Tag: outdoor fun

Finding the Beauty in Ordinary Days

It definitely felt like spring has sprung over the weekend which lasted till Monday.  Never mind if it’s looking grey again today.  But a few days ago, our little family had a lovely time as we worked in the sunshine, trying to reclaim our garden back from the remnants of winter.

T and I started with raking the leaves which should’ve been raked ages ago, but it was always too wet and cold to do it.  But over the weekend it was bliss.  We were all in our element, including Doc and Boots who loved basking in the sun and running on tree branches.  Hopefully she didn’t find any bird’s nests!

For some time now, the husband has been talking about wanting to put wooden borders with shingles for our pots of plants to rest on.  But like I’ve mentioned, the weather hasn’t been really conducive to do anything outside, he finally had his chance!

He started this on a Saturday, by Sunday he had all the wooden boards up, but found out that the shingles he bought wasn’t enough.  We managed to buy more yesterday and it’s all up:

I think he did a grand job!  We’re excited to buy more bedding plants, since the ones in our pots need replanting and even new ones.  There’s still obviously much to do in the garden.  I need to repaint our garden furnitures and hopefully we’ll manage to put up some swings and tick off some of our plans which we made last year when we first moved into the house.  It does take time, doesn’t it?

But over the weekend, it was one of those lovely ordinary days where I savoured each and every single second, bit by bit.  There’s beauty in ordinary days like these.

Relishing the ordinary, the way the sunshine poured through the window making beautiful patterns against our curtains.  The sound of Boots’ bell coming from the trees, hopefully loud enough to warn any birds that a predator is coming.  Little T sitting on the concrete steps eating her little picnic exclaiming “This is the best lunch ever” which consisted of a jam sandwich, apple slices and her a pear flavoured drink.

The way the husband frowned as he hammered a piece of wood into the ground missing his foot just inches away.  Even the sound of Doc’s faint barking which meant he was somewhere in the 500-acre farm land that surrounds our house.

And then later on, the sound of T practicing her cello and my husband and I both smiling, so proud of her, that what our little girl is playing is beginning to sound like good music.  These are the moment I want to freeze forever.

Reality sets in again, and it’s a Wednesday, our house at the moment is surrounded in mist.  Ah well…

A Country Kid’s Post: Planting for Spring

I know it’s barely Winter and here I am talking about Spring.  But you see, it’s all about focusing on small joys, and doing things that makes me/our little family happy, and planting for Spring makes us happy bunnies!

Last Sunday was a quiet day of doing chores, homework and planting for us here at Small Hill Cottage.  My husband bought some bulbs for planting and he and little T had fun doing it in the garden.  They planted crocuses, irises, daffodils and trilliums.

I reminded him though that when our garden is in full bloom, it is dotted with loads of daffodils, snow-drops and other lovely spring flowers.  “Yes”, he replied.  “But not where I want them to be”.  Off he went, planting them down in the garden, where he wanted them to be.

Silly flowers indeed, not sprouting from where he wants them to grow.

As for little T, my little gardener, she was blessedly content with planting the bulbs in her chosen pot.  There, she said, as she pushed the last bulb in the soil and asked me to help her cover it with compost.

We were all out in the garden, enjoying the fresh air in spite the dull weather.  Well, except for the cat who opted to stay in, sleeping by the fire.  Doc was busy running around and barking at imaginary shadows.  T and the historian with their bulbs, and I, as always, was busy raking the leaves.

Safe in our little bubble of country living.  The world and all its absurdities can all happen without us and we’re fine with that.

What about you?

Have you done any spring planting too?

A Country Kid’s Post: Autumn Fun in the Garden

Our garden is carpeted in leaves.  We had absolutely lovely sunshine weather a few days ago, the kind that’s best spent outside, so T and I decided to hunt for a rake and do a little bit of tidying up in our lawn.

We couldn’t find one, what my husband found instead was his nan’s old small garden pea-rake.  “Yep, that will do!” I said to him as I grabbed it and handed it to little T who seemed really excited about it.  I promised that she could jump up and down in leafy piles after.

Hard at work with her great-grandmother’s small pea-rake.

And once she had a good pile of raked-leaves, she decided that it was a great burial ground for her baby.

 I warned her though that children’s services would take the her baby away if they found out. That stopped her. She took Ella away from the pile and started raking again, till she had a good amount of leaves to jump in.

Don’t you just love watching them have fun in even the simplest ways?

