Watching The Ships Roll In – And Then We Watch Them Roll Away Again: Tall Ships Blyth 2016

Oh. My. God. I am on a complete and utter high after this weekend’s Tall Ships Event held in my very own hometown of Blyth!

Fave Ship Everrrr

Fave Ship Everrrr

Seen as though I am on my ‘summer holiday’ (private uh-hum ‘joke’ between me and the OH. Won’t bore you with the details but yes we did join the whose-had-the-hardest-day-brigade. Something I vowed I would never do. Bah). Sorry where was I? Oh yes, so seen as though I was off on Friday and I live right across the road from the beach, I thought it would be a marvellous idea to troop on over and watch the ships roll in (!)

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So, having fed, washed and dressed both myself and the baba in record time we managed to get out the house and over to the beach just after nine (major woohoo and high five). It was perfect timing to get caught up in the build-up atmosphere as staff, volunteers and visitors were trickling in.

It looks deceivingly quiet on this pic!

It looks deceivingly quiet on this pic!

The weather was unreal – blue skies with that lovely sunshine shimmering off the sea. Perfect Tall Ship Hunting Weather. Although there was a slight breeze which meant I couldn’t put the parasol up on the pram (had an experience down the beach once where this nearly blew off towards some unsuspecting sunbathers. Needless to say I was impressed at my most unlikely ninja reaction and I caught it just in time. Very unlike me).

Waiting for some Tall Ships, is that one in the distance?? Gorgeous morning though!

Waiting for some Tall Ships, is that one in the distance??!

So we sat and waited. I was a bit frightened In case I mistook random boats as Tall Ships – I mean, how tall are they anyway? Plus Ella was restless once we stopped so I did a lap of the beach, only to find I’d missed one as I came back to our Hunting Spot.

Never mind, like buses, none came and then two came at once. Just after an old lady pushing a dog in a pushchair asked me the way to the harbour (true story).

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Yey, I got my Ship Fix and we went home, saving ourselves for the evening where we could scoot off down to the harbour as a family to see them all.

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imageAs soon as the OH was in from work, we scrambled out the door and headed towards the Harbour via Ridley Park. Being a resident of Blyth and so close to the event itself, I was anxious that there’d be utter chaos with traffic and the temporary one-way system. Needless to say I was impressed the whole weekend with the organisation of not only the Tall Ships Event but for the traffic and parking measures that were put in place. As a resident it was minimal disruption and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed seeing Blyth come alive these past four days.image

Ridley Park was a hive of activity itself with fairground rides, market stalls and it’s oh-so-famous playground water feature. We ventured along to the Quayside and swooned at the ships (and I also at an Orlando Bloom look-alike from the what I call Pirate Ship. I’m not too sure what it’s actual name was?? I couldn’t see the side or the flag on the top properly).

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My other favourite ship was the ‘Dar Mlodziezy’ near the end of the harbour right next to the stage and the bar

Where I spied them serving prosecco hurrah.

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A bit pricey (£9 a round for fizz and beer) but what the hell – what maternity leave? Remember I’m on my s-u-m-m-e-r h-o-l-i-d-a-y. So we had two rounds of drinks. YOLO

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We finished our night with a beer and a burrito (from the Zapatista stall). We got to eat in peace after Ella’s grandma kindly offered to take her back to hers and feed her while we ate. We sat in the lifeboat hanger where there was a band warming up and (selfish mother alert) I relished in the pretence of our old life and that we were out on a date.

Saturday we did it all again (minus the alcohol) with some friends and more family.

This time I purchased some amazing Cheesy Peasy Pease Pudding from the Pete’s Puddin Stall. Nom Nom.

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Sunday we gave it a miss as it rained in the morning and by the time the sun got out we resigned ourselves to the fact we were going to have a lazy day. So we stayed at home and ate Sunday dinner and drank wine.

As we have a baba it meant we missed out on the fireworks at 9pm (although if you stood in a certain part in our garden you could see them between the houses).

You could hear them though.

Which made me want to see them even more. By the time I decided to change out of my pj’s and run to the front of the estate to catch the finale, it was over and I was just a strange lady standing on a street corner breathless. Not something I want to be known for.

The calm before the storm - beating the rush at the Coastline. Major Tile Love for this place

The calm before the storm – beating the rush at the Coastline. Major Tile Love for this place

So Monday I desperately needed my Tall Ship fix. We made a day of it; getting up early and heading to Coastline for our breakfast and then walking down to the Harbour.

