The Summer of 2015 • #SummerGoodTimes
I am sat at the dining table as I write this (and not in my newly painted office on account of the floor and desk still be covered in props and magazines and paper that I took to BritMums and hastily emptied out of the boot) looking out of the window up into the blue skies and feeling thankful that it seems the summer has returned to the UK!
This blog has been a rather quiet place over the last few weeks, our feet have barely touched the ground and I am wildly racing between photo libraries trying to keep my laptop from crying under the weight of thousands of images I've taken in the last couple of months.
I scroll through my camera roll on my phone and almost can't believe all the things we have done this summer. The work I have felt so lucky and grateful for, the experiences we have had with the boys because of this blog and the family celebrations that have taken us to Paris and America! I have so many photos to share with you, stories and tales behind the glossy photos (Yes my husband is the one in 3 people a day at Heathrow who tries to travel to the US without a valid visa and almost gave my mum a heart attack at check in) and places I have discovered that I want you all to know about!
For me it's all the anecdotes that make the sentimental memories. The perfect times are great but it's the mishaps, the laughs and the "it could only happen to us" incidents that I will look back on with a happy heart. Sheltering in the rain in the beach hut on my birthday last week with the boys and my niece dancing in the rain, poking her tongue out to catch some raindrops, watching my brother and sister in law look completely relieved walking through the crowded Gare du Nord after getting very last minute tickets on the Eurostar to get home to London when their flight was cancelled and looking at Rich on the plane back from Greece, smiling that we had 3 boys in the 2 seats next to us playing games, on account of a new holiday friend squeezing in with the boys and his lovely mummy and daddy up at the front of the plane relaxing!!!
One of our adventures this summer started off as the perfect mini break. We headed to one of my favourite hotels in Bradford on Avon near Bath where I did some photography work 18 months ago. Woolley Grange is a sanctuary for families, nestled in an area of unspoilt British countryside. We'd been counting down the days until our stay there after our first trip had to be postponed as Sammy had come down with a sick bug that was working it's way around his school.
We had watched the weather forecast all week, hoping for a sunny day to use the outdoor pool and sit outside the orangery with cocktails and mocktails and arrived to blue skies and a delightful suite with adjoining rooms. The boys went straight for a bounce on the enormous bed in our room and we hurriedly unpacked our swimming things ready for an afternoon pond dipping, trampolining and swimming. They raced from one activity to another, too excited to stop for any length of time and we promised that we would do it all again the next day when it was time for dinner. Our room has a magical pointed bay window which overlooked the pond and the beautiful front lawns.
Woolley Grange understands that nights away as a family are about keeping everyone happy. We joined a couple of other families in the main restaurant giving their children an early dinner and the boys tucked into their pizzas with glee as we had a pre dinner drink and a starter to share. By the time it was bedtime they were worn out from swimming in the indoor pool and were desperate to watch a movie in our bed.
We had never used a hotel listening service before, we have always had the boys with us or in bed at a holiday apartment or villa so I felt terribly nervous as the lovely hotel manager talked me through how it worked. Once the boys were settled we went down to join the other couples in the intimate, candle lit restaurant and we joked that you could spot the first timers like us, as each of the couples took it in turns to go up and check on their little ones, like we did every 10-15 minutes! We couldn't fault the staff, the food and the promptness of the manager when he popped into the restaurant to tell us he could hear one of the boys.
We scurried upstairs and poor Ollie spent the next couple of hours being poorly before we made the decision at 11pm to head home. He was so upset to have to leave, but when your small ones are sick you just want to be at home. I can't praise the manager on duty enough that night. He was so sympathetic, so kind when we were trying to pack up and deal with Ollie in the bathroom, and reassured me that I wasn't to feel terrible for letting them watch a movie whilst we and dinner! I'm sure it doesn't happen all the time but he dealt with it all like a pro, and calmed my frantic nerves.
The next day Ollie felt much better and was so disappointed to be stuck at home instead of swinging on the tree swing! But that is life, you can't ever predict when you might be ill. Mini breaks have to wait! Lucky I had these photos from my time before - we know we are in for a treat at breakfast when we go back and the boys are desperate to play in the wendy house!
We are so lucky that Woolley Grange are going to have us back soon and hopefully this time everyone will be fighting fit.
I am working my way through all the photos I took in Greece, it's almost impossible to choose which ones to post to make sure you get to see just how fantastic the resort was. But I will do my best! So the blog is going to turn fifty shades of blue this week, with clear blue skies and deep blue seas.
2015 is definitely our Summer of adventure. So sunshine, please stay with us so we don't feel like it's over already!
Our stay at Woolley Grange was part of the #SummerGoodTimes campaign with Boots.
Linking up with The Ordinary Moments