Tag Archives: England

Happy First of October

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I still can’t quite believe it’s already October.

Where did September go?

Things were pretty busy for us here with Josh starting school, another thing I can’t quite believe.

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That has to be one of my favourite pictures from his first day of school!

But now that we have all settled into our new routine, I thought it would be a great time to make a Fall bucket list.

I’m sure you’ve seen these things floating around the internet, but most of them seem to be from America and involve things like going to football games, something which we don’t really do much of here in Blighty.

So I made up one of my own, using ideas taken from other bucket lists I’ve seen and writing it on a photo of some leaves I took last fall.

I’m not sure what I might do with it; I’m thinking I might print it out and just hang it on the wall. That way, whenever I am looking for inspiration for something to do, I can just have a glance at it.

Feel free to save and print a copy if you feel it might help inspire you to get out and enjoy fall.

I know it will for me.

We can already tick apple picking off the list.

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Now we just need to go make a pie with all those apples!

Climbing Leith Hill

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We are still following through on our promise to explore a bit more of the countryside, and so last week we went to explore Leith Hill.

What is Leith Hill you might ask?

Why it’s only the second highest point in South East England. I really can’t believe you’ve never heard of it.

Only joking. Of course I can.

It’s just a big hill.

With a tower on the top.

But what better thing to do when faced with a big hill than to climb up it, which is just what we decided to do last week.

It was dry but pretty cold still, so Josh wasn’t in the greatest of moods.

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But we persevered and eventually made it to the top.

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Where we were able to see some lovely views and make our way over to the tower.

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I can’t even begin to describe how cold it was from the top of the tower, with all the cold wind blowing.

But we climbed it and even managed to have a peek over the edge.

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Which means Josh earned his first stamp in his National Trust passport.

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At this rate, I think he’ll have that passport filled in no time at all.

Back to the Butterflies

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Last week, we ended up heading over to RHS Wisley to see the Butterflies in the Glasshouse, an event which happens every February.

Last year was our first time going, which I wrote about here.

This time, not much was different, though as it had only recently opened, it wasn’t crowded at all. Which was nice.

We were able to see some butterflies.

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We saw some beautiful flowers.

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And all from inside a beautiful building which, as other people began to wilt from the heat, was just the right temperature for me.

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Josh seemed to enjoy himself too.

And despite his running off to chase after the butterflies, I think I managed to get a few cute photos of him.

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Though I’m especially pleased with this one.

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Mainly because I have a very similar photo taken of him last year while visiting the butterflies.

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My baby is growing up.

All Aboard

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Trains and I, we have a love-hate relationship.

Growing up in California, the land of the car, trains seemed almost otherworldly.

Very glamourous. Very romantic. Very 1940s.

So moving to England and actually riding on trains to commute to work was a big slap in the face. All that scrambling to get a seat. Grumpy passengers. Piles of rubbish all over. The strong scent of urine in the air.

It didn’t exactly live up to expectations.

But now of course, Josh loves trains.

Probably because he doesn’t have to commute on them.

And the family thought it would be fun to take a train ride while we were out in California, from Ventura to Santa Barbara.

And they were right.

It was fun and Josh loved it.

We had to wait a while for the train to actually turn up. I think it was at least a half an hour late. Which meant plenty of time to hang out and play with the family.

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And, of course, find some toys with Uncle Terry.

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Once we were finally on the train, Josh went crazy, running up and down the aisles telling everyone to “go hide!”

Apparently trains are good places to play hide and seek.

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The view was pretty nice too.

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A short time later, we were in Santa Barbara.

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We went and walked around a bit down by the pier, enjoying all that California December sunshine.

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After lunch, we went and wandered up State Street.

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We ended up going to see the courthouse there, which is such a beautiful building.

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Though Josh was far more interested in his space shuttle than looking at any architecture.

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It was such a lovely day.

It probably helps that this was the view from the train on the way back.

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I imagine that helps make commuting just that little bit nicer in California.

Even if the train still smells like pee.

Snow Day

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We’ve had some snow here in England this weekend.

And it has not gone past my attention that Southern California is back in the 80s this week.

In fact, I’ve really enjoyed looking at all the sunny photos of everyone playing at the beach. It’s given me something to look at as I walk around the house wearing ten sweatshirts at once.

But instead of posting a photo of me wearing ten sweatshirts, I thought I’d post a few photos I took of us playing in the snow.

Because, when all is said and done, it was actually fun.

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For twenty minutes at least.

After that, my toes go numb.

And frozen toes are no fun at all.

Learning to Run

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I apologise in advance if this blog post is bragging.

It could have so easily gone the other way though.

Back in August when I turned the big 3-0, I made a birthday promise to myself, mainly promising not to complain as much about living in England.

For the record, I think I have been a lot better, getting out with Josh and exploring the countryside a bit more.

In my birthday promise, I also said I would like to start running more; a promise I easily forgot when the cold weather and rain came.

But thankfully my sister reads the blog and she didn’t forget.

In fact, as a birthday gift, she signed us up for a 5k.

And as much as the thought of running three miles made me feel nauseous, this last weekend we did it.

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And you know what?

I felt really good about it.

I think it helps that I had my wonderful sister to run with.

And let’s face it, it’s much nicer to run along the beach in 60 degree weather than in frosty England.

I mean, look at the view.

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So thank you Erin for the wonderful gift and making sure I actually followed through on something.

You’re an amazing sister!

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Let me know if we’re on for that half marathon next Christmas.

I’ll easily need the whole year to train for that.

The Little Sand Storm

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We’re here!

Josh and I, and all of our passports, have safely made it to California.

And just so he knows someday, Josh was the BEST little traveler.

For the whole 11 hour flight, complete with turbulence which meant he had to stay buckled in his seat the last four hours, he was an angel. And even though he didn’t sleep a wink the entire flight, we had no tantrums; he was easygoing, listened to me and was just an all around awesome little travel buddy.

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So thank you Josh.

I’ll have to try and remember this for when, on the return flight, inevitably it will all go horribly wrong and I will be tearing my hair out with a screaming two year old.

Then again, Tim will be there next time to hand off to, so perhaps it’s not so bleak after all.

But, as I said, we are here in California; jet lagged and enjoying the sunshine.

And since Josh continues to insist upon getting up at ungodly hours of the morning (one day it was 1:30am), we have gone out several days to the beach already, taking some early morning strolls.

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Josh hasn’t really been around the ocean much, so I expected him to be a bit more hesitant walking near the water.

But he surprised me and did just the opposite, rolling around in the sand, reminding me very much of his Aunt Erin when she was little.

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He just loved running around and throwing sand up into the air, rolling around in it, rubbing it onto his clothes.

This kid loves sand.

One surfer passing by laughed seeing Josh playing and called him a little sand storm.

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I think I’d rather have a sand storm than a snow storm any day….