Saturday, 19 August 2017


We want to make a little rockery by our patio doors as it's a bit of an odd area of the garden where things kind of grow but it doesn't suit high plants. We had agapanthus there but they just looked wrong.

Today we went down to Longacres to pick up some turf for a part of our garden that has now appeared since the neighbour's trees have gone as we want some more grass area.  Really helpful chap in the collection area who loaded in 6 lovely looking pieces.  S then insisted we go and get some lemon drizzle cake so we had a look around.  Typical of Longacres, I carried a small basket and ended up loaded to the eyeballs - wobbling a large pepper plant along - with both of us carrying extra stuff by the time we finished!

I bought some lovely little rockery plants, some marigolds for a burst of colour and some Cuprinol coloured paint for the new shed.  Need the weather to stabilise a bit first to do that - who'd have thought it would be so rotten in August.  

As we don't have the rockery stones yet, I decided to smash up one of my broken pots and make a kind of crazy paved area around the plants for now. Doesn't look too bad I think.  We just need to go and select some rockery stones soon and build this area up properly, but it's a start.

Only disappointing part of our day?  Longacres only had small lemon drizzle cakes, not big ones...tsk.

Friday, 18 August 2017

6 year old with a Baker's Cyst

We were out geocaching last weekend, climbing up and down hills, getting our wellies sucked off by mud and generally having fun for around 3 hours with friends.  That evening, we were due round our friends for a BBQ and my youngest, who is 6, changed from her leggings into shorts and off we went.  The girls went out to play when we got there and it was then that my friend asked what was wrong with N's leg.  We had no idea and looked and saw a huge lump behind her left knee!

N's left knee - leg straight - showing the Baker's Cyst
As you can imagine, we were really worried about it.  It wasn't bothering her at all but I wasn't leaving anything to chance and we headed to our local walk-in centre to get it checked.  N was very upset as she was worried about what would happen in hospital but with some reassurance, she calmed down a little.  The nurses were wonderful with her and not worried.  They said it was probably a Baker's Cyst, also known as a Popliteal Cyst.  Not so common in children as in adults apparently.  However, they decided to phone the paediatric doctors at our main hospital as it had come up so quickly and they also wanted to rule out DVT (deep-vein thrombosis), whilst they sorted out an ice pack for it and suggested she take Ibuprofen to help with the swelling.

The doctors at our main hospital asked to see us, so we drove straight there (hubby and other daughter were still at the BBQ as it seemed daft for us all to go).  We were seen within 5 minutes by the triage nurse and less than 10 minutes later, we were in seeing the paediatric doctor.  After a chat to N and myself, she had a look at it.  She suggested it may have been there for some time, but I am positive it had come up that day.  N has a habit of wandering around the house in her underwear so her legs are on display a lot and I'm absolutely positive I'd have noticed something the size of a golf ball sticking out the back of her leg!

Still somewhat visible when knee bent a little
The doctor went off and consulted with another doctor (more senior I assumed by the way her spoke). He came in and chatted to us and then switched off the lights and looked at the cyst with a light, pointing out the fluid in it.  He said that it looked like a Baker's Cyst but it had probably been there some time to get to that size. Again, I disagreed as we would have noticed that.  He checked her pulse down her leg and said it was all fine.  They went off to chat some more, having spoken briefly to me about an x-ray.

A few minutes later the first doctor was back with N's discharge forms.  I questioned the x-ray but it had been decided as she wasn't in pain, to phone my doctor on Monday and ask them to arrange for an ultrasound scan, which I duly did and we're now waiting for.

Having done some reading on this type of cyst, they can take from months to years to go away and have a relatively high chance of reoccurring.  There's some information on Baker's Cysts in pediatric patients here.

I have to say that the cyst doesn't bother N at all, but if I'm honest, it bothers me.  It looks very big on her tiny leg and I really want them to do something about it - drain it maybe.  I guess we'll have to see what the doctor suggests after the ultrasound is done. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

A walk around Winkworth Arboretum

Despite the pouring rain last night, the weather looked a bit less bleak today and so we headed off to Winkworth Arboretum for a walk around.  Very quiet in the car park and felt like we were almost on our own the whole route we took.  

