my pretty princess - gorgeous bathroom goodies at ragdale hall - farmer forrest
a new chair for his lordship - a treat for mama - real life
visiting forrest's equine pals - sand in shoes, good day at nursery - drying my slippers in the aga
follow me on instagram - madeupoflittlethings
There's been a lot of stuff going on in real life since I last posted and it's been keeping me really busy, as usual.
I have a lot to be thankful for at the minute. Forrest was involved in a car accident with his grandma last month and whilst neither of them were hurt, it was an extremely close thing and could have had a very different outcome. So we've been holding on tight to our little boy ever since, thanking our lucky stars that he's still here, that he's ok and thankfully young enough that he is unlikely to remember anything about it in years to come. He certainly wasn't afraid to get back in a car - I took him out three times the next day to be sure!
I escaped to Ragdale Hall for a couple of days with my sister and let me tell you, it was bloody marvellous! I can't believe I haven't been before but I'd always dismissed it as too far away, too expensive, too extravagant a treat. Take it from me, my eyes have been well and truly opened and I plan to return at least once before the year is out. It really is the last word in luxury relaxation and the customer experience - something which is high on my agenda and can make or break a trip for me - is peerless. From the minute we arrived and my car was parked for me, our bags taken to our room and welcome drinks appeared as if by magic, the tone was set for an incredible stay. We ate (masses of) very good food, drank (a little too much) very good wine and spent our time being pampered, reading and just enjoying each others company. Ragdale Hall is such a big place and there are so many different parts to explore that we have agreed to stay for longer next time. I can't even pick a favourite part. I loved the fact that there were dedicated 'silent rooms', where no noise was allowed at all, it really allows you to enjoy the peace. The Candle Pool, The Retreat and the Thought Zone were all firm favourites and our room was really luxurious - topped off by breakfast brought to us in bed but which we actually ate at a little table by our Juliet balcony whilst gazing out at the pagoda below and the beautiful Leicestershire countryside beyond. I can't wait to go back, in fact I've already booked my next trip!*
Matt took a couple of days off work to look after Forrest while I was away and they had a fabulous time together. Forrest rode shotgun in the van - guaranteed to make him happy - while Matt ran his errands, going to the builders merchants, the quarry and even to work for an hour or two. He 'helped' around the yard and rode on the digger. He even managed to fit in his first haircut!
The week after my Ragdale trip was my Mum's birthday so I headed off to Lake Windermere with my Dad and sister for our usual get together. We had breakfast at our usual place and sanded and oiled her memorial bench before spending a couple of hours at the lake, eating chocolate dipped ice creams and holding our faces up to the sunshine. Our twice-yearly trips are always in May and November and nine times out of ten it is cold and rainy so it was a real treat to get a good weather day. It made us want to stay as long as possible and really savour the peace of the place while sharing memories and pondering how life would be if Mum was still here. Something I often wonder about but never more than when I'm sitting at the lake with my dad and sister, cocooned in our little web of shared understanding, loss and memory. The ritual of visiting her favourite place, the place where she requested we scatter her ashes, is such a comfort to me and one I hope we never stop.
Next weekend Matt will be heading off to the Isle Of Man for his annual TT trip, once again, I will be at home with Forrest. I don't mind - I'd love to go but I feel Forrest is still too young. There's a lot of hanging about - long days spent at the track away from home comforts, which is fine for me and Matt but not so easy for an 18 month old baby. Forrest will only nap in his cot, NEVER in his pushchair and dragging a bored, sleep-deprived toddler around with all his kit just doesn't appeal. We wouldn't be able to get as close to the track as we'd like with the pushchair, we'd need to get ear defenders for Forrest, which I doubt he'd be impressed by .... all in all I just don't feel it's worth it. So we will be home alone for a few days, which I'm quite excited about! My sister and nephew will be joining us for a movie and pizza night and I'm hoping to fit in some writing and pottering too.
Work on the Great Neverending House Project struggles on, I say struggles because it really is a struggle. My time is so short since Forrest came along and there's so much to pack into the times when he is asleep that I can barely keeping the house looking respectable, let alone do any decorating. I seem to be perpetually a dozen jobs behind on my To Do list and so tired that the mammoth task seems more enormous than ever. Matt has been busy working outside, creating a paved patio area outside the kitchen French doors, which will one day hold a table and chairs and perhaps a barbecue or pizza over and maybe a fire pit. Next on the agenda is the drive - preparations are starting tomorrow. It all needs doing and it's great that the outside is coming together but it's obviously at the expense of the inside, which has stalled somewhat. We're so close to being able to move into our bedroom - it just needs painting and carpeting now - but Matt has no time to do it and I am still suffering from my last attempt at painting (thank you SPD) I'm going to bite the bullet and get someone in to do it. There, that's a step in the right direction isn't it??
Have you anything exciting planned for this weekend?
*This is not a sponsored post, I just really enjoyed Ragdale Hall!