Wild Family Fun

Tales of living, working and enjoying life in the outdoors


Surfing… on New Years Eve!

For the first time EVER, our little family spent the Christmas & New Year period on holiday.

It was amazing for us all to be together, spending a full 10 days just relaxing and enjoying our surroundings. After a busy year, it was a much-needed and well-deserved break. Those regular visitors to my little blogette will know that we love to go to Coombe Mill, in Cornwall. The tranquillity and the closeness to the natural outdoors appeals to us, and it made a great setting for us to enjoy Christmas even more.

The most memorable experience, however, was the day of New Years Eve. We decided to spend the day surfing in the sea at beautiful Polzeath Beach. Bonkers, I hear you mutter, given the time of year but, with the proper kit, we hardly noticed the cold and lasted over an hour in the surf, jumping and riding the waves.

We went to a surf shop located right on the beach, where we were able to hire a board, wetsuits, boots, gloves and hats, all of which were much needed in the chilly swell. We used the “privacy” of our car to writhe and wriggle into our wetsuits, and then we were ready to face the waves.

The first few steps into the ocean we sort-of OK, and surprisly not as cold as we anticipated it to be. Having the correct kit is essential, and I was able to slowly lower myself deeper into the water without too much of a cold-shock to the system, acclimatising as I went tentatively ever farther out into the surf.

My daughter caught her first wave and soon stood up straight away, making it look very easy and completely putting her Mum to shame! I don’t mind admitting that I’m not the best surfer, and I can probably count on one hand the amount of times I’ve been able to successfully stand up on a moving board, but I still love the whole experience.

After almost an hour, the wind started to chill our heads, and cheeks began to glow a nice shade of rosy red. We were ready for warm clothes and, as we waddled quickly back to the car, we all agreed that we should visit the nearest tea-rooms, where we enjoyed a steaming pot of tea, and a huge warm scone with extra clotted cream and large spoon of jam!

The ability to enjoy such a wild, fun day with my family was such a brilliant way to end the year and mark the end of a wonderful holiday.

Country Kids

A surprise camping trip

As I’ve been working a lot of weekends completing Duke of Edinburgh expeditions, this post comes from my daughter who wanted to share a picture and some special words about a recent camping overnight trip my husband and her went on to make the most of a weekend together.

‘My Dad surprised me and told me that we were going to St Davids for a night out camping. I was so surprised as my Mum was working and we went straight away after we dropped her at her centre. The weather was sunny and I was looking forward to going swimming in the sea but with my wet suit of course! I love St Davids, it is one of my favourite places to go. Our campsite is so lovely, its right by the harbour so we can go for a five-minute walk and we are right by the sea. After we had some chips for lunch we put our tent up and then went swimming. We were in the sea for ages and even when it started to rain we stayed in because we were already wet! It was so much fun. On Sunday we hired a sit on top kayak and had a paddle in the sea. It was a bit scary as it was very windy but my Dad did all the steering on the boat. The photo I want to show was the Spider Crab we caught in our lobster pots. My Dad swims out a little into the sea and leaves the pots overnight and this huge crab was what we had the next day! My Dad is a chef so he knows how to cook and clean the crab for us to eat. It was so tasty. 

countykids1

We had so much fun and it was lovely to spend time with my Dad. I can’t wait to go camping more with my Mum in the Summer, we always have tons of fun.’

countykids2

 

I loved listening to my daughters adventures when I got home, its lovely to know that even if we can’t be together we still enjoy outdoor adventures and it was great for my daughter to have some wonderful Father and daughter time together too.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Our French Adventure

Now that the winter is well and truly here, I’ve been enjoying looking back over our lovely, (and sunny!), pictures taken during our mini-break to France, over the October half term. We visit France regularly, and we’ve always loved it. We’re very lucky that my husband speaks French. This makes it easier for us to get by and do things, especially as I get tongue-tied when attempting to speak French!

My husband found us a lovely little cottage located on a working farm, just an hour outside of Calais. It’s a beautiful, old-fashioned cottage set within a very quiet village, and in stunning surroundings. It was idyllic, and perfect for a relaxing break away.

