Oops…

Well that was a slightly unintentional blog holiday, though those who have seen my last post can probably work out why!

Fortunately, Tom is now recovered from the conjunctivitis, oral thrush, a bout of croup and getting his lower canines through. And my stomach has settled down after two separate incidences of food poisoning (I’d like to point out that neither of these was caused by food I had cooked…). So normal service should now resume, assuming we have no further random illnesses in the near future.

Despite the various small disasters of the last few weeks, we have still been enjoying some outdoor play. Luckily, Easter fell in a rare patch where neither Tom nor I was actively ill, so we were able to enjoy a lovely weekend in the country with my family. My dad is currently living in Singapore for work and my sister’s boyfriend lives in Abu Dhabi, so it is a rare and wonderful occasion when all of us are able to be together in the same room. Sadly, Mr Techno did have to work most of the weekend, but managed to sneak down on Saturday to spend the day with us all (or, rather, to watch the rugby whilst eating his own body weight in hot cross buns).

The weather was less than fantastic, apart from Good Friday which was gloriously sunny. Tom happily splashed water in the garden and ‘helped’ his grandfather install a new watering system for the potted plants (I suggested a watering can, but apparently this is too lo-tech). Then we went to the park where Tom and my dad had some good bonding time. They see each other so rarely, but they really get on well. My dad is a bit British when it comes to emotions, but lets his guard down much more with Tom. Let’s hope that bond will last!

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Despite the wet weather the rest of the weekend, we managed to visit another park on Saturday and Tom and my mum went for a ‘nature walk’ around the garden on Sunday. They found some frog spawn and Tom chased the chickens. Or they chased him. Hard to tell really.

We’ve also been enjoying getting out on the Marshes now that the weather is warmer and it has been wonderful to be able to hang the washing outside – with the result that the laundry basket is actually empty for the first time in about…19 months?

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A Smell of Spring?

Is it just me, or is there more than a hint of Spring in the air? I mean, this has been the most ridiculously mild winter anyway, but the last few days have definitely smelt pretty Spring-like.

Tom and I were out on the Marshes on Wednesday, enjoying the afternoon sun after a rather wet morning. There was still a bit of a chilly wind blowing, but otherwise it was a lovely mild day. The kind that makes you want to explore.

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We had a great afternoon of nature play. Tom found a feather, which he then made me carry for the rest of the walk. 

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We stopped by a while by some fallen logs, which were perfect for prodding and climbing on.

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Tom got a bit tired of walking towards the end, so hopped back in the buggy for the final loop towards home. We passed hawthorn bushes with fresh young leaves just starting to appear, and this blossom laden tree.

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I know it’s not the end of winter quite yet, but I couldn’t help starting to make plans for when the weather is warmer…picnics and day trips and weekends in my mum’s garden. It’s that optimism that comes with the first signs of Spring.

Of course, these early signs, along with all the extreme weather we’ve experienced this winter, likely relate to climate change. Which is a dampening thought. But I still can’t stop myself from enjoying the thought of the changing seasons.

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Toddlers and Trains

Tom is obsessed with trains at the moment. And cars too. But mostly trains. He has a little set of the brio ones that he was given for his birthday and he loves to push the trains around any available surface, whilst saying ‘beep beep’ softly to himself (he hasn’t learnt ‘choo choo’ yet although he has got ‘nee naw’ for ambulances).

His obsession is quite a useful one, as it means we have a new source of entertainment when out on the Marshes. There’s a train track which runs along the top of our favourite bit, and a bridge that goes over the track and road. Anytime I let Tom choose our direction he heads straight for that bridge, which can be awkward if we have the buggy with us instead of a sling.

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He also loves to stand by the track and watch the trains go past. I’m trying to teach him to wave, but so far he prefers just staring in amazement.

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I don’t know that trainspotting really counts as engaging with nature, as such. But as long as it means he’s happy to come for a walk on the Marshes with me, this is a love of his I can get behind. Choo choo!



Weekly Report: W/c 28.12.2015

The last week of 2015 started with us still in Suffolk, where we had spent Christmas. After spending the morning alternating between packing and pottering in the garden, we headed back to London in the afternoon.

Both Mr Techno and I had Tuesday off. After a week in Suffolk and a week before that being ill, I was missing our familiar green spaces, so Tom and I started the day with a trip to the playground. I then left the boys to it in the afternoon, as my parents had offered to take my sister and I for a festive afternoon tea at Claridges. Which was delicious. And a bit ridiculous. But lovely all the same.

