Thursday, 31 December 2015

Claremont Landscape Garden

We had our first trip out to Claremont Landscape Garden today. It's a NT property and just between Cobham and Esher - pretty salubrious surroundings I can tell you.  I haven't been there for around 25+ years and it was the first time as a NT member (a new thing this year which we're trying out). Parking was a nightmare. Small car park and most of it coned off so we had to go out again and park across the old Portsmouth Road in a free car park. Trouble was, no footpaths to get back up to Claremont so it wasn't an easy (although, thankfully, short) walk with two children.  When we got back, there was someone in the car park marshalling cars in and letting them park all the places that were coned off 5 minutes ago. I wasn't best impressed and told the man in the booth so.

 



The gardens themselves are very nice. I'm glad we brought wellies though.  The 'steps' in the hillside were roped off so we're hoping they may be open in the summer months.


Stepping stones were a great find and they did these 3 times before I persuaded them to carry on the walk.

 


Climbing on trees too. Now that's fun!


 


We continued our a walk around the lake first and then when we got to the play area, the girls didn't want to go in but instead wanted to go through the 'deep dark wood' that was beside it.



We came to some steps and went up those (boy I'm out of shape!) and when we got to the top, this wonderful view greeted us.


We carried on walking round and popped out in another area by a big hill that the girls wanted to climb up. I suggested that it wasn't a good plan with the ground being so slippery and it really was steep, Something for summer when tumbling down is less of an issue (parenting fail for me as I'd not thought to bring any spare clothes).


We then went back past the playground and on round again and up to the hill on the other side.  Another good climb up a path and then some more steps and we were at the top.  Great view from the other side this time.




The thing I like about these gardens is that from April until October, there are no dogs allowed and during winter months, only those on 'short leads' can go in.  Good for you NT.  Despite your car parking, you'll be seeing us again as we need to know where the path that does not go around the lake heads too.

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

A little bit of sale fun

I'm not really one for the sales if I'm honest.  I can't be bothered with the crowds of people, the argy-bargy and the ridiculous queues.  That plus the lack of being able to use a changing room in a clothes shop when they have their sales on (yes Next, I'm talking about you!).  However, today I decided to head over to Longacres to see what sale offers they had on.  My plan was to arrive early(ish) so as to miss the crowds and queues. It worked.

There is a 50% off Christmas items sale. Not only that, but they also had some quite substantial reductions on clothing too.  I was sorely tempted by a chunky, cardigan/coat/jacket type of thing but sense prevailed and I decided that I've got enough garments like that to last me quite some time so I walked on by.  Shocking I know.


I did, however, pick up some things for Christmas next year - cards, present tags, strings of beads, Christmas boxes, etc.  This lot for the amazing price of £20!  Yes, even the penguin!  I love the little twigs with lights on so decided to buy one of those just to have in the lounge in a vase to look pretty any time of the year. 

The girls thought I was slightly bonkers when I got home with Christmas stuff but, after all, it's only another 361 days, 10 hours, 2 minutes and 34 seconds (says the countdown clock when I wrote this) until next Christmas *grin*.

Monday, 28 December 2015

The Furby Booms have arrived

S has been on and on about a Wild Pets Spider for months now.  Having arranged for the grandparents to buy it for her, I knew she'd be in for a treat at Christmas. However, something else happened in the meantime.  We bought her and N Furby Booms for Christmas.  Oh my goodness. Talk about crazy about them.  They adore them.  They are using their little tablets to interact with them and are having such fun. The Furbys are quite noisy (no volume control) so you do have to not try and watch anything on TV when they are being played with, so that means that hubby, teen and I are usually somewhere else in the house when the girls are in the lounge with them.



The app is a great way to play with the Furby. You can give them showers, fed them, make them go to the toilet (the girls favourite thing - hang on, is it boys who are supposed to love that?!) and play in a playroom.  You also get Furby coins that you collect for interacting with your Furby and so can buy more foods, play things, etc.  


The girls also decided to spend some of their other birthday/Christmas money on Furblings so they have those as well now. The Furblings interact with the app and the Furby. It can get quite hectic.  At least the Furblings don't talk non-stop and the Furbys you can put to sleep. No, not like that! 

As for the spider...it's still in the box in the dining room.

Saturday, 19 December 2015

There's always time to geocache

G came down to see me today so we could have our usual catch up and swap Christmas pressies.  She was a little pressed for time due to some work that she was slogging away on and said we may not have time to go out and get a few geocaches.  What?  No, surely not!  Work at the weekend is getting in the way of caching?  I'm speechless.

