Hello Saxon

mama, papa & Saxon

mama, papa & Saxon

A belated welcome to my beautiful little nephew Saxon, who was born on 2nd January. He's just a little teeny fella but already full of wonder and enchanting all of us - especially the squids, who are desperate to see their new cousin whenever they can, and then sit gazing at his perfect little face and expressing their amazement at the super softness of his hair as they stroke him. The love, devotion and instinct to protect him that is already very noticeable in Indy & Pablo is so incredible to witness, and their keenness for him to grow so that they can gather him into their little band of mischief & teach him all their tricks is gorgeous. It's also strange to be reminded of those early days, cosying down indoors as a little family, feeding and recovering and getting to know a whole new little human, it's so difficult and so magical all at once, I can't decide whether I miss it or not! Well done Xander & Zara. Love love love...

Christmastime 2013

Sparkly mince pies, breakfast cronuts, prezzies galore, venison feast, baked alaska, dancing, wine & merry timesโ€ฆ Happy Christmas 2013, and hello 2014!

mini hols

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London in the hot hot hot is infinitely preferable to London in a drizzle, but the seaside is even better. We took a spontaneous trip to Nanna & Quinto's for some impressive Sussex seaside time - too much ice cream, traditional funfair and giant fish & chips galore. Lots of fun and lots of sun. Nothing makes a kid (well, my kids) happier than an excuse for some public nudity, so the beach is always a winner, but we really hit the jackpot with the little old funfair - cheap and full of rides they loved, with not a single queue to kill our vibe. Shame on Legoland. Indy went on her first real funfair ride, and then insisted on going again...and again...and again. I've never seen her grin for so long, and watching her turn the corner and wave like royalty (again...and again...) strangely never got boring. What a difference a long, sunny summer makes! We are all brown as berries and feeling good, and haven't hopped on a plane once...

with nanna & quinto

with nanna & quinto

sunday sunday

Magical Epping Forest. The smalls were on another planet of joy just exploring, running through the undergrowth, picking blackberries and discovering dens. Pablo threw himself into tree climbing and scaling, and Indy pottered across logs and tottered down hills grinning. So amazing what a bit of freedom in the wild can do, even the not-so-wilds of Essex...so lucky to have this on our doorstep.

sunday sunday

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Scorcher Sunday - 27 degrees, which is about as hot as we can hope for on this grey little island - and a rare day without plans, so we decided to hit the nearest beach. Left it too late to go anywhere famously lovely like Southwold or Whitstable, but felt brave enough for a trip to Southend-on-Sea, and despite the horror movie traffic on arrival it was worth the hot car journey. The beach down by Thorpe Bay was lined with a pretty rainbow of beach huts which provided convenient shade, and not at all crowded with big sunburned bodies. Pablo quickly made friends and found an impressive haul of big crabs and little jellyfish to net and bucket. After we'd had all the sun, sea & strawberries we needed, a scuttle back up the coast brought the pier and it's impressive funfair (Pablo's first roller coaster, which he loved), plus some compulsory fresh fish and chips. 

oranges and lemons

After being very dramatic  for the past year about my absolute need for some extreme exposure to the sun, we finally got a mega-hit when we made a long overdue visit to my mama's idyllic little farm in Spain at the end of April. We must have picked the perfect time of year because wildflowers were everywhere (even in our salads) and the air was warm, full of bees and the scent of orange blossoms. The kiddos were in heaven, pottering about semi (or totally) nude, picking and eating oranges from the trees and catching frogs by day, stargazing and sleeping SO soundly by night. There was no TV to turn to and it wasn't missed, and with my mum and her partner Quinto about I got some very luxurious rooftop sunbathing spells and finished an entire book! 

The hippies who live down on the riverbed through a Children's festival that perfectly coincided with our visit - think Shamanic drumming lessons, Geodesic domes, Kids trapezing at dusk and lots of daal. On other days we made home made strawberry granita with berries so naturally sweet they made me dizzy, or paddled with the tadpoles in my mum's pool, filled with river water. Pablo fell in love with his first ever pet, a snail, and got his first kiss from the neighbour's two year old daughter, Umi, by the festival campfire. Dreamy days...

our cherry little christmas

We stayed in London for Christmas, which I usually find a tiny bit sad because it doesn't feel like a "holiday", and I never go and do all the festive things I pretend I will, like carols at the cathedral or lovely late night shopping down Columbia Road with a hot cider... But this year despite the general greyness of London I had a bloody lovely Christmas. Santa was very kind and attended to many genuine wishes. After a suitably waffly brunch we packed into our "new" (slightly scary) 20 year old Saab and rolled 'round to my brother's for a perfect Christmas afternoon - food, games, wine, MORE presents, more food, and an insanely yummy pudding whipped up by the host himself. And then more wine. I am still dreaming of it. 

Indy's big red dress courtesy of  grandma ! 

Indy's big red dress courtesy of grandma

So many beautiful home made touches by my super-creative sister-in-law, including the most beautiful cushion for Indiana! Feel very spoilt.

it was a very red day... I mean a very rad day... I mean both!

it was a very red day... I mean a very rad day... I mean both!

sunday sunday

I made it out on Saturday night for the first time in about a month (I've been too sleep deprived to contemplate having any fun after dark) so classically overdid it and spent Sunday in a bit of a haze. We still have a slightly crazy amount of turkey leftover from Thanksgiving, and I made a damn good pie with leftover cream, leftover thyme, bacon and other fine stuff. Then we topped it off with leftover s'more pie and a slump on the sofa watching movies and having indulgent naps. Yummy Sunday....

sunday sunday

Lovely family brunch - buttermilk pancakes, fruit salad, eggs benedict, bacon, bucks fizz, coffee galore. Pablo was showered in Halloween goodies by his Grandpa & Grandma, and Uncle Xander & Auntie Zara. Brunches are also the best because the whole afternoon still exists for lying around watching films.