Friday, May 23, 2008

Last Days in the United Kingdom

We're living in the midst of suitcases and boxes at the moment, but interspersed with the busyness and stress of packing have been wonderful times with friends and last visits to favourite haunts. On Wednesday we had a two visitors from the States and we took them to Seaford Head:

After walking a little way up the cliffs, we drove further on to one of my very favorite spots, Beachy Head. I'd never actually seen it on a sunny warm day before. Unfortunately, my pictures didn't come out, so there are just a few to share here.

Then we stopped at a pretty country pub for Elderflower cordial and Pimm's.

This is the only picture I got of Taylor and Brian!

Yesterday we drove up to Gatwick for more boxes and on the way back we stopped off in Ashdown Forest to see Pooh Bridge!

Iain thoroughly enjoyed the walk down. We collected sticks, saw a toad, found a hollow log, picked up some pebbles and stood on a stump. Iain got filthy and had a fabulous time.

Pooh sticks!

The stump!

Racing our Pooh sticks under Pooh Bridge.

What a lovely place-- just one of many near our home that we love.

We went home and packed some more, visited with our dear friend Anthony, and had supper with our friends Phil and Maria. It was a busy, blessed day, like many we've had recently.

Bye, bye, England! We will miss you!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Sunset at Devil's Dyke

On Mother's Day evening we drove up to one of favorite places, Devil's Dyke, and watched the sunset. Iain had a blast flying the kite, running free, and staying up waaay past his normal bedtime. But that's what summer is for, right?

Wow, we're going to fly the kite!

A typical toddler picture-- just a blur!
Loving on Papa.
C'mon, it's time for adventures!

Glorious summer freedom.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

A Great Week

The sun has been shining here in Brighton this week, and I've had a growing awareness that we will soon be leaving this country that has been our home for the past two years. So Iain and I have been out and about quite a bit.

Monday was a bank holiday; Chris and Katy Fry graciously gave an open invitation to their home, and we had tea in their garden. I even baked a cake from scratch, which is something I haven't done in a long time and it felt wonderfully fun and creative. It was a little lopsided and the strawberries kept slipping off, but nobody seemed to mind.

Here is our merry band. Me, Ann, Iain, Katy, Chris, Ray, and Mika took the picture. Katy's garden is beautiful. I will always think of her whenever I garden in the future.

Then we took a nice walk to Hove Park, which was full of families, children, grandparents, and dogs playing.

They even had the model railway running and Chris treated us to a ride. Iain was thrilled!

On Tuesday, Iain and I went to Drusillas Park Zoo. He really enjoyed looking at the animals. We stood and watched the squirrel monkeys for about 30 minutes! There were about 20 of them in there and they were pretty entertaining. They leaped about from tree to tree and scrambled up and down the ropes in their pen, occasionally getting to very loud fights. Here is one having some fruit.

Iain's interest in the animals disappeared when he spotted this:

The zoo had a train to ride on! I heard lots of crying about the train after that, because he wanted to do nothing but ride it. Because of that, we only rode it once! Here he is being forced to look at more animals instead of trains. Not too happy.

We had a picnic and some ice cream and played on a playground there. It was a nice day out.

Wednesday we went to playgroup as usual, which Iain always enjoys. We also had Ann over for supper and took her on a drive to see the Long Man of Wilmington and some of the beautiful country back roads that you can only see by car.

Today Iain and went down to the seafront and rode the Volks Railway and played on the playground again. Tomorrow we'll go to Maria's house for lunch. So it has been a very sweet and relaxing week. I feel like I'm saying goodbye gently and gratefully and I'm so thankful for that.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Soaking up the Sun

For the first time in what seems like ages, the sun has been shining and the weather has been warmish. On Wednesday, we had a birthday lunch with our friend Lizzie, and then we went for a drive in the country. The bluebells were growing en masse in the woods. They make the most etheral periwinkle haze along the ground.

I picked some to take home, but they are so delicate that they wilted on the way.

Yesterday we took a long walk over the chalky clifftops from Seaford to the Seven Sisters. Iain had a blast and we tired ourselves out with some good exercise and fresh air, which we desparately needed since we've had the flu the past two weeks.

Today we went to the Eastbourne Minature Steam Railway again, and stopped along the way to take pictures in this field of safflowers. They are so vibrantly yellow.

Here's Iain enjoying the train again. ESMR is such a great low-fi, really fun place for kids. We spent ages playing at the train table again, and we even bought a train called Douglas for Iain to take home. He is sleeping with it in his crib tonight after playing with it all evening. My precious boy. It is a joy to make him so happy.