Tag: autumn

A Country Kid’s Post: Autumn Fun in the Garden

Our garden is carpeted in leaves.  We had absolutely lovely sunshine weather a few days ago, the kind that’s best spent outside, so T and I decided to hunt for a rake and do a little bit of tidying up in our lawn.

We couldn’t find one, what my husband found instead was his nan’s old small garden pea-rake.  “Yep, that will do!” I said to him as I grabbed it and handed it to little T who seemed really excited about it.  I promised that she could jump up and down in leafy piles after.

raking_1

Hard at work with her great-grandmother’s small pea-rake.

raking2raking3raking4raking5

And once she had a good pile of raked-leaves, she decided that it was a great burial ground for her baby.

t_doll

 I warned her though that children’s services would take the her baby away if they found out. That stopped her. She took Ella away from the pile and started raking again, till she had a good amount of leaves to jump in.

jumping

Don’t you just love watching them have fun in even the simplest ways?

I do.

PS

My husband is right.  We do need a leaf-vac.

Autumn Thoughts

“We’ll be needing a leaf-vac” my husband says to me as he surveys our big garden.

“Pfft” I say to him “All we need is a rake and I’ll get raking!”

backgarden

Scene from our back-garden.

I had images of myself going out with a rake in hand, wellies, wrapped up nice and warm in my brown coat (the one I use to walk the dog), complete with wooly hat.

wellies

I had visions of myself raking away, deep in thought, while Doc as usual, would be lumbering around like a silly billy.  After while, I’d have a whole mountain of lovely brown and golden leaves on one side.  Maybe later if there was still enough light, T can do a leaf dive and I’d manage to catch everything in my camera (I rarely do, by the way), perfect captured moments, to be later posted on Instagram.

leaves

When all this is done.  We’d go in, hand-in-hand, mother and daughter, the husband will be slaving away in the kitchen with a lit fire, making us delicious hot-chocolate, complete with whipped cream.  He’ll also be slicing us a piece of cake fresh from the oven.  Lovely.  Life is bliss.

 “Dean, look at all those trees” the husband pointedly says, interrupting my reverie.  Can you imagine all of those leaves on the ground?

view_fromstudy View of the side-garden from the Historian’s study.

“Yep, we’ll need a leaf-vac”  and just like that my husband bursts my bubble.

Are you a dreamer like me, or practical like him?

A Country Kid’s Post: Blackberry Picking in Our Garden

“I fancy making some blackberry and apple crumble today”  says the husband from the kitchen.  He is still in a roll again.  T and I are in the living room.  The fire is on, I’m flicking through my Ideal Home magazine and T is on the iPad.  She’s only ever allowed to have it on a weekend.  I put my magazine down and quip “Not to worry, we shall pick you some fresh blackberries in our garden”.

We have a wilderness behind our old shed at the bottom of our garden.  For a while, we toyed with the idea of planting a vegetable plot behind it, but I’m thinking now to let it be. There’s something magical and mysterious about this little plot of land behind that shed.  And much to our delight, we’ve discovered blackberries growing in the bushes there.

T and I put our wellies on and this makes Doc excited.  He bounds out as soon as we open the door, grabbing a stick along the way and watches us forage.  After a while, he gets bored and decides that it’s more fun running around like a loony with a stick in his mouth and he lets little T and I be.  It doesn’t take us long and we have enough for the Historian’s recipe and head back inside the house.

Now that’s what I call bliss.

If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own back yard.  Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with. –  L. Frank Braum, The Wizard of Oz

What’s yours?

 

Autumn Cooking: The Day the Husband Invaded My Kitchen

While summer is undoubtedly my favourite season, I do like autumn too.  I love the way the colours of the leaves change, from orange, gold, brown, taking long walks, bundled warm in our scarves and hats and hearing the crunching of the leaves under our wellies.  Then coming back home to a warm fire and maybe a mug of hot chocolate.

I think we’re settling well into autumn now, although you’ll never know we might just have an Indian summer … One can still hope.

I’m usually the main cook of the family.  But a few days ago, a close friend of ours gave us some vegetables from a relative’s garden which included marrow and beetroot and gave my husband ideas.  He loves marrow you see, and decided to try his hand at “stuffed marrow” last night.  Apparently, marrow is a winter vegetable.  I never knew that.

stuffed_marrow

He absolutely enjoyed it.  As for T and I?  Let’s just say we ate the stuffing 😉  To be fair though, I’m not familiar with this vegetable at all.  To me it looked like a giant cucumber.  T actually called it a “snozzcumber” (from the BFG), The Historian wasn’t impressed at all.

Still on a roll, today, he baked us a beetroot-chocolate cake.

cake_batter

This time, T and I loved it.

beetroot_chocolate_cake

He still has a couple of recipes up his sleeve, hopefully T and I will manage to eat it.  What I meant to write was, I’m sure T and I will absolutely without any doubt lick our plates clean 😉

Our word of the week is Autumn.

