Winter takes another flight and we take the leap….


Once again, I didn’t manage to carve out any time for writing in the past couple of weeks. At the beginning of the year, I was full of ideas about blog posts I wanted to write and I promised myself that I would finally finish my last two travel posts  (yes, I do still plan to write them!), but thusfar none of this has materialised. 😦 It is just the way life has panned out this year….

We are slowly recovering from another bout of coughs and colds. The bugs are tending to linger on rather this year. I had hoped that the very cold spell we had would have killed all the bugs off, but they seem very persistent. My eldest still has a fever on and off, poor love.


After enjoying some wonderfully warm spring days and feeling spring energy stirring within us, winter has taken another flight. It has been snowing over the past couple of days and is still bitterly cold. We even made a little snow lady, Erica 🙂


My eldest reminded me that it was sunny on Candlemas (Groundhog) day, so it’s not really surprising! 🙂


The snow hasn’t been deep, but it’s been compact enough to go sledging a couple of times. The Friday before last, my eldest and I went to the local park with our sledge after school on the off chance that the conditions would be suitable and luckily we were pleasantly surpised. We have a nice wooden German sledge that hasn’t seen much use, so it was a pleasure to take it out for a spin. 🙂 There were only a couple of families out as it was dinner time and getting dark, so by the time we left, we had the slope to ourselves. It was great to do something fun with my eldest, just the two of us. Lately we have rarely had the opportunity and I know it benefits us both.


The week before last was quite eventful:

On Friday, we celebrated our wedding anniversary – 18 years – my, how did that happen?! Although we were both full of cold, we spent a lovely day together; looking at campervans :-), eating (tasty spicy foods), drinking (shots of lemon and ginger – very potent!) and mooching around town. It was just so nice to talk and be together. We haven’t managed to keep up our fortnightly dates for a while due to illness and other circumstances, so it was precious time spent together. We are hoping to get back on track with our dates as it is important to have fun together.

On Sunday, it was Mother’s Day. None of us was feeling ‘on form’, but my husband and daughters still made an effort to spoil me; with cards and a couple of sweet presents. I was very touched.


I love my new cheery teapot for loose leaf tea and my new cup with its rounded sides – so wonderful to cradle in my hands. 🙂


My youngest made me this heart at school : she sanded the wood, hammered in the small nails and wove her chosen thread colours around the heart. A labour of love 🙂 My eldest has yet to finish her gift she says.

Speaking of an eventful week, on Saturday, we picked up our new puppy Millie!


We have discussed at length over the years whether a dog would fit in our life or not and after much debate and discussion, we decided it was now or never. Our daughters are old enough now to be involved and help with a puppy and still have many more years at home to enjoy with her.  We made it one of our New Year’s Resolutions! Funnily enough, we have since discovered it is the Chinese “Year of the Dog”, so it feels even more apt that this is the year we took the leap! 🙂

We picked her out from her litter the Saturday before and the girls spent the week busily preparing for her arrival!


She is a Cavapoo; a mix between a miniature poodle and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. We did a lot of research before reaching a decision, because we wanted to be sure we found a compatible dog for our guinea pigs; without a prey instinct and a dog that didn’t need excessive amounts of exercise and was easy to train!


She is nearly 11 week and is a real sweetheart. We are smitten! The first few days, she slept a lot and didn’t eat much. We think she was missing her family of origin, but she is much more active and playful now. Unfortunately she had an upset tummy the whole week, so I took her to the vet on Friday to be checked out. He gave her an antibiotic injection and some probiotic medicine and we hope to see some improvement soon. She found visiting the vet thrilling; meeting other dogs and being doted on by animal lovers. Everyone commented on her sweet temperament, for which we are most grateful.


When we go out, we have been carrying her in my big knitting basket or in a baby sling as she is still too young to be put on the ground outside. She has been enjoying the view and being close.


She has also travelled on the buses, been cuddled and doted on by numerous children at the school gates and even enjoyed a quick trip to the supermarket the other day, when our cupboards were bare!


I have been trying to study inbetween attending to her. Luckily Millie still enjoys frequent naps!


