Wales, as it always is, was absolutely beautiful. We stopped for lunch in the Llangollen Valley alongside a mountain called Tryfan close to Snowden - and an RAF base it would seem, by the horrifically low-flying jet which tried to burst our eardrums. Here are the shots:
Our reason for spending two weeks in the UK was to be there for my daughter and her family while they welcomed their new little soul into the world, so no sight-seeing here. Although Daffodil season is still at its pitch and we are staying in a lovely little park at Henlow Bridge Lakes where the ducks compete in noise with the main line train to London. Loads of babysitting though .....
Here we are below, having survived a night with all four of us in Milly - with Granny, Holly and Evie, sketching Daffodils and ducks at the campsite. While Holly and I drew our ducks side-on, the conventional way, Evie took the plunge to draw on her imagination ... no side views of beak, head and duck body for her - her lovely duck is in full splat on the page with beak, wings and webbed feet splayed out on the page. This is her Splat Duck - probably my most favourite sketch in the whole world ...
Evie displaying her Splat Duck (sadly not visible in this pic)
Holly in earnest, concentrating just like her Mummy used to
And then there was painting - we do a lot of that, Holly, Evie and I. This is Holly's painted doll called Lucy. Evie's Talula is still a work in progress (and may be for some time I suspect). Lucy was duly popped in a Tesco's bag and taken to school for break-up day this last Friday. She made it home again safe and sound.
And then she arrived, about 9.30 am on Monday 31 March 2014 weighing in at over 8 lbs.
Mummy and Maisie - that special look babies have for their mummies.
She's 6 days old here.
Grampa Alan and Maisie - finally his turn!
We're all jostling for turns to hold this little bundle.
And so life trots on. But before I leave off here, here are some updates of our little angels. Maisie is just 19 days old here:
While still at Henlow Bridge Lakes, and while waiting to direct family to the first family braai - BBQ for you non-South Africans :-) - we've had in absolute years, I was hoping to catch a few bunnies in my camera lens. Each evening when we arrive back they're out in their little bunny hordes, but today, do you think even one of the little blighters would show a twitching nose for me? Nada. So I took a pic of one of their homes instead. And a bullrush. And a prickly seedy thing. Grrump.
Here are two delightful shots of Holly and Evie reading to themselves the books they received as gifts from their great-aunt-and-uncle Pat and Lindsay.
Anybody get the idea I love my granddaughters to distraction maybe? We have another little blonde angel, Tibbie (4 years old and daughter to Nina, Alan's older daughter) living in Amsterdam.
Also, just across the road from the campsite we found a real live swamp. Pretty much like you would expect to find in the Amazon, although with a tad more light leaking through. Amazing place - with a little buck the size of what we would call a Duiker in South Africa wandering along just beyond the fence one day. (Not in pic)
Art-wise, with such a busy granny-time, the only paintings which emerged were inspired by the superb display of Daffodils all around the campsite, and the eye-poppingly yellow fields of canola just down the road. The Daffs produced an abstract on board and the canola fields three little mini's (about 2.5" sq) on their own easels. All paintings are now up on eBay for sale. http://stores.ebay.com/thepainterspaletteoriginalart
It's Galicia-bound we are on Tuesday, taking the overnight Brittany ferry from Portsmouth to Santander.
By the way, it's getting more and more difficult to remember loads of things, and harder and harder to find the time to write ... so I may be going back to insert more memories in previous blog posts as we go along, trying as well to include Alan's perspectives and photographs - this is our diary and I want to record as much as possible just in case it really is a "once in a lifetime" experience. We don't intend it to be though!!!
Henlow Bridge Lakes
Henlow Bridge Lakes