September has been a little quieter than other months of late.
Still busy — friends coming and going, people to see, things to do — but we’ve also had a couple of weekends at home, which has been utterly gorgeous and much needed.
It’s only when you take a breath, and start to wind down, that you realise how much you need a little time to readjust and centre yourself.
We’ve got such a hectic couple of months coming up too; November and December are totally booked up already, so it’s been really nice to hang out at home and bimble about, with no agenda.
That said, September saw me and mine celebrate two friends’ 40th birthdays — in monumental style — the most spectacular fancy dress party EVER —the theme being ‘Best Of British’; a sit down meal in a beautifully decorated barn for 170 people, dancing ’til dawn in a forest.
A couple of weekends of pottering at home; I painted a chair, my boy made a bookshelf for the kitchen, we gardened and spent time with friends, …
And the last weekend was spent at my parents-in-law’s; my boy and brother-in-law had tickets to watch the NFL at Wembley, so we took the opportunity to make a long weekend of it and paid a visit to our old stomping ground, whilst we were there.
We took the Twinkles to Bekonscot Model Village. It’s the oldest model village in the world — opening for the first time in 1929 — and is an absolutely fabulous day out for little (and big) people to enjoy.
Sitting in one and a half acres of beautifully tended gardens — in miniature scale— is Bekonscot village. Set in the 1930’s, it’s a perfectly formed little snapshot of how life used to be. A model railway winds round all of the little houses and buildings and it’s utterly enchanting.
I have never seen the babies so taken with anything before. Half of the charm was the fact that everything was on the same level as them; including the handrails around the site. Its totally safe and for the first time ever, we left the pushchair in the buggy park and let them run about at free will. They looked like giants, stomping around their tiny kingdom.
They absolutely LOVED it.
Tiny little houses, a castle, rivers, parks, a cricket ground, circus, marina, zoo… so much for their little eyes to take in — and set on such a dinky scale — it wasn’t too overwhelming. As they are under two, it was free for them (children 2-15 are £5.50) and we paid £9.50 each. Bargain.
We spent around an hour there — could have spent even longer — but their attention had started to wain after 60 minutes and it was time for lunch.
I’d highly recommend it. Such a fun outing for little people — gorgeous to see them so captivated by something.
My very favourite part of that weekend though, without question, was visiting our old home of Marlow.
We spent 7 years living there and although it was mostly happy, it was also tinged with some sadness.
Marlow is a gorgeous place to live; a lovely market town on the river Thames, vibrant and busy with a brilliant high street full of fantastic shops. It also has the best park in the world (in my humble opinion).
The park is a mecca for families on the weekend. Parents go to Starbucks beforehand, to stock up on take-out coffees, before moseying along to the park, where the kids play on the adventure playground or run on the grass, play frisbee or ballgames, people feeding the ducks and the swans and generally there is a lovely, happy vibe. Simple pleasures that can be enjoyed by everyone.
All the years we spent there though, I longed for a baby.
We tried and tried, but each month was unsuccessful. Each month held a devastating blow and although we were happy and would go to the park on the weekend and walk by the river together, I wished that I had a baby to push in the buggy; a toddler to feed the ducks with.
So the last weekend in September of this year… we went to Starbucks to get our take-outs and as we walked down the high street towards the park, my boy said to me:
‘There we go Mookie. This is a first. This is your first Starbucks, in Marlow, as a mummy’.
Aaaah… my eyes are welling up now, even thinking of it!!! It obviously meant as much to him as it did to me and the fact that he commented on it made my day!! :)
We carried on to the park and walked down to the river. We fed the ducks and the swans. Then we lay on the grass and played in the late September sunshine.
I can’t just put into words what a wonderful experience that was but, let’s just say, it is right up there with getting married and being handed my sons for the first time.