This is such a lovely place but, oh my goodness, you need some energy to get up and down those hills if you take the red route around.

Bit slippery for tree climbing today but the girls still had fun. Finished off with a yummy scone, cream and jam and a cup of hot chocolate for me.  The usual Victoria sponge for the girls. 

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Pirate Golf

We had recently won a voucher for a family game of golf up at Hoebridge Golf Club's Mr Mulligan's Pirate Golf.  This morning we decided to try it out.  Nice and quiet there so we walked straight on and started playing.

This is a great little game for children and we had lots of laughs as our golf balls disappeared into the water.  They have little 'rafts' that you pull yourself across to reach holes as well, which the girls thought were great.

Some of the holes are really good fun.  One you had to go around a wheel, another you had to go into a pirate ship and find your golf balls in the dark to get them into the hole.

We also opted to go to the high area for one hole which was good.

The final hole is literally that.  Quite an easy shot into a hole and your golf ball disappears.  This clearly prevents you from deciding to go round again.  It's not cheap but then again, for £26 for a family of 4, it's a great bit of entertainment for an hour or so.  The girls verdict - can we come again?

Monday, 14 August 2017

Oxshott Geocaching

We're on a roll now!  Out again today to do a short loop in woodland in Oxshott.  Oxshott Heath 1 was our first of the day.  A quick spot by our youngest and off we went.

2 was a very quick find by my goodself.  Yay!  I've still got it *grin*.  No. 3 was spotted by 8 year old.  Signed and now it's sandwich time.  

4 was another quick spot by me.  I'm enjoying nosing into the nice back gardens around here.  5 was hard work.  Compass was going bonkers under the trees so we had to walk back and forth a number of times.  Whilst I was still scratching my head, our 6 year old spotted it.  

6 was an easy spot by 6 year old again but more 'sticky' than I was hoping for when I trod in some dog poo that stuck to the bottom of my welly.  How disgusting....  After much scraping on the path and poking at said welly with a stick to remove the poo from the grooves, we were back off again.  I have to say, it seems no-one around here cleans up their poo at all. The whole place (particularly near car parks) was full of it!

7 was an immediate spot by our 8 year old, who is now an old hand at these type of caches.  Nothing has surprised her today yet.  8 was a great little side tracked cache.  We hunted round one area and then thought about it a bit more and headed to another and bingo!  Find by hubby. Swapped a couple of pieces of Lego the girls would like for other toys from our stash.

9 was one for me as I was in jeans, and hubby was in shorts!  Very nettly here (is that a word?  Should it have an 'e' in it? Whichever, my tablet doesn't like its spelling).  Cache just laying on the ground.  Umm...

10 was an easy spot as the 'camo' is a bit on the bright side *grin*.  Covered up much more. Swapped a couple of items for the children.

We went to Valiant as our final cache. Whilst we could clearly see it, neither of us adults wanted to climb in wellies, so we just left it be.

I have to say thought, Oxshott - you need to clean your act up.  The whole of this walk, bar one or two odd spots, was just dog-poo city!  Absolutely the most disgusting place we've walked around for that in a very long time.  

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Cobham geocaching

Yesterday we met up with some friends to attempt a few geocaches around Cobham in Surrey. We had no idea how good this area and surround is for caching.  Parked up near Claremont Garden and headed off into the woods...the wrong way. Quick backtrack and we were on course (this new geocaching app is taking a while for me to get used to).

Our first of the day was Levitator.  Glad we had our wellies here.  Frog city!  We hunted high and low for about 30 minutes and just couldn't spot anything.  Suddenly the shout went up from our 6 year old that she'd seen something.  We went over to have a look and yes, she'd made the spot. Worked out why it's called levitator now.  Great cache!  Fun retrieving the container and a definite favourite point. Is this a hint of caches to come here?  We did have to read some logs and looked at the picture which was more of a hinderance than a help.  Don't get hung up on the pics...they do seem to be random around these caches.

Fly Fishing was next.  Had a good hunt around again as GPS a little unsettled in the trees again.  Lots of cachers paths.  Hubby suddenly made a comment which made us all look around. He'd spotted it...but how to get it.  Apparently there was an implement nearby.  I took our 6 year old off to look whilst hubby and other hubby spotted a likely substitute. It didn't fit but with some whittling with the geo-penknife, it worked. Just as we arrived back with the proper implement.  Still quite a tricky one to get and put back.  Another great cache.  Yes, these were not going to be easy 35mm film container ones - hooray for that!

