Living Arrows 12/52

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth

Kahlil Gibran

On Friday it was St. Patrick’s Day and as we couldn’t go home for the event (due to astronomical prices on the flights due to the rugby), we had to make do with wearing our t-shirts on the day. BattleKid went into nursery with his, and I into work. However, our day was cut short when nursery rang BattleDad to say he had a high temperature and he was collected arrows

On Saturday morning he seemed in better form so we ventured as far as Bristol Zoo. After a visit to the lions he decided he wanted to go on a red bus on the merry-go-round but half way around he thought otherwise!living arrows living arrows

After a much needed pit-stop BattleKid perked up and we had a lovely time talking to the penguins, who are still by far his favourite animal/bird. These cheeky penguins kept following our hands on the glass, like they were saying “Hi” and wanted to play. Such lovely creatures.

living arrows

Before we left we had some fun at a kangaroo, so much so that someone didn’t want to leave it!

my sunday photo living arrows

What did you get up to last week and over the weekend?

Linking up with Donna of What The Redhead Said. If you’d like to take part or see some other Living Arrows posts, please click the badge below.

Living Arrows

Holiday Diaries 2017

By now all my readers know that we are a wanderlust family and 2017 is shaping up nicely in terms of holidays. 2016 was a good year for time away as a family and with friends and this year is going to be no different.

This year I would like to take BattleKid home to Ireland for his first ever Saint Patrick’s Day. However, that’s not going to happen as I didn’t realise it’s Ireland’s game of the Six Nations against England and it just happens to be in Dublin. So as you can imagine the price of flights for that weekend has sky-rocketed. Instead, I have decided to take BattleKid home the weekend before to visit family and maybe visit somewhere nice (and maybe scenic) while we’re there. Plus Mum needs to get a shopping trip in tsome point too!

Soon after that it will be Easter and we have a trip to Portugal to visit my Mum and Dad’s new home near Tavira, where BattleKid and I went to last Easter and which I blogged about in the Portugal Diaries. I’m so happy my folks have finally found a place for their retirement and we are more than happy to have it as a place for some holidays. Even better that BattleKid gets to see his grandparents in the process too!portugal day2

In June we were supposed to be heading to our first ever festival, the Wychwood Festival. I read about this when Kerry of Kerry Louise Norris was lucky enough to attend last year. Her post set me thinking and very soon after reading her review I booked our tickets. However, due to personal circumstances we have had to postpone it until next year. Luckily the operator allowed us to defer our tickets rather than lose them as they are non-refundable which I thought was very kind of them. So June 2018 it’ll be! BattleDad and I have never been to a festival, can you believe that, and so we are really looking forward to it.

After a long wait during the summer our trip of a lifetime will soon be looming. We are doing a two week road trip in America next September, starting and ending in Portland, Oregon. We will be spending five days exploring Yellowstone National Park. Soon after we will be visiting Lolo National Forest. As soon as I found out there was a forest with the same name as my Dad, albeit a nickname of his, I knew I had to visit it. And to find it so close to Yellowstone and en-route to and from Portland was a bonus.  I’ve blogged about wanting to visit Yellowstone before and we had considered waiting until BattleKid was old enough to remember it but we just bit the bullet last October and booked it. Sometimes you just need to be spontaneous!

BattleDad wants to take a drive down part of the Pacific Coast Highway from Portland so that will be a day trip for us. There is also an amazing waterfall 30 minutes drive from Portland, the Multnomah Falls, that I definitely want to photograph. So it’s easy to see why this is going to be the trip of a lifetime for us. It’ll be a busy two weeks but I’m hoping we come away with great memories alongside some awesome pictures. I’m just not looking forward to the 11 hour plane journey to and from Portland with a three and a half year old.

Multnomah Falls

In October we have another trip to Bluestone planned with our friends who we go there with. It’s a mid-week visit this time and I cannot wait. October seems like such a long time away though! We will most likely visit Folly Farm while there and perhaps a few castles in West Wales we don’t get to visit due to the distance.

