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.


Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Name Change

Hello, hello, hello!!!! Gosh it's been a while and my what an inconsistent blogger I have become.  I'm back and with a new name.  

There are a few reasons for my absence; Firstly, I have found it so difficult to find the time to blog.  I have children who really do find it difficult to get to sleep and to nap, so it's really quite rare to find a time when I don't have a babe on top of me.  I am in awe of other bloggers who seem to have a handful of children and manage to blog regularly.......I am just not this person.

Secondly, My computer is old and crap and in need of replacing.  It has been fixed a few times and although it does work (just about) it is not a joy to use and it puts me off writing my blog. I'm trying to get together the pennies to buy a new one but, alas, this is taking time.

Thirdly, Trying to sell our house and working out the logistics of going back to work and, more recently, my latest obsession of keeping up with the crazy political events both and home and abroad has zapped all my energy and there has been little room for anything else.

Fourthly, It's just not felt right.  The blog didn't feel right.  It has no focus and it doesn't reflect who I am.  I have wondered why I blog and I have felt shy about putting myself out there with no clear purpose.  After some thought I just want to blog for myself, I want a visual story, a sort of online diary. 

So.... I have decided that a name is needed.  I started this blog when I returned to work, after having my daughter.  I had a really itch that just wasn't being scratched.  My role at work and as a mother required so much compassion and caring and nurturing of other people that I felt like i was drowning in compassion overload.  I needed a space that would allow me to create, play, document, explore and grow.  Being thrifty and treading lightly was so tied up in my everyday that Peggy Jobbins Thrift Mistress was born.  But if i'm honest it just didn't really work out.  I do loads of thrifty things in my life but I have come to realise that I often don't document them and although treading lightly and thrifty raising my children makes my heart sing, I just don't really enjoy writing about it.  I don't have nearly as much time for crafts as I did pre children and often being thrifty simply means shopping in Aldi.  I realise now that the name of my blog often intimidated me and thus put me off coming back. 

Since the birth of Iona I have written much more about family life but I don't see myself as a parent blogger.  I thought about giving up and sticking to Instagram, but  then politics and current affairs crept back into my life and it became all consuming and I felt like I couldn't breath, for all the news I was consuming.  I have come to realise that I need this space more than ever to focus on the joy, the whimsy, and the beauty present in the every day.  My life is very much rooted to the home and at times I have felt that I have had little to say because of this but when I talk to people about my everyday, I realise that my life has never felt so full.  My everyday is so packed full of little adventures and these little adventures are tiny pieces of the big adventure that we are all on and I have a thirst to document these adventures.    

I have never cared about numbers and this blog was always intended to document my life but the name didn't reflect this. And so, Peggy Jobbins' Little Big Adventure is born.  A place to document the little details of my life that are the Jigsaw pieces of this big adventure that we are all on.  I thank everyone who has stopped by over the months.  I look forward to continuing with you all.  I have stopped reading a lot of blogs since the birth of Iona because it felt too overwhelming to keep up but i'm looking forward to getting back in the swing of things.

Wishing much love and adventure to you all.


Wednesday, 29 June 2016

The Weekend After the Night Before

I don't usually touch on the political here, this is my shiny happy space, but the way i'm feeling right now I need to let it all out.  For me the referendum result has been something akin to breaking up with a lover.

Thursday evening i'm slightly jittery but everyone assures me that we will be all right, people hate change, nothing will happen....look at Scotland, they didn't leave.
Equivalent - Having a slight hunch that you partner is not happy but all your friends assure you it's fine and you think yeah it's fine, I think he's just down, he has been very busy with work.

I settle down to watch the referendum on telly, the pound is up, a few positive texts with friends and I feel fine. 
Equivalent - Lover cooks you dinner and you share a bottle of wine, things seem ok and you relax.

By 1 am i'm not feeling that positive the results coming in are not as good as were predicted. At 2 am I go to bed feeling uneasy.
Equivalent - You get drunk, your partner tells you he's not feeling that happy but skirts round the issue as to why, you pass out.

I awake at 5:30 I check the news on my phone, I can't breath, my heart is in my stomach, I start to shake and then the tears come.  I wait half an hour before I go and tell my partner, who is sleeping in my eldest daughters room, the news.
Equivalent - Partner tells you he no longer loves you and leaves.
Spend the morning obsessively talking to people on facebook, with radio four in the background untill 7am, when I phone my mum.
Equivalent - Lost and afraid I call my mum and she makes me feel better.

