Category: Life in England

A Country Kid’s Post: Creating Childhood Memories

We used to live in a terraced house in a little village by the sea.  While it was quiet and lovely there, where everyone knew each other, whose kid belonged to whom that sort, I didn’t allow little T play outside.  Older kids played outside by our parking lot that was never full.  While it was safe, I wasn’t comfortable with the idea of her playing outside, even though our neighbour’s child “F” who is from T’s school and is even a year younger than her once said to me “I’ll take care of her!”  I actually laughed when he first announced this, looking down at little T’s gallant knight who was (then) barely taller than her.

Not that I didn’t trust him, it was mainly because of the cars.  It wasn’t a busy road, but I did worry about the cars coming and going.

I want little T to have a childhood where she can roam freely without her paranoid mum breathing down her neck and I’m pleased to say that, she has that now.

We didn’t move far from that little village by the sea.  In fact, you could say we’re just down the road and still live by the coast.  We live in a private road where there are only three houses, including the farm that lives further down.

Now you’ll find T going up and down that private road in her scooter, along with Doc bounding up ahead of her.  We also help her practice her bike up and down that road.  In the summer, you’ll seldom find her inside, she’s out there in the garden jumping in her trampoline, playing with her friends.  She’s also gone exploring the country lanes, although she hasn’t done this on her own yet (still too young for that), we do go with her, an excuse to walk the dog, who doesn’t even need walking all the time anymore.  He actually takes himself out any time he wants.

It’s a lovely life, living in the country really.  It’s as if time stands still, and nobody really worries much about tomorrow, after all it’s not here yet, is it?

Do you allow your child to play outside?

What Was Your Sunday Like?

The weather forecast did not disappoint us.  It predicted sunshine and rain.  Woke up to glorious sunshine, but by the time we’ve had our breakfast (the Historian made his famous banana pancakes for T and I), it started to really pour like there was no tomorrow.  Then stopped again.  What was your Sunday like?

Chores

Ours is mainly composed of doing chores.  Since receiving her Lilypad Garden, T’s responsibility is to make sure her plant is well watered and that the grass in her fairy garden is managed well.  A little trimming here, a little trimming there …

Lily Pad Garden

I mostly do my chores on a Saturday, after little T’s ballet.  Sundays are reserved for doing her homework.

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If the weather is good enough, the Historian mows the lawn in his farmer’s wellie boots, stained shorts and an old coat he bought on holiday in Vermont a whole lifetime ago.  Sadly, English men aren’t known for being stylish :p.  Then again, he also married someone who knows nothing about fashion, a match made in heaven! 😉

Mowing the lawn

Pets

As for the pets, well, they do what they usually do …

Boots, the cat

Boots says:  “Really human, why do you like to disturb my naps with these useless photoshoots of yours?  Now do something useful and feed me again”.

A dog

As for Doc?  As always, he likes to flop on the kitchen slate floor.  Doc says:  Time for a walk?  Yes?  No?  Belly rub?  Yes? No?  Food?  Yes?  No?  Sigh.  I’ll just flop here beside you then.

Sunday Lunch 

Spiced Lamb Marrow Stew

I’m lucky that the Historian likes to cook when he has the time.  Still on a roll from that last dinner he prepared for us, this time he managed to round up Spiced Lamb and Marrow Stew which was in my opinion a perfect Autumn/winter meal.  After the stuffed marrow he cooked for us, I’m happy to share that I genuinely enjoyed this meal.  The husband was pleased and I’m so glad that giant marrow is finally gone.  Shhh.  Please don’t tell him that.

Cello Practice

T practices the cello

After lunch, T gave us a lovely cello performance.  What better way to end the day?

And I’m leaving you lovely folks with a video of what our Sunday was like.  My iMovie has terrible mood swings, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.  Luckily for me, it decided to work and I was able to make this little video just to show you guys what our Sundays are really like.


