Sawing wood with Grandad John

Sawing wood with Grandad John

We went to Grandad & Granny’s for lunch on Sunday (after church, which is why Lily’s holding a book of bible stories – one tries!) and we got back just as Grandad John had finished doing some woodwork. He obligingly cut another piece, though, so that Lily & Joel could help out. This is actually a panel for one of our kitchen cupboards.

Lily has got the idea that Grandad John (or “John” as she prefers to call him) can fix anything. If something breaks, even at Tom & Joyce’s house, Lily breezily says “It’s OK, John can fix it”. 9/10 times he probably can, but I’m not sure about the relaxed way his skills are taken for granted!

CHEEEE!

CHEEEE!

…at the same party, there were ice creams for “afters”. Joel insists onholding the bottom centimetre of his cone which is nervewracking if you don’t want ice cream on the floor. Luckily, the weather was fab, so we were all outside…

knitting fever

I realised last night that I haven’t knit anything for 6 months – almost to the day! The last thing I made was Joyce’s jacket for Christmas and since then a bleak, barren wilderness of nothing. I started up again last night with a blanket square.

I always used to be mystified that my mum & grandma & great aunt would knit squares on the diagonal – why didn’t they just make them straight, then you don’t have to worry about increasing & decreasing (all that hard stuff). Turns out, if you don’t know the guage, if you knit it diagonally then it’séasier to make it the right size… Now I just have to figure out if I’ve remembered something I was old when I was little, or if it’s a gnetic memory….!

holiday blog

While we were in Portugal I made these notes on my phone. Reading them, you’d thikn I didn’t have that good a time. Be reassured that I did!

Disasters on the way here- Jude leaves everyone’s passports on the plane, then the buggy fails to turn up. The directions to the villa are a wrong and we can’t get the villa keys out of the safe at the management company office because the reset button is stuck. There are MA JOR roadworks throughout Vale do Lobo which mean that we walk to the beach through a building site. The beach is fab though and the kids love it – predictably Lily’s favourite seems to be chasing waves. She refuses to wear armbands though so we’re a bit worried about small children being washed away.

The villa once we got into it is also fab, although more for the location and outside space than for the decor. It appears be the nature of the beast that rental villas in Portugal have a dusty 1970s feel to the decor. This one is being used to house the owner’s collection of Japanese art.

We arrived on Sunday. Then on Monday Joel showed his first chicken pox blister. He is now suffering from a raging, really itchy case with big spots in his hair & it keeps waking him up.

I drove myself over to the golf centre this morning for a pedicure – it was nice to have a couple of hours off and now I’ve got “blootiful” pink toenails – Lily was most concerned that it would wash off in the pool.

Steve and I went to the golf centre to spikes restaurant for dinner the other night. The food was fabulous, but we were the only people in the restaurant. Happily I was too drunk to care by the time we sat down for dinner – I had foie gras with smoked duck and Steve had salmon and scallops deep fried in filo pastry, then I had some sea bream and Steve had monkfish & prawn risotto. For afters we had the same desserts as we had when we came in Sept – orange & chocolate creme brulee and Steve, Nougat ice cream. The pimms and Cuba libre I had beforehand helped it all to slip down quite nicely.

On Tuesday. At the Parrot cafe by the beach, Steve dropped his wedding ring down a crack in the decking. There was all kinds of litter down there but thankfully one of the waiters was able tv reach it without having to raise any of the boards. Yet again, Steve manages to get away with toying carelessly with his ring!

Picasso never had to share paint…

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We had a fun day yesterday, including going to the library, play-doh, foam letter tossing, a short holiday (before breakfast) and painting. Joel ate less paint this time, and several masterpieces were made…

Teddy Tossing

It looks like Boo-boo is superimposed on this photo but that’s just the way the light’s falling – Lily spent a good 20 minutes seeing how high she could throw him in the air. It was quite worrying when Daddy joined in since he was quite close to the upstairs balcony which we didn’t have access to….

rain rain go away


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Originally uploaded by stevehanlon

It rained quite a lot one of the mornings we were on holiday – Lily and Joel enjoyed playing out in the rain since it wasn’t as cold as at home. The only problem is that the tiles got slippery when wet (name that band!) so one little boy got a wet bum as much as anything!

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Originally uploaded by stevehanlon

While at Caldas de Monchique we had to have a tea party at one of the stone fairy tables they have there. Joel has got imaginary play down already and was fully joining in. Lily was serving of course – 3 courses and woe betide anyone who tried to move things along by drinking their tea before it was poured out (that wouuld have been me then).
Lily is at her best when in charge…

Caldas de Monchique


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Originally uploaded by stevehanlon

On the last day of our Portuguese holiday we had to be out of the villa at 10am, but our flight wasn’t until the evening. We went on a day trip up past Monchique to the “top” of the Algarve. Half way up we stopped off at the Monchique spa – somewhere we’ve visited almost every time we’ve been to the Algarve! Here we tried out the timer facility on the camera to get a family group.