For the love of Spring


Over half term in between the rainy miserable days spent tucked up inside playing, baking and sleeping we managed to sneak in a few trips to glimpse the first signs of the changing seasons. Spring is my all time favourite. I probably say this about Autumn, because I do love it too, but I think Spring just tips it for me. I love the hope and optimism, the awaking of nature, the new life and coming out of hibernation. I love seeing those new signs of colour, buds and shoots growing stronger each day, searching out the sunshine and preparing for those longer days ahead. Both Autumn and Spring remind me of the need to reflect on those long seasons of winter and summer, of a time for change, preparing and taking stock. That's what I love about them the most, they give me the most reason and encouragement to really think about what I want and need to achieve or change, to make plans and help me think about what's important. It's so easy to get caught up in what we 'should' be doing that it's easy to forget to keep your feet on the ground or step out of you comfy hibernation.


I feel that Spring often gets overshadowed by the excitement for the summer, whilst I do like Summer I usually find it too long, a bit disappointing, sometimes quite sweaty and a little pressured to have "the best summer ever". Whereas Spring is just free to be enjoyed for what it is. It's slow to start but once it's here, it's everywhere you look. Roadsides and streets are bursting with blossoming trees and flowers, the trees are getting ready to unfurl their new leaves, there's fresh colours everywhere and you know what, the weather is actually always pretty good. Those first few days where you can feel the sun warm you skin for the first time in months, the need to shed your coat for a few hours in the afternoon and of course the darkness retreating a little every day and those evenings inching along to be longer. There's no pressure for it to be hot or sunny, there are just beautiful days to be enjoyed where there's always new life to spot and an ever changing palette of colour before your eyes. When people announce that they're ready for the Summer, or that a nice Spring day "feels like Summer is here!" then I'm the first to fight in Springs corner for it not to be overlooked. Don't wish away this magical, beautiful time of hope and optimistic days, where it's not too hot or not too cold. Where magnolia flowers take your breath away and you find your self taking detours just to spot out the biggest and the best blooms. I'd swap a warm Spring day with fresh air over a hot, humid, sweaty, sticky summers day spent being chased by wasps and hiding in the shade, every time!


ahem...anyway. I shall just step down from my soapbox and hide it away and get on with showing you a few pictures from our walk around one of my favourite National Trust properties, Lacock Abbey. When we arrived we played in the park and ate our lunch outside (the first mini picnic of the year!) and then ran for cover to the cafe from the rain and hail shower, perfectly timed for scones and hot chocolate. The clouds then disappeared as we made our way round the grounds, taking in the carpets of snowdrops, crocus's and emerging daffodils and wild garlic. We stopped by the greenhouse, admiring the sweet smelling hyacinths and trying to stroke the prettiest but grumpiest cat!


Walking through the grounds surrounded by bird song and the gentle sunshine just felt so restorative and calming. We found another cat to stroke, a rope swing and tree stumps to climb. It just felt good to be outside again. We then explored the Abbey as well as Henry Fox Talbots house before heading home. We didn't get to explore the village again this time, but we can always save that for next time!




For the love of Spring


Over half term in between the rainy miserable days spent tucked up inside playing, baking and sleeping we managed to sneak in a few trips to glimpse the first signs of the changing seasons. Spring is my all time favourite. I probably say this about Autumn, because I do love it too, but I think Spring just tips it for me. I love the hope and optimism, the awaking of nature, the new life and coming out of hibernation. I love seeing those new signs of colour, buds and shoots growing stronger each day, searching out the sunshine and preparing for those longer days ahead. Both Autumn and Spring remind me of the need to reflect on those long seasons of winter and summer, of a time for change, preparing and taking stock. That's what I love about them the most, they give me the most reason and encouragement to really think about what I want and need to achieve or change, to make plans and help me think about what's important. It's so easy to get caught up in what we 'should' be doing that it's easy to forget to keep your feet on the ground or step out of you comfy hibernation.