What’s yours?

The Reading Residence

Summer in November

The first day of November felt like summer.  After the experiencing Halloween madness the previous night, we along with some friends, decided that a beach day was a must, especially since the day looked very promising.

But it being late autumn, I packed coats, wellies, wooly hats and scarves in the car.  It turned out that we didn’t need them at all.  Widemouth Bay (as you all know is a fave) and was surprisingly packed well not the beach (there’s always space enough for everyone), but the parking lot, considering it was the last day of the half-term break.

beachandsun_littlesteps

littlepools_littlesteps

While waiting to meet up with her best friend F, as always, little T and her dad were lost in the rock rockpools.

rockpooling

Soon little F joined his best friend and they quickly had a small collection of rock pool finds, a small fish, crab and some snails.

rockpoolfinds_littlesteps

One must never forget the rock pooling rule: What one finds, must always return back to the sea:

lettingitgo_littlesteps

T and F letting their precious finds back into the water.

T&f_littlesteps

And then it was time to run around like loonies.

running_littlesteps

 This was what it was like the first day of November.  It certainly felt like summer that day.  Today, the 14th is an altogether different story.  As I type this, I can see our little village clothed in grey and rain.  It is definitely autumn once again.

What’s the weather like on your side of the world?

Is it sunny or gloomy like it is here?

Off the Leash: An Autumn Walk with Doc

Our little village by the sea is quietening down.  Tourist season is over, although when the weather is fine like last week, you’ll still see a few of them roaming around the headland.  But there is no doubt, summer has indeed faded into oblivion.  Hello autumn!

autumncolours_littlesteps

The closing of the tourist season is good news for our over-excitable, over-eager not-so-little bundle of fur and neurosis doggie called Doc.  This means he can finally go off-leash again after the few unhappy incidents we’ve had since getting him from the kennel a month ago.

offleash_littlesteps

And now he’s free to roam the headland again, sniffing, running around like a loony, finding the most disgusting smell he can find and rolling on it.

doc_littlesteps

He is at his happiest when set free to run like the wind!  And since the stitches are now mostly empty, I can let him off leash without worrying that he might jump on poor unsuspecting tourists.  Doc is free.

As I am too and happy to snap away at the evidence all around me that summer has definitely packed its bags and left us with its remains of wild flowers that used to stand so proud with its vibrant colours now looking withered and sad.

witheredflowers_littlesteps

Where has the brightness gone?

And we’re left instead with every shade of grey and brown.

brownleaves_littlesteps

But autumn can be pretty too with its leaves turning golden before the winter days set it in.

For now though, Doc is happy to hear the sound of autumn leaves squelching under his paws.  As for me, I’m just glad that he is happy too.

What do you love about autumn/fall?

ANIMALTALES

A Touch of Orange

As mentioned already, we went on holiday in Wales during the half-term break and stayed at Hay-on-Wye.  I love Wales, somehow it’s different from the landscape in England and reminds me a lot of Scotland.  On this particular short holiday, even though we knew the weather was going to be crap, we made it a point to at least visit the Brecon Beacons National Park which is known for its waterfalls, lovely forests and beautiful walks/hiking paths to name a few.  Of course though, with a little one, you can’t really do much walking, not to mention the bad weather.

IMG_7571

When we arrived little T noticed the play-area right away and without any prodding headed there on her own.  I was struck with how lovely the carpet of orangey, golden autumn leaves looked on the ground.

IMG_7572

 This play-area was actually for eight-year-olds and above, but she refused to go to the “little ones”.

IMG_7573

And with the help of her dad, tried to do the climbing frames.

IMG_7577

And she absolutely loved this!  Was a bit worried that she might let go, but she held on like a little monkey!  I love the look on her face 🙂

IMG_7581

All that lovely orange was such a contrast against the grey-threatening clouds that hovered above us.  We were worried that the rain would come even before we could explore and at a least do the walk near the play-area.

IMG_7591

After a bit of coaxing, we managed to pry off little T’s hands from the swing and did the shortest-trail, hoping that the rain wouldn’t come.

IMG_7596

An archway made of trees.

IMG_7598

Stopped by the bridge to play some pooh sticks, because that’s what kids do!

IMG_7604

This area was just a small slice of what the Brecons has to offer, too bad we didn’t have the time, to explore more.

IMG_7616

 By the time we left, the fog descended and you could hardly see the top of the beautiful mountains.

Would so love to visit again!

Have you explored the Brecon Beacons National Park?

 

 

 

Have a lovely weekend folks!

Z is for Zany

Finally the letter “Z”

I chose the word Zany and felt that since it is the end of PODcast’s Photography Project,  it was only right to end with photographs of Little T’s “zaniness”.

