Baby walk: Royal Victoria Park

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I went up here for the first time earlier during the week, and the half hour walk uphill is very well rewarded with this magnificent view!

It’s really amazing. This pic has a tilt-shift effect on it (among others) which is something obsessed by; it’s a physical effect originally used by architects I think, with mirrors in a special camera. Now a simulation of it comes with the camera app I use, Vignette. I highly recommend it if you’re into photography & love experimenting, it’s extremely customisable & there’s an incredible amount of options.

Anyways so my partner & I made it up there with baby who slept for the journeys there & back, and had a bit of a roll around on the rug under a tree with us, and a feed. A young guy sat unnecessarily close to us whilst I was feeding baby which made me feel a bit uncomfortable, but I guess he didn’t even notice what I was doing!

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Architecture – the Romanesque Our Lady & St Alphege Catholic Church

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I love this church’s architecture – I can’t believe it was only built in 1927, it’s like a little bit of Tuscany war picked up & dropped here.

According to the church’s website at  http://www.saintalphege.org.uk/ the church was a pet project for one priest who wanted a new church in the Romanesque style, different from the other gothic Catholic churches here in Bath. It looks quite out of place amidst the Victorian terraces but I think that kind of enhances its beauty.

Buggy Fit – previously ‘Pushy Mums’!

We’re off to Buggy Fit this morning, for the third time – and I really enjoy it. I’m not great at getting going for exercise; not because I don’t enjoy it but I’m a bit self-conscious & basically lazy! But when I’ve done it I feel good.

So when baby massage came to an end, one of the group said she’s going back to Buggy Fit in that time slot, myself & another girl welcomed the chance!

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Here in Bath there’s an enormous park called Victoria Park which is great for the purpose. The lady who runs it is a personal trainer & is lovely, and of course a mum herself. We park up the buggies to run up & round some steps, or do lunges etc, and she keeps an eye on the bubbas. There’s some brisk walking with the pushchairs/prams but no running because it’s apparently bad for your posture.

We also do some resistance training using equipment that she brings & park benches. I know in theory I could do all this myself, but you don’t feel so self-conscious in a small group, and I need the peer pressure and someone telling me to do something to actually do it! Also the mum gossip is a great reason to go! And after we sit on a park bench give the babies a feed, and enjoy the weather (hopefully) and the view (always).

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Gorgeous morning at Prior Park landscape gardens

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Baby’s cousin, who is two, and her family were visiting for the weekend so we took them to one of our favourite places – the National Trust property Prior Park, on the outskirts of Bath. It was built by the same architect who designed much of the town, Ralph Allen, for himself and his friends such as the poet Alexander Pope. The famous garden designer Capability Brown had something to do with it, but records don’t show exactly how much. The bridge is purely decorative, in the palladian style that so much of Bath is also inspired by. At the time the gardens were built, there was a movement away from formal laid gardens, to this more natural style. It takes about an hour to walk around, there’s a tea shop half way (they have a real coffee machine! Good cake too) and there are steps so I’d recommend taking babies in a sling unless you’re feeling strong!

On a side note, I always wondered how Capability Brown got his name, and Bill Bryson explains it in his excellent book, ‘At Home: a short history of private life’: after wandering around their estates, he would tell his clients their gardens had ‘capabilities’.

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