yum!!

With clean plates and full tummies it wasn’t long before we found our beds so we would be bright eyed and bushy tailed (the latter being quite literally true for one member of the family) ready to make an early start in the morning.

Sunny Bank Sunday

What I really enjoy about living in the Lakes is sharing a dog walk with my Sister. Little and often seems to suit us both and we have swapped the weekly telephone catch up to a weekly walk (sometimes two).

On this occasion, our walk took us around the familiar Sunny Bank circuit, taking in the shores of Lake Coniston at the start of the walk and Torver Common at the end.

The ever changing lakeside scenery
William enjoying a stone skimming opportunity

Every time I step out of the door I feel like I am on holiday. Its hard to believe that this was just one of our local dog walks. One day I will stop taking pictures of these everyday activities…. but not yet!!

While the boys play….

Whilst William and Lay were occupied playing football at the Ulverston Rangers GSK ground at Canal Foot, Megan and I decided to take Togo for a walk. As Clare has daughter-in-law duties in Ulverston on Saturdays she planned to join us for a stomp up Hoad Hill as soon as she was free.

Megan and I set off along the canal path to find it was lined with large anchors that had been decorated by local schools, organisations and businesses. We later discovered this event was held annually to raise money and awareness for the rolling bridge along the canal.

The canal anchors

We were pleased to spot Clare along the canal and Megan ran ahead to join her. Once together we made our way to the foot of Hoad Hill and started our ascent.

Megan took the steep path and beat us both to the top, where we were all rewarded with an empty bench and wonderful views!

Made it!
Sir John Barrow monument.

Our return journey took us around the back (north side) of the monument and skirting the large houses on the outskirts of Ulverston before popping out into ford park by the play area.

At this point Megan decided she needed a comfort break so we made our way to ford park cafe where we not only used the facilities, but we saw a wedding party entering the walled gardens for the ceremony. The temptation of a coffee and cream tea proved irresistible so our walk ended with us chilling in the cafe.

Ladies who lunch!!

Could this be the start of ladies that lunch…. we could certainly imagine Grannie Annie beetling up the path from their new home overlooking the park to join us in future!!

Swarthmoor JFC

With the upheaval of moving from the south coast to the north west, changing schools, settling into our temporary home and starting a new job, we had left approaching clubs until mid-September. However, once underway with all of that, we set our mind to out of school clubs including finding a new football team for William.

We soon realised that all the local teams had recruited their quota of players for the 2019/20 season. This was also true for Swarthmoor JFC but whilst unable to offer a place on the team William was lucky to get offered a spot training with Swarthmoor’s U8 team.

Joining in with the weekly training sessions, William’s talent and ability on the pitch shone through and it wasn’t long before he was invited to join the team for a friendly match and shortly after a place on the team for the league matches opened up.

As Lay is not actively part of the coaching team or been called up for referee duty (yet) he dusted off his camera to take some action shots of the team playing. On this occasion Swarthmoor were taking on Ulverston Rangers. This was an interesting match as we had also approached Ulverston Rangers for a place for William but had no response. It turns out this match is a bit of a local derby of rival teams so tensions were high at the start.

I think Lay managed to catch some great shots – demonstrating he still has what it takes!

William in defence
Supporting his teammate.
That ball clearly had some power by the look of the opposition!!

On this occasion Swarthmoor claimed a comfortable win – the oppositions coaches recognising they were the better team on that occasion.

We feel very lucky to have found a team with dedicated coaches, friendly parents and a great team of players. Even better, with training on a weeknight and fortnightly matches we still get to have every other weekend free for our Cambrian adventures.

Great Burney and Great Bridges

Today was a show and tell afternoon at school so parents could admire all the topic work each year group had produced over the half term. William’s year were proudly displaying their light projects. It was clear William’s efforts to make had not gone unnoticed as he got a second special mention. The year 6 World War 2 topic revealed lots of Anderson shelters and evacuee stories – something Megan was very proud to show us.

