According to T.S. Eliot, ‘April is the cruellest month’, but we’re finding that so far, it is going very well indeed. The weather has been warm and sunny allowing us to make the most of the (very long!) school holidays. Although it must be said that Ian is complaing about the lack of rain.
However, we ended March, celebrating Red Nose Day at school and nursery, with funny noses and red clothes, followed by Mother’s Day, where the kids help make a lovely breakfast. I was treated with flowers and plants (bought with their own money), a pasta bracelet (“Don’t eat it, mummy”) and some very sweet cards (inscribed with a very heartfelt message of ‘ I love you because you feed me!’)
The month had also ended with news of shocking attack in Westminster, London, which happened at the very time our French language students were near the Houses of Parliament. We were very much relieved to get the message that they were safe, even though some of their group had been so close that they were instructed to run by police. We hope their memories of the UK are so much more than that horrible time.
Our own trip to London, a few days later was really nice. It was good to see and feel the positivity of people carrying on with their day to day life and whilst that should never lessen our thoughts to those who were injured and the families who have experienced such great loss, the fear of terrible events that can be inflicted so frightenly easily, should not define our every day. We are lucky to be able to feel safe and we should embrace that. We spoke to and smiled at police officers throughout the day, we saw tourists enjoying the famous sights and many families, like ours, enjoying what London has to offer. #Londonisopen
We love the choice, energy and diversity London has – especially when it comes to food. We paid a visit to a family favourite, Wong Kei, in Wardour Street which years ago was once described as ‘the rudest restaurant in London’. It is a little friendlier these days, but can still have it’s moments, however the food is good….just look at the photo of Seamus which is worth any good Michelin critic’s review.
We visited the wonderful National History Museum walking through the dinosaur bones and seeing a huge, moving T-Rex, which captivated Orla and Seamus’ attention for a long time. Seamus took his toy dinosaur with him so he could see his big family. With Aoife still wearing her support boot for her injured foot, it was a tiring day but lots of fun.
It’s good to remember that sometimes, especially in the big city, we need to just stop and take time to smell the flowers. Here we are in a small oasis in Covent Garden. A 10 second respite before being hassled by other tourists who wanted a quick snap.
This time of year is truly beautiful though and we are fortunate to be in such a nice area. Making our Easter Bonnets made me recall previous Easter and Spring days we have enjoyed since moving to Broadstairs. They say you remember childhood as endless sunny days and I hope that my children will. Here are some wonderful photos of Easters past which made me smile.
This Easter has been equally special. Starting with a fantastic school Easter service in the church by Orla’s Year Group. She sang wonderfully and her classmates were fantastic.
The girls made Easter pictures as part of the school display and competition. Their hard work paid off, on the last day of term Aoife won the Year 5 group and Orla won the Year 4. A lovely big Easter Egg each!
Seamus’ hat/bonnet was worn with immense pride all the way to school for the Nursery Parade….bar a little tantrum on the way, but thankfully it arrived with its feathers in tact.
and it got another outing at the Broadstairs Easter Trail – a brilliant event organised by the Chamber of Commerce where the children could get sweets from many of the High Street shops. It makes me feel so positive about the local businesses and we want to keep supporting them – Thank you to all the shops (big and small) which take part. We even got our photo taken by the local newspaper.
A bit of glue to repair a few feathers and flowers, and a few days later we headed to the Mayor’s Easter Bonnet parade on Easter Monday at Pierremont Park. The hard work paid off yet again and Aoife came away with 1st prize for most floral bonnet, and Orla and Seamus came 3rd in their respective categories. Result – even more chocolate eggs!
Easter is not Easter without a trip to Planet Thanet Beer Festival – we were one of the first there on Good Friday. And due to being lightweights and having threekidsintow we were one of the first to leave too. However, the short visit was worth it for the salted caramel cider, although Ian is more a chocolate stout fan. We sat high up in the stalls to keep from under the feet of the serious beer drinkers in our own self made kiddies corner.
Other local events have been fun. The kids and I took part in the The Great Egg Case Scavenger Hunt at Viking Bay. This is a fabulous event organised by Thanet Coastal Project. We looked for Mermaid’s purses and other natural treasures, we learned about things which harm our wildlife and then had a wonderful time making marine sculptures. We had beautiful weather and we all would highly recommend this activity – it’s fun, it’s interesting and it is a fabulous way to learn more about the habitats of marine and bird life found on the North Kent coast. Our Egg case findings were counted and will help with their data collection of life on the beach. Come along, join in!
We also had a great time at the Garden Gate Open Day – a community garden in Margate which works with people with mental ill health or learning difficulties. The sun was shining as the girls made jam jar flower arrangements. We walked aroung the lovely grounds, sculpted plasticine selfies and ate the wood fired pizza – we weren’t brave enough to try the Nettle Soup though! The gardens themselves were lovely to see, the colourful tulips were stunning and the kids were fascinated seeing glimpses of tadpoles in the pond (Seamus’ tadpoles are still residing in our kitchen)
The Tom and Barbara Good Life gardening continues at home too. Seamus has been planting the potatoes, Orla has been digging the trenches ready for the beans and Aoife has been helping as much as she can too. They are talking about setting up an honesty box scheme to sell their produce when it is ready, so get your pennies ready to exchange for rhubarb.
We’ve been to Ramsgate during this half term holiday (school shoe necessity) and loved eating our chips on top of the Maderia Walk Waterfall. We even spotted newts in the water.
We then had a lovely time at the Children’s Centre making Easter baskets from paper plates. It made me giggle when the kids were asked to give their evaluation. Orla said, “it was good because it gets us out of the house”, as if they are never taken anywhere! Our crafting continued at home, with the girls making felt foxes. Orla sewed hers into a purse, whereas Aoife sewed a 3D stuffed toy.
Another trip to London this month was to mark big brother’s 21st birthday. We enjoyed a lovely meal with some fantastic people to help him celebrate.
We then spent the evening walking along the Thames at Greenwich to see the Tall Ships. It reminded us of all the things we love about London – especially walking pst the Cutty Sark and the pub I used to frequent with work colleagues many moons ago.
So that’s another month well underway. The year is whizzing surprisingly quickly and I am already packing the school bags for the start of another term. I am never quite sure where these words typed into thin air reach as the blog is initially just a way of collecting our memories ( a sort of digital diary as it were) but the stats say we have had visitors from US, Spain, Germany, Vietnam, Russia, India, Slovakia, Israel, Estonia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Malta and many more wonderful places. Granted most of these ‘clicks’ may be as a result of a Google search that went a bit wrong but nevertheless, if you are reading this we just wanted to say ‘hello’ and pop back to see us again soon.