Tuesday, July 22

Weekend Over

Well the family party weekend was in my opinion, a bit of a let down. It went ok I guess, I was just disappointed.

I had arranged to go to Mum's for the weekend because of all the birthdays during last week, and because it was my 40th I thought it would be nice to celebrate it with my family. Sue was invited along too so that made Isabelle, Gary my youngest brother, Sue and me all having had birthdays. It turned out, when I got there, to be a surprise 60th birthday party for Sue! There were happy 60th birthday banners and balloons all over the place. My cousin had bought a 60th birthday cake. We'd all chipped in with the food and made something towards a buffet. It's a really long story, I got very upset in my head and tried not to show it. I don't think anyone noticed, but the more I think about it, the more upset I am now. They never even got a cake for me. On the up-side, my brother and sister in law sent a beautiful bouquet of flowers which in all honest, made my day.

Danny (Eve's boyfriend) was a grumpy arse all weekend and spent most of his time in the bedroom. At least I didn't have to look at his grumpy face lol.

The best part of the weekend was a self made time alone moment.. which NEVER happens.

I had to nip to morrisons for something for dinner. Eve had taken Isabelle out to walk the dog, Mark had gone for a walk somewhere while I'd been up at Mum's. So I got the shopping needed and decided to go and photograph a nearby windmill. It was only about 15 minutes drive, but I grew up in this area so all the local landmarks were familiar to me. The sky was great. Dark and foreboding in some places yet huge fluffy white clouds in others. I decided to take bracketed shots for the windmill because I wanted to really bring out the tones by tonemapping. So I snapped away until I had what I wanted. I then drove to a small village close by called Rampton. This is where my very first school is. I had to see it again after all these years. I've not seen it since I left when we moved at the age of 8. My first class, Class 1 is still there! It's a wooden built extension and I loved that classroom. I know this means nothing to anyone else, but this is my very first classroom.

And the path leading to it is where we used to play 'elastics'. I don't think they evey play that now. Also in front of the classroom is where we used to have the May Pole. i remember practicing and practicing until we got the dance, weaving and ribbons right ready for the May Day celebrations where we had to dance round the May Pole. Very fond memories.

Right next to the school was a field full of hay bails, so I wandered just inside the field and took some photographs. I was in photograhic heaven having been to the windmill and now a field full of hay bails with a sky full of big clouds.

I was going to drive around the Woodbeck estate, where I lived, but I know that most of the houses have been knocked down and all my old stomping grounds are now car parks. So I didn't bother.

It was really strange driving around the places I grew up. Although we've been back to Retford many times, we've never driven around the old villages. It was a very nostalgic trip for me, made even nicer by the fact that I was alone. I didn't have to explain to Mark why each place or landmark meant something, and I didn't have Isabelle yapping away in the back of the car. I could have my own happy thoughts and memories all to myself without breaking the nostalgia by someone talking to me.

On the Sunday morning, we were up early (thanks Isabelle lol) and no one else was up. about 8am I suggested we went for a walk. We went to Clumber Park. We used to go here so many weekends when we were kids and I have very happy memories of this country park, and they all include my dad. We walked to the lake where I knew there would be swans and ducks and canada geese. We were met by two adult swans and 5 half grown cygnets. The cygnets were huge for babies lol. I'd brought some bread so Isabelle got to feed them although she wasn't happy with the male swan at all as he pinched a full slice of bread out of her hand lol. It made her cry. Not because she was scared, but because she was cross because he pinched it. They were so tame though even the cygnets were happy to take bread from your hands. Isabelle had a whale of a time and wasn't scared at all.

After feeding the birds we walked a while as Mark had gone for a run around the lake. There is a beautiful Gothic Revival Church in the park and seeing as architectural photography is not one of my strong points, I thought I'd have a try. These are the results.

Isabelle was getting a bit fed up by this point (too much goose poo on the grass!) and Mark had finished his 4 mile run around the lake and we were both gasping for a coffee. Because we were there so early, the cafe hadn't even opened yet lol.

It was nice to wander down memory lane this weekend.