She will nap wherever she finds a cosy body! 🙂


It had been so cold, we had to invest in a little jacket for her, as she is going to work with my husband three days a week and he works outdoors. The girls tried some dolly jumpers on her too, which are still rather large! At that point I started to fantasise about the jumpers I could knit for her next winter (hee hee!)


She has even had her first taste of snow and seemed unphased by it.


I hope I haven’t gone overboard with the photos! I have really noticed how even the (seemily) hardest characters seem to soften when they meet a puppy. It is a real leveller and in so a real gift.


In other news, my eldest, who is in the Fifth Grade of a Waldorf (Steiner) school, finished a Geography project on The Lake District. Each child had to choose a region of England to write a detailed project on. Their project needed to be beautifully illustrated and they had to design a poster and construct a model of the area. My daughter made a papier mache model with my husband.


They presented the project to their class and once again, individually, to the parents  one evening last week. We spent 7 minutes talking with each child about their chosen project and sampling food from the area, that the children had brought in. My daughter made some Grasmere Gingerbread, with crystallized ginger and brought in some Kendal Mint Cake to share. It was a really fun evening and all the children talked confidently about their subject.


I really appreciate how my sensitive children are building their confidence in this setting and how Steiner education encourages the children to be supportive of each other’s work. I was petrified of presenting anything as a child and still am, even as an adult (!), but my daughter took it in her stride and was more than happy to talk to the parents in this intimate, relaxed atmosphere. It was so lovely to see and it feels good to know she is in the right place.

And now we know so much about the region, we really must try to visit at some point this year – maybe with our campervan-to-be?! 😉

And last, but not least, my youngest finished her third knitting project: a little kitty 🙂


And that’s the round up for the past couple of weeks. As for me, I am currently  making a couple of simple monk’s outfits and adjusting a Greek dress for both my daughters’ plays next week.

I haven’t been making much for pleasure, but I am planning to get back on track as I am feeling like creativity is rather missing from my life right now and things don’t feel in balance in that way.


I hope you are finding plenty of time for creativity and are keeping well and warm!

Joining Crafting On at Frontier Dreams.



Warmth in the cold


Finally, I am finding a pocket of time in which to write. It feels like ages, since I was last here and I must say I have missed it. As I wrote in my last post, we have been suffering from illness over here. As soon as I recovered – literally the day after I felt my energies return slowly, my husband went down with a heavy virus, from which he is only just recovering, almost three weeks later 😦 so all of February has passed in a bit of a blur….

Today is the second day of March and we have snow!!!


It is so absolutely thrilling for us, having resigned ourselves to another winter without. What a gift! My daughters have been running outside first thing in the morning, to play in the snow and although there hasn’t been deep snow, they have enjoyed making snow angels, building miniature snow bears 🙂 and drawing a snowman on the snow covered pond…and throwing snowballs of course 🙂


They had an afternoon off school and went sledging with Daddy (while I was at college). We have certainly been enjoying the snow covered world in all its beauty and wonder.


Only the other day, as we walked around our local park, we felt that spring was in the air; the birds were very vocal,  the daffodils were out and the sun felt warm on our skin. I wondered about setting the Nature Table up for spring, but luckily didn’t have the time, as finally our winter scene has come to fruition. 🙂


We may even have more snow tonight. Hurrah!

So let’s see what we have been up to in the last few weeks…hmmn…

We had our half term break after my husband came down with illness, which was lucky, in a way, as we didn’t have to rush off anywhere early in the morning and I was still not totally recovered energy-wise. We had a lovely break really: slow days, lots of cooking, making and baking and seeing friends.

After three weeks of illness and also missing Candlemas, I thought it was important to spend lots of time doing nice things together; to reconnect and to find the joy in family life again. We finally rolled some beeswax candles, that I had ordered for Candlemas and my daughters decorated them with beeswax hearts that they stamped out of these thin beeswax sheets.


On Valentines, we went overboard with hearts, pinks and reds!


For breakfast, we made pancakes and heart shaped waffles with fried apples and cinnamon which we all enjoyed.


We also did a lot of baking – jam tarts, ginger biscuits…

and heart shaped rolls for dinner with pink (beetroot) soup!

I noticed that the girls really appreciated all these touches and they were very much involved in the making of all these edibles. I also made our favourite carob sweets, this time adding a cranberry to the middle and some chopped nuts, which made them extra special, we thought.



