Showing posts with label family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label family. Show all posts

Friday, 12 September 2014

The Last Day...

Always the hardest. Not just because of the packing and me sitting on the suitcase willing it to shut - I bought a whole new wardrobe for me! It was a good job we had a bigger luggage allowance than usual.

We popped across the green to discover that the conker trees we starting to drop their treasure, last time we were home and the cockers were out, Ebi-kun was too young to learn to play, so we collected a handful to bring back with us.

There were some strange antics going on, apparently Ebi-kun was a racing driver of a super car and my mom was ??? the engine? Who knows but they were having fun!

We popped out to pick up some last minute bits and bobs and dropped by at the little farm shop, which has grown considerably! They now have lamas, this one was a firm favourite, just look how cute he is!

Then last night snuggles watching Deal or No Deal - to which Ebi-kun seems to be addicted, that and The Cube.

It was an amazing trip home, we did so much and had so much fun. Plus I didn't have to suffer the Japanese summer, which is always a good thing.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Meeting the cousins

Agh! Just found some more post from our holidays that i hadn't finished writing!

My step sister and family have been living in Greece almost as long as I have been over here and we've never been in the UK at the same time, until this summer that is. They have moved back to the UK and moved into a new house a close to my moms, a couple of days before we left.

So although they had only moved in the day before, we decended on them for a visit.  Ebi-kun and A have chatted a few times over skype, last time Ebi-kun was giving A origami lessons, very cute! They totally hit it off - here they are all giving my mom a massage, not sure if that was pleasure or pain!

Ebi-kun and A disappeared off upstairs to make loom bands and record tutorial videos!

And I got entertained by little M, who is two and a half but talks really well, she had me in stitches, cute as a button too.

Thanks to the likes of Skype, it doesn't feel like 13 years since I last met Lou in the flesh and there was no awkward half hour when the kids first met for the first time, I seem to remember that happening a lot as a kid when we would visit relatives that we only got to see say once a year.

We did really well as far as catching up with people went, I think we managed to squeeze almost everyone is, having a couple of family parties helped! Can't wait to do it all again next year.

Friday, 15 August 2014

A full on day at Brighton

Our first day in Brighton we met up with my uncle and his family, when we first got to his house it was peeing down, but after a cup of tea the sun came out. We walked into town and headed for the Pavilion for a picnic...

Then we had a whirlwind visit to the museum in the Dome (excuse to use the toilets!)

Then it was time to hit the pier, not until Darth Vader had been defeated

Comedy photo moment of course...

We tried the Horror Hotel first but Ebi-kun announced it was rubbish! Next up was the log flume, Ebi-kun LOVED it (it was his first time) and went on again with my uncle Si, Charlo and C.

Then it was time for the bumper cars...

It was a windy day so some of the rides were closed, Zoltar was on top form though....

By this time were ready for a drink...

So we took a ride on the oldest electric train in the world...

To the Yellow Wave, barefoot cafe which has a sandpit for the kids to play in.

Uncle Si went to get the car since the kids were tired and it is a bit of a yomp up a big hill back to theirs, so we went to throw rocks in the sea, it was rather choppy!

Then it was back to Si's for dinner, great day with great company. The kids were absolutely shattered and were asleep in record time.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Chaos with the cousins

Sunday my brother, his fiancee and his 3 kids came over to my moms and chaos reined for the day! Unfortunately the weather was against us and so the kids were stuck in almost all of the day. Needless to say they were bouncing off the walls and driving us all nuts!

Activities included cousin torture ...getting your hair done!

Silly darts, not sure what the rules were for this but there was a lot of silly giggling going on! Plus numerous rolling around, tackling and play fights! The quote of the day had to be from Ebi-kun who shouted to me... "Mommy, M has knocked my tooth out" In her defence the tooth was really loose anyway.

J is a darling, quiet as a mouse and was quite happy posting scrabble pieces and straws into a box or sorting things into piles,  I love it when they are at this stage!


We had a lovely Sunday dinner and mom requested a photo with all the kids before they left, impossible to get all of them looking the right way at the same time and there is always one pulling a silly face!

It's a shame the weather was so crap, it would have been fun if we could have taken them all down to the park or to the monkey park which was our initial plan.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

94 today

Friday was my nana's birthday, a mere 94 years old! She is still going strong although her mind gets a bit forgetful these days - happens to us all and I'm only half her age.

