A ghost, a mouse and a 4 armed yeti

It's that spooky, fiery time of year.

The kids get a real kick out of all things Halloween. I really, really don't. I sort of feel like I should be more into it for them but you can't fake that kind of enthusiasm. I should know - Greig tries every year when Christmas rolls around every year. (Sorry Greig).

But I love costumes so it's always fun getting them together. And I like food so that's all good. And we have friends who dress up every year much to the unbridled delight of my children. And this year I hung up orange felt pumpkins and a fake bat and a couple of glow in the dark skeletons. And I'm happy to pack them away until next year!

First up on our autumn schedule was a trip to the Dragon Matrix in Monikie Park. It was something Brodie heard about and when I mentioned it to a school mum she said they were planning to go so we met up with them there. The children had to find clues and use the smart phone app to help the Dragon Protection League protect dragons. They seemed to really love it and I appreciated the work that had gone into making the trail seem quite magical. The light was very low though so photographs were challenging.


Apparently the follow up next year is going to be even better!

Monikie Park is handily close to our Halloween crazy friends. I'm sad to say I didn't manage to get a snap of them dressed up as a squid/monster and heavily pregnant woopie cushion. A massive oversight I know - still kicking myself. But if I get my hands on some evidence I will most definitely be posting that ALL OVER the internet. Needless to say the kids were falling about laughing at the costume reveal. Auntie Kerry came through with amazing food, games, dooking for apples and providing the best time. Thanks Kerry!

Halloween continued at home with a visit to Granny's. The big kids went to the Halloween disco at school and we also hit up Great Granda for some supplementary sweeties and I'm not going to lie. By that point even I was bored of the mouse, the ghost and the 4 armed yeti.


Fireworks night rolled around. We decided it was probably a bit cold for Baxter so he banked some extra Granny and Granda time. The big kids were tired and it was freezing but we had fun. I have strong memories of the excitement of watching fireworks as a child and I still get a thrill . Hope the kids will tag along with me for a few years yet!



En vacances 2016

We choose our holiday destinations like this. We decide how long we can possibly bear to be trapped in a small space with the kids and then we choose places within that travelling distance time. Then Greig spends a loooonnnnggg time scouting suitable accommodations, shows me pictures online and then I point 'that one'. Job done. It's worked well so far at least.

This year we sojourned in Filey, Yorkshire. 

We were fabulously close to a quiet beach, had a swimming pool a stones throw away and were within travelling distance of a theme park. Easily pleased I think you'd call that. It was a fantastically busy, noisy, happy, exhausting, sugared week which left my face a little sore from smiling and laughing. I don't think it matters where we go but when I have time with my little family we draw closer together, see new things about each other we haven't noticed and make memories we will have forever. #winning

she valiantly attempted to eat all that cake. but i ended up wrapping up about three quarters to take home with us.

busy busy. lego. colouring. beading. busy busy

i can only think that the sand was warm?

scrub land back drop? out of focus? no-one looking at the camera? perfect family portrait. happy faces though!

meet giraffe, the newest member of the family

i walked one evening as the sun was beginning to set which made me wonder why I don't try to catch the golden hour more often. probably because golden hour falls very close to 'bath/books/bed' hour.

You know that this is literally a fraction of the photographs I took don't you? I have literally dumped them onto the computer but will be back when I have them organised. This is just the modern equivalent of a holiday photographs slide shows isn't it? Although I will never know if you nod off half way through or not..........

Me and Mine October 2015

It's been a really long time since I joined in with #meandmine because not only does it require me to take a photograph of all of me and mine it requires me to post it on the right day. But occasionally the stars do align so here we go!

Lots of mums say they don't appear much in family albums and I'm no different so I'm sure I'll look back on these fondly because I'm actually in them!

October was a good month. We were all sick at various points but there was lots of great times too.

The most wonderful time of the year.....

Not that one though!

Although I love it too, (13 weeks planners!)

get this image here

Autumn is my favourite season. I love the changing of the seasons generally. It may indeed be the preserve of a Primary School Teacher but still there it is.

Autumn for me is exciting and sustaining and cosy and all the good foods. Autumn is my spring when I feel like I can do all the things. When my Pinterest boards explode with new ideas and projects and recipes.

I like boots and scarves and jumpers and in Autumn they are new once more(even if they are technically not 'new'). In Autumn I want to knit things for the whole world. And eat cinnamon donut holes.

You didn't think the holiday photographs were finished did you?

I must have been in Blackpool at some point in my life but honestly I can't remember. It looks beautiful here doesn't it? The sunshine helped, and the faded glamour of the north pier was lovely to photograph. If you're looking for class and sophistication Blackpool is probably not for you. If you're 6 or 3 though you'll probably think you're in Heaven. Tack is in great abundance, everything flashes in gaudy colours, it's jam packed full of Scottish people this time of year and you can't find a vegetable for love nor money.

Brodie is not a sunshine fan. Grier is an icecream fan. I'm a Baxter fan. And Greig, bless his heart, always looks at the camera and smiles even when everyone else epically fails.

The kids thought Greig had lost his mind when he brought them deep fried donuts, strawberry jam pancakes and slushies for tea. They ate quickly to ensure his senses didn't return before their little bellies were full. To be fair, the dinner offerings at the pier were slim and the delight on their faces was priceless.

Back at the ranch (farmhouse) a girl and her elephant took her shiny new kite out for a spin.

There was a full scale domestic over who got to sleep in this bed as it had fancy golden knobs on it. Grier won the argument but not the war I feel.

The Pleasure Beach was much busier, noisier and more sensorily overwhelming than we had anticipated. Country bumpkins that we are. Grier was just sort of dizzingly happy to be there, Brodie was a bit miffed that there were some rides he couldn't get on and Baxter had me for company the lucky little duck.

D D D D D Dora!

My raincoat, his sunhat.

I have to say absolutely every member of staff we encountered at the Pleasure Beach and the Sandcastle Water Park were lovely. So friendly and helpful, hospitality is a big deal for them, despite Blackpool's dare I say less salubrious image?

Stanley Park provided Grier with this lovely bandstand so she could write, produce and direct her own show for us.

The actual words coming out of her mouth at this point - 'Grier's Fairytale Theatre is proud to present the Princess and the Rescue'. No word of a lie. Off the top of her head. Greig and I stood there agog until......

Greig (and Baxter) were cast as the Bad Witch.

Don't worry, the Princess totes survived and took the biggest of bows in front of her rapturous audience.

Heald Farm, the beauty.

The neighbours

It was quite windy on top of that hill. Despite our countryside location this is the furthest we ventured into the wild. About 200 paces from the door of the farmhouse. Perhaps we're townies after all?

Sadly it was all too soon time to pack up and come home. We're already planning our next adventures though. It's fair to say they might include a beach and some icecream.