I love these happy photos – the girls insisted on wearing the heart ‘crowns’ that we made with friends many moons ago (basically felt hearts, threaded onto red yarn).

We made each other gifts for Valentines.  My husband was in bed all day, but we opened his presents for him and put them, and his cards, by the window in the hope that it would make him feel loved.


Below are the presents my eldest made us. My youngest made her sister the heart with the penguin on it,  so we all got a heart! There was a distinct dolphin theme for Daddy 🙂


Here are my presents 🙂 Can you tell the girls know I love purple?! 😉

I  managed to knit up a couple of quick hearts for my daughters in the two nights beforehand. I didn’t have time or the headspace for anything more creative. They are pleased with them, which is all that matters!

My daughters also made cards for all the animals, including our guinea pig Bubble and our hen Delilah who died last year. Delilah’s has been laminated and is by her grave.



Gosh just noticed how creased the tablecloth looks here – eek! 

The hens also have theirs laminated to hang by their coop!


They still have their Christmas lights and baubles up too! Bless them they are so cold out in the snow, they have stopped eating and are just huddled up together looking miserable 😦 Any tips are very welcome.

My daughters have been playing lots and there were various scenes set up all over the house and garden! Things were feeling a bit chaotic, so I had a big tidy up today to create some order again. When the girls came home after school, they remarked on how much better it felt – like a clean slate.


They have also been drawing lots and just being creative, which is always nice to see.




We saw friends in the afternoons on quite a few occasions over half term, which was lovely, after having been stuck at home and reclusive for a few weeks. The girls enjoyed some dressing up with a friend in a local museum. 🙂




Last week was a busy one for me, with lots of study and trying to sort our car out (the insurers wanted to write it off because of the cost of repairing it, but I have now found a local garage that will do the repairs mid March, with second hand doors, so hopefully that is now sorted.  It does annoy me how easily they write a perfectly decent car off  though….)

After the girls returned to school on Tuesday, I only had four days in which to study ten subjects in preparation for a mid-term exam – Cytology, the Skeletal System, the Muscular System, the Respiratory System, Cardiology, the Blood, the Digestive System and Digestive Pathologies, the Lymphatic system and Skin and the Endocrine System… you get the picture!!! Quite a bit!! I had hoped to have the weekend for further study, but my husband had not recovered yet, so I only managed a couple of hours each day really. This sort of intense study doesn’t suit me at all. I had another intense study session on Monday and my head was buzzing with all the information I had studied, so I had an early night and felt all I could do was trust and hope….


The next day, it had snowed overnight and the world looked so peaceful and pretty, Unfortunately that didn’t mean peaceful traffic and there was a fair bit of tension involved in getting to the exam in one piece with the icy roads!! The UK is never prepared for snow!!

I think the exam went o.k, considering the fact I didn’t have enough time to study everything, with illness and half term and family life. I certainly had to reduce my expectations of doing well!!!

Afterwards, I took a walk outside to try to calm my system down and was so happy to hear the crunch of snow underfoot and to feel the crisp fresh air on my face.


I missed out on sledging, but I enjoyed a walk around the college campus to take in the beauty of it all and breathe in deeply. I experienced a sense of deep peace, which I have not felt for a while. What a gift.


Wishing you all a peaceful, gentle time, whatever the weather!



Knitting and recovery


It has been a funny couple of weeks for us here; with illnesses, a car crash and my computer being hacked 😦 My daughters are back at school now, but I am still feeling really weak and depleted, despite dosing myself up on lots of goodness.

My youngest daughter was the first to get sick, with a high temperature, tummy aches and headaches a couple of weeks ago. She was off school for a week; resting, watching favourite films and a spot of knitting once she felt a bit better.


A dear friend of ours is due a ‘surprise’ baby in March and she has asked if friends would like to contribute a knitted or crocheted square (or two) towards the baby’s blanket. We love our friend and her family very much, so my daughters were very keen to knit a couple of squares each. 🙂


I also knitted a couple of squares, so we have a quite a selection of squares to add to the blanket. All that love! 🙂 I was looking for a heart design pattern to copy for mine, but couldn’t seem to track any down, so made it up myself using seed stitch. They are a bit quirky, but hopefully the heart stands out a bit!?


