Tuesday, 31 August 2010


The final day of our holiday. The boys seem keen to stay around the farm so Lauren and Alisha have kindly offered to look after them while everyone else goes out for the afternoon. We have decided to visit Abbotsbury to see the sub tropical gardens. On the way we drop into a wood sculpture shop. An hour later and with the shop owner considerably richer thanks to several undercover birthday present purchases, we move on to the gardens.

After Tracy's obligatory visit to the plant shop we make our way back to rescue the girls. They have managed to keep them entertained with various activities including an obstacle course race in the field.

The boys have been on all week about having a camp fire so in the evening David organises wood collection and with the fire going, and several packets of marshmallows ready for toasting, the boys are very happy.

We have planned to stay up late tonight as there is meant to be a meteor shower, and with no light pollution and clear skies we should get a good view. So from midnight until 1am everyone is lying on their backs in the garden under duvets waiting for the next streak of light across the sky. It probably didn't live up to what most of us had expected but we saw around 20 before calling it a night.

So that's it, the end of our Dorset holiday. Everybody had a good time, the cottage was excellent and the weather was pretty good. We have already booked for next year so along with the cruise in May, 2011 is sorted holiday wise. Fingers crossed.

Thursday, 19 August 2010


The sun is shining again so the beach is today's destination. The boys are keen to do some fossil hunting, so the first destination is Charmouth . A quick visit to the pick axe hire shop and everyone emerges ready to start smashing rock. Again, the wheelchair unfriendly terrain forces me to view from a distance but I can see everyone is getting stuck in. I can't help feeling that Jake will feel more than a little disappointed when he doesn't return with an entire T-Rex skeleton

After a couple of hours of bashing the dorset coastline everyone returns up for a well earned lunch. Predictably one of the boys has lost their mini pick axe so the shop will be delighted with retaining their £12 deposit on a hammer worth five quid! There was some success in finding some fossils although I didn't see them at the time and they were subsequently lost by the the time we got back.

After lunch the non-wheeled contingent took the dogs for a walk up the coastal cifftop path for an hour or so after which, despite already being 4pm, we drove another few miles to Lyme Regis. The thinking being that if nothing else we could check out wheelchair access and return tomorrow if it was good. Sue and David, having been before knew about ignoring the first signed beach car park from which there is a long descent to the sea.

This was more like it; a sandy beach, not too steep a gradient, perfect for the wheelchair. The late afternoon sunshine was still warm and cast the bay in a wonderful warm glow. We claimed our spot while the boys headed into the sea. The rest of the afternoon was perfect, the only regret being that we hadn't been here earlier.

For the next couple of hours the boys pursued their normal beach activities. Jake divided his time between searching for rotting sea creatures and infiltrating other family groups with children who look like they would benefit from his sandcastle construction expertise. If we ever loose sight of Jake on a beach, we just look for someone sitting near the waters edge, surrounded by children doing all the work under their instruction. Nine times out of ten our search will be over.

Daniel will have commandeered a suitable person to tow his rubber ring around while he relaxes on it, and Luke will be dancing hilariously in the breaking waves or sitting in someone elses chair, huddled in a blanket telling us what a stupid idea it was to come to a beach on such a cold day.

Today, Alisha is the lucky person tasked with towing Daniel and everybody's chairs are safe as Luke does his mad moroccan water dance, the land based version can be seen here


Lauren manages a few minutes paddling before deciding that Alisha has cousin entertainment duties in hand. She promptly returns to her Blackberry !

By 7 o'clock the sun is starting to set, the distance cliff faces glowing in the evening sun makes a perfect backdrop for the holiday's official group photo before heading back. It has been a lovely afternoon and I am sad it is over. It is one of those moments I find quite emotional. The combination of the beauty of the place and spending time with all of my family contrasted by the knowledge that I may not do this again has inevitable results!

By the time we get back it is getting dark and while Tracy sorts out the boys, the owner David invites me to look round the barn with his project cars. They include a fantastic Daimler Dart convertible and a 3.8 litre 1960s saloon. The barn could accommodate many more and if it were mine I could easily fill it.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010


The rain forecast for yesterday has arrived today. No hurry to go out but we eventually decide to head into Weymouth to find an indoor activity. Still raining when we arrive so we go to cinema to watch Cats And Dogs. If you like films where animals are able to talk with computer modified mouth movements, you will love it. I don't, so didn't! Lauren, having recently turned 17 managed to escape and spent a couple of hours shopping and I am sure given the choice Alisha would have joined her. She wasn't, so couldn't!

The weather doesn't improve and as had happened on our arrival we are driving through low cloud on the way back. With visibility down to 25 yards, it is an interesting drive back. But the weather changes quickly around here and by 7 the sun is out and I am sitting in the garden looking across the valley to the neighbouring farm land.

