35/52 :: Home

image

image

#1 & #2 Boys, these are the sort of pictures I take of you when I’m all out of time, busy packing for our holiday, and when I ask you to pose. What can I say except ‘sorry’?!

We’re one week into our two week summer holiday in France and it feels like an age since I took these corny last minute shots a week ago. Being the type of person I am, there’s no way my 52 Project could only have 51 submissions unless there’s a very good reason. Therefore week 35 brings you slightly naff shots of the boys posing in front of the garage, under pressure. I’d love to promise you wonderful French captures for the next couple of weeks to make up for it but I’m struggling to find my camera mojo at the moment. Short and sweet for today so until next time, au revoir x

image

image

image

image

Advertisements

33/52 :: Margate

image

image

#1 Wind and water; possibly two of your most favourite things. After playing by the sea we got unbelievably soaked by a massive rainstorm. You were beyond exhilarated.

#2 Far less sure about the waves, which were crashing against the steps, than your brother. I’d promised you a play on Margate’s sandy beach but a high tide put a stop to that plan.

We love to visit the Turner Contemporary gallery in Margate. It satisfies something for each of us every time. On this occasion the boys loved Spencer Finch’s ‘Cloud’ installation, and the cool #summerofcolour viewing filters designed to be used when looking at the Mondrian exhibition. There were yoga mats available for laying on when looking at an overhead installation. In the hands of my boys these became the equipment for an entirely different game, but thankfully nobody seemed to mind.

image

image

image

image

image

Refuelled with cake and ice cream from the Turner cafe, the plan was to head down on to Margate’s wide sandy beach to have a run around. The sun had made a reappearance after a morning of drizzle and the boys remembered finding loads of hermit crabs there last summer. Only this time the tide was high and the beach was non existent. But they made their own fun, as they always do, by running along the steps and wave dodging. Before too long, a huge bank of black clouds rolled in and the heavens opened. The 10 minute walk back to car was long enough for us to get utterly drenched. It was the type of rain where it’s best to just embrace the fact that you’re going to wet through and enjoy it for what it is. Boy1 found the whole experience massively stimulating. He quite literally loved it. Me and Boy2? Slightly less so and to be honest, when the thunder and lightening started banging and crashing right overhead I was pleased to be back in the car.

Margate, you might be down at heel and rough around the edges but you are yet to disappoint ❤️

image

image

image

image

image

image

// Joining in with lovely people over at Practising Simplicity and I Heart Snapping #52Project #livingarrows //

32/52 :: fossil hunting

image

image

#1 You squidged your little finger between two rocks and for the rest of the day that pinky stayed sticking out.

#2 ‘These are fossil-finding hands!’. And they were; you found loads.

I had a spectacularly bad day earlier on in the week. Nothing in particular was wrong, just one of ‘those’ days. I basically lost it with myself, and then with The Man. The children were inevitably (shamefully) caught in the cross-fire. The day was declared a total write-off so we made a plan to take the boys fossil-hunting on a local beach the following day; something we’d been meaning to do for a while.

Despite weather warnings about the tail-end of hurricane Bertha, we ventured out. I’m quite convinced that The Man suggested we head for the coast because (and not despite) of the forecast wind and rain. Yes, it was bracing! But it was just what we (I) needed. I can confirm that fossil-hunting is officially addictive. It was hard for me to know whether to keep searching or carry on snapping.

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

I seriously take {and post} too many photos, don’t I? Sorry but I’m not that sorry 😊

// Joining in with lovely people over at Practising Simplicity and I Heart Snapping #52Project #livingarrows //

31/52 :: the barn

image

#2 You constantly surprise me with what you’re fearless about when, so often, you’re naturally cautious. There is more to you than meets the eye, my handsome boy.

