So, we're a sixth of the way through the academic year already, just over month away from Christmas Day (sorry!), we seem to have gotten used to the clocks falling back and with the wind and rain that we've had this last couple of week it feels that winter is replacing the gentler autumn.
We did manage to find a little bit of sun this weekend though, perfect for a walk through the park to collect sticks. No, we don't have a dog to throw sticks for, and no, we weren't collecting for a bonfire to go with the fireworks we shared with our neighbours and their son, Ben's best friend. My boys, in fact quite a few of the boys we know, just like collecting sticks! And stones, shells, conkers, sycamore seeds - our local park is a treasure trove at this time of year! The boys never seem to do anything with them - they just build up in piles in the car boot, in the porch, by the back door until I finally decide that enough is enough - and then the piles start again from scratch!
I don't mind too much though. Piles of sticks waiting to trip me up are a small price to pay for encouraging the boys to play outside. I know I've said it before, but we are lucky about the part of Southampton we live in. No big city neighbourhood is perfect, but we've got a fantastic park with the River Itchen running through it just at the bottom of our hill. And I'm now off to walk through it again on my way to pick the boys up from school - only this time I think I'm going to need my umbrella!