Category Archives: My week

My Week

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So, we’ve almost made it through the first week back after Christmas! How did you cope?

It’s not been too bad here. We kept our decorations up until Twelfth Night, so things have still been feeling quite twinkly. They’re all packed away now, and I’m glad we didn’t rush to take them down. I’ve enjoyed spotting the few last decorations around town too…

Baubles in a window

Our last Saturday of the holidays was spent pottering around the house tidying, before we headed out at dusk for an adventurous little picnic in the dark. It was a great end-of-the-holidays moment – reminding us to notice the magical moments which might otherwise be overlooked.

A picnic at dusk

On Sunday, we divided ourselves up. James and Gabriel went to see the new Star Wars film, and Tom and I headed to Church Farm at Stow Bardolph to see some animals. The film was every bit as exciting as my nearly seven-year-old hoped, and his head is now full of it all. Tom, Grandma and I enjoyed the simpler pleasures of meeting a litter of adorable piglets!

Piglets at Church Farm

Here’s what else we’ve been up to this week…

Early starts and pretty a new radio

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Tuesday was the first day back at school for the boys, and day one of my new resolution to get up earlier. I’ve made the bitter pill a little sweeter by buying myself a new radio (with an alarm) to wake me up in the mornings. It may start burbling at 6:30am, but at least it looks pretty while it’s doing it. James and I have different tastes in early morning listening though. Radio 4 or Radio 2? Doom and gloom or inane chatter? I’ve tried them both this week, and I think the Today programme is just about winning. Dreary, but easier on the early-morning ears. You never know, I might learn something.

Running

I’ve been for two runs this week, and it feels great! I’ve never been a natural runner, but I’m seeing a definite improvement each time I go out. This week I managed my furthest run yet – 1.7 miles and it actually didn’t feel too hard. I’m trying to increase very gradually though, so it’s still enjoyable. I’ve noticed I feel much more creative and focused on the days I’ve been out running. I usually listen to music but swapped it for Podcasts this week. This was actually much more interesting than music, and completely distracted me from my aching legs. My favourite this week was an old Desert Island Discs, featuring my favourite author Elizabeth Jane Howard.

Eating better lunches

Green Soup

Another of my resolutions for 2016 – to clean up my lunchtime act and swap my peanut butter sandwiches for something a little more diverse. This week I made a vivid green soup from broccoli, peas and spinach (a whole bag!) and ate it with smoked salmon on rye bread. It tasted nicer than it looks, although it’s only something to have in fairly small doses. We’ve managed to eat all the leftover Christmas chocolate (we didn’t have much due to my stinginess) so the temptation isn’t there. I’m really missing my late afternoon chocolate and glass of sherry though. It’s definitely time to move on to healthier pastures though –  as the world’s biggest zit, slap bang in the middle of my forehead, proves!

Wearing cosy new clothes and new perfume

Seasalt cardigan

I love my new Seasalt cardigan, which I’ve barely taken off since it arrived just before Christmas. It really is the perfect winter woolly! It’s pretty much sold out now in the sale, but they always have lots of other similarly lovely things. And I’ve also been wearing the perfect winter perfume from Anthropologie, Dogwood Blossom. It’s a sort of spicy, musky scent – which I love.

Dogwood blossom

in other news, I’ve been watching lots of Star Wars with my son (again) and our dishwasher broke down (disaster!) but seems to be ok now.

I hope you’ve all had a good first week back at school, work or wherever you’ve been. I’m looking forward to a weekend of lie-ins. New Year’s resolutions absolutely don’t count at weekends…

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My Week

Christmas florist

It’s the calm before the storm. This week has been my last chance to get things done quietly (as a grown-up) before the lovely, giddy madness of the school holidays starts.

But this week hasn’t all been about Christmas preparations. Last weekend the boys went to stay at their grandparents, and James and I got to spend some time on our own. On Saturday we hopped on the train to London – the first time we’d been to the capital together for a couple of years. I really wanted to visit one of the Anthropologie stores as I’ve long been a fan online, but never visited for real.

