Jan 18, 2012

Back from Blighty!

Well, we're what, nearly three weeks into 2012 now and I'm only just saying happy new year? It took us a while to reset after getting back from the UK, dashing up to Tahoe for a mate's wedding immediately, and then back home to get over the jet lag and start school again. I think we're back on an even keel now though, so, Happy New Year!

It was so so good to see friends and family back in Wales and England over the holidays. It hurts my heart that we can't be nearer to them more often. Everyone got to meet Delyth for the first time, which was great because she's such a happy little camper, and at six months old she adored the attension. Plus she is sitting up, crawling backwards and saying some darn cute babbly baby nonsense too, which the two bigger filth wizards think is great fun.

Just look how spoiled she was by our families!
My Mum.

My dad and sister.

Paul's folks.

Paul with the girls and their cousin.

I don't have a craft project to post for you right this minute, but I did want to share with you some pics from our trip. If you've been to Wales or live there then you'll understand my love for the place. If you've never visited then definitely put North Wales on the list! Really, no matter what time of year we go, whatever the weather, the beauty of the place shines through like nowhere else I've experienced.

From Rhosgadfan at sunrise,

to Portmeirion just before sun set.

to Llanberris Pass in the rain and fog

We also got to have a very personal guided tour of the Blue John Caverns in Castleton (Derbyshire) because it was off season, it was just our family and my best mate that were taken 300ft underground into the caverns by Ben, who is one of the two miners that works there. The kids were really great down there and Delyth slept in the sling for most of it too, so we could really take it all in and find out about the history of the place and what mining there involves. I felt really lucky to have had that kind of tour of the place, because Ben said that in the summer they can have groups of sixty or more going down there at once. One of the coolest parts for me was seeing the fossils of ocean creatures so far underground.

People have asked me a lot about the journey itself and how we've managed long haul flying year after year with the kids at various ages. I'm not really sure I have any advice on the subject because honestly I'm not sure that we've even got it figured out ourselves. There are just so many variables. We manage it and we have a sense of humour about it, but you just never know how it's going to go. As evidence I present Carys's journal entry for the day we flew San francisco to London, which takes about eleven hours... Poor Ffion. The other three flights were better thankfully!

We were reminded also how good our freinds are to us. We stayed with some friends in Manchester for a few days when we landed and dealt with the eight hours worth of jet lag and they were fantastic to us and even stayed up into the wee hours catching up, which meant they had to go to work with very little sleep! When we got home we were picked up from the airport by another friend, who's wife had put fresh milk and fruit in our fridge for us because they knew we were only home for a few hours before driving up to Tahoe and these friends have a two week old baby! Awesome friends are awesome! Actually, as I type this, Paul is off picking up these friends because their car has just broken down on the way to school. In the words of Bill and Ted, "Be excellent to each other!".

Just as a crafty tid bit to leave you with though, Kami over at "Get Your Mess On" and "Austin Tinkering School" let me know about a great instructables tutorial on making Unicorn poop cookies last week. We made some over the weekend for my daughter's friend's birthday party and the kids decorated the bakery box too. Here's the link to the tutorial. The kids had a blast making these, and we made more with friends on Monday too. The friend we gave them to called them "fantasy forrest fertilizer". Well worth making! Not least because the kids get to spend quite a while making not that many cookies, so the mess and sugar consumption to entertainment ratio is very agreeable.

I'll be back soon with more Filth Wizardry antics, but until then, party on dudes and have a most excellent start to 2012!


  1. Hi Lindsey,

    I don't know if I've commented on your blog before, but I've been following for a while. Thanks for posting your family photos; I love the grandparent ones especially. Happy new year :)

  2. My heart longs to live in Wales again. One year, actually one day, and my husband and I fell in love! We hope to retire to Wales.
    I am glad you had a wonderful visit and safe travels.
    I want to take/eat what you do. How did you stay healthy during all that travel? Then to attend a wedding shortly after returning. You are amazing in more ways than one.

