Although the temperature has dipped a little, the sunshine blasting through gave a much needed glow.
The things of beauty I felt blessed with recently were two consecutive weekends of sunshine. Lovely streams of light gracing the floor.... Dappled sunlight drying the puddles... The warmth of the October sun on closed eyelids. I needed these days of sunshine when my family was home. I needed to grasp the time and 'make the most of living' because it was sunny.
Somehow, when it's unexpectedly sunny (even if there is still a chill in the air) I am all the more grateful for it. It's like that little added bonus... I needed it, I gave thanks for it and being out in it brought much simple joy.
This recent weekend we visited some fab friends in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. After some family time and admiring of their new family home we took the children out to run off some of their [extreme levels] of energy!
We went to wendover woods and had a glorious time gently strolling a little distance at a time before stopping and sitting a while, all the time the children enjoyed foraging for pine cones and interesting leaves. Happilly pottering within sight but independent enough to wander with stick and scratch around in the dirt.
We then came across pre-built dens
Little B built a fire in this one and made a new entrance system...
....and R had fun building her own structure.
This was her new model - with window too!!
I love that these structures are left erect in the wood. That different families, different children all come together, admire their simple structure and add elements on each visit. A twig here, a branch there. A collective building mission.
My children are really outdoor sorts and would have stayed for hours but we were forced to cajole them to leave the woods and accompany our friends with the offer of hot chocolate and snack here. Ahhh, bliss.
The weekend before we had some really wonderful family time - a picnic out on the Saturday whilst we admired the changing colours in the surrounding countryside
We were lucky enough to say hello to a friendly pony as we were passing!
And while Ben worked on the Sunday (yes, poor love is working extremely hard at present) we took a visit to Marine Lake. Gosh that sand looks like mud in this photo - it's dark but not dirty and is actually quite pleasant!!
The still water reflected the autumnal light - and although it's not the thundering seascape that we're spoilt with in Cornwall, it did look really pretty.
Little B had asked to go here since returning to school. He had plans to make another dinosaur island and we took pirates too to add to the adventures. The sand here is so pliable that it 'holds' water in its moats rather than it seeping away!! This means after a little digging, smoothing and sculpting we can produce a riproaring dinosaur island.
We spent a merry morning raaaahing and swashbuckling.
At times I joined in their frivolity, at times I just sat back face towards the sunshine enjoying the feeling of space and light, happy to hear the chuckling and plundering going on beside me.
Thank goodness the sunshine enabled us to enjoy it!