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31/03/2014

Elma Family Kitty Living Arrows Photography

Living Arrows 13/52

31/03/2014

 

 

 

This was an adventure for the sake of adventuring.  When we decided to climb Broadway Tower in place of Snowda-on-Cotswold I hadn’t set out to take our Me and Mine photo (and if we’re being totally accurate I didn’t actually take them) but my Living Arrows photos seem to come as second nature; they’re exactly my style of photos; a record of my girls though this and every other year.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

As it turns out, once you’ve been to the top of Broadway Tower, it doesn’t feel quite so insanely windy and cold when you get back down to the bottom again – although Elma, tucked up in the sling on my back, didn’t seem phased by anything, even her hat trying yet again to keep her cheeks warm!

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

And with Kitty restored to her usual smiley self, we went for a walk along the top of the ridge to say high to the sheep, and to enjoy being out in such a beautiful corner of the world.  We found plenty of sheep hiding down in a little valley, and very sensible they were too; suddenly once you were out of the wind the sunshine was pure bliss, and Kitty found her stride, heading up to the top of the hill to see “a million miles away”, chattering away all the time.

 

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

But after a while even our intrepid explorer had had enough that she felt a little lunch might be in order and so we turned to head back, encouraged by the sight of a big black cloud whooshing in from Cleeve Hill and scattering what looked horribly like hail stones across the valley floor.

And there waiting for us on the other side of the tower was an extra special treat.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

 

 

 

 

 

A herd of deer, coaxed out of whatever cosy spot they’d found to weather the afternoon by their lunchtime feeding.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

 

 

They were just beautiful, and despite that rapidly approaching rain you can see in the background we still lingered to watch them until a dog in the field below sent them scurrying for cover.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

I think that sometimes because we don’t have coastline or big mountains on our doorstep we forget the beauty in what is there; and I think we’ve all got plans to go back on a slightly warmer more picnic friendly day.  But for all that, I don’t think we’ll forget the day we climbed Snowda-on-Cotswold!
living arrows

 

Elma Family Kitty Me and Mine Photography

Me and Mine – a family portrait for March

31/03/2014

It all started with Snowdon.  The real mountain-in-Wales sort of Snowdon.  In one of those conversations that you can only really have with a three year old where you can’t quite remember how you got there over a sleepy Friday night supper Kitty decided that she wanted to climb Snowdon.  Now.

We explained about the dark, and the night, and showed her on a map that it really isn’t that close to our house and after a little persuasion she consented to go to bed instead.  But the thought had rather lodged in her mind because it was the first thing she asked for in the morning.  And on Sunday morning.  Well Saturday had had ballet class and H’s hockey and all sorts of bits and bobs that needed to be done but Sunday? Sunday was free.

“Please Daddy, can we go to Snowda? Now!”

A little parental consultation ruled out the real thing, but what about seeing if we could find a Snowdon-on-Cotswold?  Or Broadway as it’s more commonly known to cartographers and the sat-nav.  It’s got a decent hill, and a folly on the top to boot?  So I’m unashamed to admit that we loaded our little girls, all the wellies and waterproofs and the wooly hats into the back of the car, and drove south, promising Kitty all the way that she was going to climb “Snowda”.  You may deduct points for parental fibbing.

Kitty herself was rather impressed with the hill as we wound our way up the side, although she proved to have been paying far too much attention to the pictures of the real Snowdon when she kept asking when we were going to see the train.  Ooops.  But then she saw the “princess castle” and all was forgiven.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

In fairness to Broadway and it’s tower, it was doing the best it could to live up to the mountain theme.  For starters it was bitterly cold despite patches of glorious sunshine, and a fierce wind blew squalls across the plains below and up to meet us on the hill, and then as we headed out of the car park, having wrapped the children in every piece of clothing we’d brought with us (and yes Kitty is wearing her winter coat with a padded gilet on top – as is H!) the heavens opened and it actually properly genuinely snowed.  In Gloucestershire.  In March.  It was all very convincing.

We took refuge in the Tower; a beautiful folly occupied if former (though probably no warmer) times by William Morris (he of the Arts and Crafts movement and the beautiful fabric patterns reproduced to make the bedspread and curtains I remember from my parents’ room when I was little) and the Royal Observer Corps.  But more exciting than allof that, if you climb the spiral staircases, up up and yet still up, you come out onto the top of the Tower, and there before you is the most gorgeous view; a wide plain sweeping away to the Malvern Hills and in the distance peeking in and out of the hailstorms were the tips of the Black Mountains and a little bit of genuine Wales.Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

It was stunning, and windy, and as Kitty would put it, “freezeling” and after a quick run around she decided that she’d probably had enough.  But we lingered, drinking in all that big sky and wide open spaces, and as we did, up climbed another pair of intrepid explorers.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

And so in the spirit of ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’ I took a deep breath, set up the camera, and asked whether they would mind taking a picture of us all together.  So for this month’s family portrait, for the first time, we have pictures that I didn’t take, pictures that aren’t a small handful chosen from oodles of clicks of the remote trigger.

 

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

Elma appears to be being consumed by her hat (and my hood) and our little Michelin-Kitty is less than impressed by even more time spent on top of this cold windy place but I really don’t care.  They are the pictures that sum up a day well spent, a day making magic, for us, even if not permanent memories for the girls, a day in which we took our little girl’s wish and made it as much of a reality as we could.  They’re what I think I might christen ‘imperfectly perfect’; they’re never going to win prizes for technical excellence, but they carry our memories and I wouldn’t wish for anything more.

My little family – in March

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

 

 

dear beautiful