We explored our new home and found three very friendly (but very bouncy) dogs who became a complete favourite of my daughter. They would come running over every morning, and my daughter would love leaning out of her window to see them on guard. While we were wandering around, one day, the farmer ushered us into one of the big sheds. He showed us one of the baby calves that had been born that very night! It turned out that he was a twin, and Mummy-cow was delivering another calf. My daughter was so amazed and, if she could, she would’ve stayed all day and helped the farmer deliver the other baby!

france1

We had such a wonderful time. If you’re in France on a Sunday, you have to visit a local street-market to buy some tasty treats and, of course, a roasted chicken. This is a “must-have” (for meat lovers) when visiting a traditional French market. The chickens are cooked on a rotating spit with open flames, and the scent hits you as soon as you enter the market. It’s real treat for us, and a change from the usual “traditional” Sunday roast. We enjoy a juicy roasted chicken, along with a selection of fresh salads. There are fresh cheeses, crusty baguettes, the most delicious cakes and pastries that you could imagine, and the variety of vegetables and fresh fruit is always amazing. I love this way of shopping.

france2

My daughter enjoying her favourite French meal of Moules and frites!

One of my favourite days was when we went for a bike ride. The weather was beautiful and, after changing two flat tyres, we were off. Riding through the villages, looking at the little farms and enjoying the flat paths was amazing. Luckily, we encountered no steep hills and, after a short stop in a little cafe for cold drinks and ice cream, we gained some much-needed energy before heading back home. In total, we rode just over 10k.

My husband was amazed, as he hadn’t been on bike since he was a young boy. We all agreed that French bike-saddles were a LOT less comfortable than our lovely gel seats at home! The irony is that we rode through the village of Agincourt, and my husband was convinced that his sore “derriere” was some kind of French revenge for the famous battle which, incidentally, took place exactly 599 years to the very day that we visited!!

france3

We also spent a wonderful day at a nearby aquarium in Boulogne. My daughter wants to be a marine biologist when she’s older. She loves visiting aquarium, and this one is truly amazing. It’s probably one of the best I’ve ever been to. There are thousands of different species of marine life to look at, all set in huge tanks replicating their natural environment. There are also lots of environmental projects to show children how we can protect endangered species, great talks and films shown throughout the day explaining about things like the impact of pollution on the marine environment, as well as responsible fishing and so much more. (It’s also a great chance for weary parents to rest their feet!). The main attraction for my daughter is the shark tank. She loves to sit and watch, mesmerized, as these huge creatures glide gracefully and silently through the water. The aquarium is located on the beach, and so  we were able to have our picnic lunch overlooking the sunny scenery, followed by-play on the sand. It was hard to believe that it was October, with such wonderful weather.

france4

We had such a lovely, relaxing time and staying on a farm was so interesting for my daughter. There was so much to see and explore, so it was a perfect venue for an outdoor-loving family. It may seem like a lot of work, what with biking, walking etc. There wasn’t much “sitting by a pool in the sun, sipping cocktails” but, for our family, this was activity-filled, fun-packed heaven.

It’s our type of holiday, and we can’t wait to plan our next family adventure abroad!

This post was linked with:

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall



Learning for Life

My Sunday Photo

This photograph reminds me of one of the reasons why I love camping.

I love seeing my daughter all snuggled up in her sleeping bag.

OneDad3Girls

My Sunday Photo

stdavids

Hunting for crabs in St Davids Harbour.

My daughter only picks up the small ones!

OneDad3Girls

That’s Nature

It can be messy, muddy, wet, hot, uncomfortable, funny and enjoyable, in equal measure. It can make you happy and take certain risks that you would never have otherwise imagined. It’s educational, and a greatly diverse learning tool for all ages. You can end up with splinters and cuts, being bitten and stung and, if you’re anything like my family, you will always end the day with dirty clothes.

That’s nature…

…and it’s a wonderful thing.

Throughout my time presenting my experiences via this blog, I have seen how superbly rewarding it is to spend time outdoors together, as a family. I believe that outdoor activities, (from a simple walk through a woodland, up to an exciting wild-water gorge walk), gets everyone involved by interacting with the surroundings and each other, and benefits children and adults alike.

The benefits even include the recalling of fond memories while sorting through some old photographs…….. I immediately remembered us all foraging for mussels and spider crabs in St Davids, Pembrokshire, or taking part in the early morning animal-feeding run at Coombe Mill family farm in Cornwall, and watching my husband, (from the realtive shelter of our tent), while he cooked spaghetti Bolognese in the rain, with only a black bag as his rain coat !

However, in current life and times, there are always going to be barriers creating difficulties in spending time outdoors. Most folks work or have child-care responsilbilites and, after a day filled with commutes or rushing around dropping children to school, making sure household chores are done, (and so much more besides), it’s no wonder that a collapse into bed, or the sofa, remote control in hand, is sometimes all the exercise one can muster.

