I've always been a city girl. I was born in the city (in fact, my first home was opposite our current house), grew up in the city, and I'm now raising my own family in the city. I get that the countryside has it's advantages, especially when it comes to the amount of space (often for much less money) making it perfect for growing children; that it's peaceful and there's not as much traffic but I wouldn't switch our city abode for any of it. And, believe me, we've thought about it. When it comes to a house with more bedrooms and a cheaper price tag, moving into the countryside would certainly make sense, but we just can't bring ourselves to do it. We love living so close to the shops, the buzz of town, the supermarket, museums, galleries, restaurants - the whole shebang.
So, I thought I'd start a little series all about our life in the city; raising a family in the middle of the mayhem. You never know, one day, when we're old and grey, Ben and I may look back on these words and these pictures, as we sit in the garden of our little country cottage, remembering what crazy cats we were to live in the big smoke... but, I doubt it ;)
As a family, one of our favourite past times is to simply go out for a walk. No matter what the weather (although, the arrival of spring definitely makes it more appealing!) and no matter how much spare time we have, there's nothing like a walk to reconnect, have some fun, talk and relax. Plus, well, it's free! And that's always a bonus. We walk a lot. In fact, we rarely use our car, so our feet can carry us all over the place; to the supermarket or the local shops, along the canal or through the meadow, into the town centre or round our neighbourhood.
We walked these streets when both our babies were due, and then when labour had started. Both Josephine and Coralie's first outings were short strolls along these pavements. Ben walks to work every day. We've talked about the little things and the life-changing things. We search for treasure with Josephine, pretty leaves being the loot du jour, we choose our favourite dream house and look out for cats and birds and planes. Once Josephine and I stumbled upon a house that had unfortunately been broken into, but one of the attending policeman waiting outside let Josephine look in the police car and he even turned on the flashing lights for her. Another time a builder taking a break from landscaping someone's front garden with a mini-digger saw us looking at it and started it up so Phiney could see it in action. Such things make a three year old's day, for sure. We never know what we'll see when we're out for a walk.
Sometimes we head out for a quick stroll around the block when tensions before bedtime are running high and sometimes we pack drinks and snacks and seek adventure on foot, and everyday the girls and I head into the village near our house for groceries, to post letters or just have a rummage in the charity shop.
Climbing the steep hills and meandering down the little roads and busy roads of our beautiful city, perfect moments and ever-lasting memories are made doing the most simple of things.
Ben and I would love to thank Brantano for providing us with our super cool kicks, perfect for city walks. We were both spoilt for choice when we looked at their website, but are so happy with our picks. Ben's Adidas look awesome and are perfect for walking, with 'the comfiest insoles ever' apparently, while my Espirit trainers and ideal for the warmer weather especially, are crazy comfy and are, well, gold! We are both ready to walk our way into spring now, and can't wait to see what adventures our new shoes take us on.
This is a collaborative post. All thoughts, words, images and opinions are my own.