Tatchbrook Street

Apart from that wish, we didn’t have much of a plan, except to just have a bit of a wander. I’m naturally nostalgic and so couldn’t resist suggesting that we started our meandering in Pimlico, where we lived for a bit. So, we caught a tube to Pimlico station, then walked through the familiar old streets (past our old flat, and the road where we used to spend ages hunting for parking spaces). It’s nine years now since we lived there, and it’s gradually feeling further and further away. Familiar, but not immediately so.

Pimlico

From there, we walked across to Sloane Square. We called into the Saatchi Gallery (mainly because it was free). I tried my best not to be too middle-aged and critical but kept having to remember to rearrange my facial expressions as I walked round.

Chelsea

We then walked down the King’s Road to the Anthropologie shop. It was every bit as swoon-making as I hoped it would be. It was all very exotic, and unlike my usual shopping experiences.

The Christmas window at Anthropologie

The Christmas window at Anthropologie

There was even a dachshund. Of course!

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As the light started to fade, we jumped on the tube to Embankment and had a leisurely stroll along the South Bank – which is a picture-perfect scene of fairy lights and stalls at this time of year. We walked and walked.

There’s something about visiting London which always involves so much leg-work. Let’s just walk round the next corner, and see what’s there. And so it goes on! We ended up walking all the way back to Kings Cross, via a few stops. Fun but exhausting!

St Paul's Cathedral

St Paul's Cathedral

On Sunday we collected our new (pretend) wood burner and got it set up in our sitting room. Clearly, it’s never going to be the same as the real thing, but I wanted something to cheer up our empty hearth this Christmas. It didn’t disappoint and is surprisingly convincing. Tom, particularly, is captivated by its charms. I hope it won’t be too long before we can introduce them to the joy of real fires, but – for now – this is a very cheering substitute.

Electric Woodburner

Tuesday was a jam-packed day. In the morning we visited Gabriel’s junior school (which he’ll be moving to in September) and then we drove over to a local farm shop to buy our Christmas tree. After the usual amount of indecision we eventually chose the tree we’d seen first (always the way) and brought it home with us. Awful dank weather, which continued into the afternoon when we were back at school for Gabriel’s Christmas performance. Which was lovely – his last at  infant school!

Christmas Gingerbread

Now, for me, gingerbread is huge part of festive baking. It’s one of my favourite things to make – so easy, simple and satisfying. I made a big batch of snowflakes and round biscuits which the boys helped me ice. They’re now all packaged up and ready to give to the boys’ teachers this morning.

Christmas Gingerbread

On Thursday I had a trip to Cambridge to do my last few bits of Christmas shopping. I didn’t tick everything off my list, but I always like to look around the shops there and soak up the atmosphere.

This week I have also enjoyed…

Watching Back in Time for Christmas on BBC2. This was a lovely two-parter – just what I needed!

Reading Prudence by Jilly Cooper. I need an easy read at this time of year. This short novel by JC is perfect escapism – very dated, but just the ticket if you like that sort of thing!

And finally… our Christmas tree is in the house. It’s not decorated, but it’s waiting with bated breath for the excitement to come. As are we all. 

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My Week

December sunshine

Here we are at the end of another week. I’m not quite sure how we got here – the days are slipping by at an alarming rate and I still have rather a lot to do before Christmas. Everything is a bit like running through treacle at the moment – motivation, inspiration, exercise… but I’m trying to push on and keeping chipping away at things.

Last weekend we had a touch of the stormy weather in East Anglia, and the boys and I went for a very windy walk at Wicken Fen with my parents.

Wicken Fen

We then drove on to Anglesey Abbey and had a sneak peek at their fabulous Winter Lights. We’ve left it too late (again) to get tickets for the Winter Lights event, but we arrived at about 3pm and the skies were already darkening – dark enough for us to enjoy a little hint of the magic.

