The year in pictures

January 1, 2014

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!

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Poppy swimming


The Doves’ quest to explore what Surrey had to offer kicked off with Bocketts FarmBirdworld and the Hunt for Big Billy. The photograph below was taken at Butterflies in the Glasshouse at RHS Wisley.

PODcast - Owl butterflies RHS Wisley (Charly Dove)

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.

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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 Hilllicked her first lolly and blew her first dandelion clock.

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PODcast - Poppy dandelion

She also received her belated Christmas Day birthday present – family members clubbed together to give her a surprise playhouse.

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June was the month I got my maxi dress stuck in an escalator! POD had her first haircut and we saw pigs, goats and ice-cream at the Surrey County Fair. 

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.

PODcast - Firework


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.

PODcast - Silent Sunday

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I took a lot of photographs of bees…!

PODcast - bumble bee and a Red Hot Poker (Charly Dove)

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.

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After such a great Summer, September was the time to reflect on how fast our toddler was growing. She shot up about a foot!

PODcast - playing at Bockets Farm (Charly Dove)

It was also the month POD was Christened – certainly a day to remember. She looked like a little fairy.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Autumn at RHS Wisley saw us enjoy an eye spy game that used all the senses. At the end of the month we threw ourselves into crafting with a spot of Halloween fun.

PODcast - RHS Wisley Autumn (Charly Dove)


In November we joined 17,000 others for a magnificent firework display at Stoke Park.

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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.

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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.

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November also saw me win my first photography award thanks to Loseley Park and Surrey Life.

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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.

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Whilst there we were able to take in the Snow & Ice Sculpture Festival which was designed to celebrate Disney’s movie Frozen.

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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!

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POD was born on Christmas Day 2010 so the Christmas Tree going up always evokes memories of that time.

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This year POD got to meet Father Christmas in a crystal grotto. She asked for a scooter and a blue balloon.

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She got to enjoy mucking around in puddles and with trees before her big day which she shares with some interesting characters!

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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!

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  • Jo @ 3 Kids and a Gluestick January 1, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    Wow, what an amazing year! So many wonderful places visited and so, so many firsts for POD! She has grown so much! Wishing you all a very Happy New Year 🙂

    • Charly Dove January 1, 2014 at 2:32 pm

      Thank you so much Jo – it’s been quite eventful this year! But kind I think it’s fair to say. Happy New Year to you all too 🙂

  • Nell@PigeonPairandMe January 1, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    What an absolutely fantastic post! Your pictures are marvellous, and it’s great to hear about your professional successes as well as see the gorgeous places you’ve visited. I especially like the picture of the Autumn leaves….and the shot of the river in Bruges takes me back to a lovely day we spent there a couple of years ago….

    • Charly Dove January 1, 2014 at 2:34 pm

      Thank you so much. It’s been really nice looking back on what’s happened although incredible to see how much POD has grown in a year. Really struggled with the photos but nice to include some of the favourites at least. Happy New Year 🙂

  • Dean January 1, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    Lovely photos as always! Happy New Year to you and your family! 🙂

    • Charly Dove January 1, 2014 at 2:36 pm

      Thank you Dean – Happy New Year to you all too 🙂

  • The Reading Residence January 1, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    A wonderful post, and so lovely to see POD go from 2 to 3 in pictures like that. Happy New Year to you, too xx

    • Charly Dove January 1, 2014 at 2:40 pm

      Thank you Jocelyn – the change in POD is incredible. She looks so different to the start of the year, much taller too! Here’s to 2014 🙂

  • Fritha Strickland January 1, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    I love these types of posts! I’ve still yet to do my round up! Lovely 2013 and happy 2014! x

    • Charly Dove January 1, 2014 at 2:42 pm

      Thank you Fritha. Was great looking back on our year – it’s been quite eventful! Happy New Year 🙂

  • Mummy of Two January 1, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    What amazing photos of what has been a busy and fun year! POD has grown into a beautiful little girl 🙂

