The Enchanted Gardens At Groomsbridge (England)

The Enchanted Gardens in Groombridge were well worth the visit.
A simple canal boat ride….

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…to Crusoe’s world….

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….a forest trail past dinosaurs….

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….and dragons…..

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….there were ‘tree spirits’….

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…and a mystical pool…..

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….a spiral spiral…..

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….wicked webs…..

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…..doors in the forest……

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….and hidden numbers – letters too…

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We saw a romany camp….

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….experienced the jurassic fern walk…

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…totem poles….

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…fantastical animals (in this case a ‘zonkey’ perhaps)….

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…. and last but not least, giant swings…!

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We loved ‘The Enchanted Gardens’ !
🙂

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Brighton! (England)

On Wednesday we visited one of my favourite cities….
….. Brighton!
Such a beautiful day, such a beautiful pier, such a lovely childhood smell of sea salt and seaweed!

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Yes, we rode the helter skelter, ate chips on the pier (no fish this time however..), and chomped on ‘Brighton rock’ – hence Alfie looking ‘cool’!

We also took a trip to the ‘Sealife Centre’ on Leon’s request…Housed in a building built over 150 years ago, it certainly deserves a photo all lit up with rainbow colours…

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🙂

Introducing Our Trip To England

We’ve been in England a week now.. enjoying being at our grandparents….
Enjoying their garden….

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…with cars and gutters…

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…and fairy houses..

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I particularly like the bumblebee lying asleep in bed! Alfie found him and was sad he had died, so decided to ‘save’ him…

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The use of the beautiful flowers in the garden was also fabulous…

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Note the mealworm! Most commonly used for the feeding of the birds… 🙂
We’ve also been enjoying local attractions, such as rolling down the grassy hill, known as ‘the mound’ (of which the historical meaning is unclear)…

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….and exploring the ‘Lewes Priory’, ruins of the first Priory built in the United Kingdom, back in 1081….

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We’ve been to a couple of local play parks…

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…. we enjoyed this swing a lot…!

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We’ve tried scooting in a skate park (thanks to Patu buying the kids some second hand scooters at the Sunday market!)…

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We’ve managed to meet up with old friends….

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….and cousins….

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…and have even taken a stroll in the local graveyard…! Having been born and bred in this little town I actually knew some of the people buried here – the kids found this bizarre yet interesting. Maya found it a little sad. I told the children it was a nice way to remember our dead…

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And so that introduces our trip to England….
🙂

Just Chalking

A few days ago, just before our guests left for England, Ted and little Louis (and even Maya), had a lot of fun chalking in the sun….

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I chalked down the letters of the alphabet, saying “H is for horse”, etc, as I did so. It wasn’t long before I heard Ted mumbling “F is for Kangaroo” and such…. ! 🙂
I also noticed them drawing around each letter – great for practising early letter forms….

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The big chunky chalks are great for fine motor skills…

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…and having a bowl of water and a paintbrush made it extra fun – to ‘paint’ over….

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Lots of fun!

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Cleaning Up The Lake

My last post was about my kids finishing school for the summer holidays.
As I walked home with Alfie from ‘the little house’ for, possibly, the last time, along the lake, we came across a terrible thing.

Older students had also finished school. And they had been partying by the lake…. leaving bottles and beer cans, plastic bags, cigarette butts and smashed glass. The whole place was obliterated, and it was very very sad to see the ducks walking through all the mess…

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I couldn’t just leave it.
So in the evening, when Richard was home to take care of Ted, I went with Leon, Maya, and Alfie, armed with bin bags, gardening gloves and trowels, to clear up…

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Admittedly the local council had got there before us, and had cleaned up the most part of the rubbish – but there was still a lot left – and Alfie was proud to tell a passerby that we had nearly filled three bin bags!
Most importantly though, we left the lake clean, and my kids will have a memory, hopefully for life, of a first hand experience of taking care of the environment. I’m hoping it will be something that will encourage them throughout their future.
🙂

Finishing School

This has been a week of kids finishing. Finishing preschool and finishing school. All over Sweden kids are looking forward to their long summer holiday.

Maya was first. A morning filled with dancing and singing, ice cream and hugs. Two of the loveliest ladies in the world… Ebba…

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…and Anna…

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These ladies are loving and caring, they fill the children’s days with all manner of educational activities, and they make learning fun!
And we’re very happy, that for a fourth year, Maya will be learning with them again in the autumn! 🙂

Next up was Leon. An evening of singing and dance organised and performed by the children, ice cream from the teachers, and a family picnic in the park. Leon has been with his wonderful teacher Hanna for two years – she’s filled Leon with confidence, and inspired him with her themes and trips. This school of just 82 pupils, with 5 teachers working closely together, has been ideal for Leon.
Next year he starts ‘high school’. Part of the same school, but a different campus. This will be a big step for Leon, and as tradition goes at this school, the teachers send a heart shaped balloon in to the sky, as a good luck wish to each child moving on….

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….and each child was given a rose, as a sign of love from the teachers…

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Lastly came little Alfie. The ‘little house by the lake’ has been a fabulous place for him. They have been supportive and flexible, a co-operative full of love, full of friendship (both child and adult), with slightly mad adventures such as trips to Finland and speed boat rides, and quieter ones such as forest walks and bathing in the lake – not to forget the family barbecues, jumble sales and seasonal lunches! We will really miss ‘the little house’ and the family within it…

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…but we will remain friends, and the time has come for Alfie to start school this autumn.

My children have been lucky. They have had wonderful, loving teachers, and secure, inspirational schools. I hope their education continues to be this good.
🙂

A Bug Hunt

When winter reigns for six months of the year, bugs become a very exciting ‘experience’ over the summer months…

Alfie, Lilly, Ted and I enjoyed a bug hunt in the garden yesterday.

Spotting bumblebees…

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Snails…..

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Ladybirds (can you see the tiny little spot..?)…

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…among others…
It was a lot of fun to creep around the garden looking high and low, under bushes and large stones, for bugs. Ted thought this was so exciting – he’s a little scared of flies, which makes us laugh!
When Alfie and Lilly discovered a special tree in the garden, however, it kept them occupied for the rest if the day…

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…for under the tree lay some little tiny caterpillars…

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….and in the tree lay a few hundred more…

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….and these little caterpillars were observed for the rest of the day…

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It’s always worth going on a bug hunt!
🙂