Tag Archives: Camping

A special field

This weekend I received some news I knew was coming yet never wanted to hear. My friends child had passed away, disappeared into the hours of the morning leaving behind a heartbroken mother. My friend knew she didn’t have forever but was praying desperately for one more day.

One more day.

How often I would wish for Livvy one more day, one more hug, one more giggle.

How often do i allow grief to consume my heart?

Too often .

This last week I have been camping in a special field in Shropshire, the field itself isn’t rather special but for a week or two each year it transforms into something rather remarkable.

From the grassy emptiness it becomes full with love, laughter and friendship.

It overflows with energy, life and living.

For this time each year this field becomes a place where friendships are forged in life experiences.

This field becomes a place where children the world tells cannot, CAN.

This field is rather dangerous though, it is rife with infection, a infectious disease known as hope.

It creeps up into your soul and you start to believe that anything is possible.

Children who can not communicate start to talk, children who cannot walk take steps.

Parents close to breaking become refreshed, families divided are reunited.

This field has no barriers, its a place where everyone gets to be exactly who they were made to be. Not everyone gets on but there is a freedom in acceptance. We are all walking our own pathways and sometimes they can be overwhelming, but here on this field thats ok. You can cry, scream or break down, complete in the knowledge that we all get it.

Over the last week I have become a people watcher, I have observed shy children blossom in confidence, from the first awkward hello to beginnings of life long friendships.

From fire pits to bouncy castles friendship has flowed around this field, some already a lifetime in the making, others being created in that moment.

I have heard so much laughter than even in my grief it has lifted my spirit.

We have had fancy dress from the cute to the never to be unseen, quiz nights, animals and magic. We have hosted our own special Olympics with a level of competitiveness and determination I still can not get over. A child may not be able to walk but they can scream with joy at whizzing over the ground determined to get a medal on their chest.

A balloon release so painful yet so beautiful, how can the most painful part of the week be the most amazing? My heart breaks as I watch those balloons lift up into the sky, my soul aches for my Livvy so desperately I can hear it scream. Yet as my eyes drop to those around me I am struck by how wonderful life is. How everyone standing there beside me gets it somehow. Some may have experienced a loss, others may live in fear of it.

Yet fear of death isn’t found on this field, fear isn’t welcome here.

This field, this camp is about living.

Its about packing life into every moment.

Its about cherishing one another and holding on to what really matters.

The world isn’t allowed on our field, for a week each year we are protected from the daily battles our lives bring to our doors. People who don’t understand don’t visit this sacred place, every chair is filled with people that understand or accept.

Different struggles, different issues, different lives but we are united in our love, our love for our unique wonderful courageous children.

Our special kids. 

 

  • A big thank you to  all at Lower Lacon caravan park for looking after our special field for us all. For welcoming us in a way I have never experienced on any campsite anywhere else and for also being just truly wonderful people that I am pleased to call my friends.

My warm dry feet and wellies that fit..

I have wide feet and they get wider each day thanks to my wonderful illness which causes them to swell. To be honest this sucks, gone are the days when I could wear any shoes I wanted. Gone are my beloved Dr Martens, I am limited by what I can wear.

For the last couple of years I have been on the search for a pair of wellies. This may sound strange but as a family  of campers a good pair of wellingtons are a must. They are perfect for muddy camp fields and for slipping on quickly as you potter over in the early hours to the loos for a wee.

Anyway for the last few years I have had to just admire my families warm dry feet as I could not find wellies to fit.

But no more woo hoo thanks to the wonderful company Jileon I now am the proud owner of these babies.

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I absolutely loved them, only last week I got to test drive them when on weekend on the Gower the heavens opened and the beautiful green field turned into lovely muddy mud.

These babies kept my feet warm and dry and guess what because Jileon make wellies for the wider feet they fit like a dream.

I am beyond happy.

I already have my eyes on my next pair.

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I am so happy, I have now joined the warm dry feet club and if like me you have been on a search for gorgeous wide fitting wellies search no more, check out Jileon they also offer normal widths for women, men and children too.

