Tag Archives: winter

Jump and splash

Whenever we’ve left the house this week, Arthur has been a boy on a mission. As well as the ongoing desire to throw whatever he can get his hands on, especially if there’s water involved, he has been on the lookout for puddles – because by jumping in himself he can make an even bigger splash! image Fortunately all the rain we’ve had recently has left plenty of puddles for him to play with. We wrapped up warm on Monday to catch the last of the daylight when the sun finally came out, and we’re rewarded by a beautiful rainbow over the bay. Our initial plan had been just to kick a ball about, but we couldn’t resist the temptation to wander down to the pool, our heads full of dreams of summer. image Naturally a swim was out of the question (though Arthur did ask), but as we meandered along the poolside we found the biggest puddle ever and he contented himself with jumping and splashing until he was thoroughly soaked. image image image There were plenty more opportunities to get out and about as the week progressed. Arthur’s oddmother came to visit, and he had a brilliant time showing her all his favourite stone-throwing and puddle-jumping spots. image image In fact we were convinced at one point that we were going to have to spend the night up at Berry Head after he found a particularly satisfying muddy puddle and spent a good half an hour filling it with gravel and jumping and splashing to his heart’s content. image image image There is nothing like a toddler to put a positive spin on rubbish weather. Though I’m still dreaming of the day when the jumping and splashing we’re doing will be in the pool itself…

My word of the week this week is puddles.

The Reading Residence

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall



You might notice me first in the scent of woodsmoke that rises up from the ashes of the long days of summer. Or perhaps you will see my gnarly fingers reaching up towards the sky, revealed as my breeze steals the last of the golden leaves. Or maybe it will be that moment you make yourself late as you return home for a jacket after shivering at the bus stop. Or when you realise you have not been out in daylight since you woke, looking wistfully through a steamed up window at the lingering shadows whilst the clock on the wall counts down the minutes until you are released once more into the cold and the dark.

However I come for you, you will be in my grip before you know it.

You will hear me in the winds that rattle the window frames and howl down the chimney. You will feel me under foot as you struggle to keep your balance on a patch of unexpected ice or crunch across crisp grass on a frosty morning. I will numb your fingers and caress your cheeks until they are red and raw.

Some days you will be glad that I am here.

When you fill your lungs with the cool clarity only I can bring, or see a frozen landscape sparkle under sunny skies bluer than you thought was really possible. When you wrap up warm against me, shunning the transformations I have wreaked on the outside world to cosy up with those you love. When you marvel at the quiet beauty of fresh snowfall, transported back to childhood and a world that was simpler and more magical.

Other days you will wish with all your might that I had never come at all.

And then one day, not long after you have convinced yourself that I am all there is, I will be gone.

In my place there will be green, and warm sunshine that seems to melt your very soul. The universe will be full of possibility again, and you will wonder why you let yourself let go of hope.

It will not be much longer until you almost forget that I exist at all.

But I will always be here, waiting.

And when you least expect it I will return.

Nikki Young Writes

Word of the week: cold


I’ve been struggling a bit with my first cold of the season this week: a sniffling, lethargy-inducing, lingering cold, not enough to really stop me doing anything but certainly enough to make it all that bit more difficult. But that’s not actually what this post is about.

What I’ve really noticed this week is just how cold it’s becoming! It was like someone flicked a switch, plunging us from unseasonably warm vest-top-in-November sort of weather into the (admittedly far more appropriate) biting winds and deepening chill that requires layers and hats and a brisk pace to escape its grasp.

But this post isn’t actually about the weather either. It’s just that the cold seems to be the common link between my favourite moments from this week.

One of which was the arrival of Arthur’s first ever pair of slippers. We have wooden floors in most of our house, so slippery socks are not really an option to keep Arthur’s toes warm. He wasn’t even walking this time last year so it wasn’t really an issue, but now with the hurtling up and down the corridors I needed to come up with something. And I found these.


They’re by Living Kitzbuhel, soft and cosy enough to be comfortable for hours of wear yet tough enough to stand up to the endless energy of a toddler. They certainly seem to be doing the job.


The other memorable moment from this week, when the three of us all wrapped up and ventured into the cold, was bonfire night. We went to see the fireworks at Sherwell Valley Primary School. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but we had a brilliant night. When we arrived, Arthur was enthralled by all the lights flashing in the darkness.


He was cosied up in the sling beneath our brilliant babywearing coat, and was very happy for a while to watch the gathering crowds from there. He did start to get a little bit restless, wondering I think why we were all standing around in the cold and the darkness, but fortunately the explosions of colour distracted him before too long.




It was a brilliant display – and whilst Arthur spent most of it looking more than a little bit shell shocked, he still hasn’t stopped talking about the fireworks.

We’ve had a couple of wintery walks as well, and I have to concede that there’s something rather lovely about the crisp, refreshing air that I may even have missed, just a little bit.


So bring it on winter – we’re ready for you!

The Reading Residence

W is for winter


I might not be terribly find of the thought of the nights drawing in or the prospect of endless grey drizzle, but there are actually lots of things about winter days I love.

Snow in particular has a strange power over me. One of my best friends is Canadian, and she thinks I’m mad. But then I’ve never had to deal with the drudgery of it – the blackouts, the snow ploughs, the military precision required just to leave the house. For me snow is magical: transforming city and countryside scenes alike as it deadens sounds and amplifies the light.

I love what it does to people – to total strangers. This picture was taken in London Fields, in one of the particularly impressive bouts of snow we’ve had in recent years. Everyone seemed to be transported back to their childhood, real or imagined, as they built snowmen, made angels with their arms or pelted each other with the white stuff till they collapsed giggling into it. And all of this in what seemed like silence under the branches of trees heavy with their own liberal dusting.

We’re much less likely to get snow in Brixham – being by the sea tends to ward off the coldest of the winter weather, which is one of the the only things I don’t like so much about living here. You don’t need to go too far inland to find it though: frozen ponds and crystallised leaves, delicate icicles and impenetrable frosty ground.

I think it reminds me of the fairy kingdoms I liked to inhabit when I was growing up, the supreme delicacy of the patterns in the ice and the way it makes everything sparkle. There’s something humbling about those moments when nature reminds you of its presence, too: the way it transforms the landscapes we work so hard to control and makes everyday life just that little bit more difficult.

W is for winter.


Joining in with The Alphabet Photography Project over at PODcast.

K is for kite


Boxing day, 2013. Leigh had been given a kite for Christmas, and as we headed to the beach to walk off the indulgence of the day before there was a palpable sense of excitement. The day was crisp and cold and bright: for a British winter it could hardly have been bettered. The wind was strong, but as it happened that was just what we wanted.

Arthur was nuzzled up in the sling, still computing the craziness of his first Christmas season and, not that he knew it, waiting to experience his first birthday two days later. It was the adults though who were rapt with the simple pleasure of a kite flying high in the December sky.

We each had a go, nonchalant at first, trying to conceal our nervousness and anticipation. But as the wind caught the fabric that our hands controlled we in turn were caught by a childlike joy. Those of us who were not physically attached to its pulls and turns found ourselves mimicking the twists and grins of the one who was, unable to tear our eyes away and united in our quest to maintain its flight for as long as possible.

K is for kite.


Joining in with The Alphabet Photography Project over at PODcast.