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!


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!




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: Mother's day

So it was my first Mother's day as a mother of two. For the past few years we've ventured to Wales to celebrate with my friend and her little boy and go on a lovely Spring walk around St.Fagans. We were all set to go but last minute train problems stopped our plans so we made a last minute decision to visit Prior Park in Bath instead. It was a nice little unexpected alternative and actually good to discover somewhere new to explore. The weather was bitingly cold with the sky heavy and little flurries of snow occasionally, but it was worth it for the views as we climbed to the top of the park and the fresh air to blow out the cobwebs.

Our Mother's day celebrations weren't that grand, but they were loving, which is all that matters. I got a homemade card from Theo, a tray of chocolates and some Lush bath bombs, but mainly I was thankful to be able to spend the day out with both my children. That and a lie in!



A family walk: Mother's day

So it was my first Mother's day as a mother of two. For the past few years we've ventured to Wales to celebrate with my friend and her little boy and go on a lovely Spring walk around St.Fagans. We were all set to go but last minute train problems stopped our plans so we made a last minute decision to visit Prior Park in Bath instead. It was a nice little unexpected alternative and actually good to discover somewhere new to explore. The weather was bitingly cold with the sky heavy and little flurries of snow occasionally, but it was worth it for the views as we climbed to the top of the park and the fresh air to blow out the cobwebs.

Our Mother's day celebrations weren't that grand, but they were loving, which is all that matters. I got a homemade card from Theo, a tray of chocolates and some Lush bath bombs, but mainly I was thankful to be able to spend the day out with both my children. That and a lie in!



a family walk: Lacock estate

Firstly this is a little later than I intended it to be what with all the drama going on around these parts! The long and short of it is, is that Rob was taken to hospital on Sunday with suspected appendicitis and ended up having surgery to have it removed on Monday and with then discharged yesterday. So cue lots of running around to and from the hospital and not really having time to think let alone sit in front of a computer!

Also secondly we didn't quite manage a family walk this weekend because of above reasons but last week we had a little trip to Lacock Abbey and village with my Mum, and seeing as they are family then I thought it would fit in with our family walk!

We drove to meet my Mum at a National Trust we'd not visited before, and uniquely it is a whole National Trust owned village. There is so much to look at and visit, including the Abbey, house, grounds, village and the Fox Talbot museum celebrating the one of the pioneers of photography and photography in general.

We started with a cup of tea and cake in the old tearoom in a majestic stone barn, whilst we sheltered from a sudden downpour before taking a look around the museum. I would love to go back and have a proper look because there's not so much time to read and look in detail when a certain little person running wild. We then made our way through the grounds towards the Abbey admiring all the early spring shoots and blooms, spread over the grounds in glorious beds of white, yellow and purple.

We explored courtyards and cloisters before entering the house and taking a look around. After lots of fun peering in rooms and imagining how life once was we made our way outside into the beautiful grounds. We couldn't resist snapping a few photos amongst the crocus's and snowdrops, especially to show off my very pretty new floral dress sent to me courtesy of Joules. I thought there was no better place to wear it than prancing round the countryside through fields of flowers! It's such a beautiful cut, and the quality of fabric is lovely. Theo was also sent an amazing weatherproof coat from the lovely boy clothes section, which is perfect for our family walks! (and it really is weatherproof, as tested out in a sudden downpour!)
Theo found a furry friend to keep him company!

We then explored the village taking in all the different styles of houses, all beautifully rustic and individual. We dreamed about which house we would live in, and imagined the quaint village life! We stopped in a pub for a drink and a bowl of chips before going our separate ways and heading home, happy after our adventure!




We received the clothing courtesy of Joules, but all thoughts are my own! They really are lovely! 

a family walk: Lacock estate

Firstly this is a little later than I intended it to be what with all the drama going on around these parts! The long and short of it is, is that Rob was taken to hospital on Sunday with suspected appendicitis and ended up having surgery to have it removed on Monday and with then discharged yesterday. So cue lots of running around to and from the hospital and not really having time to think let alone sit in front of a computer!

