Tuesday 25 September 2012

The Great Outdoors

The largest contingent of extended family on my side live in 
Scotland, Ayrshire to be exact. My parents are Scottish, and as  children our annual holiday was a week in Scotland with the cousins. For a real treat we had 2 weeks! (same for them)

We still love to get together - they are all great company. For the past 8 years or so this has taken the form of a weekend of fun somewhere in the Lakes. 

 For the last 6 years (give or take) we've stayed at 
not far from Kirkby Stephen.

The building itself is in the middle of the most dramatic scenery - until now we've always gone for a Christmas meet up so haven't really been able to get outside. This year we plumped for September in an attempt to enjoy a BBQ/campfire. And we were in LUCK.....what were the chances?! (slim)
 The top floor of the barn is one big room - complete with wonderful open plan kitchen, long wooden tables and benches and a seating area with lots of comfy sofas. Perfect for family gatherings.
 The bottom floors have a combination of double rooms and dorm style rooms - with shower blocks for girls and boys, sleeping 24 in total. It's a family run business and the owners are really friendly and accommodating.
We always have a 'theme' for the Saturday night which involves decorating the barn, lots of craft activities and an element of dressing up! In the past we've had a murder mystery (with v graphic clues) a Salsa night and Game Show night. 
This year it was Race Night, more specifically Ladies Day!
Our beautiful cousins
Two crazy Grannies, my mum and her little sister
Me and my little sister (except I'm the little short one!)
Apart from lots of catching up we managed to fit in the following:
Kite flying
Granny, being patient..
Alfie, trying to be patient...
Kenzie and Mabel
cheap kite flying
Reading stories
(my little brother Mark and his boys)
 Lots (and lots) of eating, including bacon butties, 
cooked by a very preggers Helen (5 4 weeks to go!)

and adult ice cream factory (thanks Aunty Nelly!)
 Some football (natch)
 lots of activities (thanks Cleggy!)
 and painting...
and Luca!
 Some not joining in (love my pre-teen!)
Holding hands with big girls
Mabel and Daisy
BBQing with THE best view
Eating in the sun
 building tree houses
 creating new family portraits
♥ Me and my man ♥
cooking marshmallows on the campfire
recreating ladies day
 looking at the view from the barn window (crochet in hand)
 having a little shop in nearby Kirkby Lonsdale 
..then feeling sick from too much Penrith Fudge!
and just enjoying each others company.
Next year the theme is 'wild west' 
(think line dancing and sing-a-long calamity Jane!)
I for one can't wait!
Apologies for FB pals who already know this....but last week our gorgeous boy Kenzie was discharged from Oncology after 9 years! What more can you say about that?
(apart from Yippeeeeee!)
We are incredibly thankful to the Doctors and Nurses at Manchester Children's Hospital (especially Consultant Bernadette Brennan!) 
and feel both grateful and lucky.
fee x


  1. Hi Fee ... fabulous news about Kenzie!!

    Your holiday looks fantastic, full of fun, lots of action pictures ... haven't been to that part of the Lake District, I don't think, but love, love, LOVE Kirkby Lonsdale! Looks like you had great weather all the time too, how on earth did you manage that?

    Have a great week,

    Love Claire xxx

  2. What great news about Kenzie indeed! All my rellies are north of the border and mostly in Ayrshire too :-) (West Kilbride, Seamill & Weymss Bay). Tarn looks like a great place for a get-together and how fab to be lucky with the weather. We've been to the Lake District in winters & summers, and each time it's rained solid for the whole time :-( It is such a pretty part of the world though, isn't it. Your gathering of the Clan looks great fun!

  3. Wow, looks like you all had an amazing time you are very lucky to have such a fun family. Great news about Kenzie!

  4. Looks like you had a wonderful family fun time!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  5. Wonderful photographs Fee, looks like you all had a super time....love the hats!

    Brilliant news about Kenzie!

    Caroline xx

  6. It all looks fab! I know you share my obsession with the weather ;-) - what in the world of heck is all this rain about?!?! Is it ever going to stop?!

  7. First and foremost absolutley fantastic news about Kenzie, was so pleased to it on FB!! :)
    What an amazing place to stay, looks like you all had a great time, all those big skies!!!
    By the way, I think that's a lovely photo of your pre-teen, handsome lad. :)
    Vivienne x

  8. Oh Fee,

    Well, to start of with, I have always loved your name. What Francophile such as myself wouldn't want a name like that? THEN, to see the magic you make with this beautiful family of yours, in this MAGICAL PLACE....I am jealous! I want to go to GREAT BRITAIN!!!!!!!

    What fun memories to have the entire family together. I remember those times in my crazy family when the adults organized such events so that we children would hold on to the family traditions. The adults are now gone, but the memories live forever.

