Day 26 #30DaysWild: Poppies

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_26We actually achieved one of my #30DaysWild list yesterday!

Lincoln Castle is currently privileged to be host to Poppies:Wave by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper.  The sweeping arch of red poppy heads, presented by 14-18 NOW, marks the centenary of the First World War.

The sculpture Wave, along with Weeping Window, was initially conceived as the key dramatic sculptural elements in the installation Blood Swept lands and Seas of Red at the Tower of London in the autumn of 2014.

Once the conflict of WW1 was over, often only poppies would grow on the battlefields.  The blood red flower came to symbolise the sacrifice of all those who died and the rebirth of the land.  As we often do, we turn to the natural world for remembrance and healing.

The cascade, a whole yet made up of identifiable individual stems, is very powerful and further enhanced by the few real poppies finding their own home on a wall overlooking the sculpture.

Entry into the castle and to see the Wave is free but we were lucky to have won a family ticket in a Christmas raffle and were able to enjoy even more areas of the visitor attraction.  Unfortunately the Magna Carta and the Charter of the Forest were away from their vault due to humidity but we certainly enjoyed the Medieval wall walk.

The views were spectacular and Luke was especially proud of himself for managing all the steps – “I did it!” he told me, and his dad, and the castle guide and a fellow visitor and…

Sadly he didn’t quite manage one of the steps in the main castle area later on – many thanks to the mum who came to my aid with some very useful wipes!

An ice cream later plus the chance to have a go at stone carving and he was all smiles again.

Hoping that we would be able to visit the installation (which runs until September 4th) has also made me look out for poppies during our journeys in the last few weeks and I certainly haven’t been disappointed.

Lest we forget.

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Day 24 and 25 #30DaysWild: Stickering fun

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_24We had our own disappointing personal news to contend with on Friday morning when we discovered that Luke will have to have grommets in again.

His hearing measured even lower than at his previous test and glue ear is definitely still very much a problem.

We were more or less expecting this but what we weren’t expecting was to be told he may need a another procedure further down the line too.  It isn’t being carried out now as he is very light for his age but another eight or nine months in the future when they’d review the latest grommets and it might be the right time.

So we needed cheering up.

Our signing class always succeeds in that but we also decided to head back to Go Outdoors afterwards and just choose a different tent to buy after our previous failed attempt.  The staff were very helpful (probably as anxious to get our two mini enthusiastic explorers out of the store as we were!) and this time we left with a four-man canvas home in hand.

We left, of course, right in the middle of a downpour.  So we haven’t had chance to put the new tent up yet to check it (not that Luke thought this was a suitable reason) and it cemented our decision not to camp that weekend after all but the promise of holidays to come helped to lift spirits.

IMG_20160624_191731179And who doesn’t love a sticker?

Having had to spend the better half of the day inside and missing our park date in the late afternoon due to the weather I re-found the sticker books I’d bought before the start of #30DaysWild for just such an occasion.

Usborne First Sticker Book Nature and Hedgehogs, Hares and other British Animals, a nature sticker book from the National Trust, provided our fingertips with more than 300 stickers for some bedtime fun.
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Willow started Saturday with the opportunity to get behind a dinosaur mask again – have you ever heard a baby triceratops roar? – this time at the Lincoln Mums Expo at The Showroom.  And they both got to pretend to be mini dolphins at their normal swimming classes.

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But otherwise it was a case of more rain, more stickers.  But seeing as the books were eagerly asked for before bedtime it was nice to know they were good purchases.

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Day 23 #30DaysWild: Purple, white and green

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_23Inspired by other #30DayWild-ers who have been compiling rainbows with their nature finds, I thought I’d look out for suffragette colours today, because it’s that kind of a day.

Symbolising dignity, purity and hope, nature certainly has purple, white and green covered – and these all within 50 metres of our polling station.

Fingers crossed for all our futures!

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Day 21 and 22 #30DaysWild: Blue skies above

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_21My son was obviously in the #30DaysWild mood from the start of yesterday finding a copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar for us to read when out and about early in the day.

