It was still freezing cold, but we refused to be couped up indoors – I only had a week and I wanted to get out and about with the kids as much as possible.
We went off to the duck ponds for a wander around – there was still a little bit of snow around and the lakes were still frozen several cm thick – probably more in the middle
Brrr! Read more
So, we’ve been having a great time here – it’s been a relatively quiet one this time as it’s been freezing cold, most cool places are actually closed for the winter and we’re all too busy kicking back.
We did go swimming which was cool. No, litterally, it was freezing. The poor boy (who has the physical appearance of the terminally malnourished) went blue and his teeth were chattering uncontrollably.
He did try to swim, but the belly ache he had when he got out indicated that he was actually trying to drink the pool level low enough so he could stand. Read more
So, it’s that time of year again.
Where parents frantically try to get what their kids want without going overboard
Where husbands and wives think frantically what their spouses would like this year
Where inlaws buy socks
Where children make handcrafted trinkets with love for their parents
Where vouchers are the ultimate safe haven when you just can’t work out that perfect gift
Actually, the ultimate safe haven are pamper packs of bath salts and smellies.
But not this year..
I, well, Jay and I, decided that it had been too long since we had used the studio lights and taken some proper shots of the kids goofing around, so whilst they went off to the shops, I set up the Bowens in the lounge, fired up the camera and waited for their return with props and ideas.
And so it was time to take the kids back home so they had time to unwind before school started. This is the bit that’s hard – that still having fun but knowing that its almost time to go bit. Still – have fun we did and Ruth cooked us all a lovely late lunch/early tea as we played in the last of the English summer warmth.
We had a few hours, so I took some nice photos in the lovely light she has in her house.
We had almost come to the end of the holidays and there were so many fun things still to be done. I decided to go see what one of the locals parks had to offer as I’d heard it had been done up since I was last there. And done up it had been – lots of new play equipment, remodelling and the two decade old mini golf had finally been redone.
100 years ago, England was criss crossed with railway lines. Small towns and villages were all connected with quaint single track upon which steam trains chuffed their merry way about, ferrying passengers in their wooden well appointed carriages. Sadly, the second world war meant that the upkeep of a lot of the track and rolling stock fell far behind, and budget cuts meant that a lot of the smaller branch lines were uneconomic to operate.
Its been way too long since I used the 50 mil and I’ve kinda forgotten how to get the most out of it. Its sharp, somewhat slow to focus and has a wonderful depth of field – perfect for making stuff look out of focus. Its the best lens for portraits – set it to f4 and it’s tack sharp – provided you have a steady hand and are good at focussing on the eyes.
Anyway – its focal length is good for general stuff – particularly taking snippets of what’s around you. Jay is very good with the 50 – way better than I.
Groombridge Place (http://www.groombridge.co.uk) is only 30 mins drive from my parents house. I’ve been there before about 4 years ago with Ella, not that she remembers really, just snippets here and there. It’s a pretty cool place – an old moated English country house and beautiful gardens that also has an adventure playground and an ‘enchanted forest’ walk for children. Good enough to keep the kids happy for a few hours anyway.
I gave my kids a massive hug when I got in on Friday – it had been 6 months since I saw them in person – Henry was dancing around in circles he was so excited. Its always so fantastic to see them.
The next day, after a good nights sleep, we went for a walk to the park at the top of the hill – it was a beautiful day too – warm, hot even, sunny, perfect. The kids had loads of fun playing, swinging, sliding, running and making friends.