Working with Pa on a solution.
The future is bright and tonight I have made some massive strides ahead to developing a new avenue for Yve.
For some time now Yve has been wanting to showcase some personal and also products from other friends who create craft and sell their wares. Yve does Crochet and also some other craft areas as well, really good stuff and so has been mooting ideas about moving that forward with an online presence to showcase the goods, both website and social media.
https://kinnell-kreations.co.uk/shop was developed tonight as a test to see if I can develop the framework to allow this to move forward. Consider it a proof of concept or proof of infrastructure development.
All the items are stuff we are trying to move on through current avenues GumTree etc, simultaneously I am putting them live on the new shop site, fully secure with PayPal as option for payment. It also integrates and self publishes to the Kinnell Kreations page as well (again as a test to see working and suitability for cross promotion).
So if you could do me a huge favour and help with the testing and visit either the main website or the FB page and browse and even buy something (legitametly or pretend) to let me see how this would work from end to end. I will be updating the site with other items as I add them to GumTree etc, so will update as the week progresses.
This shop page that has gone live is not the end product that Yve will be using as her storefront, that will come soon with it’s own unique brand and style.
SInce most of the pictures of the car dash are taking as we get back to where we had been that day, mostly late into the evevning, it’s not so obvious to note the temperature difference between back and forth in Lincolnshire or Yorkshire as it was here as we arrived back North of the border. Actually as we got over the border the weather turned noticeably colder, and indeed wetter, so welcome home to us. In an ironic kind of a way it was actually good as it cleared a lot of the bugs off the roofbox and indeed front grill/ number plate. I had kept the windshield fairly clear with a few morning wipes but the rest of it was not getting done till we were finished driving, no need, rain solved that issue.
Part of our planned travel home was to go via Chorley just off the M6 to go collect these 2 little ones. The plan was that we would visit the breeder on the way down which you will know we did if you read day 1 of this series, from there we had thought it was to be one and also that it would be ready for homing about the 1st August, which was fine. Well when we arrived we were greeted with a choice and some toing and froing went on as these 2 were available and could be picked up as we went back home 2 weeks from then, so here we were in Chorley collecting 2 female Cavapoo puppies at only 8 weeks old. Wow, here’s to another chapter as we all look towards having a dog or now dogs in the home again since Honey passed away September 2017.
Since we did this new routine we hit Chorley about 1245 which was a decent 3 hours from when we left Lincolnshire, the drive to there and from there home was very uneventful about 4 hours from Chorley to home with a couple of stops, makes all my other drives North and South seem like a walk in the park by comparison, so we are definitely adopting this new routine and timing for future Southern travels.
I started this mini series as an ode to the Proclaimers song, that we would drive 500 Miles and 500 more … well as you can see from the odometer reading that was a tad understimated. Nearly 1800 from home to home and all in between was done, all but perhaps 3 of those was driven by me personally, combination of reasons, but for the greater good it’s how this family chooses to do it. Yve is both perfectly capable and proficient in driving in all conditions, we all just prefer it this way with long journeys.
Car largely unpacked with the roofbox remaining on the car and a far more relaxed evening of arriving home was had. Again the change of routine and timing of packing, leaving our destination and arriving home has meant a better, less stressful end to my holiday all of which helps greatly, while everyone else gets to enjoy the remainder of the summer months off school etc, I sadly however have to be back at work the next day. So shower and bed for tomorrow the holiday will seem like an all to distant memory for me especially, full of great memories and one of our most relaxing if not for the 1700+ mile driving.
The final full day of our hoilday and we had scheduled to visit some friends who live close to the church we used to be Pastors of, Catalyst Church nee Wellspring. The Culleys are a family we got to know through the Coffee Shop we opened for a season and since those first few lunches have become good friends and ardent servers and members of Catalyst Church, meeting right there in Upper Saxondale.
We went over for lunch in the village itself Upper Saxondale, Rob and Sandra had prepared what can only be described as a meteoric feast of sandwiches, delights and for those that weren’t driving a glass of Prosecco. The Pickering clan, Kath, Abi and Caleb were there as well so a double meeting for them with us. Headed off to the very local (2 minute walk) play park to picnic and play. Always good to chill in the sunshine with some great food and even better company.
