Category Archives: Holiday

Summer holidays

Holly has just launched her Slimming World group and holidaying from home is more relaxing anyway so we’ve been holidaying from home this summer.20160808_080506

This was our activities for the first week.  The Friday was the Gruffalo stage show at the Lyric theatre.  For stuff like that I like to give it a build up, so we watched the trailer (actually we watched it several times a day at the boys’ insistance) and I made this little count down thing to put on the fridge.  I thought it might also help with ideas of time (Rufus always refers to things in the past as ‘yesterday’, whether it was this morning or weeks ago).  Each day we ticked off the box at the bottom and drew a little picture of what we’d been up to.

Monday, as you can see, we took the boat out.  Just rowing on Tilgate lake, it’s best not to try sailing with just me and both boys, way too much to juggle.  Rufus fell in to the water, he followed me down the slipway as I was launching and had a little paddle.  Then he stepped off the side and went from ankle deep water to out of his depth.  Fortunately he was wearing his lifejacket (we always put them on as soon as we get out of the car) and it worked really well, he didn’t even get his hair wet.  We hung around Tilgate for the rest of the day, having a good play on the climbing frames then dinner in smith and weston.

Tuesday you can’t see on the activity chart, Miles had wiped it off at the end of the week before I got another picture.  All four of us went out to a little local stream through a medow for a picnic.  A really bucolic day in the a park that is right behind tesco and beside the railway line so I wasn’t expecting to be so nice.  Also drawn on the chart for Tuesday were worms because we had gone to the pet shop to pick up live worms for the turtles.


Wednesday was a lazy day watching star wars but we went out in the afternoon to Crawley Down and ate in Dal Nonno’s.  A lovely little Italian place which we had all to ourselves (as you tend to when you eat at 1730)

Thursday we went for a cycle out along Worth Way and picked blackberries.  Rufus in the seat on the back of Holly’s bike and Miles trying out a system where a bar attached to my seat post holds his front wheel off the ground to let me tow him.  Initially that didn’t work so well because I had also taken off his stabilisers and his bike kept sliding over to the side but once they were back on it was much better.  The good thing about the system is that once we were off the road, he could be detached and cycle off by himself.  We got a good haul of blackberries and made an amazing blackberry and apple crumble.

Camping – Camber Sands

This was a holiday dominated by the weather.  It rained most of the time and the wind on Tuesday night was about 30 mph which when you’re in a tent is a lot.  We still had a really good time.


Sat 22

IMG_20150822_194137We drove down fairly early to make the most of our time and it’s good that we did, we had the best weather of the week on Saturday night so we went for a stroll to our local beach via the giant deckchair.  Inevitably, the boys charged around in the water fully clothed and had a great time.  The shape of the beach means that there is a shallow bit of water followed by a sandbar so they could get wet without needing quite such hovering supervision.

Mon 24

It poured with rain all day which on a camping trip where we were relying on beaches should have been disastrous but strangely wasn’t.

We listened to the rain outside and made porridge in the morning then headed out to Hastings planning on the wimp out option of soft play.  On the drive the boys fell asleep so IMG_20150824_120150we parked up looking at the stormy sea and got some coffees while they slept.  When they woke up we had one of the most surprisingly fun moments of the holiday. Holly conjured some car cookable food from her magic coolbag, I put the car seat down and we picnicked in the car, making instant pasta and sauce in the jetboil.  Then we did proper holiday stuff, not sitting on crappy plastic chairs at a soft play, we went to the aquarium while it rained, we rode on the cliff railway (while it rained), we looked round the fishing museum (while it rained), we walked along the beach (drizzle), we ate fish and chips, then we took a miniature train back to the car (biblical downpour).  It was great.


Tue 25

After such a fun rainy day, Tuesday was obviously going to be amazing.  There was a gap in the rain and a reasonable temperature forecast.  The boys adore playing in the sea.  The beach is right on our doorstep.  Fantastic.

As you can see from the video, they are having a great time.  As you can hear, it’s very windy so in not very long, Rufus got cold and that huge expanse of sand is very exposed.  We ended up hiding in the dunes and quickly changing them in to dry clothes.  Once we had done that and had some hot super noodles (the trusty jetboil again) he was back to himself.

