Photographs Of My Favourite Place - Part 2 ...

29 May 2011

To me, Steephill looks like it jumped straight out of the pages of an Enid Blyton book. The Cove is edged with chocolate box cottages, a few stripy beach huts, pretty gardens and a couple of small cafes offering up homemade local food. I remember as a child we'd sometimes treat ourselves to lunch from the cafe. We'd get a tray and take it down to the beach to eat - plates of sandwiches, homemade cakes and pots of tea complete with knitted tea cosies. If it was a bit chilly we'd eat in the covered area of the cafe that shielded you from the wind, but not the amazing view.

At the beach last weekend, after the children had a quick play in the sand and a good dose of fresh air, we retreated to the Steephill Cove Cafe for Ice Creams, Rock Cakes and Coffee. I still love to go to the cafe - it's all part of the Steephill experience for me. It has had many owners over the years, but they have always sold Rock Cakes. Coincidence? I'm not sure. But I like it - it's rather comforting. In fact I wouldn't consider eating a Rock Cake anywhere else.

Photographs Of My Favourite Place - Part 1 ...

The word 'idyllic' was made for a place like this. This idyllic spot is Steephill Cove, a small unspoilt beach on the Isle of Wight. It's tucked away off the beaten track. You have to park up and then walk through the beautiful Ventnor Botanic Gardens and finally follow the tiny coastal path down to the beach. It's not called Steephill for nothing - you'll find leg muscles you never knew you had, but once there a magnificent reward awaits you. I've been coming here for as long as I remember and it never fails to set my heart racing. As a child we'd holiday on the Isle of Wight and this was the favourite beach to come to. In fact, my dad used to come to this beach when he was a child too - its been an adopted beach for our family for five generations now. Years ago my great grandparents would visit  and now my own children have it in their life. It hasn't changed, its charm is still very much in place. The the odd new cafe or holiday let may have sprung up over the years, but in such a sensitive manor it hasn't disturbed the perfection of the place. Now that my parents live just a ten minute drive from the beach it is a regular haunt for us which is just perfect. I took these photograph whilst we were there last weekend. It was sunny, but very windy - not  perfect beach weather, but our trip to my parents wouldn't have been complete without a visit to Steephill.

What A Swell Party It Was ...

18 May 2011

Yesterday afternoon we threw a small party at home to celebrate Arthur's 2nd birthday. It was delightful. All the little guests seemed to enjoy the celebration. Experience has taught me that the under 6's actually make perfect guests, so long as you keep the numbers low (our party was for 8). A simple meal and plenty of toys to hand is a winner for them. Those who know me are aware that I have difficultly keeping things 'simple', but I think I did okay. I forcefully limited my creative bursts to the cake, a bit of decor and a little take-home gift. The weather was dry so we decided to bring some of the party outside. The children enjoyed playing in the red house (which was a rather weather-beaten pale pink until I got handy with a paint brush last week). I put table and chairs outside complete with printed place names and little floral arrangements (I know they're only two, but just humour me!) for an alfresco tea of fish-fingers & chips. When plates were clean out came the birthday cake. Arthur simply loves cake and ice-cream, so I kind of combined the two, making individual ice-cream cone cakes. They are basically a cupcake baked into an ice cream cone. The result was complete silence, a high usage of wet wipes and 100% approval from the little people! After more play came home time, which some guests find a little hard -  after all who ever wants a good party to come to an end? But I hoped that the take home gift of a jar of homemade playdough and a bag of No. 2 shaped chocolate-chip cookies made it a little bit easier to bare.

Happy Birthday Arthur / A Tune for Tuesday ...

17 May 2011

It's been a while since my last post. School and house issues have been demanding much of my time lately and I've generally just been really busy. However, I couldn't not post today for it is a very important day in our household; Arthur's birthday. My little man is now a very grown-up two years old. He isn't really aware what is happening. Lily has been telling him it's his birthday for a few weeks now, so he frequently says' berfday' and sometimes he follows that statement with 'tooooo'. He seems to have learnt that those two words go together at the moment and gets him a response of smiles.

Maybe he'll get an inkling that it is a special day later on in the day. We're going to have a little party at home for him and seven close friends. It will be a simple affair of toys, fish-fingers and chips, birthday cake, balloons and playdough. It will be right up his street.

What with it being a Tuesday, I thought I ought to make an effort to post up a Tune for Tuesday. This tune is dedicated to my wonderful birthday boy. I am blessed to have him; he is warm, funny, amazing company and he effortlessly makes all my days sunny ones. I'm sure I can speak for his daddy and big sister as well when I say that he has, without doubt, made our family rounded, complete and pretty damn perfect! Happy Birthday Arthur  - Big Love xxxxxxxxxxx

Inside the mind of a six year old ...

3 May 2011

Sometimes Lily comes out with the most interesting thoughts, ideas and statements that are brimming with innocence and I love them.

Over the weekend David took her into Brighton to see the new Winnie the Pooh film at the cinema. Whilst in town David decided to browse around a few shops. In one particular shop he saw a jacket that he really liked. He tried it on. It was a good fit. He looked at the price tag and popped it back on the hanger. The conversation then went as so ...

Lily: Don't you like it Daddy? 

David: Oh, I really like it, but it's a lot of money for a jacket, so I won't buy it.

Lily: That's a shame, you really like it.

Then after a short pause ...
Lily: I know what you should do Daddy. You should take a photograph of it on your phone. When I see things that I really like, I take a picture of it with my camera. I can then look at it whenever I like!

Priceless eh?

During their morning out both Lily and David began to notice an ever-growing number of police filling the streets. It was the May Bank Holiday weekend and there was obviously concern that there may be some May Day Riot activity hitting our city. Lily asked questions and David gave an as-simple-as-it-can-be explanation of the May Day Riots that a six year might be able to loosely grasp.

Back home that afternoon, we were sitting in our courtyard enjoying a bit of sunshine. 

Lily: Arthur? Do you want to play a new game?

Arthur: Yeah

Lily: It's called 'Police & Protesters'. I'm the policeman and you are the protester and I have to catch you and put you in jail.

It wasn't quite 'Mummies & Daddies'. One minute into the game Arthur did play a very convincing protester, not wanting to be put into the playhouse (jail). 

Seeing Arthur didn't share her enthusiasm for her new game she went back to her hula-hooping.