02 May 2008

Dee-lytful Lyme & other lovely adventures

Well we have had a truly smashing (to coin a Grandad expression) week so far.

Monday we travelled an hour to Beer (on the Devon Coast) to go to Pecorama which has a model rail exhibition and miniature ride-on railway. It is set high up on a hill above the picturesque fishing village, and we spent a lovely couple of hours viewing all the model railways, relaxing with a Devon cream tea/coffee before embarking on a ride on the miniature train.

Noah was most fascinated by the little statues of moles they had dotted around the track with their heads poking out from the grass. We would have stayed a lot longer and enjoyed a walk around the many gardens but alas, the rain that had been threatening all day sent us suddenly scurrying back to the car and onto Ottery St. Mary Garden Nursery for a spot of lunch indoors.

The nursery is quite possibly the largest I have ever seen, it has a restaurant which seats over 250 and they are currently renovating it to make it twice the size! It has an amazing array of homewares, outdoor furniture, plants, clothes and just about anything else you could imagine!

Tuesday we made the best use of another grey day to go on what has become a regular pilgrimage to Clark's Village in Street, enjoying a look around the outlet centre and doing a spot of shopping at Next, Marks & Spencers and GAP. Noah was most intrigued by a rather fierce looking mechanical gorilla in a travel agency window which was right next to a witch stirring a cauldron (bless him, he kept calling it 'pirate....ooo...aaaa' and we were happy to let him continue with that thought!) and kept wanting to go past to have 'another look'.

Yesterday was another rainy day, and so this time we hit the shops in Yeovil, also catching up with a few of Mark's mum & dad's friends whilst in town. Later in the afternoon, Noah enjoyed playing up to the mirror whilst drinking his fluffy and helping Daddy make Marissa's special icecream recipe so we could share it with Grandma & Grandad.


Today was yet another day of heavy showers, occasional hail and thunder so I went back to town for a couple of hour's blissful solo shopping time (my turn today and Mark's turn tomorrow!). Then this afternoon we went down to one of our very favourite spots on the planet, Lyme Regis. Lyme underwent a major revamp two years ago. Last time we visited it was a massive construction zone as they were bringing in boatloads of sand and pebbles to make the beachfront much larger and more accessible. It has made an already picturesque spot even more so, and we managed to escape all the massive deluges we had been experiencing inland all day and had an altogether pleasant and sunny walk firstly along the cobb (sea wall) and then along the new promenade. Noah has recently taken to insisting on pushing his own stroller rather than being pushed in it, and whilst we're all for getting him used to walking everywhere from an early age, he can be a bit of a loose cannon with it diving off in all directions, so it is a matter of keeping one's eye on him at all times!

On the way back, the closer we got to home, the blacker the sky got, and just outside of Stoke-sub-Hamdon we saw the most amazing rainbow. It was a complete rainbow which is a rarity to see in itself, but the colours were also so vivid against the dark background of the sky behind it, it was a real treat to see it and a lovely way to end the perfect afternoon.

One of the greatest joys for us on this trip is seeing Noah so affectionate with Grandma & Grandad. It really is so special for us to see him going to them for cuddles and kisses completely under his own steam. He has also been asking after 'Ammree' and 'Jack' all week, and we keep telling him that 'yes we're going to see them on Friday' (tomorrow). So we're off to Wales for 2 nights, during which time we get to celebrate Jack's 5th birthday party with 30-something other five-year olds. That will be an experience I am sure!

The last few nights as Noah has been drinking his bottle of milk before bed, we've been running through the things we've done during the day, and it so cute hearing Noah make associations, today I talked about the boats we had seen at Lyme, to which he added 'and ducks' (as you can see from the picture of the boat further above with ducks sleeping in it). When I mentioned the rainbow, he replied 'yeah....rainbow up high'. His speech and vocabulary seem to be growing at an astounding pace, before we came away he was putting 2-3 words together like 'big plane', but now we're getting whole phrases like 'Please Mummy more toast Noah' and 'I want train now' (before we rode on the train at Pecorama on Monday). I had only taught him the word 'now' on Saturday as in 'Yes Noah...we're going home to see Grandad now' and so was amazed when he used it himself in completely the right context only two days later. Being a parent really is a rewarding and amazing journey each and every day.

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