I do.


My husband is right.  We do need a leaf-vac.

Paddling Pool Fun

Although the really lovely warm weather seems to have gone (for now at least), I look at these photos I took of T and her friend W last Monday and marvel at home warm and lovely that day was.  Did it really happen?

It took me the whole morning though to fill up T’s paddling pool.  I actually did most of my blogging out in the garden that day which was absolute bliss!  It almost felt like I was on holiday somewhere nice and warm.

All that waiting was so worth it seeing little T’s and her friend’s face break into a big smile  when they saw the paddling pool all filled-up and waiting for them after school that Monday afternoon.  After a quick change, they were ready to have some serious paddling pool fun.

Those £2 hoppers were such a great buy, especially since T and her friend had so much fun playing with them in and out the pool.


It was great to watch them from the window up in my room as I typed away and listened to their squeals and giggles.  At that moment, it dawned on me, that this is the sound of summer.  This is what summer should always sound like – the laughter and giggles of children having fun.

Today is T’s first day off school and I’m afraid the weather isn’t as good as Monday.  Hopefully the lovely sunshine and warmth will be back soon.

What about you?

Have you guys been doing anything fun during the warm days?

Do share.

A Country Kid’s Post: All About the Outdoors

This move has always been about space and the outdoors.  More space for little T to have, especially when she has her friends over for play-dates.  A bigger garden for Doc and Boots to explore without any hissing and yowling happening and an office for my husband.

Ever since we’ve moved, little T has had playdates after another.  At one time we had more than six kids in one go.  It was maddening, but the fun kind.

When she has friends over, they have picnics outside, with toys scattered all over the front garden.  It’s easier to clean-up too. I tell T to chuck all her toys back in those Ikea storage boxes.  Don’t you just love them?

I’ve helped her build DIY teepees with old curtains from the old house we won’t be using again.

When her friends are over, they have one teepee or tent each.  Thank goodness we have loads of old fabric we can use.

She hardly every plays inside the house, only when it’s raining.  She doesn’t watch much television anymore or doesn’t use her Ipad much, which is great.  I want her to play like I did when I was her age.  There wasn’t much technology back then.  All we had were our toys and imaginations.

We haven’t had the time to buy the much coveted trampoline yet and also want to hang up wooden little swings by the tree down in the garden.  Her new paddling pool is still in a box.  We have yet to find an even ground in the garden (it mostly slopes you see).   Need to get that sorted out soon, especially since we’ve been having such glorious weather at the moment. A friend mentioned the use of ply, the husband thinks he might also try sandbags just to even a corner space for the paddling pool.  I think a little tilt isn’t that bad.  But we’ll have to see.

All those little things-to-do have to wait till the summer when we have all the time in the world to do just that.

What about you?

Have you been spending the lovely warm weather in your garden too?

Do share.

A Country Kids Post: An Afternoon Spent at Crealy Adventure Park

On the last week of little T’s Easter break, we met up with some friends over at Cornwall’s Crealy Adventure park near Wadebridge.  I think the last time we visited was about a year or so ago.

We arrived in the early afternoon since T’s dad had some work to finish before heading off to Crealy.

It doesn’t look really different from the last time we were there.  Same rides, same animals, since there were rain clouds hovering above, they actually put giant tents over the Pirate Ship where kids can play in the open.  It’s more or less like a giant sand-pit.  Luckily the day stayed dry.  They also seemed to have the same restaurants and snack shops you can buy the usual kind of food one gets at an adventure park.

T and her friend enjoyed some rides together.

She and her friend F enjoyed the tea-cup ride so much they actually went on it twice!  Just watching them made me even feel dizzy!

The giant slides were her favourite.  She and her friend with their respective dads did the slides again and again.  It was actually funny watching grown-men go down the giant slide and laughing loudly like little boys.  I guess they never really grow-up, don’t they? 😉

The last time we went to Crealy little T loved the water slide, thank goodness she didn’t seem to remember it, while it was a lovely dry day, it was not warm enough to do a water-slide especially since you really end up getting wet afterwards.  She was happy doing the dragon roller coaster instead.

T also had fun looking at the different animals, but I’ll save that for another post.  And before we knew it, it was time go home.  I was expecting some tears, but little T was happy to be led home, though I have a feeling it had something to do with a toy she had eyed at the gift-shop.  Luckily for her, she remembered to take her money from her piggy-bank with her.