Since this was our last day I knew we had to get back to pack our stuff and the car ready for the trip home so we opted for Chinese meal out at our then favoured eating spot. The Charde Oriental, Tollerton just outside Keyworth. Funny Yve still gets text message inviting us to join them for their latest tribute act nights, even though we live north of the border. Still they do fabulous food and the kids enjoyed the buffet starter and we chose some nice dishes, so all round well fed, great day and always sad to be finishing the day and even more so the holiday. Back to Old Bolingbroke to pack the car and ready for the road home. I have developed a new routine this holiday to pack everything the night before and then literally pack the whole car the night before with the exception of overnight bag(s). So much better, even though this time it was gone 11 by the time I was finished and headed to bed, drive home north awaits.
So this was our rest day, some would argue if this was a rest day why are you driving then, well we had some errands to run as we have another detour on the route home to take care of and we were doing some research. We’ve been in the Midlands area for a while and never visited Boston, have to say it is very A-Typical of the market towns that we have visited in the area. We have been to Lincoln, Newark, Bingham, Radcliffe and a few others and the market place or main old town centre shopping areas are all largely the same, rather reassuring in a way as we instantly felt at ease and knew kind of what to expect. Stop 1 and 2 were ok and we got what we needed and resisted buying more, due to space and packing restrictions already stretched. We then headed into main town centre, much like good ol Glasgow Town centre, navigating the one way streets you are and are not allowed to go down proved to be frustrating with many a wrong turn, but eventually we parked, purchased all day ticket and off to explore. Now rather hungry we stopped at “Seventh Heaven” no reason, just close and looked nice, that or Girly Girl spotted a rather nice looking Sundae being served and that swung it. Couple of Salads and Paninis later, much later, and we headed out to find some shops and the now customary charity shops, of which there are loads. It seems when we visit these places, Yve heads for the books and will glance at the clothes, kids will head straight for the DVD section and I will invariable wander looking for any wee gadgets or cool stuff and on our last couple of outings gravitated towards practical bags and a like, now got two more better serviced bags to enable travelling for the family, the latest is far more practical, small back pack to the front detachable and pull out handles to make the main a rucksack or the trolley case as well.
While we had been sitting WAITING on our food, I noted a couple of Jewellers and while fiddling with my everyday Diesel watch on my wrist, which my youngest brother bought me many birthday years hence, after 2nd strap is failing rapidly and 3 batteries or so later, was thinking with given birthday money and due from family was perhaps timely to avail a new everyday wear watch. So I did. I um’d and ahh’d over a few in a couple of shop windows trying to decide what I was needing, vs wanting and what was practical. I have a really nice watch given to me at Christmas by Yve and that has been worn a few times here on holiday as everyday but mostly I like to keep it for date nights and special occasions. This new watch as it’s every day wear intended is simpler and cleaner lines as well as a punch of colour in the blue face, couple of others I looked at were a little too plain jane and didn’t really jump out at me, Girly Girl, my new style magnate and decision maker of all things fashion, also said this one, so this one it had to be.
The drive was also a very interesting one, we did something rather new and prompted by the car journies of the last couple of evenings when the music playlist was requested it was denied by Yve and the kids were forced to have a conversation with us and indeed each other. So interesting to hear Yve and I do most of the talking, prompted by questions the kids threw at us. Most of them were sensible, where would you most like to go on holiday, childhood holiday memories, best Christmas, when did you learn to drive and so on. Wonderfully listening as I drove to us recalling our stories of when we passed Driving Tests and why, leading to Yve telling the kids about when she was healed from Epilepsy, God being praised and hailed as victorious and our kids hearing amazing stories of God’s grace and mercy and faith as we journeyed.
As I drove, I thought about 2 kids heads leaned in towards the propped forward middle section perhaps realising as they listened intently to their parents recall stories and some of our best memories and recollections of times gone past. Some of them about the great work God has done in their lives and others just about the best of times and also the worst of times as well that they may actually learn something for once if they, if we would all turn off the music, the device and connect more with the people and world around us, we might actually find out some pretty cool stuff.
