Tag Archives: Paignton

Z is for zero


Day zero to be precise: the day when all of those months of planning and anticipation and expectation came to an end and I became a mum.

Moments after this photo was taken, on the Paignton platform of the Dartmouth Steam Railway, my waters broke. I was taken by surprise a little because Arthur actually wasn’t due for a couple more days. I remembered what we’d been told in our antenatal classes, and fully expected that this might not imminently signal the start of labour – we’d been told only to get concerned if things hadn’t started progressing within 48 hours. But half an hour later, just after I’d sat down with my family for lunch, I experienced my first contraction. It was beginning.

You can read the rest of my birth story here.

But what’s most significant about this picture, about the person I was and the thoughts I had on that last day out before Arthur was born, is how much everything changed once he was here.

I thought I knew what to expect. I thought I knew how I would want to do things, what sort of mum I wanted to be, what I would be capable of. But I know now that I really had no idea. It’s been such an incredibly steep learning curve over the past twenty-two months, and my primary teacher has been my son.

And I love that.

I love that for all my love of planning, my tendency to want to be in control of everything all of the time, to want to know what’s coming and anticipate how I’m going to react to it, I’ve actually been able to let go so much.

I can’t say it’s true of other aspects of my life, but I love that where parenting Arthur is concerned I’ve generally managed to let him take the lead in our adventure. And as his second birthday fast approaches, and that bump which transformed into a baby and then a toddler is fast transforming into a little boy, I know that for all that has happened over the past two years, our adventure is still just beginning.

Z is for zero.


Joining in with The Alphabet Photography Project over at PODcast. 

A playground by the sea


Another day, another playground. This time we went to the Geoplay Park in Paignton which I’ve been meaning to check out for ages. It’d been a busy day already – in the morning we’d had baby gym and mummy trampolining, followed by lunch with friends and a swim. But then in the afternoon the sun came out and, impatiently waiting for a bus to take us back to Brixham, I figured it’d be a shame not to make the most of it.

We started with a snack, Arthur perusing the playground whilst he munched on a banana overlooked by a caveman and a woolly mammoth. The park is inspired by the English Riviera’s geological history, with separate areas from toddlers to teens representing different periods in time. There were lots of new things to explore, and it wasn’t long before Arthur went diving in.

image    image

The slide was of course familiar, and Arthur enjoyed climbing through the little house to get to it. Well, the first time anyway – after that he decided walking back up the slide itself would be much more efficient!

He toyed with the idea of going through the tunnel to the massive geodesic climbing frames on the other side but decided against it. I was quite glad actually as I’m not sure I’d’ve been able to follow…


Instead he went over to the trampoline. He wasn’t quite sure what to make of it when I lifted him on, and was soon holding his hands out to be saved. I resisted though, pretty sure he’d manage to clamber off himself. He’s really into climbing at the moment and very nearly made it, but I did have to help him out at the final hurdle.

image    image


Then he noticed the sand and water play area and got properly excited. He was a little bit little to make the most of it really, beyond the obvious attraction of getting covered in both. But I think as he gets older the dams and balances and diggers will be fantastic for teaching him all sorts of physics in action as well as being good, messy fun.

image    image

image    image

As if the day hadn’t been exciting enough, just as Arthur was beginning to get tired his dada turned up having stopped by to pick us up on his way home from work. He was over the moon to see him, and settled in for some serious daddy cuddles whilst we took a stroll along the seafront and had a drink overlooking the bay before heading home.


It’s days like this that make me love where we live, and I love our new playground too. We will definitely be heading back soon – and we might even make it onto the beach next time!


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall