Inside Out

It’s been a funny one this week! Just 2 weeks ago we put all the summer clothes away and hit the shops to buy some winter clothes after realising that both of the children have clearly had a growth spurt since last year – my son has gone up 2 whole shoe sizes since last year and is now heavier and taller than his sister who is nearly 2 years older (she is very unimpressed)! That said, my daughter has also shot up and her jeans more resemble cropped jeans.

Typically, and believe me I’m not complaining, the sun decides that maybe it isn’t done for the year, and the summer clothes have come out once more! During the week we’re so busy with routines that there’s very little opportunity for going out somewhere to enjoy the weather, but there’s also this impending pressure with each day that it might actually be the last nice one, so this week has seen us trying to take advantage by doing as many of our inside activities outside!

A walk without our warm coats on…


Coffee and cake outside at the farm shop…


Mummy gets to play at the park…


A picnic tea in the garden in our t-shirts…


Ok, the cake had to cook in the oven, but there’s no harm in a bit of al fresco bowl licking is there?!


Hopefully the weather will continue this weekend as we have a new National Trust place to explore, although that said, I think t-shirts in October is pretty good going, so I have tomato soup and thermos flasks at the ready so we can have a fab time whatever!

I’m linking up to #CountryKids again over at Coombe Mill. Can’t wait to see what you’ve all been up to!


Out and About Once More

I always find it hard to get back into the swing of things at the weekends when the children go back to school. The week kind of sorts itself because it has to. Reading books, spellings, clubs, homework, work and sleep all find themselves falling into place, there’s no choice really is there?!

At the weekends though it always seems to take that bit longer. After 6 weeks off, and in our family, that’s 6 weeks off for everyone (hubby and I are both teachers), the first couple of weekends are generally spent flopping and trying to recover from the week! Sometimes this leads to sofa time rather than active time, so thank you to #CountryKids this week for spurring me on to get some outdoor time!

My friend got married over the summer in America and last weekend was the celebration in London. I blogged just yesterday about how we well and truly have the travel bug, so although we could have just had a day trip, we decided to make a whole weekend of it, leaving straight after school on Friday. We all had a fab time exploring London, with some beautiful parks, but our favourite part (apart from seeing my friend married and happy of course!) was exploring Portabello Road market – not quite ‘Country’ but definitely outdoor fun. We also had a compulsory stop at the Hummingbird Bakery which is now quite possibly my favourite shop ever!

Living where we do we’re very lucky, so in addition to our adventurous weekend, we’ve also had fun making the most of the weather in both the woods and the seaside – the children discovered a dead jellyfish and were most excited by this. Is it just my children who get excited by things like this?!

I’m looking forward to linking up with Fiona’s #CountryKids over at Coombe Mill and seeing what you’ve all been up to as well – it’s been too long!


Catching the Travel Bug!

It’s wrong to describe it as a regret because I wouldn’t want to change a thing about what I have now, but looking back the one thing I wish I’d done was travel. I mean properly travel. My Mum is petrified of flying so I never left the country until I was 19 when I successfully auditioned for a choir who went on a number of international tours. However, my Mum’s fear of flying transferred on to me so I turned down all the longer flights – looking back I can’t believe that I could have travelled all expenses paid to Japan, America and Mexico to name but a few and I said no!

When I met my husband, he also couldn’t stand flying so we never really went on holidays just the 2 of us, something we both now regret. We never really felt the urge to go away so just didn’t! Again, we both now can’t believe we didn’t jump at the opportunity – what were we thinking?!

When we had the children, we wanted to make sure that they had experiences they would remember and vowed that we would go on holiday at least once a year. When they were small we went camping in this country, camping in France and did little mini breaks. When money was tight we had some really cheap breaks cashing in on Tesco Clubcard points to get some nice days out too.

Eventually, when the children were 5 and 3 we took them on a plane! We braved it and went to Majorca for a week and that’s where it all started – we were hooked! Aside from my son cutting his head open on a shelf in the room (yes not even whilst having fun in the pool or anything!) and being told he couldn’t swim for a week (the duration of our stay!) we had the best time ever, and thinking with the glass half full, the medical treatment my son received was the best service ever, he was stitched up within 20 minutes of his accident. We stopped at the travel agent on the drive home from the airport and booked our next holiday!

Since then we’ve been back to Majorca and this year for the first time, the 4 of us left Europe as we went to Turkey. These holidays are proper fun in the sun types of holiday, but given that my husband and I are both teachers we try to get away for a few days in almost every school holiday. It’s amazing how your perspective can change. I used to long for the holidays to have a rest – now I feel like I’ve wasted the holidays if we don’t go away somewhere!

It doesn’t always cost us a lot of money and we try to mix things up so that sometimes the holidays help the children learn something. Last year we went on a road trip to Edinburgh staying in 6 different £29 Premier Inns and completely abusing our National Trust membership as we stopped in Birmingham, the Lake District, Liverpool, Blackpool and of course, Edinburgh. The whole week was planned with military precision but only cost us £300 for the whole week – not bad for a family of 4!

We’ve already planned holidays to Normandy, Amsterdam and Egypt over the next year as well as mini breaks. Sometimes I get down about the fact that I always have an endless list of work I need to do, and even though I’m not physically in work I still have things I have to do, but somehow the thought of having somewhere to go where I will be with my special 3 people, no iPads, chores or emails to interfere spurs me on.

We’ve well and truly caught the travel bug – if only we could now win the lottery too!

Project 365 – Week 5

Work is definitely getting in the way and I’m finding it very hard linking up on time at the moment, but I’m still taking pictures!

Day 26

I love getting into a good book and after finishing the second Maze Runner book, my friend lent me this story set in France. There’s something really exciting about starting a new book – especially a ‘real’ book rather than an ebook!

