Wednesday, June 09, 2010

A to Z Year : May 7th – June 3rd : the letters J and K

Oops – I’ve been so slack on the blogging front, that this one’s a double post.

There is a reason for my tardiness, though….at the start of the J fortnight, my lovely boyfriend Jay, whose name couldn’t be more appropriate if he tried, ordered me a late birthday present.

The lateness wasn’t his fault, by the way, I just couldn’t make up my mind what I wanted, until I saw online a replica Team USA hockey jersey – in the retro style they wore when they beat Team Canada at the recent winter olympics – the game where my favourite Canuck scored the most spectacular empty net goal of all time. I had to have it!!! Personalised, number 17 of course.

So – I really hoped it would arrive in time for me to blog it in J fortnight, for Jersey, or at worst, in K fortnight, for Kesler. As it turnes out, I found out just at the start of L fortnight that it had been Lost in the post :( and the seller doesn’t have another, so they refunded instead. Bummer.

Here’s what it would have looked like.


On the plus side, I now get to choose a new present :) And I can stop sitting on the J and K blog posts and get myself up to date.

So – what did we do for J?

For the first J weekend, we went to Jay’s house, where else? We spent the weekend geocaching around the Gloucester area – and chasing after that Ultimate Cheese Sandwich :) We did try to look out for caches beginning with J – the closest we managed was the Waterways Wander cache which starts at Saul Junction. We also took Connor’s (toy) dog Jackson along for the walk. 


For a culinary treat, we served up some jelly – well, ‘slopped out’ is probably more accurate than ‘served up’ – I don’t think I left it to set long enough, oops!

But it still tasted delicious (lime, pineapple and strawberry, yum!), and the ones in the tall glasses looked ok (we tried to make them look like the traffic lights we saw at Saul Junction – there’s some method in the madness, honestly :) ). And of course with our cheese sandwiches we had that scrumptious organic pear and apple juice.

The following week, one lovely sunny evening after work, Connor and I joined Michelle, Tracy, Callum and Lauren at Jubilee Lake Park over in Wootton Bassett. They had discovered this little gem of a place the week before on a geocache hunt, and wanted to share it with us. We had fun feeding the ducks, finding the caches and frolicking in a nearby field posing for hippy flower child photos :) and the kids wore themselves out afterwards in the play park, just in time for bed.

Connor - the last of the Water Benders :)

For the second weekend in J-fortnight, we wanted to go somewhere J specific. Trouble was, I couldn’t find anywhere nearby in my “great days out” book, that started with a J. But then I had a brainwave – we had been meaning to re-attempt Warwick Castle, after our planned visit during C-fortnight was rained off. And what do they have there? A fantastic fire-breathing jester – and jousting displays – perfect!

The first sign of trouble was the big sign up outside the ticket office, saying that the jousting demonstrations were due to return at the end of June, not much use to us in May. Boo. No jousting. And when we got inside and checked the timetable of events for the day, no fire breathing jester either. Double boo.

But all was certainly not lost. Because Michelle, Lauren and I (being the brave ones in our party) did a tour of the dungeons at the castle – it’s one of those live-action-scary-people-jump-out-of-you-in-dark-rooms attractions – I LOVE them :) - and the first person we met in there was this suitably scary jester.  Hooray!

There was also an even scarier judge inside, but they didn’t allow photography once you started the tour proper, so I don’t have any photos of him, ditto the jail cell complete with various torture equipment. It was a really fun experience, even Lauren enjoyed it (once she had got past her initial nerves – ie once we were safely back out again :) ), and certainly made up our J-quotient.

Oh and Jay found some Japanese writing on the "thank you for visiting" sign :)

After the castle, we drove to nearby Kenilworth (just a few days too early for K!) to visit my friend Alison, and en route we found a churchyard cache at St James’ church. (a couple of days later I found another at St John The Baptist in Cirencester – hooray for all the J-named saints :) )

I also completed one Circle Journal entry – the nun with a gun – and started work on another.

