Over the past five months we have had a lot of rainy, cold and dark days to get through, but there were also a lot of brilliantly sunny days where we just had to head out into the countryside for some much needed Vitamin D and fresh air.
Even though the fields were Very muddy and some of the puddles were even frozen on some of the walks, I could really appreciate the beauty of the landscape on a crisp and sunny Winter's day.
Little T also adds his own excitement to these expeditions and makes me forget that it's cold and wet and to just enjoy these special moments spent together.
We discovered some amazing new walks in our surrounding area, but we also went to a few of our old favourites. On one particularly beautiful day we headed out to a place that holds a special place in our hearts, but that we haven't visited since before Little T was born.
Years ago, a dear friend invited us to stay in their house near Arendal over the August bank holiday weekend, and as we enjoyed it so much, we went back there several years running. Unfortunately we haven't been able to take up their offer for quite some time now, but that hasn't stopped us from missing this beautiful little town, and that is why we took on the 200 mile round trip just for a walk around this much loved place.
It was strange and yet lovely to see the familiar landscape again, especially as it was so much altered by the effects of Winter. It was an absolutely perfect day, it ended wonderfully with a fish and chips dinner from our favourite "Chippy", eaten in the car with the windows steaming up :)
Of course, over the winter months there were the inevitable colds and coughs to deal with and some days that were just so cold and dreary that staying at home was all we wanted to do. Luckily these were far and few between and for the most part we kept as busy as possible, even on the days where the sun was hiding behind a thick blanket of clouds.
We are very lucky that there are so many amazing indoor attractions all around us, and we visited as many of them as we could. One of our favourites was definitely the Living Rainforest near Newbury. Once you step through the doors of the hothouses, you completely forget that it's cold outside and you can just marvel at the amazing plants, animals, reptiles and birds all around you. We have spent many, many happy hours whiling away cold days in here.
We had our fill of museums too, from military ones to tiny ones on local history, we visited them near and far. The best ones though were the ones that catered to our individual passions. Little T is still fascinated by dinosaurs and visiting the Natural History Museum in Oxford with him was just simply amazing.
It has been almost a month since we were here and he still talks about it with such joy and enthusiasm.
For me, it was the Pitt Rivers Museum that sits at the back of the same building that was the most fascinating of all.
It is brimful of the most interesting and strange objects from all over the world spanning hundreds if not thousands of years of human history. You could leave me here for days and I still wouldn't get bored with looking through all the glass cases.
Last but not least was P's passion, cars and motorbikes, and for that we headed to Coventry to visit the Transport Museum. Unfortunately they were right in the middle of a huge transformation program and a lot of the galleries were closed for renovation.
None the less, there were still plenty of amazing things to see and enjoy. From ultra modern concept cars to the very earliest models of motorized vehicles and some true classics too.
The most captivating gallery of all was the Land Speed Record cars. I have only ever seen these on television before and never paid them much attention to be honest. I was however absolutely amazed and stunned by their sheer size and complexity after spending a considerable amount of time looking around this room.
We are already planning another visit to this museum when all of the works are finished and it is open fully again with lots of new and exciting exhibitions to explore.
All in all it has been a really fun and happy five months for us, with lots of lovely memories to look back on. With Spring in the air, there is a feeling of change to come and I am looking forward to what the rest of the year has in store for us. Little T will be starting school after the Easter break, leaving me with three child free hours to fill every day. It is something that I am both very excited and nervous about.
The biggest change to come though is that our little family of three is soon to become a family of four. These past five months have been extra special as I have been growing a new little life inside me. Although there were a few months of nausea and fatigue that almost put a damper on our fun filled winter, I am very happy that we were able to give Little T a Winter to remember before his (and our) whole world changes forever :)