Saturday 23 November 2013

Three Calamity Janes!

Every year for the past 10 years or so we have an annual family get together with my extended family. 
We go to this amazing place called Tarn in The Lakes
Over the years the idea of a theme has grown and 
the last 6 years or so have settled into a wonderfully comfortable tradition which goes like this:

Friday night - arrive, get giddy, catch up

Saturday - a little shopping trip to beautiful Kirkby Lonsdale, decorate the barn with said theme, campfire (weather permitting), games for the littles, massive dress up party with games galore

Sunday - cooked brunch, big clear up, decide the theme for next year, bemoan the fact it hasn't been long enough.
This year the theme was Calamity Jane.
Bit weird I know - but when we adults were young the annual holiday was a 2 week trip to stay with the cousins in Scotland or vice versa. One of the holidays involved watching said film about a hundred times (on video, taped off the telly!) to the point where we all knew it word for word. It's long been a family favourite ever since, and one which all respective partners have bought into.
For a little while Cleggy and I were the only ones with children - now they are outnumbering the adults at an alarming rate.
One of the best things about Tarn is that the large living area is brilliant for all ages playing together. The mixture of dorms and bedrooms mean that we have been able to alter the sleeping arrangements as the family dynamics have evolved. It sleeps 24 and we just about fill it!
Cleggy has an 'entertainment budget' (which he ignores!) and always does us proud with the decor and games - and G Kisby (my brother in law) has a food budget and cooks brilliant food all weekend.
Nelly has taken the mantle of entertainment for the Littles, and due to unforeseen circumstances ended up managing the purchasing of food as well this year! 
The weather this year was brisk - but we found opportunity for the fire...boys favourite!
Cleggy also LOVES a fire!
 Literally 10 mins later the weather turned and we watched a great lightening storm from the windows!
The littles loved a game of pass the parcel
playing with bubbles
and a good old fashioned 'pin the tail on the donkey'
 Then, when they were all tucked up in bed, we all became cowboys, Indians, and various versions of Calamity Jane!!!
how pretty is our littlest boy?
 Unbeknown to each other Cleggy and G Kisby both bought the very same costume from Ebay!!!
It came with a motor - you blow it up around yourself. 
even if it did turn the evening into Brokeback Mountain!!
My poor mother was away on her long walk when the costumes were being, we assured her we would sort her out and decided she HAD to be Calamity Jane! The bit down by the creek with Katie Brown where she becomes a lady!!
Poor Granny. Luckily she took in her stride. Bloomers and all.
Kenzie came as a horse!
 We were in two teams for the games - and I can't stress enough how seriously this is taken. Seriously. Team talks and everything
 The games included
  'pin the moustache on the Granny'
(feel the need to point out that these faces have been cruelly doctored!!)
A brilliant tin can alley
a singing and chime bar rendition of our favourite 
songs from the film
 A game involving wafting the hat with balloons 
(which got more than usually competitive)
And most bizarrely a game where each team had to lassoo their respective  Granny, who was dressed as a cow!!
Sadly too few usable photos as I had drank too much wine and this game made me wee with laughter.
 We also got it together for some family photos

The following morning came all too soon 
with a stunning post storm sky
 and treats like Nutella on toast
 building a den of cushions and finding a sneaky spot to play minecraft (he's addicted)
 And enjoying the cow masks a little too much!
Thank you Alison and Philip at Tarn - I hope you enjoyed seeing what we got up to this year! 
Next year we've decided to stick with the film theme 
and are 'doing Grease'. 
The Granny has agreed to be Olivia Newton John at the end of the black lycra. I'm not sure she realises what she's agreed to !!!!
fee x


  1. Oh my goodness that all looked like enormous fun!
    Can I come next year! ;)
    V xxx

  2. Oh my word, too funny! It looks like you guys just had a fabulous time! And Grease? Now that is more to my liking. Can't wait to see it all next year... :-)

  3. Totally refreshing to see kids actually 'playing' real games and not have their heads into XBox all day long, its almost like going back in time!! Positive Parent Power :) Granny in black lycra, how brave is she!! I don't think I could watch the film again with a straight face ;) xxx

  4. Oh my goodness what brilliant fun. What a wonderful tradition that will keep memories and love alight for years and years x

  5. She really doesn't, she told me she could wear the same wig as this year, not for the Olivia you're doing you can't, was my reply. GB really is so pretty, he looks like you. Fully enjoyed reliving it, nice photos, started laughing all over again at lasoo the Granny,
    Nelly x

  6. Oh Fee what a great post, I have just laughed so much at the fancy dress, those blow up horses are the best! What wonderful memories you are creating....brilliant. By the way I emailed you as a certain beautiful Daisy has been born...have I been spammed..LOL Hugs, Jane xx

  7. Love it, can we do a film themed snowball evening soon?? X

  8. Gosh Fee, you don't do things by halves, do you? What a fabulous weekend ... And what a wonderful family you have!

    Love claire xx

  9. I have no idea how I got to your blog Fee, but I am so glad that I did. It looks as though you had a wonderful time with your family, and how lovely that you all get together and have such fun and games. I'm sure that all the children (and grown ups of course!) will have such lovely memories of these times. I am going to follow you, so I will be back to read some more! xx

  10. This looks and sounds like SO much fun!!! Fantastic!!! :-)

  11. Hi Fee, just wanted to say I hope that you and your Family have a Super Christmas, and am looking forward to your posts in the New Year!

    Take care my lovely

    Vanessa xxxx

  12. Love, love, loved reading this and looking at all the pic's made me giggle quite a lot xxxx

  13. Wishing you and yours a magical Christmas time...Merry Merry Christmas!

    Amanda x

  14. We have a family holiday every year too; it's so much fun! I love the idea of a themed evening - might suggest it to my lot!
    Happy New Year, Fee.
    Jo x

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Thanks for stopping by.
I LOVE reading your comments!
fee x