Friday, 26 August 2011

Four Weeks, Three Children, Two Adults; One Summer

Summer.  A time for picnics, sunbathing and swimming in the sea.  Unless you're English, in which case you can scratch at least two items from that list.

Since the schools broke up for the holidays, my partner and I have been racking our brains to find new and interesting ways of simultaneously entertaining a teenager, a toddler and a baby.

So far, we have been swimming (twice) and ice skating, had picnics in various locations, been to a farm, been fruit picking, cleaned up an old rowing boat, been to an air show, taken treks up hills and around gardens, been to many parks, and spent numerous days trapped indoors by rain watching family movies, baking cakes and making stuff out of dough.

And what fun the children have had!

Teenager and baby play computer games

First time on slide!

Toddler and teenager make muffins

Fun at the park

A pony ride for the toddler

Toddler and baby share a swing

Teenager on a seesaw - who knew?!

Paddling pool fun

Toddler tries out the PS2

First time ice skating fo a very excited Mini

Teenager supervises toddler on the ice

Toddler borrows a helmet at Eastbourne air show

So, as the new school term approaches, I'm feeling confident that we've done a fairly good job of keeping all children reasonably entertained.  And for this week's itinerary?  Ceramic café, treasure hunt, Lewes Castle and probably a few trips to the park.

I'm exhausted just typing that...

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

The First Shoes

Sonny Robert James Ellis; aged (almost) 11 months - new shoes and football.

Sure signs he's growing up!

Friday, 5 August 2011

All Things White and Clichéd

I am not your average bride.  This certainty has come to me over the last few days as I have been trawling the internet for inspiration on how to plan our Big Day.  It seems that there are two camps to fit into - those who want a "proper" wedding, and those who cannot afford to have one.

Whatever happened to individuality?

Here are some things that you apparently must do:-

1:  You must be married in church.
2:  You must wear a big, white, unflattering dress.
3:  You must buy many flowers, at huge expense.
4:  You must arrive at aforementioned church in a posh car that no one will see much of.  This will cost you hundreds of pounds.
5:  You must have a huge cake of many tiers and save a layer for the Christening of your first child (!).
6:  You must hire a crappy DJ to play music that no one really likes.
7:  You must have a stranger follow you around with a camera all day; an act that would usually result in a phone call to the police.  You must also give them lots of cash for the privilege, regardless of how the photos come out.
8:  You must have a best man, who will pupport to be the Groom's mate and then use him to get cheap laughs from your family and friends.
9:  You must greet your guests before they enter your reception.  The same guests who were at your wedding ceremony.  And in the photos.  And talking to you five minutes ago before they had to leave the room just to come back in again.
10:  You must remortgage your home to pay for anything that you cannot immediately afford.

Now, as you may have noticed, I have issues with a lot of these so-called traditions; partly because they waste money, partly because they lack imagination and partly because some of them are just stupid.

Don't get me wrong, I see the sense in celebrating the love between two people, but I do not see the sense in spending thousands of pounds trying to achieve the kind of day that has been done to death.

Where's the harm in going for something a little bit different?

Honestly, the best wedding I've been to took place at a register office and was followed by a picnic in the garden of the bride and groom.  It was never about a big, lavish party, it was all about love.

And I hope that in amidst all the mounting excitement of planning our wedding I will keep that thought in mind.  A wedding is about love, not oneupmanship.  It doesn't matter if I don't arrive at the venue in a horse-drawn vehicle, it matters that James is waiting for me when I get there, and it matters that our families come together to celebrate our love and the fact that we are pledging our lives to one another.