Getting Festive at Avon Valley adventure and wildlife park!


Last weekend we decided to start the festive season early (actually is it even considered early? Things seem to start before then now anyway!) Anyway, we were invited to visit Father Christmas in the North Pole (actually Avon Valley adventure park!) and go on a Christmas adventure!

We always try and fit in a little visit to Father Christmas over December and with Theo turning 8 in January I'm pretty conscious of how long he's still going to believe in it all, as well as that Rohan is becoming so much more aware of his wider surroundings and really enjoying activities too, so we thought it would be the perfect place for them to visit and both enjoy!

We arrived just in the nick of time (a warning, if you're going then make sure you read the ticket properly and arrive ten minutes before unlike us!!) but even though we were there slightly on the late side everyone was really accommodating and waited for us before it all started. First of all we entered into a small cave like room filled with foliage and lights to meet two very enthusiastic elves! It was a great introduction and really set the tone for how the whole experience would go. We had to use magic to get through the door and walk through a wintery tree lined path to meet the other Elves, in the toy making workshop. The children then had to help the elves make some teddy bears (and then give them back again which I was surprised none of the children complained about!!) as well as use some Christmas spirit to get the machines all working. It was so well done and all the children were completely captivated! Rohan loved watching the Elves as they jumped around lots and just giggled with delight every time they came near, they made sure they said hello and interacted with every child which was lovely.

Next we travelled on to the gingerbread workshop where the children could decorate their own biscuit (and thankfully keep!!) and had a story read to them by the three Elves; Snap, Crackle and Pop. Rohan pretty much just sat and ate most of his chocolate whilst we helped him decorate and Theo got properly stuck in to the decorating, including wearing the sweet chefs hat!


Once we'd finished the last workshop we entered into the Yuletide Square and the Enchanted village with about an hour to spare before taking the magic portal to Santas Grotto. It just felt so magical with dozens of snowy Christmas trees lining the square, rides and Christmas music! We entered into the dark and cosy village full of tiny Elf houses, decorated trees and reindeers and visited the mail room where Theo wrote a little letter to Father Christmas before it being whizzed off. He liked the mail room so much that he volunteered his services to help out! We had our photo taken with some snowmen and showed Rohan all the lights and the (fake) snow before heading back outside for our free hot chocolate and enjoyed some doughnuts too (because it's totally ok to have just sugar for lunch in the North Pole right?) 


After we'd finished up our snack we visited two real Reindeer (Donna and Blitzen if I remember correctly!) and the boys were able to feed them themselves which I think Rohan was very intrigued by! The whole feel of the village and square was really magical and I'm pretty sure Theo believed that we were actually in a different place to where we started and I just thought the scale and detail of the event was brilliant. We managed to a little go on the rides just before we had to go on to the next part of the experience to meet Father Christmas. I liked how we didn't feel rushed though and had the full hour in the village to be able to explore properly.


The last stop was upon the virtual reality shuttle which took us on a long journey around the world to see the sights before arriving at Santas secret location. Rohan loved the ride so much and again giggled through the whole thing! We were taken in a small group into his cabin filled with trinkets and pictures where Santa Claus and Mrs Claus greeted us and asked what the children wanted as gifts, it was all pretty magical and very believable! Next the children were given presents with their names on (a really lovely touch I think!) before having a photo opportunity. Non of it felt rushed at all and there was none of that panic to try and get your photo in quick and move off again.

Finally our experience was drawing to a close, and we took a little train ride out of the village and arrived back in the park where we could spend the rest of the day to enjoy the grounds, animals and indoor play area. We honestly had the most magical experience and it was such a great way to kick off the festive season! I thought that the level of detail and entertainment that you get for your money (considering it includes entry to the park also) was brilliant and it really was a whole days experience, compared to paying a tenner at the local shopping centre for 5 minutes! I know the tickets have all pretty much sold out as I speak, so if you can't make it this year I highly recommend getting in early and booking next year!





We were gifted the experience in exchange for a review but all words and images are my own! x

Getting Festive at Avon Valley adventure and wildlife park!