Day 27

I love watching my children sleep, but I do wonder at how they manage to contort themselves into these positions. I’m sure this shows a foot where a hand should be!

Day 28

We have a picture in our utility room that has been sat in the packing for over a year so finally getting the children’s school pictures up on the stairs was very satisfying!

Day 29

Sometimes I look at my daughter and marvel at how grown up she is, but today I stumbled across this page from her Yearbook for Girls which she loves and it reminded me that she is still a child. Oh for the days when your begets concerns were whether you would ever be able to do the splits or not!

Day 30

Meet Barty Bear! My daughter was beyond words in terms of excitement when she earned the privilege of being able to bring the class bear home for the week. I used to wither when it happened as I felt this extraordinary amount of pressure to make sure that the bear was kept busy and then work out what to write in the diary. I felt similarly this time and then I remembered – she’s 7 now – she can write it herself!

Day 31

After a fun day in Bournemouth, hubby and I treated ourselves to a takeaway and DVD – this was our first bought DVD in months and it was fab!

Day 32

Homemade steak, potatoes and veg – a fab end to the weekend!

I think I’m still in time to link up with The Boy and Me this week, yay!


Out and About!

I’m not sure if everyone’s children are the same but mine love each other to bits – they’re the best of friends – apart from when they’ve been cooped up in the house for too long and then they get louder and snappier by the second!

We’ve tried really hard to get out the last couple of weekends because at this time of year it’s so easy to be lazy instead!

We went across to Lacock village and liked it so much we went back again! Pooh sticks was compulsory of course!


The snowdrops are just starting and the children loved spotting them, and then carefully avoiding them to see if they were strong enough to lift up ‘half a tree!’


Inevitably, they also had to be the Kings of the Castle too!


And what cold wintery walk would be complete without cake and tractor riding?!


We also decided to explore some of our very local surroundings one afternoon – the ones that don’t even require getting in the car. Finding out what is up that path that we go past every day! What we discovered was in fact a fab walk, though very muddy – the washing machine did an extra load that day!

The children invented a new sport – ‘Aqua Scooting’ – I can see it catching on…!IMG_1585

My son took ‘stuck in the mud’ rather too literally in the way that boys do, but much fun was definitely had by all, and to think it’s just around the corner from our house and we didn’t even know it existed!



I haven’t linked up to #CountryKids for a couple of weeks but I’m looking forward to seeing what you’ve all been up to as well over at Coombe Mill.


Project 365 – Week 4

I’m still keeping going! Unfortunately I haven’t got around to commenting on all of your lovely pictures this week and I promise to try harder. I have been looking though and I’m thoroughly enjoying still being a part of #project365!

Here’s my week in pictures!

Day 19

I spend a lot of my work time driving between schools, but Monday was the annual staff training day and I swapped the usual rush hour traffic jams for this beautiful sunny winter walk. A great start to the week.

Day 20

When I finish work on a Tuesday I always have a mini sigh of relief because I work evenings as well as days on these two days, and it’s nice to think that I have my evenings free for the rest of the week. I celebrated with an early night with some guilty pleasure reading!

Day 21

My husband thinks I’m a right hoarder but I never got rid of the books I enjoyed reading as a child. I still have them all but now it’s coming into its own as my daughter is loving reading all my old Enid Blyton books and the like. The one in this picture cost me £1.50 in 1986! I think the modern editions have had some of the words changed to reflect modern times, but we don’t mind – it just means that sometimes phrases such as “Golly, 30 shillings – how simply wizard!” need a little translation!

Day 22

We decided we needed some fresh air after a stuffy day so walked our way to and from ballet, with a little pirouette stop en route!

Day 23

I never really enter competitions but I’ve tried to start doing the odd retweet here and there, you never know! So it made my day when I won a giant Toblerone thanks to their weekly Twitter giveaway. It arrived today and unsurprisingly I had two small volunteers to open it almost immediately!

Day 24

Date night! We’ve just started asking our neighbour to babysit – the children love her and she loves it too – result! So this was our first night out as a couple in so long and it was fab!

Day 25

Following most nights out come days in! We had a very busy Saturday so Sunday turned from a lazy morning into a huge roast dinner and a Lego type afternoon. Just what we needed!

I’m too late to link up to TheBoyandMe this week, but better late than never hopefully!


Project 365 – Week 3

It’s been a busy kind of week – a busy work week, not a busy ‘look at my photos and get jealous’ kind of week! I am proud of myself though for keeping going, and I actually think I might be starting to get better at remembering to take photos of the every day – in fact we were out for a walk this afternoon and my daughter just kept posing every few steps – maybe I’m going the other way!

So here’s my photos for week 3 – days 11 – 17…

Day 11

After a lazy Saturday, we enjoyed a pub lunch and a walk, but couldn’t pass over a bridge without stopping for a game of Pooh Sticks!

Day 12

One of my husband’s colleagues arrived at work with a huge bagful of books that her own children had grown out of and asked if our daughter might like them – she was very pleased!

Day 13

The start of the work is always very busy as I work all day and then in the evening too, so my husband cooked me an amazingly yummy dinner!

Day 14

The sleeping shot – this really is the only time my son is ever still!

Day 15

The weather forecast did predict snow, but I think we could’ve actually counted the flakes that fell – it didn’t dampen the children’s excitement though!

Day 16

We met up with some of our best friends half way between where we both live with resulted in a very late night for the children – but it was Friday so it didn’t really matter! They’re just getting to the age now where they can cope with a late night, it doesn’t have to cancel the next day!

Day 17

My daughter went to a very crafty birthday party and was proud of her creations!

So that’s my week! Hope you’ve all had a good one too!


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