I feel that Spring often gets overshadowed by the excitement for the summer, whilst I do like Summer I usually find it too long, a bit disappointing, sometimes quite sweaty and a little pressured to have "the best summer ever". Whereas Spring is just free to be enjoyed for what it is. It's slow to start but once it's here, it's everywhere you look. Roadsides and streets are bursting with blossoming trees and flowers, the trees are getting ready to unfurl their new leaves, there's fresh colours everywhere and you know what, the weather is actually always pretty good. Those first few days where you can feel the sun warm you skin for the first time in months, the need to shed your coat for a few hours in the afternoon and of course the darkness retreating a little every day and those evenings inching along to be longer. There's no pressure for it to be hot or sunny, there are just beautiful days to be enjoyed where there's always new life to spot and an ever changing palette of colour before your eyes. When people announce that they're ready for the Summer, or that a nice Spring day "feels like Summer is here!" then I'm the first to fight in Springs corner for it not to be overlooked. Don't wish away this magical, beautiful time of hope and optimistic days, where it's not too hot or not too cold. Where magnolia flowers take your breath away and you find your self taking detours just to spot out the biggest and the best blooms. I'd swap a warm Spring day with fresh air over a hot, humid, sweaty, sticky summers day spent being chased by wasps and hiding in the shade, every time!


ahem...anyway. I shall just step down from my soapbox and hide it away and get on with showing you a few pictures from our walk around one of my favourite National Trust properties, Lacock Abbey. When we arrived we played in the park and ate our lunch outside (the first mini picnic of the year!) and then ran for cover to the cafe from the rain and hail shower, perfectly timed for scones and hot chocolate. The clouds then disappeared as we made our way round the grounds, taking in the carpets of snowdrops, crocus's and emerging daffodils and wild garlic. We stopped by the greenhouse, admiring the sweet smelling hyacinths and trying to stroke the prettiest but grumpiest cat!


Walking through the grounds surrounded by bird song and the gentle sunshine just felt so restorative and calming. We found another cat to stroke, a rope swing and tree stumps to climb. It just felt good to be outside again. We then explored the Abbey as well as Henry Fox Talbots house before heading home. We didn't get to explore the village again this time, but we can always save that for next time!




November walks


Our weekends recently have tried to involve a family walk of some kind, and we're still discovering new places to go around us. We found a great woodlands not too far away in the Mendips and also staying closer to home with local walks. There's something I love about getting bundled up warm and heading out whatever the weather, even with the threat of rain. It makes the getting home and getting warm and cosy all the more enjoyable.





There's also a little video featuring some of our walks here:

November walks


Our weekends recently have tried to involve a family walk of some kind, and we're still discovering new places to go around us. We found a great woodlands not too far away in the Mendips and also staying closer to home with local walks. There's something I love about getting bundled up warm and heading out whatever the weather, even with the threat of rain. It makes the getting home and getting warm and cosy all the more enjoyable.





There's also a little video featuring some of our walks here:

A family walk: Killerton National Trust

 So I'm going to try and be a little more up to date with my post's, as often I have adventures sitting there waiting to be shared but then too much time goes past and I forget and then it feels like it's the wrong time to share. Too much else is going on though to be consistent, but I find it nice to be able to look back in a year or two at what we were doing and how we all looked. Recently thanks to the memories function on facebook popping up daily reminders of what we were doing one, two, three etc years ago it's made me even more want to capture our days now, as they happen. There's something magical in looking back, the shock of how much the children have grown and changed, old outfits which send you searching through under the bed boxes to hunt them out and retrieve them to relive them again. Important milestones too, most of last year the little steps and victories we had with Rohan, how his first year was laid out and all that we went through. I love being able to look back and remember it all.