Anglesey Abbey Winter lights

We also visited the house where the National Trust have re-created the most fabulous 1960s Christmas in the service wing of the house, which is not normally open to the public. Frustratingly I had a camera failure whilst there so have no photos to share with you. But imagine hot cheese straws, paper bunting and lots of cosy fires. It was wonderful, and I’d actually quite like to go back this weekend, decent camera in hand.

Anglesey Abbey Winter lights

Meanwhile, James had chosen then stormiest weekend imaginable to visit the Isle of Man, which sustained dreadful damage thanks to Hurricane Desmond. Gale force winds, roads and bridges washed away – even a whole double-decker bus caught in collapsed road. Fortunately he managed to fly back once the storm abated on Sunday. My heart goes out to those hit by storm damage at this time of year.

On Monday, I had a lovely crafting session making some simple homemade Christmas cards. I particularly enjoyed making the snowy trees. You may be disappointed to hear that I resisted the urge to add glitter in the end, but I might help the boys make some slightly less tasteful ones this weekend. True to my classic disorganised style, I’ve made cards but haven’t posted a single one yet. 

Snowy Christmas tree card

As I mentioned earlier, the darker days are making it harder and harder to feel energetic and inspired. I’m feeling more and more tired and unmotivated as the days go on. In a bid to counter this I’ve been trying to exercise more this week. I’ve managed two runs and a swim, plus my usual walking. Everything aches, but I’m hoping something will change next week. All I know it that the more I sit around, the worse I feel. I tried a couple of new routes for my runs and it’s always great to be rewarded with a heart-lifting bit of sunshine.

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On Wednesday the Christmas merry-go-round got into full swing with Tom’s nativity play. The poor boy had already performed it several times by the time it got to our turn to go in (it’s a nursery and reception combined extravaganza). He was a servant to a king, and did very well – despite his irritation that he didn’t have a bigger role!

Nativity costume

Although the festivities are ramping up a gear at school, we’re still managing to keep a lid on things at home. We’ve not decorated yet, and that’s the way we like it! The boys don’t seem to mind so much either this year, and we haven’t had any pestering. I think that now they’re older they appreciate that this is how we do things. I know the waiting will make it all the more special for them too.

This week has also has also been about:

Drinking… Baileys. James bought a giant bottle back from the airport and it’s just been so tempting.

Listening… to a delightful little radio programme featuring children’s author Shirley Hughes. It’s all about her memories of teenage dances during the Second World War. It’s only half an hour long, and an altogether soothing one at that. Listen to it here.

Reading… The Jewel Garden by Monty and Sarah Don. I’ve read this before, but re-read it this week. It’s described as a story of ‘despair and redemption’ and is essentially a memoir about the collapse of their jewellery business in the late eighties, and what happened next. You don’t really need to be particularly  interested in gardening to enjoy this (although it does help a bit). It’s beautifully written and I highly recommend it.

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My Week

Craft stall

Phew, it’s been a busy week!

On Saturday my mum and I had a craft stall at the school Christmas fair. I’d been knitting lots of little decorations, and my mum had sewn lots of lovely things too. It was a good day and we enjoyed sitting at our little stall, listening to the town band play outside. All of my snowmen have now gone off to new homes. We’re all a bit sad to see them go, so I’ll have to make some more.

Craft stall

After the fair, I got straight on with the challenge of making Tom’s birthday cake. This year his only wish was for it to have a horse on top. I made a three-tier sponge, iced with vanilla buttercream – plus a horsey on top!

Pony party birthday cake

Tom’s 5th birthday party on Sunday was a great success. The children’s entertainer was very funny – the children were in stitches and loved all the puppets and magic tricks.

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Tom’s actual birthday was on Monday, so after school there were more presents and cakes. It’s hard to believe that the baby of our family has turned five. In many ways time has passed quickly – but equally, that snowy morning he was born seems a very long time ago. Does anyone remember how incredibly cold the winter of 2010 was?

