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Being Mum Lifestyle Parenting Seasons Special Needs Summer Weekly Update

Summer of fun

If I level with you, before this Summer I can’t recall the last “school” holiday that we made it through without some physical representation of frustration. Whether that be bites, scratches or bruises from items thrown the holidays were out of routine and they were fundamentally a stressful period for everyone. I had noticed that some of the happiest times we were when would go on holiday together, with friends, family the more adults the better.

Prior to the Summer I attended an autism workshop for parents which was most helpful and compounded some of the ideas that I had already read about, one of the key elements for me was confirmation in my analytical mind. I spend a lot of time trying to decipher behaviour to make up for the lack of communication between us and A. The more you look the more you begin to see patterns, usually challenging behaviour has a cause whether that’s one that can be rectified or not is another matter. One of the big flags for me always behaviour would decline when there was only one adult and A had to share attention. Probably not that unsurprising for many children and a trait I’m hoping over time will improve but alas here we are.

Finally admitting that nothing else we were putting in place was making a difference to the holiday periods we decided to employ a nanny. What a difference, affirmation of what I had suspected all along. The difference is so apparent that I now have a changed child, one who is enjoying her childhood in the most part and is happy. Once where holidays were times in which we couldn’t go outside because as soon as A had access to any other children she would hit and push them down, refuse the go outside but finally with just increasing that adult 1:1 ratio those behaviours have reduced. Where we might have had a meltdown seven times a day now it may be once a week or less. Unbelievable, right?

Like a child in a candy store after a few days inside while everyone got to grips with each other I planned to go out most days and filled our Summer schedule completely. So with that, this is what we got up to this Summer!

West Wittering – Over the Summer we visited the beach, a few times which is always a calm place. Both children are always very happy when they are near the ocean. S is at that age in which he is exploring all the senses, I’ll be quite pleased when we pass the eating sand phase however!
West Wittering Beach – A love of Kites was ignited watching one fly, following this we bought our own butterfly kite.
Alice Holt – Alice Holt have renovated some of their playground
Holloway Hill Park, Surrey – Many days were spent at various different parks, where before we might spend half an hour max with the new setup we could spend hours outside.
Woking Park – I really don’t know how we missed this one up until now, what a glorious park. Mostly wooden, lots of landscaping to give interest. It’s a very pretty space and has some excellent water play.
Woking Park
Woking Park
Magnetic Tiles – I’ve had these in my Amazon basket for as long as I can remember after seeing them on Fridabemighty, brilliant for hyper mobile hands.
Ariella had her first bowling experience over the Summer, despite the loud environment she really enjoyed herself. Fingers in ears a lot!
On a rainy weekend we took a trip to a beautiful toy shop
An epic crafting session, lots of paints, lots of crafting, lots of children.
Bird World – Sebastian went on a trip to Bird World
We took a trip down to Brighton’s aquarium, I think I prefer London but it was less busy and we visited a local gluten free fish and chip place for lunch called the Wolfies of Hove. Yum yum!
A new section in the aquarium. If we had one of those at home I think Ariella would never leave it. It projects the rolling waves of the ocean on the ground. Amazing.
Cotswolds Glamping – The children loved it, me less so. But it was an experience!
The last day of Holiday – Feeding the ducks

Phew, if you made it down here congratulations. We also visited Marwell Zoo, had plenty of hospital appointments, assessments, therapy, soft play and parks. All in the very last day of the holidays I was sad that our long, slow days were drawing to an end. It was refreshing to leave drop off and pick up behind, to work to our own rhythm and learn through play. Goodbye Summer, hello Autumn – next to plan half term!


Lasting out January, reflecting on the Seasons

When I woke up this morning to another chilly Winters day looking out over the roof tops of Surrey at everyone’s chimneys stood like pillars smoking away, I’m reminded how great the last year has been and felt I should reflect on it a little below. Soon we will be coming up to our “moving home anniversary” and last week we had our purchased new home anniversary, we had a few months to decorate before moving in you see. I think we spent quite a lot of our weekends living here in Surrey in the spare room and London during the week over that time. It was quite exciting those weekends, living on ready meals/takeaways, garage sandwiches and wine in plastic champagne flutes. Ariella always slept very well in her room snuggled into her travel cot and I think it helped so much with her transition when we finally did “move in”, she wasn’t moving into the unknown but a room she had seen shaped just for her.

The Nuna travel cot (large version) is awesome by the way!

It’s absolutely beautiful in Surrey, I don’t know if we were just lucky with the weather in 2016 but the Seasons this last year have been defined. We moved in the Spring and the garden which is quite mature was blooming alive with vibrant pops of colour in very unexpected locations. I’d sit at my dressing table in the mornings, looking out at the garden with beautiful birds chirping away in front of me, foxes dashing across my window and a mass of every changing colour – I’d never really appreciated gardens until that point. I could tell what the day would hold just by looking out the window, whether it would be a cold day and the grass would be frosty or a lovely Summer’s morning. Every season is as it is told in books, this is something I’ve never really experienced before. When living in Bristol we used to get a lot of cloud, sure sometimes it would snow in Winter but usually it was pretty mild and grey – when it’s always grey it’s very hard to see the beauty in England. London it was warm, cold in Winter but comparatively warm to most places due to the build up of people, buildings and stuff.

Summer here is hot, just as you’d expect you get some rainy days but the warm days were lovely. We could eat outside a lot, it was – too warm – at times. Lighting up a BBQ on the terrace, lugging up the ice bucket to chill prosecco by twilight and watching dangling little fairy lights in the dark. Fond memories of Ariella paddling in her first little frog pool, splashing around in her Summer hat while Strawberries are growing (ready to go in the glass with the Prosecco) nearby.

Once Summer starts to wane Autumn arrives with a mass of beautiful leaves, where I grew up we had some trees in the road to mark the season change but it was never on the level of Surrey. The green is everywhere and you are confronted with a mass of ambers and red, it’s impossible to forget that Autumn has arrived here. People dig out their Autumnal wreaths, they bring out pumpkins and Autumn treats. We watch fireworks shoot across the sky to mark firework night, the darkness starts to take over more of the day and you find yourself lingering indoors a little more to keep out the cold.

You can actually feel it here, have you every played the game “Animal Crossing” which was available on the Wifi and Nintendo DS? I loved that game, I enjoyed in the game watching the seasons change too.

Finally here we are in Winter, I actually love Winter. I love the build up to Christmas, I don’t even mind January – not really. As long as Winter is actually cold, cosy and maybe we see a glimpse of Snow that’s always been my view. Far too many Winter’s have passed in a grey, cloudy blip – boring Winter’s those are the ones I don’t like. Surrey has provided us with frost, snow, minus digits on the thermometer. For the first time in my life I’ve had to grit the pathways due to ice and the garden has had a layer of frost on it that has remained there for weeks.


I know that for some people they dislike one Season, or they only like one – Summer perhaps. But I’m one of those people who has a true appreciation for the way that they mark the changing of time. I think it’s rather beautiful and I’m glad that we live somewhere which seems to celebrate this change through nature, festivals, community and life. Soon January will be over and we will be closer to the Spring, only to repeat the cycle all over again. I’ve already heard the phrase “I can’t wait for Summer so we can do…” I love how we all live in tune with the Seasons.

What’s your favourite Season?