Wednesday started windy, as Storm Frank, the latest in a long list of winter storms, was hitting the UK. As usual, we seem to have gotten off extremely lightly in the South, whilst the North is taking yet another battering. My heart goes out to the people trying to cope with more flooding and disruption.

Since we had only strong winds, Tom and I headed out onto the Marshes for a morning walk, whilst Mr Techno, sadly, had to go back to work. Tom then took a very long nap, not waking up until almost 4 pm. By that point it was starting to get dark, so we settled for some painting with food dye at home instead.

Thursday was New Year’s Eve. Tom and I started the day with a short walk through the woods.

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After lunch, we headed out for a longer walk over the Marshes, with Tom in the sling. I’ve been struggling to get him into it whilst wearing a bulky winter coat, but have been taking advantage of the mild weather to get it out more often. I always notice that Tom is happier to play independently at home on days we use it a lot, which I guess must be down to it being more bonding than the buggy. Tom is very chatty in it as well, with constant exclamations of ‘hiya!’ and pointing at random trees.

Friday was the first day of 2016! We started well, with a trip to the park to try out Tom’s new wellies. He had a great time splashing around.

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When we got back to the flat I checked my pockets and realised the little wallet containing my oyster card, front door key, and five pounds was missing. We retraced our steps, but didn’t find them. Mr Techno was at work, but, after a slightly panicked phone call, popped his keys in a cab and sent them round to us. It took about half-an-hour for them to reach us, which we spent exploring the front garden.

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The space is normally occupied by our neighbour’s scooter, and is where we store the bins, so it’s unusual for us to spend any time there. Tom was occupied for a surprisingly long time, exploring the gravel and looking at the plants, so I suppose the silver lining of getting locked out is that our eyes were opened to the play potential of even the least promising spots. Fortunately the keys arrived just as Tom was beginning to lose interest and get hungry for his lunch. After the morning’s dramas, I didn’t feel much like meeting friends as I had planned to, and had to be in anyway to let Mr Techno in when he got back from work. We spent the afternoon playing with Tom’s trains and chasing each other round the flat instead. The friends were hungover understanding and happy to postpone to Sunday.

Saturday started a bit drizzly, but we headed to the park anyway in the hope someone might have found my keys and posted a note on the noticeboard. No such luck sadly so I guess it’ll be a call out to the locksmith when our landlords’ office reopens on Monday (we did call their emergency number when I realised the keys were gone, only to be met with a very unhelpful ‘nothing I can do’. Thank goodness it wasn’t both of us locked out!) Tom enjoyed some more puddles though, so it wasn’t a wasted trip.

After all the toing and froing with the keys, I was longing for a proper outing. So we headed out for a long walk over Hackney playing fields and along the river to Hackney Wick. Luckily the rain held off until we were almost home, but I still managed to get completely drenched. Tom, on the other hand, was warm and dry in the buggy.

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Sunday was a day of unrelenting rain. We actually went shopping in the morning – to buy me some new walking boots which was my Xmas present from Mr Techno (much better bought in the January sales!) Can’t wait to try them out. I then headed to Soho in the afternoon to see the friends I had cancelled on on Friday. Meanwhile, Tom and Mr Techno built a blanket fort.
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Next week we are back to nursery/work and our normal routines. I’m going to miss all this time off!

Christmas in Suffolk

We are finally back in London, after almost a week away at my in-laws. They have a lovely house near the Suffolk coast, where Mr Techno grew up. Ever since we got married, Mr Techno and I have alternated which family we spend Christmas with. This year was his family’s turn.

We had a full house for the Christmas break, with the three of us, Mr Techno’s parents, his younger brother, and his older sister with her husband and daughter, who is just a few weeks younger than Tom. We were then joined for Christmas itself by his aunt and uncle, grandmother and two cousins.

One of the lovely things about a big family Christmas in the countryside is that there is always someone wanting to go for a walk, or to take the toddlers to the playground. With no work and no responsibility for the cooking, Mr Techno and I were able to make the most of the outdoors, especially as the weather was unseasonably mild.

We explored the Suffolk coast, taking Tom on his first ever trip to the sea.

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And his second trip too…

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We explored the garden.

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And the playground.

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Of course, we did spend most of Christmas day itself indoors. There were presents to be unwrapped.

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And too much food to eat.

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And family to bond with.

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Unfortunately, the break was slightly ruined by an onslaught of some kind of tummy virus, which ran through the whole family like wildfire. Fortunately, though both toddlers had it, neither were too sick. Several of the adults were laid low for several days.

Still, illness aside we had a lovely time. I hope you all did too!

 
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall