Category: Children

Labour of Love x

Looking back to last year, I think my kids have both grown a foot, if not 5.  It means a new summer wardrobe has become a necessity rather than a want, and whilst one of life’s delights is shopping for children’s clothes, it becomes a nightmare once they develop tastes of their own.  You like one thing..they like something else…that is inevitably for someone older..or tackier..

We’re trying a new approach this year.  I’ve set up a Pinterest board where we can select our choices and hopefully come up with the crossover clothes we both like.

So far it’s working..we’ve agreed on all of these. Which has slightly blown my mind.

And I’ve allowed a few exceptions to creep in. Normally this swimsuit would not make the cut..But I know Bella will make it work and she loves it. But I didn’t think she’d go for slides…

Or culotte shorts. How wrong was I? (All pics Pinterest)

My girl is growing up. Little sigh.

Laters, Kate x

Camping x

It’s been half term already and we’ve been camping with friends.

Living the simple life in a field, blowing giant bubbles.

Can you tell we enjoyed it??

We weren’t far from the coast.


And next to the site was a high ropes playground..

Including a terrifying giant swing!

Truly the stuff of nightmares!

As was our departure.  Not a sight you want to see…..we lost the car keys in the long grass on the first day.  But it was OK as we kindly got driven back to London to fetch the spare set.  Except we got hit by a super-storm…Damp got in (She’s 19 years old) and short circuited the electrics so the spare key wouldn’t work…and the manual key? Was part of master key that got lost! At least once we got in we were able to drive away, which was more than the car behind us – they’d lost all their keys, including their house keys and had to be towed away from the campsite!

 

Laters, Kate x

Bank Holiday x

Every May Bank Holiday we try to go to the May Fayre at Morden Hall Park, a National Trust property at the end of the Northern Line.  It’s a old fashioned cocktail of traditional family delights far removed from it’s urban setting.  Apart from the display above..bikers doing their thing..

Except afterwards you could have a free go over an obstacle course yourself..and that’s what makes it’s so special. People are there because they love what they do and want to share it.

In amongst the stalls are little gems like this one for rescued reptiles, where the owners are happy to talk and answer questions.

These two had been inspired by watching too much Harry Potter..

You never know what you’ll see next.

Wholesome, good family fun. Until next year.

Laters, Kate x

Synchronise Watches..

Charlie has a joint eighth ‘survival’ birthday on the Common tomorrow (I’ll be doing my sun dance once I’ve written this) (and stocking up on paracetamol/large flagons of alcohol).  I saw these army characters in Poundland and thought candle holders!

It could all go horribly wrong – I couldn’t find my glue gun this morning so have resorted to carpet glue which promises to glue plastic if you leave it to cure long enough….

We’ll see…..

Laters, Kate x

Cornwall x

We’ve blown away the winter cobwebs with a week with family in beautiful Cornwall.

We were incredibly lucky with the weather.  Each day the sky was kingfisher blue, though it was a matter of how hot your blood was whether you braved the cold of the spring sea..

The surf gang preparing to face the waves. Note Grandpa Jack behind in three coats, hat..and eventually gloves!

And in!

Cousin love.

This was the natural rock pool close to where we were staying on Treyarnon Bay, large enough to swim in…

(There was this framed postcard of the very spot at the cottage. Shows it even better.)

Watergate Bay and meeting with friends.

The perfect natural slate plate for the perfect hot dog: Barbie on Constantine Bay.

And then a cheeky seagull actually stole a hot sausage off the barbie!

Impromptu wine chiller.

Bruce heading to the surf.

Sophie-bond-girl-extraordinaire following suit.

Charlie and Lexie.

Finding sea diamonds.

At a diamond place.

Laters, Kate x

First Craft x

Monday madness, first day of the hols and the sun was shining…we spent it in the garden with lovely friends marbling everything we could find.

We used these marbling inks from Brian Clegg for £9.50, ordered from Ebay..

(Plus the metallic set of 10 for the same price…they added a certain sparkle)

They couldn’t have been easier to use – drop on to water, mix with a skewer if you fancy, lay paper on top then peel off and dry..

The results were impressive.

This could be the wallpaper for the downstairs toilet..

So easy, so joyful!

Laters, Kate x

Wood Craft x

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It’s half term so we’ve been busy doing very little.  One thing we have achieved is a bit of stick weaving…a strangely satisfying art form…first you need to find a good selection on Y-shaped sticks = outside jaunt.

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Then wrap each side of the Y.

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To do this you tie the string on, then create a loop at the back.

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Then bring the other end through the loop and pull tight.

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Continue till both sides are done.

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We measured two arm lengths of string for the next bit.  (This is Bella doing her Christ the Redeemer impression)

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Using a large darning needle (new it would come in useful) weave between the two sides to create the horizontal lines.

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Ta-dah!

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Finally weave wool in V shapes vertically from one side to the next. This is Bella’s finished creation.

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Being an adult, I wanted mine tighter…therefore it’s still a work in progress…

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Surprisingly satisfying.

Laters, Kate x

Design Classic x

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Camilla Lundsten is a former designer for Ikea who then published a highly successful series of childrens books’ based around a little red elephant called Littlephant.

 

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Demands from friends and family persuaded her to launch of her own homeware/toybrand…and the making of this drool house and  future design classic.

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Her philosophy presses many happy polka dot buttons: ‘To simplify everyday life with long-lasting objects that are practical and as eco-friendly as possible’.

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Combine that with the alchemy of faultless design, iconic textiles, hours of play, rampant imagination and the urge to make more yourself just to add to the ongoing joy…and it’s product made in heaven.

 

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(All pics from Littlephant.com)

Bella doesn’t get a look in. I want.

Laters, Kate x

Snow Babies..

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I’ve read that personalities can be divided into two camps – cowboys and farmers. The cowboys are the restless ones, always roaming and seeking new pastures whilst the farmers solidly plough the same field over and over again. Our ski holiday embraced everything cowboy: Constantly on the go, incredible scenery, crisp air, the smell of wood smoke, peace (piste…and pissed as well) as well as a true sense of wonder.

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A fusion of manmade and natural – an icicle chandelier.

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We were in La Rosiere on the French side of the Aosta valley, ski-able into Italy. And by all accounts, were lucky to have snow.

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They were using snow cannons when we first arrived, but as the runs were in full sun it still made for great conditions.  And then it snowed.

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I’ve never seen this before – three rainbows, one on top of the other, made by the sun refracting through ice crystals in the air.

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It always amazes me how slopes look flat in pictures!

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We decided Charlie is really a secret snowboarder!

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And what did I wear?? John’s old two-piece from the eighties! Maybe not quite pure vintage swagger, but on a ski slope..the joy is no-one cares!

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And now I suppose it’s time to return to farming…and wrestling with the Einstein quote that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

The silver lining is our holiday proved that perfectly decent wheels can aways be reinvented..

Laters, Kate x