    • Charly Dove January 1, 2014 at 4:48 pm

      Thank you very much – I can’t believe she’s now three! Happy New Year 🙂

  • Hellie's Corner January 1, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    Lovely photo’s. Happy New Year 🙂

    • Charly Dove January 1, 2014 at 4:49 pm

      Thank you – Happy New Year to you too 🙂

  • Anne January 1, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    Happy New Year! What a lovely round up of the year, I was so pleased to have met you a few times this year xx

    • Charly Dove January 1, 2014 at 4:54 pm

      And you too Anne! Thank you – here’s to a great 2014 🙂

  • Mammasaurus January 1, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    What beautiful photos – every one – and I don’t know how I managed to miss the fireworks post but what an AWESOME photo!
    A very Happy New Year to you and thank you for the mention you lump of love xxx

    • Charly Dove January 1, 2014 at 4:55 pm

      Thank you so much Annie – the firework photo was in Surrey Life last month which pleased me greatly. Happy New Year to you too! I’m definitely a lump after all I’ve eaten this Christmas LOL 🙂

  • Debra January 1, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    Some amazing photographs from your year and you little girl has the BEST head-wear. I may have a little hat envy 😉

    • Charly Dove January 1, 2014 at 5:01 pm

      Thank you Debra, very kind of you to say. Its a great hat that one although too big for her little head! She has a snazzy new spotty one though 🙂

  • PODcast | The year in pictures (2013) January 1, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    […] Read the rest of the post at it’s original source by clicking here. […]

  • Sara (@mumturnedmom) January 1, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    What a wonderful look back at your year – it’s been a good one! Lots of fabulous moments and firsts. It’s lovely to see the change in POD over the year 🙂 Happy New Year xx

    • Charly Dove January 2, 2014 at 10:28 pm

      Thank you very much Sara – its certainly been eventful! Nice to look back at everything 🙂

  • Vaidehi @vaichin January 1, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    Such amazing photos! Wish mine were half as good 🙂 Have a wonderful new year x

    • Charly Dove January 2, 2014 at 10:31 pm

      I’m sure they are! Thank you though. Happy New Year 🙂

  • suzanne3childrenandit January 1, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    Stunning, as always. I’ve loved your blog this year not only for the photographs but for showing me new places to visit in and around Surrey. And you’ve inspired me! The Silent Pool and Winkworth Arboretum are top of the list this year 🙂 x

    • Charly Dove January 2, 2014 at 10:41 pm

      Thank you Suzanne, that’s such a lovely thing to say. Here’s to a great 2014 🙂

  • The Egyptian Mummy January 1, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    Wow! Amazing photos for an amazing year x

    • Charly Dove January 2, 2014 at 10:41 pm

      Thank you very much 🙂

  • anna m January 2, 2014 at 12:20 am

    such gorgeous pics to look back on over the year!

    • Charly Dove January 2, 2014 at 10:41 pm

      Thank you Anna 🙂

  • Kriss MacDonald January 2, 2014 at 4:29 am

    Fabulous photos and wonderful post! happy 2014!!

    • Charly Dove January 2, 2014 at 10:43 pm

      Thank you very much Kriss – Happy New Year!

  • Notmyyearoff January 2, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    What a wonderful year. I didn’t realise you’ve only been blogging a year, so happy almost bloggerversary!! 🙂 and hope your new business is going from strength to strength. Xx beautiful photos!

    • Charly Dove January 2, 2014 at 10:58 pm

      Thank you very much Tas, it does seem like I’ve been around for ages I know! Happy New Year 🙂

  • Sam January 2, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    Wow I’m impressed that you found the time to blog as well! Looks like you may have to start exploring a new county as you’ve been to pretty much everywhere I can think of in my locale now – making me feel like I need to take the boys so many new places in 2014!

    • Charly Dove January 2, 2014 at 11:07 pm

      Thank you Sam – its great being in Surrey, so many wonderful places to visit. Sounds like you had a very busy year though! Here’s to 2014 🙂

  • HelpfulMum January 2, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    Absolutely stunning pictures. All the best for 2014!