We pass this barn all the time; it’s between our house and Nanny and Grandad’s. We’ve not stopped before but the light on this particular evening was just beautiful. I wish I was skilled enough to capture it how I would like to. We were already way past bedtime. The boys were tired and grubby but keen to jump out and investigate. While I helped the little one to get his wellies on, Boy1 was off exploring. I’d intended to simply try and get a couple of shots of them outside the barn (after all, I guess we shouldn’t really have been there) but by the time we’d caught up he was in and rummaging. I find it strange and interesting that in many and most situations he’s cautious, holds back, over analyses. And yet here was a semi derelict barn, full of goodness knows what – piles of old tyres, broken machinery, overgrown dark corners, crazy shadows – and he was in his element. He created hulk-like action figure shadows on the corrugated iron walls and imagined himself as Stig of the Dump. I tried to persuade him not to touch stuff, that we didn’t know if it was safe and that we shouldn’t really be there, but he came home with pockets stuffed with broken bits and bobs. Boy treasure.

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

Joining in with lovely people over at Practising Simplicity and I Heart Snapping #52Project #livingarrows

31/52 :: fields

image

#1 Like many 3 year olds, you’re pretty keen on tractors and trailers and diggers. So when we took a short walk to watch a combine harvester at work, you were spellbound

We’ve loved getting up close and personal to the crops that surround us this year. My Instagram feed would suggest I’m ever so slightly obsessed with fields, in fact. We failed to find a sea of poppies, much to my disappointment, but we’ve watched with interest as the fields have turned from green, to yellow, to golden brown. There are just a few wheat fields around now that haven’t been harvested; high summer. Autumn is just around the corner and I know I won’t be ready for bare fields and leafless trees. I never am.

image

image

image

image

Joining in with lovely people over at Practising Simplicity and I Heart Snapping #52Project #livingarrows

30/52 :: part 2

image

#2 We were so unbelievably proud of you this week, especially. You did it!

Phew. What a week. Exciting, exhausting, overwhelming and memorable. Countless rehearsals, three performances, two celebratory meals out, too many late nights (and a few tantrums thrown in for good measure). It was wonderful but we are pleased to now be back to normal, a week later.

On Monday, right at end of my week 30, we dropped everything, The Man included, and headed out to the White Cliffs at Dover. It was an emergency mission. The pre-show craziness followed by the post-performance low really messed with all of us, especially he and I. Being outside with space to run and explore was the only option. He found his stick before we’d even left the car park and only let it go to share with his brother for a moment.

image

image

image

image

image

image

On this particular day, and the couple of weeks leading up to it, I felt as though I was scraping my nails down a blackboard. Now, with a bit of distance granting perspective, I can see things how they really are. That this was a major achievement for a boy who is essentially shy, emotionally and physically sensitive, easily overwhelmed, and kicks out against instruction and correction. He loved the actual performances, coming out of that stage door excited and so happy. But within 20 minutes each time he had his nose buried deep within the pages of a book, where he’s most comfortable. For my part I now realise just how anxious I was, at no ot being able to control his situation for him, to soften the edges. And the creeping fear that, because of his sensitive nature, he’d be the child who did a runner mid act, back to the dressing room.

We are beyond proud. And still singing the entire musical score which is driving us all slightly potty 😊

image

Joining in with lovely people over at Practising Simplicity and I Heart Snapping #52Project #livingarrows

30/52 :: part 1

image

#1 Yes, you really do need your fringe trimmed. I suggested to your Dad that we let the fringe grow out. You asked for a crew cut. Neither is happening!*

This week (which is now technically last week), this little lad got extra one:one time from both me and The Man. When his brother was rehearsing and performing hard he got to just hang out. We didn’t do much but then this one doesn’t seem to need it. We watched combine harvesters cutting wheat, we took a little walk to the park, but mostly he just busied himself in the yard by our garages. This broken old toy tractor was found dumped on the side of the road; he couldn’t have been any happier – proving, once again, that kids don’t need too much. I’m not sure where his shoe went. He wore just one for well over an hour 💛
* I’ve since cut his fringe, reasonably badly.

image

image

Joining in with lovely people over at Practising Simplicity and I Heart Snapping #52Project #livingarrows

29/52

image

image

#1 Boy2
#2 Boy1

Short on time, short on photos and short on calm.

Littlest man finally recovered during 29/52 after two full weeks of being unwell. Boy1 was knee-deep in the final rehearsals for ‘Oliver!’. There have been tears, tantrums and over excitement. From all of us.

