Since I began this blog, it’s been my life’s mission to capture as many family moments as I can; to preserve them for when the boys are old enough to read and understand just how much they mean to their daddy and me.
What began as a cathartic exercise — and something that I had no intention of pursuing once my babies were born — has remained a constant in my family’s life and evolved into something quite different now.
This little corner of the internet is not ‘just’ a blog anymore. It’s been the provider of so much more.
It’s given me a new career, new friends, a new-found confidence — but most of all, it’s a place to store our precious moments and memories. A virtual memory box, if you will.
And, with that in mind, it makes me look at things in a very different light.
I want to preserve ordinary moments in such a way that, when I’m a lot older (and a lot greyer) — and my babies have grown into men — we can look back at this collection of images and words, and they will instantly transport us back to that moment in time.
When the lovely folk at Fat Face recently asked if we’d like to take a look at their summer 2018 collection — inspired by travel — of course I said yes; it’s a brand that we love.
Now, when I think of ‘travel’, I do initially think of holidays in foreign climes. My boy and I travelled extensively when we were younger, although we’ve been abroad much less since we’ve been parents. Even though the twins have experienced sunshine in Sardinia and the snowy coldness of Tignes.
But also, I think of travelling around our own island; of packing Dolly up and going off on an adventure.
Exploring places that we’ve never been to and visiting pockets of the British Isles that we haven’t seen before.
In Praise of Caravans
It might sounds a bit gushy but buying a caravan has literally changed our lives.
I’ve said before that since we’ve had Dolly, festivals are a joy; if it rains, we have somewhere warm and dry to retreat back to.
But holidaying in a caravan is also a thing of joy.
We haven’t taken Dolly overseas, as yet. But travelling round the UK — in a caravan — gives you a totally different perspective on our little island.
It enables you to stray off the beaten track, put down roots for a little while, and really get a feel for a place.
We stayed in the middle of the New Forest at half term; miles away from any B&B or hotel.
Having our own little home on wheels meant that we could drive deep into a forest and make our camp right there.
We’ve just returned from a week in Dorset, where the soaring temperatures and outdoor swimming pool felt more like Portugal than England.
And we’ve had many happy weekends away; some right here, in our own county.
We can drive into a field and set up home.
Be as free as birds and at one with nature, whilst surrounded by our home comforts.
Having Dolly has meant that we can give our little boys so many happy, spontaneous, adventures.
We can run wild in long grass, play and laugh together. Watch the sun go down, accompanied by a soundtrack of birdsong and cattle.
And whilst our little tin box on wheels hasn’t ventured further than our own coastline (yet), the fun and joyful times that we experience wouldn’t be any greater had we travelled there by plane.
Summer 2018 — One To Remember
So, this collection of images — as well as answering the ‘travel’ brief — marks the most extraordinary summer. The kind of summer that I remember from my own childhood.
They’re a visual record of everything I hold dear.
My little family, doing what we love best; creating memories of the perfect summer.
They symbolise happy times spent with friends and family; camping trips and festivals. Long, hot days; stretching out before us filled with so many good things.
Adventures with Dolly and Dave (our caravan and her long suffering partner; our Land Rover who has to escort her wherever she goes).
These photographs are a celebration of seemingly endless days of sunshine; parched grass, the colour of sand. Wilting flowers and plants in the borders. A dry heat in the air, with a Mediterranean warmth that’s rarely felt in our corner of the globe.
Summer 2018; one that I know, unquestionably, will go down as one of the best summers ever.
Many thanks to the lovely team at Fat Face for providing our fab threads for the purposes of styling this post. Pop and have a look at their website for more lovely clobber.
Although this is a collaborative post, all thoughts and words — as ever — are entirely my own.
PS — thanks so much to my lovely friend Anne for capturing these memories in glorious technicolour!