IMG_7583

It’s actually difficult to photograph little T, it requires a lot of patience, because as soon as she sees me focus my camera on her, she would always break into a silly face or pose like the one above and the one below.

IMG_7584

 And if I use my stern mummy voice, I might get this …

IMG_7585

which is still a bit zany, but at least, it’s not a funny-face, just a bit silly, but then again she is after all Little T, that’s what she does!

Z is for zany.

I can’t believe it’s the end of this series!  Really had fun posting photographs from A-Z.

Hope you guys had fun too!

#alphabetphotographyproject

Gloom

Winter is approaching.  I can feel her cold-icy clutches and everywhere is grey.  She’ll be here soon and will be shoving Autumn out the door, and unpacking her bags and will be breathing cold air on our checks and down our necks.

Yesterday, the clocks moved forward and so the days are shorter.  I’m thinking – we’ve got four-months-of-this, how on earth will we manage to keep our heads above water?  Okay fine, I’m exaggerating, but you get the picture and it’s not sunny nor is it rosy.

This week, it’s been grey all over.  The sky, even the houses look grey, everywhere I look is grey.  From my kitchen table, I look out and see this:

IMG_7440

 Yep, it’s certainly is a bleak world out there.  I wonder if the cows grazing on the headland notice how grey it is, or even care?  Most probably not.

It’s little T’s half-term break and tomorrow we go on holiday in Wales, not that the weather is any different there, but it’s our special place and I’ll tell you exactly where, in the following day or so but let us get there first 😉  And we’re hoping the place will cheer us up a bit and maybe, just maybe, we’ll drive back to Cornwall, happy bunnies.  Oooh Easter!  Wouldn’t it be great if by the time we get back it will indeed be Easter?  Oh happy days.

Now excuse me while I put my head in the oven.

Hope it is sunny and cheerful wherever you are!

 photo 93142f35-6d39-479f-b3de-d94dbca68162_zps58499252.jpg
How do you keep yourself cheerful during the long-bleak-winter-months?

Autumn Day Out

Ever since little T started school, we make it a point to go out for walks over the weekend when we can.  And last Saturday was no exception.

Being members of both the National Trust and English Heritage, is easy for us to plan a day-trip out without going too-far or spending too much.  Most of our little adventures in fact cost, almost next-to nothing.

20141019_123831

Last weekend brought us to Penhallam Manor, an English Heritage medieval property not far from where we live.  When I say property, it really is more like a ruin, or the remains of a 13th century ruin.

As soon as we parked, I noticed this scary-looking haunted house barely visible from all the surrounding trees.

20141019_123819

Up-sound scary music.

20141019_123808

And here’s little T, who didn’t seem bothered at all.

20141019_124009

In our English Heritage book, it mentioned that it was about a ten-minute walk from the parking lot to the ruins.

20141019_124416

It didn’t feel like that at all.  Maybe because we were all too busy having fun, running after Doc, trying to grab the stick in his mouth … just to annoy/excite him 😉

20141019_124548

As you can see from the photo, he absolutely loved the game of catch-me-if-you-can.

20141019_125249

The game ended as we spied the gate not far away from where little T stood.

20141019_125347

20141019_125423

Little T reading the history of this medieval manor.

This 13th century manor was owned by the Cardinhams family who were apparently a family of minor barons who made money from being in good terms with King John (1199-1216).  Penhallam was probably just one of their many houses in England.  It wasn’t actually that big, judging from the ruin.

20141019_125404

It’s a manor surrounded by a moat and because the Lord of the Manor didn’t have any heirs (only daughters), by the 14th century, the house had already fallen into decline.

20141019_125757

This is what it must have looked like during the medieval times.

20141019_125828

And there goes little T, eager to cross the moat!

20141019_130111

There wasn’t really much left especially since grass has covered what was left of the medieval bricks of the manor.  But you could still see the outline of where the walls once stood.

Some may think that it isn’t a place worth visiting, but if you’re just looking for a place to have a short walk with your dog and little one, and you live nearby – it’s definitely worth a visit.

The only problem was that we couldn’t find a place to have our little picnic!  So we decided to look for a different place instead.  But got stuck in the Cornish traffic:

20141019_133220

Yep, this is what a traffic jam looks like Cornwall.  You get stuck behind a herd of cows, sheep or horses.

And after a bit of a drive, we ended up at …

20141019_150919

the beach on Widemouth bay in Bude …

20141019_151326

which was actually filled with sea-foam!

20141019_151739

Little T actually had fun playing with it.  She called it bubble mixture!

20141019_151815

20141019_151950

We ended the day-out with …

20141019_154636

ice-cream!

Don’t you just love day-outs, especially ones that end up with ice-cream?

 

Have a lovely weekend folks!