Tag Archives: cousins

Word of the Week: Play


One of the loveliest things about the stage Arthur is at at the moment is how completely he is embracing play. He will often wake up in the morning and, once he’s orientated himself and had his milk and cuddles declare his desire to ‘walk, play!’ repeatedly until we help him down from the bed.

He calls out from the highchair too, and sometimes from the sling: ‘walk, play! Walk, play! Walk, play!’

I love that he is articulating that need to move and explore, to actively engage in the serious business of playing that is going to be so important in the next few years of his development. It gives me a real thrill to watch the beginnings of make believe, to watch him creating his own world out of the things that are around him.

Of course if there are other children around to play with that’s even better. Grown ups are good sometimes too, but Arthur is beginning to make a distinction between the worlds we inhabit and more often than not is drawn to the vitality and creativity of those who have not yet felt the straightjacket of adulthood.

At the festival we were at last weekend it was wonderful to see him running around with my cousin’s kids and their neighbours. He was a little forlorn without them when we got home, but the arrival of his cousins from London soon distracted him!


He has spent the week playing in the garden, determined to ride his new dumper truck and keep up with the pace of his older playmates.


There’s been pool and beach fun too – we literally couldn’t have picked a better week to share the joys of living on the English Riviera!




Arthur’s back on his own again now, and whilst I’ve caught him looking around for his absent playmates he hasn’t let it get to him too much. He constantly amazes me with his ability to entertain himself, to enter into the spirit of play whatever his circumstances and surroundings.

I guess that’s what makes childhood so special, really. And it is my pledge to you, Arthur, to give you as many opportunities to play as I can possibly muster.


The Reading Residence


A Secret Playground

I seem to be developing a bit of a talent for leaving Devon just when the weather picks up and the thought of being by the sea holds particular allure. However we haven’t done a bad job of making the most of the weather here in London, and over the weekend we discovered an awesome little playground in Hyde Park where Arthur had a brilliant time hanging out with his cousins.

The playground they introduced us to was crafted in oak by sculptor Dan Cordell. It is beautiful to look at, hidden away by some tennis courts near the Albert Memorial. More importantly though it has been built in the perfect scale for little people to explore independently. Arthur loved the little slides with their wide, rounded steps, and though Leigh and I hovered over him we were impressed at how confident he was at navigating them all by himself.

image  image

image  image

Most of all though it was great for Arthur to be able to hang out with his cousins. They were so excited to see him, and even though Arthur was still struggling with his teeth and a bit of a bug they did a very impressive job of distracting him for a while at least. At the groups we go to back home he’s started to become quite fascinated with the older kids, though the feeling is rarely reciprocated. It was lovely to watch him play with older children who were just as interested in him as he was in them, and to watch the beginnings of what will hopefully be lifelong friendships with his London cousins.