  3. I laughed until I almost cried at Carys's journal. Sorry - it sounds like the plane trip was awful, but the way she wrote about it was sooooo funny.

    Not to mention that the unicorn poop cookies look amazing. I have added them to the list!

  4. My mom lives in North Wales, in a village very near Denbigh, if you know the area. It's stunning.

    Thanks for the pictures! I haven't been to some of those places yet, so I'll have to check them out this summer.

  5. Your little ones looks like her daddy, who looks like your daddy, but wait, her daddy looks like HIS daddy. Ummmm....

  6. Wales - sigh - I'm jealous! Hoping to get back there in a year or two . . .

    Thanks for sharing that journal entry - very funny, tho clearly not so funny at the time!

  7. I love North Wales although I have not been for some time. One year when we went we had our two dogs with us (I was a teen so a while back) and our golden retreiver was terrified of the sheepskin rugs! My dad had to keep picking him up and carrying him past them lol.
    Lovely pics glad to see you back missed your blog x

  8. The kids are adorable!

    The photos of Wales are breathtaking. I have never been there and probably will never get the opportunity to go,so I appreciate you sharing such a beautiful part of the world with "arm chair" travelers.

  9. Gorgeous pictures, and I can't help but comment on a post that has Bill & Ted!! I swear that's my dad's favorite movie. Our last name is Welsh, and we live in Utah!

  10. Welcome back! Wales is STUNNING, and I love that first photo of your three girls!

  11. "Unicorn poop cookies...taste the magic."


    I love that you referenced Bill & Ted. Welcome back, and happy new year!

  12. MTVath, oh there's no magic elixr here I'm afraid. We did get sick during our travels. Nothing too horrendous though, just some nasty colds and a bit of a fever for Delyth. I never want to re-live the Rotovirus catastrophe of 2006! where Ffion spent Christmas eve night in hospital and proceeded to infect everyone that came within twenty meters of us.

  13. Thanks Galadriel :) I know I tend to stick to mostly the craft projects and not so much of the family life stuff on this blog, but it's nice to hear that it doesn't deter readers when I do post non craft stuff every now and again.

  14. Fiona, I laughed at Carys's journal too. It's just so honest. They definitely help us keep our sense of humour about such things!

  15. Sarah, Portmeirion's coastal trail is so so beautiful! Well worth the drive from Denbigh!

  16. MaryAnn, Isn't genetics fascinating? I think Del looks a lot like my dad and my late gran, but she does look so much like Paul too. It'll be interesting to find out if she keeps her dark hair, because my other two girls started to go blonde by about a year old.

  17. Scattychick, that sheepskin rug story is priceless! I told Paul and we both had a giggle over it :)

  18. I LOVED your pictures and Carys's journal entry. I'm trying to plan a year abroad in the UK and your pictures made me want it even more! Glad you had such a great visit in Blighty :)

  19. Llanberis is the only place we've been in Wales, and one of the only places we saw in the UK that we're just dying to get back to, so we can see more of North Wales, which was just stunning. I had wanted to see it since I read Susan Cooper's "Dark is Rising" sequence in the early eighties, so we visited in 1999. It was lovely just wandering about in the hills, and stumbling on Dolbadarn Castle, which we hadn't known was there.

    Thanks for this blog, I'd never found it before. I taught nursery school for years before parenting, and though my kid isn't *quite* big enough for your fleece poncho/capes, he will be by next Christmas, so at least one of his presents will be a poncho.

    We're in the bay area too -- wishing it were a little more wintery. We could use the water.

    - Mary
    (family journal at familyvalues.dreamwidth.org but blogger and/or open/id are giving me a "URI too long" error when I use that one.)

  20. hah hah, loving these Unicorn Poops! Could even be made small, renamed Rainbow Dash Poops and served up beside a sheepish looking My Little Pony... hmm, I'm plotting now!

  21. I actually laughed out loud at the journal entry. I feel kinda guilty.


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