Today was another day in the car again, not such an early start but also not such a long way to go either. Again this was deliberate. Planned drop in on some dear friends who live in Cotgrave, Brian and Sheila, who while we were staying in Bingham, were almost like Grandparents with the kids, delightful couple who could do no wrong. Wee man and I used to head down to have our hair cut and spend some time with Brian who used to own his own barber shop for many years, now long retired, he has no less skills in that department despite his lengthy years of service, also for me to lend the obligatory IT assistance with a few issues, which are usually resolved by my mere presence, much to the annoyance of the user who has only just had the issue, now mystically disappear as they try to show me what is going wrong as I am watching to assess. Sheila will talk no end and loved to hear wee man’s tales from school etc, so was really nice to schedule the visit as last time we tried unannounced and missed them.
We ventured from there North to Southern edge of Lincoln to some long time friends, the Pickering clan. Wee man and Girly Girl have great friendships with Abi and Caleb, who are the same older sister, younger brother and about a year or so behind ours, they have built quite a strong bond of friendship, which we love to foster. We do get on with Kath as well, as did we with our dearly loved, no longer with us Tim. Many memories for Yve and I with Kath and Tim pre and more so post kids, as our 2 families have sought each other out and we have built over the years, regardless of where we all based, times to reconnect and share more memories.
We arrived there after turning off the A46 at the Central junction and not the South; North Hykeham, resulting in me stopping for fuel and needing from there to head through mostly central Lincoln at 4.30 at the onset of rush hour, absolutely bursting for the loo. Arrived at their home after yet another missed turn, knocked on the door to announce our arrival and burst into their downstairs cloak, before I burst a blood vessel. Nothing like relationships that are so close, you can get away with just knocking once, open the door and without hearing a response, a hello or a welcome hug use the facilities. I hate having a small bladder and very little control. At times I must seem like a man in latter years than someone in his mid forties the amount of times I need to find a loo to use, embarrassing sometimes really it is. That little outburst, thankfully not of the blood vessel kind or other, aside we settled into some time for Kath and us to catch up while the kids without much by way of hello’s disappeared with their repsective partner in crime to resolve and catch up on the last few months apart. A lovely meal of pulled Chicken, home made slaw and salad was shared and we then headed off for more R&R in the local park, kids playing any game imaginable and us adults chatting and sitting sharing and talking through anything and everything till the world had been sorted. We came back to Goosberryfool, home made again, and some strawberries and Gala Melon, lovely, tasty and too good and definitely off plan, well I am on holiday, so it’s totally cool. I am justifying it not only because it is holiday time but also because I do so much more activity and walking over these last couple of weeks so that in a small way and I do mean small offsets some of the overeating and over indulgence, well that’s what I am saying to it all. Well on our way past the 1,000 mile mark and a short drive back from Lincoln, saw us conclude our 3 day marathon of driving and long days visiting family and friends, South to Northampton West to Matlock and a little North and West to Lincoln…
Tomorrow is a planned down day as we have set aside time to rest and take stock ready for our adventure to conclude on Sunday, with the prospect of work for me ever a gray cloud hanging over these last days.
So this was my Birthday, yip 21 again and thank you to all that wished me Happy Birthday either personally direct or on FB, much love.
So I spent my birthday yip you’ve guessed it driving, today was about 160+ mile round trip and again due to the nature of the cross country travelling was still a 2+ hour one way trip. This time it was Mrs family, cousin and Uncle to be precise. They have 2 younger kids, 1 nearly 3 and the other daughter is 9 months. We arrived again about the 1230 mark and landed to a nice cheese board, salad nibble type of lunch, light but no less pleasant and tasty. We then took the opportunity again as it was a really nice day to venture out as a group to a local attraction, Whitworth House, where we could let the kidlets do some running around getting some much-needed outdoor run around space and where we as adults to rest and see some droopy kids get some much-needed Vitamin D. We again ended this little outing with a much-needed refreshment and ice cream, see a theme here…
We rounded off back at their pleasant wee cottage with a traditional chip shop dinner and much to my surprise a nice Victoria Sponge with half a dozen candles to represent my years on this planet. Delightful dessert was had by all and with their kids being younger and already up well past normal bedtime, we left Matlock about 1930/2000 to the kids being ushered to bed, quite hot and somewhat grumpy, their kids not mine. Well actually Girly Girl did not have a so pleasant ride back.
