On My Camera – A week with my family

Thank you for all your comments about our little yard. There is definitely lots of potential and I have lots of plans for it! We are very lucky to have such lovely parks and woodland close by as well.

Now, we haven’t had an “On My Camera” post for a while, have we? Let’s have one today! I love doing these when I have a lot of photos backed up that I can’t make into posts on their own. Here is a big bish bash bosh post of photos from my week with my family.

1. Weirdly foggy mornings: This was either a Monday or a Wednesday when my mum was at work and I went for a long walk around the village with TTB. I could never ever live in that village again, I would go crazy with boredom.

2. After two days of hearing a bird of prey screeching, a buzzard flew past when I was waiting for the bus. Can you see it? Quite small I know!

3. Wednesday, 4:15pm in Banbury, on the way to Pizza Express (yum)

4. At Stowe: sleeping boy stayed asleep on Auntie Rachie for a long time. Her poor arms! he is not light.

5. Lambing sheds. It wasn’t officially open as they only do lambing days at the weekends, but we peeked through the side of the gate.

6. There were lambs in the field though. Still foggy at lunchtime!

7. Boy and bubbles in the garden

8. Bubbles

9. More bubbles.

10. TTB = Tiny Two Brooms. The toddler sized one was not good enough, he wanted the ones we were using too. Of course.

11. It’s the Happyland barn and I kept finding him sitting astride it to press the buttons on the top. Dafty!

12. Feeding Flossie with Grandma

13. Exploring

14. Most of our days involved a puddle suit and a big watering can.

15. Getting ready for my friend’s wedding.

16. Confetti

17. “Let them eat cake” sadly I had to leave the wedding and do bedtime for my boy before the cake was cut but I think the cupcakes looked delicious.

18. Speeches. A very emotional day seeing my friend marry, we have known each other since we were 4!

Outside Space

The first home that Andy and I shared together was a first floor flat (I think in the US you would call it a second floor flat) with no outside space. It was special because it was our first home together, but I did really miss having somewhere outdoors that was just ours. I used to think that I wanted a garden and that by having to “settle for” just having a yard (not many of the houses here have gardens, and definitely none in our price range … or even double our price range really!) was a huge compromise and would make me miserable. In reality, owning our own home was enough of a challenge and I think I would have been overwhelmed (I’m lazy) with having to care for a garden as well.

I’ve come to love our little yard. There is, like everything related to our property, a lot of work that needs to be done to it and I’m making a list of things to do at the moment. But it affords us something very special and for that I am grateful: an outside space that is just ours and nobody else’s. We can open our back door and stand outside, breathe fresh air, hang washing on the line and see the sky. We can grow plants in pots, sit outside on the steps with a cup of tea early in the morning at the start of what will be a hot day, or an ice lolly later on. And you know, there is somewhere to keep the bins which is boring but practical.

Lately it’s taken on a new purpose though and that is as a stomping ground for a toddler. There is nothing this boy likes more than putting his boots on (and a puddle suit if it’s wet) and going out in the yard. He found a brush that lost it’s dustpan years ago and carries that around with him and does important brushing and sweeping. He plays with the padlock on the gate, and the flaps on the tumble drier outlet. He runs his hands along the pebbledash wall, and touches the leaves on all the plants. We go and visit the rabbits and he helps me to feed them every day. We do big stompy steps and jump up and down; we run quickly from one end to the other (this does not take long!) and take teeny tiny steps too.

During our time at my mum’s last week, he played in their garden every single day. It’s a bigger garden, with a patio, a lawn and interesting things like watering cans and garden chairs, an apple tree and a big-to-a-toddler shallow hole where a tiny pond used to be. He really, dearly, loved being out there and he always cried when it was time to come in. I did feel a bit sad and guilty that I can’t provide a big garden for him to run around in, but not for long. He has outside space and we make the best of it. There is so much potential here! I have lots of plans for the summer – chalk, water, maybe a sand table, a broom that is the right size, perhaps we will plant some things together and have a picnic out there too. Loads to do.

Oh and I said there is nothing that this boy likes more than going outside … that was a bit of a fib: coming back inside and doing the washing up (just plastic biscuit cutters at the moment) with bubbles and warm water afterwards is his equal favourite thing to do. He has a lot of favourite things but isn’t that one of the best thing about being a child? I think so!