After his usual round of sunday morning golf, Martin and I were going to have a chillaxing afternoon, but the kids phoned to say they were coming up for a cup of tea. Next thing we know we were scrabbling around in the freezer to find food for the bbq! We ate so late that the boys ended up staying for a sleepover.
We wanted to start tackling our list of jobs but we found we couldnt even start them before clearing out the shed as we couldn't find any of the tools we needed amongst the tangle. The boys had a great time as we tried to keep them amused with footballs and tents at the same time as sorting rubbish from good.
Once the boys had gone home and we had put everything back tidily, Martin had several trips to the tip to get rid of all the unwanted shed stuff and accumulated junk from the attic.
The main job we wanted to tackle was to finally properly lay the patio outside the back of the lounge. When we moved in the man selling the house had bought lots of block paving bricks to redo the hard standing for the cars. We had used most of them instead to create a patio on the left hand side of the garden, but we still had quite a number left over. In removing the decaying decking we had discovered quite a bit of concrete under it, and although we had removed most of it and grassed over, there was still a substantial bit on the right hand side of the garden. We had taken out the built in cupboard in the conservatory to allow access into the garden (who makes a built in cupboard across a conservatory door?) and had temporally put the blocks on top of the concrete but this all needed properly laying. We were also short several bricks to cover the whole area, so it was a trip to travis-perkins to order some more.
We took the opportunity to also stock up on our weekly groceries before taking ourselves off to the cinema to watch Johnny Depp's next Pirates of the Caribbean adventure which we thoroughly enjoyed.
Martin set to laying the bricks we did have while I spent the day in my craft room sewing up a storm and researching where we were going to go for our Finley and Beckett adventure the next day.
Finley had asked for another garden/picnic adventure and I had toyed with the idea of Hole Place until I discovered they had no picnic areas or facilities. At the last moment I opted for Riverhill Himalayan Gardens. It was a great choice. Lots for the boys to do and plenty of walking and exercise for the grown ups. Little in the way of formal gardens but a wonderful day out all the same.
First stop the maze.
Then some tree trunk climbing. You could go into the woods and make your own dens if you wanted too. The boys next choice was the play park though.
Laura did have to use her teacher voice at some particularly obnoxious boys who kept bloking the tunnel slide by climbing up from the bottom instead of using the ladder.
Of course the whole point of the exercise is the picnic. Finley decided he wanted to go 'up' for this, and although it was rather a steep bit of a walk it was worth the effort as the north downs suddenly blossomed out in front of us.
Sorry not the best photo but I was too busy enjoying to snap.
There was still plenty to fill our afternoon too.
Wandering paths through the woods to explore,
The hidden boat swing
The formal garden
Complete with water feature
As if our day had not been full enough, we had agreed to meet Wayne who had stayed home for a parcel delivery, and go out for a pub meal with the boys. Randomly Laura chose the Royal Oak at Nonington. The weather was still beautiful and so we sat in the huge garden while the boys climbed on the climbing frame and just generally had a brilliant time. The offical time for food was after 6 and since we had forgotten to check this, we turned up a full 2 hours too early! The landlord was fantastic though and agreed to cook ours a tad early as the boys were getting hungry. And tasty food it was too!
We had to stay in for the block paving bricks to be delivered, so we pootled about and once they did arrive Martin started to lay them. We were pleasantly surprised when two little boys heads appeared round the garden gate. Before long more fun was being had by all, a lot of water followed by home made pizza teas.