Drink coffee, drive to meet a friend at a nature reserve with the kids, I leave my phone in the car so I don't look at it.  Try to talk about something different, but end up obsessively ranting about the referendum. 
Equivalent - Meet a friend who has also experienced a recent break up, try to talk about something else but obsessively talk about the referendum. 

Drive home, I'm still angry and upset. Windows down, music blaring, I sing along through tears.  It's a beautiful sunny day and the sun is shining on this green and pleasant land. How can everything look this pretty when the worlds gone home. I can't go home alone, I turn up at a friends house we talk more.
Equivalent - It's all I can talk about I will talk about it to anyone who will listen.

I go home, I drink some cider and  skip dinner, my partner is not sure what to make of it all, I seem pretty upset.  I get the baby to sleep and I drink more cider and obsessively read everything brexit related.
Equivalent - I get drunk and go through pictures of me and him together.  and stalk him on Facebook.

I awake early, I feel worse, more angry, I post lots of things on Facebook. I check right move to look at house prices in, Scotland, we are going to move to Scotland!!!. I look at my baby, I cry, I feel like I have let her down. 
Equivalent - I get up early, I text him several messages when I know I shouldn't

The day goes on.  I go for a swim, it helps but i'm still sad

Five days on and I have channelled my energy into signing petitions and writing to M.P's. I feel ashamed, and,with the rise of racist incidents, I feel like I don't recognise my country. I'm a long way from acceptance but I will get there.      


Monday, 13 June 2016


Since having a baby, I seem to have lost my blogging mojo. My second baby is very much like my first, and requires an arm round her to sleep. I am, therefore, mostly limited to one handed activities, this generally means that I spend way to much time on Instagram! If I'm honest, having steped away from blogging a bit, I have felt a bit shy about returning...... in the same way the post baby me feels a bit awkward going out in the evening with friends. A feeling like I have forgotten how things function in a non baby world. But I have missed this little rambling space of mine. 

It feels a little 'all change here at the moment'. My daughters nursery is due to close and I feel so upset about this, She has been going since she was eight months old. I love it and Frieda is thriving there. The staff are so amazing and so loving. Frieda actually took the news much better than me. I cried when they handed me her leaving party invitation, Frieda just became very focused on cake and party bags. It's odd how these external institutions become so entwined into our family life. I entrusted the most precious thing in my life to these people and they did a brilliant job and Frieda developed strong bonds with these women.  On a practical note this was the cheapest nursery we could find and it was the nearest to our house, aside from being my favourite. We will struggle now to find any sort of affordable child care. 

We are in the midst of the slow process of selling our house. Frieda may have had to leave her nursery anyway, due to our house moving antics, so I must not dwell. The whole moving thing has taken all my spare energy up.  I say spare energy.....who am I kidding? I'm a mum of two young children there is no spare energy. After so much, thought, investigation and long conversations back and forth we have decided to leave a pretty perfect town, that ticks all the boxes, and leave some amazing friends, and move to a town that doesn't tick all the boxes, but does feel 'very us' and where we know no one. It's been an agonising decision and part of me wonders why I am giving up what we have here for a bigger house but the house feels too small for us and our hobbies and our excitable children. We don't live near family so we have no where to put them up when they stay. We can't afford an extension at the moment and we can't see that we would ever be able to buy a bigger house in the very expensive town that we live in. We feel incredibly lucky to have been able to buy a house in this lovely town and to be in a situation where we have options. We hope to move 50 minutes away to Hastings, where house prices are a bit cheaper, and we will be so close to my partners work meaning that he will be home a lot earlier and can help with nursery drop offs, which will be amazing. I will commute to work in Brighton two days a week. The move feels bitter sweet. Our house hasn't sold yet so things feel pretty up in the air.  With each viewer who doesn't want the house, I feel a mixture of frustration and relief all at once. Part of me is so pleased to have extra time in this lovely place that I call home but part of me is keen to get moving and start a new life by the sea. 

So there we have it two changes that have left  me feeling a little preoccupied and if I'm honest a little on edge. I have so much more to consider now that I have children and I worry a little about whether we are making the right decision for the girls. My daughter feels very sad about leaving and this sadness totally pulls on my heart strings. I think about my relatively small changes and how hard it can feel at times and I am reminded about all the refugees that have been force to flee recently, how they risk there lives, how hard it must be to make a change forced upon you and I am reminded how very lucky I am that I have choices and opportunities. 

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Outdoor Play

It's been a while! I have found it impossible to find the time to blog, After a long day with two children i'm usually in bed by eight, arms round a baby, waiting to be woken up in a few hours.  I'm so happy that the warmer weather has made it's presence known.  I am totally on board with all year round outdoor play, but I have to admit to finding this a difficult task, this winter with a baby on board. 