It was all about the skies for me though as the white fluffy clouds on background of light blue were distinctly different to Monday’s views.

Buoyed by the changing weather and some helpful advice from a Facebook family camping group we set off in the late afternoon to buy a tent from Go Outdoors to replace our old sieve-like structure.

We’re not known for making decisions, let alone quick decisions, so something was bound to go wrong.  We made it to the till with what we thought was our choice to find out that it was a much more expensive one that had been stored in the display model that we had chosen and we didn’t notice the difference because they’d sold out of the one we wanted.

I think most parents know that they shouldn’t promise things to their children unless they’re 100% sure they’re going to happen.  We certainly had that impressed upon us as the possibility of leaving the store without a tent clearly wasn’t going to be accepted by my three year old.

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So we ended up buying the cheapest one they had in store to be able to camp out in the wilds of our back garden instead.  It’s much more appropriately sized for here than our previous canvas home but wasn’t quite what we were looking for, for this weekend.  Back to the drawing board on that one…

But clearly the home one is a success – within in minutes of it being up (if not slightly before), Willow made sure it had all the comforts of home by bringing out the Mr Tumble DVD to put in it and Luke had requested his pyjamas on.
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As anyone else who works from home knows, there are definite pros and cons to such an arrangement.

Being able to sit at your desk, laptop on, with your doors and windows open and your keyboard tapping being accompanied by bird song and light summer breezes definitely has to be one of the great advantages.

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Day 19 and 20 #30DaysWild: Happy Daddy Day!

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_19Mother Nature was obviously in the mood to celebrate fathers on Sunday as the sun was thankfully smiling on the day.

After Luke and Willow had listened to daddy read his new book The Dinosaur That Pooped Daddy, helped him try on his new socks and tasted his sweets, we headed to one of our favourite places, Whisby Natural World Centre.

A local nature reserve owned and managed by the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, it has made a great effort to welcome families over the years and its current developments haven’t left out their little visitors either.

Otter’s Reach is their new indoor adventure play area and, having already visited with grandparents, the mini ones ignored the lovely sunshine and headed straight inside.

Fortunately there is a lovely view out on to the lakes and the birds enjoying the sun so you don’t forget where you are.

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Unsurprisingly there’s lots to do outside too though and, when they had their fill of Otter’s Reach, they then went straight to the Little Darters area with its tunnels and bridges out over the water, sand and water play and sculptures.

Visitors to the Nature Reserve can also enjoy walks around the lakes which we have on many previous occasions too.  “The park was created by quarrying for sand and gravel, but nature has reclaimed the pits and bare sand, creating habitats for many species.”  Find out more on the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust website.

 

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Today, however, was wet.  Very wet.

It necessitated a change of clothes when I finally made it home from a play group.

My shoes proved exceedingly porous too so a significant amount of the weather came inside with us.

IMG_20160620_132017109I did stop briefly to snap these fungi intrigued by their formation but, as much as I am grateful to #30DaysWild for further fuelling my interest in nature and sharing it with my children and prompting me to look out for such sights, today it was probably 30 seconds I could have been closer to home!

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Day 17 #30DaysWild: Tiny discoveries

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_17Thanks to our Tiny Talk class teacher Lynne we now know how to sign thunder and lightning following Wednesday’s stormy excitement.

Typically, whilst today had better weather in store for us, we had indoor activities planned with a play group followed by the toddler signing session.

Not only did we learn signs to do with the weather but we also planted sunflower seeds in pots we decorated for daddy ahead of Fathers’ Day (shh don’t tell daddy until Sunday).

I hadn’t had anything else wild planned ahead so thanks Lynne for inadvertently taking the pressure off!  And I must say her bubble machine makes much nicer pretend rain than the real downpours we’ve been walking in recently.

But Luke is quite capable of finding his own natural entertainment anywhere we go too and my mini explorer took time to find a stick to drag and a leaf pile to kick through (what season are we in?!) even in the most urban of settings of the middle of a road crossing.

Just like these fungi we spotted, determinedly poking through the bark on the edge of the supermarket car park, nature fortunately always wants to reclaim our concrete jungles doesn’t it?

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