Buckets and Spades

We had the joy of discovering the brilliant End of Pier Delights yesterday at the Leicester City Festival. A fabulous, free, fun, family orientated event set up with a pop-up beach (!),actors and activities right in the middle of town. We popped along in the morning so Junebug could enjoy the sand and I could practise a bit of street/event photography. I’m pleased with the results so I hope you enjoy them too.

This lady was a joy to watch – she tried everything to get the children joining in and make them laugh. I especially liked how she got down onto their level to interact.

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These guys told stories from inside a big metal whale…

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Children could make a junk-model house to add to the Spark Village.

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The Revenge of Mr Trout was an interactive play with hilarious moments.

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Junebug playing in the sand.

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We were lucky enough to miss the rain and Junebug fell asleep on the way home – signs of a great time. Thank you Spark Arts for Children.

 

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Self Portrait.

I was inspired recently to try a self portrait. This was surprising as I am well aware I am one of the most unphotogenic people I have ever attempted taking a picture of! However I decided it would be a good experience and much needed practise of capturing someone that isn’t my, very photogenic, baby girl. 

After some thought and aimless googling I decided to try and represent my life in my photo, and so include things from my home and day to day routine. Here is the finished product:

Me.  SLT-A35  ISO 200  f/2.8  1/640 sec

Me.
SLT-A35      ISO 200      f/2.8     1/640 sec

So, everything is pretty self explanatory… I have the changing mat and nappies, laundry and ironing, Junebug’s toys and books, washing up, chalkboard from our kitchen which currently has an activity wheel on, recipe and child development books and my abdominal exercise frame (more occasional than day to day!).

Not really all there is to me at all, I hope, but a slice of my life.

I actually quite enjoyed taking the photos though I found editing tricky (do I really have all those lines round my eyes?) so you never know, I may do another in the future.

The Great War

While out and about last week we came across a beautiful flower display in memorial of the start of the First World War centenary. On Monday 4th August it was 100 years since the start of the the Great War which lasted over 4 years and was thought to be the war to end all wars at the time… sadly this was not the case. How scary it must have been in those times both for the men going to fight and for those left at home worrying for them. At this time of reflection it makes me feel more dismal and disappointed that war is now a seemingly never ending occurrence. The fighting in Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, the atrocities happening in Gaza; the news is full of unrest and cruelty. I didn’t want this to be a depressing ‘what has the world come to?’ post but it is something I’ve been thinking about recently. As I bring Junebug up, and any other children we may be blessed with, I hope she never has to experience the horrors of war up close, or at all really but lets be realistic.

Junebug looking at the memorial flowers.

Junebug looking at the memorial flowers.

Memorial flowers.

Memorial flowers.

Later in the week I saw the beautiful ceramic poppies they are planting at the Tower of London. What a stunning and effective piece of art to act as a memorial and, I think, very touching that there will be a poppy for each of the 888,246 British soldiers killed in the war.

 

Ceramic poppies at the Tower of London. (not my image)

Ceramic poppies at the Tower of London. (not my image)

 

I’m sure everyone wants to protect their children from these evils, so this week I am particularly remembering the families in ares of conflict in my prayers.

Holidaying on a budget.

So the reason for the lack of posting recently is I have been away on our family summer holiday. We had a beautiful week in the Lake District staying in Ambleside. Before we set off, however, I had almost started resenting the holiday. You see we had been a bit rash and booked a cottage without checking our bank account. This wouldn’t usually be a problem but after a mix up with my maternity pay and a certain Junebug’s birthday we were not really in a position to be paying out for the holiday. In short we ended up with bank charges and now couldn’t actually afford to go on the holiday we’d already paid for. But my encouraging hubby bucked me up and off we went, determined to have the cheapest holiday ever. Luckily the Lakes is the place to do this.
We spent less than £100 over the week including food for all three of us. Praise God for good weather.
Lots of walking, paddling in lakes, playing in parks, board games and ham sandwiches kept us happily entertained and we were so blessed with the weather I even came home with a walking boot tan line – sexy.

So our recipe for limited spending money holiday is as follows:

1. Take food along and find the nearest supermarket. We didn’t eat out once but had plenty of yummy family meals. Pasta and sauce, microwaveable curry, and oven pizza, all requiring minimal effort so it still seems like a holiday.

2. Walking is free! We found walks on our smart phones and set off for a couple of hours with beautiful scenery and good exercise.

3. Parking charges. We found places which would provide a few hours of good fun and didn’t charge for entry. True we had to pay for parking but £3 for a day without needing to spend anymore was an easy choice. My favs: Brockhole  and  Grizedale Forest

4. Picnic. A pretty spot, a sandwich and a bag of popcorn = a perfect midday munch.

5. Treat’s a treat! The last day of the week we had chip shop takeaway and it seemed like such a treat. Also on one of our days out we had an ice cream and as it was such a one off I let Phoebe have some of mine. So we all enjoyed our treats.

6. Family. Simple, we just appreciated the chance we had to hang out as a family together without any of the usual hassles.

Here are some of my favourite photos from our week:

 

Little one's transport for a lot of the week.

Little one’s transport for a lot of the week.

Fun in the park.

Fun in the park.

Ice cream!

Ice cream!

My girl and her daddy.

My girl and her daddy.

A toddler sized house.

A toddler sized house.

Oh help! Oh no! It's the Gruffalo!

Oh help! Oh no! It’s the Gruffalo!

Paddling and finding rocks in Lake Windermere.

Paddling and finding rocks in Lake Windermere.