#30DaysWild Day 29 – Lavender in the rain

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_29Another rainy day and one I was quite happy to hide indoors from if my two year old hadn’t insisted on leaving the house.

If we hadn’t have gone out I would have missed the wonderful service she was given in a clothes shop even though all the shoes she tried on were too big.  Many thanks to the Peacocks ladies – I think you have won an enthusiastic mini customer (when her feet have grown a bit more anyway).

Bees seem to like lavender in the sun too

And I would have missed the rich scent the rain brought out from the lavender in a neighbouring garden that we passed on the way back.  I wasn’t dawdling due to the conditions but it still gave me pause to take in one of those simple things in life that are mood lifting.

Children don’t always view weather conditions the same as adults do.  I wonder when it starts to change?  Hopefully not too soon for Willow.

Did you know?: Today is International Mud Day

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#30DaysWild Day 28 – Stick inspiration

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_28#30DaysWilders looking for inspiration for their daily act of wildness need look no further than their phones.

30DaysAppDownload the 30 Days Wild app, tap the screen and read on.

Today I was given “Celebrate the humble stick: Pooh stick, lightsaber, wand?  Think of 100 things to do with a stick”.

Sticks are definitely among the minis’ favourite things.  Last year I borrowed The Stick Book: loads of things you can make or do with a stick by Jo Schofield and Fiona Danks and the minis have easily rounded up their 70 projects to 100 in the last 12 months – even if some of their games aren’t always intelligible to adults or if sometimes the point of holding a stick is simply to hold a stick.

IMG_9347[1]There is certainly no question that there is value in them though.

When Luke made a rather impressive wand as part of his nursery’s forest school sessions he was most upset that a friend had forgotten to take his home but I’m sure it was magicked back home the next day too.



Newark Book Festival 2017

NBF logoThe biggest ever Newark Book Festival promises to transform the Nottinghamshire town into a land of adventure and heroes during the event’s weekend of July 15th and 16th.

Back for its third year, more than 100 authors, artists, entertainers, wordsmiths and street performers will take part in ticketed panel discussions, live music, book markets, children’s storytelling, family activities and literary talks on everything from crime writing to bear hunts to the BFG and Sherlock Holmes to Steampunk in various venues across Newark.

gecko echo cover (2)Sara Bullimore, artistic director for Newark Book Festival, said: “We’re so excited to be building the festival with a new feel, brand and working with more venues to bring a bigger festival to Newark. Our programme is full of fantastic fictional tales and amazing true stories from some of the UK’s finest writers; showcasing their talent, stimulating debate and inspiring the next generation of writers.

wally-wizard (2)“We chose this year’s theme, Adventures and Heroes, to celebrate Visit England’s Year of Literary Heroes, as well as Nottinghamshire’s incredible writers.  There’ll be something for book lovers of all ages, from children’s writers and comedy theatre groups to best-selling novelists and the finest local writing talent.”

Pirate Pete HB cover (2)Mini readers may want to look out for Wally the Wizard on his Magic Ship of Stories, Words and Pictures and Make and Create Mr Men workshops and the launch of the library’s Summer Reading Challenge on the first day of the festival.

And on the Sunday, they can take part in The Festival’s Famous Adventures, celebrating 75 years’ of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five, at Newark Castle alongside face painting, treasure hunts and the inimitable Admirable Admirals, as well as enjoying a Pirate Pete storytime at the town hall and time to meet Doctor Rhyme in the Market Place.

Tickets are on sale now from the Newark Palace Theatre Box Office, call 01636 655755.

For a full programme and to find out more visit www.newarkbookfestival.org.uk

#30DaysWild Day 27 – I’m Not Cute!

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_27Tonight’s storytime was I’m Not Cute! by Jonathan Allen.

Baby owl takes a walk through the forest and encounters other woodland animals who all think he’s cute and fluffy.

ImNotCuteBaby owl disagrees.  Vehemently.  He thinks he’s a “huge and scary hunting machine”.  But when his mum agrees with him, he suddenly remembers he is cute too.  Fortunately his mum knows he’s both.

This is one of my favourite books at the moment because it epitomises my two year old (tired temper tantrums and all) – she may be little but she is fierce, unless she’s a little bit tired and just needs a cuddle instead.

Our other favourite stories featuring owls include Wow Said The Owl, Owl Babies and Oliver’s Wood.



#30DaysWild Day 26 – Busy bee

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_26With a planned day out to an under 10s theme park, I wasn’t sure what form today’s #30DaysWild would take.

Fortunately Luke had it covered immediately.

As soon as he made it downstairs he wanted to make a bee out of a bottle.  Apparently Mister Maker would know how to.

Not to be outdone by Mister Maker, Daddy rose to the challenge very quickly, even providing the apian with teeth which seemed to be very important.


Apparently Mister Maker would have used a lollipop stick as well, at which point daddy went back to reiterating the importance of getting ready to go out for the day.

(Only four days left in The Great British Bee Count)

I needn’t have worried anyway.  Sundown Adventureland’s play areas are predominantly outside and any open air attraction would feel barren and unwelcoming if it didn’t incorporate nature’s colourful offerings into its design too.

Fortunately the Nottinghamshire theme park obviously employs groundsmen as well as ride operators and their efforts were being smiled upon by some very bright blue skies today.


#30DaysWild Day 25 – The tree that changed how we understand the universe

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_25A Flower of Kent apple tree which produces cooking apples earned itself a page in science history rather than a recipe book when one of its ripe green fruits dropped to the ground in front of a young mathematician, astronomer and physicist.

Since known as the “gravity tree”, Isaac Newton credited witnessing this natural action with giving him pause to think about why everything always falls down and not sideways or upwards.

Visitors to his birthplace Woolsthorpe Manor, near Grantham in Lincolnshire, as we were today, can still see the tree, or at least the one that re-grew from the original’s roots following a storm in 1820.


Certified by the Tree Council as one of 50 Great British Trees, it is now surrounded by a low barrier precisely to protect those roots.


Along with the chance to be inspired by the tree and play hide and seek in its surrounding garden, the National Trust property also maintains the small farmhouse which, as well as telling “a story of Isaac in every room, from his premature birth to his time as President of the Royal Society”, also houses a hidden mouse in each room for its younger visitors to find – very enthusiastically in our case as, after completing the task at speed, the minis wanted to search for them all over again.

And, alongside a children’s activity room, there’s also a Science Centre where you can make your own discoveries in light and gravity (as well as buy your obligatory day out ice cream from the adjoining cafe).

I particularly enjoyed the short film (at least the start of it as one of my own minis’ needs prevented me making it through to the end) which imagines Newton’s life narrated by his mum, worrying for her different, strange child who wasn’t very good at farming.  You want to somehow let her know, from one mum to another, it’s going to be all right, he’s not just going to do quite well for himself after all – he’s going to change humankind’s understanding of the universe (with thanks to the tree of course).  Not bad for a mini one.




#30DaysWild Day 24 – Everything’s coming up wildflowers

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_24We had nothing properly planned for most of today so it was particularly lovely that a last minute decision to attend a school fete also brought about the serendipitous discovery that the school in question had a wildflower area of its own.  How fabulous is that?

Luke thought the school’s race track was actually it’s most fabulous asset so whilst he gleefully continued his circuits, Willow and I took a few minutes to go flower spotting.

Willow doesn’t have that many intelligible words yet but the flowers were certainly making them bloom out of her today.

“There’s one”, “another daisy”, “ooo one more” and so on – from the tiniest example to the tallest she was excited to be taking time to find them with me.

Definitely reason to stop and take time just to look around us in future.

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