 

 

* I was gifted these wellies for the purpose of this review but all opinions are my own. 

A wonderful weekend

We have just spend a wonderful weekend in South Wales.

We stayed on a new to us campsite

Nicholaston Farm

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As always I was rather nervous wondering if it was as nice as the website and the reviews said.

All I can say is that it was so much better.

From the first contact at the reception we were made to feel welcome on the site. They helped set us up near to the bathrooms so it would make life a little easier for us with our special needs child.

The site itself is immaculate and honestly the showers were better than the ones we have had home.

The views that surround the site are fantastic.

They have an onsite shop with fresh vegetables and fruit and a load of other goodies. The prices are also really reasonable which surprised me as one of my bug bears of campsite shops is the increase in prices. They even have their own pick your own fields, where you can spend some quality family time picking strawberries and other fruits.

The site also has its own cafe which serves a beautiful full breakfast oh and good coffee, really good coffee.

We had such a wonderful weekend that we have booked to stay for longer in August.

So seriously if you are looking for a campsite in Gower check out Nicholaston Farm as it is truly a first class site.

I love the Gower it is simply one of the most beautiful places I have ever been.

I can’t wait to go back.

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•All photos from the Nicholaston Farm website, I was chasing after the kids all weekend so didn’t get chance to take any decent photos. Next time…..

 

Time is my enemy.

I’ve been thinking a lot since I returned from my week away about time and how much it controls our lives.

Anyone who knows me will already know I have an issue with time. Time as in the measurements of life, hours, minutes, seconds. It’s a manmade calculation which personally drives me insane.

I often wonder if we are missing out on the present due to the focus on our future.

How often to you stand there and just appreciate the now. Our brains are always on the next event mode. Appointments we have to keep, jobs that need doing, places we have to be.

Time controls our lives and not in good way.

Last week on that camping field time seemed irrelevant.

We ate when we were hungry. We visited when we wanted. Everything was done on a free basis. It was pure bliss.

I know it wasn’t the real world it was a week away from appointments and jobs well not really for us as fostering is a full time, 24 hour a day job but you get the gist.

It was relaxed and free.

Although I hate the concept of time I am also a total slave to it.

I live my life by technology and Filofaxes.

Diaries, alarms you name it I’m a slave to them.

Appointments, phone calls, deadlines they all have me tight.

My watch and I have a love hate relationship

Yet after my week away I have decided I needed to do something about this.

I need to loosen the grip this measurement foe has on me.

I’m going to make a conscious effort to be in the now more.

To slow down my pace in life.

I know I cannot live my life in a field but I can bring the field into my life a little.

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Gutted

Well today’s blog post was supposed to come to you all from the beautiful Gower coast. But thanks to a faulty air flow thingy we are back at home gutted that we won’t be visiting the sea anytime soon.

To be perfectly honest it could be worse but right now it doesn’t feel like it.

I have sad kids and a broken minibus so all is simply not great right now.

It’s been a hard 6 months with family issues, Eden’s diagnoses and my health worries so we all so needed this break.

I was so looking forward to recharging my batteries from the sea and my kids were looking forward to just being kids.

So right now we are all feeling pretty low.

Grateful that we all managed to get home safe and sound.

But gutted as we all really needed a break.

So ironically we are broken like the minibus.

No more school

So that’s it, it is now officially the school holidays. Every child is happy that for the next 6 weeks they have no stress or wake ups for school.

I’m actually feeling positive about the coming weeks.

Of course it’s all helped by the holidays we have booked. This weekend we are off to sunny (it better be) South Wales the beautiful Gower. I can not wait.

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To be truthful when we first brought the touring caravan I did wonder if we would actually use it but it has been amazing. Our foster son especially loves it and being a constant it really helps with autistic stresses.

We have certainly had our monies worth out of it and there is nothing better than sitting in a field, campsite and watching the night sky.

I love it.

The only thing that stresses me out is cooking for us all when we are away. With a family of six eating out everyday is not viable.

We do have an oven in the caravan but its only tiny and my kids like their food.

