Exploring Fyne Court

Every now and then the stars align, and the two of us both have a weekend off at the same time. In a more remarkable twist, a couple of friends of ours from up in Bristol were also off that weekend as well. Being very aware that we hadn’t had the greatest record of going away with the Little One lately, we decided to meet up halfway between Exeter and Bristol. After a brief search for ideas*, we settled on exploring Fyne Court, a National Trust property between Taunton and Bridgewater.

According to the National Trust website:

Fyne Court is a hidden gem in the heart of the Quantock Hills. Explore this wild garden, looking out for the boathouse and folly.

The estate was the home of the Crosse family who lived here until the house was destroyed by fire in 1894. Discover how the fire started and find out where the house used to stand on one of our eye opener tours.

Putting it simply: Fyne Court is a beautiful secret, hidden somewhere in Somerset.

Finding this place was an interesting journey. It probably didn’t help that due to navigation “issues” we took the scenic route, but the scenic route included views of the gorgeous Quantock Hills, a pheasant, and a doe (baby deer) jumping into the road.

The parts of Fyne Court that we explored (we followed a shorter route) was a small forest, nestled in a sheltered part of Somerset. (Although a quick look online, confirms that Fyne court stretches out a fair bit more).  Just next to the car park you will find the the visitors centre, and a small cafe. The cafe seems to sell “light lunches”, as well as a great selection of cakes, and hot and cold drinks. Our Little One made a beeline for  the chocolate crispie cakes they had on sale there. Quality wise, it is a National Trust cafe, it is high quality.

After topping up our energy levels on hot chocolate, and chocolate crispie cakes, we set off to explore Fyne Court via their “20 minute” walking route. It probably takes 20 minutes for normal walkers, with a couple of little people it took longer, but the path was easy enough and didn’t present any particular problems. (Well the 13 month old presented some issues with a nappy, but that’s a different matter).

The entrance to the secret garden

There was fun for the three year olds, in the form of a tree trunk to walk along/climb on and wooden musical instruments along the route, and a spotter sheet to help keep them engaged along the route.  My personal highlight of the walk was the “sky glade”, an area that encouraged you to stop, look up, and take in the sky above.

We took advantage of one of the many picnic spots available. The one we stopped at being next to a duck pond which provided plenty of amusement for the little ones with us.

If you’re in the Somerset area, I would recommend checking out Fyne Court – but make sure your navigator is paying attention when you go there… (And yes – it is free entry)

Check out the Fyne Court website for more information.

(A cheap plug here for my Photography Facebook page which has the below picture taken from the area outside of the cafe at Fyne Court)

Problems Parents of Toddlers Face in Church

We all have times when sitting through a Church service isn’t straightforward. It could be because of that curry you had last night, the contact lens not behaving, or just wanting to get home in time to watch the football.

If you’re a parent of a toddler / other little person, then there are other problems in Church that makes a Church service not straightforward. Here is a look at the problems that parents of toddlers face in Church:

  1. The ability to partake in communion is held hostage by a toddler stealing the liturgy card.
  2. You have a minor panic attack every time your little one wonders near the open and full baptism pool.
  3. Can I have some of that squash?” “No dear, its communion wine.”
  4. Hitting a chair, in an attempt to ensure your little one doesn’t fall off, while she is jumping on it.
  5. The heart racing panic when the Little One shouts, “I need a POO!.. QUICK ITS COMING OUT!
  6. Been massively distracted anytime someone comes into the hall during the sermon – just in case its someone from your kids group.
  7. Having to explain everytime its a communion service that you cant eat the bread from the table until the right time.
  8. No you can’t see the song sheet. It’s being used for colouring in.
  9. A time of silent prayer is anything but silent inside your head, as you count down the seconds until something gets shouted. (Normally a cry of “BOOOO!”)
  10. Accidentally looking super spiritual by kneeling on the floor during communion. (Because toddler has stolen your seat)

Any other problems I’ve not mentioned?

Conversations with a Toddler #10

Mummy has asked  Little One what she’d like for breakfast…

Little One: “I want a biscuit”
Mummy: “Is that breakfast???”
Little One: “Yes…”
Mummy sorts out breakfast… Soon after, Little One wonders into the kitchen.
Mummy: “What you after?”
Little One: “Biscuit.”
Mummy: “No you need to eat your breakfast.”
Little One: “But I’m really hungry”
Grabs my hand pulls me away from the computer to play. 



A Musical Performance

We’ve had a bit of a bizarre week over the last seven days. Due to a family funeral, we’ve ended up exploring both London, and South Woodham Ferrers (Found somewhere in Essex). Whilst in South Woodham, the Little One saw a stage in a town square… and she couldn’t stop herself…

A video posted by Andy Mackay (@_andymackay) on

I’m not sure where this performing streak has come from??

Conversations With A Toddler #5

After “a bit of tantrum”, I’ve ended up laying down on the floor, and the Little One is kneeling next to me brushing her teeth:

Little One: I’m brushing food off my teeth off my teeth.
Me: What food have you had?
Little One: grapes
Me: and…
Little One: cheese
Me: and…
Little One: Ice Lolly!
Me: and…
At this point, my phone fell out of pocket onto the floor, Little One looks at it, then at me, smiles, and says:
Little One: phone
Me: How did that taste?
Little One: yummy!

I’m going to keep a closer eye on my phone.

Why Mums Get Nothing Done During The Day*

Dads! Have you ever wondered why mums appear to get nothing done around the house during the day? After all, the corner of the lounge has been like that for at least a week, why hasn’t she tidied it? After all, you’ve been at work all day right? She’s been at home “playing” with the little one all day right? *

Seriously? Why doesn’t she do anything during the day?

Firstly… You tidy,

Secondly, watch this.

What other ways can little ones interrupt a good days plan? 

*Yes the first paragraph has been written, and then dunked in irony.