I have also asked around in our friendship circle for other offerings and the squares are all so different,  but I think my friend plans to crotchet them together using white/cream yarn so it should all come together nicely. There will be so much love in that blanket to wrap her baby girl in. 🙂

Before I became unwell, I knitted all the pieces for a teddy, for my friends baby, like the teddies I knitted my own girls for Christmas.  I will wait until I feel better to sew them up, to make sure I do the teddy justice!


Apart from knitting and helping to gather squares from other friends and ourselves towards the blanket, I am also making my friend a “birthing” anklet.


These were mine 🙂

I think I found the idea in a book whilst pregnant with my eldest and just loved it. Basically, I asked all my friends, near and far, to contribute a bead (or two) towards the anklet and I threaded the  beads onto wire or cotton and wore it whilst in labour. I made one for each of my daughter’s births and it was so strengthening to know that all my lovely women friends were with me. So I wanted to do the same for my friend. I have asked the friends we have in common and she is also gathering a few from other friends and her daughters too (who are 13 and 11), so we should have a lovely collection soon. Here are some of the beads so far.


My eldest pointed out that the long shell looked rather like an angel’s wing 🙂

Anyway, back to our two week saga…. 😉 On the Friday before last, I was driving my eldest to school, when we were involved in a car crash. A car came out from a side road as we were driving along and crashed straight into the two side doors, spinning our car around with the impact. 😦 Luckily, neither of us was driving at great speed, but it was a shock for us nonetheless and we didn’t end up going  to school that day. Instead we went to a cafe to recover and drink sweet tea. The car will go into the repair shop tomorrow. It looks quite a state. But we were uninjured, apart from a few aches and pains, so that’s all that matters really.

I think the shock of the accident brought on the virus in my eldest daughter and I, because we were soon feeling unwell. My daughter had very similar symptoms to her sister, whereas I started with a cold. I still had lectures to attend so soldiered on through them, but feel I probably overdid it,  as a week later, I am still feeling  weak and unable to concentrate on my studies. Instead, I find myself sitting on the sofa, watching lecture videos and doing some mindless knitting.


Knitting has been the order of the day in the past week it seems. I saw this fab hat pattern at the Crafting On Link up last week and loved the way it looked. Luckily I had the perfect pink yarn on hand, so in a few hours, the job was done. Very gratifying 🙂 It used just under one 50g skein of yarn and is really cosy. I gave my youngest the Wurm hat I was making in pink and purple, so I am pleased to have my own pink hat at last 🙂 I don’t have any photos of me in it as I am not up to taking photos right now!


I also continued work on the scrap blanket that I started some time ago. It has doubled in size, just by me sitting watching my lecture videos and is now nice and cosy over my knees as I knit 🙂


It is nearly wide enough for me to have it as a blanket if I use it lengthwise, so I may decide to do that, so it is finished sooner rather than later, but on the other hand, it is making a nice soothing project, so perhaps I will leave it in the basket for another time when I can’t concentrate on anything else. It feels good to have something to show for my time, I must say!

My husband kindly brought some daffodils back home to cheer us up, which of course they did. These small thoughtful gestures mean a lot.


I am not a very good patient, thinking that I am letting people down, but when I do try to help out, I end up dropping things or making mistakes. Ho hum…clearly I need to be more patient!  Of course, this too shall pass….

In the meantime, whilst sitting on the sofa, I can enjoy the twinkling lights of our Nature table 🙂



I shall stop now as I feel exhausted, but it was lovely to spend a little time with you 🙂

Sharing at Frontier Dreams Crafting On 

“Snow Bears” – a quick iplayer recommendation for you- expires very soon!


If you are looking for something cosy and wintry to watch with your children today, I recommend the BBC Documentary Snow Bears. It’s on iplayer until 3rd February. We watched it over the Christmas break and I planned to share it here, but totally forgot to because of going away. I assumed it had finished broadcasting, but we just had a look as my youngest is ill and she requested it and amazingly it’s still being broadcast! Hurrah!