Last weekend we decided to start the festive season early (actually is it even considered early? Things seem to start before then now anyway!) Anyway, we were invited to visit Father Christmas in the North Pole (actually Avon Valley adventure park!) and go on a Christmas adventure!

We always try and fit in a little visit to Father Christmas over December and with Theo turning 8 in January I'm pretty conscious of how long he's still going to believe in it all, as well as that Rohan is becoming so much more aware of his wider surroundings and really enjoying activities too, so we thought it would be the perfect place for them to visit and both enjoy!

We arrived just in the nick of time (a warning, if you're going then make sure you read the ticket properly and arrive ten minutes before unlike us!!) but even though we were there slightly on the late side everyone was really accommodating and waited for us before it all started. First of all we entered into a small cave like room filled with foliage and lights to meet two very enthusiastic elves! It was a great introduction and really set the tone for how the whole experience would go. We had to use magic to get through the door and walk through a wintery tree lined path to meet the other Elves, in the toy making workshop. The children then had to help the elves make some teddy bears (and then give them back again which I was surprised none of the children complained about!!) as well as use some Christmas spirit to get the machines all working. It was so well done and all the children were completely captivated! Rohan loved watching the Elves as they jumped around lots and just giggled with delight every time they came near, they made sure they said hello and interacted with every child which was lovely.

Next we travelled on to the gingerbread workshop where the children could decorate their own biscuit (and thankfully keep!!) and had a story read to them by the three Elves; Snap, Crackle and Pop. Rohan pretty much just sat and ate most of his chocolate whilst we helped him decorate and Theo got properly stuck in to the decorating, including wearing the sweet chefs hat!


Once we'd finished the last workshop we entered into the Yuletide Square and the Enchanted village with about an hour to spare before taking the magic portal to Santas Grotto. It just felt so magical with dozens of snowy Christmas trees lining the square, rides and Christmas music! We entered into the dark and cosy village full of tiny Elf houses, decorated trees and reindeers and visited the mail room where Theo wrote a little letter to Father Christmas before it being whizzed off. He liked the mail room so much that he volunteered his services to help out! We had our photo taken with some snowmen and showed Rohan all the lights and the (fake) snow before heading back outside for our free hot chocolate and enjoyed some doughnuts too (because it's totally ok to have just sugar for lunch in the North Pole right?) 


After we'd finished up our snack we visited two real Reindeer (Donna and Blitzen if I remember correctly!) and the boys were able to feed them themselves which I think Rohan was very intrigued by! The whole feel of the village and square was really magical and I'm pretty sure Theo believed that we were actually in a different place to where we started and I just thought the scale and detail of the event was brilliant. We managed to a little go on the rides just before we had to go on to the next part of the experience to meet Father Christmas. I liked how we didn't feel rushed though and had the full hour in the village to be able to explore properly.


The last stop was upon the virtual reality shuttle which took us on a long journey around the world to see the sights before arriving at Santas secret location. Rohan loved the ride so much and again giggled through the whole thing! We were taken in a small group into his cabin filled with trinkets and pictures where Santa Claus and Mrs Claus greeted us and asked what the children wanted as gifts, it was all pretty magical and very believable! Next the children were given presents with their names on (a really lovely touch I think!) before having a photo opportunity. Non of it felt rushed at all and there was none of that panic to try and get your photo in quick and move off again.

Finally our experience was drawing to a close, and we took a little train ride out of the village and arrived back in the park where we could spend the rest of the day to enjoy the grounds, animals and indoor play area. We honestly had the most magical experience and it was such a great way to kick off the festive season! I thought that the level of detail and entertainment that you get for your money (considering it includes entry to the park also) was brilliant and it really was a whole days experience, compared to paying a tenner at the local shopping centre for 5 minutes! I know the tickets have all pretty much sold out as I speak, so if you can't make it this year I highly recommend getting in early and booking next year!





