I’ve got crazily behind on here and now there is this log-jam of things I want to tell you about – the magic time we had in the Lake District a few weeks ago, and York (again), and Albie’s heart, and I want to tell you about breastfeeding in the UK (cause damn, does that need talking about or what?) and the weather and babywearing in the weather and I wanna tell you about the boy’s birthdays and about moving house. I don’t know quite where to start.
So I shall start at the beginning. A very good place to start.
We took a week away in a cottage with our pals Simon and Yvie and their scrummy new boy Henry. Stayed in a stone cottage in the hills above a small, small village called Dockray, near Glenridding on Ulswater. I throw that level of detail in here, because it seems anyone who loves the Lake District has this almost map-book understanding of the ins and outs of the place, and if you are one such person you’ll be wanting to know.
We were expecting a week of rambling and pub lunching – you know, general exploraging about the place. But as we drove closer to the cottage, it snowed. And snowed. And snowed. The owners called and said, “Nay, she’s snowed in, you can’t make it today.” But we were undeterred and drove on.
Rather predictably, the local was indeed proved right and we got stuck on the downside of a hill that we needed to be up. The Citroen just couldn’t cut the mustard. And we kind of didn’t know where we were or where the cottage was. Baaaa boooow. We abandoned the car at the side of the road, wrapped the kids up in every jacket we owned, asked at the next house where the dickens we were and trudged through the snow, in the frostiest wind you could ever imagine, to find the fabled cottage. Ahhhh, the memories. I was pleased to see ‘High Brow’ when we found it.
(tears may or may not have been involved…..)
And so began our week. The night before Albie’s birthday, the snow really set in. It was all rather exciting, and as he went to bed, we promised Albie that we’d be able to build a snowman on his birthday. This, for our February boy, our NZ summer baby, is really rather something.
The day dawned not with blankets of soft snow but with a rip-howling wind that kept us all inside. Marcus, bless his Daddy-dearest socks, went out and made that snowman regardless. Yeah, we sat inside and watched. It was brutal out there.
I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I did not know that you just rolled a snowball on the ground and it got bigger! Truly. I thought that snowballs were just patted together or something. Amaaaazing. It’s like arctic blutack.
Albie had requested a castle cake for his birthday, which extended me, yet again, on the birthday cake making front. It was deeply pleasing though, because my Mum had made me a princess cake when I had turned four years old and I remember it well. There is this lovely photo of me with the cake with my hands behind my head and great joy across my wee face. So I laboured into the night trying to create some sort of castle cake for Albs. It was a shonky number, but boy was it filled with love. And going from Albie’s face, I think I might have nailed it.
He spent the rest of the day zooming a remote control car around, building Lego and being Astronaut Albie. A great day all in all.
Not to be outdone, it was about this point of the holiday, that Freddy started to stand all on his own.
Thankfully after just a couple of days into sitting in a house in the snow, it all cleared and warmed. And we got out, down the road to the pub, for a long lunch.
That’s Albie walking with Simon down to aforesaid pub and Yvie in the distance with Henry. And that’s Albie too, who picked a couple of early spring flowers and jammed them in his fist as a gift to me. I could see him running to me with them, and whipped my phone out to catch this corker of a shot. I love the love in it.
We took some other walks too, a splendid morning from Rydal to Grasmere for lunch, and back again. I am all for this walking to pub for a lunch caper. What a great caper. Let’s do more of that.
Simon and Yvie love the Lakes and are getting married here later on this year. It is a beautiful place and reminded me a lot of New Zealand down South. Save for the stone walls. Ain’t no-one got a stone wall in Aotearoa like out here.
We took a Steamer down Ulswater to Pooley Bridge for yet another pub lunch. Pub lunches man. Oh, the pub lunch.
Boy, oh boy, was it cold.
And we sledged on the hill beside the house.
In the end, it was all unexpectedly great.
Hopefully, that’s what this whole UK sojourn will be.