Kew Gardens with the grandparents

Although the seemingly endless days of 30°C we grew accustomed to over summer are now a fading memory (and Marley’s crab-suit has been packed away) the sun has still been out in force for autumn.

So it was perfect weather for Marley to take his visiting grandparents out to Kew Gardens at the weekend.

It’s a pity for Marley in some ways, living so far from both sets of grandparents – not to mention many of his aunties, uncles, cousins – so it’s a treat for him whenever they visit.

He is at an age now where it’s very apparent what’s on his mind – and the fact he’s also an incessant talker (good lad) makes it twice as clear what he’s thinking.

“Play!”

“Toys!”

“Car!”

“Dinner!”

“ICE CREAM!”

After just a few hours of them being here, the only words he seemed to be shouting were “GRANNY!” and “GRANDDAD!” at the top of his voice, which is really lovely.

And he had an especially great day out with them at Kew.

We spent a few hours there and probably still only managed to walk about a quarter of the grounds and visit a few of the glasshouses.

It’s all a feast for a toddler’s eyes, packed full of amazing colours and thousands of trees, plants and flowers, not to mention a few squirrels, geese, parakeets and other wildlife.

There’s even a tree-top walkway where I tried to get Marley more familiar with heights. 

It’s tricky, trying to teach someone not to be afraid of something that you yourself are a bit afraid of! 

Romesh Ranganathan summed it up beautifully in his interview with the Observer at the weekend:

“I’ve tried to tackle my fear of spiders because I don’t want my children to have that phobia. It hasn’t worked because they now realise that if a man sits rigidly still with a single teardrop rolling down his cheek, and he’s soiled himself, he’s probably scared of spiders.”

Thankfully, grandparents are immune to these kind of phobias – so they are more than welcome to come back down and visit any time we find a giant spider in the house…

After they left to travel back to Edinburgh, Marley was still asking where Granny and Grandad were the next morning.

A little reminder of how significant family is to little ones and their development…..and how important it is to enjoy the time we get to spend all together.

Athens, Budapest and the Not-So-Terrible-Twos

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks….and unusually, that’s had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Marley.

I was away for almost a week in Athens at the end of September, where I was attending a work conference and then hoping to get a bit of a break before returning home.

I did get the chance to climb the Acropolis, visit the Parthenon and see the incredible views of the city…

But that was about it.

On my way back down, the rain started. And basically didn’t stop for 48hrs. I was trapped indoors.

They even gave this weather a new name; Medicane, a Mediterranean Hurricane.

Not the best conditions to visit Athens for the first time, but it was still a fantastic place to visit.

So after a bumpy flight back to London, I was home for a couple of days (although I basically worked the entire time) before heading off again, this time to Budapest for a good friend’s stag/bachelor party.

Three sun-and-fun-filled days of beers, boat trips, ruin bars and a visit to the Szechenyi Baths.

In fact there was so much beer consumed (and some palinka) that one member of the party wasn’t even aware the boat had moved during the boat party (it had travelled for over two hours…)

So despite feeling a little worse for wear, I was very happy to get back home to Marley and my wife on the Sunday evening.

And Marley was particularly happy to see me. We had been in regular touch on FaceTime and my wife had told me she feared the Terrible Twos were now getting in to full flow.

But once I walked back in, he was jumping up and down and seemed really pleased to see me, so we wondered whether it might just have been his reaction to a change in routine.

And I swear he had grown a foot in the time I’d been away.

So aside from the occasional grumpy moment  (and this may be tempting fate somewhat) his Terrible Twos really don’t seem too bad at all.

In fact, I would say he seems to be having more fun than ever; racing around, enjoying himself, and shouting out all kinds of ridiculous nonsense.

He probably wouldn’t have been too out of place at our stag party…

 

I did a guest blog

I was recently asked to post a guest blog on a site called Mummy Links, a website and app that enables moms to beat loneliness by expanding and building local communities.

Personally, I try to spend as little time as possible on my own and those of you who know me may be surprised to even see me posting on anything about loneliness.

But I think it’s important to be aware of those people who may not be as forthcoming when it comes to speaking about this kind of issue, so I thought I would write about my own personal experience and hope that it might be of use to someone.

If it helps even one person, I guess it’s worth it.

So click here to read my post on Mummy Links and please let me know what you think!