My Sunday Photo #17

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Strawberries and bubbles!  Our new picnic set got another outing today as we went to Paultons Park (aka Peppa Pig World although there is so much more here).  We love Paultons Park, it is set in beautiful grounds and is such a family friendly theme park with so much to do.  Its been a day of thrills and splashes for us all.  Our favourite area is the Lost Kingdom with Velociraptor and Flight of the Pterosaur as our top picks although I can never resist the log flume.  Its been a stunning day and we’re home tired but very happy.

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The summer football came home

 

world cup

I love a World cup summer and I will watch every game I can.  I’ve always been a big football fan and until our move to the seaside I was a season ticket holder at Bristol City.  I’m not a huge premier league fan, that’s a whole different game, I’ve always followed lower league teams as the football community here feels a bit different and real.

My expectations for Russia 2018 were pretty low, I thought that given the reputation of some Russian ultra fans and recent problems that hooliganism would be rife.  There has been no hint of such violence and I’ve also enjoyed exploring Russia through the different venues, the hard, grey cities I imagined have been replaced by venues such as Samara which looked a lovely seaside city.

This has been the first World cup in which Little Man has been really interested in, he has collected his Panini cards, adorned his bedroom wall with posters, worn his England top and been able to talk about the teams and games with confidence.  His enthusiasm has been infectious, from day 1 he believed in the England team.  He had none of the cynicism and weariness of the adults and it was refreshing to see the game I love through such innocent eyes.  Little Man taught me about the players as he knew all the facts like names, clubs, age etc.  These players are his new heroes.  It was also the first World cup when Little Man got to go to a bar to see the game on a big screen and the fun of all the oohs, argghs and cheers, he loved it.  I also liked that we were at Grandad’s for the Panama game and all the goals and my parents watched the semi final with us too, football is about community and sharing the experience.  Whilst my daughter has watched the football too,  she has definitely preferred the social aspect of meeting up with friends.  She doesn’t dislike football, she simply prefers to play.

Sad as I am to admit it, I knew very little about the England team before they left, a team of young, internationally inexperienced players. I was hoping they would  progress through the group stages, gain some experience in a big tournament and be ready to really compete at Euro 2020.  Generally I think lots held similar thoughts, for once the media hadn’t hyped up the team and I think that’s why what happened seems rather magical, the England team just quietly and diligently worked hard on playing football.  As the results came in, the feeling of excitement blossomed, here was something new, a team of youth, with grace, talent and skill unburdened by expectations.  We also grew to love the quiet humility, determination and hard work of our manager, Gareth Southgate, an unexpected appointment which now seems genius.  It was a lovely feeling to experience and I’m so pleased that Little Man got to experience such a positive World cup by England as his first real tournament.

The World cup comes to a close this weekend and its been brilliant, new teams have emerged, the old footballing contenders were knocked out early, VAR has caused some controversy in the early games and the country has united behind our team again.  Its been a memorable tournament and I’m so proud that although we may not have brought the World cup home (but came so close) the England team have brought football home in reigniting our love for the beautiful game.

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My Sunday Photo #16

Little Man has loved the World Cup this summer, he has the posters of the England team on his wall, he’s diligently filled in his wall chart with Daddy, has a few footballer figures and has not only collected but studied hard the cards in this Panini collection pictured above. Little Man now recognises so many international footballers and can tell you lots about them all, especially England. In the run up and now throughout the World cup, Little Man has always had the upmost belief and confidence in England, they are his heroes and he loves watching them play. I really hope England give him the fairy tale ending to the World Cup he has always believed in. Whatever the result this England team will always be very special to him and to us all.

My Sunday Photo #15

A little bit of a cheat today as it’s a photo of a gorgeous postcard from Paperchase that we have displayed in our kitchen. We are in the midst of a heatwave and one of the best summers I can remember. Everyday could be a beach day if it wasn’t for pesky work and school commitments! We look out to the bay from our house and on ordinary days I walk along the prom most days whilst on errands, it’s the centre of our town and simply part of our geography.

In this perfect weather the most repeated phrase at the breakfast table is can we go to the beach today? We went after school on Wednesday as it’s our only club free night and we have been down this weekend. Little Miss also went with the Brownies as lots of the children’s clubs base themselves on the beach in the summer and the children have been known to have lessons on the beach too. They will never realise how lucky they are to have the beach as their playground.

The beach is one of our family’s happy places, our beach has soft, white sand and the sea is clear and at present unseasonably warm, I’ve definitely been sea swimming more this year and that’s in a swimsuit not a wetsuit! Thanks to this fantastic weather, we all have a healthy glow, extra freckles and sea salty skin from a summer spent on the beach. Beach please? Yes please x