It's been 6 months since my last (solemn) update and 8 months since my last proper post. Apologies for that. Life has been busy and with a nearly two year old tantrumming toddler life has been a little tough - but I'm hooping to get back into craft and family blogging. Fingers crossed I can get myself motivated!
The weather has been glorious this week and we've tried to make the most of every little bit of sunshine. On Thursday, I took Squish to Tredegar House in Newport. It's a 17th Century mansion house built by the Morgan family of Captain Henry Morgan (rum) fame. It was later used by Lord Tredegar and his family. This is where me and hubby got married nearly 5 years ago but sadly you can't get married in there any more.
It was always a special place for me when I was small and one of the main reasons we got married there. It was somewhere I flew kites, learned to ride a bike and fed the ducks - usually during a Sunday outing with my dad.
The beautiful house and grounds is now owned by the National Trust so the house itself is paid admission but you can make full use of the grounds for free. The lake is wonderful and is surrounded by wide open spaces with ancient trees brimming with wildlife. We saw lots of squirrels and birds in the trees and heard many more. It was the first time I'd taken Squish there and she loved it. It has a lovely pond with ducks, herons, swans and moorhens. There's also lots of baby animals around and we spent ages feeding them. Squish also helped herself to some stale bread.
The playground is lovely with lots of things for kids of all ages. Typically squish wanted to scale the biggest and highest of them all. My dad recalled there being a springy chicken (that you could ride on) in the park many years ago and was sad to hear that it wasn't there any more. See, this place conjures up many memories for all of my family. Squish made lots of friends in the park, like she always does and we spent a good long while there.
After playing in the park we took a walk around the wooded areas and stalked a few squirrels, fed some birds, sneaked through trees and down winding footpaths. It was so lovely to have a mummy/daughter day that didn't have any crying or tantrums. My girl is definitely an outdoors kid and really relishes in the fresh air and open spaces, which is why I knew she'd love it there. I was so so proud of her that day because I always feel a sense of achievement when she's happy all day and I don't have to raise my voice or tell her off. She's not a bad kid in any sense but the terrible twos have arrived with stroppy-ness, tantrums, winging and crying. Oh and the outright annoying ignorance and defiance!
Because she was so wonderful, we stopped off at the lovely cafe in the grounds and had a pot of lovely local made Sidoli's ice-cream. She especially loved that there was a little spoon hidden in the lid - oh, and that there was chocolate on top!
If you're ever visiting Newport or even just driving through, Tredegar house is just off the M4 motorway and well worth the visit. We will be going back again and again.