We were gifted the experience in exchange for a review but all words and images are my own! x

Weekend adventures: Dyrham Park in the Autumn


So Winter's suddenly here now right? I've not been very well these past few weeks (hello sinus infection urgh) so my time outside has been pretty limited but on a day when I had to venture out this week I was suddenly struck by how Wintery it was suddenly looking. The trees suddenly felt all bare, the grass and roofs of houses have been covered in a thick layer of frost, and I even heard that allusive word of snow drifting round a few times! That Christmas feeling has started to creep in and the urge to haul all the decorations out of the loft is getting stronger, I need those pretty lights and glitter to lift my spirits a little! But before I fully indulge in the festive season I thought I would share some photos from a little trip to Dyrham Park, a National Trust near us on what was probably our last Autunmal outing (without me knowing gah!)

Theo had been staying with my Mum for the weekend so we met half way to pick him up and this seemed like the perfect place to meet. We had a little late lunch (hello jacket potato with cheese and beans, my favourite!!) before having a walk around the beautiful gardens and grounds. Rohan had a really good go with his walker and walked the furthest he ever has around the grounds, and looked so pleased with himself in the process, as well as some lovely encouragement from Theo! We stayed until the sun started dipping down and made our way back home.

Hope you enjoy the pictures, I really enjoyed taking them!


Weekend adventures: Dyrham Park in the Autumn


So Winter's suddenly here now right? I've not been very well these past few weeks (hello sinus infection urgh) so my time outside has been pretty limited but on a day when I had to venture out this week I was suddenly struck by how Wintery it was suddenly looking. The trees suddenly felt all bare, the grass and roofs of houses have been covered in a thick layer of frost, and I even heard that allusive word of snow drifting round a few times! That Christmas feeling has started to creep in and the urge to haul all the decorations out of the loft is getting stronger, I need those pretty lights and glitter to lift my spirits a little! But before I fully indulge in the festive season I thought I would share some photos from a little trip to Dyrham Park, a National Trust near us on what was probably our last Autunmal outing (without me knowing gah!)

Theo had been staying with my Mum for the weekend so we met half way to pick him up and this seemed like the perfect place to meet. We had a little late lunch (hello jacket potato with cheese and beans, my favourite!!) before having a walk around the beautiful gardens and grounds. Rohan had a really good go with his walker and walked the furthest he ever has around the grounds, and looked so pleased with himself in the process, as well as some lovely encouragement from Theo! We stayed until the sun started dipping down and made our way back home.

Hope you enjoy the pictures, I really enjoyed taking them!


Rohan's birthday


So it's been just over a week since we celebrated this little one turning two. I wrote a little about how I was feeling about it a few posts back, but to be honest life has been so full on since returning back to normal after the holidays that I feel like I've not had chance to give it all much thought. I really do need to do that update though before all the things that has happened in the last 6 months (since the last update...eeek!) starts fading from my memory. But on this post I just wanted to focus on the day of his birthday itself.

It's a bit of a terrible time to have a birthday if I'm honest. Everyone is tired and a bit broke after Christmas and the weather isn't exactly always appealing. Which is why we always want to make some sort of effort for Rohan's birthday. Last year though, on his first, I think we were all just a bit shell shocked that it was actually his first birthday that we didn't really do much. I feel bad, but actually he didn't know it was any different from the previous day and I just don't think we were ready to acknowledge that it was actually his birthday. This year his understanding isn't exactly much better, and if Christmas was anything to go by he doesn't really care for presents or that many new things. It's taken him a little while to warm up to his new toys, but what he does have he likes. In fact we didn't actually give him anything on his birthday, he had some presents left over for Christmas that we kept aside because otherwise it was all a bit too overwhelming, and actually he doesn't need or want anything now so I'm going to save it for something else later in the year (I did actually get him a few little toys in a charity shop a few days before, so I guess that might count?!) but we did want to do something special for his actual day.

We had to have a little think for an activity we could all do, but wouldn't involve Rohan just being in his pushchair and being wheeled around all day, we also didn't really fancy a Sunday at a soft play so we decided to go swimming as a family. Rohan loves being in the water but I feel making the effort to all go together is something we definitely don't do (not since our holiday in August!) I'm so glad we decided to go as it was really lovely and I think Rohan really enjoyed having us altogether, as well as Theo enjoying himself too. After our swim we headed to the beach in Clevedon for a walk and some lunch, before enjoying the beautiful sunset. It was pretty chilly and windy, but we managed a little sit on the beach before the cold got the better of us. So it was perfect, chilled out and just us as a family.





