Saturday, 24 August 2013

Free your mind

This little blog has been held in my holding bay for several weeks as I struggled to master efficient uploading of all the beautiful photos that I snapped. As the weather is so rubbish today (damp and windy where I am), I thought I'd share some of our lovely adventures in Cornwall in July.


For weeks now I have been longing for a holiday, time to be free from the rigours of routine and the confinements of the house. Having said that things are always easier in the Summer months when the weather is warmer and your can leave your doors and windows open all day and feel the fresh breeze of the air circulating and sense the bright warm rays beaming in at different times of the day. Aaaaarrrr  find myself gazing into space at the mere thought of those dreamy days.......

Well a couple of months back I saw an advert in 'The Mother Magazine' (THE best parenting magazine that exists), for a caravan on a family site in Cornwall, £120 a week....well you can't go wrong for £120, can you?
I enquired straight away and got the ball rolling on a couple of potential dates and then before I knew it, my holiday was booked and upon us.
Well now, jet setting to a caravan in Cornwall with three children is quite an adventure as a single parent but not one to be deterred from, I mean, caravanning is quite a different experience from my usual tenting pursuits, tenting to me is camping, staying in a caravan is most certainly not :-)

It's four hours to where we were going in Cornwall, four long hours trying to concentrate on road signs and ensuring that you take the right junctions on and off the various motorways, four hours after a night out with friends until the small hours....four hours spotting Eddie Stobart lorries (did you know they all have names?) and REAL Dubbers (the old type VW camper vans), am I only only person who looks for these?

The excitement brews as the little people try to be the first to spot the sea, then there it is.......'It was me.......', 'No I saw it first......' Arrrrrrrhh

When I'm away with the children or out for the day, I do try to give myself to them completely. It's much easier when you are free from the distraction of the computer and the telephone, but oh it can be exhausting. I ended up in bed with the children at 9.30 each day playing 'In my holiday suitcase I packed....' and doing a back massage train......we did chuckle!

I do love being free from the safety of my home, free from my 'stuff', living the simple life with only the basics. You improvise often when in this situation and make do with little. Really makes you appreciate everything.
My first moment of improvisation was not being able to take the table off the wall at one end of the caravan to make a bed. (The table fits between the seats). One bed had been left set up for us so we all crammed in, it was cosy, but fun!!

There are sooo many adventures to be had in this country. Cornwall is especially good with lots of mystical, magical connections especially in the area we visited which was supposedly connected to the legendary story of King Arthur.
It is so easy to spend vast amount of money visiting tourist attractions,but there really are sooo many things that you can do for free that can be enjoyed by all the family, it just takes a little bit of imagination.

So where did we go? Well......

Pottering about on the beach was fun, there are always things to find, sandcastles to build, mud to squelch in and of course the sea to wade and swim in (if you're brave enough!)

Then there are pretty villages to walk round and seaside harbours to explore.....

The accomodation provides entertainment and adventure too!

Pasties to eat, crabs to catch and naughty seaguls who steal your bait but don't expect small boys to challenge them and win it back!!

Rocks to climb, caves to explore and flowers to smell.......

Fairies to find and magic to create......


Family members to love and cherish........
Memories to last a lifetime.....



Monday, 19 August 2013

A hub of activity

Sometimes I sit back and think that we don't do a lot, then I download the pictures from my camera and realise that we are always busy!

The Summer holidays are whizzing by, only another two weeks left (officially ;-)), when you home educate you can choose your own terms and schedule. The holidays have been so busy with children visiting us at number 2 so frequently that I might need a little holiday to get over the chaos! The little darlings do seem to gravitate to my front door and within, cannot possibly imagine why? I need an excuse to enjoy the peace that the end of the holidays will undoubtedly bring?? I think not!!

So what business have the past couple of weeks brought?

