I started writing this a few weeks ago, when the new term had started, the leaves and conkers were falling and there was a chill in the morning air. Then summer seemed to have a final fling with the mini September heatwave so it felt wrong to call time on it.
Childhood memories are made in summer. When I think back to being little, apart from Christmas, Bonfire Night & my birthday, it always involves sunshine and endless outdoor play. We’ve had another good summer and I think we got the balance right between fun days out and, much needed, lazy days too.
We had a week in Norfolk mid-July (our last term-time holiday!) and were so lucky that we managed to get away the day after Seren got over her Chicken Pox and come back 2 days before Imogen came down with it.
We came back to a weekend of parties and a week celebrating the end of the nursery term with Seren with more parties at the other end of the week.
We’ve had quite a bit of pottering at home, seeing friends, cooking, painting and a visit to the local ‘beach’ where Imogen tried to eat the sand (!).
My sister and nephew came to visit, it was lovely to get the cousins together, I think he was a bit overwhelmed by the noisy girls! He’ll be running round with them next summer.
We went to West Sussex for a little break, staying in Chichester and spending a day in West Wittering.
We found fairies in Saffron Walden!
Seren and I had a couple of adventures in London where I discovered she can really walk for miles if there is no other option (and lots of things to distract her).
We started with The Tiger Who Came To Tea Live and followed with a paddle in the V&A pool, the Science Museum and another paddle in the Diana Memorial Fountain in Hyde Park after getting lost in Kensington Gardens.
That night we camped in the garden. Needless to say that Seren slept very well after all that exploring though the rest of us did not. A few days later we had a sleepover at friends’ in Surrey and another lovely day at Polesden Lacey then one in Reigate.
On a very wet and windy Friday, we went to the Museum of London to see the Great Fire of London exhibition – it’s really good and ignited (ha) a fascination with the story for Seren (though she particularly liked the part about the Plague that came before the fire).
The following week we went fruit picking, had a trip to Willows Farm and to Aldenham Country Park as well.
Imogen has an absolute love for animals and now asks to go for a farm nearly every day. She loved holding the guinea pigs at Willows and feeding the animals at Aldenham. Seren got to have a little horse ride at Aldenham and we found Winnie The Pooh too.
Bank Holiday weekend saw another packed adventure for Seren and I in London.
We started with the CBeebies Proms, went to Wagamama for lunch followed by Kensington Palace (not quite as Disney palace-like as Seren thought it might be), Kensington Gardens again and this time the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground. Then we got on the Central line tube at Queensway with revellers from the Notting Hill Carnival which was a talking point.
We spent an afternoon at the Enfield Food Festival at Forty Hall Farm where Seren made flatbread and Imogen loved seeing the animals.
We had a pretty lazy last week of the school holidays with haircuts and getting ready for the new term.
The holidays ended on high though with a trip to the zoo for Andy’s birthday.
With starting school and a chill in the air it seemed that autumn was upon us but then the heat came back and we froze little dinosaurs in ice to keep us cool.
We had fun working out how to free them from the ice and the kids tried putting them somewhere hot (the playhouse), putting them in the paddling pool, eating the ice and throwing the ice on the ground so it broke.
Now, we are officially in autumn though the sunshine lingers and the winter coats remain on the peg – but not for long I think.