Some fo the family got together for a wee surprise party and we were lucky with weather agin, if fact it was a bit too hot so no-one wanted to stay outside for long.

Ebi-kun was actually due to be born around Cocky's birthday but he arrived a week early.

The cake, no birthday is complete without a cake.

Freaky cat made an appearance, my oldest uncle had bought this for my aunty Jan when she was born, there has been a mystery on how freaky cat got a wonky eye for year - I hate this bloody thing, gives me the heebie-jeebies.

But the truth was revield, my Uncle Si swapped something with is friend to get an air pistol (my Nana knew nothing of this too) and Si used to use Freaky Cat as target practice and that is how Freaky cat got a gammy eye. Jan was not amused...the rest of us were though.

And this is my littlest cousin, there are only 4 years between me and uncle Si and he was a late starter with the kids, so there are 40 years between me and this cheeky chap! If you ask him to smile, this is what he does....

He is absolute cutie, his big sister wouldn't let me get a pic, so it's just the boys...

Monday, 11 August 2014

A trip to The National Adventure Farm

The other day we met up with my cousin and her two kiddies at the National Adventure Farm and what a great day out we had! The weather was lovely and the kids got straight down to business of playing hard!

It's a big place and you can easily stay all day and not get bored, my cousin lives just down the road and has a season pass, so they know all the good bits to do! We went last time we were in the UK and Ebi-kun couldn't wait to go on the vertical drop slide again.

First up was a ride on the barrels being pulled by a tractor...

Then we decided to go and do the 10 acre maize maze, which meant walking past the scarecrows, they are attempting a world record and had 1500 on display the day we went, you can take your own to put on display or build one there but we ran out of time....

 My mom very sensible decided to wait for us whilst we did the maize, the kids took it in turn to decide which way to go, which as you can imagine, got us lost in a matter of minutes. You do get provided with a flag incase you need help. At one point M decided he'd had enough and just wanted us to wave the flag but we stuck at it and managed to find out way out, we were in there for an hour.

It's the first time I have been in one of this mazes too and it's quite disorientating once you are in there. Luckily there are some look out posts on the way, you can also buy a sealed map, if you don't open it then you get your money back, we told the kids that if we didn't open it we would be able to buy ice-cream, so they were all for doing it the hard way.

After the maze we had some lunch and a play on the big slides inside then the boys decided they wanted to play in the splash area, of course I hadn't taken a change a clothes for Ebi-kun so he borrowed a pair of joggies from M then had to go commando for the rest of the day! This was great, a pile of hose pipes and some barriers to hide behind, the kids were having a whale of a time!

Then it was time for some more bouncing and the assault course, we also did the go-carts and saw the animals somewhere along the line! I was shattered just watching them.

We had arrived just after 10am and left at 5pm, so we got our moneys worth out of it all. The kids can't wait to get together again, hopefully after our trip to Brighton we can have another playdate.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Internet Origami Lesson

We use FaceTime (like Skype) to chat to my mom 3 or 4 times a week, which is a great way to not feel so far apart and she gets to see Ebi-kun on a regular basis. In fact she sees more of him that the other grandchildren who only live an hour or so away!

Anyway, my step-sister and her family have just moved back to the UK after a 15 year stint in Greece, we have never actually met her kids in real life and Ebi-kun and A are the same age. They have been staying with my mom for the week so we got to chat a couple of times. A and Ebi-kun hit it off straight away and within minutes Ebi-kun was giving A a lesson on how to do origami. Mom has a stockpile of supplies but the book they had was all in Japanese, we have the same book here so Ebi-kun did step-by-step demonstrations for her.

I love how technology can bring us closer together. The next time we spoke, A was doing her spelling homework, so that turned out to be an international spelling bee!

Monday, 10 March 2014

Snowboarding Fun…

We had planned to go to the mountains with friends a couple of weeks ago but we had to pull out but we all still wanted to go, so just the three of us went this last weekend. We are lucky where we live, it takes about an hour and half to get to the mountain but we have to use the shinkansen (bullet train) which means the train costs are expensive, if it wasn't for that we would certainly be going more often.

This time we tried a new resort, Yuzawa Nakazato and I have to say, it is our favourite resort so far! It is aimed at families, so there is loads to do even if the kids are not skiing/snowboarding yet. They have kids rooms to hang out in, plenty of sledging places. A great mini slope for absolute teeny beginners and plenty of green beginner slopes that are wide and gentle.

