Tag Archives: outdoors

Monday Midnight Tea

Hello and welcome to Wildmoor Heath. We have to be quiet so as not to upset the locals. Their bushy tails and gleaming eyes are barely visible in the surrounding darkness, but we know that they are out there, somewhere.
Do be careful as you enter the den. The children made it today and spent quite a few hours finding the branches and twigs to create the little  hideout. In case you’re wondering what it looked like during the day, below is a picture of the finished product. 

Right! Now that you’re settled on the purple blanket, I’ll make some tea from the flasks we’ve carried up here with us. One lump of sugar or two? Sorry, no milk tonight – too much weight!

After we’ve had our tea and a packet of crisps (kindly packed by my youngest Sprog), let’s go for a walk in the rest of the forest and see what we can find. 

Earlier this evening, we spotted fireflies on the heath; a most spectacularly sight as I’ve never seen one before. The moment was spoilt as Henry decided to eat each one as it lit up! Needless to say we had to move along swiftly to avoid exterminating the few fireflies left. 
If you’re up for a little adventure, we could take the path leading through the red barked conifers. It’s so silent there, you can hear your heartbeat and flutter of your eye lashes. Further on, the stench of swampy water is a clear warning to watch your step in the darkness. If you miss the signs, Henry will remind you as he loves to take a dip in the stinkiest bog and shake himself close to you. So beware.

Once we’ve had our walk and return to the den, we can use our torchlight to make shadow puppets and animals until it’s time for bed. Fierce competition will arise between those that can create the perfect kangaroo and bear. Whomever wins getting bragging rights and the first share of the slab of chocolate. 

You look as though you’ve nearly finished your tea. I’ll pack up the rest of the things and we can start the evening’s adventures. 

I’m so glad you’re here to experience it with me. The kids loved it as the first activity for their summer holidays. I hope you do too! 

Walkies with Henry


If only the two legged creatures in charge of the world were just as simple, just as breath-takingly beautiful as our surroundings; imagine what a wonderful world this would be.

I breathe in the serenity of my surroundings and exhale the abusive stature of man. 


Under a canopy of green, I watch the clouds play hide and seek against the blue.20170520_182354930_iOS

Basking in the panorama unfolding before me, I run.20170520_182612469_iOS


Free as a bird, I fly down the hills and through the valley of dancing dandelions that smell of fox and deer.


20170509_190923296_iOSThe light is fading from the day, changing what was once bright and blue to shades of grey.

I can taste the cool breeze; soon, all the birds I love to chase will find their nests, leaving me to the silence and chilly air. I stand there, up on the hill, watching the life drain from another day.



Until we meet again, under the azure sky, I will listen to the soft lullaby of the birds as they sing their babies to sleep and doze to the hum of the beetles’ wings on their journey home.






Monday Coffee

20170520_182708673_iOSIf I were to whisk you away,

far from the maddening crowd  of everyday

To a place where clouds drift on an easy breeze

And dandelion dandruff makes you sneeze;

If I were to whisk you away,

Far from here

Would you come with me? Would you, my dear?

To a place where dreams become reality

A restful place just for you and me.

I’ve packed a flask for us and included a container with different tea bags and coffee, just in case you fancy something different. Thank you for joining me out here on the hill right outside my front door. It’s the best time of the day: when the moon flashes her smile at the sun before he disappears to light up the other side of the world. Here, let me lay out a blanket for you and we can sit and watch the stars show their faces, one by one as the colour drains out of the sky.

It has been a busy week and weekend and I’m glad that I don’t work full time. I get to appreciate the days when I can sit and write, dreaming up places and events that mimic real life. Yesterday I took the family out on a walk in the woodland next door to us. It was the first time for all of us to explore the area together. Usually, I tend to disappear into the forest with the dog and return an hour or two later completely relaxed (it’s better than going to a spa!). They loved it and hated it at the same time. Bugs flew up their noses and into their eyes while the challenge of climbing a large tree with the remnants of a tree house let them forget their studies and stress for a while.

You see, I have three children writing different exams. One child has finished but the other two will be completing their exams over the next few weeks. The stress levels have been high; food has been a top priority as well as soft drinks. When they do emerge from their little caves to refuel, we try to make it as fun and relaxing as possible for them. The walk was my way of seeing all of my children at the same time and actually doing something fun for an hour before they disappeared back into their caves.

Now, I know I have a different personality to most people, but if I lead you up a rather dubious track, wouldn’t you follow me? With all the confidence in the world, I tried to convince my little sprogs to follow me down the hill into a thicker part of the forest filled with swamps and gorgeous little streams, but they refused! Oh, the shock! The Hubble started the recourse, heading for a well used track that made mine seem unkempt and dangerous. I was rather put out by this and felt the need to sulk a little. Seeing my upset, the littlest sprog offered to follow me into the swamp, against the advice of the other mutineers who I should have left stranded at the top of the hill. Lucky for them, my common sense prevailed and I led the little sprog down a safer path to the same destination I had planned all along. They followed suit, complaining again about the bugs and nature.