I feel a bit bad that Miles didn’t get to bury my legs in the sand while we sat around on a hot beach.  We’d talked about it lots while reading Mummy’s lump which finishes with the scene below. We’ve read that book many times (at his request) and it’s really obvious that Miles has been looking forward to the end of Holly’s treatment as much as we have.


Once sufficiently warm, we headed home just in time to be trapped in the tent by a sleeping Rufus and more rain.  That made it feel like the weather had beaten us unlike the previous day when we’d had fun despite it.

The wind picked up in the afternoon and started bending the tent poles alarmingly so we added some extra reinforcement: some extra guys to big pegs and to the electrical box, I even parked up the car on the windward side of the tent and tied some lines from the roof bars to the tent.  It worked, no damage to our tent despite a few flattened ones around us.

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I’m glad we stuck it out through the bad weather but I’m also glad that on Wednesday morning we decided that, with no improvement in the forecast and a shrinking range of wet weather entertainment, staying on for our last night would not have been enjoyable so we ought to go home. Just making time for a cycle around on a family bike.


2015 Jones Christmas photo
Christmas cake
We spent most of this Christmas at my parents’ new house in Ashley Heath travelling up on 22 Dec after Holly’s treatment on the 18th. That made it nice and easy for us. We explored Moors Valley Park, Alan and Gemma visited with Maisie, so did uncle Mick and the Coopers. On boxing day Holly and I went out for Wagamama and a film (Hunger Games). We’d left Mum and Dad with a tricky child minding day because it was raining and everything was shut. On the 27th we did the Teeth trail nature trail at Avon Heath park. That was a lot more work than playing on the playground but felt like much more of a family activity, even if the boys probably didn’t really learn anything about the difference between carnivore and herbivore teeth.

Then we moved on to Great-grandad Charlie`s birthday party and back to Holly’s parents where some medical issues made things awkward but we still had a great second Christmas.
Glynis reads


I’m much worse at recording big things like holidays than I am at single incidents, because the holidays need a longer period of concentration to write about (as I write this Miles has just dropped a guillotine on his toes so is sat on my lap pressing buttons). I really ought to write about our summer though.

We decided to stay in the area over summer.  It seems daft to pay for accommodation somewhere else when so many people come here on holiday.  I had three weeks off (3 weeks at summer, 2 at christmas and 2 at easter.  I love the Army) so we split it with the first week getting household jobs out of the way, the second (Monday to Friday) in a static caravan near Looe and the third holidaying from here.

Highlights were:

Driving down to Looe we stopped at Lydford Gorge for lunch and on the walk down the gorge had a spontaneous  and very excited “I excited for waterfalls!” from Miles


The uber-twee village of Polpero where we spent the day wandering round the village, eating cornish pasties, making sandcastles and even went for a boat ride, very touristy.



Whitsand Bay for a day at the beach, which included a long walk down to the sea and a very very long walk back up to the car carrying two children and all our beach bags.  An even longer walk if you’re not a professional runner-up-of-hills-with-weight.  We went to the Liscawn Inn on the way home which had an outdoor play area which we had almost to ourselves.  The only problem was we got there at about 1630 and they didn’t serve food until 1800 by which time the children were slightly crazy.


Eden project – This was the main event, the reason we had gone down to that area in the first place.  It was great.  The flowers were only slightly interesting to Miles but there is a lot of kids stuff there.  On this very hot day, a fountain to paddle in was his favourite.  There was also a dinosaur theme which was very exciting.  There was a big animatronic dinosaur diorama in the main stage with a huge queue, completely not worth the wait.  There was also a man in a dino suit with two handlers which was great, we saw them three times.

On the journey home we stopped at the Launceston Steam Railway.  Well worth the stop the trains just go back and forth, as they do on most steam lines but there is an enterprising farmer at the end of the line who has filled a field with bikes, toys and a few child-resistant animals and is making a fortune.


Family photos

Classic Christmas activity this, posing for a group photo.  Traditionally one person should have half a dozen people’s cameras, none of which they really know how to use and the majority of the self timer shots should be of the photographer’s arse as they fail to beat the timer running in to the shot.

Family photo