It’s been a bit of a special week here for us as Nibsy’s Daddy has been off work all week. Prior to taking his current job in November 2014 he has always worked from home so it’s been quite the adjustment getting used to him being gone all day Monday to Friday. This has been his first proper break since he started at the job so it’s been really great. We decided not to go away anywhere but to just relax at home and enjoy our new house and area.

fathersdaywalk

Sunday was of course fathers day. We didn’t do anything huge, Matt had his choice of breakfast and a gift (whiskey infused haggis) plus a card and in the afternoon we talk a little walk to explore our new area. Just around the corner from us is a community farm which sadly closed a few years ago due to lack of funding but is now a good area for dog walkers, I’m sure the lovely views are a big attraction for them. We didn’t go too far because it looked like it was going to pour down with rain (spoiler: it did!) but it was nice to get out wander the fields a bit and we even discovered a little play area which Nibsy enjoyed.

park

We are all really enjoying our new house and town, everyone seems a lot happier and more active since we moved here. Long may it last!

On Monday we decided to seek out the local library. As much as I love buying new books for Nibsy our bank account and shelves are not thanking me for it.

library

It took us a little while to fill in all the paperwork and while we were doing that Nibsy was casually browsing the true crime section, once we were registered we managed to redirect him to the more appropriate children’s section. I limited him to 5 books because we have to carry them home up a very steep hill and by we I mean me! He chose 3 chapter books for me to read to him and 2 pictures books which we’ve read together. Nibsy seems to have had a reading break through in the last few weeks, his fluency is picking up and he definitely has a lot more confidence in his abilities. That’s really what he has been missing all this time, not the skills but the confidence in himself.

After the library we stopped off for a treat.

treat

Well, the sun was shining which is a rare occurrence in Scotland so it would have been rude not to!

Wednesday we met with our home education group as usual. This week the meet up was at Paisley Abbey. One of our first ever meet ups was at this Abbey and so it has a special place in my heart, I always enjoy it when our schedule rotates to this location.

paisley

While the older children did some bird whispering (they even had a bird sitting on their hand!) the younger ones were busy playing with sticks. What is it about sticks that make them so attractive to young children?

Friday we took receipt of a very special delivery…

piano

Yep! We now have our very own piano. Our good friends gave us this free of charge as they had purchased a new one for their family. All we had to do was pay someone to collect it and drop it off to us. We found a really nice small company in Helensburgh to do that for us, so if you are in the area and need a Man with Van be sure to check him out here! I have also arranged for Nibsy to have piano lessons, he will be starting them in September and is very excited.

This weekend we’ve stayed home and relaxed, Nibsy and his Dad have done some gardening while I’ve been working on some crochet socks. Socks have always alluded me and I am determined to conquer them this time. I’ll post a photo once I’ve completed them.

What have you guys been up to this week?

 

We’ve had a busy but enjoyable week here in the Nibsy household.

Last Saturday Nibsy and I joined friends to attend The Rock of Ages event at Dumbarton Castle. The Castle is built on a large rock overlooking the Clyde and Dumbarton hence the name of the event.

selfie

view

This was there first year running the event and it was an enjoyable way to pass a few hours, I do wish their displays (starting from the Vikings and moving all the way through the ages to World War I) had been a bit more hands on and child friendly. The re-enactments were awesome and my friends son “D” took part in the “ankle biter” army.

ship

parade

Judging by the cheering during the Battle of Stirling Bridge I’d hazard a guess that Nibsy and I were the only English people there…or perhaps the only English people willing to admit it ;) through all the “Scotland” chanting I could hear Nibsy’s little voice chanting “England, England”. Sadly for Nibsy his side was not triumphant.

After we finished up at the castle two of our close friends and their children come over to our new place for a BBQ. Sadly the wonderful weather we’d experienced all week abandoned us and we ended up BBQing through a couple of showers of rain. Not that rain has ever stopped any of us from having fun.

marshmallows

 

On Wednesday we visited our second castle of the week, Newark Castle in Port Glasgow, this time with our home education group. Port Glasgow is a bit of trek on the train from our new house and we were really lucky that our friend gave us a lift there and back. Sometimes it’s nice to go in the car, it makes for a less tiring day.

