July Ramblings

Today I had to dress the baby in a cardigan and put her in a sleeping bag for her nap. I was quite pleased about these facts – a brief respite from the heat of July is welcome. Roo, who is lamenting the disappearance of the paddling pool (“it actually is sunny Mummy”), does not agree!

For us, July has been mainly filled up with weddings or wedding prep events with little time to find many new walks. We seem to be at that stage where everyone is getting married. With the weather too hot to walk very far with little ones, when we have managed to fit in some wanders they have been quite short and sweet and often in the cool of the late afternoon or early morning.

We have been making old walks more exciting by adding themes: Roo’s favourite was a ‘Peter Rabbit’ walk. She donned bunny ears and we headed off on a favourite local wander on the look-out for brown fur and bob-tails. After much creeping along footpaths, inspecting of earthy holes and exploring of hedgerows, we got lucky. Just as we were walking down a small lane past a house with a rambling garden and tall hedges, a brown rabbit came tearing out of the garden through the wooden front gate,across our path and into the hedge. Roo of course was thrilled to see Peter Rabbit fleeing the garden without his blue jacket and promptly renamed the house Mr. McGregor’s House whilst I marvelled at our good fortune.

Peter Rabbit Walk

On the look-out for Peter Rabbit

For much of the month I have been writing up our trip to Pembrokeshire at the end of June. It’s been great reliving our holiday through the write-ups and has particularly brought home to me just how very family friendly Pembrokeshire was. This is particularly true of its walking opportunities – three of my favourite walks there were super short and easy and yet all three had some absolutely amazing views from the top. It’s not often you get a jaw-dropping vista for little effort and that you can explore with young children easily too. It was such a hit with the entire family we are heading back again in the autumn for a few days, when hopefully we will be able to visit the seal pups and get in a few more walks in this gorgeous corner of Britain.

As each month passes, Baby is getting rapidly bigger. This month has seen some new firsts for her – she is sitting up unassisted, has had a few unsuccessful attempts at crawling and has started solids ( I had forgotten just how messy that is). We are also experimenting with reusable nappies – something I always meant to do with Roo but could never quite bring myself to start. Smelly bins sitting for two weeks out in the heat of the summer were the final breaking point for me and so I took the plunge and ordered some cloth nappies based on the advice of the excellent Nappy Lady. If you’re thinking of re-usables but aren’t sure how or what to go for, then do look her up. We are two weeks in to our trial now and I am a convert. It’s much simpler than I had imagined, the used nappies don’t smell awful and they amazingly seem to wash clean despite a few ‘poosplosions’. Next step is to try and get the hang of using them away from home – I’ll keep you posted. If you have any tips to help me then please share them – I’m still learning!

I also got the chance to escape for my first evening out without Baby this month. It was lovely to stick on a dress, abandon the milky chaos of bedtime and head up to London to attend the Hills Balfour & CaxtonFX Summer Drinks. I met some great travel and parent bloggers, picked up some brilliant inspiration for future trips (who knew that Mauritius has such great hiking?!) and realised that if Caxton FX travel cards had been around when I was 18, my Dad would never have made the mistake of letting me loose in South America with an emergency credit card in his name. I’m still a little hazy on why a trip to the Galapagos Islands does not qualify as an emergency…

The end of the month saw my husband heading off on not one but two stag do’s so us girls had to entertain ourselves. We put the time to good use by visiting family and clocking up a few more walks, including heading up into the Malvern Hills – something I’ve been itching to do for ages! We had a close encounter with a thunder-storm on the way up which fortunately just passed us by but made for a dramatic skyline from the top. Our trip back to the South-West also coincided nicely with one of Bristol Zoo’s fantastic sunset specials – where the zoo stays open late and visitors can enjoy a picnic supper with some fantastic live music.

Brooding skies over the Malvern Hills

Brooding skies over the Malvern Hills

I took Roo to see Peppa Pig at the theatre too -the first time I’ve done anything like it. It was a completely surreal experience and predictably weak on the plot, although Roo of course loved every minute. Have you been? If so you’ll know what I mean! I’m not sure if the theatre knew beforehand about the bits in the performance where the entire audience of hyper pre-schoolers were asked to jump up and down as hard as they could!

Now with August upon us, we are gearing up for our next adventure. With a trip to Ireland and the coast of Kerry calling, I am trying to work out how on earth to get our two tots and hiking boots into a Ryan Air luggage allowance. Wish me luck!

It’s amazing how fast this summer is whizzing by. At least it has felt like a proper summer! What have you been up to? Have you got holiday or walking plans for August? If you’ve got a favourite post from July then do link it up below and let me know what you’ve been up to.

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