Here's a video of the day too!

Rohan's birthday


So it's been just over a week since we celebrated this little one turning two. I wrote a little about how I was feeling about it a few posts back, but to be honest life has been so full on since returning back to normal after the holidays that I feel like I've not had chance to give it all much thought. I really do need to do that update though before all the things that has happened in the last 6 months (since the last update...eeek!) starts fading from my memory. But on this post I just wanted to focus on the day of his birthday itself.

It's a bit of a terrible time to have a birthday if I'm honest. Everyone is tired and a bit broke after Christmas and the weather isn't exactly always appealing. Which is why we always want to make some sort of effort for Rohan's birthday. Last year though, on his first, I think we were all just a bit shell shocked that it was actually his first birthday that we didn't really do much. I feel bad, but actually he didn't know it was any different from the previous day and I just don't think we were ready to acknowledge that it was actually his birthday. This year his understanding isn't exactly much better, and if Christmas was anything to go by he doesn't really care for presents or that many new things. It's taken him a little while to warm up to his new toys, but what he does have he likes. In fact we didn't actually give him anything on his birthday, he had some presents left over for Christmas that we kept aside because otherwise it was all a bit too overwhelming, and actually he doesn't need or want anything now so I'm going to save it for something else later in the year (I did actually get him a few little toys in a charity shop a few days before, so I guess that might count?!) but we did want to do something special for his actual day.

We had to have a little think for an activity we could all do, but wouldn't involve Rohan just being in his pushchair and being wheeled around all day, we also didn't really fancy a Sunday at a soft play so we decided to go swimming as a family. Rohan loves being in the water but I feel making the effort to all go together is something we definitely don't do (not since our holiday in August!) I'm so glad we decided to go as it was really lovely and I think Rohan really enjoyed having us altogether, as well as Theo enjoying himself too. After our swim we headed to the beach in Clevedon for a walk and some lunch, before enjoying the beautiful sunset. It was pretty chilly and windy, but we managed a little sit on the beach before the cold got the better of us. So it was perfect, chilled out and just us as a family.





Here's a video of the day too!

A Christmassy Weekend: Choosing our tree and decorating!


So in a bid to keep this little blog a bit more up to date I thought I would share a few photos from last weekend. We decided (well I) that since we didn't put up a tree until Christmas Eve last year due to moving three days before we didn't have chance, so I wanted to get it up as reasonably early as possible! So the first weekend of December we found ourselves with only a few plans so we decided to go out on a Christmas Tree hunt.

Since it's our first proper Christmas in our new house (last year doesn't really count as we weren't there on Christmas day really!) I wanted to make it really festive this year, and I love a bit of glitz and cosy Christmas lights and decorations. We wanted to also find the best place to get a tree locally too so we had a morning of driving round a few places. We were on the hunt for a smaller tree, so whilst the first place we went to had lovely trees, they were all way too big for our front room (and we wanted to put it up higher as there are little grabby toddler hands around this year too!) so we moved on. The second place is a local farm shop which had a few outside but were wrapped in their netting so we couldn't see how they looked, so our third and final place, a local garden centre was the one. Whilst it might not have been the picturesque cut your own tree farm (there seems to be a distinct lack of these and pumpkin patches around me, so I basically fail as an instagrammer...) anyway, we found the perfect tree and then headed to our local Italian for pizza. We were supposed to be going to a light turn on at another place that evening, but we decided staying home and decorating would be more relaxing...it was to a degree!

The next day we joined some of Rohan's nursery friends for a special Santa train journey, where we travelled up to Wiltshire on the train and back again, and met Father Christmas on board. We've not been on one of these before, and whilst I don't really think Rohan had any idea what was going on, he seemed pretty happy with the whole thing, and Theo of course was excited about going on the train and getting a present from Father Christmas. It's also pretty clear to see that Rohan loves the camera, this bodes well for him in this family!