The cottage owners, David and Sarah had wanted to get some feedback about the place, so later they came over with enough wine, beer and cider for a small party and we had a very pleasant evening with them.

The boys have spent the evening in the other room with the girls playing Sims on Lauren's laptop. Daniel has become rather addicted to it over the last few days. He gives us updates of life in the world he has created. His Sim family is based on us complete with dogs, well, dog (Daniel reported the demise of Bodie in a recent house fire as the result of insuficient smoke alarms; who says computer games have no educational value ) Of course in Sims world Bodie Mk1 is forgotten in seconds as a few clicks later Bodie Mk2 appears!

I am glad the boys had something to keep them busy. When David and Sarah arrived, Luke was shooting Dot Cotton on the TV with his suction cupped bullets and Jake was using the same to kill flies on the wall. We await the redecorating bill.

At the end of the evening, with the boys occupied, David offered to take Tracy, Sue and David out on the Landrover for some midnight wildlife spotting. The badgers that they saw probably wouldn't have hung around with a deluge of suction cupped bullets raining down on them!


Tuesday, 17 August 2010


Having been promised wet weather today I have suggested going to Bovington Tank Museum, and it is fair to say that it is not a universally well received idea but having visited the area 4 or 5 times and not gone I ignore the groans and convince them to go.

We arrive in time for the daily outside display of various tracked vehicles including the 60 tonne Chiefton tank. It only lasts 30 minutes and seems to have be enjoyed by even the earlier dissenters! Afterwards the boys, Alisha, lauren and David get a high speed ride around the display arena in the tracked armoured supplies truck. Daniel returns beaming and claiming it to be the best ride ever.

We spend a couple of hours looking around the museum which must have over a hundred tanks. But even I have to agree there are only so many you want to look at in a day. Daniel's ability to smell a gift shop at a hundred yards has not deserted him and the boys emerge as pint sized soldiers complete with flack jackets, hats and guns.

The journey back is whiled away with the the boys firing the suction cupped bullets across the car against the opposing window.


Monday, 16 August 2010

Saturday and Sunday


The boys have been promised a trailer ride around the farm by David, the owner of the cottage and farm. So while I am getting up (one of my regular carers has joined us) everyone gets an informative tour. Later I joined them for a picnic lunch in one of the fields. we have decided not to go further afield today as the weather isn't great.


The weather looks good so we're off to the coast. We start off with West Bexington but like many Dorset beaches there are only pebbles and these are sufficiently deep to not be able to drive my wheelchair on, so we have to settle for a spot next to the car park. The boys are happy enough, they have gone off to pester some of the fishermen lined up along the shore. Every now and again each return with various pieces of fish in their buckets. Jake is particularly impressed with his fish head which is presented to me like a glove with his fingers protruding from each eye socket. Having now befriended one of the fishermen who has let them have a go at holding the fishing rod, the boys now return with complete fish. Within minutes Jake is wearing most of it and is showing the spine to anyone who is interested as well as many people who demonstrably aren't

After everyone had regained their appetite sufficiently to stomach the now rather unfortunate choice of tuna sandwiches, we decided to move on. Jake was instructed in no uncertain terms to leave his fish behind, although the empty bucket was fragrant enough to induce nausia within 2 minutes of leaving the car park.

Our next destination was West Bay, still pebbly beaches but a more picturesque location with a fishing harbour. I was able to get a bit further on the beach and we spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening there before getting fish and chips and returning back to the cottage.

on our return the boys jump out down the lane to do the daily feeding of the 2 old sheep in the paddock before racing us back to the cottage. It has been a nice day despite feeling a bit isolated initially at the first beach. Having now established a routine with the carer and in the knowledge that there are no issues with things like loo or bed , I am feeling much more relaxed.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

10 Go Mad in Dorset

Wildlife of dorset be scared, jake is on his way. His long-term fascination with creepy crawlies shows no sign of ending and most specimins that aren't already dead when he finds them soon are shortly after.

After a long tradition of staying in our regular North Wales' holiday cottage we are instead going to a farm cottage in Dorset. Apart from the shorter journey it will be better suited for me. We are going with my mum, sister, brother in law and nieces Lauren and Alisha.

We arrived at our dorset holiday cottage on Friday after a rather slow journey down. Set in acres of farmland, the barn style cottage easily accommodates our party of 10. There are plenty of empty fields for the dogs to run around in and the cottage is well suited for me with a well thought out layout for wheelchair and hoist use.

Jake is looking forward to studying (killing and disecting) the local wildlife and within an hour he turns up proudly holding a dead bird which he found (already dead) in the adjoining barn. It is already Jake's "best holiday ever "

more to follow....