As more Brighton folk get priced outta the City into suburban Worthing, the more inspiration Worthing picks up. First, trendy cafes, then craft beer pubs, and now it’s Worthing Artist Open House.
Anyone familiar with Brighton will know of the Artist Open Houses that create a creative vibed buzz twice yearly, and whilst its Worthing counter part has a long way to go, it definitely gets better each year!
This year, Worthing Artist Open House has 60 venues!Unfortunately i’m away for one if the weekends, but hopefully i’ll get to pop into the top of my list faves! So without further ado, here’s who i’m hoping to catch
Having grown up in a nearby village,and Callum having worked there many years ago, Roundstone Pick Your Own is an important part of what Worthing means to us as a family.
I have several memories as a child spent walking the fields, spying for the biggest, juiciest loganberries (they were my favourite) and stuffing myself full to bursting. The most recent time I had been, if i’m not including the car boot sale, must’ve been when I was at college. Myself and a boyfriend at the time had decided we wanted to go pick a Pumpkin. At this point, not only was it too late in the year for everything else, but it seemed even all the pumpkins had gone!
It only seems fair then, that it was time I introduced Ophelia to this wonderful place, not only am I all about supporting local businesses, but i’m all about teaching children about nature and where their food comes from.
Our recent visit nearly didn’t happen, looking at the weather report it didn’t look like the rain would subside and i was sure that the fields would be mud. In the end, the rain had been minimal and it in fact turns out the fields were dry, so off we went.
After picking our transportation methods (punnets, bags and baskets) we set off on a bumpy journey on the tractor Ophelia’s Daddy had once driven (probably just as bumpily!).
First stop, broad beans!
Luckily, as it’s quite eary in the season, and the sun was not shining, we were one of the few people there, but a top tip is to definetly start with the food the kids are less interested in eating, that way their interest increases rather than peters out.
Ophelia and her cousin loved the freedom of running between the large plants, a magical place when you are small.
Eithne was straight in there, nibbling on a broad bean straight off the plant, she took a while to decide it was not all that tasty.
We then walked down to the strawberry fields, they have two fields, one that are ready to pick and the other which are still early growing. And boy, were those strawberries ready, those snippets of deep ruby red catching your eye whereever you turned- “there’s another one to pick, and another…”
Ophelia surprised us all by being chief picker and packer for the first few minutes of our arrival, without a sample in sight. That quickly changed, and soon the cousins had taken up their station in the straw, one picking the prime produce straight from the plant, the other from the punnets.
I carried on picking the fruit, with no real difficulty finding juicy strawberries but an enjoyment found in the quiet, therapeautic nature of the task. Surrounded by quiet and stillness except for the distant salivating noise from the children. It began to rain so we ducked into cover and decided now was the time to sample the tea rooms.
The tea rooms are child friendly with a few high chairs and child portions, a comfortable space with local crafts for sale. They were really acommodating for us too, bringing over our drinks and making gluten free food even though it wasn’t on the menu.
There is also a farm shop on the premises, which is very reasonably priced, unfortunately our helpers were pooped by this point, but we will be returning soon to pick the things we missed!
Tomorrow marks one year since we reluctantly returned to our home town, Worthing West Sussex and what a year it has been. I really cannot believe it has been a whole year, it really has flown by.
I’ve been locumming for a year- this has seen me widen my professional skills to now include Rapid assessment skills to avoid hospital admissions, working in GP surgeries with a wide reign and experiencing work in Adult Social Care that I actually enjoy. Not only this, but it has given us a far better work life/stress reduced balance. Whilst I would ideally reduce in order to have an extra day with Ophelia, unfortunately this just isn’t possible with my work at the moment.
Ophelia has adjusted to a Worthing nursery when I thought she never would, and continues to amaze me on a daily basis. I learnt to accept the new nurdery, when I never thought I would.
We spent our first Summer in commuter hell, with not only both of us driving to and from Brighton in rush hour both ways, 5 days a week, but dragging Ophelia over too.
We still haven’t done much (?anything) to the house, in fact we still haven’t painted or decorated any of the walls, thankfully it was all liveable, although maybe this is why we have dilly dalied so long?
We knocked our infamous cat wall mural down in order to make more light into our bedroom. It has worked wonders but we still haven’t got round to putting up a bespoke blind as a nod to the mural.
A lot of exploring and re-engaging in our familiar surroundings has occurred, discovering new coffee shops, pubs and restaurants in our ever up and coming area.
Trying to connect with all local events that interest us, because if there is anything we know about this town, it’s that things can fall on their bottom quite often.
We’ve been to Scotland to visit Callum’s Dad, Ireland for my sister’s wedding, and Budapest in March. We have lots more trips planned for the rest of this year; Hamburg, Scotland, Barcelona and Cornwall.
We’ve squeezed in seeing Funeral for a friend, Hans Zimmer and Brand New.
This move has left us feeling better connected to life and people; we live minutes from both our parents, I am now able to pick Ophelia up earlier and meet with her friend’s parents after nursery, and even better, knock for them to see if they fancy a park trip. On which note, we finally went swimming thanks to increased funds since the move, and Ophelia LOVES it. Like a duck to water.
Yes I miss Hove, the vibe, the people the places, the beautiful parks with cafes in (one thing missing here; parks with cafes!)… everything. But in honesty, the good far outweighs the bad.
I lived in Ferring for 20 years of my life, yet I can’t remember ever having been to the Country Centre there. Mother reliably informs me that I had been, but still, I feel terrible that I didn’t go more often.
Having returned to West Sussex last year, after buying a house, I finally got round to taking Ophelia to the Country Centre, along with my family, Callum’s family and in laws as a treat for Mother’s day afternoon tea.
Ferring Country Centre is comprised of a garden centre, riding stables, cafe, small animal farm and playground. It is run for and by the Disabled Riding Association, money raised goes towards horse riding as therapy, which is actually something I wrote an essay on for my OT training.
The cafe is spacious and has some indoor toys for a range of kid ages to get stuck into. The toys are a bit worn but a lovely addition for rainy days.
Outside the playground is great for toddler aged kids, with swings, a roundabout, seesaw, frame, trampoline and animal noise interactive boards.
The farm has a surprising amount of variety including ducks, pigs, donkeys tortoises, horses and even llama! Have you ever seen a llama run?! I sure have! Ophelia found it hilarious and she loved stroking the donkeys and making noises at the pigs.
Ophelia and her cousin loved it and we’ll definitely be back again, at every age there are new ways to engage the children.