Can you believe it’s Christmas (and POD’s seventh birthday) in less than a month. Somehow it feels more festive now we’re in December and the temperature has dropped. We’ve had the big woollies out of the cupboard and the fire on at home with any time outdoors making us feel energised. It’s the best feeling isn’t it, blowing away the cobwebs then getting all warm and cosy.
Earlier this year we worked with the Premier League on their Primary Stars campaign. Designed to inspire children across PE and Sport, English, Maths and PSHE, Premier League Primary Stars is a curriculum-linked education initiative for KS1 and KS2 teachers. It’s a superb community project that’s seen more than 10,000 primary schools sign up for its free resources in just seven months.
Don’t you just love this time of year, all those autumnal hues are just divine. We had a few local wanders in Surrey over the half-term period and everywhere is looking so pretty. Winkworth Arboretum was just wonderful although so was Hatchlands Park and Alice Holt too. POD even learnt how to ride her bike properly at last!
The picturesque landscape at Winkworth Arboretum near Hascombe in Surrey is a draw any time of year but especially in autumn. Maintained by the National Trust for 60 years, this hillside arboretum has a significant collection of shrubs and trees making it an ideal place to admire those magnificent autumnal hues. So much so we like to sneak in a couple of visits if we can. As luck would have it, POD and I ventured there just over a week ago when she had a rather well-timed inset day.
Having met Owlette at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo just a few days earlier, six year old POD was really looking forward to the PJ Masks Halloween Party. It promised to bring lots of surprises and she hoped this would include a visit from her heroes too. PJ Masks is a hit TV series on Disney Junior which is based on the Les Pyjamasques book series by Romuald Racioppo. It tells the story of three six year old friends (Connor, Amaya and Greg) who by day live normal lives. After dark however, Amaya becomes Owlette, Connor becomes Catboy and Greg becomes Gekko.
We upped sticks from London and moved to Surrey seven years ago now so there aren’t many places we haven’t visited. Or at least have on our (ever expanding!) list. Somewhere that has completely passed us by however is The Sculpture Park which we only discovered this summer.
We had the most wonderful family day out at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo yesterday. Not only was it Hullabazoo’s 5th anniversary, POD got to meet her PJ Masks hero and join in with activities which are part of the #BooAtTheZoo Halloween event. We even saw a tiger take meat from someone while standing on its hind legs which was just remarkable.
Situated between Newport and Ventnor on the Isle of Wight, the picturesque village of Godsill is lined with traditional tearooms, thatched cottages and shops with local produce and gifts on offer. This quintessentially British village boasts some of the oldest architecture on the island too including a medieval church located a stones throw from the high street. Godsill is also home to the first ever Isle of Wight Festival which took place at Ford Farm back in 1968.
Did you know I’m a gin convert? Having mistakenly sampled a G&T as a child (I thought it was lemonade!), I didn’t try gin properly until two years ago. And you know what, the gin cocktail I had then was absolutely delicious. There are so many gin varieties available these days too, many of which paired with a complementary garnish and mixer. What’s more if you’re new to gin, or indeed a lifelong gin enthusiast, the Gin Festival is the ideal place to experiment.
It feels like September disappeared in the blink of an eye although settling back into the school routine after the summer break does that doesn’t it? I have to say I love this time of year when there’s still some sunshine but those glorious autumnal hues are beginning to appear. We’ve even spotted some conkers over the past couple of weeks too. We’ve really enjoyed seeing the photos you’ve shared on the #UKexplore hashtag in September.