There was a recent survey which found that three quarters of UK children spend less time outside than prison inmates.  The poll shockingly concluded that a fifth of children did not play outside at all on an average day. The poll further claimed that children spent twice as long playing on screens as they did playing outside.  In the spirit of honesty, this winter, my daughter, at the tender age of three, has spent more time playing on a screen than she has done playing outside and this is something that I feel pretty uncomfortable about.  My daughter is a self declared summer girl.  She finds wearing lots of clothes very restricting, she often cries if she is caught out in the rain and, in winter, it takes all my effort and bribery powers to get her to come and play outside. I go to huge lengths to make sure she plays outside everyday but there were days, this winter, when, 15 minutes into the trip to the park, she would declare that she was freezing, and I would agree to head home rather than encourage a game.  Given the choice to sit and feed a baby on a park bench or to go back home, and get into bed, we have generally chosen the latter.  

I feel quite guilty about the amount of time my daughter has spent at a screen since the new baby arrived.  There have been days when it's been lovely, days when we have snuggled up in bed, all three of us, watching cartoons and having a cuddle.  But there have been days when it has felt too much and it's lost it's 'treat' element.  

As the warmer weather has arrived we have been enjoying spending longer outdoors trying to restore the balance! It's been great to get out and about, I have even been able to lay the baby out on the grass! Outdoor play has meant that the house is tidier and everyone's mood has been greatly uplifted. Mother Nature is a much nicer baby sitter than the iPad! And so, now that the baby is a little older, I'm on a mission to ditch the screens and frolic outside. 

These photos were taken on a recent (not so recent now! Bad blogger) day trip to Stoney Wish nature reserve. It was a day when the gods were on our side, Frieda played well on her own, the baby enjoyed lying on a blanket and life felt pretty perfect. 


Saturday, 19 March 2016

Real Junk Food Project Brighton

(Image Source Real Junk Food Project Brighton)

In the February half term we took a bus trip into Brighton. We did our usual favourite child friendly activities, the level park, the library and the pier. But we also added into the mix a trip to the Real Junk Food Project Cafe, which will now be added to our list of favourite things to do in Brighton with our little uns.
I had wanted to visit the cafe in so long but as is the case, when you have small people, things have tended to get in the way. There are cafes held at different locations on different days. We went to the cafe held at Brighton One Church. We got to the cafe and there was a queue, a really big queue, this place was very popular. When I tasted the food I could see why it was so popular. It was so busy we struggled to get a table. We managed to find a church pew next to the cake table, much to my eldest daughter's delight. The staff, who are volunteers, were all super friendly and helpful and made sure we got a place to eat and had somewhere to put our pushchair. The people at the cafe, both the staff and customers, were all super friendly. People came up to talk to us and coo over the baby. Frieda was made to feel welcome and I could relax whilst Frieda ran around and danced to the music being played on the piano. Yes there was a piano!!!! there were also fairy lights and Bjork was playing in the background. The customers were a lovely mix of students, hipsters, hippies, children, older people, real Brighton characters and people who may have lost their way a little. It was a real Brighton melting pot and it made me miss living in this glorious city. 

I have left talking the food till last because it really was the best bit about the experience. There was something for everyone, even my fussy little daughter. I started with veggie soup and a large hunk of fresh bread. I continued with a couple of curries, rice, polenta (my first time tasting this), potatoe wedges and  two types of salad. I washed this down with freshly squeezed fruit juice, before finishing things off with baklava and a chocolate crispy cake. My daughter feasted on tomato pasta and two different types of cake.  The food is served on one side of the room, canteen style. On the other side of the room there is a huge coffee machine which rivals that of any coffee house I have been to. I had a latte and there was a large selection of herbal teas. A young man, with a hipster moustache. made my coffee which gave it that real authentic feeling! Oh and my coffee was served in a thick glass, with a milk heart on top, the attention to detail here was amazing. Bellies full and my heart singing  we headed off to the level park to play. 

The real junk food project cook their delicious food using food that has been intercepted from supermarkets, food that would ordinarily end up in landfill. The cafe works on a pay as you feel basis, which is great because it means that no one is excluded. The Real Junk food project cite that a quarter of food produced globally is wasted and that it is estimated that 795 million people do not get enough to eat.  The Real Junk Food Project plays a small but important part in trying to re address this balance.  There are Real Junk Food Projects all over the country so I urge you to check it out if you have one locally. 

Do check out the links below for more information:

The Real Junk Food Project Brighton
The Real Junk Food Project
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