Now that the Easter holidays are over, I need to post a few highlights of what we did before I forget them all myself!
Starting with the first week of the holidays, which we spent at Granny and Shen's in Lewis.
We enjoyed lots of board game evenings.
One of the boys' favourites is this old Game of Life game that used to belong to me and my brother when we were younger. The boys have played the newer version of the game before - although I can't remember where! - but they much prefer this old retro version of the game. When we used to play this game as kids, I always wanted to land on the squares that gave you a child and to have as many children as possible because when you reached the end of the game you received extra money for each child! Not quite how it works in real life though! And funnily enough this time round when we played it I didn't land on any of those squares and ended the game with no children at all. I didn't win the game either.
A new favourite game was the Logo Game, which we picked up in a charity shop and played at least twice every day that week! We've left it at Granny and Shen's house so that we can enjoy it again in the summer.
In fact we did quite well with our bargain hunting over the week.
Every time we are up we pay several visits to our favourite charity shop. Not only do we always manage to pick up some amazing bargains there, but we also know that the money is always going to a very worthy charity - a nursing home and hospice on the island, and the home where my Aunt spent the last part of her life.
I always go looking at the plates and china, trying to build up my collection of vintage plates and china, while the boys head for the toys and books. I found some of the two types of plates that I'm trying to collect - blue Willow Pattern Dishes and Bristol Crown Ducal dishes, if you're wondering - for 20p a plate.
I especially love the Crown Ducal ones. They remind me of dinner time at my granny's house.
James (17) found an amazing collection of a hardback Marvel series, and the other boys found a huge range of Playmobil all bagged up for £1 or £2 a bag.
James bought about 20 of the books one day, which was almost all of the ones that were out on the shelf. It was a book series he had wanted to collect some time ago, one where the books come out every fortnight (or every month, I can't remember) but the books cost £10 each so he knew he couldn't afford it and only ever bought the first few in the series when the price was cheaper. In the charity shop they were selling the books for £1 each, so he had to jump at the chance!
When we went back into the shop again a couple of days later they had put more of the series out on the shelf, and so he bought himself a few more. We didn't have a big bag with us that day though, and so we improvised how we would get them home...
I also came across a new shop in town that has only been open since just before Christmas. I looked at the window display and realised that this was exactly my kind of shop. It was full of vintage dishes, teapots, china, enamelware. So we had to go in a for a look, and see what I found...
...some more Bristol Crown Ducal!
Back at the house Ally (7) and Fraser (3) loved finding out what was in the random bags of Playmobil they had bought. There were lots of people; bikes; an ice cream shop with all the bits and pieces it needed; a bakery with lots of breads, buns and bakes; some bedroom furniture; a baby set with pram, cot, highchair, baby bath etc; and some more random bits and pieces.
They spent hours playing with it all.
We didn't just spend our time hunting for bargains though.
While we were up it was my dad's birthday. David (11) offered to make the table look special for his birthday dinner.
He folded the napkins fancy and even made up some name cards for everyone.
And even Fraser got a fancy glass.
My mum cooked the dinner and I made the cake - Nigella's Sour Cream and Chocolate Cake from How to be a Domestic Goddess. It's one of my favourite Chocolate Cake recipes.
A few years ago when my dad turned 60, my sister in law and I made up t shirts for everyone in the family with a photo of my dad from the 70s on them. We all wore them on the morning of his birthday and he came down to breakfast that day to find us all sitting round the table with matching t shirts. Even Fraser, who was only a few months old then, had one. Well, Ally still has his t shirt and had brought it with him to wear on Shen's birthday again...
Finally, while we were away, James had taken his art work for school with him as he had to finish off his folio for Higher Art over the holidays. For his expressive section he had to do some of his drawings/paintings in the style of another artist, and so that's what he was working on here.
Of course, when Fraser saw James busy with paints he wanted to join in too and so James gave him a few blobs of acrylic paint and let him do his own work of art.
And here are James' final drawings and painting. Pretty good, don't you think?
And that's about everything from our first week of the holidays.
Week 2 involved much less bargain hunting and a lot more physical work. But more of that in another post.