Dips & Jane & Libby & Flo popped in

Good old friends are always the best – and it was so ace to see Dips & Jane and their girls today on their way back home to Oxford after a Christmas stay in Dentdale. We had about five hours together all in all, but it was just enough time to cram in another few great times and forge some more goods for the memory bank.

Amazingly the dying Christmas snow had its Swan Song and provided us with yet another chance to sledge (… this after I’d already taken Lily for her first bum-boarding lesson in the morning). A few bruised bums on the cold ice, and a very cold muddy foot for Libby after an all too predictable welly incident, but all somehow made it just better and more memorable.

Back to work tomorrow for me, but this flying visit helped it become a very memorable and valuable Christmas break.

Some photos here or slideshow below, and a short video below that…

Winter Wonderland

So here we are – Christmas eve, and here’s a few photos from snowy Helmshore. Amazingly enough, this is my first ‘proper’ White Christmas – at the ripe old age of 29. Oops. okay… 39.

Nativity 2009 – double the Christmassiness

We got a double whammy this year for the first time – Lily’s nativity plays have been a source of parental pride for the last few years but this year was also Elsie’s first public performance – in her nursery nativity this year.

The snow has certainly made things miles more festive this year,everything obviously looks and feels more Christmassy – so double the nativity plays means double the Christmassiness.

Lily’s school play was called ‘Santa and the TV set – and Lily had a bit of a starring role, playing Santa’s nagging wife, taking inspiration from goodness-only-knows where:

Elsie’s nursery had a more traditional Christmas nativity, and rather than go for an obvious role like Mary or the Angel Gabriel, Elsie wisely took the all important support role of a Christmas pudding.  Despite the wisdom of her 19 months, stage nerves eventually got to Elsie, who crumbled to tears soon after seeing parents and sister in the audience.  Halcyon days. Pics here

Elsie's nativity

National Trophy, Peel Park Bradford – cross purposes

My favourite venue for the mid season ‘cross races and another fantastic course by Phil Thackery, at Peel Park.

The day took its usual organised pattern and we managed a great outing for Team Wheelbase, but some part of me thinks that all that effort and what felt like a good ride, was worth better than 40th place of the 61 riders. I’m getting old, readers… and the spark’s going!

Still – it’s all fun or we wouldn’t do it!

Jenny: 18 = me: old

The little baby that my sister in law Fiona and her husband Graeme had in 1991 – not very much further back than yesterday, it feels, is 18. Like millions of others before me, the coming of age of a close relative has really brought home to me how quickly time flies and how there is bugger all we can do about it. I think the traditional solution is to ‘party’ – if that’s acceptable as a verb [I did use an inverted comma]. Continue reading “Jenny: 18 = me: old”

Wheelbase Cyclocross – organisational skills to the test

It seems to be ground hog day. The torment is the same each year. I plan the course, I rope in everyone that’s needed. I liaise endlessly with the council, I pack the car late at night, I get up early… then – somehow – a bike race ‘happens’. I am not a natural organiser. It’s not me.

But I have to do it. Get those violins on – I can feel a lump in my throat. I honestly feel – at the end of a day organising a bike race – that I’ve done something for someone. I’ve given a bit back. People turn up, warm up, cut up (the park) then grab their money (if they’re lucky and can wait for the crap organiser) and they’re off. I did it for them. Toby (Dalton – director of wheelbase) did it for them. As did Louise, Len, Donna, Katie, Carolyn, Mick, Jack, Alan, Simon, Sue, John, Damian and a few others. They got their bit of bike racing, we got knackered. But boy does it give you a buzz. Continue reading “Wheelbase Cyclocross – organisational skills to the test”

Half term hols… a Cumbrian secret

We discovered a lovely thing about Cumbria in half term that you mustn’t let on. When we said we were going to a caravan park for four nights near Millom, we were generally met with distaste and grumpiness. Cumbria has in the heart of it a series of incalculably beautiful mountains, lakes and chocolate box villages. No-one’s interested in those bits around the edge, are they? Continue reading “Half term hols… a Cumbrian secret”