Monday 2 September 2013

Blowy at the beach

As the summer tails off into September and the blustery wind starts to have an autumn feel to it, our thoughts are turning towards whether we can appoint a builder and get extension work started before frozen ground impinges upon our building plans. Sharon has issued our tender document and we await the responses to see just what exactly we can afford on our budget. The warrants are completed and we'd like to do the rear and garage side as a minimum, but it all depends on the cost. There has been a succession of builders through the house in the last week or so as Sharon runs her eye over them, from the "far too cheap to be decent quality" end of the spectrum to the "sounds great but unaffordable" end. It's all about the references, really.

Despite the fierce wind yesterday we threw together a quick picnic lunch and headed to the Secret Beach to meet up with the Eastwoods (Julie, Colin, Charlie and Rosie) who had already pitched their shelter in the bracing breeze. It was too gusty for our windbreak but we had a good time eating, wandering along the wind-strafed beach, clambering over the rocks by the water, throwing stones, finding stones, making paint from powdered stones (Finn especially liked this activity, so thanks to Colin) and climbing the tree by the path down to the beach. Three hours that certainly blew the cobwebs away. We earned our fish and chips from the Chip Inn!

Sharon hosted her Grand a Month dinner on Saturday, spending most of the day cooking and tidying the house. I put away the Lego which has been lying mostly untouched for some months in the playroom. We do need to get better at recycling the toys and will have to keep a lid, literally, on the clutter once the building work starts and we have to cram in to less living space. Late in the afternoon I took the boys and their bikes down to the "grassy bit" behind the building site that was the Fairmile Inn. Rowan wailed for half the trip down the hill that his bike was "too heavy" (depite him pushing it down the hill) but then cemented last week's first attempts at riding without stabilisers by successfully completing a number of test rides down the grassy knoll, managing to steer round to the path a few times too. Angus (with stabilisers) had a couple of dicey moments that I was blamed for, becasue I didn't run and hold him, but he kept at it. Sean and Finn are cycling well now: they just don't get out on their bikes often enough.

Sean started Scouts properly on Friday night and said he felt more grown up after his first evening wearing his new Scout shirt and belt. He needs to grow to fill the shirt! I went up for a talk about next summer's camp, a once every four years opportunity for the Fairmilehead Scouts to go to Kindersteg in Switzerland. Sean is very eager but resigned that he won't get to go on several counts - we feel he's just too young to go away for 2 weeks; only 27 of the Scouts will get to go and it'll be the older ones who'll get priority; it costs £725! But I have to say it did look like a great opportunity.

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