We have spent a fantastic four days north of London visiting some of the Family before heading across to Europe. We would have loved more time here but sandwiched ourselves between the accommodation we ended up with in London and a pre-booked apartment in Paris, so we are sad to not have had a chance to catch up with everyone.
My Cousins Neal and Wendy and their lovely girls Maisie and Maia were kind enough (and brave enough) to have us stay with them for the four nights and we loved it. The night we arrived I went out to Neal’s dart competition, also with Uncle Cliff and Aunty Sue, there was much to be learned by me so I stuck to sipping pints (and halves when I fell behind as they are well trained in exercising the darting elbow) and I really enjoyed the night out. Ari was craving some kids company beyond the playgrounds and so was quite over excited for most of the time. As our visit was mid-week the girls unfortunately had school, but Ari made a new best friend in Neal in their absence, he’s still talking about him, a week later. He loved the space of the yard, the trampoline, the vegie patch and conservatory (where Neal helped him plant a pumpkin seed and he’s patiently awaiting news of it breaking through), and Maisie showed him the delicate art of Singstar! Tess provided background yelling and Ari’s main focus was clearly beat boxing while Maisie had the words and tunes sorted, I’ll add just a short video of the warm-up session only to give some idea, the music has not even been chosen yet in this clip! The girls unquestioningly shared all their toys with the kids, they are such great kids but we knew that already because they only recently visited us all in Brisbane. Neal and Wendy also took us all out for the day, to the seaside at Filey, which was fantastic. The kids (and adults) could poke around in the sand there all day, Neal and Skye each found an ammonite fossil!
We had a hire car and so spent a day driving out to see my Aunty Kath in Northallerton, past York, we forgot the camera unfortunately, that’s what happens when you stay somewhere that you feel so at home! Kath put on a lovey lunch and we walked to the market in town (well Kath didn’t because the poor thing had both feet in plaster from an operation) and returned in time for a short chat with Cousin Peter before the drive home.
It was great for the kids to spend some time with their Great Grandma, we went to lunch at a Pub called Kingstown with a huge kids play area (we forgot the camera again) and Grandma also cooked us lunch another day and came with us to visit Uncle Keith and Aunty Jen. We were lucky enough for Keith to take us up the Hedon Church (where Mum and Dad were married and Kirsty and I were christened), which is generally locked up these days, and we climbed the spiral stairs to the bell tower. The kids had a go at ringing the Bells (My Grandad Everingham was a bell ringer for 50 years and Keith has done it for nearly as long, Keith rang the bell at our wedding in 1999) although you will see from the bell photo’s that even getting them to move is a challenge. Ari Keith and I took the last ladder over the bells to the roof top for a view over Hedon, the bells rang on our way back down and Ari nearly jumped out of my arms, he loved it though. We visited Kingstown again with my Aunty Denise and Uncle Pete and their grand kids Bradley and Sammy (forgot the camera again!). Ari had a blast with the boys to the extent that he has been pretending he is ‘Bradley’ on and off since we left, even asking us to take his ‘glasses’ off when he goes to bed. It was at this lunch that Denise very kindly offered us a place to stay in Turkey when we said we had no plans yet beyond Paris, and so the next planning phase has begun, very exciting.
Next stop, Brugge in Belgium.