Some family time off

This week I have taken a week of annual leave, which has meant we’ve spent some time as a family in the last few days of the summer – we’ve been very busy, trying to balance doing things in the house to move forwards, and also just make sure we spend some time together after our summer was interrupted by my illness. I also spent some time playing with GoPro Karma Grip this week… which you’ll no doubt see below!

Belvoir Castle Gardens

We finally managed to make it over to Belvoir Castle near Grantham. We’ve (I’ve) been trying to arrange a day out over here for a while – partly because Top 100 Climbs number 29 is only a very short ride away!

The sun was shining and the skies were cloudless! We had planned to do the castle and the gardens, however Fern managed to get herself stung by a hornet during her morning walk, and so we felt somewhat obliged to take our quivering spaniel with us so were limited to the gardens only. Word of warning for people with dogs – the tea room isn’t exactly kitted out for takeaway! However, after asking nicely they did put a couple of scones (with cream & jam, of course) in a box for us to eat on the grass outside the front of the castle.

We spent about 90 minutes wandering the grounds – it’s a wander that needs thought as many of the paths have steps, but it’s not impossible with a pushchair. It’s well worth a visit by to do it properly I’d suggest you need a baby carrier rather than a pushchair (and if you want to do the castle leave the dog at home!).

Monkey Forest

Having seen a friend come here during his parental leave, this had been on my list of places to visit for a while.

Essentially, it’s a 60 acre site which is home to 150+ Barbary Macaques, who just stroll around… eating, playing and grooming. It doesn’t take very long to walk round, but the feeding talk gives a lot of good information about the monkeys before you walk through the woodland keeping your eye out for monkeys in the trees and watching those on the ground.

Little H seemed to enjoy herself, although she was only really interested in the monkeys when they moved… we’ll have to come again when she’s a bit older!

Getting back on the bike

A week off means it’s easier to find time on the bike without feeling guilty! On Saturday I racked up 30km for the first time since June – took a little over an hour and felt good!

On Sunday, as alluded to earlier, we couldn’t go all the way to Belvoir and not tick off Terrace Hill (#29). Whilst not as fit as I was, I put in a time I was happy with, just outside the top third which seems to be where I end up on most of these climbs. ๐Ÿ‘

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I also managed to get in some (pre-booked with several weeks notice!) mountain biking for an evening. I haven’t been since late May / early June and could tell. It was the first chance I’d had to test my GoPro Karma Grip on the bike – it works brilliantly, although was mounted a little too close to my face, so I didn’t wear it too much. Need to spend some time optimising that. I love mountain biking, despite being terrible at it, it’s such good fun and I really must do more of it more often.

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The return of smiles for Daddy

Only a few short weeks ago, Little H couldn’t bear to be in the same room as me, or so it felt. Every time I’d walk in from work the crying started, and it continued until Little H went to bed. However a few days of quality Daddy-Daughter time (combined with a “sunny period”, has meant that I’m getting beaming smiles from across the room and have even started getting some giggles for the first time as the result of some tickling and blowing raspberries on her tummy! It’s nice to feel like a Daddy again ๐Ÿ™‚

New house progress

Not much to report here to be honest, about the only thing I’ve done is make the garage accessible and rack the bikes up on my new Hornit Clug Bike Clips.

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We do also now have a tarmac driveway, plus some plants and shrubs and green things decorating our new front lawn. The lawn in our back garden continues to look lush and green, despite the little spell of baking hot weather!

Much of the garden design will be left until spring to let the turf bed in properly and wait for some better weather – so plain turf it is for now!

I do love the view from the kitchen window – can’t wait until the trees are red and gold through autumn…

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Little H’s next adventure will be her biggest yet… ๐Ÿ˜†

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