Hope everyone had a good one too.

What was your Sunday like?

Do share.

A Country Kid’s Post: A Not So Hidden Valley

Train Station at Hidden Valley

Just before the school term started, we visited Hidden Valley which isn’t too far from where we live.

The first time we went, was probably two years ago.  We thought of doing little T’s fourth birthday party there. In the end though opted to go somewhere else since we weren’t sure of how the weather was going to hold.

It’s a nice little place to go to, especially for younger children.  There weren’t many changes since the last time, although what used to be the “Haunted House” was now a Sherlock Holme’s trail which had clues you had to find and riddles to solve, perfect for kids older than T.  She and her friend didn’t bother to do the trail, but they had fun going in and out of the doors complete with hidden rooms.

We had a picnic after and was pleased to see a designated picnic area complete with wooden benches and tables, though it was a bit tricky to eat with chickens around.  One even tried to peck the sandwich of my friend’s little girl!  As expected, little M cried!

After lunch the kids, decided to head for the maze, but not before visiting the “Hobbit’s House first.

Hobbit House

Then the animals …

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T stood awhile, hoping that this sleeping pig would wake up.  But I guess it was too tired to even bother.

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And of course, there were ducks in a pond.  There are always ducks!

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I’ve always liked the idea of having a pet donkey.  But I’m afraid we don’t really have the space for one.  Aren’t they the cutest?

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And then it was time to take the little train back home.  Well not really.  It actually went around the Hidden Valley.  A nice treat for the kids, as well as for the adults.

They are currently building a Japanese garden there.  I can imagine how beautiful it will be in Spring.  Can’t wait to see that!

Hidden Valley is located at Tredidon, St Thomas, Launceston, Cornwall PL15 8SJ.  This isn’t a sponsored post by the way, it’s just nice to be able to help support local businesses.

Have you visited any fun place lately?

Ticking off our Summer Bucket List

Before the summer holidays began, I wrote a bucket list of things I wanted done during the break and I’m pleased to share that we are slowly ticking off that list (especially after last week’s panic), although admittedly I still feel like September is creeping fast behind us – I’m okay with that too.

Here’s a recap of what was on that list:

Gardening

Sadly we haven’t managed to do much apart from mow our enormous lawn. A close friend said that it’s actually better to begin gardening in the autumn, if that’s true, then having nothing done in the garden suddenly sounds alright.  What I’m loving though is that we are still discovering what’s in it.  Flowers are still budding out of nowhere as if to surprise us.  This time we’ve been seeing lily-like flowers in bushes – lovely really.

Play Area for T

While there aren’t any home-made wooden swings hanging from our tree yet, we did finally manage to put up T’s much-awaited trampoline.  I’m still hoping to nudge the Historian towards making those wooden swings, I love the idea of having them in the garden.

girl_on_a_trampoline

Get Organised

Slowly getting there, although admittedly there are still lots to do especially in the conservatory and the boot room, though as mentioned in past posts, we’ve managed to put up pictures/paintings (though there are still more to be put up) and also managed to buy another book shelf which is also now filled-up with books.  Hopefully before the summer ends, we’ll get more things done.

Host BBQs and Pool Parties

Done that, but want to do more.

Camping

Yes! After a short notice, we’ve managed to find a campsite in Devon (I know, we just went over the border from where we live) It was bliss, especially since the weather was just perfect.

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Walk on the beach and Woods

We’ve been on the beach more than a couple of times (still intend to do more), we haven’t done any walks in the woods yet, but managed a lovely one in Dartmoor.

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And there’s little T with our friend S, enjoying the walk the National Park.

Road Trips

As mentioned in a recent post, we did manage to finally visit Weymouth Sea Life Adventure Park and the kids absolutely loved it.  Hopefully we’ll be able to do another one before the school term begins.

