12 March 2018

Snow day!

I thought I had better get round to sharing a few pictures from when the beast from the east hit before Spring weaves it's way in and everything is looking green and fresh and the snow is long gone. 

It was romantic to see the snow falling non-stop, filling our world with white in an area that hardly gets transformed like this. There were whoops of joy from the street outside when the children got turned away at the school gates on Thursday morning. When the snow eased a little we ventured out to the village shops (a post office with essentials and a pharmacy) to stock up a little as you know, we're British and like to panic. But thankfully we did as the next day it was all gone! Rob was working from home anyway like normal, so we had nowhere to go and nothing to do other than enjoy the snow. But in actual fact, other than a few little runs around the garden, the wind was too strong and the temperature way too cold to enjoy it for long so we snuggled inside. Whilst Rohan napped Theo and I did some science experiments and then we all watched a movie together before our local pub was calling to us for open fires, homemade chips and a pint of guiness! We felt like true artic explorers, bravely battling the drifts and blizzard to get there.

Friday was the true snow day, and we dragged Rob away from his work for a little while to go sledging. There was no need to worry about where to go, we just had to follow the steady stream of people trekking up the hill pulling all sorts of sleds and homemade contraptions. We greeted classmates and people from the village before making our way up the top of the slope. This really is the best place we've ever been able to go sledging (to be fair it's not snowed this much in five years!) and it's only 10 minutes walk from our house. But it was amazing to see so many people out enjoying themselves, ourselves included!

Later Theo and I attempted to make a snowman, but after a lot of sweating away and time spent we only managed a meagre snowman. It was completely the wrong type of snow (who knew there was the wrong and right sort of snow to make a snowman!?) and way too powdery to stick together. But we persevered and made the skinniest, most sorrowful snowman you ever did see. Rohan had his first proper experience of snow too, we sat him down in his all in one and he was thoroughly enjoying watching everything going on until Theo put snow down his neck which he didn't really love! But then cue some falling into the snow from Theo and all was ok again, that is until a rogue snowball aimed at Theo hit him on the side of the head and it was game over. Not the best introduction to snow right?!

On Saturday with the snow already starting to melt we made one last trek up the hill for some sledging again, and then back home to make a much better snowman. It literally took about ten minutes after rolling three giant balls up around the garden to have a 6ft snowman whose head didn't cave in as soon as you touched it. 

By Sunday we were all ready to get out the village after being stuck for three days, and the roads seemed a lot clearer, so we got up early and headed into to Bristol and enjoyed the sudden jump up in temperature and the ability to go outside without 36 layers on. So that was that, our snow holiday for 2018!

20 February 2018

For the love of Spring

Over half term in between the rainy miserable days spent tucked up inside playing, baking and sleeping we managed to sneak in a few trips to glimpse the first signs of the changing seasons. Spring is my all time favourite. I probably say this about Autumn, because I do love it too, but I think Spring just tips it for me. I love the hope and optimism, the awaking of nature, the new life and coming out of hibernation. I love seeing those new signs of colour, buds and shoots growing stronger each day, searching out the sunshine and preparing for those longer days ahead. Both Autumn and Spring remind me of the need to reflect on those long seasons of winter and summer, of a time for change, preparing and taking stock. That's what I love about them the most, they give me the most reason and encouragement to really think about what I want and need to achieve or change, to make plans and help me think about what's important. It's so easy to get caught up in what we 'should' be doing that it's easy to forget to keep your feet on the ground or step out of you comfy hibernation.

I feel that Spring often gets overshadowed by the excitement for the summer, whilst I do like Summer I usually find it too long, a bit disappointing, sometimes quite sweaty and a little pressured to have "the best summer ever". Whereas Spring is just free to be enjoyed for what it is. It's slow to start but once it's here, it's everywhere you look. Roadsides and streets are bursting with blossoming trees and flowers, the trees are getting ready to unfurl their new leaves, there's fresh colours everywhere and you know what, the weather is actually always pretty good. Those first few days where you can feel the sun warm you skin for the first time in months, the need to shed your coat for a few hours in the afternoon and of course the darkness retreating a little every day and those evenings inching along to be longer. There's no pressure for it to be hot or sunny, there are just beautiful days to be enjoyed where there's always new life to spot and an ever changing palette of colour before your eyes. When people announce that they're ready for the Summer, or that a nice Spring day "feels like Summer is here!" then I'm the first to fight in Springs corner for it not to be overlooked. Don't wish away this magical, beautiful time of hope and optimistic days, where it's not too hot or not too cold. Where magnolia flowers take your breath away and you find your self taking detours just to spot out the biggest and the best blooms. I'd swap a warm Spring day with fresh air over a hot, humid, sweaty, sticky summers day spent being chased by wasps and hiding in the shade, every time!

ahem...anyway. I shall just step down from my soapbox and hide it away and get on with showing you a few pictures from our walk around one of my favourite National Trust properties, Lacock Abbey. When we arrived we played in the park and ate our lunch outside (the first mini picnic of the year!) and then ran for cover to the cafe from the rain and hail shower, perfectly timed for scones and hot chocolate. The clouds then disappeared as we made our way round the grounds, taking in the carpets of snowdrops, crocus's and emerging daffodils and wild garlic. We stopped by the greenhouse, admiring the sweet smelling hyacinths and trying to stroke the prettiest but grumpiest cat!

Walking through the grounds surrounded by bird song and the gentle sunshine just felt so restorative and calming. We found another cat to stroke, a rope swing and tree stumps to climb. It just felt good to be outside again. We then explored the Abbey as well as Henry Fox Talbots house before heading home. We didn't get to explore the village again this time, but we can always save that for next time!

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