This is the river Ouse which flows through the city of York in the North of England. We love this city, it's a truly beautiful, vibrant and historic place about 40miles east of Attic-land. J and I moved to York from Down South in 1998 and lived there throughout our 30's. It holds many happy memories for us :: we bought our first house together there in 1999, we were married there in 2001, and the Little People (minus Little B) were born there in 2002 and 2004. And friends, oh lets not forget the many good friends we have still living in this lovely place, cos they make the memories. And that's the draw for us.....yes there is architecture and history and a plethora of maaaaarvelous eating, drinking and shopping possibilities, but it's the friends that call us to return time and time again.
This doesn't look much like a city centre road does it? It runs alongside the river a mere ten minutes walk from the very heart of the city, and is the road that we drove along with Connievan a few weeks ago.
If you've been visiting the Attic for a while, you'll know that we took Connievan to stay in York for a week last year. The idea for this jaunt last year was mine, and I think it was rather inspired actually. In a nutshell, this was the plan :: we would take Connievan to our old home place for a week, but J would in fact still be going off to work. So during the week days, J would trot off to be Important in his job, leaving the Little Peeps and I lots of time to spend with good friends doing the familiar Mummy-offspring stuff of old. J would then return to us at 4.30pm each evening to join in the jolly activities and would feel as if he were on holiday even though he had been at work all day.
We chose a different camp site this year, with the central location being the main deciding factor. Actually it wasn't so much a camp site as a caravan park. One hundred and five caravans to be precise. It was ever so slightly off putting in it's orderliness and it's greyness. There was an awful lot of grey concrete and grey stone chippings and very little greenery. And it was very, very, ever-so-very Caravanny, if you get that. Lots of plush, modern, sparkling white caravans with fancy awnings attached. Flat screen tv's. Microwaves. Furniture. Equipment. Neatness.
With three children in tow, we were placed in an out-of-the-way corner, and that suited us just fine. Ahhhh sweet little Connievan, two decades old and so cute and humble and uncomplicated! No awning! No microwave oven! And *gasp* no television!!! However will we manage?
Sit outside in the fresh air, surely not???? Play games?????? Make conversation???? Cook easy one-pan meals on the little caravan hob, why how quaint!! How terribly old fashioned and wholesome!!
But no matter what we thought of the camp caravan site, it's location was fantastic. Situated a short riverside walk from the city centre, it was also right next door to a beautiful park. A lovely lake, with large expanses of daisy-speckled green grass and a terrific play area for the children which we visited on a daily basis. It even had an ice cream van in residence. Super.
As was the case last year, much of our time in York was spent playing. The Little People had a great deal of fun swinging, sliding, climbing, spinning, rocking, jumping and balancing. For them it was a very, very active holiday, cos when we weren't out visiting various parks we were walking/scooting along the river or through the city streets, or running wild in friends back gardens. Back at base, there were plenty of other children at the caravan park to play with, so the activity went on from early in the morning until nightfall.
We were generally lucky with the weather last week, it was really hot and summery, but we did experience some incredible storms. There were a couple of torrential downpours with impressive thunder and forked lightening, even pea-sized hailstones at one point. The storms were short and sharp and left behind them some welcome fresh, clean-smelling air and some sizable puddles. If I tell you that the above puddle (Little Man wearing my crocs in the above picture) at one point contained eight soaking wet children, you can probably imagine the scene. Three of those children were mine, two of them fully clothed and soaked to the skin, the other one wearing baby-sized crocs and a soggy nappy and also soaked to the skin. Lots of screaming, splashing and laughter, it was a joy to watch. You've gotta LOVE the way that children seize the moment and find fun in the simplest of things, it made my heart sing with happiness to watch them enjoy this puddle to The Max.
This year I did manage to find time for a little quiet caravan hooky too. Once Little B was settled down for the night (the timing of which varied enormously) I would sit and work up a few stripy rows. Sitting on stripes whilst making more stripes is a pretty good way to spend an hour I think.
My camera came with me everywhere last week but I didn't end up taking that many photos. Somehow the days were quite jam packed with activity, and especially where the Littlest member of the family was concerned, I was kept very, very busy indeed, too busy to take pics. Looking after him and keeping him safe/happy/out of trouble when out and about is such an all consuming job.
But no doubt about it, York is one incredibly photogenic city. Some amazing buildings....
....lots of floral colour....
...and the cutest, quaintest little streets you ever did see.
One evening, I decided on the spur of the moment to take a walk around the city All By Myself. It's around 9pm in these pictures, would you like to come on a little evening walk with me, to see the sights and take in the evening ambiance???? Ok...here we go................
Doesn't it look picturesque?? It was. It is. A very picturesque kind of a place.
Drank a lot of coffee last week, ahh I do like me a good brew of fresh morning coffee I have to say. York is inundated with fabulous places to rest ones feet/wheels and refresh with a brew/smoothie and a slab of cake.
And refreshments aren't too bad at Connievan HQ either.
My holiday hooky project was this sweet little jacket for Connie's cafetiere, the pattern taken from Nicki Trench's wonderful book Cute and Easy Crochet. I confess the results are a little disappointing, as for some obscure reason it never occurred to me to actually measure my work against the cafetiere as I was going along. So the finished Ta-dah moment turned into rather a disappointing strop when the cover refused to fit. It just doesn't fit. It's not wide enough and is all stretched and sloping and the button isn't in the right place. No fault of the pattern I might add, just the fault of me, merrily working up the stripes without thinking about what I was doing. Of course it could also have been the fault of the tumbler(s) of vino which accompanied my evening hooky (yes, when in Connievan I always drink wine out of a tumbler, makes me very feel rather giddy and holidayish)......hmmmm......I Love the idea of a cafetiere cosy though, and fully intend to give this project another go. Maybe I should do it here in the Attic without the tumblers of vino to hand. Yes, that sounds like A Good Plan.