Monday, 23 April 2012

April Showers

The weekend's activities mainly involved avoiding the rain showers and eating. We went to the shops for provisions so that John could make a ragu sauce. This is one of John's specialities, and he often makes it when he has a day off. He retreats into the kitchen, puts on some music and potters around. He makes the best ragu sauce ever, I will share it with you one day.


Angus built one of his speciality traffic jams, where he likes to spend hours lining up all his toy cars, trucks, fire engines and other vehicles in a perfectly straight line. Sometimes they are in size order, sometimes not. No-one is allowed to touch them (this causes problems when other children come round to play) but we are permitted to admire his creative efforts.


Some time with the paints. I've found letting them use these watercolours is so much less mess than getting out the poster paints, and they seem to enjoy it just as much. Bella painted a row of flowers...


And Angus painted "a rainbow".


The finished results:


Angus poring over one of his favourite books. I can't remember the title, he just calls it the "police car book" and he loves to stare really closely at the images as though committing them to memory.


On Sunday we ventured into Leeds. We visited the City Museum to see the Pharaoh - King of Egypt exhibition on tour from the British Museum. It was very interesting, but did not really grab the children's attention so we didn't spend that long there. 


But another exhibition, "Silver Seventies" really caught our attention. My fellow Leeds blogger,   Jen at little birdie, wrote a great post about it on Saturday.


It was brilliant - colourful, well laid out, informative and funny. I was born in 1978 so I don't really feel that I am a true child of the seventies, as most of my childhood memories are from the eighties. But there was so much in this exhibition that provoked memories for John and I - styles of decorating, home furnishings, board games. I was particularly taken with the sewing patterns.


Then to Carluccio's for lunch. We'd never been here before and it was very nice. Lovely style of interior design and good service.



I was so impressed with how child friendly is it. As soon as we sat down the children were given an activity pack with paper and crayons. Their drinks came in plastic cups which always causes me to breathe a sigh of relief. The lovely Italian waitress made a fuss of Angus ("ah, such a cute leeeetle boy!") and he allowed her to stroke his cheek. I ordered the spinach and ricotta ravioli in sage butter sauce and oh, it was so utterly delicious. Then coffee gelato for desert, which was rich and bitter and dark. Strangely, Bella loved it, so I traded her some of mine for her vanilla gelato, and that really was delicious.


And a lovely gift from friends in the afternoon..



A rye fruit loaf (or "malt loaf for grown ups") from our friends Kate and Dean. Dean is a talented and passionate baker. There is nothing he does not know about bread and he spends a large part of his spare time baking various and wonderful loaves. I've gone round in the evening to babysit before and found rows of sourdough, brioche and croissants lined up, cooling, ready for the week ahead.


Good friends to know! Especially when they give you random and delicious bread. What did you do over the weekend? I hope you stayed dry and had fun.

22 comments:

  1. I love the helicopter sitting there in the traffic jam with all the cars and trucks. Chuckle.

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    1. He likes to give all his toys equal love!

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  2. Sounds like a great weekend! My son also loves lining up his cars and trucks :-)

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    1. I think it is Angus's number one past time. He also likes to line up his toy animals. Why do boys like to line things up?? I'm sure Bella never did that. x

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  3. Sounds like a fab weekend. I spent mine at a Blog conference and driving to and from it!

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    1. A blog conference! That sounds intriguing and fun! x

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  4. what a fab time.
    i started her on water-colours couple of week ago too! and i agree about the mess factor compared to poster paints.
    and you make me want to visit leeds for that restaurant alone! - good food and kid-friendly, bonus.

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    1. They are loving the paints, good for a rainy afternoon. We will definitely be going back to Carluccio's! x

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  5. Oh I love Angus' rainbow! What a lovely little picture. And Bella's too, her flowers are beautiful! Glad to hear you had a great weekend amongst the April showers! I spent the weekend packing and sorting and recycling... house moves seem never ending! :)

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    1. Good luck with your house move - sometimes it's so therapeutic to have a good clear out. But no fun to have boxes everywhere. :-( x

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  6. Wow I wanted your breakfast and now I want your whole weekend. Actually to be fair I most want Angus' weekend - a little lining up stuff, some light reading, painting & being admired by an Italian (I'll take the waiter. What not to like?

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    1. Hee hee - he does live a charmed life, the little monkey. It's hitting me that he's almost three so I am smothering him with cuddles for as long as he'll let me. x

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  7. coffee gelato yum yum yum! Tom used to line up his cars in a traffic jam style too - must be a boy thing!! I look forward to reading the ragu recipe John.
    Lorraine xx

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    1. I will get John on the case. But he is master of procrastinating so I may have to crack the whip! x

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  8. It sounds as though you had a great weekend Gillian. I'm going to try my Bella on watercolours, like you say poster paints just get messy with a capital 'M'!

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    1. No need for newspaper on every surface! Or aprons! Definitely an improvement on our usual painting debacles. x

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  9. Carluccio's is lovely isn't it? We went to the one in Chichester recently and had such delicious meal. I love having a brouse in the shop too.
    Is that the book we gave Angus? It looks like it. My girls weren't that interested in it so I'm glad he enjoys it. It was given to us from Jon's nephew Josiah when he outgrew it.
    The paintings are very pretty. Glad you had a lovely weekend.
    We bought a Culture All pass which gives unlimited access into some children's farms and museums in Hampshire. We visited Manor Farm near Southampton. It was small and friendly and just right for our girls, except that Jennifer was petrified of the chickens. She said she doesn't want to go to a farm ever again, which is a shame because I plan to go to the local farm a lot now that we have the pass. She'll just have to get over the chickens.

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    1. The shop is lovely, but overpriced! Yes it is the book Angus stole from your girls - he loves it and it's one of his favourites.

      You made me chuckle with Jennifer's chicken phobia! How can a child so fearless when she climbs to the top of the highest slide fear a chicken?? xxx

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  10. Love all of your son's artwork...happy and colorful! And it's always nice to find a child friendly restaurant and this one looks really adorable! Love stopping by your blog...always a relaxing break for me!

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    1. Oh, he only did the splodges of colour, the real rainbow and flowers were done by Bella who is 5! Don't want to give the misleading impression that he is an artistic genius!

      Thanks for the lovely compliment Julia! Reading blogs is my favourite tea break activity! x

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  11. Love the artwork. So colourful, which is what we need. And the rainbow is very appropriate! x

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  12. what a great day - love that traffic jam x

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