November 27, 2013

November saw us visit a magical wonderland with hidden surprises.

England’s most elegant 18th century landscape garden is home to a crystal grotto. Hundreds of thousands of crystals including calcite, gypsum, quartz and fluorite have been used to re-create what is an extraordinary folly.

Stalactites hung from the ceiling and the walls sparkled with crystals. It’s said on a still day ‘nature’s mirror’ can be seen inside the crystal grotto. We are back in a few weeks for POD to meet Father Christmas.

We took POD to her first firework display, a spectacular show watched by 17,000 people. The torchlight procession was an incredible sight.

We’ve really been able to appreciate Autumn this November. POD has seen conkers for the first time and she’s loved seeing leaves change colour. Her excitement has meant I’ve enjoyed it more than I ever have before and I’ve loved photographing it. Regardless of the cold, it makes such a different to how you feel getting some fresh air in your lungs!

Alongside this aura of calm and tranquility comes reflection and panic. In November 2010 I was 8 months pregnant with POD. I remember that time like it was yesterday and the anxious feeling of being a mum-to-be.

November always passes by so quickly, everyone is counting down to Christmas. If I had my way, I’d like to slow it right down. Just so I can reminisce in the period that led to our Christmas Day baby being born.

We’re linking this post up with The Gallery at Sticky Fingers, the theme is November.

Sticky Fingers Photo Gallery

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  • Molly November 27, 2013 at 11:47 am

    Wow, what an amazing place, whereabouts is this?


    • Charly Dove November 27, 2013 at 11:52 am

      It’s Painshill Park in Surrey Molly – lots of wonderful follies there! I’ve written a couple of posts on it recently 🙂

  • Notmyyearoff November 27, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    Wow you’ve brought back so many memories for me – I remember going off on Mat leave in November 2010. I think I slept a LOT! Love your photos, the stalactites are really beautiful.

    • Charly Dove November 28, 2013 at 8:39 am

      Thank you Tas. Hopefully it brought back good memories! Great you got to sleep, I seem to remember rushing around when I finished 🙂

  • kateonthinice November 27, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    Wow! Amazing images.
    Christmas Day baby – that must be so very special.

    • Charly Dove November 28, 2013 at 8:42 am

      Thank you Kate 🙂

  • Sara (@mumturnedmom) November 27, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    I really have to visit that grotto, somehow 🙂 I wish I could slow December down for you, but I’m afraid it’s going to fly by!

    • Charly Dove November 28, 2013 at 8:46 am

      Bless you! If you do ever get there make sure you check the opening times! I shall share the Grotto photos when we see Father Christmas 🙂

  • Lou's Lake Views November 27, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    Those grotto photos are so beautiful.
    Having a christmas baby must make the season extra special and extra busy for you! 🙂

    • Charly Dove November 28, 2013 at 8:47 am

      Thank you Lou, super busy time 🙂

  • Mary @over40andamumtoone November 27, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    I can see that we are going to have to make a trip to this place – it does look amazing

    • Charly Dove November 28, 2013 at 8:47 am

      It’s well worth it, just check when it’s open as it’s only for about 2 hours a day. December is bookings only I think 🙂

  • Sarah MumofThree World November 27, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    Beautiful photos as ever. It’s funny how the changes in the season remind you of pregnancy and the coming birth. It’s the same for me now, even though my kids are much older.

    • Charly Dove November 28, 2013 at 8:49 am

      Thank you Sarah. It was quite memorable in 2010 as there was thick snow everywhere by mid December. It’s nice to remember and good to hear you still do too 🙂

  • LauraCYMFT November 27, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    Beautiful photos. I love November because it is that month til Christmas!

    • Charly Dove November 28, 2013 at 8:49 am

      Thank you Laura. It does seem to be creeping up even quicker than usual this year 🙂

  • Sarah November 29, 2013 at 6:16 am

    Stunning images and I lived reading about how special this month has been for you too.

    • Charly Dove December 2, 2013 at 9:22 pm

      Thank you Sarah, it looks utterly fabulous where you are 🙂

  • Funky Wellies November 29, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    Just magical! And perfect to meet Father Christmas… 😉 xx

    • Charly Dove December 2, 2013 at 9:23 pm

      Can’t wait to meet Father Christmas!