The past week has seen me sunned, rained upon and chilled (in both senses of the word) as 'we' (the family) have taken ourselves off for a few days camping on the edge of the peak district.
We managed a day out in Stoke on Trent which saw us split up to see films (Iron Man 3 for the children and The Great Gatsby for the adults), visit the Emma Bridgewater pottery and find a real, family owned book/art/model/jigsaw puzzle shop (in the shape of Webberleys). Sadly the Bible Bookshop had closed but the Ann Summers around the corner was doing a fair trade (which led me to wonder if perhaps they should have stocked the Song of Songs?) and even though it rained the experience was pleasing and enjoyable.
The very next day, despite the rain, we visited Bolsover Castle where a very welcoming and friendly young lady made the experience most enjoyable (pity the 'Gloomy Gus' characters who were on duty weren't quite so cheerful) and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the 'folly' really wasn't but contained som superb architecture and paintings. From the five senses (sight, smell, taste, touch, hearing) through to the moods (Melancholy, Anger, Sanguinity and a 'make your choice' panel for good measure) the paintings were impressive and the buildings, views (think there was one behind the low cloud and rain) and the like make this an ideal day out for a visit.
Then off we trudged to the Merlin attraction (hear a moaning Dad say that it was called Merlin because they'd managed to transform dense material - I think he meant 'us' - into gold) of Alton Towers. Sadly the newest attraction (the Smiler) caused many gloomy faces at it wasn't ready for action (it started today - of course!) - still the weather held out and the rides were fun. I do tire of the many marketing opportunities, especially the photographs) that besets those who brave the place though!
And then, after a great barbecue and loads of Christian music, we ended the holiday with sun this morning and a dry tent to pack away (Thank you Lord!).
So that's it for another year - batteries charged and into battle - have I mentioned how much I love my job?