In/out- looking back on 2018

2018 has come and gone in a flash. I feel like I’ve blinked and here we are at New Years Eve. I’ve popping my top 15 photos at the end of the post so have a read and a scroll with your bubbly in hand. If you are reading this passed NYE then a cuppa is also acceptable.

I think the year has been great in some respects and a step backwards in others; that surely has to balance out to be alright. I look back at certain things like going out and exploring, which was one of our short term goals for 2018, we did lots of that. We visited new beaches, new places to walk and run. We met people and asked them for places to visit and if they wanted to come too then great.
We stopped at interesting looking places on the way to somewhere else and enjoyed an explore.

T took one of my favourite photos, a misty filled warren near Brandon this year. I had my photos reposted by different brands which was one of my personal goals. It’s amazing to see a photo you’ve taken being liked by 100’s of people over on a brand’s feed. Places we visited to walk and explore were: Knettishall heath, Thetford warren, Lynford Hall, Brettenham Heath, Blickling Hall, Winterton on Sea, Lopham and Redgrave Fen and Fairhaven Water Gardens to name but a few. The step back has been T’s upset at school and not being entirely happy. His move into year 1 has seen that disappear, somewhat, and his behaviour sometimes not being as expected but that aside we have enjoyed our family life and I am sure you recognise that family life is not all smooth sailing. If you are local to Norwich you may have witnessed G lying in the middle of Chapelfield shopping centre screaming her head off on more than one occasion.

We took in events and enjoyed the fine city of Norwich, from the Lego exhibition to the cathedral to restaurants and cafes. The Playhouse bar having the Damien Hurst sculpture ‘Hymn’ next to it for part of the year was joy for T and G. This coincided with exposing the children to more art, science and creative outlets. We enjoyed plays and exhibitions, for instance The Roger Law Spitting Image exhibit, the Science festival, the Norfolk and Norwich festival, the GoGo hares trail, and the exhibition of Hurst’s work at Houghton Hall. With the gorgeous summer weather we went fruit picking, rose garden exploring, drove tractors and drank milk from the Dairy farm. With the ice and snow we rode sledges, drank hot chocolates and put an extra log on the wood burning stove.

G loves animals so in February we visited the Sea Life centre in Great Yarmouth for G’s birthday, Banham Zoo and Chester Zoo and I took G to see The Gruffalo’s Child at the theatre and we won tickets to go to see Sarah & Duck at the theatre, which everyone enjoyed. G loves horses especially so we have been to various horse welfare places and revisited the local welfare place, located 2 minutes from our house. G has ended the year having shed a dummy and getting shot of her bottles but she has developed an eagle shriek that is ear splitting.

T’s love of science blossomed this year and he has enjoyed experimenting, playing with chemical reactions and reading about science. He loves the periodic table and the Toca Boca Elements game. The last part of the year has seen a love of roundabouts come from nowhere. T is occupied next to me as I write this with a notebook full of drawings of road maps and street signs. He has been writing directions to get to different places and mimicking the Sat-Nav. T says his highlight has definitely been joining Beavers and I agree that it has been the best experience of 2018 for all of us. Gosh, they are so loud but T loves his colony and leaders, His Beaver leader, Panda is very efficient and organised and thinks up exceptional things for them to do. T has loved gaining and achieving his badges and is looking forward to staying in a tent next year! A tent. He has loved visiting the fire station, Apple store music sessions, playing water games and learning to tie his shoe laces to achieve his personal challenge badge. If you have a colony near you then sign up as they encourage young people to do so much stuff. I’ve signed up to become a leader as I think it is such a worthwhile movement. I also then have to sleep in a tent in 2019! Which I am looking forward to as it has been awhile. T has just chipped in with Lego land was amazing and he would love to go back. We shall see little pie, we shall see.

I’ve enjoyed 2018 as we have had such enjoyable experiences. Instagram is our visual blog and we have had so many lovely folllowers, follow us and make me feel less alone. We have been invited to try out Bowling at The Bowling House in Norwich, definitely worth a visit; we took in the Christmas show at Stonham Barns ; we trialed different boxes of craft and cooking; Instagram is such an awesome platform, we went over our target of 1000 followers and then thought we might retire at 2000 followers. At time of writing we are at 2500 followers which I know is not massive like Mother of Daughters or INPO or Muthahood but I’ve met so many nice people on Instagram and IRL and had some really exciting opportunities that I can only be positive about Instagram. Over 2019 we are going to be working a bit on the house, G and I are going to go to more press days; we were invited to 4 this year and we didn’t make it to any due to illness or logistics. I really wanted to go to the Schuh kids press day in October half term but I was ill! Fingers crossed for more opportunities. Our Insta feed is very kid centric so perhaps I might appear a bit more often? It’s only an idea. Perhaps I will try out appearing in Stories first. My family has appeared sporadically so perhaps Auntie JJ, Nana and Grandpappi may appear more often. For Mr Theoplusgrace, I asked him what he wanted to do or achieve in 2019 and he said to just be ourselves and enjoy the ride of the year. Lot to be said for that philosophy. Here is to 2019 and to yours. Enjoy your NYE and the start of 2019. Xxx

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