I’ll tell you……. as much as I love the outdoors, come Friday night, after a busy week, there’s nothing better than a sofa-night, with a movie and a bowl of treats !

But, as the days get longer, and with the threat of warmer weather, we’ve started to plan family camping holidays and activities. Another goal for this year is to walk to the top of Pen-y-Fan, Brecon.

As my daughter gets older, our outdoor adventures are getting more and more challenging. It’s great for our little family to plan ever more adventures and create more memories.

Daily life will always get in the way, and the British weather will always happen, (good and bad), but it won’t stop us from getting out and having our adventures.

I guess that’s just our nature !

PicMonkey Collage2

Volume Down Volume Up100%
00:00:0000:00:0

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall



 

 

Our Visit to the Eden Project

While on holiday in Cornwall recently, we had an absolutely amazing day out at Eden Project. We were staying at the wonderful Coombe Mill, which is very close to the Eden Project, and so we decided that we would make the most of this opportunity to visit.

The Eden Project offers so much; environmental projects which are hands-on and very child friendly. There are stunning gardens with a variety of plants and trees to see. There are also arts and music events, which are available throughout the year. It has so much to see and to do, all in one place, and everything seems to have been cleverly designed to the last detail.

So we headed off for the day and, as we drove down to the car park, we saw the recognizable domes which, in reality, are absolutely huge. We were all so excited. As we walked through the reception area, it led us on to an amazing sight. A huge, vast area. with so much to take in and to see, it felt like we had a fantastic environment to explore all day long.

To start, we made our way around the outer area, walking through the meandering paths, and taking in the landscape. It was a fantastic mix of natural materials and sculptures; (the hidden man-made trees were my favourite.) Such a delight for the senses, we really didn’t want to rush, just in case we missed something.

PicMonkey Collage
With every few steps, there was something new to see. We found that we were all spotting different sights, and you could hear my daughter shouting out ‘come here’, or ‘look, you missed that’. It was such a wonderful start to a journey, and we had only been at the project for about an hour.

PicMonkey Collage1
One of my favorite things was the area which we called the tea park. You are encouraged to bring your own food, always a “plus” in my book. I always find it slightly distasteful when places only want you to eat their food and pay their prices. We had a great area with a climbing-ship for children, and even the tables were turned into a learning tool. The history of tea was explained on the tables, and this educational and interesting touch was amazing.

PicMonkey Collage3
After slowly wandering around, we were inticed into the first dome. We chose the to see the tropical dome first, as we were told how hot and humid it would be. They weren’t wrong, and there was a great pre-thought aspect of an area offering us a free a facility where we could hang up our coats and excess baggage.

When I was younger, I spent a month living in a rainforest, and the feeling I got when I stepped into the dome was exactly that same. It was truly amazing! I have never experienced such a sight or felling. I felt like I’d stepped into a movie set and it took us a few minutes to take it all in.

We slowly wandered around, absorbing every sight, noise and smell. There was so much to take interpret. My daughter loved exploring around this area, as she was able to wander and go ahead of us quite freely. It was a real adventure for her. We saw tropical plants, such as banana trees, coffee, rubber and giant bamboo.

PicMonkey Collage4
Another great part of the rainforest dome was the suspended platform that took us to the very top of the structure. It was 165 feet high! It became hotter with every upward step. It was an expedition in itself, climbing the wobbly steps, and looking in awe at all the plants and waterfalls below. (My husband was a bit worried as before you could make your way up the steps you had to sign a health waiver confirming that one was fit and healthy). Treading slowly up the steps, one at a time, we felt like we were on an action film-set, with every slight wobble of each step. When we got to the top, we enjoyed a brilliant view of the whole dome from all angles.

PicMonkey Collage5

My daughter’s favourite part of the tropical dome was when one of the staff members explained to her about the variety of spices that were grown in the dome. At a life-sized sculpture of a “Spiceboat”, they spent half an hour filling the little draws with different spices, smelling each one and discussing where they’d come from, as well as the history behind each spice. My daughter was fascinated, and she ran off to different trees and leaves, smelling each of them, and coming up with ever more questions for the staff to answer.

PicMonkey Collage6
We left the tropical dome and HAD to stop for a locally-made ice-cream to cool ourselves down. Aftrewards, we headed to the Mediterranean dome. This presented us with a completely different temperature and environment. Dry, humid and warm, it reminded us of “holidays”. As the adults were feeling a bit contemplative at this point, a welcome and lovely addition was that we were in time for the story-telling session taking place in the Citrus Grove. Cushions and mats were placed on the floor giving comfort for tired kids…. (ans adults). The story-telling was magical, interactive and captured my daughters imagination from the very beginning.

