14 Apr 2008

The week that was

My sister spent a few days with us, so we had a few outings together. One was to W5, which was busier than it usually is on a school day. There was one school group there and many of the children were acting up, while their teachers ignored them. I had to keep Duncan away from them as they buck-lepped (that's west Tyrone speak for jumped wildly) around at his favourite exhibit; the weather camera. Lady and Thomas enjoyed showing their aunt around all the cool stuff. They ended the day with Duncan and Lady arranging furniture in the doll's house.

My personal favourite time didn't involve my beloved children. I'd arranged baby sitting, and myself, Gordon and my lil' sis took public transport into Belfast where we meet my dad and step-mum for a fantastic Thai meal washed down with much wine.

The children didn't want C. to leave, but eventually she'd had enough of us (or had to go back to work or something). On Saturday, the children spent an hour at their Grandma's house while Gordon and I went for a run. We were totally out-done by my brother though, he ran about 21.2 miles further than us on Sunday in London, along with about 34 thousand others. You go bro!

Yesterday we piled into the car intending to drive to local park, but decided instead to drive up to the north Antrim coast. It was perfect driving weather and the road from Larne to Carnlough (where we stopped) is spectacularly beautiful. Thanks to my Blueprint inspired new interest in local geology, I noted the chalk cliffs topped with basalt. The locale provided the backdrop for some of the scenes from that programme too.

It was my first time along that part of the coast; I'd always been coming from west to east before and never made it past Bushmills or thereabouts. We had chips (good) and ice-cream (poor) in Carnlough and the children burned off some of their vast quantities of energy in a playground before we headed for home.

And just so you know, Duncan was not wearing a Santa hat, despite how it appeared to the several people who smilingly remarked on how out of season he was. He was, in fact, dressed as Noddy, which should be obvious when you note the blue shorts, red top and yellow scarf! Also, it's perfectly acceptable to carry the case of a Thomas the Tank CD Rom around with you in a playground!

Instead of driving back along the coast, we headed south towards Belfast, taking us into some lovely countryside. We passed a mountain and I looked at the map for its name. It was Slemish, which I obviously know (as a good wee girl I'd absorbed all this information) as the place where the captured Briton later known as St Patrick, was sent to watch sheep and where he did a whole heap of praying. It was nice to see it for the first time. Again, thanks to Blueprint, Lady reckoned it was once a volcano. We looked it up later, and yes indeed it is the plug of erosion-resistant hardened lava from the inside of a dead volcano.

Oh and that reminds me, another family tradition for all but Duncan (who finds it too scary and watches familiar videos instead) we enjoyed the Pompeii episode of Doctor Who, in which the volcano was far from dead.

Right, I do believe I'm all caught up again.

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