Crazy Cachers
Off we walked to Stone me, what a view.  The cache was spotted in seconds of arriving by our eagle-eyed 6 year old again.  First time our friends had seen such a container so a great one for them.  A strange box near the tree - some kind of electronic measuring tool? Took some photos on the bench, and then headed down the steps.

Opposites Attract was next on the hit-list.  Standing on the bridge, I had a suspicion of where the cache may be.  The children were busy running around under the bridge and then one spotted something.  Yes!  A bit of working out what to do and the cache was in hand.  Very muddy under there and glad we had wellies on, although one nearly got lost sucked by the mud.  Put the cache back (which was equally fun) and off we went.  More favourite points awarded.

Leviathan was next. This was not an easy cache to reach with the path that we chose to take.  Oh dear. I nearly lost my welly. We got tangled up in wild rhododendron plants. Slipped on logs.  Got splashed with rather brown water and went up what felt like a slippery mountain.  Finally got there in the end.  Great ammo container with two travel bugs in, so we took one each to move along.

Far Out Man was next and it became obvious where we'd have to go for this.  Other hubby was keen to get stuck in and headed out at the root.  A jolly good search turned up nothing. I was reading through some logs and suggested it may be further out that we first thought.  He removed boots and socks and went for it.  His wife was videoing just in case he fell in (which I think she was almost hoping for *grin*).  We knew this would be hard by its rating but despite a good 40 minute search by him, nothing was turned up.  Our first DNF.

Sadly, this is where we encountered two very ignorant ladies with their two dogs.  The dogs ran over and we called to say could they please call them back as we had two very frightened children (I was batting one dog away and even our friend's child, who has a dog which was with us, was getting scared.  All children were shrieking and my two were crying - hardly unnoticeable).  The women point-blank ignored us! WTF? We were in a state of disbelief!  We asked again and still nothing. I had my arms around my two with them at my back keeping the dog away. The women called their dogs as they walked past us.  Really? Wish I'd have photographed them. Unbelieveably rude, ignorant pigs - no other way to describe them.  Shame we had children with us or they'd have been told what I thought of them.  Why would anyone be like that?  

Bless the next lady who came past. She put her dogs on a lead. I'm glad to say we encounter far more people like her than the others when out caching.

Calm restored, and other hubby returned to the bank.  He trod a branch down, which slipped under his foot and shot up between his legs. Fortunately, despite a gasp from us all, it was a few inches too low to do damage *grin*.

We headed back towards the car park and went in to try Deep Cover on our way.   This was another one where we searched back and forth, read logs and were thrown by a photo on the log.   We were here around 30 minutes and about to give up.  Other hubby went up one tree and had a good search around but nothing to find. I was looking up another tree and made the spot.  Wow!  That is a long way up.  Up he went to this next tree and made the retrieve for us.  Brave in walking boots that were quite muddy. So pleased we found the cache in the end.  Bit worried about all the broken branches though!  He made it safely down in the end.  Good joint effort here.

A lovely few hours of caching. We'll be back to do some more of this route again.  A lot of effort went into the containers and made this a challenging but fun ring.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Claremont run-around

Our friends took us over to Claremont Landscape Garden today.  We all fancied a bit of fresh air and for the children to have a run-around (and hopefully wear them out a bit).  Our first challenge for them was to run up and down the ampitheatre area in a variety of ways (straight, zig-zag, etc) which they happily obliged by doing.  

We then went for a walk around. Shame the 10 pin bowls was locked up but plenty of dressing up in the house.  Sad to see notices around that said children had damaged items in the house so could parents supervise.  Our girls are very well behaved so we sat on the bench whilst they dressed up and came and showed us what they were wearing. We went in to help them put it all back on the hangers properly before we left. 

A quick go on the stepping stones and then around to the play area - which was packed!  Both of us parents felt that the play area needed something more. It's all well and good for imaginary play, but if you're a child on your own - as many were - there's nothing much to do.

