Monday, 24 September 2012

A photo workshop

Not really the place for it, as the curly girl wasn't there. but a brief thank you to Rachel & Andy for the photo workshop they bought me for my birthday.  I went on a macro & close up course at Tropical World in Roundhay park in Leeds.  I think I've learned a couple of things and taken a few photos too.  Not least amongst the learning is that it'd be a good place to take Marsica sometime.  We'd not get quite as close to the snake, bearded lizards, not-a-hedgehog, etc as we did on the day, but there would be a lot more time just standing watching meerkats.

A few photos:

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Through the seasons

As the leaves start to turn and the mornings are chillier and darker I realise that us grown ups measure the turn of the seasons against previous years as they tick by, but Marisca isn't yet into double figures of seasons.  Also, as autumn encroaches I still have a lovely picture of Marisca in her yellow coat with daffodils as the wallpaper on my phone.  So I thought I'd bring you a selection of seasonal shots, starting with her first summer.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Camping at Teesdale

It's been a good year for camping.  We've had a weekend near home, a week in the Wye Valley, a long weekend on the North York Moors, and have just finished up with another long weekend in Teesdale.  The tent is now packed away, and just about in time, as the last couple of mornings have arisen very chilly up here.

We had a day out in Durham, did ageological and industrial heritage walk in Weardale, visited Stanhope show, got a bit wet at High Force, and spent some really nice family time on a lovely little campsite.  Marisca particularly enjoyed the chickens wandering about the campsite.  And we were pleased that the tent survived some rather high winds, after this and the loss of the canopy here.

It's unusual, and nice, to come away from a weekend with more pictures of me and Marisca than of Elspeth and Marisca.  Here we are on a lovely sunny day at the show.  And below, some stunt horse riding.

You may recall a year ago a photo a bit like this.  It was in Edale camping and I said that Marisca just about fitted into a washing up bowl for a bath.  This time it wasn't supposed to be a bath, just some water to play in, but she climbed in and had a lovely 10 minutes play.  You can see in the background why we liked the campsite.

The weather didn't hold for the last day, and we donned waterproofs and went looking for waterfalls.  And found some, and a sheep to sit on.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Saltaire festival

We've just seen our second Saltaire festival. There was lots going on and, as last year, we focussed on the food festival and the continental market rather than the artsy stuff and music. I also had the pleasure of the beer festival with Andy (briefly) and two Ians.

Marisca is in her element at a food festival. Lots of stallholders to charm, lots of bits of food to sample, and a big pork pie for lunch. And then some fat rascal. And then some German sausage. And some cake. And some more cake. What a lovely girl.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Favourite phrases

These are the phrases which are driving me mad at the moment:

'Mummy, what's that noise?'
'Mummy, what's that?'

...both of which are asked a dozen times a day, and quite often she already knows the answer.  She's just enjoying asking questions!

'I made it!'
... which can mean 'I did it' as well.  This is the scary phrase - when she's been happily playing and you hear this, it's a good idea to check what she's up to.  Sometimes it means she's built a tower with her bricks/completed a jigsaw puzzle or other such activity.  Other times it means she's taken all her clothes off/taken all the lentils out of the box or other such activity.  Always worth knowing which it is!

I wonder when 'why' starts?

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Nappy free

So, we appear to have a potty-trained girl. No one is more surprised about this than us, as it's not something we were planning to do for a while yet. But a couple of weeks ago Marisca decided 'no nappies. Pants.' Being baby-led people, we went with it and she has not let us down! Yes, there have been accidents, but not many, and she has been brilliant at telling us when she needs the toilet. We've just got back from a weekend away camping with no accidents at all, so our little girl is a big girl in pants now. We can't even call it potty training, as we didn't really do any training it just happened.

Well done Marisca, we're really proud of you.

Thursday, 6 September 2012


Marisca loves camping.  She likes the tent, today I told her we're going camping tomorrow for the third time this year.  She said "Wowee".

Marisca likes walking along things.  Particularly the tiny walls that railings tend to run along.  She likes the park exactly as she always has.  Slides are the best, although she quite often decides not to go down, once she gets there.  If we can convince her down then she loves it so much she'll immediately do it again 20 times.  She is getting better and better at floating in the swimming pool and always talks about the elephant slide at the pool but doesn't go for it as madly as she used to.

Marisca likes books.  This has never changed.  This week her favourite book is the one with Thumbelina in.  She has a Thumbelina DVD too and both the book and the DVD outrank even Thomas.  She names all of the trains in Thomas, of course.  She knows all of her favourite stories and will finish the sentence if you stop halfway through.  She very rarely starts the next sentence though and she usually misses out all of those unnecessary linking words.

She likes pyjamas and skirts.  She never runs about so much as she does just before bathtime.  She sings to herself and the tunes come out pretty well.  Her absolute favourite song is "N little ducks".  Especially at bathtime when she lines her ducks up on the side of the bath.  If I'm doing bath she'll ask me to blow the ducks off the edge because I did once, 6 months ago.

She doesn't like the wind, she doesn't like nappies, and she doesn't like having mucky hands.  Especially not the mucky hands.

When I picked her up from nursery last week having been away for days she jumped up and shouted "Daddy!  That's my daddy!" and hurled herself at me.

How do I stop myself forgetting all this stuff as the years trickle by?

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Baby friends

Alice's christening gave us ideal opportunity to visit Marisca's baby friends.  I'm not sure if they read this blog, but if so Thank You to Lucy, Adam, and Leo for putting us up.  We all three had a great time, and Marisca loved playing with her little friend Leo.  Baby friends but really not so much babies any more.  It was great to see Orla and Jensen and hangers on/parents too.

A cousin's christening

We had a nice weekend down in the south last week.  Despite warnings to the contrary, the weather held for the whole weekend, and it was positively warm on Sunday when we were in Moulton for Alice's (or Baby Alice as Marisca calls her - it suits for now but won't for long!) christening.  Here is the girl of the moment:

And of course it was nice to have Crockers and hangers on all together too.

More from the North York Moors

Marisca looking cool on the potty...

exploring Scarborough castle...

and learning where her middle stump is.