Tag: countryside

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?

All About The Cows

Yep, the blimming cows!

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During autumn and winter, the National Trust who happens to own the headland near where we live, has an agreement with farmers in our area that allows their cows to graze on their property, which is supposed to help the wild flowers grow in the spring time.  I’m not really sure it’s working though …

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The problem with the blimming cows is that the enormous headland suddenly becomes small.  And all the dog-walkers of course have to put their dogs in leashes, and when it rains non-stop, the headland’s walk-path becomes really mucky, almost impassable.  If you’re lucky, your boots won’t get stuck in all mud.  The locals in our area are not pleased with the cows, I don’t blame them.

So the first thing we do, as soon as we get to the headland is to take note of where the cows are.  Then we choose which part of the headland to head for.  Sometimes though, you’ll find them littered all over the stitches – when that’s the case.  I usually take Doc to the other part of the headland, which is separated by thick hedges and bushes.  That way, the excitable Doc can still have a run around, without the fear of disturbing the blimming cows.

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Dear cows,

Please can we share the headland?

You can all stay on one side

and I’ll stay on the other side.

ps

I love the smell of your dung.

Love,

Doc

ANIMALTALES

V is for Valency Valley

I’ve probably said this a dozen times, we are lucky to live in a beautiful place where we have both the sea and a little patch of forest in our little village.

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 This is the Valency Valley, where little T’s cat – Bootsy once had an adventure and got lost and found in the woods.

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 If the photos look a bit familiar, yes, these were taken during that particular incident with our cat.

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Little T throwing stones down the Valency river.

V is for Valency Valley.

#alphabetphotographyproject.

If you were given a choice, would you like to live by the sea, or by a woodland?

Walking around Vic-Sur-Aisne

The Eurocamp where we stayed at for ten days was located at the La Croix du Vieux Pont at Berny-Riviera, which was conveniently located right beside the very quaint French town called Vic-Sur-Aisne in Picardy (about 100 kilometres northeast of Paris).  The husband specifically chose this site because of its location – not that far from Paris and Disneyland.  As for me, the location was perfect because I was more interested in the French countryside.

Come and have a little walk with us around this very pretty little town:

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 First stop:  A little patisserie and boulangerie.  There’s little T pointing at the huge meringues by the shop window.  It was too big for her, she never finished it!  We bought very delicious and the softest croissants I’ve ever tasted in my life.  Sorry folks, I can never be a food-blogger – when it’s in front of me, taking photos is far from my mind.  Eating is more important!

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The Chateau de Vic-Sur-Aisne dominates the town with its very presence.  Unluckily for us, it was a bank holiday Monday, so we couldn’t go inside to have a look.  So instead we just took some photos outside, which actually was enough.

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Would’ve loved to try out this restaurant, but it always seemed shut!  One thing I’ve noticed, they don’t seem to open really long.  I’m wondering how businesses survive in France with what seems to me, very little opening hours?

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 I love walking through small towns in France, everywhere you look is pretty and quaint.

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Love the shutters and flower-boxes.

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And there’s little T of course, doing her funny dance in the middle of the plaza.

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The Town Hall.

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More shutters and flowers….

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Even this rusty shutters look pretty!

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We kept walking until we reached the Vic-Sur-Aisne French War Cemetery.

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This is another moving WWI cemetery/memorial where hundreds of French soldiers lay buried.

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I didn’t notice, until my husband pointed out to me that the crosses were actually back-to-back.  Two graves, not one.

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And if you look closely at all the names listed here, most of them died really young – men in their late teens, early 20s.  My husband said that just like the Somme, the place, Vic-Sur, was also a frontline in both WWI and WW2.

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I find it so surprising that inspire of being ravished by both wars, somehow France still managed to preserve so many of its lovely and historical buildings.  Thank goodness for that.  Like I mentioned on this post about the war memorial in the Somme – the sad and frightening thing about all this, is that war is still happening today as I type this.  As if we have never learned our lessons from our past. Will we ever?