What about you?

What’s your favourite adventure park?

Do share.

Country Kids: A Chocolate Egg Hunt

I know Easter is finished and everyone has moved on, though we still have loads of chocolate left-overs since we’ve been rationing them to T, we don’t want her to over-do it like she did on Easter Sunday.  The down-side is, it’s taking ages to get through them.  I know, some of you may think I’m nuts for complaining about having chocolates around.  Is it me, or do you also hear a tiny voice that says “Eat me?” every time you see one lying around?

A few days ago, little T had some friends over and since we still had loads of chocolate, even a tub of chocolates for an Easter egg hunt we planned to organise in the new garden.  But since the move hasn’t happened yet, a friend and I decided to do it in the playground.

The trick was, how do we hide the chocolates with the kids around?  Luckily, there is a skateboard ramp near the playground.  When we arrived, we suggested to the kids, why not play at the skate-ramp first which thank goodness, they happily obliged us with nary a complaint.

They didn’t suspicious that we sent them off and were happily playing on the ramp while their mum and I quickly “hid” a bunch of chocolates around the playground with little clues arrows pointing on where to find them.

We didn’t really hide them of course, after all they are only five and one three-year-old little boy.

On the merry-go-around.

Under the see-saw and a few other visible places.

The biggest eggs we put on the fort, but since there were only two big ones, we told them that they all had to share it.  Was a bit worried that it might end in tears, thankfully they were all happy about sharing.

Once my friend M and I were done with the dispersing of chocolates, we called the little rascals in.

Of course it is was easy to find …

We told them though that they had to hop to where the chocolates were, but I guess they were too excited and ended up hopping-running-jumping like little loonies.

Then they sat down to eat some of their chocolates.  I was pleasantly surprised that they didn’t gobble them all down in one sitting.  I guess it was because they were after all in the playground.  Who wants to eat more when you can play with your friends and run and jump around like a pair of little monkeys?

Do you still have left-over East egg chocolates?

Bob Bear's Visit

Little T’s teacher whom I fondly call Ms. O has a soft toy called Bob Bear who likes to go on a short holiday/visit to her students’ homes.  His name is Bob Bear.

Unlike Paddington Bear who comes from the deepest Peru, Bob Bear is from Switzerland.  Hence, the Swiss scarf.

A couple of weeks ago, it was little T’s turn to take Bob Bear home with her.  As soon as she came home from school, she introduced her special guests to her own bears.

On little T’s left, there’s Captain Biggles, Paddington Bear (who was feeling camera shy at the moment and hid behind little T’s arm as I took a photo) and big bear and little bear on her right. They were very curious about the Swiss Bear indeed.

Thank goodness the weather that week was glorious. When T’s friend came over, they decided to take Bob Bear out for a little adventure, dressed in their pirate outfits.

First stop was the skateboard ramp near the football field.

They clambered up and slid back down.

Bob Bear enjoyed climbing up and down with little T and her best friend F.

After awhile, they decided to head to the playground for some fun and games.

Till it was obvious that the little ones and Bob Bear were tired from all their hammocking around.

Do you think Bob Bear enjoyed his visit?

Down in the Valley

Little T goes to a small play-school/nursery here in our little village by the sea.  It’s a lovely play school and when the weather is good, they take out the kids for some fun in the sun and the outdoors. They also have their own little vegetable garden where the little ones learn how to plant and care for their vegetables and flowers.  And last Wednesday, that’s exactly what they did.

There’s little T having fun with her wheelbarrow.

Little T with a young friend.

And one of the reasons that makes this play-school special is that just below, is what makes up a child’s paradise, complete with a make-shift bridge made up of a fallen tree and a tire swing over a body of water.

See Little T walk cross the make-shift bridge with the help  of Auntie L.

The kids had so much fun taking turns in the tire-swing, there’s little T with one of the lovely play-assistants in the nursery. One little boy tugged on my trousers and whispered “If you shut your eyes, it’s like riding a roller coaster!”  He looked barely two-years-old and I wondered “Does he even know what it feels like to ride a roller coaster?”  And then remembered how powerful a child’s imagination is.  Indeed, it must have felt exactly like riding a roller coaster.

Looking at these photos I am affirmed that we made the right decision in raising our child in the country, though admittedly, time and again, I miss the city.  But this is the place where our daughter makes magical memories every single day.

This post is linked-up with Coombe Mill’s Country Kids.