With Alex now at school full-time, and Sophie adjusting to nursery mornings and nap-free afternoons with her childminder, we’re finding both children are exhausted by the end of the week. So we’ve made the most of our local area for the past few weekends and kept things quite low key to give them a chance to recover and prepare for the new week. As someone who loves packing a lot into weekends, I was a bit nervous that I’d go a bit stir crazy – but we’ve had such a lovely, family-focused month and seen some real treats in our neighbourhood.
For example, we spent this afternoon in our local Myatt’s Field Park at a Big Draw activity organised by our very talented NCT friend, Tiggs. The sun was shining and the park looked glorious in the Autumn light. We got straight to work engaging our artistic side – helping colour in the pavement! Alex is suddenly really interested in colouring and drawing, and did an amazing job colouring in the lines and doing lots of different patterns in the letters. And Sophie got covered in chalk, but happily drew circles and shapes with me!
Tiggs had organised a brilliant scavenger hunt around the park, so we set of with our friends Caroline, Sam and Una to find the long list of things from nature – everything from different leaves, bark and clover, to berries, stones and pine cones. The children searched together for ages, exploring corners of the park we’d never seen.
We took a well earned rest at the Little Cat Cafe – and while us ladies gossiped over our lollies, the boys had a little introduction to chess with Matt!
While they played, there was fabulous live music on the bandstand – it really was quite heavenly sitting in the late afternoon sun with our friends.
We had a similarly chilled out trip last weekend. After a 5th birthday party for one of Alex’s friends in Ruskin Park, we cycled over to Brixton and happened upon a pop up market and bar. Stopping in for a quick drink, we ended up staying for over an hour listening to some brilliant jazz and blues music. How cool to my pair look in the 50s chairs?!
We’ve enjoyed trips to all our local parks, making brilliant use of our bikes to get to them. Here is Sophie with her friends Anna and Una playing quite possibly the most ridiculous game of Hide and Seek ever!
By staying local, we’ve also had a chance to try out some of the drop in Saturday morning activities which we tend to miss when we’re out on day trips. Yesterday we were back at the Herne Hill velodrome for their excellent session for new cyclists. Alex was so well behaved and did all the skills practice carefully – we were so proud of him (especially when he finished second in the race, just ahead of his friend Finlay – they loved cycling together!). Sophie and I sneaked on the track for a minute – we didn’t really look like we belonged on our mummy bike!
Alex has tried climbing at Crystal Palace – look how high he climbed!
He’s even had a go at Football – here he is (on the left) at the local Saturday football coaching – where apparently he did well until they played a match. As Matt and I aren’t really football fans, poor Alex has never seen a game – so had no idea he wasn’t supposed to pick the ball up! He got a football goal for his birthday and some goalie gloves, so he’s getting in some more practice! Here he is playing with his friend Angus!
But despite all those activities, we’ve spent some lovely, quiet time at home together. Alex is suddenly obsessed with lego, and brilliantly for us is able to follow the instructions himself and make his various birthday presents – here he is proudly showing his birthday submarine which he made by himself!
And tonight, Alex quietly did some colouring while Sophie helped me prepare dinner! We’re trying to make sure we eat a family meal together every Sunday, and its been lots of fun having the children help prepare it. Wonder how long it’ll be before they can cook for us!
I’m loving this slower pace of life – makes a nice contrast for my crazy busy work life!