Sunday, 11 September 2016

Notes from a festival

This summer we went to our first festival as a family.  My partner and I were both avid festival goers pre children but life and lack of finances got in the way and so it has taken us 3 years to take Frieda to her first festival.  We went to the Tolpuddle Martyrs festival.  It's the first time we had been to this festival and we chose it based on a recommendation from a friend and because it was very reasonably priced. It's a political festival and this year was, obviously, quite an intense year to choose as our first year!

We spent nearly all our time in the kids field.  Frieda wasn't interested in watching any music and wanted to spend all her time in the excellent, very sweet, children's field.  If i'm honest the music was a bit pants, meaning we were more than happy to sit around in the sunshine, in the kids field. I'm not sure the protest genre is really my thing!

This festival was just the right size for us, the sun shone all weekend, cider was drunk and Frieda happily played with her friends. In the evening I sat by a camp fire, Iona asleep on my chest and it felt pretty relaxing.  I gave up trying to see anything and decided, simply, to enjoy the atmosphere and relished hanging out with friends and being outside all weekend. The tickets were cheap, meaning that, at no point, did i feel that I had to get my moneys worth, enjoying instead watching my daughter play whilst eating pizza and drinking cider. Happy children, happy parents. 
This was a great festival to ease my self back into.  Iona enjoyed it, she wakes quite a bit at night but slept no worse at the festival.  Frieda had a lovely time in the kids field but found the music and the crowds a bit much and preferred our regular camping trip. Me and Alan had a great time. So yes, festival land we are back! 



Saturday, 3 September 2016

The end of Summer

Gosh.......what a nice summer it's been. For me, Summer began in May with some belting hot sunshine, and days filled with outdoor adventures.  It has been a summer that has just kept on giving; camping trips, paddles in the sea, strawberries crushed onto little naked baby bodies, sandal tan lines, sun cream continuously applied, river swims, bar b ques, country drives, washing dried outside, and I could continue.  Every lunch seemed to be a picnic and I became skilled at whipping up a bunch of sandwiches in 10 seconds flat and bundling my children into the car.  In my head the weather has been perfect, my children have been angels and days have rolled into one. When I imagined having children, it was this summer that I imagined.   

I have spoken to other people though, who say that the weather has been a bit iffy this summer.  This is certainly not how I will remember it but I realise that weather can be subjective.  I have come to realise that I, actually, like it a little bit cooler than most.  As long as the sun is visible and it's not raining, i'm a happy bunny.  The very hot weather makes me feel a little trapped and on edge.  Being on maternity leave means that i'm not relying on the weekend for that good weather to make an appearance, for me every day has been a Saturday.  So yes, maybe the weather hasn't been as good as I am remembering and i'm sure my children haven't always been angels and writing this has made me remember a few little strops that I have had, when things all felt a bit too much, but i'm happy to remember with rose tinted glasses. 

September is usually my favourite month but this year I don't want summer to end.  My partner has been off for 6 weeks and a adult child ration of 1:1 is a very special thing indeed. My body has become used to a more relaxed paced, a little bit more sleep and a bit more time to generally smell the roses.  I'm slightly nervous about Monday when I will be looking after 2 littles ones on my own again, particularly as Iona has become a bit of a handful, as she is now crawling (eek) !


Sunday, 28 August 2016

Messing about by the river

A trip to the swimming pool is nice but nothing beats a bit of wild swimming.  Barcombe Mills is just down the road from us and has become a favourite spot of ours.  I remember wild (ish) swimming as a child and I was keen to be able to pass on this experience to my children.  

So picnic packed,and accidentally left behind, a quick stop at the local shop for bread and cheese, we drove in the blazing sun, tunes blaring, we parked up and found a delightful spot.  Frieda and her friend ran wild; trees were climbed, dens were made, the river was jumped into, rope swings were found and we could be forgiven for thinking we were living in an Enid Blyton book.

The water was warm and the banks were muddy and it was great fun.  It's these days I want to remember when i'm old and the children are no longer at home. 


Monday, 15 August 2016

Beach Adventures

A firm believer of the less is more approach to toys and paid experiences, I delight in seeing my daughter playing at the beach.  The beach is hands down my daughters favourite place to play especially if it's a sandy beach.  We are lucky enough to live a 20 minute drive from a pebble beach and an hour and 15 minutes from a sandy beach.

This summer we spent some days at West Wittering, a place, I can't believe has taken me this long to visit.  A simple holiday, visiting the same spot of the beach day in day out.  The beach became an exciting other world for my eldest daughter, who delighted in drawing in the sand, collecting shells, sensory play, paddling, building sand castles, dancing, and eating ice cream.  The same spot of the beach changed several times in a day, with new paddling pols appearing, wet sand making way for dry and sandcastles being eaten by the waves. My youngest delighted in head planting her face into the sand and then eating it. She was quite a fan of the seaweed too. 

My eldest was so absorbed, that I was able to to take so time and finally turn my camera off of auto mode.  My one goal this year was to learn how to use manual settings on my camera and several you tube tutorials later, these are my first results (actually my second really, my first photos were pitch black).  Having children has taught me to give things ago and to stop feeling held back by fear or expectation.  I watch my children constantly learning, seeking and creating and it's contagious.  I really hope that this is a skill that I will find time to develop over the next few years.  If anyone can suggest any resources for beginners DSLR  photography I would love to hear.  My next step is to learn  how to edit these photos. So it's been beach adventures for my children and the start of my photography adventures.

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