Monday, November 10, 2014


freedom mud and laughterIt was a full-on early start for us this morning.  Everyone had to be up, washed, dressed, fed, and presentable by 8.15am.  As if this wasn’t enough, all of the animal chores had to be completed before that time AND the house had to be left pretty tidy too as we were off out for a large proportion of the day.
First on the list was to the college run, then on to visit the nearby National Trust property Knightshayes to have a run around the grounds. Note the word ‘nearby’, that’s important.  It is about 10 minutes drive  from the college, if that.
Well, it is for those that know where they are going.
Actually, it is for those that can follow the very clear signage pointing the way.
For me?   Well, that’s not quite so for me, not today anyway.  A silly wrong turn at a roundabout created a 30 mile detour.   Had I not have already arranged to meet my parents in Tiverton, I would have been very tempted to have continued on to Barnstaple.  As it was I had to find a way back, but we still managed to have time for a quick visit to Knightshayes.
It was the first time I had driven there myself, having only visited once before with Lee driving (did you guess that already?).  The feeling of driving up the very long and winding driveway was awesome, and the children began to imagine what life would be like if we lived in such a place.  What a dream that would be, although I imagine the heating and maintenance bills to be crippling.  We talked about what life would have been like living in such a place during the war, and we agreed that the kitchen garden area would have been of the utmost importance during such hardship.
I love being able to take the children to places where they are able to express their energetic selves.  I don’t think that there is much else that I enjoy more than strolling quietly behind them, smiling to myself, as I watch their swift runs and dashing moves.
The younger ones like to play chase and create all sorts of imaginary games with in depth characters and seemingly ever-changing rules.   At times one or more of the older ones will join in the fun and suddenly I find myself engulfed by large and small people jostling around me.   Loud cries of contented voices are often to be heard, as is that most wonderful sound of giggling  laughter.
Happy children.
Very little else warms my contented soul more than happy children.
We had a look at the HUGE trees and compared ourselves in size…
measuring trees
We then ran some more…
run around
and got tired out walking back up the hill…
We stood and took time to watch a while…
and had a quiet moment to ponder…
We took tentative first outdoor steps…
walking pack
and carried precious little ones when their legs were tired…
We also found mud…
oh dear
Typical when we had a meeting with the ‘Queen of clean and presentable children’ booked – aka my mother!
Callum’s shoes were covered, his trousers heavily splattered, and as you can see, he got a bit on his hands too.  It was no big deal and only laughter erupted not anger or frustration.   We wiped off what we could with our limited resources, and headed off to meet my mum and dad – both of which burst out laughing when they saw the state of him.
We had a lovely few hours strolling around town chatting, shopping, drinking tea and munching on teacakes.  It was a really precious time, and I loved seeing the little ones in particular interact with their Nanna and Grandad.  Sometimes it’s hard to keep the relationship bond strong due to them living overseas, but seeing Taisia take her Grandad’s hand made my heart burst.
Tomorrow we shall be bread pudding baking, science experiment doing, lapbook making, and nature journal planning – or at least that’s on the would-like-to-do list.  I wonder what we shall actually get up to…

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