Tag Archives: outdoors


I’ve been wondering for a while what it would take to make me start blogging again, then I realised it’s been a year today since my last post.  If I don’t do it now maybe I never will.  It’s been a very tough year and something had to give, but I have missed it and I think I might need it as my space to process some things.  Or maybe not, but I’ll only know if I try.  It feels like a positive step.  I’ve been feeling hard pressed on all sides for a very long time but something has lifted this week and I hope I am emerging.

Getting outside in this beautiful weather has helped.  We now have two children happy and settled in school (more on this later perhaps) and I am enjoying the time with the three home educated ones all the more because I’m aware how precious it is, and how school is creeping up on us.  We had a lovely walk to Oaks Park on Monday morning, and a fun afternoon with friends in Carshalton Park this afternoon.  I’m storing up all the happy and hoping that blogging at least some of it will help me to remember to be thankful.

Isaiah 44:2-4

This is what the Lord says—
he who made you, who formed you in the womb,
and who will help you:
Do not be afraid, Jacob, my servant,
Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.
For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring,
and my blessing on your descendants.
They will spring up like grass in a meadow,
like poplar trees by flowing streams.

Outdoor Play Round Up

I have been out of the habit of blogging what we’ve been up to, having coasted through December writing only about books.  It felt easier to do that when I was so busy, and didn’t have time or space to reflect on anything.  It’s been nice to look back through the photos, though, and realise that there were some good moments in what was a fairly stressful month.  I’m starting with an outdoor play round up, because I have missed being part of Coombe Mill’s Country Kids linky recently, and I don’t want to miss another week.  If I manage it, a round up of Christmas-related things will follow.

garden football

We took the opportunity to play in the garden as much as we could, even in the colder weather.  One morning in early December, the big three went out to play football while Tiddler was at Pre-School.  I resisted the temptation to leave them to it, and went out with them (cup of coffee in hand) and I was glad I did.  We had a lot of fun, and I think they stayed out there longer because I joined them.

garden play one

When they had finished playing football, they got the sledge out and tried as hard as they could to pull each other around on the grass.  They can’t wait for it to snow.  Monkey also took the opportunity to check that he could still get in the Little Tikes car – he can, just about.  Owl is a bit jealous!

garden play two

The sledge occupied them for a long time, and then they moved on to the swings and climbing frame.

garden play three

They played together for a long time in an imaginative way that was lovely to watch.  The top of the climbing frame became a bed, and Monkey and Rabbit were waiting for Father Christmas (Owl) to bring them presents. This was reenacted several times!

garden play four

A few days later all four children were out in the garden again.  Tiddler spent a long time riding on the fabulous Didicar – one of our best garden toys.

garden play five

Other than that it was the sledge and the swings that kept them busy for a very long time.

garden play six

I have really been enjoying spending time outside with the children.  In previous Winters I haven’t really been out there that much, but I’ve been trying to lead by example this time and it has worked.  It’s always easy to get the little ones out there, but with a bit of encouragement the big boys have had a lot of fun too.

garden play seven

On another occasion it was bubble blowing that got Rabbit outside.  Tiddler was happy with his scooter, and Monkey with his stick lightsaber.  And Owl agreed to come out as long as he could bring his book!

playground one 1

One of the best bits of outdoor fun in December was an unplanned trip to the park on a beautiful sunny day, to fill in time between a party and trip to the theatre.

playground two 2

This park is usually very crowded in the Summer, so we really enjoyed having it more or less to ourselves for a change.

playground three 3

The children had a wonderful time and burned off some energy before going in to the theatre.

park run december

Another highlight was the park run at Nonsuch Park, with my dad, and my brother who was over from Australia.  Well not exactly with them, as they shot off into the distance very quickly.  Owl and I managed to run it properly this time though, and I was very proud of his time, 42 minutes and 30 seconds.  I think that is pretty good for a nine year old.  I just about kept up with him!  Monkey, Rabbit and Tiddler walked with daddy and we all met up at the end.