Also secondly we didn't quite manage a family walk this weekend because of above reasons but last week we had a little trip to Lacock Abbey and village with my Mum, and seeing as they are family then I thought it would fit in with our family walk!

We drove to meet my Mum at a National Trust we'd not visited before, and uniquely it is a whole National Trust owned village. There is so much to look at and visit, including the Abbey, house, grounds, village and the Fox Talbot museum celebrating the one of the pioneers of photography and photography in general.

We started with a cup of tea and cake in the old tearoom in a majestic stone barn, whilst we sheltered from a sudden downpour before taking a look around the museum. I would love to go back and have a proper look because there's not so much time to read and look in detail when a certain little person running wild. We then made our way through the grounds towards the Abbey admiring all the early spring shoots and blooms, spread over the grounds in glorious beds of white, yellow and purple.

We explored courtyards and cloisters before entering the house and taking a look around. After lots of fun peering in rooms and imagining how life once was we made our way outside into the beautiful grounds. We couldn't resist snapping a few photos amongst the crocus's and snowdrops, especially to show off my very pretty new floral dress sent to me courtesy of Joules. I thought there was no better place to wear it than prancing round the countryside through fields of flowers! It's such a beautiful cut, and the quality of fabric is lovely. Theo was also sent an amazing weatherproof coat from the lovely boy clothes section, which is perfect for our family walks! (and it really is weatherproof, as tested out in a sudden downpour!)
Theo found a furry friend to keep him company!

We then explored the village taking in all the different styles of houses, all beautifully rustic and individual. We dreamed about which house we would live in, and imagined the quaint village life! We stopped in a pub for a drink and a bowl of chips before going our separate ways and heading home, happy after our adventure!




We received the clothing courtesy of Joules, but all thoughts are my own! They really are lovely! 

a family walk, Tyntesfield


So what a difference the sun makes. I imagine we've all experienced the long weeks full of pouring rain, hailstones and gale force winds and so when the sun peeked out on Sunday morning I'm sure we weren't the only ones grabbing our wellies and heading out for a walk or day in the sun.

We decided to go a little further afield this week, seeing as we stayed so close to home last week. We got in the car and drove through our  sunny city witnessing literal crowds of people out strolling and enjoying the break in the weather. We drove all the way to Tyntesfield, a National Trust property, where we have visited many times before, but as we approached we saw that many people had the same idea as us and we even had to queue for a parking space - something we've not had to do even in the summer!

We love it here, as its just the perfect place for a walk. You can divert off from the main path and find little glades, stare out over the rolling hills and wander amongst the gardens. It's all a little idyllic.

We were delighted to see the the first signs of spring, with the daffodils, snowdrops and crocus's poking their heads up from the ground and Theo stopped to look and smell each patch learning the names as he went.

The air felt lighter and warmer and everyones shoulders seemed to relax as we all remembered what Spring actually feels like! I really do love that sense of hope and knowledge that the weather is (hopefully!) only going to get better.

We collected flowers, pine cones and twigs and made funny antlers out of twigs and chased each other round. It was such a lovely day!

Just a little extra note to say that the MAD blog awards are open once again for nominations. Last year I was nominated and it was a total (lovely)surprise. So if anyone fancied nominating me for any of the categories (mainly photography, family fun and family travel!) that would be awesome! It's fun to be part of and to get to know all the other bloggers out there!

MAD Blog Awards

a family walk, Tyntesfield


So what a difference the sun makes. I imagine we've all experienced the long weeks full of pouring rain, hailstones and gale force winds and so when the sun peeked out on Sunday morning I'm sure we weren't the only ones grabbing our wellies and heading out for a walk or day in the sun.

We decided to go a little further afield this week, seeing as we stayed so close to home last week. We got in the car and drove through our  sunny city witnessing literal crowds of people out strolling and enjoying the break in the weather. We drove all the way to Tyntesfield, a National Trust property, where we have visited many times before, but as we approached we saw that many people had the same idea as us and we even had to queue for a parking space - something we've not had to do even in the summer!

We love it here, as its just the perfect place for a walk. You can divert off from the main path and find little glades, stare out over the rolling hills and wander amongst the gardens. It's all a little idyllic.

