Welcoming November: Forest And Fireworks

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The last few weeks have been incredily busy here! We have been enjoying so many trips to the forest and some lovely autumn walks, I thought I would share a few with you, and celebrate the fact that we are now into November, one of my favourite months of the year.

I mentioned before how much of a growth spurt Joe had over the summer, and it has not stopped yet. I’ve been trying to take a few more photos of him recently to capture these last few months of him being truly ‘little’ as at three and a half, he will soon be off to school. I applied for his school place last week, and suddenly it is all starting to feel very real. It’s a terrible cliche, but how can Joe be ready to start school when I’m sure his first day at nursery was only a few weeks ago! He still has his chubby baby cheeks though and is always happy to hold my hand or have a hug…I’m hoping these things will last as long as possible, but at the same time hope that I’m not the mum embarrasing him by demanding a kiss at the school gates!

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I always try to remember to look up and down as well as around me when we are in the forest. There are so many beautiful things to see and enjoy, especially at the time of year, with freshly fallen leaves still covering the ground. This lovely yellow leaf is very nearly at leaf-skeleton stage.

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Thousands of crab apples, fallen from the trees above and gathered on the forest floor. The scent from them, and the surrounding trees was pure autumn. The kind of smell you wish you could capture some of and smell throughout the rest of the year…eau de woodland apples perhaps!

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The birds are steadily migrating too, so winter must be well and truly on its way. Apparently the huge number of berries on the trees this autumn is a sign of a long, cold winter…whilst I would love a few days of snow for the little ones, I’m kind of hoping that winter will not be too long or too cold.

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A couple from bonfire night too, which we actually celebrated on 5th November this year for the first time in ages! I really didn’t feel like attending a large organised display, as Mia and Joe are not that keen on the loud bangs, and I always get stressed out by crowds! We found a small display in the village next to ours, and it couldn’t have been more perfect. The route to the display was down a small country lane, lined with tiny nightlight candles to guide the way. It was held in a local orchard, so we stood amongst the apple and pear trees watching the rockets explode into the sky. Fireworks are still not for Joe and he only just managed to stay until the end, even with ear defenders. But, for the first time Mia enjoyed watching them, and we crept closer to the front as the display progressed. It is lovely to watch her becoming less afraid, although I can totally understand their fear of the loud firework explosions. It was a perfect balance for us all really…isn’t it funny how small and local is almost always best!

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Oxford Instameet

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Last weekend I joined a group of local bloggers, Instagrammers and photographers to meet up in Oxford for an Instameet. A great opportunity to enjoy the city in the sunshine, taking photos and meeting new people. The Instameet was organised by lovely local bloggers, Natasha (of Candy Pop), Rosie (Kinship of Oxford) and Anna (Independent Oxford). It was so nice to finally get to meet some Twitter and Instagram online friends in person, chat photography and explore some of Oxford’s prettiest streets.

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We met up at the Jam Factory in central Oxford, for coffee and introductions before walking along the canal path and through Jericho’s peaceful streets with their dreamy pastel colour houses. Taking time to explore whilst focusing on the surroudings and photography was blissful. And I really noticed so much more; colourful doors, and pretty front gardens, cats sunbathing in windows and so much spring blossom. On any other day I’m sure I would have missed most of these things, caught up in the rush of daily life.

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The weather was really kind to us too, and the sun shone all morning as we walked through the city, showing Oxford at it’s very best.

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There was definitely a spring flowers and bicycle theme to my photos from the day, not intentionally, but I find it impossible to walk past either without taking a quick photo!

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We stopped by 2 North Parade for some cakes and pastries, kindly provided by Pete who runs the store. I really wish I lived close enough to North Parade for this to be my local corner shop. Such great local seasonal produce, plus bread, charcuterie and cheeses!

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One from the start of the day; I love how everyone is chatting and laughing whilst using their phones to share photos and tweets. A great thing about hanging out with other Instagrammers is that playing on your phone is totally alright, and not frowned upon at all!

To see more pictures from the Instameet, take a look at the #Oxfordinstameet tag on Instagram and Twitter.

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