The group was quite large this week and Nibsy can often find too many children overwhelming so at the beginning we split off from the group and explored the castle by ourselves. Our favourite place was definitely the battlements, there were some lovely views, even Nibsy thought so! Once Nibsy felt a little more settled we rejoined the group and explored the main part of the castle together, the children found some exciting stairwells and nooks and crannies for a quick game of hide and seek.

newarkview

Also this week we went swimming with friends at the Waterfront in Greenock. I love this pool, it has a shallow(ish) area with a wave machine and a lazy river, a splash pad for the littlies, an outdoor area for the rare occasion we have good weather, a training area and flumes so it really caters for everyone’s tastes. Nibsy loves being in the water but he HATES, I mean really hates, not being able to touch the bottom. I think it’s going to be quite a while before he is swimming but we’ll keep going and enjoying ourselves and taking it slowly. He’ll get there.

swimmingsleep

Swimming is very hard work though, so much so that he took a snooze on the train home. I can’t remember the last time that happened.

To finish our week off we went over to Balloch. I’d seen an item there that I wanted to purchase for Matt’s Father’s Day gift and there’s also a lovely little park where Nibsy loves to play. The designers of the play area have utilised a lot of tree trunks and branches to create structures and so Nibsy always refers to it as “the wood park.”

balloch

 

Phew, what a week. I’m tired just reading back over this post. It was a fun one though!

 

 

Despite common opinion the sun does sometimes shine in Scotland and it chose this week to grace us with its presence.

We’ve managed to find a nice mix of days out in the sun and days home relaxing. The new house is great because we now have a back garden which means Nibsy can make the most of the wonderful weather without us needing to trek off to the local park for the day.

Nibsy has spent hours in the garden riding his scooter…

scooter

Playing with this football…

gardenbook

(while I read my book)

and holding court with this teddies…

picnic

There are two children living next door to us both a little but older than Nibsy and when they get home from school they sometimes pop over to play with him. Nibsy really enjoys their company and they seem to enjoy Nibsy’s – quirks and all! It’s been a little bit weird for me as his mum to have him come in and ask if he go play in next doors garden. We’ve been living in flats for quite a while now and it seems to keep us quite isolated so I’m not used to him wanting to go off and play with the neighbourhood children, I think it’s great for him though.

On Tuesday we took a spontaneous trip to Helensburgh which is about 15 minutes away from us now. The plan was to go to Hermitage park and take a paddle in the stream that runs through it. First we stopped in to see some friends who live near there and the children ended up having so much fun in their garden that we never made it to Hermitage Park. They fired water rockets from the tree house, created a mud bath and played ball games. We did take a quick walk up to a smaller, local play park but for the most part the children were more interested in building dens in the long grass than using the play equipment.

park

Wednesday was our home education group day. This weeks meet up was just down the road in Levengrove Park. How can you not feel lucky living next to views like this..

levengrovobelisk

and this…

nibsyrock

We started off the afternoon playing board games under the shade of a large tree but after a while the lure of the waterfront drew the children in and the afternoon ended with some very muddy, sandy, wet and happy children and adults. We also took the time to observe some local wildlife.

crab

One of my favourite activities this week was this…

fishandchips

We met Dad after he finished work for the day and has fish and chips by the River Leven. When I was younger my parents would sometimes take my brother and me to the local town where we got chips and ate them by the River Severn and if we were very lucky we got to share a can of pop as well. I absolutely love being able to do the same thing with Nibsy and the fish and chips were super tasty too!

Have you had good weather this week? What have you been up to?

This is a bulk edition of What We’re Reading Wednesday because we have ended up with multiple current reads, two of which we’ve finished reading since I started writing this post but…oh well!

 

5children

We’ve been working our way through Five Children and I by E. Nesbit for a few months now. This is mostly our “train read” which means it spends it’s life in my handbag and we pull it out for train journeys longer than 15 minutes. We can travel upwards of 4 times a week so we tend to get more reading done that way than you would think. Nibsy loves stories about magic so of course this story of 5 children and the sand fairy that grants them a daily wish is right up his alley. So much so that he has been hunting for his own sand fairy although I am sad to report with very little success.

