Day Two #30DaysWild: On the subject of lions…

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_02LionLuke may have had his turn as the king of the jungle yesterday – Day One #30DaysWild – but today it was Willow’s turn to be the head of the pride by trying on a lion costume in the playroom at The Collection in Lincoln.

It wasn’t a weak attempt at fulfilling a “wild” remit though as today’s planned activity actually happened!  Although Luke and Willow also had antipodean and prehistoric wild creatures covered in their dressing up play just in case.

Before heading to the museum for the afternoon we had taken to the water for a morning’s leisurely cruise departing from the Brayford Pool in the centre of the city.

The belles of the Brayford Belle were very welcoming and incredibly helpful with getting the pushchair on and off the boat which meant a hassle-free start to a very relaxing trip.

We have always had this on our Lincoln to-do list but, whilst we have been on boat trips in other towns and cities, we don’t always get the chance to be tourists at home so I’m grateful to #30DaysWild to giving me the push to do it.

Life definitely seems to take on a different pace when you’re afloat and the calm travelling tempo gave us plenty of time to view the flora and fauna around the riverbank.

GlovesAccording to the commentary, previous passengers have spotted wildlife including kingfishers, dragonflies and foxes at the water’s edge although today’s highlights were swans, ducks, reeds and lily pads, that I learnt that pyewipe is another name for a lapwing and, for Willow, getting to try her Grandmum’s gloves on.

It must have been a good trip because within minutes of it starting another young passenger was asking if they could come again and Willow’s Grandmum commented on the way back how nice it would be to do it again at a different stage in the season to see the changing landscape.

I’m also grateful to #30DaysWild for making me look a little closer at my surroundings as I walk about to spot the small as well as big wild views, such as the pretty flowers making this bridge their home elsewhere in the city.

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Day One of the #30DaysWild challenge

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_01Day one of the challenge and things are already not going to plan.

I was going to head back to the field of our previous misadventure (Planning ahead for #30DaysWild), this time with just one child and no pushchair, but rain stopped play before it even started.

With Luke sporting a Gruffalo top and me putting on a flowery tunic just in case that was as good as it was going to get today, we headed towards the Diddy Disco at the Lincoln Drill Hall instead for some indoor energy-sapping fun.

He immediately made a beeline for the face painting queue and requested a lion.  Lions are wild aren’t they?  This counts, doesn’t it?

It certainly counts in the happy-making stakes because he spent the rest of the day exchanging roars with any other fellow big cat fan.

IMG_20160601_145702000We might have been in the centre of town but Lincoln is a pretty, not gritty, city and we are very lucky to not have to look far at any point to enjoy natural views – and the swans certainly seem to like it here too.

BookDisplayAnd it also meant I had the chance to pop in to Waterstones in the High Street to see what resources they had to offer and I was certainly not disappointed when greeted with this fabulous display of nature themed books and items such as binoculars and bug hunting kits.

IMG_20160601_170244825Both scenes are definitely preferable to the one that was trying to pass for “countryside” in my husband’s office today.  If you have to label it…

 

IMG_20160601_185520491But he was also greeted by the colourful display currently outside our house when we returned home and it was nice to see some bees enjoying it too.

Whilst not to plan already, perhaps we didn’t do too badly for Day One of #30DaysWild after all.

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Is it June yet? My kids are already wild!

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LEGO men like to explore nature too

The #30DaysWild challenge run by The Wildlife Trusts starts tomorrow and I’ve been Planning ahead for it by trying to come up with lots of ideas of what we can do, especially if we get stuck around town or indoors for a day (or 30) for whatever reason.

But what I should probably do is simply watch my children decide for themselves.

From LEGO men exploring the wilds of our back garden to camping in it overnight to the sticks you can find to play with in a Tesco car park, Luke has this urban nature explorer thing under control already.

He was even wearing his “Walk on the wild side” slogan T-shirt for the supermarket trip!  Ideal if I’d only taken the photo two days later…

And Willow was not to be out done taking a keen interest in the feathered residents throughout the beautiful grounds of Rufford Country Park during our Bank Holiday Monday day out – a very good suggestion by some close friends whose daughter joined Luke in revelling in running through the open spaces, woodland and paths around the lake.

And there were even a few sand angels thrown in for fun too.

It was, of course, a May Bank Holiday, not a June one.  I’m hoping we haven’t peaked too early and won’t run out of steam before the challenge has even started but I’m glad it appears my children will be willing participants.

I’m just going to pretend that I haven’t looked at the weather forecast for the next few days…

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One very happy camper

IMG_20160529_171013993_HDRHow do you get a 3.5 year old to want to get ready for bed early?

Put up a tent in your back garden!

We discovered at the end of our last camping trip that our tent leaks quite significantly so we needed to put it up to take a look and decide what to do ahead of this year’s camping season.

