Welcome to our review of 2013 – a look back at the highlights of the year in pictures.
This month saw the launch of Paloma, our marketing and new business consultancy, with the view to achieving a better work/life balance. PODcast grappling with a box of frogs was also born. POD touched snow for the first time. She also made a return to swimming after a year’s absence although it was short lived!
The Doves’ quest to explore what Surrey had to offer kicked off with Bocketts Farm, Birdworld and the Hunt for Big Billy. The photograph below was taken at Butterflies in the Glasshouse at RHS Wisley.
POD caught chicken pox in February but she did get to see Ben & Holly Live once she improved. It was her first theatre visit and she loved it.
February also saw Team Honk do #goodwork when they created something epic for Comic Relief’s 25th anniversary. Annie from Mammasaurus, Tanya from Mummy Barrow and Penny from Alexander Residence went to Ghana with Jonathan Ross and Davina McCall. They sent digital postcards from the places they visited and created pure magic when the entire blogging community got behind them.
In March we visited the Silent Pool - thought to be where Agatha Christie drowned in 1926 after her car was discovered at nearby Newlands Corner. We also saw the 900 year old ruins of Waverley Abbey and Godstone Farm where POD stroked a rabbit for the first time.
April saw POD caught dancing on video (just adorable!) and learning the alphabet while emptying a fruit and veg basket. She also enjoyed an adventure in the forest and pouring water on herself in the garden.
This was the month POD ran free at Newlands Corner, saw fairies in a bluebell wood and visited a secret garden. She sat in a puddle at Box Hill, licked her first lolly and blew her first dandelion clock.
She also received her belated Christmas Day birthday present – family members clubbed together to give her a surprise playhouse.
The main event in June was BritMums Live. It was inspiring, educational, emotional and fun – I met so many awesome people too. Lots of images stick in my mind but this one is especially poignant.
We spent a lot of time enjoying the sun in July. It was the time for covering a wriggling toddler in suncream and keeping cool. We also explored Stoke Park and the wonderful Loseley Park for the first time. And returned to RHS Wisley.
I took a lot of photographs of bees…!
The What’s The Story? blog hop launched in July – created so everyone could share the stories behind their photographs. It’s been incredible so thank you to everyone that’s shared posts over these past months.
August is always a busy month for us with birthday celebrations and the like. We spent a lot of time in the garden.
After such a great Summer, September was the time to reflect on how fast our toddler was growing. She shot up about a foot!
It was also the month POD was Christened – certainly a day to remember. She looked like a little fairy.
POD also attended her first wedding - another excuse to wear a beautiful dress. Not ideal event in the midst of potty training but we weren’t to know she’d shout “Mummy I need a poo” in the the best man’s speech.
We started our quest for those Autumnal hues at Winkworth Arboretum, returning just a few weeks later! Another National Trust property we saw for the first time was Claremont - described as a place where the views always change, the water sparkles and the secret glades wait.
Polesden Lacey is another National Trust gem. It’s a beautiful country estate that was owned by a well-known hostess for her to entertain royalty, politicians and the best of Edwardian society.
Forest fun at Alice Holt is another favourite and provided great entertainment for POD. Cared for by the Forestry Commission, it offers walking, cycling trails and play areas. It’s home to Go Ape.
In November we joined 17,000 others for a magnificent firework display at Stoke Park.
We visited the follies of Painshill Park for the first time too – the highlight being the crystal grotto. Hundreds of thousands of crystals including calcite, gypsum, quartz and fluorite have been used to re-create an extraordinary folly.
Autumn was fabulous this year – perhaps because we saw it through a toddler’s eyes. This Autumnal round-up post showcases a collection of photographs from some of the places we explored. We also visited The Savill Garden at the end of November and spotted this beauty.
November also saw me win my first photography award thanks to Loseley Park and Surrey Life.
We took the chunnel to Bruges in the early part of the month. It’s a beautiful city full of medieval buildings and cobbled streets. Not to mention a Christmas market where we sampled Bratwurst and Glühwein.
Whilst there we were able to take in the Snow & Ice Sculpture Festival which was designed to celebrate Disney’s movie Frozen.
In the UK, we had a lot fun with the Children’s Trail The Twelve Days of Christmas at Claremont. Especially in their Ha-Ha!
POD was born on Christmas Day 2010 so the Christmas Tree going up always evokes memories of that time.
This year POD got to meet Father Christmas in a crystal grotto. She asked for a scooter and a blue balloon.
That’s it folks. I hope you’ve enjoyed looking back on 2013 as much as we have. Here’s to 2014 being even better – Happy New Year everyone!