The rest of the week has been spent recovering from the excitement of the birthday boy’s big weekend. We missed out on our usual weekend lie-ins, and I can really feel it! Birthday parties always seem to equal a bad back for me, so I’ve been taking things pretty easy and not venturing out too far. Mainly drinking lots of tea out of my favourite Christmas mug…

Cath Kidston Christmas mug

Christmas mugs are about as festive as we’re getting in this house so far, apart from our lovely kindness branch. We don’t decorate the house properly until the end of term (although I’m sure a few things will creep out before then) and quite frankly I have been in Christmas-denial this week. I have done very little so far, and I’m mainly procrastinating. Which is pretty normal for me, and it’ll all pull together in the end – which is all part of the fun, surely? Panic will probably begin to set in when the school plays start next week.

I may be avoiding my to-do list, but I did buy some new wooden hearts for 50p each in Wilko’s. These will surely come in useful as gift tags when it comes to wrapping up my presents (when I remember to buy them).

Wooden star gift tags

This week I have also been… 

Eating… all the leftover cakes from the party.

Having… my carpets cleaned. Not the best time of year, perhaps, but they’re slowly beginning to dry.

Reading these lovely blog posts…

Hannah Bullivant’s (from Seeds and Stitches) post about How to avoid stress and bankruptcy this Christmas.

Emma Mitchell’s post all about foraging and preserving plants for homemade decorations. I’ll definitely be using some of these tips!

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My Week

Late November sky

This week we’ve been enjoying some absolutely stunning late-November weather. Soft pinky skies, frosty mornings and lots of bright sunshine. Believe it or not the above photo was actually taken just after nine o’ clock in the morning. A little further down the road were these lovely ponies…

Ponies in the morning sun

Over the weekend we made the most of the first icy days – jumping in frozen puddles, eating roasted chestnuts and making our Christmas cake. You can read more about it here. It feels like winter is really on its way.

Frosty leaves

When I haven’t been crunching through leaves, I have been busy this week with some new voluntary work and helping out with at my son’s Great Fire of London day at school. After scouring the charity shops, and with a little help from my clever mum and her sewing machine, we managed to rustle up two reasonably passable seventeenth century costumes…

Great Fire of London, Seventeenth Century Costumes

We had a really fun day full of special activities. I helped the children make pomanders with oranges and cloves, and  they also got to try all sorts of different things like clay pot making, writing with quills and even some seventeenth century-inspired cookery.

The rest of the week has been spent getting things ready for a very busy weekend: a craft stall this Saturday, followed by Tom’s fifth birthday party on Sunday. There’s lots of frantic baking and party-bag assembling going on. I’m feeling very disorganised and there’s still so much to do.  I’ll share more details with you next week!

Here are a few other things I’ve done this week:

Reading another old Joanna Trollope favourite, The Rector’s Wife. 

Drinking hot winter cordial. It’s officially too chilly for cold drinks in our house!

Wearing some pretty unforgivably scruffy clothes, but being able to hide them under giant winter coats and scarfs.

And finally, here’s what I’ve been enjoying in the blogging world:

Rebecca’s delicious trifle recipe.

Kate’s post about some real blogging no-nos.

The Royal Mint’s post all about Stir-up Sunday featuring some of my photos (can you spot them?)

I hope you all have a great weekend!

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My Week

November rainbow

It’s been a dark week hasn’t it? In every sense of the word.

I don’t tend to mention politics or what’s happening in the news on my blog. It’s my own cosy, cocoon-like world. However, I can’t not mention the sad events in Paris last weekend. I’ll be brief: I feel shocked, saddened and fearful.

Partly in response to this, and also because my youngest son has been poorly, we’ve been hibernating this week. The hatches have been battened down – both physical and emotionally.

Like most people, we’ve been hiding from the wild weather and finding pleasure in the simple and small things:

Eating our box of American mac and cheese. It was so much nicer than I imagined. We ate it with chippolatas, roasted onions and salad. Of course, we’re now wondering where our next box will come from. I need to find a UK source! We also tried the pancake mix, also very nice – especially with the maple syrup.

