Dad’s Life: Lovely way to spend a lazy Sunday

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MY regular reader will be aware that as a family, we’re big fans of ferry crossings to the Continent.

We normally use the DFDS ferry from North Shields to Amsterdam at least twice a year, often more.

Sometimes we go on, further into Europe, sometimes we’ll stay a few days in the beautiful city of Amsterdam.

The journey onboard has always been very much part of the holiday, which is why we were interested when we heard that DFDS had introduced a new Sunday cruise sailing service. Basically, this is Sunday lunch on board a ferry. You board from North Shields at 10.30am, sail gently up the picturesque Northumberland coast and dock back on the Tyne at about 2pm.

The cruises are aimed at families, and although my two teenage sons weren’t interested in the onboard pirate games or other activities laid on for the youngsters, they certainly enjoyed the all-you-can-eat three-course buffet.

There was also a live band and a singer to entertain the guests, but it was a lovely day and after lunch, the four of us browsed the on-board shop then went out on deck to see if I could spot a dolphin or a seal.

I had come well prepared with binoculars and cameras, much to the amusement of my sons. I eventually persuaded them to help me in my wildlife quest, and both of them were scouring the water for signs of wildlife.

There were plenty of seabirds, but no dolphins or seal, unfortunately.

It was a lovely way to spend a lazy Sunday, and the views of the coast were stunning.

The sailings cost £30 for adults and £15 for children. For more information visit www.dfds.co.uk or call 0871 522 9976.

FOURTEEN-year-old Isaac really enjoyed his recent week away with my mum and dad and his cousin.

He was unusually subdued in the car on the way home, which isn’t like him at all.

He’s already asking to return to the same guest house with his grandparents and cousin next year.

It’s great that he gets so much enjoyment from spending time with my parents, and they too thoroughly enjoy his company.

It wasn’t just them from the older generation that he’d been chatting to however.

As I walked Isaac back to the car to drive home, four or five pensioners stopped him by name, saying how nice it had been to spend time in his company, and hoping that they would see him next year.

I’ve seldom been so proud of my boy.

BY the time you’ll be reading this, Gabriel will have had his AS results and taken his driving test.

Out of the two, his AS results are by far the more important, but he’s probably more nervous about his test.

You’ll have to wait a while to find out how he did – we’re with Mickey Mouse for a few days.