Taking advantage of taking an afternoon off work we decided today would be a good day to invite a friend round for tea – especially as the school disco was also on that evening so we could do the drop off and pick up from school saving parents the trouble given our remote location.

Whilst William’s friend Kayden (from school and football) was able to make it both Amber and Lilly were not which left Megan at a loose end…. or so she thought!!

Great Burney views

I asked Megan if she wanted to test out the route to the top of Great Burney with me. She leapt at the chance. Thinking we were going to be short of time, we drove up past Gawthwaite to the foot of the ridge. We need not have worried however as it only took us 8 minutes from the car to the summit!!! We extended our return journey to make a nice 30 minute circuit – a good route to have up our sleeves if we are short of time.

Meanwhile, Kayden and William enjoyed exploring the garden before building dens inside.

Enjoying the Langholme Mill bridges

After a quick pizza supper there was just time to get spruced up ready for the school disco.

An action packed day and lovely penultimate day of their first half term at Pennington School.

Hi-de Hi-de Hi ……. Hoad-e Hoad-e Hoad

It must have felt a bit like Butlins when a coach load of Pennington pupils descended (or should that be ascended) onto Hoad Hill for the morning.

William and his fellow yr3 and yr4 classmates were luck enough to have a school trip to the iconic Sir John Barrow Monument and even got a tour of the inside (something on my someday one day wish list).

Most of the school activities feature in social media (usually the schools facebook page or twitter feed) and I managed to download a couple of great shots of William…

Working AND smiling!!!
William and his new pal Kayden

We are really pleased that both Megan and William are getting a lot of outdoor learning experiences at Pennington. I wonder how high (m AOD) they will reach during their time at the school.

Back to the beach

Keen to share the beautiful beaches with Grannie Annie and Grandad (who we know would appreciate the vast sandy beaches given their love of Rhossilli Bay) we headed down in the van for a blow of sea air.

The tide was abit further out on this visit revealing some really interesting wave patterns on the sand.

Nature and nurture

We virtually had the beach to ourselves and could walk for miles and miles….. so we did!!

We had the place to ourselves
Happy Days!

And the children could let off as much steam as they needed to without annoying anyone else!!

Loud days!!

As we made our way back to the van, the setting sun created a wonderful atmosphere on the beach.

Creative days!

I have no doubt this has become a favourite place to relax, stroll, talk, walk and while away the afternoon. I wonder how long it will be before we venture in the water!!!!

Hello Yellow

Yellow pompoms added to our hats makes them even madder!

Today is the first Pennington Families day since Megan and William started. The school has families instead of the usual houses where children across all year groups work together on school value projects.

Today the theme of the day is ‘Hello Yellow’ in recognition of World Mental Health Day and to raise money for the Youth Minds charity by wearing something yellow to school in return for a small donation.

To the back of beyond

Whilst William and Lay headed off to Ulverston for a football party William had been invited to, Megan and I took Togo for a walk with Clare, Tony and Molly.

I am not sure exactly where we went but we seemed to be in the gap between some of our more frequently trodden paths. We set off from Blawith, headed through Tottlebank and onto Blawith Knott (I think) where we had wonderful views of all our familiar walks including the paths to Beacon Tarn, Great Burney and even as far as Walney Island – our most recent find. Whilst the views of the fells to the north were hidden by cloud today, they are reportedly spectacular.

Admiring the view
A good perch!

Noticing a menacing looking bank of rain over the off-shore wind farm we didn’t rest for long before continuing our journey taking the steep path south down Blawith Knott and then following the bridleway back to Tottlebank where we re-traced our steps back to the car.

Getting creative with space

Our temporary home is more than adequate. It has everything we need with tremendous view on top. However, we sometimes struggle to find a quiet space to knuckle down to some homework as our only table is in the kitchen.

I had a cunning plan to create a second work space today using the extension piece of the kitchen table over two bedside cabinets to make a fairly impressive looking desk.

Makeshift desk
Cracking on with homework

Megan was so impressed with the set up she set to work on her homework straight away. Long may it last!!

It is now being used to play schools with Megan at the helm and William head boy. I wonder if this is a glimpse into her future career!