Monday, 17 April 2017

Jack Reacher - the books

A little time ago I was looking for a good book series to read and stumbled across Lee Child's 'Jack Reacher' series of books.  It seemed logical to start at book 1 and give them a go, so I did.  I have to say they are very good.  In all honesty, I suspect they are written more with men in mind, but I really enjoy them.  The writing style, the way the chapters are set out so you see what Jack is up to and the protagonist also, just suits me down to the ground.

So far I have read:

The Killing Floor (1) 
Die Trying (2)
Tripwire (3)
The Visitor (4)
Echo Burning (5)

and am about to start Without Fail (6).  Whilst parts of some of the books are a little contradictory - one minute Jack is hugging feeling concern for a lady that has come into his life, and the next he is back to stone-cold killer - however, I don't find this lessens the pace too much.

What I do now struggle with is thinking about Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher in the first film (let's not mention the second one as it was dire).  Whilst I really enjoyed the film having NOT read any of the that I know Jack is a tall, big guy (250lbs or so), Tom doesn't measure up.  Not to worry though as I now have my own mental image of Jack from the books which is good as it means, for me, the writing is strong enough to get over any preconceptions.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Winkworth Arboretum

We went over to Winkworth Arboretum today. It's a National Trust property just outside of Godalming (down some very windy roads).  We decided to give it a try having seen that dogs must be on leads at all times.  This is important to us as our two youngest really don't like dogs much and, unfortunately, not all dog owners understand that some people may not want their pet jumping or sniffing around them.  Hooray for the courteous dog owners here.

We parked up in a relatively empty car park at 10.30am and off we went.  The nice ladies in the entry kiosk gave us a map and we opted for the red route, which was the most challenging and longest one with lots of steps.  

It took us through the bluebell woods, around the meadow, past the boat house, up the azela steps (phew!) and, before we realised it, we had turned the wrong way and were heading back to the entrance. Oh well, never mind, good opportunity for cake!

Cake eaten, we headed back in to find the adventure playground. This looked brand new and the girls had some fun on it before we went back onto the red route to finish off our route.  

S took me down some more steps (suddenly realising I was going to have to go 'up' again at some point - my calves!) and into the 'bowl' before we followed it round further, up more steps to finish off the route.  Yes, we went down steps and back up again before we got back onto the flat.  I feel like I'm the stair-master now.

Back to the car and down the narrow lanes off home.  We will definitely be back - maybe with a picnic next time.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Wisley Lindt Bunny Hunt

Today we headed over to RHS Wisley with our friends to hunt for golden Lindt bunnies.  The girls enjoyed going around the gardens searching them out. I have to say, they are set up so not much 'hunting' is required - ideal for little ones then.

A bit too easy to spot?
Orchids hanging in the glasshouse
Busy noting bunny locations

At the end of the hunt, each girl received a miniature Lindt golden bunny.  Unfortunately, neither of my two like Lindt chocolate so all the more for me and hubby then *grin*.

Wisley has quite a big area sectioned off for works. They are building a new entrance. All sounds good except for one part...which seemed to imply there could be some kind of park-and-ride going to happen?  I hope they don't make the car park too small now as by 11am today, it was packed and the overflow was getting full too.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Flying and Skiiing (again)

Last Saturday we headed down to iFly in Basingstoke for another session of flying for S and J, and skiing for N.  We had a very early slot so less hanging around which is good.

N was on first and despite the fall she had last time, went for it with confidence again.  She had a fabulous 45 minutes skiing this time with a great instructor who was really encouraging but understanding that she was a bit nervous to start with. They ended up having fun on the toboggans.

The problem was S.  This was her 4th flight and she had a little tumble last time. Oddly though, the tumble was during her first flight and she brushed herself up and got on with it.  She had pushed off from the glass of the tunnel but pointed her legs down so went down onto the springy floor.  I was very impressed that she got back up, flew the rest of her turn, had her second flight with a high-fly and also asked for her 3rd. Brave girl.  However, this time, she wouldn't go in at all.  She cried and cried and refused.  I couldn't figure it out. I was trying to encourage her mouthing 'go for it' behind the glass but nothing would get her on. Such a shame and, if I'm honest, I was disappointed.  I know I shouldn't have been as she's only 8, but I got a bit cross thinking 'what a waste of money'.  J, on the other hand, had a great time.

I re-booked for J but wouldn't for S, even though she asked me to at reception and said sorry. I was cross.  Irrationally so I guess.  I felt really bad afterwards and checked she wanted to go next time with J and she said she did - if I went too!  No problem but it cost me an extra £10 to book online from home, as well as my flight!  I guess I need to be a bit more understanding. Mean mummy :(  But you know how it it when children are illogical. Sometimes, it does the same to us parents.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to our next 'family' flight.  N is skiing again next time and hubby is going to be photographer for the day.