I made a little video too, for our Vlogmas over on my Dear Sister channel, I'd love it if you went and checked it out and subscribed!

A Christmassy Weekend: Choosing our tree and decorating!


So in a bid to keep this little blog a bit more up to date I thought I would share a few photos from last weekend. We decided (well I) that since we didn't put up a tree until Christmas Eve last year due to moving three days before we didn't have chance, so I wanted to get it up as reasonably early as possible! So the first weekend of December we found ourselves with only a few plans so we decided to go out on a Christmas Tree hunt.

Since it's our first proper Christmas in our new house (last year doesn't really count as we weren't there on Christmas day really!) I wanted to make it really festive this year, and I love a bit of glitz and cosy Christmas lights and decorations. We wanted to also find the best place to get a tree locally too so we had a morning of driving round a few places. We were on the hunt for a smaller tree, so whilst the first place we went to had lovely trees, they were all way too big for our front room (and we wanted to put it up higher as there are little grabby toddler hands around this year too!) so we moved on. The second place is a local farm shop which had a few outside but were wrapped in their netting so we couldn't see how they looked, so our third and final place, a local garden centre was the one. Whilst it might not have been the picturesque cut your own tree farm (there seems to be a distinct lack of these and pumpkin patches around me, so I basically fail as an instagrammer...) anyway, we found the perfect tree and then headed to our local Italian for pizza. We were supposed to be going to a light turn on at another place that evening, but we decided staying home and decorating would be more relaxing...it was to a degree!

The next day we joined some of Rohan's nursery friends for a special Santa train journey, where we travelled up to Wiltshire on the train and back again, and met Father Christmas on board. We've not been on one of these before, and whilst I don't really think Rohan had any idea what was going on, he seemed pretty happy with the whole thing, and Theo of course was excited about going on the train and getting a present from Father Christmas. It's also pretty clear to see that Rohan loves the camera, this bodes well for him in this family!


I made a little video too, for our Vlogmas over on my Dear Sister channel, I'd love it if you went and checked it out and subscribed!

Recently around here: A Festive Noah's Ark Zoo


 So we're gearing ourselves up for the start of Christmas and I had that moment when you're planning your diary and you count how many weekends there are actually left until Christmas and it takes you back a bit! Suddenly things get a lot busier and harder to fit everything in, so when Noah's Ark Zoo invited us for a day out we thought that would be a great way to start our Christmas activities and see what they had in store.

We've not been to this zoo, or any zoo for a long time even though Theo has been asking to go, so it was a great chance to have a day out together and do something that we all enjoy. We've not been here since the addition of the elephants so it was great to see them, as well as their new Christmas tree forest (which they seemed to enjoy destroying!) We were shown around in a group with the park leader, which was great to get an insight into all that was going on, then we really enjoyed being able to explore and take our time afterwards. They currently have a 'History and mystery' Christmas trail which takes you around the (huge!) grounds for you to spot Christmas trees and answer some quiz questions, all lit by 100's of fairy lights which makes it lovely and magical. Whilst Noah's Ark does have a Christian background it's easy to enjoy it from whatever religion you believe or don't believe in, and just enjoy the zoo for what it is, a great place to observe and learn about the animals, and get into the festive spirit. Theo loved feeding the birds with his own feed bag, petting the animals in the farm area and discovering the giant Tortoises.

We stopped for pizza and hot chocolate in the cafe to warm up which was really good, and then carried on our exploring afterwards, but not without a play in the massive play barn. Noah's Ark certainly doesn't disappoint with the amount of playgrounds dotted around the place which makes it a great place to spend the whole day. Theo loved climbing the lookout platforms and taking in the view and getting a good look at the animals, and particularly enjoyed his close encounter with the Tiger!

