A family trip to the New Forest

Last weekend it was my mother-in-law’s birthday. There are certain places on the South coast that have special memories and connotations for the hubster’s famiRoad trip with the boys!ly and Barton on Sea down on the other side of the New Forest is one of them, so it was decided that it would be a lovely idea to have a little day trip down there on Sunday, stopping for a pub lunch along the way.

After I’d done a few early hours of overtime at work we all piled into the car and set off. It was over an hours journey so we swung by the McD drive thru for a creamy Mocha to see us through!

The pub we visited is called The Rising Sun in Bashley. It has a great children’s play area which is always advisable, I find, when out for a meal with young children as they have zero patience whilst waiting for food and a tendency to run around amongst the tables amusing annoying other diners!

Rising Sun play area

We met up with my sister in law and nephews, T & O. O is just three months older than EJ and they look a bit like two peas in a pod and get on really well too which is lovely. T is ten and as JJ is five they all just mix along nicely with the older siblings helping the younger ones out when they get into any difficulties. JJ did get into a little slappy match with another boy about the same age but by the time we left JJ told me that this little boy was his best friend! Funny how they blow hot and cold.

After lunch we decided to skip dessert and instead headed back onto the road to New Milton and on to Barton on Sea where our first stop was the Beachcomber Cafe where they do a range of different ice creams. The toddlers just wanted to run around maniacally at this point – spot the similarity:

We took a little stroll down to the coast path with my mother in law’s little Yorkie, Chester afterwards:

JJ & Chester at Barton

I was amused to note the impressive warning sign for all the many and varied dangers to be found in this particular spot:

dangers of barton

This included the danger of being accidentally lumped by a low-flying hand-glider or taken out by a wayward wind-surfer! I;m sure the little person depicted is possibly the most unlucky stick figure in the world!

Despite the inherent dangers (!) it is a lovely little place for a day out – we’ve flown a kite down here before and this was the first place that JJ ever saw the sea (at four months!).

The best sign that it had been a successful day was this:

sleeping EJ

And after taking this, I soon joined him in the land of Nod!

Linking up to Country Kids over at Coombe Mill.

Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


Love the Little Things 29th August 2014


A landing on the Sun

This week, after recently finishing ‘One Step Too Far’ I decided to steer away from more properly ‘light’ summer reading (the summer is after all, more or less over) and I clicked into another book I downloaded on my Kindle several months ago: A Landing on the Sun by Michael Frayn. Frayn wrote one of my favourite books, ‘Headlong’ so I knew I would like his style of writing which tends to take you right along on a journey with the main character, as if you are inside their mind and a fly on the wall to their thoughts and discoveries. I was introduced to this book after reading The Happiness Project back in February and it was one of the books on the recommended reading list so, despite the fact that it is set within the walls of Whitehall and deep inside the grey civil service there is an element of mystery and intrigue and I’m fascinated to know what the secret ‘strategy unit’ project is and how it relates to happiness.



After tonight (Thursday!) I’m hoping that I will have had a chance to catch up on this week’s GBBO. I love that show and I also love puddings so this is right up my street!!


I’ve quite enjoyed listening to Scott Mills and his partner in crime Chris Stark filling in on the R1 Breakfast show this week. They have the potential to be genuinely funny.

We’ve also been treated to several new words from EJ whose language skills are finally picking up!


Fave winter boots

I rediscovered my current fave winter boots this week which is a bit of a sad thought – August isn’t even over yet! I also wore my raincoat quite a bit during the first part of the week when we were treated to a brief reminder of last winter’s floods.


Epic fail on this front! It’s been one of those weeks where it’s either non-stop children or work and not much in between.

And lastly…


We finally got a chance to catch up with my sister in law and nephews this week. T is ten so quite a bit older than my two but O is just a couple of months apart from EJ and it was lovely to see them play together and make friends (for the most part!). We took them swimming on the rainy bank holiday which was fun and then were treated to lunch by my mother and father in law. They are moving back to the UK from Germany this week and waiting for their new house in Wiltshire to be ready to move into so we had the opportunity to share two days in their company before I had to return to work.

I have been finishing off my last purchases for JJ’s upcoming pirate party and need to make sure I have everything in hand during the coming days.

The most exciting delivery of the week however, was my new iPhone which is the first Apple device I’ve ever owned believe it or not! I’m still trying to get to grips with it at the moment but I love the look and feel of it and I’m so excited that I will finally be able to properly use apps and set up an Instagram profile! Get me – dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st Century!

Happy Weekend Little Loves



Two’s company

Smoothie share

Having recently read a post from one of my favourite parenting blogs, Raising Edgar, on the subject of the decision to have (or in their case, not to have) more than one child, it got me thinking about why I wanted two myself. Of course there are just as many reasons for not wanting more than one as there are for not wanting any at all – the less you have the better off you are financially, the more time you are likely to have for your one child, or for yourself if you have none at all, the easier it is on your body and the way you live. Plus, no arguments to break up, no disagreements to mediate, no fights to referee…

As I said in my comments on the aforementioned post, I can’t, off the top of my head, give a really valid reason except to say that with one child it felt like we were a house with three walls and now, with our two boys, it feels like we’re a house with four walls – ie, complete, symmetrical.

Financially, childcare is the key factor that we had to take into consideration and I think timing is key on that one. Being an older mum I didn’t have the luxury of waiting for JJ to turn school age before getting knocked up for the second time, but I did, just about, have time to get him to pre-school age at which point nursery fees dropped by 3 quarters, just in time for EJ’s to kick in! In future it will of course be more expensive to go on holiday, out for a meal, day trip, anything really, but those are all luxuries that you either put aside for, downgrade or give up on until finances permit.

To us though (and I’m guessing to a vast number of other people) the material considerations are massively outweighed by the desire to fulfill our destiny as a family. I am one of two, my mum and dad are both one of two, the hubster is one of two – I guess for us two is the magic number. I can’t imagine being happier now if I’d been an only child. I love my sister and I love my nieces. I love the fact that that my boys have got cousins (albeit girls who are a decade older than them but still just as loved!) (their cousins on the hubster’s side live in another country mind you so they never get to spend time together but that’s another post).

And to the argument that you don’t need a sibling later in life because you make better friends – well, maybe that’s true, I don’t know from personal experience but I do appreciate feeling a part of something which to me, is forever, binding and unconditional. Maybe that’s not true of everyone’s families but it is true of mine.

I am also just starting to see the lovely relationship forming between my sons – even with EJ at the tender age of 15 months. JJ makes him laugh hysterically chasing him up and down, and, even though EJ is known as the Destroyer of All Things, JJ still also refers to him as his best friend.

And despite my longing for a little girl, I’m glad that I had two boys because I think they will have so much more to do with each other’s lives and so much more in common as time goes by.

To those reading this who may want but be unable to have a second child, I really hope this doesn’t come across smug or thoughtless in any way – I do realise how lucky I am and this is merely an unravelling of my own, up to this point, undefined reasoning for making my life (temporarily) more difficult. Two is not by any means better than one, or three, etc, ad infinitum, but it is nice to have been able to have the choice and been blessed with the gift of fulfilling the biological destiny which I had mapped out for myself as far back as I can remember.