Well as you can imagine with the glorious weather (not!) that we've been 'enjoying' in the UK this summer our holiday was somewhat mixed
However amongst the sleepless nights hoping and praying that the trailer tent, complete with us in it wouldn't be washed or blown away (or both!) we did fit in some fun :o)
Some beach time - where did this turtle spring from?
Studland beach is National Trust - I guess this is why all the beach huts were somewhat restrained in colour - shame really, the brightly coloured ones you usually associate with the English seaside are much more fun - however at £14 per day to hire on top of the £8 parking fee we thought these were a bit steep and decided against it
The ice-cream boat came round playing the 'Blue Peter' theme tune - very apt, but also very expensive - sign of a captive audience I guess!
And we even managed to catch a military display with a Chinook helicopter picking up a boat from the water, carrying it round in a circle and then placing it gently back again - very impressive
Quite a bit of canoeing - mainly in the evenings - we even managed to get Nigel's 7 yr old nephew to have a ride in the middle luggage hold of the double canoe with Louise and then the other two paddling
He enjoyed it so much that he wanted to have a go at paddling himself
Here he is with Nigel holding a safety rope at the front of the boat and Sarah giving useful intruction - he did very well and came out feeling about 10 foot tall - another convert!
Louise and Nick thought that swimming after 8'o'clock at night was a good idea too - here's Lou about to take the plunge - they did have wetsuits on thank goodness!
Plenty of trains to keep his Lordship happy!
Some museum visits on the wet days - how many different variations on the theme of a tank can you dream up? To be honest I was glad I'd taken my book with me this particular day - but the others enjoyed it
However if you look carefully at the poster in the background (of a mocked up wartime kitchen) you'll find the instructions for making a pair of slippers from a felt hat - maybe I should have taken more notice of this - who knows where we all may have to economise if the credit crunch pinches any more :o) The kids took this photo for me because it had a sewing machine in it - to be honest it's the nearest I got to fabric or stitching anything all holiday :o(
We visited Poole on one of the wet days - some very pretty areas in the old town
And managed to spot a slightly larger boat or two for me (only kidding - that'll have to be when we win the lottery but if it's good enough for James Bond it's good enough for me!) at least I'd be able to fit my behind into this one - unlike the canoes :o)
There were lots of children (big and small) fishing for crabs from the harbour edge - my kids begged me to let them have a go. However quaysides are my one seriously terrifying major fear and I was 'mean mummy' that day and refused. Nigel joked about our kids being the only kids in the world crab fishing with life jackets on but watching these children so near the edge almost made me physically sick
However some of the people were successful and my three didn't hold it against me for too long
We did manage a few sunny days in and amongst the rain and wind
Lulworth Cove with its pretty chocolate box cottages was a must
We even managed a whole family shot - thanks to a very kind family for whom I returned the favour - I know we were standing on a bit of a slope but I'm in serious danger of becoming the shortest in the house in the not too distant future!
And Durdle Door was as spectacular as ever too - there were several young lads jumping off the outside of the arch from about half way up - rather them than me
Here's a close up of a beautiful dragonfly we spotted on a fence when playing a 6 hole mini-putting match at the Model Village in Wimborne - I'm happy to announce that Mother was victorious! Sadly that's about the limit of my own personal sporting prowess!
We also managed to catch up with Nigel's godmother who lives in Bournemouth - a photo of us all here along with Nigel's dad in the back garden of their holiday cottage, they weren't roughing it camping like us - his mum was in charge of the camera for this shot
From the almost 900 photos (yes you did read that correctly!) we took with our camera and this figure doesn't include the 200+ Sarah took with hers (mainly the kids using ours I hasten to add) probably at least 150-200 were of monkeys at Monkey World - Nick had the David Bailey hat on that day - at least that's the beauty of digital cameras you can just keep snapping away
I certainly won't bore you with many of them
But my favourites were a toss up between the Madagascan Ring Tailed Lemurs
These four girls taking in the sun were in a separate enclosure from the rest of their peers as they'd been given ASBO's (Anti-Social-Behaviour-Orders) and separated out for causing trouble in their species group - I had to smile with my imagination running riot about them picking fights at closing time outside the club on a Saturday night :o) Strains of the theme tune from 'Animal Magic' are ringing in my ears and probably the ears of all those of you of a similar age to myself who grew up in England watching this enchanting tv programme - why don't they make television programmes like that anymore?
Or the Orangutans - I could've stood and watched these chaps all day - so sweet! But what a 'bad-hair-day!'
The countryside on the Purbecks is very picturesque - lots of heathland and wildlife galore
We spotted these roe deer minding their own business, blissfully unaware of us as they chomped away at the grass in a field in the middle of the afternoon
Living as we do in the aptly named West Country it's a long time since we've holidayed anywhere near a beach which doesn't actually face west. Watching the sun go down over the sea is one of our must-do things we usually include in each holiday, often with a barbecue and a beer or two (well for the adults at least)
Because of Swanage facing east I've had to forego any artistic sunset shots - I was just too bone idle to get up early enough to catch a sunrise (well it was my holiday) so you'll just have to make do with a moonlit shot over the bay instead :o)
Having done absolutely no stitching at all during the holidays - I did manage to read four books though - I came home to some lovely stitchy post
Here's my summer Four Seasons quilt from Alison
And the first of my birthday blocks from Helen - I have another ten blocks on this theme to come, how exciting!
And I've managed a little stitching before and after the holidays
A sneak peak at my Spring Fling 2 centre sent out before we left
And on my return I've beavered away to complete the round one allotted to me
Next task - to quilt my Miniature Booty quilt ready for posting by the end of the month - no rest for the wicked!
Tomorrow is GCSE results day here in England, Wales and Northern Ireland - Sarah is on tenter hooks and very irritable with it - keep your fingers crossed for the morning. I'm sure she will get the results she hopes for but boy has she been difficult to live with this past few days!
The morning will tell the true story!
Have been into school this morning for the results
Sarah had got 5 As (Food Technology, PE, RE, French and Additional Science) and 9 Bs including the Maths she took last year (Maths, Statistics, English Language, English Literature, ICT, Basic Science - the other half of the dual award - plus Physics, Chemistry and Biology which she took as additional subjects in her own time)
She and we are absolutely delighted and she can't wait to start 6th Form College the week after next!
And just for the record she's back to my lovely, good-humoured, smiley, bouncy daughter - thank you God!