Good days, outings and autumn sunshine

Flo with pink flowers at Newby Halll

Flo with pink flowers at Newby Halll

Lately I’ve been feeling a bit like I’m on a rollercoaster. Or rather, that I’m still on the rollercoaster I got on a few years ago and this is just another ride of twists and turns in this crazy life.

We’re nearly halfway through September and already I’ve ticked off a few things on my big autumn to-do list and started to feel the benefits of having my eldest back at school. Those being a bit more breathing space, a bit more routine, and a bit more time for me. There still isn’t much of that at all, but I’ll take what there is! We’re into the second week of term now and he still never seems tired – despite going swimming as well yesterday he was still awake at 10.30 and up and at ’em just before seven.

I still need to work out pre-school arrangements for Florence, but as soon as that’s sorted I’m hoping we can really start feeling like we are settling in here.

Sam seems really happy at school, he has made a few friends and it feels like the right environment for him. Although getting a school place was a pretty nerve-wracking experience as we only found out where he would be going three days before we moved, the school he was allocated is a good one and I think the best option for him.

Flowers at Newby Hall

Flo with a chicken at Hesketh Farm

We’ve had more time for days out lately too, as I’ve been trying to make up for the days when we’ve been stuck in the house unpacking or waiting in for deliveries by taking the kids out to new, fun places.

Although I grew up here in Yorkshire, I moved away when I went to university at 18 and don’t feel like I know the area around here that well. I mean I’ve always visited often, but never really for long enough to go on day trips out during my stay.

It’s making it more of an adventure for me to explore places with Sam and Flo, and find out where our favourite places are near our new home.

In the past few weeks we’ve been on a few trips out to Newby Hall, near Ripon, Hesketh Farm in Bolton Abbey and Eureka! museum in Halifax.

We last went to Eureka! At Christmas when we drive over from the Wirral for a bloggers’ party day, meeting Father Christmas and seeing a kids’ science show. It’s an interactive museum geared up for little ones, with everything set up for exploration and fun learning.

Hesketh Farm Sam

Swing at Newby Hall

Guinea Pig

Sam and Flo both really loved it, and Sam especially has been asking to go back ever since. He was keen on going to the ‘All about me’ section, which is all about how our bodies work and includes pretend X-Ray machines, giant teeth to brush his favourite thing, a talking robot.

Eureka! Is less than an hour’s drive away for us so I know we will be back again soon.

Hesketh Farm is somewhere we have visited before and Sam and Flo have been with my parents quite a bit too. Set in Bolton Abbey, with breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside, it is a gorgeous petting farm where you can hold guinea pigs, feed calves, brush pigs and collect eggs from the henhouse. There is a huge play area outside and a smaller one inside, to cater for the Yorkshire weather.

We drove out to Newby Hall last weekend to meet up with some friends and loved it, despite it being a bit rainy towards the end of the day. It’s a house and gardens, again with a really good outdoor play area, miniature railway and mini pedalo lake. I say pedalo, but we used our hands to paddle the little boats around an island, Sam on his own and Flo and I together, along with my friend Bridget and her little girl Sylvie. They both beat Flo and I by a mile!

While we might be starting to familiarise ourselves with family days out in the area, I am also itching to try some of the cool bars and restaurants in Leeds that I walk past on my way to work each day. My friend Sally has just bought me a cool little book called ‘Independent Leeds’, so as soon as I can get out with my camera I’ll be posting about some of the places I’ve tried out from there.

Does anyone have any recommendations for me?

x Julia

Sam at Eureka!

Robot Eureka!

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  • Reply
    September 14, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    It sounds like you are settling in. I’m glad you found a good school for Sam, I remember when we moved here all the schools were full. It was mid September when I got a call that one of the local schools could take all of my three, thank goodness for that or they would have all been in different schools and school runs would have been a nightmare. I’ve heard of Eureka before, I’d love to visit.
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  • Reply
    September 14, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    Hesketh farm is our “local” and I just love the views there so much. You might like Thornton Hall farm too and Billy Bobs parlour. We haven’t been to the latter but I always hear good things about it! Glad to hear Sam has settled in well, hope things are looking a bit easier on your rollercoaster xx
    Notmyyearoff recently posted…Zouk Tea bar and Grill Cookery SchoolMy Profile

  • Reply
    Mini Travellers
    September 15, 2016 at 6:48 am

    Sounds like you are settling in really well lovely, and I also LOVE Euerka xxx
    Mini Travellers recently posted…Chicago at Liverpool Empire was Simply PerfectMy Profile

  • Reply
    September 16, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    It sounds like are settling in well and making the very most of it. Get stuck in girl!
    RachelSwirl recently posted…It’s Official, Our Extension Has Begun!My Profile

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