In the morning we didn't get there in time for Ebi-kun to join snowboard school so Yasutoki showed him the ropes, the basics and I had a bit of free skiing time. For those who don't know, when I was 17 I had a bad skiing accident where I broke my leg (some bloke skied into me on a black run, then he got up and left me lying there!) I was on crutches for almost a year and told that I would never walk without a limp - luckily they were wrong about that! This means that I really don't like skiing if it is crowded, that is one of the reason why I liked this place so much!

In the afternoon, Ebi-kun joined snowboard school and Yasutoki (who is a snowboarder) and I got to go and have some free ski/board time. When I lived in Iwate, I tried snowboarding but at the end of the day I just didn't 'get it', ski's suit me better, maybe because I learn't to ski at a young age?

After the first lesson, which was a big group, he had only been down the slope a couple of times and not been on the lift but he has already got the basics down…

We finished at 4.30pm and got picked up by the owner of the B&B we were staying at. The train station is literally at the bottom of the ski slopes which is perfect to get there and back and there is a free shuttle bus that goes to the shinkansen station. We stayed at Vingt Neuf which was lovely, the owners speak English, they have a super cute dog which is always a bonus and the food was great! It is a set evening meal and a buffet style breakfast.

Sunday morning we put Ebi-kun into school again, this time he was in one group but they moved him to another, so he was in a group of 3, the smaller group made a huge difference, he also got to use the lift. We met up for lunch then in the afternoon we took him to the top of the mountain. Even though we were using the beginner runs they have little offshoots, like the one through the woods…

And they have a slalom run - where I fell, first time since the leg breaking incident, it was kind of good to fall again, it of quashed that niggle that if I fell again it would end in disaster! 

Sunday was absolutely beautiful, perfect skiing conditions, the boys on the lift…

Oh to be 8 years old again, he picked it up so quickly, unlike skiing that he tried last time, he belongs on a board…

Proud mama moment, he rocked!

And yes, he crashed in style too! We were all shattered at the end of the day but it was so much fun, can't wait to go again!

I also tried my hand at filming when skiing, not the easiest thing to do and it is a bit jumpy in places but at least it didn't end up with someone in an ambulance…

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Sunday, 15 December 2013

A Fairy Tale Wedding with a difference…

We got 'paper married' on December 15th 2003, so today it is our real wedding anniversary, we didn't have the ceremony until the 28th and that is the day we tend to think of as our wedding day. I have posted about our crazy fun wedding in Cambodia here, what I have never posted about before is our slightly insane wedding party in the UK.

We decided to go with a fairy tale wedding theme and asked everyone to come in costume, it was brilliant and so much fun. This post is rather picture heavy but they are worth it!

The girls!

My Uncle Gra as Gandalf, he didn't really need much to get the look! And my cousin Jude as Maid Marian.

This was The Baron, the host. We had the party in a 15th century hall and I sneakily suspect that The Baron was around when they built it!

My Nana as the Fairy Godmother and Queen Mom

King Den and Queen Fran taking a dance! I think several glasses of wine had been consumed at this stage.

The fairy Godmother wondering where her sherry is…

These were my first ever students and they came over from Italy for the party! What does it say about Italian fairytales when one comes dressed as a Mafia gangster?

My younger brother complained about having to dress up, said he wasn't going to do it and had a big sulk, then turned up in a green fairy outfit! He assures me those boobs are his own…

Queen Kez and King Mark who traveled down from the North, looking very posh and proper.

Prince Charming ditched Cinderella for the night and hooked up with Snow White, I'm not sure what happened to the 7 dwarves, very suspicious if you ask me.

 The food was a traditional medieval feast, which was quite bemusing for some of the overseas guests, didn't stop Yasutoki digging in…

The drinks were quaffed, the food devoured, there was some mad entertainment and some interesting dance moves…

Even The Fairy Godmother was getting in on the act.

Of course there was the cutting of the cake, I can say from experience, that a samurai sword isn't really suitable for cutting a cake!

We had tequila slammers for the toast drink, my Nana had never had a slammer before and got it all wrong so she had to have a second one! (That is her excuse anyway). It was a fantastic night and so much fun to see everyone in their amazing costumes. Sadly it was all too much for poor Little Red Riding Hood…

Looking at all these pictures makes me want to do it all again!
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