We then went up the walk area to the bench overlooking the lake and the girls went off to build dens.  We chatted for a moment and realised it was a bit quiet behind us.  They had disappeared into the trees as they found a teepee.  They were having a great time playing together and climbing onto trees and jumping off.

These gardens are so nice.  We were both a little surprised at the craft area which, to be honest, was overpriced for making a crown of bendy foam with a few stickers on it.  Hence, we didn't bother as our children were probably a bit old for doing that. I'm guessing it's aimed at very young children.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

The menace beneath Costelmark

Guess what!  I finally beat Costelmark Tower menace.  This is no mean feat, believe me. I had completed all the other dungeons in Final Fantasy XV, including Pitioss Ruin (which my teen did for me as part of the 'Stealing the Past' quest, as it was a puzzle one and I'm hopeless at that, I just like bashing things with my sword).  It's definitely worth the effort of doing Pitioss Ruin for the Black Hood accessory that is available for Noctis only as the prize.  This came in very helpful in the Costelmark Menace (all menaces are available after you finish the game for the first time).

Picture from Official FFXV site
There is a great guide here giving hints and tips on how to set your characters up and get through Costelmark Tower inner dungeon.  I definitely recommend it (you'll even spot my comments near the end).

Prompto's pic of us all in Magitek Exosuits
If you have the Magitek Exosuits (see my pic above), put them on before you head off at camp 5 and you'll be invincible for the rest of the dungeon. The exosuits last for 30 minutes but take 20 hours to recharge, so go for it big time!

My pic of the Costelmark menance
I can't tell you how happy I am.  This means I have completed everything on the original game and the extras after Chapter 15...well, except for getting Noctis to a Level 10 fisherman.  Level 5 was all my boredom threshold could stand *grin*

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Sunningdale Geocaching (again)

We met up with friends today to do some more geocaching. This time we were around Sunningdale (where hubby and I previously got a few).  A new stretch of loop for us.  We parked up by the playground (as we'd be back for that) and headed off. Our first of the day was Stone Church.  We weren't quite sure where to go for this one and originally went into the church, before realising we were too far up still.  Walked down the path a little further and searched the obvious 'stone' thing.  No joy.  Headed over the road the the bench to gather our thoughts and that's when I made the spot. Yay! First one in the bag.

Bit of too-ing and fro-ing across the roads here as it ran out of path quite quickly as we headed down to the 2nd of  the day, Foundations.  An excellent spot by my 8 year old here.  She handed me the object but it took a few seconds for my brain to compute that the weight wasn't right!  A great cache and a favourite point here.

Gateway was fun.  Hubby got a bit over-excited thinking he'd made an early spot of the object before we'd arrived but alas, he was at the wrong one.  It was still ahead some 20m.  Spotted quickly myself but left Lysverity to get the 'find' here, which she did (eventually with a few hints).  She is laughing that she's not got her 'cachers eye' in yet.

Insider Spider was a quick find by my 6 year old and all the children thought it was great!  What a lot of work to make this cache fit well.  Much fun jumping back and forth over the little gully by the children.  Man busy mowing the fields (seems he crops up a lot in cache logs so he must do it almost daily!).

Coworth Camo took us far longer than it should have done and after about 20 minutes of poking in holes (children found a rather perturbed toad!) and nearly having eyes taken out by twigs, my 8 year old made the spot. We all stood back - as many other cachers have done judging by the logs - and wondered why it had taken us so long.  Great little find.  Horse riders going around the field waving to the girls.

We have to say The Barn looks rather nice. Didn't even know there was a restaurant around here! Tree Tunnel 1 was a very quick spot by Lysverity, whilst some of the children scaled the opposite bank (and fortunately listened to us saying not to come back down the same way, but to walk along).  

Means to an End had us rummaging by some private gates at first - oops!  Then we walked down a bit further and hubby spotted the culprit.  Nice, cheeky hide.  Pedantic hubby said it wasn't a bolt end but I pointed out that it depended on your point of view.  We then had fun jumping and walking between Surrey and Berkshire, much to the children's amusement.  Seems Surrey was more popular.

A nice walk back to the playground where we all had an ice lolly and the children played.  Another smashing walk around collecting caches.