On our way back from Devon on Easter Monday we decided that instead of just driving all the way back, we'd stop along the way and make the most of the time we had together before our busy week before Rowie's surgery. We'd passed the signs off the motorway many times for a National Trust, but had never really thought to stop as the journey isn't too long so it we never feel we have to stop. Sometimes you get so caught up in getting from A to B that you miss the bits in between (wow isn't that a metaphor for life?!) So we stopped. They were holding an egg hunt for Easter which led us on a trail around the beautiful gardens that were full of blooming Rhododendrons, Magnolias and Camellias. We stopped many times to admire the colours and heavy laden trees and smell the sweet scents. The sun eventually came out too and Theo spent a long time rolling down the gentle sloped lawns and making new friends. We of course stopped for cream tea (a National Trust must-do) before we made our way back to the car, glad for the long gentle walk and fresh air.


A family walk: Killerton National Trust

 So I'm going to try and be a little more up to date with my post's, as often I have adventures sitting there waiting to be shared but then too much time goes past and I forget and then it feels like it's the wrong time to share. Too much else is going on though to be consistent, but I find it nice to be able to look back in a year or two at what we were doing and how we all looked. Recently thanks to the memories function on facebook popping up daily reminders of what we were doing one, two, three etc years ago it's made me even more want to capture our days now, as they happen. There's something magical in looking back, the shock of how much the children have grown and changed, old outfits which send you searching through under the bed boxes to hunt them out and retrieve them to relive them again. Important milestones too, most of last year the little steps and victories we had with Rohan, how his first year was laid out and all that we went through. I love being able to look back and remember it all.

On our way back from Devon on Easter Monday we decided that instead of just driving all the way back, we'd stop along the way and make the most of the time we had together before our busy week before Rowie's surgery. We'd passed the signs off the motorway many times for a National Trust, but had never really thought to stop as the journey isn't too long so it we never feel we have to stop. Sometimes you get so caught up in getting from A to B that you miss the bits in between (wow isn't that a metaphor for life?!) So we stopped. They were holding an egg hunt for Easter which led us on a trail around the beautiful gardens that were full of blooming Rhododendrons, Magnolias and Camellias. We stopped many times to admire the colours and heavy laden trees and smell the sweet scents. The sun eventually came out too and Theo spent a long time rolling down the gentle sloped lawns and making new friends. We of course stopped for cream tea (a National Trust must-do) before we made our way back to the car, glad for the long gentle walk and fresh air.


A family walk : Weston-Super-Mare




On the days where you catch the light just right, the golden hour, and you're all revelling at filling your lung with the crisp winter sea air, many photographs are taken. I seemed to have forgotten to share them on here though, but they are some of my favourite and before we hurtle through Spring and into Summer, I thought I would sneak them in. There will be more to follow..at some point! 

Yours sincerely, the worlds worst blogger. 

A family walk : Weston-Super-Mare




On the days where you catch the light just right, the golden hour, and you're all revelling at filling your lung with the crisp winter sea air, many photographs are taken. I seemed to have forgotten to share them on here though, but they are some of my favourite and before we hurtle through Spring and into Summer, I thought I would sneak them in. There will be more to follow..at some point! 

Yours sincerely, the worlds worst blogger. 

A family walk: Clevedon


A crisp winters day in the quiet between Christmas and New year. Rob was back at work, we were all recovering from illness and moving but there was an itch to get out into the sun and explore. We've been to Clevedon many times before, but now we live even closer we didn't want to miss this chance and weather. We strolled along the front with many other people and made our way onto the beach, Rohan sat on the stones whilst we watched Theo leap from one rock to another and throwing pebbles into the pools with a satisfying plop! The sea was as far out as I had ever seen it and we ran down ramp right to the end. The water was so still and calm, the freezing colours of silver, blue and purple all around us.

We then took ourselves to a cafe to warm up with hot chocolate and lunch and Theo got his reward of an ice cream for being so well behaved. It was one of those days where it just worked, we had fun and I felt like a super women. 