    • Charly Dove January 2, 2014 at 11:13 pm

      You too – thank you very much 🙂

  • Laura @ Kneadwhine January 2, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    Gosh – she has such gorgeous big blue eyes!

    I’m also impressed with the firework shots. We saw fireworks at Christmas and took about a hundred photos but none of them came out properly.

    • Charly Dove January 2, 2014 at 11:20 pm

      It’s tricky taking photographs of fireworks! You’ll probably have loads next year now you’ve said that! POD does have lovely eyes *melts*

  • Lizzie Roles January 3, 2014 at 11:16 am

    Really love your photos! Looks like a great year!! Happy New Year 2014 x

    • Charly Dove January 4, 2014 at 11:43 am

      Thank you so much Lizzie, what a wonderful thing to say. Happy New Year to you too 🙂

  • Gina Caro January 3, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    Wow what an amazing post!!! Your pictures are brilliant. Now I want to steal your idea of 2013 in pictures. 😉

    • Charly Dove January 4, 2014 at 11:46 am

      Thank you so much Gina, much appreciated. So difficult choosing photos for this 🙂

  • WallyMummy January 3, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    Amazing photos and a fabulous year :))) Ups, downs and everything 😉 #PocCoLo x

    • Charly Dove January 4, 2014 at 11:48 am

      Thank you very much 🙂

  • Emmys Mummy January 3, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    Wow what a fabulous round up of your year.
    And as always beautiful photo’s.

    Happy new year and thanks for linking up

    • Charly Dove January 4, 2014 at 11:48 am

      You’re welcome, thank you for hosting. Happy New Year to you too 🙂

  • LauraCYMFT January 3, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    Such beautiful photographs! I bet her “poo” comment got a lot of laughs during the speech!

    • Charly Dove January 4, 2014 at 11:50 am

      It did get a lot of laughs although mortifying too! Thank you 🙂

  • jenny paulin January 3, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    OMG what stunning photos from your year! sooo many beautiful memories captured forever. the poo comment bit really made me chuckle! and who can forget that ‘firework’ moment at Britmumslive? what a year and i hope this year will be even better for you
    thank you for linking up to FF x x

    • Charly Dove January 4, 2014 at 11:51 am

      Thank you so much Jenny, I must join in more often. Trying to get together a schedule of Linkies I love. Happy New Year lovely 🙂

  • Kara January 3, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    Stunning photos – can’t believe how much she has grown in a year a stunning photos as ever Mrs!

    • Charly Dove January 4, 2014 at 11:54 am

      Thank you so much Kara – incredible to see how much she’s grown. Still in denial that she’s 3 🙂

  • Pinkoddy January 4, 2014 at 10:10 am

    What an amazing year. I cannot believe What’s the Story is as young as July – it is such a fantastic linky and your photos are outstanding. I’m sure you will be winning some awards in 2014.

    Love that the firework picture is in there, for me bringing Kerry with us into 2014.

    Happy New Year.

    • Charly Dove January 4, 2014 at 12:00 pm

      Thank you so much Joy, such a lovely thing to say. It’s been an interesting year especially with so much change. Happy New Year to you too 🙂

  • Coombemill January 6, 2014 at 10:32 pm

    An amazing year in blogging, a great new linky and I’ve loved following your stories each week. Many of the photos I recognise here from Country Kids, you really know how to get out and enjoy all that is good outdoors. Keep up the great work in 2014

    • Charly Dove January 11, 2014 at 12:57 am

      Thank you so much Fiona – I was so blown away by your comment I forgot to leave a response! Doh!

  • thebeesleybuzz January 8, 2014 at 12:30 am

    wow – what a year and what stunning photos! x

    • Charly Dove January 11, 2014 at 12:58 am

      Thank you so much 🙂

  • Verily Victoria Vocalises January 9, 2014 at 11:11 am

    You are such a very talented photographer Charly – you are amazing with a camera. I love this post 🙂 Thank you so much for linking to PoCoLo x

    • Charly Dove January 11, 2014 at 12:58 am

      What a lovely thing to say Vicky, thank you so much 🙂