the rambles of a family of five in Australia

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Swansea; Mumbles; and the Lovespoon Gallery

A drizzly Monday morning in South Wales with two poppets. What to do? Why, head through Swansea out to Mumbles to visit the Lovespoon Gallery and have fish and chips, of course!

Spot camera-shy Mr E…

 Lovespoons are a traditional Welsh betrothal gift, carved from a single piece of wood with various designs symbolising various elements of the carver’s love for the intended recipient. Idiotically, we took no photos of the lovespoons, only of the sign…oops.
No Lovespoons for us, we’re afraid – although we did meet a lovely couple who were looking for one to commemorate their 60th wedding anniversary in a few months’ time.

A lovely church building on the way to Mumbles.

“When is lunch? What are we having? Fish and chips?”

Lovely waterproof Suze!

On the waterfront…

A view of the bay, with the pier in the distance.

The lighthouse. E has been building Lego ones ever since we saw it!

Camera-itis – a sudden illness afflicting our first born.

Fish and chips was from Yallop’s and was a revelation: battered cod – the size of your leg!; a pile of chips as big as a dinner plate (each – yikes!); and mushy peas. Absolutely delicious. E got his own paper cone of chips, fish and peas to eat in his car seat (it was pouring with rain by this stage) and was the happiest little munchkin you’ve ever seen!

All in all, a great day out was had by all (we won’t mention H & E’s colds/ear infections and the ensuing tiredness…two good nights’ sleep have improved matters enormously!)

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The Cotswolds

Last Tuesday 13 September we headed to the Cotswolds with our good friends: B, G & little Miss P, for a day of sight-seeing. Now that our little Miss S is 4-and-a-bit months old, we are trying to make time for some exploration before the winter weather closes in.

On this trip we drove through Stow-on-the-Wold; had lunch and a wander round Bourton-on-the-Water; drove through Upper and Lower Slaughter and spent the afternoon exploring Hidcote – a National Trust Garden. (Our National Trust membership has already paid for itself, and has motivated us to visit places that might otherwise have been deemed too difficult/expensive or that we just wouldn’t have known about. Kudos also go to our friends B & G, who have given us directions, allowed us to follow them and otherwise expedited and made joyous numerous days out in England.

The ‘water’ in Bourton-on-the-Water, with a small view of E.

E & Miss P loved watching the ducks paddling up and down.

R & H thought it would be lovely to have a house with a view like this! Just not with little ones running around…

The sun emerges – Hallelujah! – just in time for lunch in one of the tea rooms overlooking the water.

Days out with friends are very precious.

Hidcote is in Gloucestershire and is a garden designed by an American in the late 19th century. It is said to be one of the Top 5 English Gardens, because it was the first to incorporate the concept of ‘garden rooms’. We loved the use of hedges to divide the grounds and were always amazed at what was around each corner.
Our first view of the garden at Hidcote.

The lovely flower beds.

E and P mucking around (literally!) The mud in our car at the end of the day had to be seen to be believed. Still, better a fun, muddy day than a clean and miserable one!

A view through one of the ‘hedge doors’ into another garden room.

A cedar keeping watch over the very deep herbaceous borders, full of absolutely gorgeous plants!

The very lovely house.

The Long Border, with the husbands waiting patiently at one end for the wives and children.

A quiet place to sit with a cup of tea – what a good idea!

This sunlit scene came just after a cloudburst that sent us running into the hedges for shelter.

R, E, S and Miss P, relaxing on a bench in the greenhouse.

The Cotswolds are every bit as pretty and worth a look as everyone always says. We are glad we went on a Tuesday out-of-season to escape the worst of the crowds while still benefiting from reasonably pleasant weather. Hidcote is gorgeous – it is amazing how talented gardeners are – we appreciated the skill and vision used in placing the plants God has made in such beautiful and innovative ways.

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A collage of our life in the past month or so

Scoop the tractor is a favourite garden companion – scooping and tipping, scooping and tipping!

Watching Suze & Mummy through a hole in his toast.

Suze’s first taste of solid food.

Sitting up in the Bebe Pod, playing with her beloved monkey.

On the Trim Trail around Willen Lake – giving Mummy & Daddy a run for their money.

Proud as punch to be walking along the logs

Our PlayDoh snow woman

Trying on Mummy’s shoes for size
Sleeping Beauty

Post-shower Ewan. Pleased as punch!

We call him Spike.

In the pram at Blenheim Motor Show

A very happy Suze after lunch at Blenheim

Suze & Mummy

Watching Bob the Builder

Also watching Bob the Builder

‘Some mornings are so dazzling, I have to wear shades, man.’

Rolling pastry for Tartelettes aux Framboises

Like a little flower

Eating makes me happy

Tarte aux Framboises

Getting lost in a good book can never begin too early

“What are you looking at Mum?”

4 1/2 months old and in the jolly jumper already. E is more than a little proud.

Could these be the legs of a future dancer…?

S has graduated to the highchair for meals. All the better to kick back and relax.