A family walk: Clevedon


A crisp winters day in the quiet between Christmas and New year. Rob was back at work, we were all recovering from illness and moving but there was an itch to get out into the sun and explore. We've been to Clevedon many times before, but now we live even closer we didn't want to miss this chance and weather. We strolled along the front with many other people and made our way onto the beach, Rohan sat on the stones whilst we watched Theo leap from one rock to another and throwing pebbles into the pools with a satisfying plop! The sea was as far out as I had ever seen it and we ran down ramp right to the end. The water was so still and calm, the freezing colours of silver, blue and purple all around us.

We then took ourselves to a cafe to warm up with hot chocolate and lunch and Theo got his reward of an ice cream for being so well behaved. It was one of those days where it just worked, we had fun and I felt like a super women. 

December in Devon


The week before Christmas we took Theo down to Devon for a few days whilst we moved house. It was a little bit of calm before the crazy storm that was to come. I think visiting Rob's grandparents is always my place to go to for a little sanctuary. I'm not sure if it's the sea being so close but I always find it so therapeutic, plus Rob's grandparents always treat us so well that it's so hard not to enjoy it!

We only stayed for a day or two but I wanted make sure we did something a little special with Theo for Christmas before we left him for a few days, so we took him to a little zoo to visit Father Christmas. It's such a funny one, as now that he's getting older I wonder how long he'll believe in it all. This year I feel like he really believed it, but I'm sad to think that the magic won't last that long. I do really want to up our emphasis on that Christmas should be about giving and helping others as much as possible, and hopefully as the run up to Christmas won't be so hectic next year we can really try and do more.

We woke up to the valley being clouded in thick mist that refused the lift for the day which made it feel even more wintry and magical. The little zoo in Shaldon was quiet and we spent a bit of time looking at the monkeys before visiting the little grotto, where Santa spent ages chatting to Theo.

Afterwards we made our way down to the beach through the smugglers tunnel and marvelled at the fog covered beach, where I may have gone a little crazy with taking photographs, because you know, it just looks so beautiful!



December in Devon


The week before Christmas we took Theo down to Devon for a few days whilst we moved house. It was a little bit of calm before the crazy storm that was to come. I think visiting Rob's grandparents is always my place to go to for a little sanctuary. I'm not sure if it's the sea being so close but I always find it so therapeutic, plus Rob's grandparents always treat us so well that it's so hard not to enjoy it!

We only stayed for a day or two but I wanted make sure we did something a little special with Theo for Christmas before we left him for a few days, so we took him to a little zoo to visit Father Christmas. It's such a funny one, as now that he's getting older I wonder how long he'll believe in it all. This year I feel like he really believed it, but I'm sad to think that the magic won't last that long. I do really want to up our emphasis on that Christmas should be about giving and helping others as much as possible, and hopefully as the run up to Christmas won't be so hectic next year we can really try and do more.

We woke up to the valley being clouded in thick mist that refused the lift for the day which made it feel even more wintry and magical. The little zoo in Shaldon was quiet and we spent a bit of time looking at the monkeys before visiting the little grotto, where Santa spent ages chatting to Theo.

Afterwards we made our way down to the beach through the smugglers tunnel and marvelled at the fog covered beach, where I may have gone a little crazy with taking photographs, because you know, it just looks so beautiful!



Strawberry picking near Bristol!


Last weekend we decided that we'd better go Strawberry picking before it got too late in the season, like last year. It was the harbourside festival on in Bristol, and neither Rob or I had any intention of dragging two children down there (I'm sure it's ace but crowds and business isn't our thing!) so getting out of the city was appealing. We drove to a place that we've been going to for the past three years, (you can see our first trip here...look how little Theo looks!) so it's nice to have some sort of tradition. It's called Chosen Hill farm near Chew Valley lake. The drive over itself is beautiful as you round the valley the get stunning views back down towards the lake and hills in the distance.

It feels sort of special to be slowly introducing our family traditions to Rohan, bringing him along and showing him all these new places. Obviously he's only a baby so isn't really aware of where we are or what we're doing, but it's nice to think he's joining in! These are the things we looked forward to most of all when thinking about having another baby, and especially once Rohan was actually here but in hospital. It felt like such an unknown future, not knowing when we'd be able to get back to our normal lives and start doing all these traditional things as a family. So it's days like these that we soak up even more and revel in the ability to actually be able to achieve those outings and experiences. It may not seem like much, but to us it means so much!