    HAPPY DAY BEAUTIFUL and (tiny) FEE!!! Anita

  9. Soooo happy for you on many accounts. Gorgeous weekend with the family is utterly priceless and with nice weather to boot, you look like you all had the best time.
    What a venue, what a lush scenary.
    Penrith fudge....Penrith....makes me think of Withnail & I which is one of our favourite films.
    Helen looks amazing, her pregnancy seems to have flown by this time!
    Oh look at Anita's comment above. She is so great.
    Alfie is going to be a proper heart breaker, he's gorge! And I am thrilled re Kenzie as you know.
    And the pic of you and Cleggy.....ooooooh! Such a handsome couple. You look like you should be together. Do you know what I mean? Some couple just fit the mould completely, and you two do.
    X x x

  10. The Lake District is my most favourite place on the planet. Great post and wonderful pics. Me and hubby will be going to a family reunion in December, in fact the week leading up to Christmas Day (eek!). Seeing people for the first time who you dont know is a bit scary, so expect a looooong blog post! Kenzie is a star and so happy for you all xxxxx

  11. What an incredibly beautiful full family you have. This is a gift. I couldn't be more thrilled for Kenzie...An incredible feat! Your boys are very patient with their little cousins. Thank you for always sharing you wonderful Holidays...smiles..Renee

  12. DISCHARGED???? O wow o wow o wow! Pop some champagne my dear Fee!
    Loved to be able to see all your relatives (the question is, do they love to be in the spotlights here haha!) and your wonderful smile again :-)
    Will be thinking of you tonight at Bake Off (if I haven't fallen asleep by then...)

  13. What a great family get-together! I don't think either of our families have ever done that. Then again, we do live all over the world of course which makes coordinating things difficult.
    And then of course I have to mention the views at your retreat: marvelous!!!! So so pretty and it looks like you had great weather as well. What a treat! :-)

  14. What a weekend away - you were so lucky with the weather and the location is stunning :)

    Brilliant news about Kenzie - what a massive relief for you all xxx

  15. What wonderful news about Kenzie..you must all be over the moon...fab!! What a great get together you also had. Such a happy time for you all. Your photos show you had a ball. We had our daughter's wedding in July...there is NOTHING like a family party is there ;0)
    Welcome to autumn Fee,
    Jane x

  16. What wonderful news Fee- am soo happy for your lovely young man!
    Such a lovely cheery time spent here with the most important peeps....
    Soo love Kirby Lonsdale as not to far from my home town..
    Wishing you a wonderful week Fee and again that news is fab!
    Love Maria x

  17. Very impressed with those pictures taken largely with Mum's camera. Pre teen son is indeed looking v handsome nowadays. We miss the Scottish rellies and just being away together too. We are very lucky indeed x x

  18. Wonderful news about Kenzie! And what a fabulous weekend you had! Such an idyllic location!
    Victoria xx

  19. Woohoo! Kenzie is FREE! :D

    I had no idea your big little sister was having another, congrats to her.

    Can you please adopt me, I'm no trouble. X

  20. Fabulous news that Kenzie is discharged. YAY!! It looks like you had the most fantastic weekend. Thanks for sharing those amazing photos.
    Anne xx

  21. ok...that's it...you have way too much fun over there...I MOVING to the UK!!! {oh how fun would that be if only it was true.}...hugs. xoxo

  22. First of all, YAY for Kenzie's discharge. That is super great news. And oh my, the fun you had on your weekend. What a great way to visit with family. And what memories!!!


  23. Fab news for Kenzie and the whole family...
    Holiday looks amazing

  24. How much did you win at the races!!! Looks like an amazing, bumper time, so hard to take it all in while it's happening! Thank heavens for digital cameras, snapping away indiscriminately is one of my best skills! Law of averages says you always score a few priceless shots...yours are lovely.

    As for Kenzie, well words are not enough are they...but happiness abounds,

    Love Sarah -x-

  25. Loved your blog, especially as I live 20 mins from Kirkby Lonsdale. You must have chosen one of the few sunny days in Cumbria as its been the wettest summer I can remember.


  26. A beautiful place!
    Perfect Day!!!


  27. Such happy family times, Fee....your holiday in the Lakes looks such fun! I love it there too :) And such very happy news of Kenzie, I am delighted to hear it and so glad for you all.
    Have a wonderful weekend!
    Helen x

  28. I love your pictures from Scotland! It looks like you had such a nice time together. And that is wonderful news about your son!

  29. Just catching up here Fee. Marvellous news about Kenzie :D And how awesome to be part of such a beautiful close family, envy you that. Kirby L' and environs, one of my most favourite places on God's earth! Luckily for me my Ma-in-law lives just down the road so I get to go there often :D


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I LOVE reading your comments!
fee x