33/52 :: Margate

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#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.

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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 ❤️

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

30/52 :: part 2

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#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.

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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 😊

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

27/52

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#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.

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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.

22/52

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#1 Sitting on the sand, with the wind whipping at your hair, watching your brother dancing in the sea.

#2 When it comes to water you really are a little crazy. It was so cold but you swam, right up to your neck, until you were blue. Absolutely bonkers.

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We had a blast meeting new friends and the best of old ones, too, at the seaside. It was one of those weird weather days. Warm, muggy, threatening rain, bright sky, black sky, huge downpour. Our closest beach is Whitstable, stony like most of this part of the Kent coast but Boy2 was thrilled to find the tiniest patch of sand amongst the pebbles. A happy boy and his bucket. The older boys in the group wasted no time getting wet. Boy1 was really reluctant to get out despite chattering teeth and blue skin. I felt cold just watching!

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

48/52

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#1 Water: it’s your thing. Simple. If you don’t end up living on or next to water as an adult I’ll eat my hat.
#2 Sticks and stones, my builder boy. In complete contrast to your brother you paid no attention to the sea whatsoever.

I love how different my boys are. When we found out that we were having a second son, all I could imagine was having another one just the same as the first. And that would have been wonderful. But it’s even more wonderful that they couldn’t be more different if they tried.

We took an unplanned trip up to my ‘home’ in Norfolk. It was just one night away but The Man came too (actually it was his idea) and it was really nice to all go together. We took a trip out to Old Hunstanton for a beach walk where the boys were fascinated by the striped cliffs and piles of razor clam shells. Because of the broken camera situation these shots were taken with the iPhone. Not ideal but we’re so close to the end of the project I’ve got to hang on in there!

Coming to the end of the 52 Project, over at Che & Fidel.

My favourites from week 47:
Jane Mabel
Wendieland
This Little Port
From Sarah’s Camera

41/52

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#1 Another evening at the beach. You and your little friend from next door managed to cake yourselves in mud at low tide. Despite your expression here, it looked like a lot of fun.

#2 Marching with purpose, you didn’t wade right in like the others. Wet, yes, muddy, no.

What a difference a week makes. This was, most definitely, our final opportunity to string out the summer. What followed were several days of high winds and lashing rain and it’s not really cheered up since. Having been spoilt rotten we’re all feeling the heavy drag of the season’s change. Armed with our first runny noses and tickly throats of Autumn, we’ve been a bit sluggish. I’m trying to be grateful for all the opportunities we’ve had to be outside in good weather for what feels like an eternity, rather than grumpy that its over. I’m not doing particularly well with that, funnily enough.

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#3 Playing a pirate game where the sun sparkling across the sea was your treasure.
Whenever I take a picture into the sun like this I get, to a greater or lesser degree, a strange ghostly green shimmer on the image. I’m assuming that, rather than being an issue with my camera or lens, it just means I need to use a particular setting or filter or something to prevent it? On this picture I quite like it though; its as if Boy1 is catching something unreal in his outstretched hand…

These pictures from last week made me smile:
Doing what little ones do best; Sage and her mud pie pit/Daniela’s ‘M’ showing off her tattoos/Melinda’s Canadian explorer; the colours and feel are just beautiful/Rasmus, Birdie & Alfie; such gorgeous boys and each capture different from the last/Serious but sweet tiny Spanish dancer; such a romantic, nostalgic image.

All these and more joining in with Jodi over at Che & Fidel