We were delighted to see the the first signs of spring, with the daffodils, snowdrops and crocus's poking their heads up from the ground and Theo stopped to look and smell each patch learning the names as he went.

The air felt lighter and warmer and everyones shoulders seemed to relax as we all remembered what Spring actually feels like! I really do love that sense of hope and knowledge that the weather is (hopefully!) only going to get better.

We collected flowers, pine cones and twigs and made funny antlers out of twigs and chased each other round. It was such a lovely day!

Just a little extra note to say that the MAD blog awards are open once again for nominations. Last year I was nominated and it was a total (lovely)surprise. So if anyone fancied nominating me for any of the categories (mainly photography, family fun and family travel!) that would be awesome! It's fun to be part of and to get to know all the other bloggers out there!

MAD Blog Awards

the summer in film; two

Whilst not being technically Summer, these collection of photos from our first trip to Tyntesfield, National Trust, were a mark in the change in seasons towards the warmer weather, longer days and more time spent outside. The trees were still slightly bare, wooly hats were worn but you could see and feel the change all around, and what a better place to experience than here!


the summer in film; two

Whilst not being technically Summer, these collection of photos from our first trip to Tyntesfield, National Trust, were a mark in the change in seasons towards the warmer weather, longer days and more time spent outside. The trees were still slightly bare, wooly hats were worn but you could see and feel the change all around, and what a better place to experience than here!


friends


 I usually dread the summer holidays because it means that all the places we usually go are completely over run by other kids, and then I just get the fear. We haven't visited St.Andrews park (a really nice park near us!) all summer because I'm scared of it. This may sound weird, and it is, but I just get nervous going there. All the kids running around, people not watching what their children are up to, noise and chaos, fights and oh a massive sandpit and you know how I hate sand. So we haven't gone, but hopefully once the children go back to school we can visit again. But it just means that we have to be a bit more adventurous and inventive when we think of what we can do with our days.

Luckily we have a good little group with whom we meet up with a few times each week, some days we go swimming, or a smaller park near us, we go Gromit hunting, picnics and trips outside of Bristol. Not only do I have a lovely time with these mums who I would call my good friends but our boys are also very good friends. It's so lovely to see them all interacting with each other. Not just playing along side each other, or I should say fighting over the same toy, they now talk, share (mostly), run around, lead each other on and have their own little relationships. Theo will always ask after his friends, and it's the sweetest thing to see their faces light up when they see each other or embrace when they say goodbye! I hope as they get older they will remain friends, even go to the same school as each other and can be one of those friends who they can say they've known each other since they were two. I know that they are going to be mischievous, wild and scheming together as they get older too...I can see it already!

So these friends and outings have made our summer a little more bearable!


friends


 I usually dread the summer holidays because it means that all the places we usually go are completely over run by other kids, and then I just get the fear. We haven't visited St.Andrews park (a really nice park near us!) all summer because I'm scared of it. This may sound weird, and it is, but I just get nervous going there. All the kids running around, people not watching what their children are up to, noise and chaos, fights and oh a massive sandpit and you know how I hate sand. So we haven't gone, but hopefully once the children go back to school we can visit again. But it just means that we have to be a bit more adventurous and inventive when we think of what we can do with our days.

Luckily we have a good little group with whom we meet up with a few times each week, some days we go swimming, or a smaller park near us, we go Gromit hunting, picnics and trips outside of Bristol. Not only do I have a lovely time with these mums who I would call my good friends but our boys are also very good friends. It's so lovely to see them all interacting with each other. Not just playing along side each other, or I should say fighting over the same toy, they now talk, share (mostly), run around, lead each other on and have their own little relationships. Theo will always ask after his friends, and it's the sweetest thing to see their faces light up when they see each other or embrace when they say goodbye! I hope as they get older they will remain friends, even go to the same school as each other and can be one of those friends who they can say they've known each other since they were two. I know that they are going to be mischievous, wild and scheming together as they get older too...I can see it already!

So these friends and outings have made our summer a little more bearable!