I just found out that my insider BA shopping tips for Project Mag stretch to five pages, not just the one, so here are my recommendations in full.
Wednesday, 27 April 2011
Tuesday, 26 April 2011
Accustomed to taking buses and taxis all the time in Buenos Aires I was a bit lost in Coggeshall, until I was loaned this bike with a cart for the boys (thanks Alex!!).
While I pedal up the hill with 28 kilos of kids behind me, Ollie whizzes by on the white racer he had as a teenager.
This weekend I had a younger passenger, Sethie and Bo's Balchie cousin, Roofrack, who I'd swap for Seth in a flash. That hill was a breeze with a breeze with 10 kilos less in the back.
I just love it there, and try to pop in whenever I'm back. It was so pretty at this time of year.Here's Bo enjoying the spring flowers just before he cracked his forehead chasing Seth around the Victorian bandstand if front of Sir Titus' statue.
Dad takes five of his seven grandsons out exploring. He seems to have lost Theo, but is just about hanging onto Seth.
Seth before he discovers there are cooler birds than me out there...
Harry showing Sethie and Bo their secret den on the path behind their cottage. The Oakes (where my brother-in-law works, and where they live) is such a idyllic AND really fun place to grow up.We love visiting them there.
We usually spend our visits back to Yorkshire in the Dales. It's so pretty up there, and just 10 minutes from Mum and Dad's and we're in the rolling green hills with the characteristic dry stone walls. This time though, I asked to go to Temple Newsam, a place I hadn't been to for years, but the vast (1500 acres) grounds are great for kids, and I'd read about the house recently in a design magazine. I remember being dragged around the Tudor-Jacobean mansion as a child, and had no great desire to go back, but in the article I learned that Zoffany, whose wallpaper and fabric I have used, Damask range is inspired by the original wallpapers from Temple Newsam. I inquired about this at the house and disappointingly the staff had no idea what I was talking about and had never heard of Zoffany.
The grounds really are wonderful, especially considering they're two miles from the centre of Britain's third largest city, and offer public green space to kids in the neighbouring deprived areas who would otherwise know nothing but bleak urban sprawl. Seth, Bo and three of their cousins ran all day up and down the steps of the ampitheatre, chasing each other through the rhododenrun bushes and charging under laden blossom trees, chatted with the Billy Goats and found a empty river bed to roll down. I'm sure it was not what Capability Brown had in mind when he designed the gardens, but they had a fantastic time.