Last week we were at home for half term hols, and it was pretty much an entire week of indoor slobbery. Pyjamas till lunch time (sometimes all day), easy food eaten as and when the whim took us (lots of buttery toast at all times of the day). Screen time for the Little People if they chose it (lots of films, and some gaming time too), cripes, my parenting was ludicrously slapdash last week. I simply allowed the rhythm of the week to flow over and around me, letting the Little Peeps do exactly what they chose to do much of the time. No rules. No outings. No direction. It was rather liberating, if a little chaotic, and it certainly made for a pretty content household.
Do you know, I can't remember a single school holiday in the past five years when at some point or another a blanket den wasn't made. It is so very much a part of what the Little People do during holidays that I know I will feel very bereft when it suddenly doesn't happen any more. I chuckle to myself when I see them pegging up my blankets :: there is a small part of me that wants to rush over and grab them back, yelling the words Precious and Cashmere, but really it pleases me deeply that these blankets are so well loved and used.
They have no idea how much it makes me squeeee inside when I watch them play this way. The game that followed in and out of this den-build (Little Lady and Little B) was sweet beyond words.
Hey, you can see our new sash windows in the above picture, I remember that I haven't really shown them to you yet. We are really thrilled with them, they look beautiful and make the house feel very light and warm inside.
I took a picture of our bay window from outside for you to see, but it was devilishly difficult to photograph. The window is a long way off the ground, so I balanced on the wall and held the camera up above my head to show you, well, you get the idea. Wooden, double glazed, spring-loaded sash. Hand crafted by a Very Nice Man called Daryl. Painted by an Equally Nice Man called Tom.
This is the bathroom window which has a very simple type of stipply privacy glass in it. The upstairs windows have these nifty little safety catches fitted to make them child proof (the bottom window can only be lifted up a small way, with a small gap, smaller than a child's head), but occasionally when Little B is out of the equation, I glide'n'slide and open them up. I stick my head right out and breathe in the fresh damp air. Just for the hell of it. Cos I can, and cos it feels marvellous after so many years of inaccessible top opening windows.
Sometimes, like at the end of last week, it becomes entirely necessary to open the windows and air the place a bit, even though it was ridiculously cold at the time. At the end of last week I began with some Home Loving routine and went a bit bananas in the bathroom. I scrubbed and bleached and sprayed and wiped and rinsed and scrubbed some more. It was in dire need. Next week I'll be in the Master Bedroom (remember last year? I wonder how many items are on top of The Drawers this year?)
One of the highlights of my half term week was the arrival of a big box containing the above shiny new machine. It seems that I didn't have to wait for Father Christmas after all, cos my wonderful, generous husband took it upon himself to treat me to a Nespresso machine. I feel a little sheepish writing about this, cos I admit that I feel dreadfully spoilt. But well, there we have it, it's not my fault that J has a huge generosity streak. And I can promise you that I do appreciate how very lucky I am. I really, really do. The great thing is that J has been loving this new machine as much as I have, so I don't feel so bad about the expense of it.
These are the capsules that came with the machine, sixteen different varieties of coffee to play with. It's been a huge amount of fun "brewing up" with them, getting used to the subtle differences in each colour, sorry, I mean blend. Still need to get to grips with the coffee lingo.
I like to drink my coffee with a good measure of hot milk added, there is such a lot of pleasure and comfort to be found in a hot, milky coffee. It has provided me with some daily feel-good, especially as the temperature really plummeted during much of last week. Good, tasty hot coffee on a freezing cold morning....very mmmmmmm indeed!
It looks more like winter than Autumn doesn't it? We woke up to frost across the rooftops and hills on many mornings last week, but it has been lovely all the same. Lovely to stay cosied up inside, not really having to be anywhere or do anything that involved stepping foot outside. Home was definitely the place to be last week.
On Monday (the last day of the hols) we did venture out though, went off on a bit of a jaunt. We took the train with Heather and that cutesome little bundle of hers and went across to Saltaire. It was a lovely, lovely day, thoroughly enjoyed by all concerned.
We went to Salts Mill (of course) for a fabulous browse around the galleries and shops there. The Little People loved it, as much now as when they were even Littler. Being three years older than when we were last there, they absolutely delighted in the books and art materials. Sooooo many cool, brilliant, fun and fabulous books! They each got to choose one to bring home (they chose this and this which have been brilliant) and I bought a couple of greetings cards and a beautifully illustrated animal picture book for Little B. We had some refreshment in the wonderful Salts Diner (above) before heading back outside into the clear, crisp Autumn sunshine.
I was mesmerised by the reflections in this part of the river Aire, the clouds-in-the-water pleased me so much! We were on our way down to the play park, and were delighted to find that it has had a complete overhaul since we were last there. It was ace! Heather and I sat on a bench in the sunshine whilst TTB slept in his pram and my three played.
Little B had such a great day, what with train rides, books, ice cream and a play park, he really did have fun. We returned home around 3pm and the little fella was completely exhausted, bless him. He snuggled himself down in his favourite place and went off to the Land of Nod for a while.....it was a good job cos we were to be out again later that day......
....Monday night here in the UK was Bonfire Night, and as has become our family tradition, we wrapped up warm and went off to Bolton Abbey to celebrate in style. This is a large, organised event with hundreds of people attending. There are refreshments, music, children's entertainments, small fairground rides etc and there is always a humongous bonfire (topped with sofas which the Guys sit upon).
I have to say, it was terrifically loud. But in a good way. Gosh, I do love a good, loud, flamboyant firework display.