They have a number of fun things coming up over the next few weekends, which would be great to check out:


Saturday 9th December: Ark Angel choir performance at 2pm in the Ark Arena. Come along and join in with some festive favourites as our Zoo Keepers sing some tunes to fundraise for the Crisis Centre.
Saturday 16th December: Come and watch a festive performance of the Christmas story with real animals. The Portishead Brownie group is kindly putting on a Christmas Nativity for you all at 2pm in the Ark Arena. The nativity showing is included in the entry price.
Saturday 23rd December: Come along and get involved with your very own Christmas Nativity with real live animals. At 2pm in the Ark Arena we're inviting you to get involved and tell the Christmas Story. All props and script will be provided just turn up on the day and get involved.
So we had a great day, it wasn't too busy either which is great when you're not a fan of the Christmas crowds and I loved seeing Theo being able to explore and run around in all the space.


Here's a little video of our day:



Recently around here: A Festive Noah's Ark Zoo


 So we're gearing ourselves up for the start of Christmas and I had that moment when you're planning your diary and you count how many weekends there are actually left until Christmas and it takes you back a bit! Suddenly things get a lot busier and harder to fit everything in, so when Noah's Ark Zoo invited us for a day out we thought that would be a great way to start our Christmas activities and see what they had in store.

We've not been to this zoo, or any zoo for a long time even though Theo has been asking to go, so it was a great chance to have a day out together and do something that we all enjoy. We've not been here since the addition of the elephants so it was great to see them, as well as their new Christmas tree forest (which they seemed to enjoy destroying!) We were shown around in a group with the park leader, which was great to get an insight into all that was going on, then we really enjoyed being able to explore and take our time afterwards. They currently have a 'History and mystery' Christmas trail which takes you around the (huge!) grounds for you to spot Christmas trees and answer some quiz questions, all lit by 100's of fairy lights which makes it lovely and magical. Whilst Noah's Ark does have a Christian background it's easy to enjoy it from whatever religion you believe or don't believe in, and just enjoy the zoo for what it is, a great place to observe and learn about the animals, and get into the festive spirit. Theo loved feeding the birds with his own feed bag, petting the animals in the farm area and discovering the giant Tortoises.

We stopped for pizza and hot chocolate in the cafe to warm up which was really good, and then carried on our exploring afterwards, but not without a play in the massive play barn. Noah's Ark certainly doesn't disappoint with the amount of playgrounds dotted around the place which makes it a great place to spend the whole day. Theo loved climbing the lookout platforms and taking in the view and getting a good look at the animals, and particularly enjoyed his close encounter with the Tiger!

They have a number of fun things coming up over the next few weekends, which would be great to check out:


Saturday 9th December: Ark Angel choir performance at 2pm in the Ark Arena. Come along and join in with some festive favourites as our Zoo Keepers sing some tunes to fundraise for the Crisis Centre.
Saturday 16th December: Come and watch a festive performance of the Christmas story with real animals. The Portishead Brownie group is kindly putting on a Christmas Nativity for you all at 2pm in the Ark Arena. The nativity showing is included in the entry price.
Saturday 23rd December: Come along and get involved with your very own Christmas Nativity with real live animals. At 2pm in the Ark Arena we're inviting you to get involved and tell the Christmas Story. All props and script will be provided just turn up on the day and get involved.
So we had a great day, it wasn't too busy either which is great when you're not a fan of the Christmas crowds and I loved seeing Theo being able to explore and run around in all the space.


Here's a little video of our day:



A family walk : Weston part two


Oh winter is coming around pretty quickly isn't it? Why is it that those transitional seasons seem to be over so quickly when Summer and Winter seem to just drag on. But I thought I would celebrate the upcoming cold months with some forgotten photographs from last year, just a few days into the New Year and from a very cold but beautiful winter beach at Weston. 

I'm trying my hardest to revive this poor little blog, and I really need to dedicate some time to it, so I'm going through my drafts and trying to finish all those half written posts! It may not be chronological, but sometimes I like having that flash of remembrance and to look back. 
 

A family walk : Weston part two


Oh winter is coming around pretty quickly isn't it? Why is it that those transitional seasons seem to be over so quickly when Summer and Winter seem to just drag on. But I thought I would celebrate the upcoming cold months with some forgotten photographs from last year, just a few days into the New Year and from a very cold but beautiful winter beach at Weston. 

