Much as we love exploring the countryside, there’s something to be said about an impromptu trip to the coast. West Wittering is always a firm favourite but there are plenty of beaches in West Sussex to discover. Like Littlehampton which has two beaches and an extraordinarily long bench.
Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas and you’re gradually starting to settle into some kind of routine. It’s been great to see so many of you blow away the cobwebs and enjoy the great outdoors. We were hoping to get snow in Surrey but it wasn’t to be. We had a few flakes but there wasn’t enough of the white stuff for POD to build a snowman. She was born on Christmas Day 2010, when it was a very white Christmas, so we’d love to have a day when we can throw open the curtains and she’s greeted with a magical wonderland.
Six year old POD has seen videos of Jonnie Peacock MBE win Gold in the T44 Men’s 100 metres at London 2012 and again in the 2016 Rio Paralympics Games. She knows he got poorly and lost his leg below the knee when he was five but went on to be one of the fastest athletes on the planet. His time on Strictly meant she got to see him learn a new dance every week and with that came a new line of questioning. We talked about Jonnie Peacock a lot over those eight weeks, not just when Strictly was on, and we continue to do so. It’s unlikely we would have had the same in depth discussions about amputees had he not been on the programme.
In the midst of settling into a new routine, we were asked to get involved in the Co-Op’s #DoorstepChallenge. It’s a great way to give back to the community and saw us fill a stocking shaped carried bag with Christmas goodies. We’d received a voucher from the Co-Op, which we added to, along with a musical card which six year old POD absolutely adored. Although there are a number of great charities in our area, we wanted to visit somewhere we had a personal connection with.
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.