When she arrived I suggested we could eat and then just go grab half a dozen quite locally.  She suggested we go caching first and eat afterwards. See, that's a true friend!


We headed off towards Pine Ridge Golf Club near Deepcut and parked up.  Our first was The Maultway #1 which was a very quick spot by G.  A good start and a nice cache to find. Have a favourite.  #2 proved too elusive for us and despite a good search we had to give up.  Remember time was off the essence!  


#3 was a quick spot for me whilst G was scrabbling around the ground.  A unicyclist went past.  Not something you see every day.  I hope he won't mind that I snapped him as he headed on his way (he came back a bit later and we mentioned we were impressed - he smiled).  We'd been nattering so much (nothing new there then) that we completely went past #4 and decided to do it on our way back.  We carried on to  #5 which was a quick spot again but we could have done with some tweezers to extract the log.  Unfortunately I'd swapped bags and the one I had contained no caching tools at all.  Having tried a small twig (too small and too wet), I hunted in my bag of nothing. A small key caught my eye and helped retrieve the log.  See, it's always worth carrying a suitcase key with you!  #6 was another speedy find as I'd spotted an interesting looking tree and then the cache in the same!  Hooray.


We walked back to #4 and gave it a cursory glance but didn't really bother as we were both getting peckish.  The last of the day was Sweets Round #15 which I stood underneath looking around for.  Doh!  A quick sign and we headed back along the pavement to go home and have some lunch.

See, there's always time for a quick bit of caching!

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Wisley Glow (in the dark)

We headed back to Wisley Glow yesterday late afternoon as the girls wanted to enjoy the 'flowers' lit up more when it was dark. It certainly was worth popping back as it looks amazing when the lights are on.  Here are some pictures of Wisley at night.













Sunday, 6 December 2015

Wisley Glow

It's been blowing a gale here over the last couple of days. We've been snuggled up in the warm but you really do need to get out and blow the cobwebs away sometimes don't you.  So today we headed over to Wisley to have a walk around and see the Christmas Glow event. These are huge flower installations around the gardens that have lights inside them.  



 


We were a bit too early in the day to see them at their full effect so we're going to pop back after school this week to have a better look.
 

Strings of lights everywhere


Nevertheless, the girls really enjoyed seeing them and they seemed to be attracting quite a lot of attention from other garden users as well.
I just noticed the sign - oops!


I am sure these will look absolutely stunning in the dark and considering it starts to get dark around 3.3opm, there's plenty of time to enjoy them before the gardens close.  I'll add a few pictures next time we go.

Monday, 30 November 2015

New cookware

Was picking up my Christmas tree at Longacres today with a friend (I wouldn't fit in my car) and swung by the cookware section as I needed a few more pieces of bake ware with the festive season upon us.  Not sure other shoppers were too pleased to see my 6' Christmas tree meandering down the aisles (with a great sticky-out top to poke their legs) but hey-ho, when I'm focused on getting something, nothing - not even a wobbly trolley wheel - will beat me.

I was after another cake tin as the girls love making fairy cakes and I only have the one tin so usually cook in batches.  It occurred to me the other day, whilst waiting for the first lot of cakes to come out of the oven, that a 2nd cake tin may be a good idea.  I know, sometimes it takes me a while to cotton on. I found a great selection of tins and so taken with them was I, that I almost decided to make my own bread just so I could have a tin with little holes all around it!   I ended up with these two tins. They are heavy so when not in use for baking, I'll be using them to build up my arm muscles *grin*.

I then spotted (yeah, yeah, I know how dreadful I am at just coming in for the one thing) this cute cutting board. I did need another one...honest!  It was such a bargain I couldn't resist it.

Then I spotted this. Isn't it cute?  I know, how can a frying pan be cute but trust me on this, it is.  They come in all sorts of different colours.  I bought this little purple one as it's S's favourite colour and as she's a fussy eater (understatement of the year), I thought it would be a great way to cook her the occasional fried egg when she decides she no longer wants to eat chicken/fish/lamb with the rest of the family. It's an odd situation but one we're used to.

S does enjoy a boiled egg though but since my 'egg perfect' timer died (1st was was great, 2nd was crap not so good), hubby and I have played the game of 'guess when the egg is ready'.  We're not very good at it and the eggs can be a bit random to say the least.  So I bought this funky timer - in purple again of course - to finally give S an egg that she didn't either squeal over (as it was so snotty) or need a pick-axe to get into (hard-boiled anyone?).