There were a few other outings over the Christmas holidays, but I don’t have very many photos, so I think I’ll leave it at that.  Country Kids, it’s good to be back and I’ll try not to be a fair weather friend 🙂


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Model village – a wet day out

On Saturday we went to Bekonscot Model village.  It rained a lot and the little ones got thoroughly soaked very quickly, but that didn’t spoil their fun!  The model village is amazing and very well maintained.  It is the world’s oldest model village, first opened in 1929. The detail was incredible, and you could visit hundreds of times and still find something new every time.  I loved the shops with their tiny loaves of bread, cakes, shoes, flowers and many more besides.  The trains were a big hit with the children, especially Tiddler, and there was so much to see that they were entranced for a very long time.  They also enjoyed a ride on the miniature railway, playing in the playground and eating lunch in the cafe.  While sheltering from the rain, they made a dragonfly at the RSPB stand.  It involved pipe cleaners, beads and pre-cut wings – a nice simple craft idea which we might try at our home education group.  We have lots of little ones so I am always on the lookout for easy crafts which are also appealing to the older ones.  It was a thoroughly enjoyable family day out and I’m sure we’ll be visiting again.

A day out with Thomas and a day to recover

Yesterday we went to a Thomas the Tank Engine day at the Eastleigh Lakeside Steam Railway.  We set off early and arrived in time to eat our packed breakfast in the blazing sunshine while waiting for the tickets to go on sale.  We had a good view of the miniature trains, including Thomas, Gordon and Henry, which kept the children entertained while we were waiting.  Once inside we met up with my aunt and uncle and two cousins, one of whom is over from Australia with her two smallest ones, and it was lovely to see them all.  The children had a wonderful time – they went on three train rides, played in the playground, had a walk round the lake (where we saw a swan with her seven babies), saw a Punch and Judy show and a magic show, had lunch in the cafe, and later on an ice cream.  Half way through the afternoon, we decided to decamp to the nearest pub so that the adults could have a proper catch up (as we usually only see each other once a year) and that was very successful too.  Luckily we found a pub with a nice beer garden, which had a bouncy castle and a playground so the children were happy.  We set off home when we should really have been thinking about supper, so we stopped at a service station, where we met – completely by chance – another cousin who was returning from a family wedding with her three little ones, so the children had fun playing together.

Today was quite a contrast as we had a day at home, and daddy had the day off work which was great… particularly as Rabbit was sick three times and very poorly all day.  So she stayed home from Pre-school and lay on the sofa watching Cbeebies all day, the boys did some work (rather slowly as they were very tired) and Tiddler pottered around quite cheerfully, and helpfully had a four-hour nap in the middle of the day – we really did wear him out yesterday!  So we managed a satisfying amount of washing, tidying, cleaning, cooking and garden chores – though of course not as much as I hoped, but maybe my list was a bit ambitious.  I’m now studiously avoiding looking at it until tomorrow.

50 things

This afternoon I took the children to meet some friends at a local National Trust property.  We collected our “50 things to do before you’re 11 3/4” scrapbooks, and set off into the park. After a picnic lunch, we walked along the river looking for somewhere to try and catch a fish.  We saw plenty of ducks and geese, but no fish.  Tiddler discovered what happens if you grab a nettle, but luckily he also found out that crushing dock leaves in the same hand makes it feel better (or at least it was a nice distraction!)

We managed a few activities on the list – all the children looked inside a tree with a big hole in it (and found lots of spiders’ webs), and balanced on a fallen tree.  Owl hunted for bugs, and found an ant and several woodlice.  We didn’t manage to get a bird to eat bird seed from our hands, and although the children had fun fishing, all they caught was mud and leaves.   When they had had enough of that, we took them to the play area where they enjoyed the zip wire and lots of things to climb on.

On our way out, we collected stickers for our scrapbooks and planted some seeds, before setting off home.  It was a lovely afternoon out, and I’m sure we’ll be back there soon.  We are also feeling inspired to do as many of the 50 things as possible, so we will be planning some more outdoor activities and making good use of our National Trust membership.