This week has been a lovely, relaxed kind of week as it was half term and we have been on holiday to Wales, so there has been loads to smile about!
- Holiday – It has been such a busy few months that we really felt in need of a holiday. Mr T has been working so hard, he never, ever gets stressed with work but it has been so full on for him this term that I could see it was taking its toll on him and I really wanted us to get away and spend some quality time relaxing. It was a last minute thing, we only booked a couple of weeks before we left and it was nothing luxurious, just a two bedroomed lodge in a quiet setting between Tenby and Saundersfoot in South Wales, just us and the youngest 3 girls. It was just what we needed, we spent time playing on the beautiful beaches in Tenby and Saundersfoot (in sunshine as well as rain and wind, the weather was really mixed but we honestly didn’t care), had a couple of days out (to Folly Farm and the Dinosaur Park), ate fish and chips watching the waves on the seafront, drank coffee in cafes with beautiful views over the sea and just really enjoyed some family time. Mr T hadn’t been to the area before but for me it is a place that holds so many happy memories as I spent several childhood holidays there (my mum and dad went to Tenby on honeymoon so it was somewhere they always loved) and I also holidayed there a few times with my oldest three children (Tenby beach was the first beach Matty and Nathan ever went on) but I haven’t been for many years now so it was lovely to visit again.
- Folly Farm – I remember taking the oldest three kids to Folly Farm about 20 years ago so was looking forward to taking Tinker, Totsy and Luna. It’s fair to say it has changed and expanded a lot since I was last there, it was great for the kids and we had a really nice day. No longer just a farm, there is a zoo too with lions, giraffes, rhinos and loads more! There is plenty to do indoors (soft play, animal barns, indoor fairground, craft activities etc) as well as the zoo outdoors and it’s definitely worth a visit.
- A wet and windy afternoon on the beach – on Tuesday we woke up to rain but we decided the weather wasn’t going to stop us so after a lovely lazy morning we went for lunch at the South Beach Bar & Grill (which is right on the beach at Tenby and has fabulous views out to sea) then decided to walk across the beach. It was VERY windy, rainy and freezing cold, but we ran around on the sand, laughing together while we filmed little videos on our phones (which is Tinker’s new obsession) and just had the best time! I ended up looking like I’d wet myself as my jeans were soaked through (but only at the back where the water was just running down the back of my raincoat!), and we were all cold and wet but we didn’t care! As the tide was out we were able to walk across the beach into town and dried out with coffee, cake and hot chocolates with marshmallows in Caffe Vista, a lovely little cafe with sea views.
- Dinosaur Park – this was a lovely day out, in complete contrast to the wind and rain that we’d had the day before, the sun was shining and it was really quite warm. As it’s mainly outdoors it was definitely good to visit in fair weather, but there was loads to do and the girls had a great time hunting for dinosaurs in the woods, going on a dinosaur safari, finding their way through the maze and the giant slide, Tinker loved zorbing, the go-karts and tubing and there were lots of little rides for Totsy too. Again I remember taking Jess, Matt and Nathan here when they were very similar ages to Tinker and Totsy. Perhaps because it has changed less in the last 20 years it really made me nostalgic, and as I watched Tinker running ahead with Totsy trailing behind through the woodland dinosaur walk I was instantly transported back a couple of decades to two little blonde boys trying to catch up with their big sister in the exact same place. It did make me feel (not for the first time) overwhelmingly lucky to be able to do this parenting journey over again, I guess having an age gap of 25 years between the oldest and youngest isn’t for everyone, but it is definitely working for me!
- University of Liverpool – I find it impossible to believe that Milly will be heading to uni in September, I can’t even begin to deal with all the emotions that brings! If you are a regular reader you will know we all love Liverpool and visit frequently so she has been fairly sure for a while that going to University of Liverpool would be her top choice. Last Saturday Tinker was at her dad’s, Totsy was despatched to Grandma’s house and me, Mr T, Luna, Matty and Milly headed up to Liverpool for the uni open day. It was an early start as University of Liverpool and Liverpool Hope University were both having open days on the same day and we wanted to get to both. University of Liverpool definitely didn’t disappoint, it was busy, unbelievably well organised and incredibly welcoming, and everyone was falling over themselves to be helpful, it had such a good vibe and the open day definitely cemented it as Milly’s top choice. Liverpool Hope however didn’t quite offer the same welcome or have the same vibe, and being so much further out of town it had a quiet, almost sleepy feel – great if that’s what you are looking for, but Milly has removed it from her shortlist. Visiting both universities was really useful though and of course we all enjoyed a day in our favourite city! It was really nice to get to spend the day with Milly and Matty without the little ones interrupting – Luna doesn’t count as she is so ridiculously undemanding bless her! (And if only we had a pound for every time in the day that someone commented ‘starting young, aren’t you?’ about Luna!).
- Family dinner – last night we had both our parents over for dinner, it’s been a few weeks since they were all here together and we had a lovely dinner of cottage pie, made mainly by Mr T as I was feeding Luna (which was a bit later than planned as we had totally lost track of time when we were in town in the afternoon, oops!!) and just a really enjoyable, relaxed evening all together.
- Pumpkin spice latte – call me basic if you like, but I don’t care, I just love them! Delicious! And for when there isn’t a Starbucks near we have bought some Pumpkin Spice Baileys, perfect added to latte for a cheeky little evening treat!
- Posting in this series after only a week – sometimes blogging is just last on a very long list of things to do, just another chore and if I’m honest I’ve seriously thought recently about giving it up, or at least putting it on hold for now. But I do like to document our lives to look back on and for the kids to be able to read it when they are older, that’s why I started in the first place, I don’t really write it for anyone else, if others read it then that’s just a lovely bonus. So I will just not worry too much about it, keep doing my best to keep up with it and not beat myself up if I don’t even manage a weekly post in this series. I have been writing this post on and off all day, just kept adding bits to it when I get chance (including when I was sitting in Asda’s baby room this afternoon, having left Mr T to put the shopping through the checkout so that I could give an usually screaming Luna a quick feed) and the photos are all unedited just straight off my iPhone. But, hey, it’s only a week since my last post so I’m counting it as a win and for once this series title is truthful! I am pretty sure that even if it is a bit rough around the edges the kids won’t mind (but apologies to anyone else that was hoping to see thoughtful articles and beautifully, polished photographs, and instead discovered my ramblings and grainy phone snaps, you must be very disappointed, sorry about that!)
Keep smiling xx