Transformations and changes…

Boy turned 8 earlier on this month and he was very lucky : his grandparents came all the way from France to spend 9 days with us for his birthday.

This birthday, Boy was given a brand new bike!

This year it feels like his birthday lasted… well 9 days!

It was party time every day…

We did a lot of fun things, such as having rides on steam trains amongst the bluebells across Sussex country side…


Bluebell Special

Thom and Bluebell

Boy loves taking photos and I let him used my camera while we were on the train. The following photos are some of the ones he took, I like seeing what caught his attention the most:


A signal


Inside the tunnel…

Thom in the tunnel

He took a photo of himself while in the tunnel…

old coach

We had a wander in Horsted Keynes station…

crane engine

A break-down crane!


Bluebell special 2



engine shed

In the engine shed…

Sir Archibald Sinclair

Sir Archibald Sinclair with his cracked boiler is like a mythical creature for Boy… This fast asleep broken giant who has been patiently waiting in the shed for years for the Bluebell Railway to raise enough funds to fix him again…

Here is a photograph of Sir Archibald Sinclair when he was fixed a few years ago, before his firebox problems…


He looks very dignified indeed! – Photo above and more about Sir Archibald Sinclair Here –

Brighton Atlantic Project

We also rubbed shoulders with an A-list celebrity in the engine shed:


Stepney! yes, The original Stepney who appeared in Thomas the tank engine… He comes from this railway!


“Is it all too boring for you that you have to get your knitting out Luv?” – that’s what a Bluebell Railway staff member asked me – surprised and amused to find me knitting on the train on the way back.

Making Thomas the tank engine videos is what motivated Boy to start his own Youtube channel a few years ago.

Boy’s birthday was also a great excuse to extend our Beastie Family…

Thom and Diver Beastie.jpg

…With Diver Beastie!

Diver Beastie arrived on the D – Day, in a treasure chest, from Beastie Towers in Dublin, Ireland… You can read all about his arrival here!

On the day of his birthday, we went to Hastings… because Hastings used to be a great place for pirates and smugglers of all kinds – it kind of still is, in a different way…

Hastings PIrateship

We went up the cliff in a cable car and then went down the Smugglers Caves.

I found these to be rather over-priced and overall disappointing. To summarise : It’s more about smugglers than pirates and it’s not as exciting as it looks on the leaflet.

Boy was spooked by one of the mannequins shaking the bars of his jail cell, and he loved the jazz music on the way out.

He had been desperately wanting to go in these caves for about 10 months, specifically to steal the pirates treasure. We didn’t see or find any treasure in the caves – We saw some weird symbol on a stone and assumed that the treasure might be in there…

We survived the spooky cave experience and found ourselves somehow needing to sit down in a café in the old town, to recover with a quick soy milk hot chocolate for Boy and I, a beer for Daddy, a glass of wine for Mamy, and a coffee for Pappy… with a slice of brownie for the Birthday Boy – but we made it quick:

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I love this time lapse 🙂

After some times spent on the sea front, we headed to Rye for the evening.

I think I have mentioned it around here a couple of years ago… But I love Rye!

We nearly moved there two years ago, as we love it so much!

So it was a treat to go back and have Boy’s birthday meal at the Ypres, right near the castle (with canons you can climb on!).

Birthday at the Ypres

The Ypres serves delicious food, and has a good selection of local ciders and locally brewed beers.

We ate delicious veggie food – even though the pub isn’t a veggie pub their veggie options are great – and everyone sang Happy Birthday to Boy as they brought him his cake with candles on it. It was very cheerful!

Last glance at Rye castle…

Rye Castle

And I drove everyone home, it was a long drive back on country lanes, in my old Micra and its old suspension…

We also had a home cooked meal at home and some home made birthday cake the next day, I told you, it was birthday week! Im glad I only have one kid, I couldn’t keep up with the pace of too many birthday weeks…

Boy just turned 8 this month. I can’t quite believe it. Time just flies by so quickly. It does. When I look at him, I can’t believe he is that baby who was born still and blue. He is the same baby who had to be resuscitated and decided to live when he first heard his daddy’s voice. The same baby who woke us up at night for years…


That baby we used to hold…



paul+thom lands end2



He is that toddler obsessed with blue cars. That little boy who loved the story of Peter Pan so much that he, himself declared that he was never going to grow up…



That very same little Boy who used to spend hours running through the valleys of Ashdown Forest with our dog Tara and I – well he still does that, but not the same way. He is more in his head now. His brain processes things constantly and he looks and questions the world around him much more – before he was more content and took everything as it came, very innocently.

He  has changed lately. A friend told me that growth often occurs through illness. Well it certainly has been true for Boy recently. After he had this nasty virus, a month before his birthday, he has changed. He wasn’t quite the same within himself. He became… slightly darker. He would say or do things that he wouldn’t have done before. He used to be this very happy go lucky boy who never holds a grudge more than 5 seconds… and all of a sudden, he started to…  well, grow up. He became slightly more… serious. He would start to think in a way that I didn’t quite recognise.

That’s him a few months ago, showing me how to build a pirate ship, with his customised hair do:

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Transformations and changes are unavoidable… they happen in and around us all the time. It’s best to embrace them joyfully. It just feels weird when it happens to your own child(ren)!

Boy just got out of bed (it’s 11:22 am here, ahem…) so it’s Breakfast time now 🙂 My current favourite is porridge cooked in chai tea (from the kettle) to give it a spicy/ cinnamony flavour with soaked chia seeds, nut butter and honey = Mega Yum!

Have a lovely Day!


0 thoughts on “Transformations and changes…

  1. Woweee, you guys have been busy! I’ll have to remember to stretch my own birthday celebrations out over 9 days next time… that’s the way to do it! I hope Boy enjoyed it all – I loved his photos from the railway, and your speedy coffee break – and thanks again for welcoming Diver Beastie into your family 😀 It was nice to take a peek into your family photo albums, too… like the old saying goes, they really DO grow up so fast!

    1. Hello Monster Fairy 🙂 thank you for stopping by 🙂 yes they do grow up very fast… Although I’m also witnessing my eldest dog ageing and transitioning into the old lady stage and I find that very scary. I can’t imagine that she won’t be around one day… Boy believes that she is only 10 so she is not even a grown up yet… Maybe that s the way to do it, wasn’t Prince saying that he didn’t believe in time and that is why time didn’t affect him?

      1. It’s always nice to visit! I’m not sure I could go as far as not believing in time, but I do think it’s so important not to waste it… that’s why I don’t work full time any more! 😀 I do notice that time is passing so much faster lately though – so many times this year I’ve had to stop and say “where did that month go?” 😱

        1. I know! I have noticed that too… When I was a kid I used to think that time was going sooooo slowly. And a month felt like eternity. Now months just fly by in a wink! I wonder what a Time Beastie would look like….?

          1. Hmmm… Old Father Time Beastie, complete with flowing white beard? Although right now I’m thinking I wouldn’t even be able to see a Time Beastie as they whizzed past! Mind you, sometimes it slows down to childhood speed again – that hour before my lunch break at Other Work always drags! 😆

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