Then sometime before Christmas we are intending to visit Euro Disney with W and S (of the Bluestone Diaries) with their 2 children who will be just turning one and just turned three. BattleKid won’t be far off his fourth birthday so we felt that this year in November or December it would be the right time to bring him to Euro Disney for the first time. We invited W and S and they jumped at the chance. Both families are looking forward to it and we will also take a day or two to go into Paris as it’s been a few years since BattleDad and I last visited Paris and I need my fix, haha.

So 2017 isn’t looking too shabby when it comes to holidays for the Battle Family. It’s always nice to start the new year with something to look forward to and I think we can safely say we’ve got things to look forward to. What are your holiday plans for 2017?

Cath x

*Updated 19/03/2017

Saint Patrick’s Day – 17th March

Today is St. Patrick’s Day, a national day in Ireland, where we celebrate the feast of our national saint. He was actually a Welsh priest who introduced Christianity to pagan Ireland in the 4th century AD. It not only celebrates Patrick but also heritage and Irish culture in general.

St Patrick\'s day 2015, Dublin, Ireland

Celebrations include public parades, the biggest in Ireland being the Dublin parade; outside Ireland New York’s Saint Patrick’s Day parade is world-famous. Festivals, ceilithe and wearing shamrocks and green are amongst some traditions of St. Patrick’s Day. The inclusion of the shamrock as the Irish national symbol stems from the legend that St. Patrick used it to explain the Holy Trinity to pagan Ireland.

Many places around the world also celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with expat Irish and their descendants in attendance. Many cities will mark the day by turning landmarks green including the Sydney Opera house, the Empire State building and the Eiffel Tower in Paris. However, the best I’ve personally seen is Chicago where they dye the Chicago river green! I once landed in Chicago on St. Patrick’s Day and got to witness this sight for myself. It’s rather impressive.

Chicago River green on St. Patrick\'s Day

For me, as an Irish national living in the UK, St. Patrick’s Day often comes and goes in the blur of work. The lucky beggars at home get a day off as it’s a bank holiday in Ireland. I miss that. However I am looking forward to St. Patrick’s Day next year. The reason being it falls on a Friday and, as BattleKid will be 3 then, I plan to take him home for his first ever St. Patrick’s Day parade.

As a young child, the promise of going to watch the parade in the city centre kept you both in good spirits and on your best behaviour in the days leading up to the 17th of March. You would then drive or get the bus in as far as you could and then walk the rest of the way into Dublin city centre to watch the parade. You can only get so far by bus or car as they close off many streets from Patrick Street all the way to Parnell Square, meaning no vehicle can get to the centre of Dublin unless it is part of the parade itself. Walking the rest of the way was part of the fun!

As a teenager St. Patrick’s Day meant a day off school to spend with your friends either watching the parade in town or hanging around your own area of Dublin.

Nowadays St. Patrick’s Day is more than just a parade, with a whole festival taking part in Dublin in the days leading up to the 17th of March. This was introduced after BattleDad and I left Dublin and so I’d like to see what it’s all about next year with BattleKid.

For now I must contend with celebrating the only way I know how; by bringing cupcakes (shamrock and green themed of course), shamrock biscuits and Lily O’Brien chocolates into work (and nursery), and by kitting myself and BattleKid out in our best “Ireland” green t-shirts and tops.St Patricks Day BattleKid

Work actually appreciate St. Patrick’s Day if only for the Irish chocolates I bring in each year. I’ve found it a bit strange and quite disappointing that St. David’s Day and St. George’s Day are not made more of a big day here in the UK. After 12 years here you’d think I’d be used to it by now. Wouldn’t everyone love another bank holiday to celebrate these days in style like the Irish on Paddy’s Day? Maybe we should start a petition.St Patricks Day Cookies

And while we’re on the subject, and before I finish, it’s St. Patrick’s Day, St. Paddy’s Day, Patrick’s Day or Paddy’s Day. IT IS NOT Patty’s Day!

In the words of Marcus Campbell:

“It’s Paddy, not Patty. Ever. Saint Patrick’s Day? Grand. Paddy’s Day? Sure, dead on. St. Pat’s Day? Aye, if you must. St. Patty? No, ye goat!”

as explained on