That just about wraps up J-fortnight, the one other thing I was hoping to do was make some jewellery during this time, but unfortunately we were so busy having fun elsewhere, that I just ran out of time.

Thankfully, I was saved on this score by a fantastic piece of jewellery arriving unexpectedly in the post on the very last day of J-fortnight.  Do you remember the charm swap I was a part of?  Well, the completed charm bracelet finally came back :) Isn’t it funky???

Some of the ladies (and gent!) taking part in the swap have some serious talent – and the swap hostess did a fantastic job getting all the charms assembled onto stretchy bracelets (saves having to measure everyones wrists) and sending them out – each in a lovely handmade box – as if she didn’t already have enough work to do :)

Great timing, thank you fellow charmers :)

And now – onto the letter K!

We started the weekend with yet more geoKaching (I couldn’t resist – and there’s worse to come :) ). It was a glorious sunny day so we thought we would tackle a series over at Ashton Keynes (at the Cotswold Water Park – basically a big nature reserve full of lakes). It was the Keyneses that made our decision on location (a group of villages around the lakes all called something-Keynes), but also the closest cache in the series to where we parked our car was called Kent End, so that worked out doubly well.

We found all sorts of interesting things on the way around, including some Kwiksand (ouch), and we also had a PiKniK at the lakeside. 4 and a half miles later we had found 8 caches – our personal best in one day.

You can see a Google Earth map of the route we walked on the previous loooong blog post about our May geocaching adventures.  Technology is very cool :)

It was a swelteringly hot day though, and after that kolossal (for us) hike, we were all in need of some nice kold ice kream and a swim. (sorry :D)

So we headed to nearby Keynes Country Park, which has a fantastic man made beach and a spot where you can swim in the lake. The kids loved it, and it certainly perked them up after that loooong walk.

> 180 degree panorama of Keynes Country Park - this one's worth clicking on for a better view

And for tea? Where else but Burger King :) :) :)

That evening, the kids slept in a tent in Jay's garden - I'm going to let them have kamping as a k-word, as they did want to do this for C but it was way too cold back in February :)  Got to admit we underestimated them - we thought they'd last 20 minutes out there, but they actually slept out right through the night.

The following weekend we went to a drag racing meet.  Don't worry, I'm not going to talk about all the kool looking kars :)  I don't need to cheat on this one, as the racer we went to watch was Jay's friend Ken.

(there were plenty of kool looking kars, though!)

Ken (with the go faster stripes on his sleeve) waiting to race

the lads with Ken's car

There was also a wonderful old abandoned and graffiti'd aeroplane at the entrance to the raceground.  Absolutely nothing to do with the letter K, but I was pleased with this photo so on the blog it goes.

Our final K-related activity was to go to the cinema - that's Kino in German, you know ;)

We couldn't find a film beginning with K, but we did find Prince of Persia, which has a handful of Kings in it, as well as Princes.  And it also had Ben Kingsley in it.  So that'll do nicely. 

It was a pretty enjoyable, if rather daft, film.  The boys enjoyed it for the action scenes.  And I enjoyed it for the eye candy ;)

Let's end K fortnight with a bit of Kesler-boogie.  The world always needs more Kesler-boogie :D

I'll be back soon with a blog post brought to you by the letter L (is Sesame Street hiring, do you know?)


Erika Jean said...

Do you guys call Jello, jelly?? ;-) Here, Jelly is the stuff we put on a sandwich (jam)

That plane has nice J n the front!

I love the pic of u in the tree! Are you on flickr?? you have some great pictures!

Michelle S said...

Gr8 post as ever! U guys have been sooooooooo busy! Ur putting us lot to shame lol :)

Sarah said...

it only looks like a lot because I put two letters together ;)

Unknown said...

You're pictures are so much fun to look at! Thanks so much for sharing them. :)

P.J. said...

Well now that's an interesting way to blog. Looks like it was quite the adventure(s)!