A friend commented recently that the Easter holidays seem to have been quite long this year. I think she’s right – they’ve also been a bit strange as I hardly saw my children for the first week and then this week has passed a lot more quickly as I’ve been trying to work and do things with the children as well. My parents have been here, and Alex was up in Scotland, so I’ve been working a bit but also took a couple of days off.
The first was to go up to Edinburgh with my parents and Isabella and Edward. I hadn’t been to Edinburgh Castle for years, literally, and we spent several hours wandering around and clambering all over bits and pieces. I’m sure there weren’t any cafes inside the castle last time I went and of course with children it’s almost obligatory to stop for a drink and something to eat. The cafe stocked some freshly-squeezed fruit juices, which went down well, and a range of rather nice-looking cakes. However it’s perhaps indicative of the age in which we live that what Edward and Bella have talked about most since coming back home is the Apple shop (as in iPad etc. etc.).
On Friday we then went to Glasgow, in part to meet Alex at the Science Centre, who was being ‘delivered’ there by David’s parents. Cynthia has recently broken some bones in her shoulder and not been terribly mobile, so it was good to see her and to hear that the repair is progressing steadily: I don’t think she would have sat in the car for the journey a few weeks ago. When we arrived and saw Alex it was lovely that Edward rushed up to him to give him a big hug – followed by Bella. They do love each other really…
The children loved the Science Centre and I’ve promised them I’ll take them back again sometime soon. The ‘explosions’ session in the lecture theatre went down particularly well with Edward, as did the Under-7s water ‘play and learn’ area, and there is loads of interactive stuff all over the place – including a whole floor about the human body.
We’ve also eaten out a fair bit – thanks to the generosity of my parents. As we were child-free on Wednesday evening we headed off to the Golden Fleece at Ruleholme. Last time we tried to go there they were closed: this time unfortunately they were full. It’s great to see a local place so popular – I haven’t eaten in there for ages, but will definitely go back sometime as the staff were so friendly as well as being professional – we were told they were full in such a pleasant, polite and almost apologetic way! So, having read on Trip Advisor that the food at the Greenhead Hotel was good, I suggested we tried it. There’s a bar- (almost pub-) style eating area as well as a more formal restaurant area. The staff are really friendly and the portions are generous, and overall it was good value for money. My Mum’s ‘Sea Bass with crushed potatoes and asparagus and cherry tomato dressing’ looked particularly good. However we all agreed that the best place to eat locally in terms of the quality of the food is still Capernaum bistro in Brampton.
Having said that, I then was invited out to Theatre by the Lake on Saturday night. The cafe/bar there has always done good food and I’m keen to go back and try out one of their Lebanese flatbreads – last night we just had wine and ice cream in the interval. We saw Shepherd’s Life: I’ve read the book and quite enjoyed it, but I think I enjoyed the play even more. The puppet sheep and dogs were brilliant. I’d done a 7-mile run earlier in the day and seen lambs, so somehow seeing this particular play seemed appropriate… and coincidentally enough, towards the end of the play the lead character (James) states that we sometimes get snow in April in Cumbria. As I drove back along the A66 from Keswick towards Penrith it was snowing and snow was already lying at the side of the road – and when I drove into Carlisle this morning there was a thick layer of snow on the Lakeland Fells and a slightly lesser layer on the Pennines.
Today was then glorious and by early afternoon it was about 16 degrees, so I’ve been out in the garden planting things – and rescuing a Playmobil man from being buried alive… he’s now in the dishwasher…