December 10, 2020

Snippets + Snapshots | Autumn

My last seasonal wrap up ended with a sense of normality and even some positivity amidst the pandemic, and then autumn hit in a pretty turbulent way. In the grand scheme of things, everything was fine, but the month of September was a pretty difficult one to navigate - but we got through it, and continued with the rest of autumn as best we could.

In September schools returned and with that came some pretty big emotions in our household. Shortly following on from that our county was the first in Wales to be put into a local lockdown, which included Nathan returning to working from home full time, but schools remaining open. There was a lot of uncertainty and negativity at this time and so we hunkered down and kind of retreated in September.

As September concluded, having taken some time to process and be in a better place mentally, we settled in to October - although still in local lockdown. Well, by the end of October Wales was in a full national lockdown and back to the super tight restrictions. Schools were to remain open during the lockdown, however the lockdown itself did coincide with the October half term - a one week holiday - so the schools were actually open only one week of lockdown (and only for children Y9 and below).

So, October half term... It was a wash out basically - from the Tuesday to the following Monday we had a yellow weather warning in place for rain, and oh did the rain fall! A lot of it! And the winds were pretty fierce too. We spent most of the week cocooned indoors, however we were able to get out on the Monday - a day before all the rain began - and enjoy a glorious autumnal walk in the forestry area near where we live. There were some beautiful autumnal colours to be found, with crunching leaves underfoot, and many small wildlife creatures, such as birds & squirrels, scurrying here and there.

As I said, the rest of half term was spent at home, with colouring afternoons, slowly working through a chapter book together, making brownies, Lego building, and watching marble run videos, among other things.

After the wild weather we experienced during half term, we were hit with spell of cold weather when the children returned to school, with us waking up to the first frost of this autumn/winter season on November 3rd. Donning our winter woollens, we wrapped up warm for the school run this morning and admired the fine sprinkling of frost on roofs and leaves, sparkling in the early morning sunshine; beautiful. 

Early November we celebrated Alexander's birthday, spending the day doing lots of things Alexander enjoys - Lego building as a family, listening to some of his favourite songs, bird spotting, eating cake, playing games and puzzles together, plus having a takeaway of his choice for dinner. Despite the circumstances, the day was joyful and Alexander confirmed his 7th birthday was a good one.

In November we also had a brief period of self isolation (for two weeks) as a child in Alexander's class tested positive for COVID-19, which of course meant anyone in that class bubble then had to isolate. So we had two weeks of home learning, and honestly, the time went by pretty quickly and Alexander himself (or anyone else in our house) didn't show any symptoms of the virus - thankfully!

After those two weeks, it was back to school and the start of December, with Christmas festivities beginning. At school that has included Elf day, Christmas Jumper day and also Christmas party - of course, with COVID-19, these events all look very different to past years, but the kids have enjoyed the excitement of it; they also have a couple of fun things to come still. At home, Christmas prep has included putting up our tree (we actually had a very light snowfall the day we put our tree up), admiring all the Christmas lights we can see from our kitchen window of an evening (honestly, Christmas lights bring me such joy and Alexander & I have loved spotting new ones every few days as the month has progressed), and starting to watch Christmas films also.

Christmas is definitely not looking the same as previous years - what with the pandemic - but we are doing our best to keep traditions, whilst keeping ourselves, our loved ones & those in our wider community safe.


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