Tag Archives: relaxation

A breath of fresh air and friendship

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We haven’t got out enough so far this year. There have been plenty of reasons why: the weather’s been pretty pants, sniffly colds have never been very far away, and on top of that there is of course the small matter of a novel that needs editing…

So when this week we had friends to visit and the sun came out to greet them we breathed a sigh of relief and headed out into the fresh air.

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There’s nothing quite like hanging out with old friends to rejuvenate the soul. Emily and I were partners in crime when we were sixteen, and I feel so lucky to still have her in my life twenty years later.

She is about to embark on an uber exciting house-building project with her family, so they began their stay at my folks’ place to get some inspiration from the major renovation they’ve just completed. Whilst we were there we made the most of the beautiful countryside: feeding the chickens, seeking out snowdrops, and exploring the deep dark woods.

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Arthur spent a while at one particular tree, scratching away with a stick. I asked what he was doing and he said ‘writing’ (silly). When I asked what he was writing he said ‘the story of mummy and daddy’. Nothing like the great outdoors for a bit of inspiration.

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After twenty four hours in the beautiful South Hams we headed back to Brixham. There had been much talk of penguins, so there was nothing for it really but to head for Living Coasts. We finally got to try out the new year-round ferry, and spent a day in beautiful sunshine in Torquay.

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We had a bit of a stroll (and the obligatory fish and chips) and then headed to our awesome coastal zoo. The toddlers were in their element here, and it was so lovely to watch them explore and bond.

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On their last day we stayed closer to home. It was properly freezing, but we made it to Breakwater beach for some bracing pebble throwing.

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Though our friends were only here for three days, I feel like we’ve crammed at least a month’s worth of adventures into that time. And on top of that I’ve been reminded how lucky we are to live where we do: we will most definitely be getting out more in February, whatever else the world throws at us.

 

My word of the week this week is friendship.

The Reading Residence

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

 

A boy, a ball and a hula hoop

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It was the end of a long day working on the novel, and it was most definitely time to get outside. Arthur grabbed his ball, I grabbed my hula hoop, and we headed for the patch of grass which overlooks the bay. The sun was low in the sky, casting long shadows and bathing everything in its gentle orange light.

Arthur was off as soon as we passed the cars and I could let go of his hand. I watched him running and giggling whilst looping the hoop around my hips, breathing in the sea air and the view.

There were dogs out too for their evening stroll, some coming over to sniff around and say hello. Arthur loved that. He loved throwing his ball too, and trying his very best to catch it.

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It wasn’t long before he’d commandeered the hula hoop, defying physics in his attempts to spin it round himself but ultimately content just to take it for a walk.

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It was a beautiful evening, and there were moments when I caught him just sitting and looking up at the sky, marvelling at the bigness of it all.

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I love those moments: so simple and yet so precious. Just me, my boy, a ball and a hula hoop. Bliss.

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Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


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Word of the Week: Relax

Today the word that sums up the week that was is:

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It’s a work in progress really. We booked this week in Cyprus back in January, knowing that it would be a long hard term for Leigh and that, if all went to plan, I would’ve just finished the first draft of my second novel. The fact that we made it – to the end of winter, to the successful completion of all our deadlines, and then to this little island so very far away from Devon – is achievement enough, really. But I’m not convinced we’ve got the whole relaxing thing cracked yet.

It is beautiful here. And were Leigh and I here on our own then chilling out would not be a problem. Having Arthur with us definitely complicates things a little – not that we’d have it any other way.

It’s the first trip like this that we’ve attempted since being parents – one where doing as little as possible is the main prerogative. Last year we went on lots of adventures, but we didn’t do much staying still. Oddly enough it turns out our fifteen month old isn’t too good at that.

We could of course have put him in the crèche, and we did consider it – although it doesn’t sit too comfortably with our attachment parenting approach, nor with the fact that Leigh and Arthur have missed each other so much over the past few busy months.  As it turns out he hasn’t been very well, has been teething like crazy and breastfeeding like a newborn. He also, though he had been appearing to be pretty confident and independent, has suddenly hit a wall of separation anxiety. And all in all leaving him with strangers didn’t seem like such a good idea.

So we’ve been hanging out together, and Leigh and I have been learning that all the many demands of parenthood don’t go away just because we happen to be on holiday. But we’re working as a team, and managing to grab some moments for ourselves. And Arthur, though he’s undeniably a bit more grouchy than usual, is clearly enjoying being somewhere new. With a pool. And warm air. And lots of other little people.

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To be honest, however much we’ve been yearning for some chill out time I think Arthur maybe needs to be able to relax a little too. To have mummy and daddy around enjoying each other’s company, and not to have to keep to all the different schedules we impose on ourselves back home.

And if we all enjoy some time together, relaxing as best we can as a family, then hopefully by the time we go home he’ll be healthier and happier with newly recharged confidence to face the next set of challenges that lie ahead.

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The Reading Residence