One of the best things about #30DaysWild is that it literally encourages you to take time to stop and smell the roses and it makes me much more observant of my immediate environment than I normally am when just getting from A to B.
Britmums, “Britain’s biggest collective of lifestyle bloggers & social influencers”, runs a regular monthly photo prompt challenge with daily themes – #SnapHappyBritMums – and today’s prompt was “Colour”.
And today’s walk to and from a children’s group definitely provided that.
From all shapes and sizes – little and large, fluted and bells, sprays and buds, petals and leaves, striped and spots, short and tall, fuzzy, silky and spiky – and all situations – cultivated and wild, in garden flower borders, hanging baskets, plant pots, peeking over fences, bursting through cracks in pavements, walls and roads reclaiming their natural place in our tarmacked city – my eyes were treated to a full rainbow of colours too.
Numerous shades of green, pinks and purples, oranges, red and black, whites and yellows were all there just for the noticing.
With such a bounty on my doorstep I’m ashamed I cannot put more names to them than I can. I’m fine with the poppies, buttercups, daisies, roses, dandelions, lavenders and ivies of my pathways but would definitely need help identifying some of their neighbours.
If you would like a find identified, be it flora or fauna, then the #30DaysWild community in the Facebook group is definitely a good place to post – full of knowledgeable, helpful and enthusiastic fellow wildlife lovers. In fact I may just pop over there to post a link to this now…
When the sun makes the slides in the park too hot to use it’s just not fun anymore.
So, as out outdoor efforts were curtailed today, here are some facts about the Sun (which I keep reminding myself that all life on earth is dependent on) that I’ve just learnt courtesy of Google:
The Sun is the star at the centre of our solar system and is responsible for the Earth’s climate and weather. The sun is an almost perfect sphere with a difference of just 10km in diameter between the poles and the equator – SpaceFacts.com
The Sun alone contains 99.8% of the total mass in the Solar System. In terms of size, the Sun has a diameter of roughly 1.4 million kilometers (870,000 miles). To put this in perspective, this is almost 110 times the diameter of the Earth. What this means is that about one million Earth’s could fit inside the Sun – theplanets.org
Astronomers think that the Sun (and the planets) formed from the nebular about 4.59 billion years ago. Its temperature is 5,500 degrees Celsius on the surface and a whopping 15.6 million degrees Celsius at the core. Light from the Sun reaches the Earth in just 8 minutes! – CBBC Newsround
Hopefully tomorrow I shall be Googling “facts about cool breezes”.
If you’re planning to do the Lincoln Knights trail on Wednesday, June 21st and Thursday, June 22nd then you’re going to come up one short unless you head a couple of miles north of the city and walk through the gates of the Lincolnshire Showground.
Designer and illustrator Mel Langton’s Show us what you’ve got knight will be riding into the county’s showcase event, taking the spotlight at the Epic Centre during the Lincolnshire Show, before being returned to her trail position in City Square in Lincoln.
Mel said: “My aim for the Lincolnshire Showground Knight was to show off all that the region has to offer, highlighting the significant role the Showground plays in entertaining and educating locals as well as attracting visitors from further afield.
“It was therefore really important to add lots of detail into the design, representing everything from live concerts to farming shows – you need to look really closely to spot everything.”
The knight with blonde plaited hair and rosy pink cheeks “to show off the healthy glow that you get from the great Lincolnshire outdoors” is far from the only mounted guest to be attending the Show.
Along with the showjumpers, Shetlands, hunters and shires, there are also more than 40 half-sized knights that will need stabling too.
Launching at the Show as part of the wider Knights’ Trail, is the Education Programme, led by the EBP. The trail of one metre high exhibits have been designed by local children from 42 different primary, secondary and special schools. The education Knights will be displayed across the Show before moving to indoor locations throughout the city centre until the start of September when they are returned to the schools.
Jayne Southall, CEO of the Lincolnshire Showground, said: “We cannot wait to unveil our Knight army at the Show, it has been great working with all the different partners involved and we look forward to celebrating what really will be a unique year showcasing Lincolnshire at its best.”