The documentary follows the journey of a polar bear mother and her two cubs as they go on a long journey to find food. There are various hindrances, such as the attentions of a rather large male bear and an avalanche, but the bears manage to stay together throughout. It is lovely to see their close relationship and the mother’s deep love and protection of her young cubs and such a privilege to be able to follow their progress over the weeks/months this was filmed in. This film is beautifully filmed and edited with not too many gorey bits (my daughters were grateful for this!) It really is a visual treat and i highly recommend it if you have a spare hour to cosy up in today. 🙂

Short but sweet..


We had a lovely cosy home day on Sunday, with our daughters playing happily and imaginatively for much of the day.


On Sunday mornings, I traditionally enjoy a lie in – if I am lucky! 🙂 (my husband has his on Saturday mornings) and our daughters appreciate the opportunity to spend time with Daddy; colouring in his funny pictures and drawing their own.


They decided on the theme of “Under the Sea” and drew mermaids (good and evil!), fish, sharks, treasure chests and an underwater castle with windows to open! 🙂



By the time I had woken up, they were in the process of cutting out their characters, and sticking them onto short skewers with sticky tape, so they could be used for an impromptu “puppet” show! They haven’t staged a puppet show for us in a long time, so it was a nice surprise!

My eldest covered the playframe with blue/green coloured cloths and they each took it in turns to stage a little show for us.


The storyteller 🙂

There were little mermaids peeking out of the windows in the castle below, but I wasn’t allowed to take photos at the time. So sweet!


My eldest did sound effects for her sister, which brought the show to life. Here are a few of the instruments in question!


Our Schleich animals were also recruited for a jungle themed show 🙂


It was so lovely to see the girls enjoy their playspace and to experience them being imaginative and creative. They tend to play in private nowadays, so it was a real privilege to be party to their imaginative play on this occasion.

I do so appreciate these times; when things go smoothly and we spend warm and happy times together.

Our Schleich animals continued to have a great time for the rest of the day 🙂




Winter books for children

I thought I would share these again 🙂



I promised I would share our winter books with you, so here I am finally with a selection of our favourites. As I have mentioned before herehere and here, we love books and love to escape into a beautiful picture book. Our favourite picture books need to be beautifully illustrated, with a wholesome, heart warming story. My daughters particularly like stories about animal friendships and we seem to have a plentiful selection of these amongst our winter selection! The winter books are amongst my favourite of all the seasonal books we have. Perhaps because it is a time when we sit down to read more, or perhaps there is just more sparkle in these books?


I will once again group the books a little as we have collected quite a few over the years.

Board books for young children:

Winter – Gerda Muller – a simple book…

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On Holiday in Tenerife


First of all, I would like to wish my lovely visitors a very Happy New Year!

May your year be filled with abundance, adventure and great joy. 

We returned from our trip to Tenerife last Wednesday evening, unpacked and recovered from our travels on Thursday and started back at school on Friday. My daughters, especially the eldest, struggled with the transition back to school. The fact that we have to get up in the dark doesn’t help!


I thought I would write a little about Tenerife and what we did whilst on holiday.

Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands. It is a popular destination with holidaymakers, who can rest assured that there is guaranteed warmth and sunshine all year round. The beaches are black sand due to previous volcanic activity on the island. In the centre is the Teide National Park, home to the towering Mount Teide and the volcano Pico Viejo. The centre of the island is arid and less hospitable compared to the fertile coastal regions. We have visited the island on four occasions in the past and have felt drawn back to explore more of it. There is a lot more to discover here than on some of the smaller islands, we have found. It is somewhere you can really imagine enjoying living.

This time we stayed fifteen minutes drive from Puerto de la Cruz which is a popular tourist destination, especially for German holidaymakers (my German mother was in her element!). It is also a popular spot for surfing.


There is a very pleasant tree lined avenue leading down to the seafront promenade.


We were surprised to see several apparently wild chickens scratching around the place, including this rather handsome cockerel!


The promenade is lined with shops and restaurants in front of the larger hotel and appartment blocks

There is also an outdoor pool complex along the promenade called Lago Martianez which my husband and daughters visited one morning. There are several salt water pools in the complex, including a large pool with a ‘volcano’ that erupts periodically. It is right next to the sea, but this area isn’t great for swimming due to the crashing waves, so the pool is a better option. There is plenty of space to lounge around and it must be a great spot in the summer. Unfortunately the water was too cold to really enjoy and we found the sea a lot warmer at this time of year!

