We chanced upon a couple of local school summer fêtes this weekend which is the type of thing that really cheers me up with visions of bunting strung up and homemade cakes on offer. The weather was cheery yellow sunbeams and we spent a while mooching around tombola and white elephant stalls, laughing at several dads attempt the coconut shy and 'splat-the-rat'. All very English with the local vicar walking around nodding hellos and eating a slice of fruit cake.
Ambling around we were treated to the oom-pah-pah of a brass band at one school, followed by cream teas whilst watching chaotic children dancing around the May Pole at the other. The great thing about school fairs is that they always sell loads of books and toys, especially cheap. I came out with armfuls for literally a couple of pounds. Great for our book nook.
Doggies for learning about animals and imaginary play.
Pink spangly skipping rope - yes I know I have a boy but so what! I thought it would be good for garden games like throwing bean bags over the line etc.. He actually loves the glitteriness of it!
From the white elephant, more glasses for my collection. I adore the birdy ones, of course.
Vintage bowls with cute pictures for Little Bird's dinners.
It was also an opportunity to view some of our possible future primary school options for Little Bird. Colourful displays, fun gardens, poems, singing and dancing, climbing frame and swings, future teachers and the other parents! Seems like a long time away but it's good information to have in our minds.
I'm joining in with Magpie Monday over at Me and My Shadow where you can see lots of other lovely thrifted treasures.
A sea shanty welcome into the harbour of Whitby town for the young pirate boy.
'Oh, a dish of rotten fish wouldn’t do us any harm
And we’ll all hang on behind. ....'
We followed in the footsteps of Count Dracula who landed here and ran around scaring the inhabitants (Dracula that is, not my son) but we firmly drew the line at dashing up the 199 steps, difficult with a pirate's push chair.
With the shadow of the Abbey over us, we wandered into the windy cobbled streets watching out for smugglers and ghouls hiding in dark alleyways. Ignoring the prospect of phantoms we stopped a while when tea and cake was on offer.
Victoriana reigns here, jewellery shops selling black whitby jet on every street and a smell of smoked kippers leading our noses. Although I do not like fish, I felt drawn to this smell as the area was so evocative of stepping back in time and I half expected to see misty figures wearing top hats ambling down the street. This was of course the old Fortune's Kippers smokehouse that is still open this day since opening in 1872. It's easy to see why Whitby is host to an annual Gothic Weekend.
The young pirate enjoyed splashing around in puddles after a massive downpour where us and about thirty other people had sheltered under a bandstand whilst being circled by menacing looking sea gulls. It's a great place to get the imagination going. A huge whale jaw bone arch to amaze at monstrous sea creatures, tales of the voyages of Captain Cook who served his seafaring apprenticeship in the town and of course young salty sea pups can fend off those landlubbers. Avast!
We had a few days on the North Yorkshire coast as Little Bird's first holiday.
Scarborough was a surprise, a wide clean beach, a pretty park, narrow streets to explore and a great sense of nostalgia. Not at all what I expected. I lovedit.
It was Little Bird's first time at a quintessential British seaside town. A first time to see hushed waves gently lapping the beach , get sand grains between little toes, walk along a promenade passing noisy amusement arcades (which he was enraptured by) and meet boisterous sea gulls trying to pinch our ice cream cones ('lemon tops' in these parts).
Where should the latest recruit to the bucket & spade club look first with such bright, colourful displays in every shop in the bay?
A very first time too for a little man to spy fishing boats with webs of netting , rows of crab pots and new, sometimes intense smells - fishy delicacies, sharp saltiness - for a little button nose.
Sweet dough, candy, chips and ice cream sundaes were feasted upon and calories ignored.
I thoroughly recommend an ice-cream parlour called Alonzi's Harbour Bar, pure 1950's retro with waitresses pinafore's as yellow as their house specialty banana splits.
The old town, just outside of the castle walls, was a surprise find for Daddy Bird who has been to this coastline many times before. Steep streets, out of puff, pushing the buggy, looking at coastal inspired gardens and window boxes. In St. Mary's churchyard you can find the grave of Anne Bronte who died in Scarborough, of Tuberculosis, aged 29 although the headstone incorrectly says 28.
I found the old town fascinating and a bit spooky (they have ghost tours around there). There's a road called Paradise which was appropriate to this sunny afternoon peering through gaps in alleyways and catching glimpses of a sea that today was so beautifully blue.