Matt Corrigan, chief executive of Lincoln Business Improvement Group, said: “The Lincolnshire Show is playing an important part in the programme for the Lincoln Knights’ Trail by hosting the launch of the Education Programme. A new addition for the 2017 trail will be the 40 half-sized Knights; and Lincoln BIG is particularly pleased that EBP has involved so many schools across our county.”
Of course the Show isn’t just all about its equine exhibitors. Freestyle motocross displays, agricultural machinery as well as farm animals, rural crafts, dog agility, retail therapy, culinary delights and demonstrations and an aviation zone are just some of the other highlights of the two-day event which attracts about 60,000 visitors each year.
If you’re planning on taking your mini ones on either, or both, days this year then you can help build their excitement by downloading an activity pack ahead of the event. Containing a wordsearch, maze, Beasties & Beanstalks game, mini Knights map, colouring in, recipe and details of this year’s Schools’ Challenge, you can start their fun even before they set foot through the gates.
Advanced tickets to the Lincolnshire Show are £19 for adults. Children are £6 and under-fives go free. Family tickets, admitting two adults and up to three children, are £40. Car parking is free on both days.
I’m going to say it. After all of last year’s #30DaysWild and the beginning of this one spent moaning about the rain… oh, my isn’t it too hot!
Turns out whatever my mixed nationality background, I’m very British when it comes to the weather.
Today was the first time I’ve taken part in Photo an Hour, posting on Twitter (#photoanhour) each hour to document our day.
Our day was originally planned to be very full of arranged activities, perfect for jumping in on the hashtag party for the first time I thought, and it at least started out that way as we made it to ballet class first thing in the morning.
We then headed to another inside activity, this time popping into Lincoln Inspired at The Collection in Lincoln. At the Magical World of Fingley crafting table, Luke was helped to make a monster and Willow an owl before she had the opportunity to meet pixie Astori and Dodl the bear. And mummy learnt about the Fingley’s themed restaurant in Barton that’s definitely gone on our “to visit” list.
Refreshments were had:
And then we finally headed outside to enjoy the weather and continue with the Lincoln Knights trail, ticking off another four on the list.
It was after this and the following walk back to the car park that the heat started to take its toll. Several Malpi members were in need of a nap (although only three were able to take the opportunity) and, instead of heading to one of the Jo Cox Great Get Togethers and a school fair, we simply crash landed at Grandmum’s.
Story time with an Old MacDonald’s Farm finger puppet book provided a short cool down five minutes but as soon as the mini ones were refuelled:
they certainly weren’t going to be satisfied with sitting down for the rest of the day so, whilst mummy continued to feed an understandably extra thirsty Faith, daddy got dragged outside again, this time for a water pistol fight:
Grandmum’s back garden, including the former pond, also provided an excellent environment for hide and seek.
As well as pretty purple/pink flowers:
Whilst the front garden was reserved for daddy to chase little monsters:
And then, when finally exhausted again, it was time to get back into the car.
The day may not have gone quite to plan but we were still able to enjoy a wild time without melting temperatures prompting too many mini meltdowns.
We often acknowledge how lucky we are to have a fairly large back garden relative to the area we live in as we live on a corner but we often forget that we’re very privileged to have a garden at all as many families don’t.
And we should definitely make more time for just chilling in it and seeing where the mini ones’ imaginations take us.
The log steps have been used as a stage for singing and guitar playing performances, as the Grand Old Duke of York’s hill and as mountains to climb, among many other things.
And having a slower day also gives more opportunity for sharing the smaller moments of your child’s wonder that you may otherwise miss. Such as Willow’s “wow” when a breeze blew a leafy strand past their playhouse’s window today. A room with a view is very important!
We’re big Julia Donaldson fans in the Malpi household and The Snail and the Whale, originally recommended by my aunt, is one of our favourite titles.
It certainly fuels my wanderlust to visit wild places “Of shimmering ice and coral caves, And shooting stars and enormous waves” or to go “To towering icebergs and far-off lands, With fiery mountains and golden sands”.
And it’s also a lovely tale of how even the smallest among us can make a difference on a large scale.
Maybe tomorrow we’ll ask the snails in our back garden whether they’ve ever hitched a lift on the tail of a great big, grey-blue humpback whale.