Anyway, this year we went a little wild with the amount of strawberries we collected, and like an over excited kid in a sweet shop we took them up to pay and were a little surprised at how much we'd spent! So armed with our 3kgs of strawberries we heaved them home and decided to try our hand at making jam for the first time. Theo, after helping to make it, then decided that he wanted to give some jars as a goodbye gift to his teachers which I thought was a very sweet idea!

So here's to another year of strawberry picking!




Strawberry picking near Bristol!


Last weekend we decided that we'd better go Strawberry picking before it got too late in the season, like last year. It was the harbourside festival on in Bristol, and neither Rob or I had any intention of dragging two children down there (I'm sure it's ace but crowds and business isn't our thing!) so getting out of the city was appealing. We drove to a place that we've been going to for the past three years, (you can see our first trip here...look how little Theo looks!) so it's nice to have some sort of tradition. It's called Chosen Hill farm near Chew Valley lake. The drive over itself is beautiful as you round the valley the get stunning views back down towards the lake and hills in the distance.

It feels sort of special to be slowly introducing our family traditions to Rohan, bringing him along and showing him all these new places. Obviously he's only a baby so isn't really aware of where we are or what we're doing, but it's nice to think he's joining in! These are the things we looked forward to most of all when thinking about having another baby, and especially once Rohan was actually here but in hospital. It felt like such an unknown future, not knowing when we'd be able to get back to our normal lives and start doing all these traditional things as a family. So it's days like these that we soak up even more and revel in the ability to actually be able to achieve those outings and experiences. It may not seem like much, but to us it means so much!

Anyway, this year we went a little wild with the amount of strawberries we collected, and like an over excited kid in a sweet shop we took them up to pay and were a little surprised at how much we'd spent! So armed with our 3kgs of strawberries we heaved them home and decided to try our hand at making jam for the first time. Theo, after helping to make it, then decided that he wanted to give some jars as a goodbye gift to his teachers which I thought was a very sweet idea!

So here's to another year of strawberry picking!




A family walk: A trip to Kent

A few weekends ago we headed out on our first long cross country trip to visit my sister in Kent for her birthday. She'd just moved house and we were excited to see her new place, as well as meet the newest edition to her family, her puppy Ida!

We had a lazy weekend spent mostly in the garden and countryside around her little cottage, out in the middle of nowhere but not too far from Canterbury. I think it's safe to say Theo fell head over heels in love with the pup and wanted to hold her lead or carry her everywhere! On Saturday my sister, Theo and I took them for a walk over the fields by the house and down to the river that runs at the bottom of the valley. I always forget how beautiful this part of the country is, and I think that if you had to imagine somewhere to portray the typical English countryside, then this place would be it. Rolling fields of crops, a forest on the crest of a hill, the hills on the horizon and a bubbling river at the bottom with a big old Oak tree standing tall in the middle of a meadow. We walked through the rapeseed field watching the dogs lose themselves in the undergrowth before crossing a small bridge over to the river bank.

It was there where quite the accident happened. My sister's other dog Edie had jumped in the river but couldn't get out at the steep bank where she was trying, so we walked over to a shallower part and was calling her to come out. Then quite suddenly, but also in slow motion my sister slipped on the muddy bank and sort of somersaulted her way into the river! There was a split second of checking to a) see if she was hurt (she wasn't) and b) see if she was laughing (she was) before I started uncontrollably laughing. My sister was waist deep, fully clothed in the river and completely soaked. I laughed so much I had tears and my face hurt. She eventually made her way out (I couldn't really help as I had Rohan on my front in a carrier!) and we made our way back over the fields to home, trying to hide from the scout camp who were enjoying their lunch in the field by the river. We laughed pretty much the whole way home, and visions of it kept coming back to me for the rest of the day!

