The trees are starting to look amazing aren’t they? Its that time of year when they really start to break out of those winter duds. With the lighter evenings as well it feels like there is a slow shift in the pace of our evenings. In the winter it can feel like tea comes soon after the end of school. But with the lighter, sometimes sunnier evenings it feels like there is loads of time before we need to start to thinking about evening routines and bedtimes. It feels nice to let those things go now. More like they way the spanish do it, although sadly without the siesta!!

One of the kids favourite things to do is to climb. Having a hardened outdoor, cliff climber as a Dad was probably always going to effect that! If there is a tree around then there will be one or all of my kids and my husband will be up it with me left holding the coats and the dog at the bottom!

A great place to climb trees is a local park, which has some grand, old trees with low, swinging branches that have probably had centuries of kids hauling themselves up onto them, scraping their knees and getting grubby. 🙂

Its lovely when the sun puts in an appearance through the leaves as well. This was one of those times when i didn’t have my DSLR with me, I have used this park many times for portrait sessions, it lends itself beautifully to family shots as there are so many places for a family to interact and play together. So it was out with the iphone and whilst the images might not have the pin tight sharpness of my DSLR they are still as valuable.  “the best camera is the one you have with you” (chase Jarvis 2010)

Good times.

I am chuffed to have been nominated for a BIBS aware again this year. Thats Brilliance in Blogging. I have been nominated in the ‘photography’ category and if you would like to go and vote for me to get into the finals then please follow this link. I am just incredibly honoured that there are folk that took the time to nominate me. thank you xx

 

 

 

 

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Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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I absolutely love the sun. I really really do. I think i might be a hairs breath away from having a little sprinkling of SAD. You know when the sunshine changes your mood so much. It literally lifts me being in the sun, feeling its warmth and seeing the colours it causes to jump around the landscape. One thing that i noticed spending a week in the countryside surrounded by hills and open spaces was just how amazing the sun looks in an uninterrupted landscape with no light pollution. I was taken away by the beauty in each sunrise and sunset. It was sensational. So much so that i tried on several times to just capture it as perfectly as i could. I used a tripod a lot of the time and set my camera up way before the sun started to appear on the horizon.  I was amazed actually how quickly it rises once it appears it is up and shining strong above the horizon within about 10 minutes so i wanted to make the most of the light that it afforded.

I set my white balance manually, so that i could get the truest colour rendition directly in camera. Then i set my camera manually because i really wanted to control the amount of light that was hitting the sensor. So for those who like the details. I set my aperture or F stop to around f18 (remember the sunny 16 rule!), i used a long lens and a shutter of about 1/160 if i was hand holding. My ISO was 125 and i had set my white balance to custom. I have intentionally not edited these shots in post processing. So that the pureness of what the camera has captured can be seen. The only thing i did do was clone out a few dirt spots which were obviously on my lens..tsk..very naughty!

anyway…

here you go..

the sun….

she rises!

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Its that time of year that strikes fear into a mother’s heart. The letter home from school that announces with a chirpy style ‘ we are allowing the children to get dressed up for world book day!’

I have come over the years to really really not like world book day. I love books, i think reading is a thing of great importance and beauty and must be encouraged. The concept of world book day is an awesome one. What is has morphed into in the world of primary school kids is a bloody thorn in my side. It makes me laugh out loud that the letters are always quick to sternly point out..’please do not go out and buy anything..whatever you have lying around the house will be fine’

really?

hmmmm.

The school my kids go to decided to only allow the kids to dress up in a certain type of costume. The younger kids ‘had’ to come as either a princess or a pirate..and the two older year groups had to come as something from Peter Pan. Now call me an old cynic but isnt the idea behind something called ‘world book day’ surely designed to display and showcase the colourful and varied books that kids read and lets face it there are not many 11 year olds (my son) who would be reading and enjoying Peter Pan? Sort of squashes the kids own creativity i think..never mind the fact that some kids might actually want to come in as a character from a book they enjoy?

