My name is Paula. I'm a full-time mum and homemaker. I live in Staffordshire with my wonderful husband Mark and our four delightful children Tom (12 years), Lily (11 years), Emma (8 years) and little Alexander (3 years). A cosy home, good books to read, access to the countryside, tea and flowers. A little time for some needlework, a little baking, time to play my piano and my family nearby...that's me happy!
Life is good!
A pleasant Sunday afternoon walk through Biddulph Grange Country Park with Mark's parents. We stopped for tea, biscuits and cake by the lake before carrying on through the buttercup meadows. A picture perfect afternoon.
We ended our weekend visit to the North East with a visit to Fountains Abbey. Located near Ripon in North Yorkshire, Fountains Abbey is one of the largest and best preserved examples of a Cistercian monastery. It functioned for over 400 years from its founding in 1132 until the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII in 1539. Now owned by the National Trust the Abbey is Grade 1 listed and a World Heritage site. Set in the most beautiful grounds, the abbey is wrapped in a profound peacefulness which made me fall in love with it. The Podlings enjoyed exploring in the ruins and had fun running through the beautiful buttercup meadow. There was something special about this place and we certainly return here in the future.
We couldn't go to the North East without a visit to Cragside. We've been here a couple of times now and we love it. We just made it through the estate gates before they close them at 5.30pm and went straight to the children's play area. New since our last visit here was the barefoot walk, which Emma took particular delight in. The state of this girl's feet and legs after completing the walk several times defies description. I regret not taking a photo!
It was still quite busy when we first arrived, but gradually the crowds trickled away until we had the playground to ourselves. The Podlings really came into their own then, relishing the pleasant evening and the space to play. We are none of us fond of crowds, usually deliberately choosing to visit places late in order to avoid them. Tom, in particular, is much more relaxed when there are fewer people around. On this beautiful May evening it felt as though we had the whole of Cragside to ourselves and it was wonderful.