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Swinging, Swooping, Spinning (Spiritually)
Rebecca Lovatt

For the lucky people that have a garden, the last few months have taught us just how fortunate we are and how much we need to treasure our outside domain and create an oasis of tranquillity and escape.

 I can’t escape my children and they definitely don’t add an air of tranquillity to the garden “Bagsy swing” “You had it last time” “Argh! It’s so unfair Mummy, he doesn’t even swing on it!!!” but I am aware of how important it is to encourage the children to be outside.

As the nights draw in and the leaves fall from the trees, it is increasingly hard to persuade my children to leave the comfort of the sofa (even the uncomfortable crunching of long lost Cheerios doesn’t seem to deter their sofa prone forms). Over the years we have added a variety of garden sirens to call the children to play: a playhouse, a treehouse, a climbing frame – yes, I like them to be outside; yet the only consistent lure is the swing.

My own childhood was blessed with a metal chained swing that our hair would constantly snake itself around, trapping us for hours until scissors were brandished and yet we still played on it every day. I remember being a tragic princess, plaits trailing on the ground (...just before they would become entangled in the chains) as I dramatically and 'romantically declined' on my swing, waiting for my prince to arrive. I remember flying as high as the clouds: the feeling of my brain whooping and my tummy leaping as I watched my feet swooping into the sky. I remember kicking the dry dirt underneath my feet whilst the hot sun beat down on my head (it’s always summer in childhood memories isn’t it?). I remember idling away hours gently swaying backwards and forwards, forwards and backwards. These are the memories that I wanted my children to have (less of the hair tangled in metal loops) and it makes me unbelievably happy to watch my children experience all those wonderful feelings.

Sadly I am no longer allowed on the swing. We have upgraded from tatty nylon rope and softwood to an actual swing of dreams come true from Sitting Spiritually. The children have discovered that they can sit on it together which is brilliant for them but now there is no stropping off (by gum my daughter needs a Lamda certificate in La Strop par excellence) so the swing is constantly occupied.

I have decided that I need a grown up swing. The thought of sitting in a swingseat, leg laconically flung out to gently rock myself backwards and forwards, hand trailing through the cool grass, book open but unread as I wait for my prince to… finish work and join me…”shift up sweetcheeks, you are taking up the entire seat”…I’m pretty certain the Prince in my daydreams didn’t say that but as this real one would be probably be bringing me a tall chilled glass of Pimms, I don’t mind too much. We would watch the sunset, swinging and swaying gently together to the sounds of joyous laughter from our children on their own swing…”it’s not a rocket! It’s a flying unicorn..yes that’s what I meant – An Alicorn…no, there is no such thing as a Pegacorn..unipegasus is a stupid name…” Actually I think I will upgrade to the swinging daybed, piled high with cushions to drown out the joyous gurgles of my progeny.

Until such time as I can persuade my poor Prince to buy me this grown up seat of dreams, I shall probably just gently nudge (push) my children off their swing and demand that they go inside and watch television. This is the Empress of swings, it is absolutely beautiful but entirely robust, it’s a gorgeous chunk of solid oak that will safely fly my children on millions of magical adventures.

Rebecca Lovatt - My English Country Cottage

Rebecca trained as a classical actress and enjoyed a few years of mucking about in theatres and telly as well as writing for tv, radio and comedy shows before putting her fabulously unsuccessful career to one side to create a home and family in a 17th Century thatched cottage in deepest, darkest Cambridgeshire/ Suffolk (depending on which way the wind is blowing).

She began to write again as her children became less demanding (only 99% of the time) and thanks to the success of her Instagram page and the subsequent magazine articles and interviews, has been brave enough to start helping friends with their interiors projects, as well as finding her writing fingers again (bit like sea legs), posting daily stories on Instagram 

To read more of Rebecca's country cottage family life, head to her blog or her daily Instagram story with photos of her cosy thatched cottage @myenglishcountrycottage

Posted by Siobhan on October 16th 2020

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