We went over to Formby Point last Saturday. It was a bright, sunny autumn day, we had no plans and I just felt like we all needed to get outdoors and make the most of it. Formby, on the coast just north of Liverpool, was always a favourite place of Roger’s, mainly because of the beautiful woods – which are a red squirrel reserve – and the dune-filled beaches at the other side. We went a few times before we had children, but the last time was probably when Sam was about three and Flo was but a mere twinkle in her daddy’s eye.
We arrived mid-morning and made the most of walking through the woods, throwing nuts for the squirrels and climbing up and down the hills and through the trees. Despite Sam’s questions on the way of ‘does it have a gift shop?’ he really loved it, and kept saying what a great place it was and how he liked the woods. Florence was just as keen, she loves keeping up with her brother and they both were really pleased to spot so many squirrels. I had promised them earlier that we would see red squirrels – to which Flo replied she’d quite like to see a pink one!
It was a good a time as any for a Me and Mine family portrait – I had to ask someone to take it for me so there wasn’t an ideal shot but they are natural, as ever, and with the gorgeous backdrop I really wanted to use them. I also thought taking the photos while they were reasonably still with ice lollies was a good tactic, although it probably distracted them from actually looking at the camera.
I’ve just looked back at our portrait for August, and I can’t really believe a month has passed since then. September has brought a bit of relief in that we’re back in the school routine, I have had a bit of time to myself and I feel I have managed that bit of breathing space I was craving at the end of last month.
I’ve also had a brilliant night away with friends in London at the Mad Blog Awards, been on my first spa day, and brought my bike out of retirement for a few rides with Florence on the back. Sam has also become more confident on his bike, and so we’ve managed our first ever outing as a family all on bikes, which feels like a big and pretty liberating achievement.
There have been highs but there have also been real lows, and I’m starting to realise that that’s probably how it will be for quite some time. People who have experienced grief have told me that these low moments will become fewer and easier to cope with, but there’s no doubt they will keep coming – and usually at the most inconvenient of times.
As we go into October and the nights draw in we will be looking forward to Halloween (my son’s favourite day of the entire year) and the meet-ups we have pencilled in with close friends and family. I’ve just gone back to work, so that’s another step back to a ‘normal’ routine, and a hurdle which I was dreading but in fact wasn’t at all that bad.
I feel like the change of seasons means moving a step away from what’s happened, and a step further away from the time I had when my husband was alive. It’s like forced change and I’m not sure I like it, but seeing as there’s not much I can do about it I may as well just keep trying to get through each day like I have been doing these past few months.
This post is linked up with the Me and Mine project – hosted by Dear Beautiful, Bump to Baby, Capture By Lucy, Let’s Talk Mommy, Mummy Daddy Me and Tigerlilly Quinn – where you take a photograph a month of your family all together.