Well firstly we took a little trip South to visit my grandparents. They live near Chichester, it's a pretty area of the country. The children always enjoy looking at old photos, playing with the toys my sisters and I made when we were younger, throwing pebbles on the beach and visiting the arcades (the latter is never my idea!). I like to walk along the dirt tracks that are parallel to the beach where there are many little bungalows made from old train carriages. The fascination of trying to spot the carriages within the structure of the buildings never seems to bore me. Many of the old shacks have now fallen into a state of ruin and have been purchased by developers, seems such a shame to me that the quaint little houses that utilised disused carriages are flattened to make way for modern buildings. I'm not one for change me!!

Chips on the beach

Yes, you can have one too!

I always dream of owning a little carriage cottage, renovating it sympathetically....I see myself and my children escaping life in the fast lane for relaxing breaks. It would be a simple affair, no T.V, only basic furniture and fittings and nothing but essential technological items, handmade items adorning the place, patchwork quilts, crochet blankets....arrr dream dream dream!!
If you want something enough your dreams often become reality..........

How strong......!

The past couple of visits that we have made, we have taken a walk around the marina in Chichester. Most people would be drawn to the flashy boats that line the holding bays, so many of them. But me, little nostalgic me, is drawn only to the primitive house boats that float on the canal on the walk to get there. A thriving community of folk seem to occupy these 'mobile homes' on water with their canal side gardens. Once again I find myself dreaming .......I was slightly disappointed on this recent visit as the reeds on the bank had grown up and blocked my view totally of the beautiful boats that now lead a secret hidden existence, wonderful for the owners no doubt. A couple were 'For Sale' so I couldn't restrain myself from taking a peek on line when I got home....alas, no surprises, they are waaayyyyy out of my price range!

Continue to dream........

Thursday on the recommendation of two friends we visited the Cotswold Lavender farm. The fragrance was divine as we drove up the lanes to get there. Unfortunately the lavender had almost finished being harvested so we missed seeing the beautiful fields of purple. Shall definitely pop a note into my diary for next year........

Harvesting the lavender

Friday last week I managed to fall for the children's plea for bikinis (not Small Boy of course!)....really I didn't mind as I quite enjoy a little ride into Oxford. It was quite nice on Friday to be leisurely going into town and for once not having to rush for a workshop which is so often the case.
I had warned the girls that bikinis aren't really great for wearing to the pool. I have really bad memories of jumping into the pool as a child and having my top end up around my neck...ummmm not good!!
Anyway, we headed for Prima Market (Primark) and quite frankly once the children had spotted the large collection of 'onesies' the bikini idea had gone completely (much to my relief!!). I am guessing that no other idiots are buying fluffy onesies yet due to our fabulous stint of amazing Summer weather (haven't been able to say that for a few years), so onesies all round (well not for me - I already have one from years gone past, but that's another story...please don't tell the children!).
The children excitedly changed as soon as we got home and within no time at all a 'onesie' party had begun on the roundabout with all the Timberyard (and beyond) children joining in the fun!!

This last two days the children have not wanted to leave the house. I have suggested visiting friends, popping out to explore but 'no', the girls have been incredibly busy (with neighbouring friends) creating their own little 'bear' making enterprise. I am always amazed at the amount of hard work and dedication that the children put into making their dreams a reality. I am not sure what sparked the idea this time? Perhaps the 'build a bear' bear that my niece left when she last came to stay?

The girls created their own pattern, sourced their own supplies (from my stash of fabrics) and learnt how to use an electric sewing machine (four of them!). I have to say it is a tad nerve wrecking allowing them freedom with such an item but I wasn't prepared to sit for two days minding them! So far no screams (well not that I've heard anyway!)
So six bears have so far been made with hand sewn faces by Miss P and they tell me that each one has a satin sewn heart within its cute is that?!
Six bears have all been sold on the green..... and a further thirteen bears have been ordered....
I can see that I'm not going to get the use of my house back for sometime :-(......oh well, being banished from the lounge and the kitchen has given me time to do all those jobs that simply wont do themselves!!


Of course Small Boy had to help with 'the jobs that wont do themselves'....
It's great fun watching the brush come out of the top!