Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Now We Are Four...

It's been a real whirlwind of activity around here of late. Joe turned four on the August bank holiday Monday.

We celebrated it by taking him on the Worth Valley Railway, starting at Oxenhope. It's just over the border in Yorkshire (and a lovely drive too). 

We got there nice and early and the weather was perfect: warm and sunny. Joe was excited to go on the train and, of course, eager to get stuck into the sandwiches way before lunchtime.

I've never actually been there before; it's a similar set-up to our local touristy line. Except perhaps prettier in places. And you can explore the station where The Railway Children was filmed, with all its Edwardian props and details.

Buying a day ticket meant we were free to hop on and off as we pleased. So a stop in Haworth was called for, where the birthday boy had a play in the park.

We also wandered up the main street. Joe chose some gummy bears from the sweet shop and we walked through the church yard to the Bronte Parsonage.

I somehow managed to take some people-free photos. Sunshine + bank holiday + Haworth = many, many tourists and visitors. By the time we got back to the station it was packed.

I don't like crowds very much. 

But we had a great time (even if Joe refused to ride on the open-topped vintage bus). Packed lunches, steam trains and treats. And a barbecue in the back garden at tea time.

The celebrations lasted all week: pizza with one set of grandparents, lunch in the cafe with his Nana, another family birthday barbecue in Manchester...

And on Sunday a little get-together outside with his friends. We set up the gazebo and a treasure hunt in the back field, picked up some straw bales to sit on and served up hot dogs and birthday cake.

Some of the mums may have indulged in a glass or two of prosecco too.

Of course, after the party we had to dispose of the straw. So we took it up to the local animal sanctuary. Joe loved the idea of Wallace, his favourite goat, being nice and warm at night thanks to us.

A birthday well-celebrated then.

And now he's at school. The summer went by in a blur and all of a sudden there he was yesterday morning, his new trousers that bit too long, book bag in hand, all ready to go.

We've made a point of telling him how exciting school will be. So he was keen to get going. And I didn't get upset either. Perhaps it's because the school's literally yards from the house. Maybe it helps that he's only doing mornings this week and afternoons next week; that by lunchtime yesterday he was back in his playing-out clothes with lots of stories to tell and Lego scattered all over the floor again.

Who knows, I could suddenly start feeling melancholy and anxious and tearful. But right now I'm OK. And more importantly, that little boy of mine is taking it all in his stride. And that makes me happy.

P.S. Apologies for the small pictures. I've been playing around and resizing but for some reason can't make them any bigger in Blogger today. So I thought I'd just go ahead and post anyway, rather than spend any more (precious) time tinkering and getting more and more annoyed...

Three cheers for Blogger. Not.


  1. Happy birthday to Joe. What a lot of lovely celebrations. I wasn't too upset when BigR went to school she was excited and happy to go and it was only afternoons for a couple of weeks. I like to think about the exciting new things to come. It's so lovely now she'll sit and read a book to her sister. Maybe I'll feel a bit differently when it's LittleR's turn next Sept. Although I'm fantasising about what I'll do with my all free time! :) xx

  2. What a perfect 4th Birthday! Happy Birthday to Joe. x

  3. What perfect birthday celebrations and so glad he is settled at school :)

  4. Dear little boy, I'm glad he had a good birthday. My littlest boy, who's 8 now, and I walked along the road to school this morning behind a little chap in his big new trousers on his way to his first day at school. We smiled and I sighed a bit. I hope Joe has many happy adventures at his new school. CJ xx

  5. Thanks to your good post, I am celebrating Joe's happy 4th birthday, as well. [Bravo for not letting baulky Blogger thwart your publishing!] xx

  6. Happy birthday Joe, what a lovely day. And well done you for making his transition to school an easy one.

  7. Happy Birthday Joe!! A great way to celebrate being four and to start school too! xx p.s. photos looked fine to me! xx

  8. happy birthday Joe. enjoy the time he is at school, it goes so fast, and soon those too big trousers will be too small!

  9. "Daddy, my Daddy" - makes me cry every time! What a lovely day you had....

  10. your pictures fit nicely on my laptop screen.
    I MUCH prefer that to scrolling.

  11. Happy birthday Joe! It's been a privilege watching you grow up here.
    Leanne xx


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