Sometimes you just need to take the bull by the horns and go for it. I guess that’s why so many people have the childhood memory of sitting on a seafront promenade, eating soaked fish and chips in the rain. Hood up. As they look out over the sea, they promise themselves that they will never ever put their own children through the experience. (But of course they do. We all do.)
Life cannot be put on hold just because the weather’s not ideal. We’d never get anything done.
This week has been wet and windy, with a splattering of sunshine for us, but when I look back, we’ve spent more time out than inside feeling sorry for ourselves.
We went to the Bath and West show, which everyone enjoyed. There was a short burst of rain, but on the whole, we were lucky.
Seeking more time outside, at home we put up our garden shelter and had a fabulous evening sitting out and toasting marshmallows over the fire bowl. There is nothing more wonderful than being outside with my family in an evening. Joined by our resident bats swerving in their evening flight, to investigate what their
mad humans are doing, this time. They are curious like creatures, and so wonderful.
The children put on a light show. It became a competition on who could make the clearest image. I captured a few on my camera by changing the ISO setting to 6400. No-one went to bed early. I think this may become a family favourite.
Unfortunately, the wind picked up the garden shelter, a few days later, and impaled it on our oak tree. It took the whole family to retrieve it. The oak tree won. I’m afraid we won’t be using the shelter again, but at least it’s no longer in the branches.
There is no doubt, however, simple playthings are the best. I’m so impressed by how the children can have fun with the most basic of objects. Give a child a tree, a rope and a piece of wood and they will play for ages.
My parent’s dug out the tree swing when we visited and the children set it up. Taking turns to swing. Higher each time.
They really did have fun. It was quite a wrench to see them back in their uniforms on Monday and heading off to school. Although I did bring youngest back home again, when I realised that they had an Inset day. Oops! He tagged along for the day with me instead. We popped in to see my parents again, and he stayed with them while I went to the dentist, so the day was good. Apart from maybe the dentist part.
We’ve been out noting all the changes in our garden and local area. We took a detour on our morning dog walk, through a local meadow which was splattered with common spotted orchids, as far as you could see, and more wild flowers than I could identify. Photos taken and we’ll research them soon.
Back home in our wild areas in the garden, it was noticeable how the the insects started buzzing as soon as the rain stopped. Waiting at the bottom of the stalks and under leaves to avoid the raindrops. There was a cloud of blue damsel flies triggered by the sun coming out.
These bugs are new to me, but are currently on my awesome list. I know they don’t look much and I would hate to meet one scaled up, but they are amazing little critters. This is the larvae of the dock leaf beetle. I included a photo of adult beetle last week. If ever a bug was a good reason not to spray an area with herbicides and insecticides, I’d put these ones forward as candidates. These guys annihilate dock. We are talking shredding it. Amazing. (Understandably, farmers don’t want dock in their silage as it reduces fermentation and quality, but hopefully you can see where I’m going with this.)
During the week, I visited a friend who has recently moved, to see her new house. We had lunch at the local lavender farm. The flowers weren’t quite out, giving us an excuse to go back in a few weeks. It was still a relaxing lunch alfresco, overlooking the purple fields.
Looking back through the photos, it is amazing how much time we do spend outside. My youngest summed it up so perfectly. He reminded me that we’d never see all the interesting nature if we were in the car. You have to get out and look.
This is our first week of the Easter holiday. It’s been a good start. The weather has been kind and the children have settled down to being a merry band of friends again. They shook off the dust of school. The age and school differences soon diminished. They were ready for adventures again.
I restrict screen time. It’s not perfect, but it does mean that I don’t spend the whole day talking to the backs of their heads. They need to look for other alternatives. We are hugely lucky to be surrounded by woods and fields, on all sides. Places to explore. Spotting nature. Especially as they are old enough to go off by themselves now.
Whether on foot or bike.
So long as they go with at least one other.
The track is suitable for mountain bikes and goes on for about a mile, until you would need a machete to get through. I’m not sending them into the woods with one of those! They have had so much fun this week, riding their bikes and pushing their limits. Each day they show me new bruises and tell me new things they’ve spotted.
New skills they are acquiring from being out there and doing.
They’ve also had fun doing more stone crafting and playing badminton in the garden. They’ve spent a few days helping me to clear the kitchen garden, ready for planting.
It is all action here.
The dogs are loving all the energy this week. Sometimes they join the children. Inbetween, they catch up with sleep. Ready for the next adventure.
Word of the week: Action
I think we’ve had cabin fever. Not sure why I didn’t click before. It took a beautiful weekend to make me realise. We’ve been out and about over the winter, but this weekend, we were out. All the time.
No longer cooped up. The bickering stopped. The tittle-tattle tailed away. They worked together, just as I know they can.
The bikes came out, along with scooters and skateboards. Not forgetting the poi. Middle daughter has been attending a club and learning more spinning moves. She is way ahead of me now.
The best part was watching her teach her older sister, who was just as keen to learn. They spent hours and hours perfecting the moves and their friendship.
Turns out that she is a good teacher with interesting techniques. I can’t help smiling at the shadows they cast.
I’m not alone in enjoying seeing the sun out again. The boy decided that he wanted to experiment with the sun’s rays and harness it.
After struggling with a magnifying glass from a bug kit, that produced the smallest hint of smoke, he did upgrade to a higher spec. Worthy of Sherlock Holmes. It was as the leaf sent out an immediate and impressive flash of a flame that he fully appreciated the difference in the magnifying strength.
The three children worked as a team to refine the distance, to perfect the effect of the sun’s power, and burn holes in a few more leaves. In the meantime, their father cut the grass, and I sowed seeds and started on the kitchen garden.
Let’s hope this weekend is as good. Plenty more leaves to experiment with.