This weekend Danny went away on a PGL Youth Weekend organised by the charity Little Hearts Matters. It was a great opportunity for him to spend time with friends all of his age who have been through similar experiences to him.
This meant a road trip from one National Park, Pembrokeshire to another, the Brecon Beacons. We stopped along the way and took some photos of the mountains, waterfalls, sheep and wild ponies.
We found the PGL centre easily which meant that we were there a couple of hours too early (we looked very eager to drop our son off- oops!) and very hungry from our journey. We decided to find a family pub to wile away some time and the helpful staff from PGL suggested somewhere to us.
Off we drove to The Old Barn Inn in the nearby hamlet of The Three Cocks (I won’t judge you if you snigger at this point!).
The pub has a lovely country feel and is very family friendly. I can imagine coming here for family sunday lunches if it was nearby.
There were Genius Question and Answer cards on the table so we had a little quiz as best as we could with a team of six of varying ages!
Here is a road weary mummy with her biggest girl.
Danny was pleased that they did a child’s size steak.
Dave and I stuck to the two meals for £12 menu, my choice being the brocolli and potato bake. It was delicious and I loved the red cabbage slaw.
Sausage, chips and peas times two fed the three girls. Izzy, like most two year olds, found it hard to sit still in a new exciting place, so we had to take it in turns walking her around showing her all the paintings and farming bits and pieces on display. We managed to finish our own meals though which is always a bonus when dining out with young kids!
We were soon back to the PGL Centre in Tregoyd. It’s located on stunning grounds so we had a little explore until it was time to leave my first born there (sob!).
I can’t remember what these two were laughing at!
Tregoyd House, an old mansion where Lord Hereford once lived, was to be Danny’s home for the next two nights.
Being the first one there (sorry Danny, we weren’t in a hurry to drop you off-honest!) Danny had the first choice of Bunks. He chose a top bunk next to a window. This dorm really reminded me of an old boarding school.
Leaving Danny wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. As he told the leaders there, he has stayed away from home lots of times before between school, Beaver, Cub and Scout trips. I was conscious that this was the furthest distance he had stayed from home though.
However, we knew he was in really safe hands between LHM and PGL and that he would have a fantastic time, so off we went to drop off another child…(yes, really!)
Aunty Ceri had invited the kids to stay with her during the holidays and we thought this weekend would work out well for Rebecca to stay. We drove to Newport and parked at Ceri’s. We were a little bit early so we went off for a walk to stretch our legs after another couple of hours in the car.
After a short walk through a concrete part of the city, we found some more family friendly greenery so we headed in that direction.
Once past the old, rusty gates we were in a beautiful old woods.
“I love trees!”
Hmm…which path should I take?
There were lots of forks where we had to choose the way. We took it in turns choosing to keep it fair.
Some parts of the route were unsuitable for the buggy, so Izzy walked, stole cuddles and had piggy backs- she is really enjoying this Daddy cuddle here.
Conkers! The kids have been noticing the changes in conkers growing on horse chestnut trees. Getting browner! Autumn is on it’s way…
We got quite excited when we realised that we could see Aunty Ceri’s house from the walk! We did wave to her!
Living so far from a motorway, it was odd hearing the motorway so close to a pretty part of the city. We even saw a couple of trains pass.
Back to Aunty Ceri’s to drop Rebecca off. I think it’s lovely for each of my kids to get some one on one spoiling now and again instead of being one of a troop of four, but it is strange how it changes our family dynamic when one or two of the children are absent.
Once Rebecca was settled off we went back on the road. We took the motorway route home, so it wasn’t such a long journey.
As soon as we walked into our dark house Izzy told us we needed to go back out and get Danny and Rebecca back.
When we reminded her that they were away until Sunday, she looked down and scowled. Dave asked her what was wrong and she said, “I’m sad.” It was such a cute but heart breaking moment.
However, her and Caitlyn had lots of fun and it was lovely to see Caitlyn stepping up to be the big sister and doing the helpful jobs that Danny and Rebecca normally do. As we read our bedtimes stories, I was reminded what an amazing reader she is. I knew she could read but was surprised that she could read EVERYTHING. When did this happen and how did I miss the memo? I suppose without thinking, I compare her reading to Danny and Rebecca’s and forget to stop and think how well she is reading for a five year old.
I’m not going to beat myself up about being a bad mum (I already do that the majority of the day anyway!), but instead I’m going to remind myself to make sure I get one to one time with each of them every day and think and tell them about each of their positives.
So that was two kids dropped off safely, now we just needed to wait until Sunday to make the journey all over again!