What a fabulous week we had last week. One of my dearest and oldest friends came to visit us. C and I were good friends at school, many, many moons ago. Our friendship became stronger when I moved to the countryside and we shared an hour long bus journey together twice daily. As adults we have remained close and no matter how long it is between our chats or meetings we always have that real connection that you only get with someone who has been in your life for so long. I miss her terribly when she leaves!
We had a lovely time (the day we went to Bangor.... didn't we???) whilst she was over.... with lots of day trips, and mini trips, and kiddie time, and time with friends. C is absolutely the bestest best person in the world with kids! Seriously. I would like to make her my full time Nanny! My kids didn't give her a seconds peace but she seemed to not only cope with it... but like it too!
So here are a few photos of our trips out and about. The first trip we took was a drive up the causeway coastal route; stopping along the way to see Carrickfergus Castle, to have a picnic by an old stone polar bear (that Badger was mightily unimpressed with!) and on to the Giant's Causeway.
I have promised Barney that I will take him back to the castle for a proper look around sometime soon. He was really impressed with it. We left Rosie with her Dad that day as she gets very travel sick, poor thing. And Tarja was away at a friends house, so it was just C, myself and the boys for this trip.
I took C for various drives about the place. Once around Newcastle and the Mourne Mountains (which simply can’t be missed on a visit to NI) and another time for a drive around Belfast to see the murals and other sights. We were just a little too late in the day for St Georges Market, which was a shame.
We ate way too much food as well! With two feeds at Maggy May’s in Belfast, and one all you can eat chinese buffet! Not to mention a gorgeous fish pie cooked by Marty on the Monday night (and re-enjoyed on the Tuesday with leftovers, nom nom!)
We spent a day at the Ulster Museum and Botanic Gardens in Belfast with the two little ones. (Oh and ate more food in the cafe there!) The gardens were beautiful as it was such a sunny day. It was lovely to sit in the sunshine and let the little ones play (Well, in all honesty I sat and relaxed in the sunshine whilst my temporary nanny played with the kids!) and eat ice cream.
Rosie was very tired in the museum so I spent a lot of it pushing her about in the buggy trying to get her to sleep. But Barney had his own personal tour guide (C!) and had his questions answered the entire way around. He loves the museum. Especially the room with all the gem stones and rocks in it. But I think his favourite part to see is the Egyptian Mummy. He impressed us all hours later by remembering that her name was Takabuti (which we had promptly forgotten!)
Since it was Easter C was with us for our easter egg hunt and the scoffing of the chocolate (as was Marty). She was also one of the fortunate few to enjoy one of Barneys ‘parties’ in his bedroom. Barney organises these events for every big occasion and he is really very good at it. He had food, drink, party bags, easter egg hunts and prizes for us all :-) He even tidied his room for the occasion! (With a little help from his Dad).
One of our trips had to incorporate a little visit to the orthodontist with Badger and Tarja. Badger got his train track braces fitted and I sat in the dentists room with him whilst C and Tarja did funny dances and pulled faces through the glass in the door. It was hilarious. C even did a puppet show for me to help pass the time before realising that she was in fact on CCTV and probably entertaining the receptionist downstairs! We of course incorporated some food into this trip too :-)
It was really nice that C was able to meet some of my friends on this trip. Last time she was over it was Christmas, and snowing, so getting out and about wasn’t quite so easy. We took a wee jaunt to Newcastle and had coffee (and more food in my case!) with A and J. As always, when A, J and I get together it usually turns into a session of major laughing and hysterics (usually courtesy of A) and this was no exception.
To top it all off C and I took a dander to Belfast to see the nightlife and I took her to my regular ‘Lavery’s’ where she met some more friends (and also K, who she had already met anyway). I convinced C to try the sloe gin and she liked it as much as I do! Ridiculous photos and lots of laugher followed.