on sunday we went for lunch at Mr HPMcQ’s aunts house. she lives just a hop skip and a jump away from us. the sun had been shinning all weekend and we were busting to get out in the spring air. after filling our bellies full of roast chicken with all the bits and bobs that go with and filling that last little gap with a generous slice of berry pavlova we headed to the woods for a squelch and a potter in the woods, petts wood.
when i started this little ‘ol blog of mine, i didn’t really know what to do or why i was doing it. i was inspired to do something that’s for sure and i just let things take their course, until i found what my groove might or might not be, but most importantly what i was really comfortable with and made me happy.
half term and what to do? well luckily for us we are very close to london town, just a hop skip and a jump. yes i know we live in london, i know, but for some reason it doesn’t really feel too much like “living in london” where we are, so we get the best of both worlds and therefore going into london always feels just like that, going into london!
i took a few snaps yesterday, snaps of our sunday, sunday snaps. they were of my boys. one big, one small. i was working on some black and white photography for the better photo project week 7, well i got a little carried away! i shared some of them on instagram but i love them so much i thought i would share them here too just in case you might have missed them.
friday night we had a guest come to stay. someone who has never been to our house before. a weekend sleepover. barry bear. the school bear.
ronnie was awarded the head teacher award on friday for his progress in phonics. he was given a certificate to bring home and show mummy and daddy how well he is doing. however together with that certificate comes the responsibility of looking after barry for the weekend.
i’ve popped back and forth to essex a couple of times over the last few weeks. it’s strange seeing the place you grew up, once you’ve grown up is it. everything looks the same but smaller.
on my way home on one of these occasions i cut through the back roads through the woods, for old times sake, when i noticed a sign. it said the gruffalo trail. yes i remember being told about this by a friend and also a blogger, but had swiftly forgotten until that very moment. i came home i googled and prayed for sunshine or at the very least no rain at the weekend so that we could explore the woods of thorndon country park.
this place doesn’t need too much of and introduction or explanation, it’s fabulousness is world-famous. but just incase it has slipped you by here’s a short overview of what it is all about.
hApPY nEw YEaR!
hope you all had a fun-filled evening. ours was pretty quite to be fair. we are currently at coombe mill, which i’m sure you know already! fiona and nick set up a little gathering by the bbq shed, a shed with a bbq grill inside so you can bbq all year round, how epic is that?! i really really want one however it is the size of our whole garden so maybe not. there were snacks and some bottles of boozy plonk to swig at and just before 8 o’clock nick lit and set off a lantern for matilda mae. once tildas lantern was safely on its way nick launched a display of fireworks for us all to welcome the new year.
the title of this post might be a bit misleading and somewhat of an exaggeration. as you can imagine coastal walking with a five-year old is over pretty quickly after it has started, especially when it’s hugely windy, and that wind is cold, so very very cold. but today we gave it a good go though.
today was somewhat wetter than yesterday, so we had a lazy lay in, and got cosy by the fire. once our bellies were full of breakfast we were ready to embrace the coldness outside. well as long as it took to get from the front door to the car, parked right outside the front door that is.
inside adventures were on today’s plan as it was a constant stream of drizzle. you know the kind that doesn’t look that wet, but you are wet to the bone before you know it? yes, not so great. so we decided that we would go and explore the local jail that has a few tales to tell.
we woke to a beautiful morning. slight frost on the ground, a nip in the air, mist hanging in the sky and the sun was absolutely beaming. what a gorgeous morning to wake up and remember you are on a farm.
for the last few years, we have been enjoying a christmas winter break. now i love the sun, i really do, but a winter break in the english countryside is very nearly high up there on my favourite holidays. school is out. childcare is scarce, so holiday time it is. we’ve been to cornwall, we’ve been to yorkshire and then fell in love with the north norfolk coast and went for couple of years back to back. this year we thought we would start back at the beginning. cornwall. so here we are on the home turf of the country kids, coombe mill!
with just 3 sleeps to go, the excitement levels in the HPMcQ household were starting to reach a high. we had been having a really lazy sunday. it was gloomy and cold outside, and gloomy and cold and i don’t get on much. so we stayed cosied up in our jim jams watching movies until gone mid-day! absolute heaven.
when me, my mum and my dad moved to brentwood, my parents needed to find themselves a child minder. the first one, was actually the lady we had bought our house from. it didn’t work out. the second one, i vaguely remember but i wasn’t there long. it didn’t work out. but the third one, well that was mrs child. mrs child the childminder. an appropriate name if ever you could have one. even now writing this, i couldn’t bring myself to write about her by her first name, 30 years on she is still mrs child, and i’m sure she is too all, that she ever looked after.
living in a big city, doesn’t give you the biggest opportunity to get out into country as much as perhaps you would like to. however saying that, a lot of the country seems to be sneaking its way into town more and more. which is a good thing, a very good thing. traditions like the weekend farmers market seem to be popping up in all the boroughs of ye olde london town. the del trotter type of market of only fools and horses fame, seem to be slowing fading away and making room for markets which have a far stronger focus of good quality locally grown fruit, veg and other foodie delights. all of this sitting along side small creative design businesses, vintage furniture, and bric-a-brac for thrifty and restorative types.
for the last couple of years, we have made our own christmas decorations. this year will be very much the same. we start our crafty christmas with salt dough decorations. this is how we did ours.
for quite some time we have been meaning to “head” (sorry) over to the tower of london, her majesty’s royal palace and fortress. actually if the truth be known only a very few, (the a-list celebrities of their time i guess) have been executed actually on the green inside the tower of london. only seven in total were recorded, three of them queens, anne boleyn, catherine howard and jane grey.
outside on tower hill, is where the main executions happened. 125 “unfortunates” were beheaded here, until the last in 1747. dukes, knights, earls and nobles all came to their end outside the tower walls. an execution could draw a crowed of 100,000 spectators. this was considered entertainment, the whole family would go, with a picnic to boot! possibly the x factor of the day. the first being simon sudbury in 1381 and the last simon fraser in 1747. so if your names simon, i’d give tower hill a wide berth!
it was a bit nippy out this morning, as ronnie would say, but the sun was shining so everything was alright. we scooted over to the east end after breakfast, to have a cuppa char with nanny minnie. on our way home we decided that actually it would be rather lovely to have a little walk around the park before lunch rather than after, well just incase that beautiful sun decided to disappear from our skies. we quickly popped home to grab our cameras and off we set.
so yesterday our halloween prep started, when mr HPMcQ brought home a pumpkin. we got our carve on. however this just wetted ronnie’s appetite for more halloween preparations and he wanted even more pumpkins, so when he’d gone to bed i popped out and snuck two more into the living room, ready as a surprise in the morning.
oh daddy did good today, he did very good. he came back from sainsbury’s (other supermarkets are of course available!) with a pumpkin! a pumpkin hurrah hurrah. ronnie was most excited, and before anyone could even say the word pumpkin, ronnie had whisked it off to the kitchen table ready for us to get our carve on.