You didn’t think I’d stay away forever, did you? No such luck! I’m back from my long weekend south of the border visiting family, and I’m feeling a little better too (still got a sore throat and some other aches and pains which will be divulged shortly, but mostly not too bad!), so it’s business as usual!
Anyway, here’s how everything went…
Tadpole and I hopped on a train to Newcastle. It’s a four-and-a-half hour journey and this time Tad didn’t sleep for any of it as we had to change seats several times in order to get one each (children under five years old travel free, but as a result you can’t reserve a seat for them and they may end up sitting on your knee – it’s either that or play musical chairs as passengers get off the train!). Still, he was a star from start to finish – other passengers even commented that he was a credit to me and a delightful little boy. (Proud Mummy moment!)
We were met at the station by Pop (my step-dad) who took us to pick up Mam from work, but as she wasn’t quite finished yet, we popped into a reptile shop so that Tadpole could look at the snakes, lizards and giant dragon (I kid you not, the creature was nearly five feet long!) which we loved. Then it was home to Mam and Pop’s house where Tadpole put the star on the top of the tree and had his first ever taste of prawns (or “fishy sweeties” as he called them – Hubby and I don’t like them, so he’d never tasted them before) and declared they were delicious.
The rounds of visiting began! First we visited Grom (my grandma) in the morning, where Tadpole was spoiled rotten with presents of a colouring book and pencils, and a very noisy sword, which he loved. In the afternoon, I popped over to the local pub to meet up with my cousin and exchange gifts. It was a flying visit as she had to go and pick up her daughters, but we got a lot of catching up done and it was lovely to see her. In the evening, my step-sister and niece came round and Tadpole was challenged to his first ever game of chess. He very quickly learned how to set up the board and has learned a few basic moves. After Santa comes at Xmas, he’ll be able to practice more…
A day to ourselves! We went shopping to pick up a few last minute gifts and generally just spend time together, and Tadpole insisted on walking with Pop the whole time (they’re best buddies, apparently!). Step-sis and niece came round to play again in the evening, so Tadpole was in his element trying to beat my seven-year old niece at chess. He didn’t win, of course, but he enjoyed it. And by the way, she’s already very good at chess, so he’s learning from someone who could well become a master!
A traditional Sunday lunch at Mam’s house with Grom there too, then off for a wander round a garden centre where Tadpole petted a gorgeous reindeer (which moved!) which was part of their large Christmas display. He was besotted with it! Then off to my Auntie and Uncle’s house where my two cousins and the youngest cousin’s baby girl (almost seven months old and cute as a button) were also visiting, so we got to see everyone at once – a rare occurrence!
Sunday night is pub quiz night, so I went along with Pop while Mam babysat (Tadpole was already long asleep). There was a large pothole in the car park which Pop warned me to avoid. I walked all the way round it, then caught my shoe on a stone and went down like a tone of bricks, skinning my knee and twisting my ankle. Only I can fall on my way to the pub, before I’ve even had anything to drink! Still, it didn’t spoil our fun and we went on to win the quiz (with 36/40 – the second-place team got 32/40). We bought a round with our winnings.
Back on the train, with a stop-over of just over an hour in Edinburgh. We got our own seats all the way this time because people who had booked tickets didn’t get on the trains we caught – hurrah! Tadpole didn’t sleep (again!) and was impeccably well behaved, although he tired and got a bit fed up and quiet from the stop before ours. Still, he brightened up with he saw Daddy waiting for us at the station.
Home, tired but happy, Tadpole put the finishing touches on our tree (which Hubby had put up in our absence) and popped the snowflake on top.
So, there you go – a whirlwind weekend! It was lovely to see everyone, but I confess I’m pleased to be home as I am still recovering from glandular fever and am severely fatigued. It’s always lovely to have a little holiday, but I sleep best in my own bed and am looking forward to getting back into our daily routine, hopefully with some rest time before our Yuletide festivities begin. The best part is I am now on annual leave till Boxing Day, so I can have a few early nights and hopefully get properly back on my feet again. And we can also look forward to Mam and Pop coming up for a few days over Christmas – yay!