Two weeks ago we (Pookie, me, his dad, Owly from nursery and a single mei tai) took a fantastic trip to London to spend the weekend with our Southern cousins, my sister and my brother-in-law. It was my intention to write about it all in a blog. Well time has run away with me and we did so many things and had so much fun it’ll be easier to share it through photographs!
Today we ventured out the the Living North Xmas Fair and I was rather excited to come home with few bags of goodies for xmas presents and a bag full of local produce to eat for tea.
We arrived nice and early and had a quick wander through the food tents sampling ginger wine, fudge, tray bakes and sausages promising, then forgetting, to return and buy them before we left. After a quick coffee with family who were meeting us there we went to explore the clothing and gifts upstairs. Pookie was content at first on my back but the busier and hotter it became, the more he resisted. At times it was so busy the aisles were gridlocked and you couldn’t get near enough to the stalls to see their offerings. The things I did see and liked just seemed far too expensive. I took a few business cards from a company who made custom fortune cookies with personalised messages and a photographer who sold DIY photo projects and tutorials in a box as well as offering very reasonable 1-to-1 tuition. I think I’ll buy online after the fair has finished.
Pookie was rapidly becoming hot and flustered and started to take it out on passers by and he made it very clear that he’d rather walk…not the greatest advert for The Little Patch! I did receive a lot of nice compliments from passers by (when he was content) about how handy it was to carry him. I even passed a business card on to a lady who said she wished she had something like that but thought her little girl was way too heavy. Believe me, it feels much lighter than carrying them in your arms as I discovered later in the day!
After a quick switch to a front carry where he enjoyed a bottle of milk as I browsed, Pookie had his wish and got to walk, though not always in the direction we needed to go!
The highlight of the day by far was meeting George Clark of channel 4’s Amazing Spaces. He was absolutely charming…and the classic tall dark and handsome! Just a shame I couldn’t take him home with my grand total of a slice of rocky road, jar of red onion marmalade and fox finger puppet (bought for £4 to amuse Pookie for all of 4 minutes!)
If I had to offer some areas for improvement to the organisers of Living North it would be to let fewer people in at a time, make the aisles wider, play some xmas music and give out free mulled wine. Then I’d be a very happy xmas shopper indeed!
Yesterday most of us spent the afternoon napping to recover from my best friend’s wedding on Thursday. We’d made plans to do something with Pookie’s Grandad for Halloween and so we pulled ourselves together and headed to Sunderland to visit the Illuminations.
When I was younger, going to the illuminations was a joyful annual event and when I heard they’d started again it brought back such fond memories of a minibus full of cousins in Newcastle shirts heading off across to the wrong side of the river!
This time the event was held in Roker park rather than along the seafront as they used to be. We parked down by the beach and I popped Pookie in his mei tai and we set off to the park with his dad and Grandad. The trees, ground and waterfalls were all lit up as you wandered through the park. Fountains danced in the boating lake and the Mad Hatter was reading stories in the pavilion. Alice, the Queen of Hearts and the White Rabbit were also wandering round the park having their photos taken surrounded by huge light installations.
By far the star of the show however was the Cheshire Cat! You just can’t look at him without smiling! Sunderland…we’ll be back next year (and as a Geordie…that’s a compliment indeed!)