Our Travel Stories

Family Traditions

Home & Away (No, not the Australian soap opera!)

Having circumnavigated the globe this year taking a particular interest in history and rituals around the world, it’s actually made me more appreciative of my home county and our own little family rituals.

I’ve often moaned about living in Sussex, but actually it has absolutely everything I need and want (well other than turquoise seas and sunshine 12 months a year!), but I only have to drive for just a few minutes and I can be on the beach, up on the South Downs, walking in the woods, in the town centre, or in a more rural old English village. We have great rail links especially into London where we frequently go to watch shows, and are less than 50 miles to both airport & cruise ports.

Whilst many people will know this county as ‘Sussex by Sea’ you also never have to go more than a few miles to discover quaint old English villages steeped in history & magical character.

SLINDON is one such village and is only around 20 minutes drive from my front door….

Slindon Village, West Sussex

Slindon lies on the edge of the South Downs National Park just north of the A27 trunk road between Arundel and Chichester. However despite it being pretty close to home it is a rural village which I only really discovered a few years ago when Cameron was a baby.

Perchance on social media I saw the Slindon Pumpkin Farm advertised. I have always been a huge fan of Halloween and with my own birthday (Nov 3) being sandwiched between Halloween and Guy Fawkes night many of my birthdays over the years have incorporated one or the other, but when Cameron made his arrival into the world on 31st October 2011 this was just an excuse for me to now ‘go large’ every Halloween.

For the last few years it has therefore become a family tradition to visit the Slindon Pumpkin Farm and for Cameron to choose his pumpkin to make his birthday jack-o-lantern with. It’s a simple afternoon out but one which we always really enjoy.

Which one dinner to choose?

Purely coincidental that his jacket matched the pumpkins!

“Mummy, this is REALLY heavy!”

Many people of course visit Slindon Pumpkins purely to see the annual art spectacular which is mounted on scaffolding above the produce. Each year displaying a different theme. We have seen lifeboats and airforce pictures created, to name but a few, but this years display is the Octopuses Garden! The creativity of such, all created with pumpkins and squash never fails to amaze me and I still get goosebumps when Cameron sees it for the first time each year and his eyes light up with excitement and astonishment. These are the moments which money really cannot buy and create precious memories which stay with you forever.

In terms of produce they have just about every size, shape and colour of pumpkin, squash and marrow available. I didn’t even know so many varieties existed until we went there for the first time, but now as well as coming away with the traditional orange pumpkin for the Halloween display I buy several more varieties for soups, curries, stews and side dishes, oooh and did I mention pumpkin pie for our Thanksgiving dinner? (another little ritual we have celebrated over the last few years, despite it being an American tradition). All I need to find now is a recipe for homemade pumpkin spiced latte and I’ll be a happy bunny.

Travelling the globe has been AWESOME and we can’t wait to go away again next year, but I also love the fact that we create the most precious memories just a few miles from home – we truly do have the best of both worlds.

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