Monthly Archives

February 2015

Elma Family Kitty Photography Pip The 52 Project

9/52 {The 52 Project}


A portrait of each of my children once every week for 2015.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life      

Kitty: Spinning around and around and around until I felt dizzy just watching you.  I was sure you’d look just as tispy as your sister when she climbed out but you were off as soon as your feet hit the ground, running to the swings, and then the climbing frame and the other spinny things and everything you could possibly squeeze into 20 minutes at the playpark.

(Nikon D80, 35mm 1.8 lens – 1/160, f/5.0, ISO 320)

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

Elma: Continuing on a very watery theme from last week! This is the pirate ship in the playground at Bekonscot, you peeped out of the window to say hi, all bedraggled hair and beaming smile.

(iPhone auto settings – 1/40, f/2.2, ISO 32)

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

Pip:  I so rarely see you in the buggy; I’m usually carrying you, and if you are in the chariot you’re usually facing away from me so that we can fit both seats on.  It was lovely to have you facing me while your sisters ran around us and you made such funny faces as you tried to wiggle out of your hat again.

(Nikon D80, 35mm 1.8 lens – 1/250, f/2.8, ISO 320)



Elma Family Kitty Me and Mine Photography Pip

Me and Mine 2015: February


This has been the month of growth spurts; at least as far as Kitty, Elma and Pip are concerned. Both Kitty and Elma seem to have shot up recently, Kit especially, when I pick her up from nursery I can see how much bigger she is than her friends, and we need to do another round of sorting out her drawers soon as a whole heap of clothes seem to have shrunk again. Meanwhile I see Elma wearing the clothes Kitty wore when she became a big sister and I wonder whether she’s going to stay the littlest of my three or overtake the lot of us.  And Pip, well Pip is still growing at a rate of knots. We think he might have picked up my genetics for long legs and H’s genetics for a long back.  He’s filling his 12-18 month babygros in the legs even though we still have to roll up the sleeves as his arms haven’t quite caught up.

It’s also been the month of adventures; Kitty, Elma, Pip and I went down to Charlecote on a very very wet morning, and continuing the theme of very very wet adventures we met up with my sister and nephew to explore Bekonscot while H got up at half three in the morning to drive to London to take the Eurostar to Paris for a day in and around the Musee d’Orsay (his Christmas present from me).  

As Elma gets bigger and starts to build up her stamina for walking decent distances it’s meant that I can take all three of them to places where the buggy might not always be the most practical option and I love that we’re not just confined to our local play park when we want to go for a walk.  When we went to Charlecote Elma was on her feet for three hours while we pottered around with only the occasional sit down and we could go into the old kitchen and watch the volunteers light the range, and run in and out of the stables to compare and contrast all the different sorts of Cinderella coaches.

And of course we’ve been out as a family of five, usually to some sort of playpark, although we’ll try to fit in a trip to visit the ducks and a bit of a walk before H and I sign ourselves up to push swings until it feels like our arms are coming out of their sockets.

So this month we’re back in our favourite park, down by the river watching the swans and the geese in the river and wallowing in a smidgen of late afternoon sunshine.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

orI’m clearly still working on getting everyone to look at the camera at the same time 


Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

or even look vaguely happy about the photos

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

but I keep telling myself month after month that it will improve.  I think we did a bit better this month because I didn’t bother to take my tripod to the park and balanced the camera very precariously on the hood of the buggy, much to the amusement of all the passers by.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

You would not believe how much I’ve had to straighten these photos in Lightroom to make them even vaguely near the horizontal.  

I think that might be my second favourite pictures yet of us as a five.  The first place is held by those August pictures, Pip’s first Me and Mine at 4 days old is a pretty special set of shops and it would take a lot to top that, but I love that in these pictures for the first time you really get to see Pip, not just a tiny scrap of hair peeking out of a sling, and a fair amount of his personality too (that would be his impressive ability to remove his hat on all occasions).


My little family, in February:

 Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

dear beautiful

Elma Family {this moment}

{this moment}


Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

Joining in with {this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single of photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, seek special, click extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savour and remember.

To see more, check out the comments to Soulemama

Elma Family Kitty Motherhood Pause for Thought Pip

On a little bending of the truth


I think it has been well documented on these pages that either my general knowledge about geography is atrocious or I haven’t always been completely honest with my daughters when it comes to the location of a number of large mountains.  Now while the former is true, and I did quite genuinely once describe Antwerp as “a Finnish sort of place” in a game of Articulate (yes, I now know it’s in Belgium, and yes, I’ve never lived it down), I do know that Snowdon and Broadway in the Cotswolds are different places, as is Kilimanjaro in Africa and the big hill in the park in Leamington.  What the girls think is another matter.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

And I’m sorry to say the fibbing doesn’t stop there either; in our bathroom is a small square plate of glass that shows you some numbers if you stand on it – Kitty thinks it measures your shoe size and I’ve done nothing to disabuse her of that fact.

By the time you get on to Father Christmas you begin to wonder whether we’ve ever told a truth in our lives, and that’s before we’ve even met the tooth fairy or allowed any mention of the Easter bunny to get into the picture.

H and I prize honesty in our children as one of the fundamental character traits that we want to instill in them.  We’ve always asked them to tell us the truth first, and that we’ll never be cross if they do, even if it sometimes takes a big deep breath and a moment to collect myself so that I don’t go with the immediate reaction of utter vexation that there are now great big rainbow stripes of crayon across the lounge carpet (not that that’s what someone was up to this afternoon while I was sat just out of sight nursing their brother – I knew they were being too quiet). So if that’s the case I wonder whether we should be quite so comfortable with all this bending of the truth and invention.

There are some things where we do stick to the facts; on Christmas Eve we all knew we were stood in the middle of the playing fields watching the ISS zoom over head, and not just because to Kitty that’s far more exciting than Santa, and when she asked how baby Pip was going to get out of my tummy at the hospital I gave her a simplified but still accurate answer (though thank goodness she wasn’t very curious about how Pip got in there in the first place).

I know that it sounds a bit hypocritical on paper but when I think about it I’m actually quite happy being a little creative with the truth from time to time.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

It doesn’t bother me in the slightest that Kitty doesn’t know that we have scales; the longer I can protect her from the side effects of the media’s obsession with every woman’s body size and shape the better, I want her to have confidence in herself first and foremost and to know that she is so much more than a number on a scale or the dress size on the label, and the same goes for Elma and Pip.

And as for those ‘mountains’; well I saw their faces as we reached the summit of both peaks, I saw how happy our make believe had made them, and I wouldn’t swap that for any precocious knowledge of English, Welsh or Tanzanian geography.

Childhood is a time when anything is possible; a time when mystery and the magical can quite happily run alongside the mundane and ordinary, and that’s something I want to protect and encourage, because I know that it will wear off by the time they hit double figures.  They have their whole lives ahead of them to know that Snowden is in Wales and learn all sorts of detailed facts about East Africa, and perhaps when they’re learning all these important facts they might just remember with a smile the time that we imagined a mountain and climbed it before elevenses

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

But I’m curious, where do you draw the line between make believe and being overly creative with the truth?.