Sunday, 30 September 2012

Simply straightforward

Today, we took the boys to the Big Smoke. A mean feat considering I had a bit of a late one last night and was awoken at 5.30am with the words 'when is it breakfast time mummy' with no signs of even the vaguest possibility of a sneaky half hour cuddle on the horizon....
However, we had a plan, and it (pretty much) worked.
Instead of planning a big day out and packing in lots of big smoke stuff, we opted for the 'lets just do ONE thing' and get back in time for lunch.
After all when you're 3 and 4 year old boys the train ride is the best bit anyway!

So our One Thing was to climb The Monument.

Right by the tube, right by the river, a perfect counting the steps opportunity with good views (and a Percy Pig sweet) when you get to the top.
It's a got a good history too, and if you like numbers (as does my 4 year old) all the more better.

(Cue all day rendition of the nursery rhyme 'London's Burning")

The Monument was designed by Christopher Wren and was erected to commemorate the Great Fire of London and to celebrate the rebuilding of the City of London.
It is the tallest isolated stone column in the world!
It is 61 metres high (202 feet) - the exact distance between it and the site in Pudding Lane where the fire began.
It has 311 steps and was completed in 1677, 11 years after the Great Fire.
Man, that there tower has been there a LONG time...

 and it's a long way up...

So we made it to the top, ate our Percy pigs, took some rather disappointing photos of the views (only had my phone so long distance shots on a gloomy day - hopeless), and all felt pretty chuffed when we were presented with a certificate once we reached the bottom!
(I am especially pleased we have something material that will come in handy for next weeks 'show and tell'...)

Had a quick look at the river as we polished off our sarnies 'bankside' then pootled off home. Great success all round. And no stress! Simple.

Highly recommended for a fun thing to do for all ages!
Am on the look out for some similarly simple and straightforward sightseeing/cultural ideas for our next visit so if anyone has any suggestions they will be gratefully received!

Hope you all had lovely weekends too..have a good week x

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Last night, for the first time in years, I went to the cinema.

What a treat.

If you haven't seen it then I urge you to go and see Take this Waltz.
It's beautiful, emotional, funny, delicate and powerful.
I laughed a lot and also shed a tear or two, decided I'm in love with Michelle Williams,  started an anthropologie wish list (Margot's clothes were so decidedly anthro quirky), and decided to print some fabric bags (one day).
...and then I came home with 'Video Killed the Radio Star' emblazened on my mind.
Great song, but tricky to fall asleep with it on repeat in my head....

A great metaphor for life, and all it's emotional complexities.

Here's to the ups and downs, and everything in between x

Friday, 21 September 2012

Rich pickings!

Inspired by the blue skies and slight chill in the air we got out and about, discovering some unexplored territory nearby and came across a wonderful little orchard ... (as you do)...

Well, not quite... 

I've never been apple picking before, so decided to do a bit of online research to find our nearest orchards, thinking we could merrily pop along and help ourselves.... 
But it seems unless you're in the know, there aren't too many of these around. Most orchards my neck of the woods are either privately owned, or community orchards.  
Community orchards do sound like a great idea. They may be owned or leased for or by the community or parish council, or by a local authority or voluntary body. As well as enjoying the place, a gathering of friends, neighbours and locals can share the harvest or profit from its sale, taking responsibility for any work in the orchard.

This sounds like great thing to be part of. So with energy I contacted the trust who run the local orchard.
Unfortunately my nearest community orchard asks friends and visitors not to pick the apples, as they are all collected to be used for apple juice, with the proceeds from Apple Day sales going back to the trust that runs the orchard and the park it sits in - so as much as I love this idea, my plans for foraging for free apples was scuppered!

Not to be put off,  my tack changed slightly and I did find a lovely farm orchard running PYO apples rasps and blackberries half an hours drive away... so although my romantic dreams of stumbling across a crumpled tree in the middle of nowhere laden with fruit just waiting for me were dashed, we were still able to pick THE most delicious apples I have ever tasted.

And the boys loved it.

And look what we made!

A dorset apple cake with additional lemon and blackberries to add to the merriment. Deelish!

Thanks also for your lovely comments on my last post, the boys have both had a great week at nursery and school, and I've had a great week clock watching, going to the loo unaccompanied and achieving and completing various household tasks!

Happy weekends to you all x

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

A 'First' for all of us!
T's first day of reception class (age 4 and 3/4 he'll tell you)
J's first day of nursery (grand old age of 3)
My first day with the house to myself for 3 whole hours (whoop!)

Ah my boys, it's just the beginning for you, what an exciting adventure you have waiting for you. 

Tears from my big boy, and joy from my little one, they are both so different.

(I spent the first 5 minutes of my 3 hours solo looking at this picture with blurred vision as I blinked back the tears myself!)

I spent the next 2 hours and 55 minutes cleaning the bathroom, dusting the lounge and hoovering the whole house. 
But, you know, I completed the task without (any) interruptions - an acheivement indeed. 

Happy new week to you all x

Sunday, 16 September 2012

It's been a while...

Ah, it's been a while. Sorry about that!

I reached a bit of an impass way back in July, where I felt like my only free time was spent on the laptop either thinking what to write, writing, or reading blogs. As enjoyable as it was whiling away those hours between 8 and 11pm I really needed to do some 'real life' things too. Like stop ignoring my husband!
So I had a little break, I hope you don't mind. (If you're still around!)

Our 'summer' was long, yet over too soon, and the sunny days feel like they've only just arrived, yet the nights draw so quickly now.

Much has happened over the last few months, yet I can barely remember it all!

I hope you have all had happy summers (and winters!) and are enjoying settling down into the change of season. Have much enjoyed your posts.

Great changes are afoot, bringing a smidgen more 'me' time...
So I aim to begin again, and keep it simple.  A good record, so it's easier to remember. A simple life.

So, come let us have some tea and continue to talk about happy things.

ps. as you can see I finally pulled my finger out and did some artwork at last.