It's rather too long since I wrote anything here, but then we have had Easter in the middle of things, and I don't know about you, but mine was quite busy. I have to say that I had a lovely weekend though. I ignored the fact that I had lots of OU work to do and an assignment due in next week (I'll have to stop ignoring that fact now), and instead spent the weekend doing nice things. So it started on Friday with a trip up into Northumberland to visit my dad who had my brother, sister-in-law and nephew staying with him. I haven't seen them since August last year and Oliver (my nephew) is now 15 months old and obviously changed a lot since then. He's such a cheery chap and a delight to be with :o)
After we'd had a bite of lunch we went for a drive along the coast, first of all past Druridge Bay and then along to Amble. At Amble harbour we seemed to decide that it'd be a good idea to get out of the car 'to blow away the cobwebs'. It certainly did that! There was a bitter gale blowing and snow blustering around intermittently. The harbour waters were choppy and looked like something from a nineteenth century oil painting, and enormous waves were crashing in ten foot or more sprays over the harbour wall.
On our way back towards the village where my dad lives we stopped at the headland just opposite Coquet Island. I'm not sure how as it appeared to be more sheltered than Amble harbour, but the wind seemed even more powerful, making it difficult to stay standing at times. We didn't venture down onto the beach, but even with staying on the grassy dunes we managed to get wet with 'globs' of foam being thrown from the waves. It was amazingly dramatic, but absolutely freezing so we didn't hang around too long and went back to the cosy, warm house for a cuppa. I then came home and dashed off to church for the Good Friday evening service, which was wonderfully reflective and restored some calm into my windswept head.
Saturday (late) morning was spent with my friend K shopping for food for the following day as we were having Easter Sunday together with another friend, R. Having got what we needed and having taken it back to K's I then wombled back home to pretend to study while K went to the theatre and out for dinner afterwards. I'd said to K that if she wanted to prepare any of the food for Sunday then I'd be quite happy to come round again, and sure enough, around 10pm I had a phone call asking me if I wanted to go and make soup ... so I did. At 1am we'd finished making the butternut squash, ginger, orange and corriander soup and realised it was Easter Sunday so celebrated with a mouthful of chocolate - one of the best ways to celebrate Easter :o)
The Easter service on Sunday morning was lovely - really joyful :o) And afterwards K, R and I went off to K's to make the vegetable hotpot bake we were having for lunch. It's always fun cooking with friends and it makes a refreshing change to be cooking for more than one as well, which makes it feel more ... worth it. I think it's safe to say that we all enjoyed our lunch, which was nicely rounded off with chocolate mousse cake with strawberries and raspberries and yogurt or ice-cream. Just as we were finishing that we were joined by another couple of friends - C and A - for an afternoon of game playing. I love playing games - always have done - and it's great to have friends who also enjoy it and organise times to play them. It was all good fun and of course, being Easter, was highlighted with chocolate :o) After that we all trundled over to church again for the evening service where K and C were playing in the music group and I was giving a testimonial. I was incredibly nervous about doing this, although it'd been planned for several weeks, and I'd been worrying about it quietly for most of the day ... and the day before. However, it all went fairly well in the end :o) Once the service was over we stayed for a cuppa and then all went back to K's again, with yet another friend, CM, to chat and make chocolate shapes. A had brought a special chocolate melting kit with moulds, so we had fun melting down Green & Blacks chocolate into gloop, pouring it carefully (or not so carefully at times in my case) into the little moulds and resolidifying it in the freezer and fridge. We were all a bit chocolated out by this time though so didn't eat very much of it, instead opting to come home with little parcels of chocolate shapes, some of which I still have in my fridge. I think I got home around 1am, but I'd had a really lovely day.
The long weekend was rounded off with another trip up to Northumberland on Monday to see my dad, brother, sister-in-law and nephew again, although I didn't get up there till early evening as I went over to the new vicarage to 'help' strip wallpaper. My lungs didn't like that very much though so I didn't hang around long. I arrived at Dad's in time to help give Ollie his dinner and then his bath. He loves baths and it was a very giggley affair with lots of fun and not too much water escaping from the bath itself :o) Bath time is obviously followed by bedtime when you're 15 months old, so I stayed around for Oliver's story and gave him a cuddle while he had his song. It was lovely. Then it was adult time - dinner time and chat, which again was really lovely and very relaxed. Dad asked if I wanted to stay the night, which would've been nice, but as I didn't have all my meds with me I wasn't able to, so sometime around 11pm I set off home in the snow.
Yes, all in all it was a very enjoyable, relaxed, fun-filled, friendship-filled weekend :o) A good Easter :o)