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The walk ended in a lighter note as little T spied a playground near the woods.  Of course we had to stop and she had to play.

This post is linked-up with #CountryKids

And also:

Family Friday

 Hope everyone is having a lovely weekend!

L is for Landscape

Driving away from Calais, we were greeted by the French countryside.

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Ah the French countryside … Beautiful, isn’t it?

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These photos were taken from inside our car, except for the one below,

I took it when we had to stop when we did a wrong turn.

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The French landscape is a bit different from the English one.

For one I think they have more space (obviously since France is so much bigger than England!). They also don’t have any hedges on the side of the road like the one we have here.  What they have lovely tree-lined-roads, which sadly, I wasn’t able to capture.

And as we drove on towards the Picardy region, we were greeted by a downpour like I’ve never experienced in England before.  It was that bad.  For awhile, my husband even struggled to see, as our windshield wipers were having a hard time keeping up with the rain.  Ah the rain, for the next few days, it hardly stopped.  It almost felt like it was going to rain all through-out our holiday.  Summers in England are a bit famous for that, but in France?  We were promised warm and bright days…

To be continued.

L is for Landscape.

Linking-up with #alphabetphotographyproject

Snow over the Headland

When we first moved down here, my mother-in-law said to me “Don’t worry Dean, it doesn’t snow in Cornwall”.  On the early days of January 2010, it did.

I was probably around a month or two pregnant with little T when this photo of Mutley up in the headland was taken.  Since it was a bit of a novelty for snow down here, the local BBC asked people to send in their snowy pictures and I sent the photo above.

T has never seen it, so I’m hoping that it would once again snow down here where we live.  It usually snows up in higher-ground, in the moors like in Dartmoor, so we are thinking of driving up there just for her to experience some snow.  We might even take little Doc with us too! 🙂

Does it snow where you live?

This post is linked-up with PODcast’s What’s the Story

And The Oliver’s Madhouse

Have a lovely week everyone!

Chepstow Castle, Wales

Those who have been following my blog will know that we had an American friend visit us last month and because of this, we had the lovely opportunity to turn into tourists, as we showed him parts of England (especially in Cornwall where we live), and some places we’ve never been before as mentioned on a couple of posts (here and here).  Then we drove up to Bristol to stay with another good friend which gave us a chance to show him the city which is very dear to our little family.  And most importantly, meet up with more good friends, it was like a mini-reunion for all of us who have met, volunteered and lived together in Ghana many years ago.

Our Bristol friend then took us to the land of the red dragon – Wales.

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This is Chepstow Castle.

A short(ish) drive from Bristol is Chepstow Castle, the oldest surviving post-Roman stone fortification in the UK.  It is perched up above the banks of the river Wye. The castle was made in 1067 under instructions from the Norman Lord William FitzOsbern, a year after William The Conqueror was crowned King of England.  FitzOsbern was later made Earl of Hereford, apparently his was one of the first peerage titles in English Aristocracy.

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The castle was further expanded in 1189-1300.

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FitzOsbern’s Great Tower seen above.

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Inside the great tower.

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Amazing medieval carvings can still be seen on the corner walls, which makes one think If only these carvings could talk, imagine what they would say?  The history it would tell, stories of ancient battles, Lords and Mistresses who have resided in this castle over the centuries …

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 Part of the arch built to separate the first floor room in the great tower in the 13th century.  The intricate details are still very much visible as seen on the photo above.

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Little T had great fun exploring the medieval castle with her own red dragon bought by our Bristol friend and her little Grommit hanging by her belt.

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The breathtaking views of the Welsh countryside as seen through an ancient window.

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A medieval door was currently being restored when we visited.

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A definite must-visit when in Wales!

Click here for more of Chepstow’s history and directions on how to visit this lovely Norman castle.

This post is linked with Coombe Mill’s country kids.