American food

Watching Great Canal Journeys on Channel 4. Surely this must be the most calming, serene programme on television? We’ve watched a fair bit of news this week and this has been the perfect antidote. Every episode is basically the same, and there’s a good chance you might fall asleep. But that’s part of the appeal, surely? One day we’d love to have a go ourselves – the boys are keen too, although they really need to learn to swim first! Catch up on Channel 4 on Demand now.

Reading an old favourite. I love delving into our bookshelves and finding something to re-read. It goes some way to justifying keeping so many books in our house. This week I’ve really enjoyed re-visiting The Choir by Joanna Trollope. It’s all about a small Cathedral city (very much like the one we live in) and is so very readable. If you’re never tried Joanna Trollope before you should definitely give her books a go – my absolute favourite is A Spanish Lover

Nursery Food and tractor DVDs. Boiled egg and soliders, marmite toast, macaroni cheese – it’s all been about comforting nursery classics this week. I’ve also been very glad of out vast collection of Tractor Ted DVDs – perfect for my poorly little boy to watch on his ‘sofa bed’.

Boiled egg and soldiers

Knitting lots of little snowmen. These are for the boys’ school Christmas fair. My mum and I are having a stall at it next week. She has made lots of lovely things too.

Jean Greenhouse knitted snowmen

HIBS 100. On Thursday morning I had a lovely surprise when I realised I’d made it in to the HIBS100 top 100 for the first time. I’m number 91. I’m so pleased and it really has given me a little push to keep working hard on my blog. This week, I’ve tried really hard to get back to speed on everything (after letting things slip a bit earlier in the Autumn). It’s so nice to feel like ideas are beginning to flow again!

Sharpened pencils

And don’t forget this weekend is Stir-up Sunday. I’ve been writing about it here. It doesn’t have to be a big deal – how about just making a small cake? Or a jar of mincemeat (a lot easier than it sounds, I promise).

Stir-up Sunday

This week I’ve enjoyed reading these lovely blog posts:

Katie’s post about Remembrance.

Emma’s post about an adventurous Autumnal picnic

Laura’s post about how to cope when your husband goes away for work.

I hope you all have a good weekend. The weather is supposed to be turning wintry here. If I had a woodburner I’d light it!

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My Week

Ely Cathedral

This week has been a week of two halves.

From Saturday to Wednesday, James was away for work in America, so I was flying solo with the boys. We kept things fairly simple over the weekend, which was just as well as the weather was atrocious. We braved the rain for a while on Saturday so that Tom could go and have his nasal flu vaccine (did you know all four years olds are eligible for one?) and then had dinner out with my parents. There were lots of Remembrance Day things going on, and this traction engine seemed to be following us around town, much to the boys’ delight.

Steam engine

On Monday my mother and I had lunch to celebrate her birthday. It was a cold, grey day and only scampi and chips would do! On Tuesday I kept my head down and got on with the school runs.

When I’m on my own I find there’s less time left for creativity and so things have been a bit quiet on the blog. Generally, I stay up too late, eat badly and watch rubbish on the TV.

However, I did have a lot of fun with Autumn leaves this week…

Autumn leaf garland, or string

After so much wet weather, we woke up to sunshine on Wednesday morning. To say we were ecstatic is an understatement!

Ely Cathedral

The gloom of dark days is infectious, and we were more than ready for a change. James’ return from America also cheered things up, along with the selection of exotically unhealthy food he brought back with him…

American food

I’m sorry to report that Tootsie Rolls are revolting. I can’t pin down what they’re supposed to taste of. Chocolate? Liquorice? Maybe someone can enlighten me.

On Thursday I put out my beautiful new bedding for the first time. I am so thrilled with it, and still can’t believe it was only £12.

George bedding

Friday was a lovely day in Ely. I went to the annual Cathedral craft and gift fair with my mum, and it was as beautiful as ever. Twinkly lights and gorgeous things to buy.

