Christmas News 1995

Phew! What a scorcher

What's the Lake District like in August? Busy, expensive and possibly wet, you might think. Well, things looked promising for our holiday from the moment Miriam negotiated a discount on the cottage we stayed in. We went just as the heatwave was starting, although our raingear proved useful for sitting on to eat picnics. We couldn't really escape the crowds - on one very hot day we walked along a ridge and found that each of a series of cairns had a family picnicking under it! The boys coped well with some fairly long walks (guess who didn't have to carry the rucksacks!) and we also visited some interesting places which would perhaps not be Wainwright's cup of tea, such as a steam rally, the inevitable wildlife park and the unique Laurel and Hardy museum at Ulverston. We travelled back south where two excited boys behaved impeccably (more or less!) at Aunty Jill's wedding to round off a wonderful fortnight.

Adrian and Martin sitting on a rock overlooking a lake

Adrian and Martin at Tarn Hows in the Lake District

Guessing games

What do a scarlet macaw and a prairie dog have in common? Martin posed this question recently while playing the latest variation of the ever-popular animal guessing game. Many people have commented on how much more talkative Martin is these days, and this sort of game helps to get him talking and using his imagination. He is now much better at using longer and (mostly!) correct sentences, although the stock one-word answers still come out if he doesn't consider the subject to be of interest.

Have you worked it out yet? Martin's answer is that a scarlet macaw and a prairie dog both have two words!

Election special

Miriam has refused to confirm or deny rumours that she may stand as a candidate in next May's council elctions. "I'll answer that question in a moment," she said, "but first I'd just like to say that if you need a lift to the polling station..."

The guv'nor!

Phil has just started a four-year term as a governor at Adrian's school. It's too early to say how long the novelty factor will last - probably not as long as it will take to get through all the bedtime reading matter that comes with the job!

Streetwise kid

Adrian is a real mine of information these days: he knows how much all the toys cost, what comes free in all the cereal packets, and what the special offers are at McDonalds and Burgerking, thanks to a careful study of the TV adverts! Fortunately he has many other interests too, so if you want to know what the "powerfullest" chess piece is, or how long a year lasts on Mercury, or who won the latest snooker championship, Adrian has all the answers. He has learned to read in a remarkably short time, and loves reading books of all kinds. We could have an unbeatable Trivial Pursuit player in the making!

Mind that dinosaur!

What's the nicest place in Cornwall? The boys have always remembered St. Agnes Leisure Park from a previous holiday, and when we spent a week in Cornwall at the end of October this was an obvious place to visit. The model dinosaurs, remote-controlled boats and aqua-blasters were as good as before, but can this compare with walking along the cliffs and watching the waves coming in off the Atlantic and breaking over the rocks? Fortunately we had time to do both, and lots more besides.

Business as usual... Lucas, where Phil keeps on churning out safety-critical software undaunted by constant re-organisations; at Cape Hill Medical Centre, where the sick, the wounded and the overweight benefit from Miriam's expertise; and in the Church Centre, where the quality of the music is matched only by the quality of the pictures produced by the boys in Climbers.

More hot photos...

Miriam, Martin and Adrian on a path in Eskdale

On a walk in Eskdale in the Lake District

A traditional stone-built church building

Eskdale Church

Miriam and Martin crossing a river on stepping stones

Crossing the river Esk

Adrian lying down on a wooden seat

Adrian takes a rest in Grizedale Forest in the Lake District

Martin standing among some traction engines

At a steam rally in Cark, near Grange-over-Sands

Martin and Adrian watching a steam organ in a showground

Another marvel of technology at the Cumbria Steam Gathering