Cue one very excited son requesting his pyjamas on at 5pm, asking frequently to sleep in the tent to make sure we understood what he wanted and being most concerned that everyone else put their pyjamas on as soon as possible too.

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Roll mats make good play dens too

Several trips to and from the house to top up the tent’s toy selection, a mammoth storytime, the need to incorporate the garden slide into the sleeping arrangements and five hours later, he finally calmed down enough to actually sleep.

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Top tip: You should probably make sure your tent will fit in your garden before attempting to pitch it

Waking up to birdsong is lovely, shame that it was 4am and that my roll mat had been upside down all night.

At some point we will need to reclaim our garden as the tent does take up the whole lawn.  And whilst the weather’s nice it’s easy enough to fulfil his desire to sleep outside but this is England and it’s not going to last.  I’m not sure he’s going to take the news well.

When our car broke down last year we did consider not replacing it at all at first and I’m fairly sure Luke is now contemplating if there’s a real need for bricks and mortar when you can have canvas but I’m also sure that mummy and daddy would come to a much quicker and more definite decision about that.

But at least we know he’ll be looking forward to a few weekends away in the tent again this year, if we can ever convince him to get dressed again that is.

 

 

Lovely day out, even if a week too soon…

BransbyHorsesSummerFayreThere are many ways I display the effects of sleep deprivation but today’s symptom du jour was turning up for an event a week early.

Between scheduling tweets for various works and doing a bit of late Facebook surfing last night, I came across an advert for a Summer Fayre at Bransby Horses.

You might notice that right in the centre of the poster is the date – Sunday, June 5th.

You might.  Sadly, I obviously did not.

Somewhere in my cross-wired brain I’d assumed it was today and only when we were pulling in to the rescue centre and reading their promotional banner did the penny drop.

But, seeing as it had been more than three years since we’d visited Bransby and as we were blessed with such lovely weather, we took the opportunity to enjoy sandwiches in the cafe, play in the little park, ride a hobby horse, do a bit of colouring and even say hello to a few donkeys and horses while we were there.

If you want to go on the actual day of the Fayre you’ll also be treated to kids crafts, face painting, charity stands, falconry and more and there’s even a free Stagecoach bus service to help you get there.

Let me know if you have fun!

Ear today, gone tomorrow…

Who’d like to see what an ear grommet looks like?

This one came out of my son’s right ear today (don’t worry I cleaned it first):

Grommets are a treatment for glue ear which he was tested for due to his speech delay.

His last ear appointment at the hospital was postponed for a month so now we’re really hoping it’s not postponed again – we really don’t need him to have another excuse not to listen to us!

Planning ahead for #30DaysWild

Yesterday I signed up to the 30 Days Wild challenge.

Organised by The Wildlife Trusts, the charity is challenging people to do something wild every day during the month of June.

Today I’m thinking I might have been a bit too enthusiastic.

The photo I’m currently using on Twitter and Facebook was taken in a field by the side of a local play park that we have enjoyed visiting a few times.  All four of us together, sans pushchair:

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Today, buoyed by my impulsive internet information field filling, I decided it would be a good idea for Luke, Willow and me to take a stroll there in the afternoon whilst my husband was still at work.  Which meant the double pushchair came too.

When I reached the fenced entrance and discovered it was too narrow to get the pushchair through I should probably have given up then.

But, proving the ultralight credentials of my Joovy Caboose Ultralight, I hoisted the buggy over the barrier determined not to be thwarted by the first obstacle I came up against before the challenge has even started properly.

Light it might be, but an all-terrain vehicle, it turns out, it is not.

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Willow was in for a bumpy ride when she decided she was too tired from climbing up and down the park’s slide to continue walking and I was glad that, despite threatening otherwise, it had remained a fairly dry day otherwise I’m not completely convinced I would have been able to experience the relief of emerging out from the other end of the path back on to pavement.

Our walk definitely fulfilled the remit of getting closer to nature though as Luke delighted in making his way through flower gates, over plant hurdles and in generally being an intrepid explorer for the afternoon.

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We were even treated to an aerobatic display by the Red Arrows as we headed home – a regular but always stunning sight in the vast Lincolnshire skies – and I figured there are some skills that are probably a lot more involved than just pushing a buggy across a field.

So, however ill-advised, I remain undeterred and am looking forward to welcoming June and its challenge to “make room for nature in your life”.

“No matter where you live – from an urban jungle to a windswept mountain – wildlife and wild places are all around, waiting to be discovered by you,” say The Wildlife Trusts.

Added to the promise we’ll “feel happier, healthier and more connected to nature” by taking part, I await the inspirational pack that’s on its way to us in the post with great anticipation.

If nothing else, its wallchart planner might help me plan ahead a little bit better.