Ely Cathedral

And finally, to end the week I’d like to introduce you to our new pet:

Mog

Mog the cat is loving her new home, and I hope she won’t get up to too much mischief. Like al lot of other people, I think Sainsbury’s has definitely won the Christmas advert competition with Mog’s Christmas Calamity (much better than the John Lewis Man on the Moon misery-fest). If you’re a fan of Judith Kerr’s books, then hot-foot it to Sainsbury’s now to get your own Mog and a copy of the special new book before they sell out! Yes, it’s all shamelessly consumerist, but I’ve always loved Mog and I don’t care.

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My Week

Autumn leaves

Leaves, leaves, everywhere! There’s been a bit of leaf crunching, but it’s mostly been leaf-squelching this week. The weather has been horrible – damp, mild and grey. The jewel-coloured leaves, littering the ground like confetti, have been a welcome contrast.

Last weekend consisted of a big post-holiday catch-up and sort-out. Our house always seems very cluttered and grubby when we return after a holiday, so we did a bit of much-needed sorting, sifting and culling. Lots went to the charity shop, the rest went in the bin. Now we just need to keep the momentum up!

De-cluttering

None of us can get over quite how dark it feels since the clocks went back. To try and embrace the gloom, we bought the boys some new torches and had a fun walk round town in the dark with them on Halloween night. We don’t do trick or treating, but a torch-lit walk felt like a fun way to embrace the occasion.

Monday was a training day here, so we had one last day to ourselves before school started. The boys spend the whole day deep in imaginative play together (love it when this happens). It felt like a really simple, sweet day – with no need for electronic distractions.

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On Tuesday morning we all managed to get up in time (hurrah!) and made it to school. The boys  were actually pleased to be going back, and their scooter wheels seemed to have a little bit of extra whizz in them.

I choose the wettest day of the week – Wednesday – for an outing to Cambridge. It didn’t stop raining once, but it was still good to have a wander round on my own. I visited the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, which I’d never been to. It’s free, and quite small, so didn’t take long – I think the boys would like aspects of it, so will try and take them at some point.

I also managed to squeeze in a visit to a few of my favourite shops. Tiger now has lots of festive stock in. I got a great haul, including lots of little mushrooms on wires which will be brilliant on wreaths and things. They definitely don’t count as clutter.

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And some teeny, tiny bottles – perfect for a little present of sloe gin? 2 for £1.

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And I may have taken a peek at the new Cath Kidston Christmas range and brought a little piece of it home with me…

Cath Kidston misletoe

Thursday – Bonfire Night – was another sludge-coloured, wet day. We were planning a few garden fireworks, but they were rained off. Fingers crossed for better weather this evening!

Here’s what else I’ve been doing this week….

Enjoying… using my lovely new motivational stationary from Alexia Claire. The boys and I have all got our to-do lists now, and I’m hoping it will help encourage my eldest to do his homework.

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Watching… More Made in Chelsea, but also catching up with the final of Gareth Malone’s Naked Choir.

Eating… Not very much after eating my own body weight in Manx ice-cream last week. Dieting is a bit dismal, really.

Wearing… a raincoat permanently and feeling very soggy and drippy.

Drinking… sherry. It’s November: officially time for sherry.

Has the weather been as dismal where you are too? As much as I love Autumn, I’m definitely ready for it all to be swept away and replaced with sparkly frosts and clearer days.

My Week

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It’s been the half-term holiday here this week, so forgive me if things have been a little quiet on the blog.

On Tuesday we flew across to the Isle of Man to stay with James’ parents.

As soon as we stepped off the plane, the boys were keen to race down onto the beach near Granny and Grandad’s house in Castletown. They found their favourite buckets and spades waiting for them at the house, and flew out the door.

Castletown beach

White Stuff hat

The next morning we started the day with a walk around Castletown, visiting the sweetie shop and walking along to the little Lighthouse.