Whilst away, I had to study two hours per day to keep on top of all the work I need to do for my course. I usually studied in the morning – when I was still fresh enough to take things in! –  and my husband, children and later my mother, rested, played or spent time reading or listening to books. It rained for a couple of days  which was a bit tricky as we were all confined to the house in the mornings and it wasn’t too big, but The Famous Five adventure stories came to the rescue! 🙂 The girls were totally engrossed in those stories, kindly read to them by their Daddy! It was a shame about the rain – we have never had any whilst on holiday in the Canary Islands before – but the locals were delighted as it hadn’t rained for some time. It was unfortunate that on the five days my mother was on the island, there were only a couple of sunny days 😦


We still managed to get out and about in the afternoons and enjoyed some time at the beach. We were staying near El Sauzal on the North Coast, but never really explored this area much as the children were keen to go to the beach (in complete contrast to last year’s trip – the swimming lessons must be doing them good!) and the waves at El Sauzal were too much for them. We visited one of the main beaches near Puerto de la Cruz which was great fun; jumping and chasing the waves for hours.



We also visited a beach on the South Coast on the day we were picking my mother up from the Southern airport (there are two airports). We particularly like this area: It is called El Medano and is a good base for families and younger folk visiting the island. There are quite a few self- catering appartments and lots of eateries and even a vegan restaurant and a health shop 🙂



It is a popular spot with surfers and we saw a lot of kite surfers out on the ocean, which was a glorious sight. The girls stuck with their rubber rings (purchased at one of the many tourist shops in Puerto Cruz) 🙂


The southern beaches are open all year round and the sea is very shallow for quite some distance, making them very safe. We were disappointed to find the Northern beaches closed for some periods. We managed to enjoy the beach there on two occasions before we found it closed on our third visit 😦 We even tried a more secluded beach nearby to see if the situation was different there, but Playa de el Socorro  was also taped off.


Supposedly they frequently do this as the undercurrents are very strong. For us, the sea looked rather tranquil and the girls were disappointed not to be able to go in for a paddle after the rainy days.



They tried out the exercise equipment on the promenade instead, which was some consolation 🙂 and we went for coffee and cake at our favourite Service Station Cafe  with an amazing  view.



The cakes were delicious and the thick Spanish hot chocolates (the kind you can eat!) were a real treat and so reasonable too at 12 Euros for all five of us! We found eating out quite affordable, although we mainly cooked at home. My mother is German so “Kaffee und Kuchen” is the order of the day on holiday – we didn’t complain! 😉


We visited the Botanic Gardens on one occasion, which was a lovely treat. The tropical plants are so at home in this climate. We recognised many of them from the house plants available here in the UK. Lots of the plants were in bloom and the whole place felt lush and vibrant.






My mother really enjoyed it, until she stumbled on a big root and fell into a bush! but she quickly recovered herself and we all found it fascinating and relaxing to be surrounded by all these exotic plants.


There are plenty of beautiful vibrant flowers around the coastal areas of the island too: it is a feast for the eyes.


Poinsettias grow in the wild in Tenerife – I am always delighted to spot them. When I see them growing wild like this it reminds me of the book The Legend of Poinsettia,  which we love.


We had hoped to see the Three Kings Procession on the 5th January as we did in Fuerteventura last year, but we didn’t manage to get there in time unfortunately.


It is typical for the ‘Kings’ to process through the streets on the day before Epiphany, waving and throwing sweets to the children. The Kings are the bringers of “Christmas” presents to Spanish children on the 6th January, when they have their family Christmas celebrations. We did manage to watch some of the procession on a TV screen in our restaurant, which was of some consolation to the girls.

It rained all day on the 6th so we just celebrated with a trip out to a cafe for tea and cake 🙂 There is a traditional Three Kings Cake that can be bought at the supermarket (or made of course!) but noone fancied it.


We also visited the Loro Parque Zoo after enjoying our trip to the Zoo in Fuerteventura . It was also rather expensive, but there were several shows included and it was an enjoyable afternoon out.


We particularly enjoyed the sea lion show


and the dolphin show




They are such bright, friendly animals – we do love them so.  We also saw an Orca show later – once my camera had run out of battery 😦 -which was very impressive – what amazing powerful animals they are. All the animals really trusted their trainers and were very affectionate with them, which was a joy to behold.

