A Sprinkle of Summer Fun Memories!

When I think back to my childhood, there are some memories which are far more vivid than others: pretending our picnic table was a stage and performing for my family; playing in the paddling pool with my brothers and sister; and quickly slurping up the juice of a refreshing lolly before it dribbled down my chin and onto my knees.

All of these memories took place in our garden.

Therefore I was utterly delighted when I asked my own son what his favourite thing about Summer is, and the instant  and eager reply was "Being able to play outside in the sunshine!"

FAB Lollies - The Taste of Summer

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Going Ape in the New Forest!

There is nothing that The Boy loves more than clambering up a tree. It provides a real sense of achievement and connecting with the natural world in that manner really grounds the soul, uplifting and revitalising the body.

Last weekend we travelled down to the New Forest for my mother-in-law's 70th birthday celebrations. This involved the extended family spending three hours up a tree, clambering over cargo nets and sliding down zipwires.

Go Ape

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Beach Art

On a wonderfully sunny day a week or two back, we met some friends at our local beach for some 'seaglass hunting'. Our local beach is a great mix of lovely round pebbles and newly uncovered sand, and at low tide we even have rock pools with tiny crabs and sea anemones to marvel upon.

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Fresh Start On The Beach

A few years ago we went to Barry Island on New Year's Day and it was the most glorious day; the sun was shining on a perfect, blue-sky Winter's day. When the 1st January 2015 dawned in a similar style, it was absolutely our destination for some fresh air to blow away the previous year's cobwebs.

Fresh Start On The Beach 2015

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Beach Play In The Golden Hour

The weekends lately have been hectic, not enough time for us as a family to actually do something and be together enjoying each other's company. Saturdays are dominated by running from here to there via everywhere, and Sundays have seen me panicking about school work and ending up with no family time. It's not great, we need to re-address the balance.

Last weekend we nipped down to see my sister and her family in the next town, and knowing she wouldn't be home for another hour we wandered down to the beach. She lives one street away from the coast and their beach is dominated by rockpools galore, perfect for Winter exploration.

Beach play in the golden hour

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Hallowe'en At Hendrewennol

When you find somewhere that works for you as a family, it can be easy to over-visit and wear out your enthusiasm for the place. Hendrewennol is our new favourite place but we're quite fortunate that as it's a pick-your-own fruit farm it is quite seasonal and therefore we can't overdo our visits. We've visited several times this year; for Easter, fruit picking, exploring the maize maze, and pumpkin picking, but this weekend we went to take part in the haunting Hallowe'en activities which the owners had laid on.

Hallowe'en at Hendrewennol 100

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P-P-P-Pick Up A Pumpkin

One of our absolute favourite places to visit for easy outdoor fun on a weekend is our local Pick-Your-Own fruit farm. It's a perfect example of diversification, as not only does Hendrewennol have all the usual berries to harvest during the Summer months, but it also has a themed maize maze (this year in the shape of Wales with famous Welsh castles scattered throughout), large sandpit, and a hay-bale maze. You can visit for free to enjoy the play areas, entry to the maize maze is just a few pounds each.

Last year we discovered that they also grew PYO pumpkins, and I may have gone overboard with the 14 that we ended up taking home. This year we were determined not to get so carried away!

P-P-P-Pick Up A Pumpkin

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