 

pyramid

I’ve talked previously about how much Nibsy loves the Percy Jackson books by Rick Riordan and so when we stumbled across this first book of an Egyptian series by the same author we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try it out. We’ve only just started the story but it seems to me that it will be very similar to the Percy books but with Egyptian Gods instead of Greek. We shall see. Nibsy seems to like it at the moment but it isn’t his first choice to read.

 

beasts

We stumbled across two Edgar and Ellen books in an Oxfam book shop in Stirling. I’ve never heard of them before but reading the blurb on the back I thought they might be something Nibsy would enjoy. He was resistant to reading it at first but since was the only book I had handy at the time he settled down to listen and was soon hooked. It’s the story of twins, brother and sister, who love to cause as much mischief and mayhem as possible. In this book they steal all the pets from children in their town and make them look more “exotic” so they can sell them for high prices. Needless to say their plan doesn’t work out quite as well as they hoped. I didn’t get to finish reading this to Nibsy because he sweet talked his Nana in to doing it while I was busy elsewhere. He did inform me that they “got soaked by the fire hose and it was HILARIOUS”. I’m tempted to read the last few chapters myself just to get all the details.

 

Fox

This was one of my childhood favourites so I was very excited when a family friend sent it to Nibsy as a birthday present. Again, Nibsy sweet talked his Nana in to reading him some of this so she read the first half of the book to him and I picked it up just where Mr Fox and his sons are digging up in to the chicken sheds. Luckily for me I already knew the story. Nibsy absolutely loved this story and even if I hadn’t known the plot he would have been able to fill me in on it in immense detail. He’s now very keen to read a few more Roald Dahl books, I think we’ll try The Magic Finger next.

What are you reading this week?

 

 

 

Every time I blog here I seem to be apologising for a prolonged absence but this is my longest one to date. I promise to try harder. Instead of apologies and excuses lets get straight on to some fun times.

My parents arrived in Scotland Tuesday and bright and early Wednesday morning my Dad caught the train over to Milngavie and began walking the West Highland Way. All going well he will complete his walk next Monday. While he’s off walking the highland paths my mum is spending a few days with us.

We’ve had days of high winds and torrential today but Wednesday dawned warm(ish) and sunny(ish) so we decided to make the most of it and spend the day on the bonnie, bonnie banks o’ Loch Lomond.

lochlomondview2

We’ve recently moved house, leaving behind our little flat in the city and swapping it for a little house in the town of Dumbarton. Our move has put us less than a 10 minute train ride away from Loch Lomond so I forsee many a sunny day spent enjoying the views there.

lochlomondwall

We enjoyed a wander around the shops at Lomond Shores where mum purchased me a set of Highland Cow coasters for our new house, you have to find highland cows cute…it’s the law! We also enjoyed a cup of tea (hot chocolate for Nibsy) at the pop up Willow Tea Rooms that is open there from May until October. The Willow Tearooms on Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow were designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and I have a few ideas buzzing around in my head for a project based on him that I think Nibsy would enjoy.

After our browse we headed over to a little “beach” so that Nibsy could add to his stone collection.

lochlomond

I can’t remember when his love affair with stones and shells began but it’s certainly going strong now. He has a large wicker basket that he stores them all in and he carries them from room to room throughout the day. For his birthday one of our friends gave him a huge stone that she had collected while on holiday on one of the Scottish isles. On the way home after seeing her he told me “I can’t believe I got this as a present, it’s the best present I ever had” – it just goes to show, it’s the small things in life folks.

While we collected stones we witnessed a sea plan taking off from the waters of the Loch. Nibsy  kept insisting to me and his Nana that the plane couldn’t possibly take off since it was on the water and was absolutely amazed when it did and flew away over the hills.

All in all, we had a fab time! I can’t wait for more sunshiney days and maybe a BBQ or two in this beautiful place.

nanaandwill