The ‘dont spend any money’ comment irks me somewhat. Firstly I am not, myself, massively handy with the old sewing machine and secondly I don’t have too many pirate type things lying around the house. Having a son who has always hated any sort of dressing up,  he always asks me why he can’t just go as himself to these sort of things, I have very little dressing up clothes at my disposal. Then there is the whine and request from my four little girls who all want to go as Queen Elsa from Frozen because their best friend is going as her and she just ‘has’ to be the same. uh -huh..yeah that will be the dress that is £40 in the Disney store ( no they didn’t get it!)

It is a total headache and a cash cow for the supermarkets, who around this time of year start expanding their dressing up ranges so that we can all go in and lay down the cash so that my daughter can go to school as a pirate in an outfit off the shelf that will be worn once and then unlikely see the light of day for a good while..until the next world book day i guess providing they are allowed to come as pirates! *eye roll*

I know it is a bit bah humbug of me but i feel that surely a day that celebrates literature should be, at the very least, about actual books, stories and the writing of amazing literature rather than just about how many Buzz Lightyear costumes can fly off the shelves? and actually those Toy Story characters? a book? really? Not a screenplay written for a very successful and enjoyable movie series…yes….but not a book?

What about the kids bringing in their favourite book? a book swop? having a writing stories class with a writer for the older kids. That would be something the kids gain from surely?  Opening their minds to the world of literature without having to wear a costume all day and line the fat pockets of the supermarkets even more? Then of course there is the delightful side issue to these sort of days which is the over -competitive parents who kids waltz through the school gates in the morning looking like they have just come from their own hair and make-up department on the set of a movie. You know who they are…yeah…they are everywhere and not just in world book day.

When one of my kids was in reception they had to do a ‘build your own house’ out of boxes etc. We give our kids the stuff and tell them to get stuck in. One year, i kid you not, there was a model of a lighthouse with a working tiny sized lightbulb!!

You see what we are up against? 😉

I am ALL for celebrating literature with bells on and i love that kids should be allowed to let their imagination run away with them if they want to add an outfit to their world book day…but the yearly nightmare that has become the dress up for world book day i think is missing the point by a country mile. in my opinion. 🙂

One of my little misses working a dorothy/madonna wig/lazy town combo.

and why not?

one week




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During the half term we went to North Yorkshire for a family get away. We had been wondering what to plan for my dad’s birthday. It was a big decade one and we knew he wouldnt be keen on having a big ‘do’ so we started hatching a plan on what to do. I did a couple of evenings surfing t’internet looking for ideas about location, what to do, where to stay..i went from city breaks (but hey…we have small kids so discarded pretty quickly) to big barn conversations all in one with a huge swimming pool in the middle (booked) or large beautifully converted farm houses for large numbers of people. I had fun looking at different places and it seemed that the main issue we were going to come up against was the fact that in the february half term everyone else seemed to be thinking the same thing!!

We eventually found somewhere and whilst it had beautiful cottages the biggest thing for my kids was the pool. It had a small, private pool and the kids adored it and where able to swim two or three times a day. For them it was total bliss. It was a real eye-opener for me as well as for a long time i haven’t enjoyed swimming at all. I have pretty much avoided getting anywhere near water unless i was needed in the adult to kid ratio!  I know, not great..but ten years of paddling in the shallowest of swimming pools, with the wind howling round me hasn’t really lent itself to a joyful relationship…

But with my youngest being looked after, as she came down with a bit of a cold whilst we were there, meant that i could go into the pool with my older kids who can all swim reasonably well. In this lovely environment without having to worry about a toddler running across a slippery pool side and giving themselves a head injury..i had a bit of an epipheny.

Its not that i dont like swimming…im just not massively keen on swimming with toddlers, I find the stress of it and having to be in a constant state of ‘ready to jump as they might fall in and drown!” was draining and i had convinced myself that i actually didnt like swimming itself!

The kids and I had a blast, so cool seeing how great they can all swim and trying to get the furthest underwater. Even managed a few lengths of front crawl..its been such a long time. I was actually sad that i didnt get to go in on the last morning before we left as i was packing!

Maybe my view is changing with the times eh?

 

 

Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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