What's going on at the cottages?     -  The Sunnybank Blog!    2021 

July 28
Before setting off from Ambleside for the cottage by way of the waterfalls, Poppy, Daisy, Megan and Jessic posed for line up on the stairs in Cheapside.

July 28

A few minutes later, we were all occupied with our breakfast choices which ranged from pancakes with fruit to vegetarian breakfast to "Stiles breakfast".
July 28
Rainbow milkshakes were ordered by all the girls except Daisy who wanted an ice cream after her breakfast!

Stiles Coffee Bar and cafe is run by a local family and offers excellent breakfasts!

Today we decided to try out their breakfast menu!

July 26

Jill's attempts to board the kayak were not an unbridled success! Instead of sitting in the kayak first before putting legs in, Jill tried to put one leg in first, with the result that the kayak set off ....... depositing Jill into the water!

Ben and the girls were helpless with laughter but did come to her assistance..... eventually!

Whilst Jill went with Ben and family to try out the kayak on Coniston Water, Richard headed off to Kendal to do a little more shopping and more importantly, meet Caroline, Megan and Jessica who were arriving by train from Euston.
July 25
The BBQ was a popular choice for the evening meal with lots of Cranston's beef and chicken kebabs!
July 25
Next it was Alison's turn to provide the paddle power!
The new inflatable kayak was tried out today. Ben and family were dropped off at Rydal by Richard (parking anywhere nearby was impossible). Here Ben takes Poppy and Daisy on a maiden voyage! The weather was glorious!
July 24
A family outing to Sweden Bridge. Ben had brought along a fishing magnet - so it was tried out. We found nothing but lost a 10p piece!
July 23
Today was the day we have waited for, for so long. Our family were starting to arrive at Sunnybank after 18 months absence. Today Ben, Alison, Daisy and Poppy arrived around lunchtime after setting of early from Reading. Unfortunately, several hundred thousand motorists also aimed to travel to the Lakes today - so the last few miles were a procession!
July 21 Something unusual this afternoon........ rain! ...and the odd rumble of thunder... maybe the weather is finally breaking?
July 21

No ordinary breakfast! Jill's "porridge" was called "Overnight oats with strawberries and a rich fudge sauce".


In reality it was porridge made last night and allowed to cool with strawberries and a sauce which would cause instant diabetes!!!

By way of a change, we drove to Skelwith Bridge by 9am for a breakfast at Chesters alongside the River Brathay. Actually, we were on a balcony built out almost to the river's edge.


The reason for this extravagance? Jill wanted some posters for the girls' bedroom walls and these posters were actually posh wrapping paper from the shop next to the Chester's Cafe.

This was the view from our table!

July 17
Although we were not at Wembley - Ben was, and this was his view as the Saints team held up the cup!

As Saints prepare to play Castleford in the Rugby League Challenge Cup at Wembley, our two cardboard look-alikes are adorning the back bedroom window!

Saints won! The first such win in 13 years!!!

July 9
Jacqui was in charge of the champagne pouring - a new slant on the covid phrase "maintaining your bubble!"

Each year (normally!) we meet up with, and have a short holiday with, a group of friends who are linked by being involved in Richard's part-time degree course in the late 1970's!


This year we finally met at Brian and Jacqui's house in Standish near Wigan.

Jill, Liz and Ray relax over a pre-lunch coffee!

July 7 Roger Federer is knocked out of Wimbledon. Kath Loveys (one of our avid blog readers) could be heard gasping in horror in Warrington, from Ambleside!!!
July 7 Decided to use masking tape on the newly cleaned carpet and then paint the skirting boards! They now look so much better!!
July 6 An early start for us today as we were due to have the carpet and suite cleaned in Fellside lounge. Sure enough Duncan Dixon arrived at 8.15am and three hours later we have a "new looking" suite and carpet!
June 27
On the way back through Hawkshead, we paused at the Outgate Inn where there is always a scarecrow display with a topical theme. This time it was the Football European Cup!

