Thursday, August 28, 2008


Having given up relying on the weather forecast and thinking we ought to get out of the house (the coverage of the Olympics was just too good) and Bristol, we decided to brave the elements and head to the Gower, south Wales for a few days camping. Now I'm a reluctant camper at the best of times and given that my last experience was in the much warmer, drier New Zealand with very well equipped campsites, I was slightly nervous that I'd be put off for life. Especially when a friend said that their tip for a successful camp was to locate the nearest travel lodge!

But I have to report that I wasn't deterred, in fact I'd definitely do it again! The weather was dry for us to put the tent up and take it down and we only had one day of rain which Matthew proved is no hindrance to having fun on the beach.
The sun even came out and we enjoyed the fact the campsite was practically on the beach so we had easy access to great rock pools (Neil was definitely the most keen of us all and did catch the biggest crab!), sand (again, Neil had the most fun making a sand turtle, crocodile and mermaid!) and sea - which Matthew walked straight into to jump the waves and didn't seem to bat an eyelid at the ridiculous temperature (I guess he was born in NZ!).

We all slept well too and the earliest morning was 7am which is later than it is at home!
I also enjoyed visiting some old haunts in Swansea where my Nanna used to live and reminiscing at Joe's ice cream parlour!

Friday, August 15, 2008


We've just come back from a relaxing, though slightly soggy week away catching up with family. We stayed in Sheffield on our way northwards; Neil's parents have a caravan on a farm on the outskirts of the city and we thought Matthew may enjoy this. He loved the tractors and cows and didn't stir at all during the incredible thunderstorm at 3am which thrilled us as it lit up the sky and rumbled up and down Rivelin Valley!

The majority of time was spent in Hartlepool where Matthew enjoyed rock pooling (despite the fact it wasn't very successful and we only found one live and one dead crab) and the wildlife (frogs and squirrels) and toy (supersized football and bubble machine) delights of Grandma and Grandad's garden! We also went to Flamingoland - a theme park/zoo - for the day which, in between frequent soakings from unforecast rain showers, allowed Matthew the opportunity to 'fly' a helicopter and 'drive' a tractor!
Neil and I got some time out too and visited Durham (which we often do when we get time together 'up North'). I realised there are very few pictures of me with an ever expanding tummy so thought that now I've reached 28 weeks there ought to be some photographic evidence!