We had a not so pleasant drive home this time, which was marked by Girly Girl complaining of a headache and sore stomach, we know she doesn’t drink enough, a lot, hardly any so we immediately knew this lack of fluid, was more than likely partly responsible for her know flagging temperament. So resolution, drink her juice provided, wind the window down and get some cool air on the face, look forward in the car and relax. Nope, none of this suggestion was either relevant, helpful or what was wanted to Girly Girl and she proceeds to kick off, whinge and generally bemoan the advice given. So I wound the window down for her (praise God at times like this for all round and lockable access to rear windows) and nigh on forced her to take sips every couple of minutes to assist, not gulp, sip! After about a 1/4 of the bottle she displays the result and admonishes she is complete, not by a long shot, more moaning, tears and ‘I’m being cruel and mean’ are beckoned from the rear seat. Wee man is allowed some tablet time as he is just to boreded to care. We got the sipping and Yve and I resolved that after 2 days of driving and visiting people, lot of hanging about and little, as they would measure it, stimulation, all coupled with hormonal teenager was more than likely a large mishmash of circumstances that attributed to the overall just plain done, daughter.
We got home safe and sound and with all the juice gone and some very tired Abbott members we headed off to bed and relaxed. Day 2 of 3 long days was complete, 2 people to see tomorrow, but not so far to travel and the 2nd was more anticipated than the first but both important for different reasons.
Not been on for a couple of days as these were setup to be our busy 3 days for driving and also for visiting people.
So this was our trip to Northampton to visit my Brother Phil and his wife Jax, they live in a nice Victorian style house with massive sloping garden, they’ve been there for I think 12-15 years now and it is unrecognisable from when they bought it both inside and out. Well we have a 4+ hour round trip for this only about 200 miles or so all told, so was always going to be a beast of a day. Price you pay to connect with family, better than the round trip from home in Paisley anyday, so let’s keep in perspective. Arrived there about 1230 had some light salady lunch and then we all went out to Stanwick Lakes which is a local wildlife and adventure place, lots to do for all the family nice wee cafe as well as the Adventure Obstacle Course we all did. The kids even had races with more energetic and younger Aunt and Uncle who also did some teaching on the Army way of getting all your team over the larger climbing walls, so was educational as well as physical exertion, really hot sunny day, so we had to round it off before we left with an obligatory Ice Cream. We did have some casualties, mainly me as I was trying to get out of the tunnel section and awkwardly mid knees to standing up while trying to get out of the end, went forward stumbled took a roll and grazed both palms and my left knee, diverted the rest of the course in favour of not inflicting more damage. Although I have lost almost 2 stone, my fitness and stamina levels still need some work.
We enjoyed some time back at their house, admiring the garden and enjoyed a BBQ dinner and more salad items to round of a perfectly wonderful time with family.
It is in times like these, despite leaving there about 2140 and recognising the 2+ hours of a drive late at night ahead of me, that I realise more of the importance of making time for these connections. They don’t happen on their own, it may often feel like it’s one-sided, i.e. you are doing all the initiating to get the meeting, but pushing through to see the joy my kids have reconnecting with family they love to see and indeed whom I appreciate seeing and spending time with makes all the difference. I truly believe, especially and more so where many miles separate you, that there is more to be gained from these times than the effort and tiredness and angst that may be associated with them. Day 1 of 3 long days was complete, phew, shower and bed and do the same tomorrow…
Another day, another 100 or so miles. This time it was back to where we used to live, Bingham. 2 stops for the day, one that could only be done today as we wanted to ensure that Girly Girl got to spend some time with one of her best friends, Leah Baskey, since today was the only day we would all be in this side of the country we met for lunch and then retired back to theirs for a cuppa and to continue relating. Very relaxed and nice to catch up with the current Pastors of Catalyst Church Dave and Lizzi who have been running, for the last 6 years or so, what was known as Wellspring when it was our patch. They are doing amazing taking the church and it’s people and connections to places we never dreamed of. Keep going guys you’re doing an excellent job.
Our second stop of the day for dinner was a mere 0.1 mile away from the other, sad to say we did take the car round, I didn’t actually travel far enough or fast enough for the car to warn me I hadn’t buckled up. It did by the time I was parking and Valerie was on her way out to greet us thinking we had forgotten where she and Chandra lived, as if. When we planned our holiday both the Primrose Valley and especially this 2nd week of being based at Skylark house in Old Bolingbroke, it was with the intention of visiting folks down this part of the country, which after only 1 day of doing so has proved to be absolutely the best decision. It does mean some amount of miles are on the clock and lots of time driving to and from, but the rewards far outway the expense of time, mileage or fuel. Getting time with folks has not been easy planning/co-ordinating diaries as well as planned rest days like today the 9th as we chill at Skylark House, we have so appreciated the lack of driving today and the lack of expectancy and going somewhere, well Yve and I have, the kids as many other parents will relate to are still on the what can we do, I’m boreded. We can’t see everyone we would like to either due to time or schedules so we’ll just have to do it again.
