October half term is a real favourite – nature is changing day by day, it’s a joy to embrace the dark nights, and being outside amongst so much colour feels not only a privilege, but healing too. We toyed briefly with the idea of going away for half term, but we are trying so hard to be careful with money, plus we didn’t want to miss the excitement surrounding Halloween and Bonfire Night. I think half term broke my ‘loads of washing per week’ record by about seven – the wet, the mud, the smoke and the dirt. We found them, and they found us! It was so nice to explore our local area and visit some of our favourite spots.
We started the holidays with a Halloween party at our house with friends, which ended up being quite a bash. I always forget that when little people get together they want to just play and run around. Crazy, but I loved it at the same time. On Saturday we headed to William’s Den for their pumpkin event and got so muddy – incredibly muddy in fact. We must have chosen the coldest and wettest day of the year to go, but we had such a fantastic time. Wellies were an absolute must, pumpkins were included in the entrance fee (such a bonus) and the boys had a great time carving their pumpkins and playing indoors with the sand.
One of our favourite places to go is Nostell Priory – our local National Trust hang out. Shamefully, I have only been inside the house once (!), as we tend to stick to the park, the woods and walking around the lake. We also loved visiting Artspace inside Leeds Art Gallery, where we spent much longer than I anticipated. A new discovery was Leeds Industrial Museum which we all loved and had some brilliant crafts going on. Later in the week we enjoyed a two night stay in a yurt close to Ripon and we loved visiting Aysgarth Falls in the Yorkshire Dales. At home, I love everyone in their own beds, but if we are camping or away, I love sleeping altogether. In the yurt, Jared and I lit the fire, got into bed early, read all night and I felt like a hen with all my chicks in a cosy nest.
Taking all four boys out by myself feels so much more manageable since Jasper got teeth and can happily munch on snacks, and since toilet accidents are not a constant worry with Otto. Winston and Rufus are a joy to take out for the day – persuading them to leave the house is the hard part!
Many thanks to the lovely people at William’s Den and Leeds Industrial Museum for inviting us free of charge. All thoughts and feelings are my own.