Friday 11th March
Set off straight after swimming to then find ferry delays. Made it all positive by giving Daddy his birthday presents in the car (we are very proud of the coffee cup made by mummy, the egg cup made by H and the coaster made by M!), only to have F projectile vomit all over me, not the best start. Road diversions once on the island stumped Daddy’s sat-nav so we reverted to the mode of map reading I like best: the old fashioned but failproof actual physical reading of a map and giving directions in person!
Arrived at Grange Farm, in Brighstone with a bit of a wobble that the cottage wasn’t the right place and the whole idea of a weekend away crazy….proof in itself that I can’t think of anything that we needed more.
Saturday 12th March
Awoke to the sound of the sea in the distance, cockerels and turkeys a bit closer, and happy children exploring a new environment closer still. A shame that the peace, as we sat back and enjoyed an early morning cup of tea whilst looking out to sea, was disturbed by H being sick, then joined simultaneously by F projectile vomiting over me as I held H’s hair out of her face…great?? Positives: 1. I threw loads of clothes into bags in a vain attempt to pack in time, whilst being unable to put F down, so we had plenty of spares. 2. There is a washing machine in the cottage. 3. There are more washing machines and dryers next door in the campsite facilities. 4. There is a little shop that sells everything, including washing powder, sweets and beach balls. 5. It is glorious weather. 6. M is a bit better now. 7. There is a fabulous play area right outside the cottage. 8. We are minutes from the beach. 9.We are away from the internet, from tasks that need doing & from the stresses of life. 10. It is a beautiful place to be (despite the sick children).
Had a happy gentle morning, the girls happy exploring the amazing play areas just outside out cottage, whilst we took it in turns to enjoy a run along the coastal path -incredible views (and substantial erosion; not for the faint hearted or those with a fear of heights or sharp drops!). Had a wander around the farmyard: the guinea-pigs, rabbits, chickens, turkeys, geese, pigs, goats, alpacas, sheep, new lambs (one born an hour before we arrived last night), horses and donkeys… Such a friendly and welcoming family who own and run the farm and campsite; definitely somewhere to which I hope to return.
Took a picnic lunch down to the beach, just a few minutes walk past the static caravans, based on an old lifeboat station, and along the ‘chine’ to hunt for fossils. Found a good few. Had a lovely couple of hours, F asleep in the sling and H fell asleep on me then seemed comfortable enough on the pebbles, the sun warm enough to lie back and enjoy. Discovered a manta ray egg, all sorts of different types of seaweed, fossils, various types of flint and stone, driftwood, shells…came back with a heavy bag indeed!
Back at the farm we stroked some new lambs, played in the playground a bit more then hit tea and early bed for the girls, followed by a much-needed drink by the fire and a film. Feels like a proper holiday…
Sunday 13th March
Awoke again to the calmness of farm life in the distance overlapped by the sea. Much colder today; I tried running north but the views were not as good and I couldn’t get far before having to hack inland, so I turned back and enjoyed the views of yesterday.
A lovely long slow morning with F asleep in the pram so enjoyed the sun trap of the little patio area of the cottage, once the stables, whilst the girls enjoyed playing on the old tractor, boat, slides, swings, sea saw etc. Visited the lambs again as they were fed. Happy days.
Set off with a picnic for Brighstone village, along a footpath and towards a rec ground and another play area with a little climbing wall that the girls loved. On into the picturesque village centre for ice creams. Back via the old mill stream and the ‘dragon tree’ with wonderful branches for climbing. On across fields to hit the coastal path and then climbing back down into the chine towards the beach, and back up to the farm. Another wonderful day. Gave up on our idea of a beach fire and bbq’ed sausages, to instead have a picnic tea outside the cottage. Incredible sunset. Wonderful evening.
Morning 14th March
Early morning ferry, getting M to school a bit late but after a fabulous weekend, over far too soon…one of the best bits being that we didn’t need to go anywhere once we had arrived at the farm:-) We will be back!
Pottered down to meet Les and Zac for a trip on the pink ferry for coffees and ice creams in the sun over in Hamble. Not a bad place to live either;-)