Deen City Farm and Riding School

Looking for something different to do with your kids in London? Visit Deen City Farm and Riding School. Before we left for Nigeria a few weeks ago, we visited Deen City Farm. There are many ways to get there. Depending on where you live, I think the easiest would be by tube. We drove there and because of Saturday traffic through London, it took us 90 minutes each way!! On the Northern Line, it is a few minutes walk from either Colliers Wood or South Wimbeldon.

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Deen City Farm is a community project and entrance is free but donating to their cause will help them keep it running. We visited on a Saturday and they had various stalls set up ranging from people selling jams and cupcakes to demonstrations on how to carve out wood. They also sell their locally grown produce and you can find out about their local veg box scheme.

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At the entrance they had a box of different coloured chalk and the kids could just go at it and draw/colour what they liked on the tarmac. At the back they have a café, stables and fields for the animals. We saw horses, lamb, goats, pigs, guinea pigs, rabbits (that looked like Thumper!) and cows. They also grow their own vegetables. It’s a great way to show kids where their food comes from and get them involved in more outdoor projects as they grow up. They have volunteer opportunities, work experience opportunities and holiday programmes.

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He’s a tad young now but I think when he’s older I’ll be sending S to riding school here! I was quite impressed with the community spirit. They had volunteers from what I can only assume is a nearby special needs school and it was refreshing to see everyone being treated equally.

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If you get a chance to visit I highly recommend it, it’s well worth it and will give your children lots to talk about on the drive/tube/bus home!

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Love, Actually is all around us

Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you my all time favourite movie is Love Actually. I am totally obsessed in love with it. I can’t remember how many times I’ve watched it but it still gets me every time. And of course one of my favourite quotes is:

“Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion’s starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge – they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.”

I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently. Often when we’re going through a tough time in our lives we tend to focus on the negative and all the doom and gloom going on in the world. Syria is being bombed, woman are being raped in India, people shoplifting right infront of me, etc. The list is endless. And while it is important to be realistic and empathetic about what is going on in the world, I think we need to stop and look for the good. Look around us and see all the positives.

A few weeks ago I was walking home from the park with my mom and S and he was playing with her wallet. As soon as I thought I saw him open it, I took it off him. Turns out he’d opened it once already and dropped her license (we didn’t realise!). But two days later an envelope comes in the post for my mom and it’s her license. Someone picked it up and as our address is on it, took the time to post it back.

Today I was walking home from the park and I saw the below picture stuck on the front gate of the park.

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These are just two examples but I see so many all around me. People trying to help. A car stopping so I can cross the road with my son, a bus driver letting me have a free ride when I can’t find my oyster card, a man helping me lift S’s stroller up some stairs.

If we stop for just five minutes we may find that Love, Actually is all around us  🙂

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