I’ll be completely honest – I always view school holidays with a mixture of emotions.
On the one hand I look forward to the more relaxed pace of life and doing fun things with the girls, but on the other hand I get anxious about adding another plate to the ones I’m already spinning, with work, home and family commitments.
But this half term seemed to fly by: maybe it was because autumn is my favourite season and the weather was just so perfect – blue skies, mild temperatures and tree leaves ablaze with colour. Or perhaps it’s because the girls are at that lovely age now where I can trust them to make good decisions and allow them a bit more independence.
Which lightens the load of my mum duties, and means I can relax a bit more and enjoy our moments together.
This half-term we stayed close to home – we just finished our big home renovation early in the summer, and then we had two back-to-back birthday parties to arrange, and my extroverted-introvert personality couldn’t cope with the pressure of organising one single thing else – and it was lovely.
We’re lucky to live in a gorgeous part of the UK, just short drive from a myriad of parks, National Trust properties and rural idylls, so we have loads of stunning attractions on our doorstep. One I discovered recently was JC Farming, a family-fun farm that provides a free-range environment for their animals, as well as a kids’ nature trail and petting zoo, and loads of outdoor activities throughout the year.
Springtime is lambing season, and in summer they open a maize maze for kids to enjoy. When we visited there was a full-on autumnal Halloween vibe, with pumpkin carving, biscuit decorating, apple bobbing, spooky woodland walk and a pumpkin treasure hunt.
The day we chose was perfect – a cloudless blue sky filled with that gorgeous autumn light that gives everything a soft, golden glow.
I sent the girls off to do their pumpkin picking (choose the small ones, we were advised, as they’re quicker to scoop out for carving and easier to carry home afterwards), then we carting our chosen gourds into the carving tent.
The girls got right into it, pulling out the gloopy pumpkin innards, and carefully faces into the thick orange skin. Those same pumpkins took pride of place at the bottom of our steps last Wednesday night, guarding our home from the evil spirits of All Hallow’s Eve.
How was your Halloween?