Castletown

castletownharbour

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In the afternoon, we drove over to Peel and visited the House of Mananan museum. They’ve opened a new Viking exhibit there, which was quite interesting. Of course, we all ended up with The Muppet’s ‘Mahna Mahna’ stuck in our heads. Does this happen to everyone who visits, or maybe it’s just us…?

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On Thursday we paid our first visit to the Laxey Wheel – a famous Manx site, which we’ve somehow avoided until now. It’s the biggest working waterwheel in the world and is pretty impressive.

The Laxey Wheel

If you’re brave (and aged 6) you can climb right to the top…

Top of the Laxey Wheel

Or, if you’re like me, you can get scared half way up and have to go back down. Tom decided to come with me, and we explored the mid-way section.

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When safely back on the ground, there’s plenty of space to eat sandwiches and let off steam.

The Laxey Wheel

Then you can explore the nearby mine – still pretty drippy, in spite of the wheel being built to pump it out.

Laxey Mine

In the afternoon we headed back to Castletown and did our usual walk to Scarlett Point. The boys love it here as there’s such a fascinating mix of things to see – volcanic rocks, pebbly beaches and grassy banks.

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And, of course, there’s usually some giant puddles in the car park!

 

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We flew home on Friday, ready for a rest after all the fresh air!

I hope you’ve all had a great week too. Perhaps some of you have been on half-term too?

Lizzie x

My Week

Woodland walk

I’ve been feeling a bit down in the dumps this week.

A big reason for feeling like this is that I’ve been struggling to find inspiration for this blog. My thoughts have been dominated lately by my changing role now my children have started school. For weeks I’ve been trying to encapsulate this in a single blog post.

I’ve talked to lots of people, and re-written it many times. While this has been on my mind, other (more fun) ideas for the blog have been pushed out. Knowing I still hadn’t written what I wanted to say was weighing heavily on me.

But I’ve written it now, and published it here for you all to read. It’s rather long for a blog post – more of an essay, really. If you’re interested, then make yourself a large cup of tea, and settle down for a long read. I’d love to know what you think. Now it’s out there, I’m hoping to evict the dark clouds which have been squatting in my mind.

Now, here’s what else we’ve been up to:

On Sunday we went for our first ever full-family bike ride. Tom doesn’t have a bike yet, but we hired an adult bike with a child seat from Wicken Fen. It was his first time in a little seat (which, to be honest, he’s a little big for) but he enjoyed himself. We even saw the Konik ponies again!

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Gabriel whizzed along on his Islabike like a real pro. Once children can ride a bike it’s such a leveler – he can pedal just as fast as us. Soon Tom will inherit his bike, and we’ll invest in bigger Islabike for Gabriel. They’re such great children’s bikes – I’ll have to tell you more about them another time.

Wicken, Lodes Way

After we’d cycled for a while on the Lodes Way, we returned to the visitor centre for some cake and hot chocolate. Whilst there we met an adorable Border Terrier which made me doubt my resolve to get a Labrador puppy – the indecision in our family is terrible!

Tuesday was morning was spent picking sloes. It’s a few weeks since I last walked down this route and I was struck by its beauty. Autumn, you really are the loveliest.

Sloes

On Wednesday evening Gabriel was invested as a Beaver and received his neckerchief, woggle and lots of exciting badges.

What else have I been doing?

Watching…. Made in Chelsea. I’d managed to wean myself off this, but got sucked back in again this week and I’ve been catching up with the last few series. So lame, yet so addictive. I’m probably at least fifteen years older than their target audience, but I just can’t help myself. Anyway, moving swiftly on…

Reading… an old favourite, Wild Designs by Katie Fforde. I love Katie’s books and I always turn to them when I need a little comfort.

Hating… my hair. I wish it wasn’t so short – think I made a big mistake there. Not loving it curly anymore, either.  The damp weather is making it look like a mushroom. Or a thatch. I’m longing for long hair to tie up on rainy days.