Today, being Sunday, we decided to get up early, drive to Hawkshead to empty the Rotary wishing well (£107.30) and then drive alongside Esthwaite Water to the Boathouse Cafe. There you can have breakfast by the lake and watch the ospreys feeding teir chicks (on a monitor inside the cafe!).

Here, Jill sits ready to start her bacon roll as Richard's full English awaits!

June 15

Back in the tranquility of our garden, we have enjoyed some lovely summer weather and here we are about to enjoy breakfast in the garden.

Before we had arrived home from Shrewsbury, we had called to buy more fish for the pond from the garden centre near Kendal.

As we settled back into cottage life in Ambleside, 12 goldfish and 3 koi carp settled into pond life in Ambleside!

June 5-6

Shrewsbury is full of historic buildings and some of them leave you wondering how they stay standing.


This is a perfect example!


The next day (Monday) we headed home.

On the Sunday, we enjoyed exploring the town including finding this particularly weird carving hanging from the corner of an old property.

Later we had a river trip, which should have included a meal in a nearby pub, but the restaurant had declared themselves full!, so we were content to enjoy the trip and a walk alongside the river through "The Quarry" - the riverside park.

When we left Ben and family, we had decided not to drive straight home. Instead we headed for Shrewsbury, where we stayed for 2 nights - to create a mini-holiday!

Richard had been here in the 1960's, so it was something of a "memory lane" visit.

We ate out each evening and this was our favourite - Henry Tudor House where we had a very good and very reasonable Sunday evening meal.

The building is original but inside it had been tastefully modernised.

June 3

After 4 days with Caroline in Staines. we moved west to Ben, Alison, Poppy and Daisy in Winnersh near Reading.

Daisy (left) is now 9 and Poppy (right) is 7 and they too are shooting up fast.

We had seen them in December when we travelled to the M6 Toll services to meet Ben and the girls to swap Christmas presents - but that was without hugs!

In this picture, we are joined by Martin and Sally - the other grandparents and Alison's Mum and Dad.

We stayed here for 4 nights in another Premier Inn and had chance to entertain the girls as Alison studied for a major assessment for her Master's degree in Speech Therapy!

We also handed over 80+ Hog Roast sausages brought down in two cool boxes from the Ambleside butchers. This made Ben a very happy son!

May 28

Big smiles all round (and a few tears of joy) as we enjoyed our first hugs!!

Jessica (left) has changed her fringe, whilst Megan (right) has not.


Caroline will soon be "Little Mummy" the way they are growing!

After 18 months without seeing the girls face to face, we finally made it South and saw Caroline, Andrew and the twins - Megan and Jessica. We spent 4 nights in a local hotel but spent each day with Caroline, Andrew and the girls.

The girls are now 12 and have shot up in the time since we last saw them (Feb half term 2020).

As you can see Jill now needs to be re-named "Little Nana"!

June 2021

At last! After Richard had to have a new laptop, it has taken ages to regain access to the website! Finally, today (June 30th 2021) we are back in business.

The news..... we are both still alive! We've had our two jabs and Rich was selected for a National Antibody test which showed that he does have "Long Term Antibodies". Despite lockdown and stories of hospital waiting lists lasting months - Richard had one eye treated for cataracts on Oct 5th 2020 and then (even more surprisingly) the second one was done on April 19th 2021! With the treatment and new glasses - he can almost see a fly at two miles!!!

In April, we travelled down to Reading and Staines to see the families including our four granddaughters (Megan and Jessica - now 12 and growing like weeds!!) and Poppy and Daisy (now 7 and 9 and growing up fast!).

We had met Ben and Poppy & Daisy at the M6 Toll services on Dec 18th last year to swap presents but it had been February 2020 since we had seen Caroline, Andrew and the twins! (see below)

In the next few days, we will add some photos to keep our regular readers up to date!