Visit London and Watch Matilda

We haven’t ticked this one off yet, although we’re booked to watch Mary Poppins, sadly not in London, but in Plymouth where it’s nearer.  We still want to watch Matilda and visit the capital, but I’m not so sure we’ll manage to do that this summer, but you’ll never know, we might just do it too.

Not bad at all, this I say to myself. We’re slowly ticking off that list, hopefully by the time summer ends, everything is ticked off.  My word of the week is – ticking.

What about you?

Have you managed to tick off your summer bucket list?

Do share.

The Reading Residence

A Country Kid’s Post: A Lovely Summer Walk

After constantly moaning about the weather last week, we thankfully had glorious weather over the weekend.  And last Sunday was one of those lovely days where the sun was out and it was nice and warm(ish), a perfect day for a walk through farmlands.

We are lucky our lovely neighbours own about 500 acres of land surrounding our house and has kindly told us that we ca roam it freely.  They even gave us a map!  And since it was a lovely day, we decided that it’s about time we did some exploring with the dogs.

dogs

We also decided that it was best to put the dogs in their leash, we knew there were cows, but weren’t sure if there were sheep too.  We were also dog-sitting our friends’ dog Wilbur, who also happens to be Doc’s best-friend.

leading_the_walk

And there’s little T leading the walk …

admiring_the_view

Little T decides to stop and admire the view.

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As you can see, we don’t live far from the coast, although of course not as near as where we used to live.  But I love our house and I’m okay with seeing the sea in the horizon.  On a clear day, you can even spot it from our back garden too.

walking_the_fields

With the map in hand, we just walked on and on and on.

cows

Passed the cows who looked at our little group suspiciously.  Couldn’t resist taking some photos of wild flowers by the path.

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Now if only we had more days like these, summers in England would just be heavenly.  After awhile T announced that she was getting tired and the dogs seemed thirsty, so we decided to head back home.

al_fresco

And what better way to end a beautiful day out in the sun, by dining al fresco in our garden of course.

Yesterday though and today, all that is forgotten, as we are once again cloaked in grey and rain.

Did you have a lovely weekend too?

Do share.

A Country Kids Post: Playing Tag with the Waves

It’s officially little T’s first week of summer and it doesn’t feel like it at all.  Not allowing the grey skies and low temperatures to dampen our summer spirit, we decided to brace it and have a little fun at the beach.  It was summer after all, right?

widemouth_bay

When we got to the beach, people were already in the water and the beach was also covered in sea foam.  These energetic folks were wearing fleecies, not exactly summer wear, I know.

sea_foam

The plan really was to just play on the sand and maybe, T could have a little dip in the water.  But the waves were too strong.  They decided to just play tag with the waves.

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Here’s T and her dad getting read to be “tagged”.

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A playful wave came by and caught them by surprise.

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Before they knew it, both the dad and the daughter were soaked with sea water.  It was actually a scary moment for me.  I had this brief scenario in my head where both were swept into sea, luckily they weren’t.  In fact, they were both giggling.  But I decided to be the party pooper and announced it was time to go home.  After all, they were both soaked with sea water and it wasn’t exactly a warm day either.  T of of course had some change of clothing, but the husband didn’t.

Later that night, my husband admitted that the wave at one point, was really strong and he feared that there would be both carried away.  That’s it.  No more playing tag with the waves, I announced.

Looking at these photos, you wouldn’t think that they were taken in the summer, would you?  They look more like Spring.  Were those few glorious days of summer last week or lot then?  Oh well.  We’ll just have to learn to make the most if it then.

What do you think?

Has summer decided to pack it’s bags and say “Hasta la vista, baby”?

Then again, this is England, with its ever-changing weather, there might just be a “heat-wave” tomorrow – brace yourselves folks!

Where has the sun gone?

We had such glorious sunshine over the weekend, which lasted about Tuesday.  Everyone was soaking up the warm weather, paddling pools were out, you could smell the bbq in the air and  I heard a lot of “Why go abroad when the sun is here” comments and we all nodded our heads in agreement, at the back of our minds, we knew that this wasn’t going to last, and it didn’t.  By Wednesday, we woke up to a sea of mist and fog.