For yesterday though we enjoyed some relaxed catching up with the Baskeys, over lunch allowing 2 teenagers to connect face to face again after 4 years, facetime and WhatsApp goes only so far. Then we wiled away the evening with some lovely home cooked Sri Lankan style cuisine with some Northern hospitality thrown into the mix, to round off a very satisfying day with the Chandrakumars. Busy day but a lovely day nonetheless, wee spot of Diesel on the way home to Old Bolingbroke and we rest.
Tomorrow sees a visit South to Northampton to catch up with my brother and his wife so that will be almost 200 miles round trip on that one and about 4 hours in the car, Wednesday we head to Matlock Derbyshire to see Cousin and family, Thursday sees us in Cotgrave and Lincoln, Friday is another rest day and will include some shopping and pre heading home planning, Saturday we’ll be back in Upper Saxondale for the afternoon and then restful evening back to Skylark House to pack before heading North home on Sunday. So as I was working out the various locations and the mileage between and back and forth etc, I reckon we will be pushing 1500 miles on this trip which is way more than the 500 miles title of this series suggests and more even than the song from which it was inspired originates as that says it will be 500 more, well for us it seems were are literally going the extra mile on this trip, 500 or more to be precise. I may even take a poll for what people reckon we will cover by the time we arrive back home in Paisley. Any suggestions or guesses as to total mileage?
Well on our way past the 500 mile marker now. Left site this morning in what has been characterised as the least stressful packing and leaving site in the Abbott Family history. This is the time as recorded accurately as I was leaving the reception area, having already left the van and driven to the reception to hand the keys in. Photo taken of my watch as I was walking away ready to depart on our journey South East to Old Bolingbroke and our 2nd holiday destination. Ignore the date on the watch, it hasn’t been right for years and ceases to want to stay in the right date regardless of how often I set it. Check out is 10am, nothing unusual there, most hotels and guest accomodation have an early checkout to allow cleaning for the incoming guests. But this was me as I said all done, packed driven up there and dropped off the keys and out walking back to the car all with time to spare, so stress free that I even had time to take a picture of my watch. Amazingly unheard of and very welcome.
Next stop another holiday tradition, don’t have breakfast at the site/accomodation etc, pack and go to a local establishment and eat a full cooked breakfast to set you up for the travel North. Last year the local on site restaurant did breakfast, but not this year, so we opted for a local Filey establishment “Filey Bistro and Coffee Bar” which had some good reviews on Trip Advisor and Google so we plumped for that and boy we were not disappointed. Lovely full breakfast for all that wanted, some hot coffee and juice. Well fueled, we set off from there. Plan was pre set for me by looking at the map and planning the route South South East A165/A1305/A164 to Humber Bridge and down to Lincolnshire from there. SatNav programmed to avoid Tolls and I was a little concerned I had done something wrong as I ignored Sally SatNav for the 1st half hour, as the most direct route was not my intended. When she started me off towards the M62 that’s when I pulled over and consulted the map to discover Sally SatNav was headed not towards the Bridge but inland away in to avoid it. Sack that I said, reprogrammed hit the A63 and blasted towards the bridge toll and £1.50 expense cutting 30 minutes minimum off my time of arrival. Feeling better and more confident of the new route we pushed on.
As the mileage shows and the fact that I am writing this, we have arrived safe with our hosts Alison and Graeme, or ‘Alison Chickens’ as they are affectionately known to our 2. Comes from a very early visit to stay with them while living in Chelmsford as we visited as one of our earliest overnights with the kids. Their main and lasting memory is that they kept chickens in their modest suburban backyard, now less modest and more sprawling would describe their accomodation and the chickens certainly can’t complain. Lovely dinner and been for a most leisurely stroll around Bolingbroke to round off a decent day all round. Not a bad view for the week here either.