Skip to main content

A summer of new things: 2022

Yes, it's October, which I know is really late to be blogging about the summer. How does September disappear so fast?

We fitted in a holiday to Cornwall as well as all the stuff I've told you about here. That was another new thing - first time we've been to Cornwall as a family - but it definitely deserves its own post. Just one picture to give you a flavour of the trip...

New hobbies

The boys and I have discovered we like life on eight wheels! We went to Rollerworld for the first time at the beginning of the summer, and since then we have spent quite a lot of time there. And bought roller skates. 

The rink also offers lessons, which are useful for practising things other than skating around in a large circle. We learned how to stop (key skill!) Toby and Theo have got good at going backwards, while I'm still working out how to turn around.

When they're not whizzing around a skating rink with me, the boys have been firing pointy things through the air with Graham. He has been doing archery for over a year now, and now Toby and Theo are having a go. They did a taster session in June, and completed the beginners' course - two six-hour days - at the start of September.

With their beginners' certificates

New high temperatures

Yeah... remember when it was hot? Like, really really hot? The guinea pigs snuggled up with ice blocks, and the kids sprayed water around in the back garden, and no one got any sleep at night.

Hot Violet with ice block

I feel like only the British could manage to worry about being too hot and too cold at the same time. But we'd barely got past the extreme high temperatures before we were faced with warnings about winter fuel bills. In both cases, action is better than worry: here is a list of charities working against climate change; and Gateshead Council is ahead of the game when it comes to providing warm spaces this winter, but many others are looking into it, my church included.

New places to go

We explored a few new places this summer. Firstly we found a lovely shady walk along Dimmingsdale and the Churnet Valley near Alton Towers - very good for hot weather.

Curbar Edge is the exact opposite - very exposed with no shade at all! But it has awesome views over the Peak District.

We followed up with a visit to Village Sunflowers in Baslow, where we ventured into a field of sunflowers to choose our own, and made friends with Trevor the turkey.

And finally, another valley walk in Padley Gorge. We followed the main path downstream, but scrambled over rocks and along tiny paths to get back up. Great fun.

After a quick ice cream, we did the short drive to Hathersage to splash in the outdoor pool. I was glad it was a hot day! Even though the water is heated, it's surprising how quickly you cool off if you're not actively swimming.

New Lego storage

During lockdown, the boys spent hours sorting their Lego into colours. Since then it's been living in various takeaway containers and ice cream tubs, and generally taking up a lot of space. So we went and bought some plastic drawer units, and now it looks much tidier. The cars still end up having races all over the floor, though!

New school (for Toby)

And finally - Toby's moved up to secondary school! Here he is in new blazer, tie, and all. It took him a few weeks to feel settled in such a huge new place, but he's showing definite flickers of enthusiasm now. Theo is in Year 4 at primary school - it feels strange to only be picking one child up at the end of the day.


Popular posts from this blog

Supercars and Selfies on the South Coast

We drove south on a wet, wet Saturday in August. The windscreen wipers swished endlessly back and forth, as we debated whether it was worth stopping anywhere except for the overcrowded motorway services. By the time we reached Winchester, the wipers had subsided to an occasional flick across the screen. We decided to stop. Of course, as soon as we left the car park there was a brief shower, but we ducked into the City Mill, now a National Trust property. There was a large room full of the usual kind of displays about flour milling; a recently renovated garden; and downstairs, the mill race running at full tilt. The mill is built right across the River Itchen. Winchester City Mill garden The mill race Water wheel (awaiting renovation) We stayed dry as we explored further into Winchester. There was even some blue sky for our selfie by the cathedral! But as we walked back to the car the rain hit us like a hose on full blast. An overhanging building provided some slight shelter, but the wa

National Forest Way: Calke Abbey to Ashby de la Zouch

All the best walking blogs have maps on. I finally figured out how to add a route map to mine. If I get time, I'll add them to the previous posts as well, so you can see where I went. So, here are the two walks which made up the next stretch of the NFW. Walk 1  I started from the National Trust property and walked along by the lake, up the hill by the deer park, and down to Staunton Harold reservoir - all very familiar. Calke village postbox featured a highland cow on top. Lake at Calke Abbey Herd of deer   A short stretch on the road took me to Dimminsdale, which was new to me. There are records of mining at the site from the 13th century until the end of the 19th century. It's incredible to think that people worked there for so many hundreds of years. Now it is a secluded landscape of still pools and shaggy trees. Dimminsdale   I crossed a small section of the Staunton Harold estate, then went up a private lane with some rather nice houses. My turning point was where the Nati

Reading for Spiritual Formation 2023-24

I wasn't sure whether to read another set of theology books this year. Could the time I spend on it be better spent on something else? At what point does it become reading for the sake of it, without having much impact on my wider life? It's difficult to tell. However, as usual, I had a growing list of books I wanted to read. I do need to think about what I'm doing as well as what I'm reading, and I don't expect to continue this specific discipline indefinitely. But I decided there was space for at least one more year of Reading for Spiritual Formation. So, without further soul-searching: The Books. Three Mile an Hour God Kosuke Koyama Japanese theologians are few and far between; Christianity is still very much a niche religion in Japan. Kosuke Koyama was Japanese and appears to be both influential and accessible. Not every theologian is both! So I'm excited to read his recently republished book Three Mile an Hour God. It was originally written in 1979, and is