It was drizzling yesterday.  As we prepared to go out to do some errands, I was debating whether to wear my sandals or shoes.  But I couldn’t find them, the shoes I had out were all sandals.  “Sod it”, I muttered and defiantly planted my feet in my Birks, so what if I get my feet wet?

Word of the week: Sun.  But where has it gone?  What happened to the British summer?  Or was that it?  To be fair though, as I’m typing this, the sun is sort of out, it’s peering behind grey clouds.  I’m hoping it will manage to push it’s way through.

Is the sun shinning where ever you are?

Do share.

The Reading Residence

Paddling Pool Fun

Although the really lovely warm weather seems to have gone (for now at least), I look at these photos I took of T and her friend W last Monday and marvel at home warm and lovely that day was.  Did it really happen?

filling_up_the_pool

It took me the whole morning though to fill up T’s paddling pool.  I actually did most of my blogging out in the garden that day which was absolute bliss!  It almost felt like I was on holiday somewhere nice and warm.

All that waiting was so worth it seeing little T’s and her friend’s face break into a big smile  when they saw the paddling pool all filled-up and waiting for them after school that Monday afternoon.  After a quick change, they were ready to have some serious paddling pool fun.

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Those £2 hoppers were such a great buy, especially since T and her friend had so much fun playing with them in and out the pool.

paddlingpool_fun3 paddlingpool_fun4

It was great to watch them from the window up in my room as I typed away and listened to their squeals and giggles.  At that moment, it dawned on me, that this is the sound of summer.  This is what summer should always sound like – the laughter and giggles of children having fun.

Today is T’s first day off school and I’m afraid the weather isn’t as good as Monday.  Hopefully the lovely sunshine and warmth will be back soon.

What about you?

Have you guys been doing anything fun during the warm days?

Do share.

Let the Countdown Begin

I don’t know about you, but I’m so ready for the summer holidays to begin.  While admittedly we don’t really have plans for the summer apart from doing day trips to Weymouth Sea Life Adventure Park, I just can’t wait to be able to spend some family time together and do things, without having to worry about school the next day.  I also think little T and her friends are just about ready for the summer holidays to begin as well.

Starting Monday next week, we have only about 18 days to go before the last day of school.  Woohoo!  I feel giddy at the thought of having little T with me all the time.  Oh of course, I’ll moan about it especially when she starts whinging about being bored, I’ll probably wish for the next school term to begin again, but at the moment, I’m feeling really excited!

Just think, no more having to wake up early, rush out the door in haste and we can all spend as much time as we want in our pjs.  I’ve never gardened in my pjs though, have you?

Excited to spend more time in the garden (maybe not in our pjs), get that trampoline up, some swings, and lots of gardening.

This week has just been that, little T asking “When will school end, mum?”  Just a few more weeks, sweetie, is what I tell her.

Our word of the week is : Countdown.

What about you?

Are you also excited for the summer holiday to begin?

Do share.

The Reading Residence

Wild Flowers: Bringing the Outdoors In

I’ve always loved wildflowers even as a child.  I guess you could say I inherited it from my mother, who in turn got it from her mum.  There was always freshly picked flowers from the garden.  And I loved that.

As an adult, I’ve had that desire too, to be always surrounded by flowers, especially the ones that grow in the wild, I like to take them in with me…

bluebells_littlestepsbluebells_bythewindowpinkcampions_littlestepscampions_littlestepsseaofdaisies_littlestepsdaisies_in_a_jar

I like looking around inside our house and seeing them there.  As the great French impressionist once said …

I must have flowers, always and always – Monet

And I so agree with him, always and always.  Now excuse me while I pick more flowers from our garden.

What about you?

Do you like wildflowers too?

Do share.