As I mentioned, my camera ran out of battery not long into our visit there, which was a shame as our highlight was most definitely the lions. There are two females that are only a year and a half old and are still very playful and a two year old male who is so handsome. They were fascinating to watch and we could see them very close up, which was a treat. Their fenced off area had plenty of interest and enough space to roam around in, I thought.


My eldest was particularly excited to see the white Bengal tigers. She loves all wild cats.


They also have a new inside Penguin Grotto, where they even have snow falling from the ‘sky’ and nice cold conditions for the penguins. It looks really magical.
You can stand on a slowly moving conveyor belt and watch as you move along. Quite special. There were also puffins nearby, which are a favourite of mine.


Unfortunately I don’t have a lot of photos to show all the sights we saw and the photos aren’t that great – I do need to fix my camera but there never seems to be a good time….

We loved the jellyfish acquarium area. The inside is dimly lit but the numerous tanks, containing a vast array of jelly fish, are lit up to show off their amazing features – it was fascinating to see how they breath and move. So graceful. I could have spent a long time there and wish I had some photos to show for it. I was transfixed. Unfortunately my mother struggles to see in the dark and I was  concerned that she might trip up again, so we had to move on.


We had planned to visit Mount Teide, but due to the weather and my mother’s mobility issues, we decided to leave it.


There was often a thick mist over the mountain and we heard there was snow up there. We have visited before and enjoyed many a walk around the rugged landscape.

Our holiday home was well situated in a quiet area. Unfortunately, the next door neighbour was having building work done, so it ended up being far from quiet most days  ☹️ which was a pity. Since then, we have had a percentage of the price refunded to us for the inconvenience, which was a kind gesture.

The house itself is situated right in the centre of the property, with a garden surrounding the house on all sides.


There were plenty of plants and trees and even a lovely playhouse for the children to play in, which was a bonus!


The girls had fun playing their fantasy games in the house and up in and amongst the two avocado trees!




We picked a few avocadoes to ripen with some bananas, but only one actually did ripen by the end of our trip. One of my good friends lived in Spain for a couple of years and had an avocado tree. I was always in awe of it. The avocadoes took a while to ripen, but they were so creamy and delicious, I thought we should try it!


The views of the sunrises and sunsets from our terrace were stunning. We never tired of the sunsets, especially coming closer to 6pm than the early nights here in the UK.



We mainly spent our evenings playing cards before bedtime with Oma.

Tenerife is a wonderful island to explore. It is great for touring in the car and for a walking holiday – we did a lot more walking on our visits pre-children. The views are breathtaking and it is affordable and always warm. We did not get around as much as we usually do this visit due to rain and my mother’s mobility issues,  but we still really enjoyed our visit.

For those of you who wondered if we did any crafts on holiday, we didn’t do too much as I was either studying or we were out of the house. In the mornings, the girls made steady work on their reindeer. We didn’t manage to get going on them before our trip, but we are pleased with how they turned out. The instructions in the book said to sew them and turn them inside out. I didn’t read it properly so the girls did blanket stitch all round. As they are quite neat with their stitches, it worked out fine, except for the need to add a few extra stitches to the legs and neck once the body was stuffed. I helped them with this as I blamed myself for not reading the instructions properly and so that they weren’t discouraged. Here they are – one is Rudolph 🙂


The girls did lots of drawing including these angel pictures.


I always bring plenty of materials with us – paper, scissors, glue, sticky tape, yarn etc so the girls can make all the contraptions and maps that they desire!  Everything always gets lots of use by my ever creative children 😉


Back at home the Kings are still on the Nature Table and Babuschka has finally reached Bethlehem – my girls insist she reaches baby Jesus on time – although the Legend has her searching forevermore.

I am planning to set the Nature Table up for winter very soon! It’s so mild and wet here – but we will be glad to see snowflakes and a wintry scene inside.

I have hung up the hearts, on which we wrote our favourite things in 2017, at the back door. It is so nice to have some colour at the window. 🙂


I had better dig out those lovely window stars we made last year and perhaps make a few more since they bring us such joy.

Hope January is treating you well.