Monday, 17 April 2017

Jack Reacher - the books

A little time ago I was looking for a good book series to read and stumbled across Lee Child's 'Jack Reacher' series of books.  It seemed logical to start at book 1 and give them a go, so I did.  I have to say they are very good.  In all honesty, I suspect they are written more with men in mind, but I really enjoy them.  The writing style, the way the chapters are set out so you see what Jack is up to and the protagonist also, just suits me down to the ground.

So far I have read:

The Killing Floor (1) 
Die Trying (2)
Tripwire (3)
The Visitor (4)
Echo Burning (5)

and am about to start Without Fail (6).  Whilst parts of some of the books are a little contradictory - one minute Jack is hugging feeling concern for a lady that has come into his life, and the next he is back to stone-cold killer - however, I don't find this lessens the pace too much.

What I do now struggle with is thinking about Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher in the first film (let's not mention the second one as it was dire).  Whilst I really enjoyed the film having NOT read any of the that I know Jack is a tall, big guy (250lbs or so), Tom doesn't measure up.  Not to worry though as I now have my own mental image of Jack from the books which is good as it means, for me, the writing is strong enough to get over any preconceptions.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Winkworth Arboretum

We went over to Winkworth Arboretum today. It's a National Trust property just outside of Godalming (down some very windy roads).  We decided to give it a try having seen that dogs must be on leads at all times.  This is important to us as our two youngest really don't like dogs much and, unfortunately, not all dog owners understand that some people may not want their pet jumping or sniffing around them.  Hooray for the courteous dog owners here.

We parked up in a relatively empty car park at 10.30am and off we went.  The nice ladies in the entry kiosk gave us a map and we opted for the red route, which was the most challenging and longest one with lots of steps.  

It took us through the bluebell woods, around the meadow, past the boat house, up the azela steps (phew!) and, before we realised it, we had turned the wrong way and were heading back to the entrance. Oh well, never mind, good opportunity for cake!

Cake eaten, we headed back in to find the adventure playground. This looked brand new and the girls had some fun on it before we went back onto the red route to finish off our route.  

S took me down some more steps (suddenly realising I was going to have to go 'up' again at some point - my calves!) and into the 'bowl' before we followed it round further, up more steps to finish off the route.  Yes, we went down steps and back up again before we got back onto the flat.  I feel like I'm the stair-master now.

Back to the car and down the narrow lanes off home.  We will definitely be back - maybe with a picnic next time.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Wisley Lindt Bunny Hunt

Today we headed over to RHS Wisley with our friends to hunt for golden Lindt bunnies.  The girls enjoyed going around the gardens searching them out. I have to say, they are set up so not much 'hunting' is required - ideal for little ones then.

A bit too easy to spot?
Orchids hanging in the glasshouse
Busy noting bunny locations

At the end of the hunt, each girl received a miniature Lindt golden bunny.  Unfortunately, neither of my two like Lindt chocolate so all the more for me and hubby then *grin*.

Wisley has quite a big area sectioned off for works. They are building a new entrance. All sounds good except for one part...which seemed to imply there could be some kind of park-and-ride going to happen?  I hope they don't make the car park too small now as by 11am today, it was packed and the overflow was getting full too.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Flying and Skiiing (again)

Last Saturday we headed down to iFly in Basingstoke for another session of flying for S and J, and skiing for N.  We had a very early slot so less hanging around which is good.

N was on first and despite the fall she had last time, went for it with confidence again.  She had a fabulous 45 minutes skiing this time with a great instructor who was really encouraging but understanding that she was a bit nervous to start with. They ended up having fun on the toboggans.

The problem was S.  This was her 4th flight and she had a little tumble last time. Oddly though, the tumble was during her first flight and she brushed herself up and got on with it.  She had pushed off from the glass of the tunnel but pointed her legs down so went down onto the springy floor.  I was very impressed that she got back up, flew the rest of her turn, had her second flight with a high-fly and also asked for her 3rd. Brave girl.  However, this time, she wouldn't go in at all.  She cried and cried and refused.  I couldn't figure it out. I was trying to encourage her mouthing 'go for it' behind the glass but nothing would get her on. Such a shame and, if I'm honest, I was disappointed.  I know I shouldn't have been as she's only 8, but I got a bit cross thinking 'what a waste of money'.  J, on the other hand, had a great time.

I re-booked for J but wouldn't for S, even though she asked me to at reception and said sorry. I was cross.  Irrationally so I guess.  I felt really bad afterwards and checked she wanted to go next time with J and she said she did - if I went too!  No problem but it cost me an extra £10 to book online from home, as well as my flight!  I guess I need to be a bit more understanding. Mean mummy :(  But you know how it it when children are illogical. Sometimes, it does the same to us parents.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to our next 'family' flight.  N is skiing again next time and hubby is going to be photographer for the day.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Bird Box Camera

I'm so proud of the girls' school. They do so many cool nature things for the children from having rabbits children can take home for weekends to raising chickens.  The latest is the live feed from a bird box that was recently erected on the school grounds.  Clearly, it's in a great spot as a blue tit has claimed it as home and is busy building a nest.

The school are streaming the feed 24/7 so it's lovely to check on the little feathered friend at night too.  Here s/he is snoozing away.

I hope we see some eggs soon  The children in Year 3 classes are also trying to hatch some chicks and have incubators in their classrooms.  Will post cute, fluffy chick pictures if they succeed.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Missing hole!

I've lost it.  This is the second time I can't find the hole. Who would believe it's just plain old disappeared?  Yep, I'm going to have to make a new one.  Darn it!

I'm talking about my rotary line hole of course. Every winter I pop the rotary line in the shed and every Spring I get it out when it's a lovely, sunny day and play 'hunt the hole' in the garden.  I lost one right by the patio last year.  I mean, come on! It was there in October, complete with it's metal spike, and gone in March.  It was only 12 inches from the patio edge but I couldn't find it anywhere and nor could hubby or the girls.  So hubby popped a new hole in (with spike naturally) and life was good again.  

Spike (from Buffy). More interesting than a rotary line
Today it was sunny.  My washing was ready so I retrieved the rotary line and...couldn't find the hole! I even tried banging the ground with a spoon hoping for a 'metallic' sound from the spike.  No joy.  I thought I was crazy so I put this news on Facebook only to be met with so many friends who also lose the hole yearly. Who'd have thought it right?  

I have had some great suggestions for not losing/finding the hole.  These range from putting a stick in it over winter (probably not as I don't want impaled children), to using a magnet or metal detector to find it.  

Hubby is going to mow the lawn tomorrow to continue the search for the hole. Will we find it?

Monday, 6 March 2017

iFly and Skiplex

The girls had a smashing time this weekend at iFly and Skiplex.  S flew again - her 3rd one and she was confident enough to go into the holding area on her own now, so I just watched.   She did two really good flights, despite having a 'tumble' as she straightened her legs downwards too much.  She went on to have a 3rd flight and did 2 high-flies. She can't wait to go back. I'm so pleased to see her doing this and having such fun.


N enjoyed the first half of her skiing until she fell, ran over her finger with her ski and hurt herself. Took a little persuasion for her to go back for her second 1/4 hour but, despite some tears, she did it, along with the gentle coaxing of her instructor who went on the slope with her.  To finish off she had a go on a toboggan which she loved.  

She was learning to turn and did it well.  However, says she doesn't want to go back for her next lesson but I'm hoping she'll change her mind.  It's up to her, as it's supposed to be fun after all.

#iFly #Skiplex #Basingstoke #Children #Sport