We are considering one of those Cadac portable BBQ.

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What do you guys think?

Have you used one?

Are they any good?

I’m also after some camping cooking recipes a if anyone has any good ones.

I am super excited, yes packing is tiring but I cannot wait to escape onto the beautiful beaches of the Gower.

Bring on the weekend.

Lets make more memories just like this one.

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It’s more than just the dress

After my last blog post about my amazing weekend I have a confession to make.

Yes the ball was a great experience.

Yes it was amazing to be with my good friends.

But I really really struggled.

People who have met me in real life will know that I’m an outgoing person who will pretty much chat to anyone.

But I am also rather insular.

I need my own space.

I hate crowds

I hate feeling like I’m not myself.

This is what happened this weekend.

It seems silly but the moment I put on my dress for the ball my confidence left me.

People using the words beautiful

Refined

Elegant

So not me.

I wasn’t comfortable

I didn’t feel real

Why did I do this to myself?

Even when ordering the dress I knew I wasn’t going to feel great in it.

I don’t do elegant, I do black and gothic.

Why do we do this to ourselves?

When out of our normal day to day life why do we put on a facade.

Why isn’t who we are good enough?

I’ve learned a valuable lesson and it’s a lot more to do with me than the dress.

It’s ok to hate crowds

It’s ok to love your jeans

And it’s ok to be me.

The crazy thing is my friends on this evening out have been my friends through the good times and my friends through the hardest times too.

They love me regardless.

Our friendships were forged on campsites where no-one I mean no-one can look great emerging out of a sleeping bag in the middle of a field.

We loved each other through morning breathe and we loved each other through many bottle of wines.

I had no need to pretend.

They love me for who I am.

Now i have only got to learn to accept these things about myself and the lesson will be truly learnt.

Oh and of course I need to find the perfect gothic dress just in case.

I’m not sure I want to go

As this post goes live I’m packing up to go on holiday. I should be excited but I’m scared stiff. The last two years I have booked to go camping with a great group of people from a charity called Special Kids in The UK but besides the booking I never actually made it to the campsite.

Why you may ask? It’s simple the last time we went camping with this group I had a blonde haired Tinkerbell escaping my tent. Yes Livvy was with us still.

The concept of going to the camp without her makes me actually feel ill with nerves.

I don’t know why it’s so bad, I’ve camped since Livvy’s death. I’ve actually met some of the group too. So why is the concept of this camp trip leaving me filled with fear.

I have no answers grief is a funny thing. One day I understand the next I don’t.

Memories are both a wonderful and painful reminder.

I know I’m going to be surrounded by people who care who understand. Yet I’m still scared of holding my emotions in check. I confess I’ve been struggling lately.

Who said time makes it easier spoke a complete load of tosh. Each day that passes Is a day without my darling daughter and I hate it with a vengeance.

I’m sure my holiday will be great. I’m sure I will make some wonderful new memories with my girls. But a piece of me will always be missing, a part of my heart is in heaven. Never to be complete until I get to hold my daughter in my arms again.

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Kicked off the campsite

I’m lying here in the caravan listening to silence around me. I’m not sure how to feel. Today has been an amazing day, such wonderful memories made. Yet as the day draws to a end I’m transported back a few years. To a rain drenched field and a tent blustering in the wind and two cheeky young children laughing and giggling and keeping the whole campsite awake.

Both children have now passed. My daughter Livvy and our dear Ryan. So very young, taken far to early. So dearly missed and forever grieved.

How is it possible to laugh and cry at the same time as I am now. As I get lost in the precious memories. Both Livvy and Ryan in separate tents causing mayhem. The more we said be quiet the louder the laughter became. You wouldn’t believe two disabled children who looked like butter wouldn’t melt in their mouths nearly got us kicked off the campsite.

Double trouble that’s for sure.

What would I give to hear their giggles again. To feel the infectious spirit upon my soul.

Time carries on but as I sit and listen to the silence I miss the past so much. Will life ever be the same again?

Life here without them Is hard but I do smile at the chaos they will be causing in heaven.

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