rest days

30 June 2017

It is sometimes hard to recall the 13 years that I lived in London, it is like a distant dream. I don't know how I survived it, but at the time I know I loved it there.
Maybe I am getting old, but I never get bored of peace and quiet now. Since last year was extreme for us in many ways (a new baby, and a caravan renovation project, a business and a shop, gobbled up our summer), this summer is going to be all about camping and taking it easy!

 The littluns of course know nothing of living in London (although they love our visits there a lot), and although we have built a lifestyle for ourselves, I sometimes stop to think about the sort of life we are creating for our kids. never ending, never stopping, haze of deadlines  and computer screens.

Here on my blog, I do not dwell on the unhappy events in our life, the stresses and tragedy that have happened to us or to our family...these things may apply to many people at some stage or another, and we are no different. But whilst all that goes on around us, and we know could strike again at any moment, we try to make the best of times out of the few sunny days we get here in Blighty. We are thankful, but at the same time, wary of the fragile we are, and how important we are to each other. I may not say it often enough, but our camping trips are obviously not our whole lives, just the bits where we get a chance to document it, the bits where time just stops still for a moment, and the bits I want to remember.

We recently camped at Chine Farm, on the Isle of Wight, during a little heatwave that rolled it's way over England. Kissing everything into gold, and extending the days into never-ending time warps.
We took our caravan and camper van not far along the south side of the Island. We slept two in each, taking turns to alternate one child + one adult. Ms P loves her bunk bed in the van, whilst Mr. Leafy favours the crispy linen sheets and giant windows of the caravan. I can't choose.

The site itself is quiet and rural. Perched on a cliff top, but with a sort of muddy landslip, flanked by thick gorse and brambles which gradually sinks into the sea, so no worry about toddlers dropping off the edge.
There is a deep ravine, known as a 'chine', of which there are many on this small stretch of coastline, it is made by a fresh water stream that erodes the cliff and trickles out into sea. 

This part of the Island is famous for it's smuggling history and many shipwrecks. Can you imaging the numerous trading ships passing this busy passage during the 18th and 19th century? I can almost see them. A tall ship sinking with a broken mast, sails flapping in the storm, and locals carrying barrels off the beach in the twilight, this stuff actually happened here!

Well, not much of that going on today except the odd cargo of drugs 😱 

Due to the steep climb, lack of cafe and toilets, this beach is only really visited by a few locals and some fishermen. It is a 10 minute walk from the campsite along the cliff top, with a hefty climb down.

It's mostly shingle but with patches of sand and large rocks. The fresh water stream reappears in a small channel in the beach running down to the sea, which is great fun and perfect for toddlers and babies to play and cool off safely. The swimming is good although there is a bank of shingle which drops down deep quite suddenly. Fine if you know, not so good for little people to swim.

The sunsets were pretty magical, so excuse the squillions of photos here!

Little P goes to Pre-school two times a week, and we couldn't bear to cut short our trip (and beautiful weather) because of that. So she went to school and back again from the campsite 👌
Whilst she was away, we took a drive to Niton, which is not too far along the same stretch of coast.
Down a long very bumpy unmade road, you end up at Castlehaven, where there is a small static caravan site (very nice!) and this little cafe overlooking the sea.

There is a small sandy beach at low tide although not that easy to get to.
This is a proper fishing cove, which is also popular with surfers.

The slipways are slippery!!

In the evening we had a visit from some friends and their kids, we had dinner sat on blankets and then we all went down to the beach for an evening swim. Except I fell into the sea after being hit by a small wave with a baby strapped to me 👏 😳

'I hurt my foooooooot'

My mister and I often dream about how relaxing our life will be once the children grow doubt we will be relaxing, drinking wine whilst the sun sinks into the sea...wondering why the kids haven't replied to our numerous emails 😂

...Reluctantly we had to leave the next day due to work, but we will definitely be visiting here again!


  1. A perfect respite for your busy life! Thanks for posting the beautiful pictures. P, is your foot better? Hope so!

  2. Looks idyllic, such a beautiful place to be. Living the dream.

  3. Artemis, I am writing this on my first vacation with my husband in 19 years without kids. It is SO relaxing! Life continues to be very busy though (doing a rehab of a used camper..which is how I found your blog).

    Thank you for sharing your life and beautiful family. Your posts send me back wistfully to days with young children in the best way possible. And as a confirmed junkaholique myself, I so enjoy your junking adventures and seeing the treasures you unearth.

    And I am ready to pack my bags and move to the Isle of Wight, how gorgeous! Again, thanks for taking the time to document your doings, I appreciate spending time here.

  4. Such a beautiful post.

  5. That was truly a glorious trip I went on with you. Such peace and tranquility it looks like the world is at peace. You make it all look so easy but camping with two babies must be hard work. Each of you will look at these in the future and remember only the very best of times.
    I really enjoyed the snippets of history. Thank you for such a lovely tour.

  6. I personally never thought that your life is so easy as it looks on your blog. I can only imagine the amount of work you and your husband had to face to build your business and your life. I know what it's like. But yes, is full of people out there, who believe at what they see without thinking at what's behind. You do a great job at keeping this blog light and breezy. we all have our share of hard times, but we need to focus on the happy ones!
    MsP going to school makes me feel so old. Feels like yesterday that you gave announcement of her arrival!

  7. Ah, yes -- thank you for taking us with you. Respite from the world, in all the most necessary ways. I get it. 💗

  8. Fabulous photos as always.You guys have a talent for taking them. I see a coffee table book in your future.... and yes, you have every right to enjoy the rare days of sunshine with your kiddies. Life is short and fragile as you said, and I for one love reading your blog and looking at the beautiful landscapes of The Isle of Wight and your very cute little uns! Wishing you all many more sunny days to come. :)

  9. Blessings for your family! We (your readership) spoiled and happy by your posts. And don't forget: the slipways are slippery!! 😂🙌😂😄😘🙌

  10. Seeing this wonderful family vacation through your words and images brings me so much joy! Thank you for sharing this with us!

  11. They don't make posts like this anymore! Absolutely stunning :)

  12. Good to see you and your family spending very good and simple life. Many blessing to you. In case you need any help for your child's academic assignments, fell free to contact Assignments-On-Web

  13. Your photos are gorgeous!!! This place is so beautiful. Most places in the world are crowded so it makes me happy to see this isn't crowded.


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