I'm trying my hardest to revive this poor little blog, and I really need to dedicate some time to it, so I'm going through my drafts and trying to finish all those half written posts! It may not be chronological, but sometimes I like having that flash of remembrance and to look back. 
 

A family Summer tradition: Strawberry picking

I think we're now into our fourth year of Strawberry picking, and now Rohan's second. We accidentally chose a pretty hot day to visit once again, but that just seems to go hand in hand with the nostalgic feel of summer and fruit picking. So after filling out tummies with fish and chips at Chew Valley Lake we headed over to our local P.Y.O at Chosen Hill Farm.

The season was actually pretty early this year so we only just caught it and walking through the field you could smell the air was thick with the sweet and slightly sickly smell of ripe strawberries. Last year we started with the table strawberries and only discovered the field strawberries towards to end, so we decided to make a bee line for them first this year. Last year we also went a little crazy and ended up spending a little over what we intended, but it did mean we had plenty to make jam out of! So this year we were slightly more restrained and managed a respectable amount (plus one or two to taste on the way!) I also picked some blackcurrants to attempt to make my favourite flavoured jam, which I can assure you turned out really nicely!

I've got my fingers crossed that next year Rohan might be able to toddle his way through the rows and have a go at picking some himself. But for now I'm just happy to carry on the tradition, however it may look in the future!


A family Summer tradition: Strawberry picking

I think we're now into our fourth year of Strawberry picking, and now Rohan's second. We accidentally chose a pretty hot day to visit once again, but that just seems to go hand in hand with the nostalgic feel of summer and fruit picking. So after filling out tummies with fish and chips at Chew Valley Lake we headed over to our local P.Y.O at Chosen Hill Farm.

The season was actually pretty early this year so we only just caught it and walking through the field you could smell the air was thick with the sweet and slightly sickly smell of ripe strawberries. Last year we started with the table strawberries and only discovered the field strawberries towards to end, so we decided to make a bee line for them first this year. Last year we also went a little crazy and ended up spending a little over what we intended, but it did mean we had plenty to make jam out of! So this year we were slightly more restrained and managed a respectable amount (plus one or two to taste on the way!) I also picked some blackcurrants to attempt to make my favourite flavoured jam, which I can assure you turned out really nicely!

I've got my fingers crossed that next year Rohan might be able to toddle his way through the rows and have a go at picking some himself. But for now I'm just happy to carry on the tradition, however it may look in the future!


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.


September


So I'm well aware that it's nearly the middle of November...I had a mini panic the other day at how Christmas is suddenly so close and we've no where near started to prepare for it. I have no idea where this time has gone, and I know everyone says it, but this year has literally zoomed passed. As much as I will be glad to see the back of the shit show that has been 2016, I'm not quite ready for it to be Christmas, then the end of the year and before I know it Rohan will be one. Sorry what? It's just not possible for him to be that old already, for him to have arrived nearly a year ago. 

Anyway, I seem to be getting sidetracked. This blog has been so quiet as of late, house moving stress and exhaustion has kept me from it and there's still so much I want to share and record. So I thought I'd take a little look back at September and a few of our little outings before time slips away even more and the end of the summer just feels like a distant memory.  



September


So I'm well aware that it's nearly the middle of November...I had a mini panic the other day at how Christmas is suddenly so close and we've no where near started to prepare for it. I have no idea where this time has gone, and I know everyone says it, but this year has literally zoomed passed. As much as I will be glad to see the back of the shit show that has been 2016, I'm not quite ready for it to be Christmas, then the end of the year and before I know it Rohan will be one. Sorry what? It's just not possible for him to be that old already, for him to have arrived nearly a year ago. 

Anyway, I seem to be getting sidetracked. This blog has been so quiet as of late, house moving stress and exhaustion has kept me from it and there's still so much I want to share and record. So I thought I'd take a little look back at September and a few of our little outings before time slips away even more and the end of the summer just feels like a distant memory.  



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.