After taking copious amounts of photographs for my memories, I allowed them to escape back to civilisation and food. The Hubble fell back and waited with me while I took in the terrain, enjoying the peace of listening to the water and the birds try to synchronize their songs. I love this place. It is the epitome of serenity.

With a reluctant drag to my feet, I followed the sprogs home where household chores welcomed me with open arms, as usual.

What did you do this weekend?

Tuesday Coffee

Thank you for joining me a day late for our weekly coffee catch up. After a rather tumultuous weekend, I am glad to get a chance to put my feet up and chat to you.

As always, I would love to hear from you on how your weekend went. What was the highlight of the last few days and what were the lows? Feel free to reply in the comments or link your blog post to mine.

I was lucky enough to start my weekend on Friday – our moving day! With a fantastic team to help us pack up and leave on schedule, the day skipped by without much incident. Later that evening, after performing speed unpacking in the kitchen, I left my poor family and shot off in my bat-mobile to a weekend away at an activity centre that promised to be filled with fun and games, and boy, was I not disappointed.

My backpack looked as though I would be staying for a week instead of just a few days, but there had to be space to keep the snacks and drinks necessary for sustaining myself and my fellow workmates. Now it can be quite daunting to go off for a weekend away with the people you work with, especially when you don’t know that that well.  I was pleasantly surprised with the kindness shown by each member of our team and the amount of laughter that was generated by the teaching staff. Setting ourselves challenges to overcome our fears, we plunged into the forest on zip lines, kayaked across a reservoir, abseiled down a tower, played games like crate stacking and pushed ourselves through long walks in the forest. It was an incredible experience and I managed to achieve third place in the archery!

One of the highlights of the weekend was being asked to tell ghost stories around the fire in the middle of the woods. While the light still played tricks with the trees’ shadows, I laid the foundations for a thrilling night and later delivered some urban legends from my home country.  As terrible as it sounds, I was pleased with their terrified responses and felt accomplished. After all, who wants to be a thriller writer and not have the ability to send shivers down companions’ spines during story time?

The end to the long weekend saw me returning to a house that had an organised/chaotic feel to it thanks to my very hardworking family.  Feeling extremely guilty, I got stuck straight into unpacking as many boxes as I could and re-organised our messy garden. With all the exercise I did over the weekend, my body was already aching so it didn’t make much difference to my poor, tired limbs.

While we sit here, in this pretty little kitchen, I am pleased to see my dining room table looking fabulous with its tartan table cloth and fresh flowers parading their colours in a neutral vase. The sitting room is set up and comfy with a cracking fireplace and the bedrooms are spacious, ready to swallow up tired members of the family.  Don’t look to closely along the landing as that seems to be the holding place for the boxes I expelled from my sons’ room this evening. Instead, help yourself to another ginger biscuit and tell me more about your weekend.


A Walk in the Park

Hello!  The garden is buzzing with busy bees but the park has a few beauties to share.  Walk with me…

Now if I’m not mistaken, this is Thistle.  I’ve always loved books about fairies and my favourite flower where the fairies hide would always be the Thistle.

Hidden in the shrubbery are these gorgeous open Roses.  Their bright pink faces dart into view whenever the wind sends shivers down the branches filled with greenery.
Pretty purple plants litter the side of the path as we walk Henry along the edge of the green.

Baby’s Breath blows gently in the wind, it’s delicate little flowers shimmering as each stalk bends and sways in a happy trance.

The promise of summer: raspberries starting to blush in thorny hedgerows hiding birds’ nests.
This prickly plant looks as if it’s related to the Zimbabwean BlackJack.  The tiny heads are barely noticeable among the grass and shrubs, but on closer inspection, they are just as gorgeous as any flower.
Wavering with the bodies of barley, grassy heads bob to and fro as the dance with delight to the invisible beat of breezy base drums.
I hope you enjoyed our walk together. Next week I hope my geraniums will have flowered so that I can share their pretty faces with you.

Have a lovely afternoon.

Monday Coffee

Hi!  *hug*

Come on in.  It’s cold and rainy outside today and the bat cave is so much warmer (okay maybe just drier!).  The kettle is on and your favourite mug is waiting to be filled with your favourite brew.  Tea, coffee or hot chocolate?

Whilst I fill the mugs, help yourself to some chocolate cake.  It’s triple chocolate! This weekend was another busy one but in a good way. 

  Hiking, picnics and ballet were interspaced with long discussions about a big decision…we are getting a dog!!  It’s a massive decision because our family is already big with four kids and four cats.  Having a dog was a dream but this weekend changed it into a reality.  

Our puppy is a little Sprocker and has chocolate brown velvety fur with beautiful dark eyes and a sweet temperament.  He is still too small to come home with us and the next few weeks will be pure agony but so worth the wait.

The family dynamic will change and the children and the Hubble are on the same page with me for the first time in a while which made the decision so much easier.  Bits and pieces are falling into place and it feels as though it was meant to be.

Do you ever get those moments in life?  A moment where stars align and things fall into place with little to no resistance.  Henry Carlisle was meant to be a part of our family and we can’t wait for him to come home to us. 

 How was your weekend?