Monday, 13 June 2016

Our favourite haunt

Thank you for your comments on mt last post. I'll share more pictures, perhaps at the end of the month, but for now: something a bit closer to home. Around 440 miles closer.

The summer holidays will be here soon. Cue a mild panic about how to entertain Joe every day for six weeks. Crossing fingers for good weather, feeling grateful that we have the school garden to take care of with its play area and nice secure fences.

Joe's currently at preschool for 15 hours a week. It's divided into two days of 9am until 3pm, and a Monday morning. The rest of the time we're together.

We have regular activities: Monday afternoon playgroup at the village school, Tuesday morning get-togethers with my friends and their little ones. I like routine and often I feel a bit like a P.A. to a three-year-old, running his diary and organising his social schedule.

We do the local cafe on a Wednesday after preschool, the library on a Thursday. But some of the best times are when we just have a slow morning, a bit of time in the garden, a walk through the fields.

Somewhere we visit a lot: the little churchyard across the road. It's safe for him to run about and it's a very pretty place. Telling people I like to hang out with my preschooler in a graveyard sounds a bit odd, hence my use of the word 'churchyard'.

We invariably go in through the lych gate and Joe immediately runs off ahead to collect dandelions and daisies (the latter for chain-making). I take photographs and admire the carefully-tended flower beds around the church.

There are lots of wildflowers; right now we have buttercups and vetch, cuckoo flowers and sorrel. I sometimes collect a few to take home for printmaking.

We sit on the bench (Joe has a favourite. He's very into order and exactness at the moment) and talk and I sneak cuddles from him.

Last week we took paper and crayons for making rubbings. He opted to draw spaceships instead.

On the way home we stop off at the farm to buy eggs and get a lolly (yellow) from the sweetie jar. And that always means scrambled eggs with ketchup for tea.

I do love a good churchyard. I often seek them out if we visit somewhere new. They're perhaps even better savoured alone. I like reading the headstones and their inscriptions. Some are sad, like war graves or those belonging to children. And those long-forgotten resting places, covered in lichen and moss. I like the peace and quiet, the trees and and birdsong and the overgrown corners.

With a little one they're somewhere to explore, to share stories. 


  1. I understand what you mean though it can sound a little strange! I agree,churchyards can be beautiful places, quiet and peaceful and often semi wild - a lovely place to hang out :)

  2. They are fascinating places aren't they. Often so many lovely plants and flowers especially around the edges and also so much history. I can see why you like it!

  3. What a lovely spot, the flowers are gorgeous at this time of year aren't they. I feel exactly the same about churchyards, they are often very beautiful places, and of course so very peaceful. We spent ages in one recently watching a woodpecker nest. I really like the yew trees that are often there as well. And like you I read the gravestones and wonder about those who have gone before. Lovely photos, especially the one of Joe on the bench. CJ xx

  4. I grew up visiting grave yards with my mother. She was always taking flowers and cleaning. Then when I grew up I realized that here is history and a wonderful way of obtaining information about our families and the families of others. There is a peacefulness there that takes away the stress of the day at least for a short time.

  5. I share your love of graveyards and nearly always walk up to the one in Great Missenden when I'm teaching there. I'll miss going.

  6. What did our grandmothers do with children around during the summer? They didn't try to keep them entertained, but what then? Maybe even a 21st century child can be told after breakfast: now go and play with... whatever, Mummy has to work for a while. We fear our children's tantrums, but we really shouldn't. Not even in public. I know, I know, gone through it all. Teaming up with another parent and taking turns minding two kids might work...


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