That night we lit a fire in the garden and sat outside in the warm evening chatting until it was time for bed. The next day we spent close to home once more, having a bbq and relaxing in the garden and celebrating my sister's birthday! It was such a lovely weekend.




A family walk: A trip to Kent

A few weekends ago we headed out on our first long cross country trip to visit my sister in Kent for her birthday. She'd just moved house and we were excited to see her new place, as well as meet the newest edition to her family, her puppy Ida!

We had a lazy weekend spent mostly in the garden and countryside around her little cottage, out in the middle of nowhere but not too far from Canterbury. I think it's safe to say Theo fell head over heels in love with the pup and wanted to hold her lead or carry her everywhere! On Saturday my sister, Theo and I took them for a walk over the fields by the house and down to the river that runs at the bottom of the valley. I always forget how beautiful this part of the country is, and I think that if you had to imagine somewhere to portray the typical English countryside, then this place would be it. Rolling fields of crops, a forest on the crest of a hill, the hills on the horizon and a bubbling river at the bottom with a big old Oak tree standing tall in the middle of a meadow. We walked through the rapeseed field watching the dogs lose themselves in the undergrowth before crossing a small bridge over to the river bank.

It was there where quite the accident happened. My sister's other dog Edie had jumped in the river but couldn't get out at the steep bank where she was trying, so we walked over to a shallower part and was calling her to come out. Then quite suddenly, but also in slow motion my sister slipped on the muddy bank and sort of somersaulted her way into the river! There was a split second of checking to a) see if she was hurt (she wasn't) and b) see if she was laughing (she was) before I started uncontrollably laughing. My sister was waist deep, fully clothed in the river and completely soaked. I laughed so much I had tears and my face hurt. She eventually made her way out (I couldn't really help as I had Rohan on my front in a carrier!) and we made our way back over the fields to home, trying to hide from the scout camp who were enjoying their lunch in the field by the river. We laughed pretty much the whole way home, and visions of it kept coming back to me for the rest of the day!

That night we lit a fire in the garden and sat outside in the warm evening chatting until it was time for bed. The next day we spent close to home once more, having a bbq and relaxing in the garden and celebrating my sister's birthday! It was such a lovely weekend.




A family walk : The bluebell woods




Since the bluebells have all but faded now I thought I would share a few photographs from a walk we took a few weeks back (and it's definitely not because I've only just got round to editing them...)

We drove out of Bristol to explore a new to us area, and managed to find not one but two woodlands to walk around. This was the second which we stumbled upon on our way back and couldn't resist pulling the car over and getting out. The woodland was full of tall Beech trees with wide gaps between the trunks in which the ground was carpeted in a haze of purple. The late afternoon sun slanted through the trees throwing glistening light on some and creating deep hues of blue in the shadows. Theo and I explored the woodland which had a slightly eerie quiet about it as people just walked contently around in awe of the beautiful flowers. Satisfied that we had witnessed one of the best parts that Spring has to offer we climbed back in the car and headed back into the city. Now we know that this place exists, I'm sure we'll be returning year after year. 

A family walk : The bluebell woods




Since the bluebells have all but faded now I thought I would share a few photographs from a walk we took a few weeks back (and it's definitely not because I've only just got round to editing them...)

We drove out of Bristol to explore a new to us area, and managed to find not one but two woodlands to walk around. This was the second which we stumbled upon on our way back and couldn't resist pulling the car over and getting out. The woodland was full of tall Beech trees with wide gaps between the trunks in which the ground was carpeted in a haze of purple. The late afternoon sun slanted through the trees throwing glistening light on some and creating deep hues of blue in the shadows. Theo and I explored the woodland which had a slightly eerie quiet about it as people just walked contently around in awe of the beautiful flowers. Satisfied that we had witnessed one of the best parts that Spring has to offer we climbed back in the car and headed back into the city. Now we know that this place exists, I'm sure we'll be returning year after year.