With show rehearsals and illness taking over all our lives, I decided that it would be best to keep things low-key. During the day we abandoned all home ed meet ups and any of the things we usually do, in an effort to get well again and to save energy for evening rehearsals which sometimes ran until 9pm. In hindsight I’m not sure I did the right thing; the boys were so divorced from their usual routine that the bickering and tiring behaviour began. What it did show me, though, was that despite being unschoolers, we do have more of a routine than I’d previously realised. There is a rhythm to our weeks that I’m now desperate to get back to.

Yesterday was the first performance. I was crying as the orchestra struck up, before the curtain even rose! What an amazingly talented group of young people. I was so proud of my little man; he may not have been the most focused one on the stage but he was amongst the youngest and given that he has always struggled to concentrate he did amazingly. I was so frightened that the experience would have resulted in sensory overload for him but he did it. I’m still feeling wobbly today. Tonight he’ll be watched by his grandparents at an evening performance and then tomorrow I’ll return with The Man and Boy2 to watch his final performance.

As exciting as it is, I’m looking forward to real life making a come back.

Joining in with lovely people over at Practising Simplicity and I Heart Snapping #52Project #livingarrows

28/52

image

image

#1 Carefully picking your way through the wheat to get to the tractor trail because we’d talked about respecting the farmer’s crops. You liked the way the ears of corn felt on the palms of your hands.

#2 Playing in a field of grass gone to seed must surely be a childhood rite of passage? You were in your element, barely able to see above it in places.

These pictures, taken on different days but right at the start of a new week, now feel like they come from another time entirely. Already that long grass has been mown, and the wheat fields all around us have turned from green to golden. With almost two full weeks of Boy2 being unwell now under our belts, time seems to have flown by, and yet each day (and many nights) has dragged, one merging into the next. I’m no nurse and he’s a pretty demanding patient and so it’s been a bit exhausting, if I’m honest. The opportunity to take photos has been slim and my motivation low. I’m not entirely sure if I’ll have anything at all to share for week 29!

image

image

image

image

We’re now just five days away from Boy1’s first performance of ‘Oliver!’. The rehearsal schedule has become like a full time job in itself and so as well as nurse, I’ve also been fulfilling my duties as taxi driver and motivational coach! Keeping him well has been high on my list of priorities. That and getting myself over having an emergency wisdom tooth extraction.

Yes, it’s been tiring.

image

image

image

As I sit writing this an impressive thunder storm is going on above me, the rain is pouring down, clearing the air of an incredibly oppressive day. A fresh start is on the cards.

Joining in with lovely people over at Practising Simplicity and I Heart Snapping #52Project #livingarrows

27/52

image

image

#1 Being cheeky on the steam train. You did a pretty good job of avoiding the camera in such close confines but I caught the real you here.

#2 My little artist at work. You love leaving your mark and sand is your favourite.

We squeezed in a couple of precious days back ‘home’ in Norfolk to spend time with Nana and Grandad and the Danish cousins. The visit didn’t quite work out as planned but we did at least spend one afternoon and evening together. We took a ride on a steam train from Sheringham, spent a few hours at the beach, and finished the day off with a fish and chip supper. We’d have liked to stay on longer but too many commitments back here in Kent were calling us home.

This was the week I had a photo of the boys removed from my Instagram account, followed by a warning about violating their community rules. I was angry and upset and a bit baffled, too. As a consequence, this post contains fewer pictures of Boy1 as he chose to strip down to his undies to go into the sea. There has been a weird and worrisome spate of Instagram accounts being closed down with little or no warning in the past couple of weeks. A strange form of censorship directed unfairly at mothers who are choosing to share beautiful and entirely innocent pictures of their children. It’s made me think about which direction to take things here on the blog, too.

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

So I’ve come to blogging week 27 so unbelievably late that I’m not able to submit my link to Practising Simplicity or I Heart Snapping. I’m so late I already have my shots from week 28 lined up and ready to go. Let’s just say the last week has been a bit of a write-off. A poorly littlest little and an hectic last rehearsal schedule for the bigger one has meant pretty much everything else has fallen by the wayside. The photos were there, they just sat on the camera a bit too long. And in the grand scheme of things, that’s OK.