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This time we walked through the back of Ridley Park car park to the Harbour which we’d missed entirely in our previous trips. This was really good as it had the navy ship and helicopter’s.

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We walked into the town centre to see the fair at the market square, then back along the Harbour to see the ships one last time before they set sail.

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We had a pit stop at Ridley Park where tea and pudding was sorted for the evening by purchasing Sausages from The Geordie Banger Co and a Chocolate Tiffin Brownie from The Brownie Bar.

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For a Bank Holiday Monday the weather was unbelievable – perched on deck chairs by the water park while feeding Ella with all the hustle and bustle you’d have thought we were on holiday abroad somewhere.

Never seen Blyth Beach as busy!

Never seen Blyth Beach as busy!

It seemed like everyone else had the same idea as us – to watch the ships sail out from Blyth Beach. Which is obvious really I don’t know why I was surprised. Despite the crowds we still had an amazing view of watching them roll away again (!)

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What else was there to do now it was all coming to an end?

Sit on the dock of the bay wasting time? Or sit in the back garden drinking vino blanco? Guess what we chose.

Well done to everyone who was involved – you did Blyth proud and no doubt well and truly put us on the map.

Love Missuswolf xxx

How was your weekend?

Monday 8th August 2016

I’m into my twenty-second week of maternity and I still look forward to the weekend like I did when I worked full-time.

I’ll not give you the spiel about motherhood being a full-time job and all that but after five days of just me and the baba, I can’t wait for the weekend to do family things. In other words – share the load.

I’ve already done a couple of KIT days at work and I fully intend to use all ten of them.

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Don’t be deceived by the smile. She’s happy with herself for rolling over but the whingeing soon ensues until I rescue that trapped arm. Keep rollin’ rollin’ rollin’

That one day in the week where I get to skip off to work where I don’t have to think about keeping a little human alive is delightful. Selfish I know but I love having a day to myself – to relish in the old me. Pure escapism. Gasp!

 

It’s been extremely healthy for my sanity.

Ella’s not a cuddly baby – yet when I get home from work and feed her, she falls asleep on me. Something she never does when we spend all day together. I’m not one for sitting still either and there’s so much to do when I get in from work. But all those jobs I’m eager to do and I normally can’t rest until they are done – I find myself leaving.

It feels like quality time.

Unlike today where it’s taken me the best part of it to write this blog post in-between feeding, changing and entertaining. Another round of  bottle feeding looses its appeal when you do it day in, day out. But that one I do after work – I actually enjoy.

Anyway, I digress.

So – back to the weekend.

Newcastle Fiesta

On Saturday we trooped over to the Newcastle Fiesta at the Town Moor. After nailing a military operation of a morning – consisting of the three of us getting up and ready, walking to the Coastline to snaffle a bacon sarnie (think hubby was hung over from watching the unsuccessful NUFC match the night before) and packing a car with baby paraphernalia, we managed to arrive half an hour early. High five us!

The gates didn’t open until 12 on the dot so a roadside wait it was while I jumped in the back seat to throw a bottle of milk (obvs not literally!) down a hungry baby.

The £2 car parking fee and £3 entry free each (Ella was free) I could live with. Granted, it wasn’t as big an event as I thought it was going to be. The banner advertised lots of fabulous hot air balloons (my childhood obsession!) – I got to see two. Some people didn’t get to see any. I was just thankful Ella isn’t arsed about rides yet as they were a rip off. Even with the money off vouchers they were still expensive.

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Happy second birthday to Lady Ruby

Never mind, the sun was shining, we bumped into some friends and managed to over-stimulate Ella into a long nap. Hurrah!

 

Fast forward to Saturday night and we’re off to Davanti’s at Whitley Lodge for my niece’s second birthday. Great food and great atmosphere – the staff were so friendly and entertaining (and patient with all the small children we had in tow!) It was my turn to drink and I found myself slightly pissed at a two-year olds party #motheroftheyear

I felt the consequences the next day. Wine is the devil’s drink bah. I’ll never learn.

 

 

So now it’s Monday and I’m back to another week in baby land. At least I get to watch the Olympics.

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Feeding a baba while snaffling birthday cake. I’m winning at life.

 

Love Missuswolf xxx