Sunday, 21 April 2013

Winter and Spring funtimes

OK, so the winter has been long and cold, but that's no excuse right? we have had snow blizzards galore and some no-stop rain downpours but in-between the chaos there have been moments of calm perfect for exposing a two old to the elements. This post just re-caps on some of the fun activities we have been up to recently, for once I have actually been pretty good at taking photos over the last 3-4 months or so, not saying that the photos themselves are up to much but I have at least remembered to take them so here we go:

Snow at the start of the year

So there I am sitting in the office when it starts to snow. a few hours later and i'm kicking myself that i'm not at home building a snowman with my little girl, same thing happens the next day, and the next until the weekend comes and there is no snow left. Typical - I think it turned to heavy rain so we hit the indoor softplay instead.

A couple of weeks pass, and then..

Heavy snow on a Friday morning, but as the day progresses the white stuff starts to melt and by Saturday things are looking a bit bleak, we manage to get a half-harted snowman up with what's left. So then it occurs to me that our snow always melts quicker on the south coast, in Bournemouth we have our own micro climate after all so I decide to pick up the phone to my brother-in-law for two reasons: 
1. They live in Winchester which always gets snow when we don't despite only being half an hour away and 2. They live next to a sledging mecca. 

an hour and a half later and this is us:

Weeeeee, by the way massive tip: wet-suit gloves common in surfing and kayaking make superb snow gloves, they don't get soggy and are super warm.

It was the best day ever, we must have gone down 50 times on various slopes and when we eventually got bored of the crowds we headed off and built our own run with a little jump, just me, Rosie my brother in-law and Rosie's cousin Olivia.

Seaside Adventures

We go to the beach as often as possible, maybe 3 time a week during the summer either at weekends or for evening dog walks.

Living in Bournemouth we have the luxury of walking up the road or driving round to one of the remote beaches, top tip always avoid Bournemouth Pier and half a mile either side (far too busy). Once there most of our time is spent sitting looking at shells and stones. Rosie lovse exploring the shells and hoping to find an interesting colour or mark, we normally bring the best finds home to mummy although god knows what she does with them.

She's getting the idea of sand castles too, although her favorite sand castle pass time is getting me to build them whilst she knocks them down. That said it's amazing to see her patience increase every time she fills up the bucket. It used to be a case of one or two spade loads then walk off to something else, but shes gradually built herself up and now she'll happily sit there for 20 minutes to fill one single bucket. I guess it's pretty cool to do something like this on a regular basis to see the gradual progression. Oh my dog Pepper loves it too.

Theme parks and play parks

With Peppa pig world up the road, it's hard to avoid this one really. Here's the thing though it's awesome! We go there a fair bit, so much so that me and my wife both have season passes now. The good thing (in my opinion) about theme parks is that they are hugely engaging, outdoors and super fun.

Here is Rosie with best friend and cousin Olivia

Top tip - This one is a must for Peppa Pig fans. In PP world there is a game where you throw balls into a bucket to win giant Peppa Pig dolls like this one:

Now in the PP shop onsite sells soft toys 1/3 of this size sell for about £30 so learning the technique to win these bad boys is really worth it as one go only costs £2. So far I have won 5 of them and given 4 away to friends and family as they make really good presents especially as you can get different types for boys and girls. Pirates / fairies etc.

So here is what you do:

  • position yourself slightly to the right of the bucket (or left if left handed)
  • throw the ball up, higher than the top of the bucket rim
  • land it on the edge of the lower bucket rim, but make sure when you throw the ball up you flick your wrist to put back-spin on the ball 
  • after a couple of attempts (you get 3 tries for £5) you'll get the hang of it, just make sure the ball hits the lower rim or the bucket not the back of the bucket or it will just bounce out.
Theme parks aside we go to a lot of normal parks over the winter and spring, here are some photos:

The big one! - near our house, Bournemouth

Swinging with Olivia - Southampton docks

Best climbing frame ever - Centreparcs, Longleat

And finally, Easter

I'm going to be talking more about nature in the next post, but it's hard not too touch upon it when we stayed at the grandparents dairy farm in rural Worcestershire over Easter. This is where Rosie will be the envy of her friends at school as her grandparents (and now aunties) run an ice cream company from the farm, after diversifying when milk prices hit rock bottom about 10 years ago. So there is always plenty of chocolate, strawberry, or... stilton ice-cream  about the place. Anyway when taking time out from tractor rides, and calf feeding we managed to put on a great Easter Egg hunt which resulted in my favorite photo of the year, see if you can tell which one it is from the final two:

There is so much more to write about from the past few months but i'll leave it for now. The next one will be a diary of our recent fun growing flowers and playing around exploring nature.

Thanks for reading.

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