As the children listened, I was able to take in the environment around us. There were large citrus plants growing in front of us, birds flying around and tweeting their songs and beautiful sculptures dotall around us, simply adding to the stunning ambiance. The story-teller was also so whistfully lovely. She actively included the children and developed the story so that the children could be involved, and they came up with a very unusual story about cauliflower, rock and chocolate soup! At the end, she stayed and talked to my daughter, listening to her explaining where we lived and how she knew about the fabled story of Merlin. The wonderfully crafty story-teller then lovingly gifted my daughter a penny she’d found, as if to pass on the luck of ‘find a penny’. This was a really calming addition to the day.

PicMonkey Collage7

Time began to run out for us, and so we really had to hurry as we’d not seen everything that the Project had to offer. We wanted to get a closer look at some of the environmental sculptures that were on display around the gardens, and we soon spotted one that was so cleverly put together. It was made from all types of recycled materials imaginable, such as plastic bottles and metal from cars, tyres washing machines and so-on, and so a huge sculpture of a bee could be seen from far away. This incorporated the clever environmental message of ‘message-in-a-bottle’….. my daughter loved looking at the different colours and identifying the different materials that had been used.

PicMonkey Collage8

Our time was coming to an end, and we truly still hadn’t seen everything that the Project had to offer. One day is simply not enough, and in my opinion, I think you need two days around the Eden Project to make sure you that see and appreciate the full experience. On our way out, we were very lucky to sneak a quick look at the facility offering a curriculum-based educational learning session for children, and my daughter had great fun catapulting seeds across to a target area, and pumping air to burst balloons that were full of little scraps of paper to illustrate the science behind how seeds are pollinated and travel.

These were such simple, yet brilliant, experiments to explain how seeds can be carried through the wind, or be stuck to animals or people, then drop off to be grown in different places, and the staff even explained how seeds can be carried in poo! Of course, my little devilish-daughter absolutely loved hearing that, and it made her day complete!

PicMonkey Collage10

We wandered slowly back to the car, really not wanting to leave. We truly had such a wonderful day, with so much to see and to do. Everything had been planned out and designed so that every need was addressed, and there was something for everyone to experience.

I also have to say a big thank you to the staff at the Eden Project. Everyone that we met and spoke to were so welcoming, and nothing was too much trouble. The staff were so engaging, especially with my own my daughter, but with the younger people generally. They answered questions, explained the wonderful things that you could see and took time to inspire the little minds with great care and enthusiasm.

I would especially love to say a big thank you to the lady at the Spiceboat, and the wonderful story-teller who really made my daughter feel extra special by spending so much extra time with her; (I’m only sorry that I didn’t get their names).

We will definitely return, and I would highly recommend this utterly fantastic day out for families who love exploring, learning about our planet earth and who enjoy ending the experience feeling like you’ve truly lived through an adventure.

Just some more of the lovely images that I took during our day

PicMonkey Collage9

And this is my favourite photograph of the day!

post1

I received entry tickets into The Eden Project from Superbreak in order to review the attraction, my opinion is honest and unbiased.

 http://www.superbreak.com/themeparks-attractions/attraction-4.htm

My Sunday Photo

sunday photo

A postcard style picture from our brilliant holiday at Butlins.

This is linked in with:

OneDad3Girls

Country Kids – Whatever The Weather.

We’ve just come back from having a beautiful week-long family break at Butlin’s, Bognor Regis. We went with the family aka “The Boy and Me”, and we all had a wonderful time together. We really didn’t want to come home.

While we were away, I was thinking of what theme I could choose for Country Kids this week. Although we had lots of holiday mini-adventures, one sticks out more than the others, and it came to me while I was looking through some of the photographs we’d taken during the week.

The Butlin’s site is within walking distance of a lovely beach. This was great, as we didn’t have to load up the car and drive – the beach was just a five-minute walk away.

Here comes the Country Kids story.

We were very lucky to have had sunshine during the day and it was dry for the whole week, but it wasn’t “boiling-hot, bathers” weather. However, trying to tell that to my 8 year-old daughter was impossible. All she heard was the word “beach” and it was on with the bathers (we wrestled her into a t-shirt!) and she was away, adamant that she was going swimming.

I cantered behind, the sensible mum weighed down wearing long trousers, chunky cardigan and a warming scarf, though I did manage to show willing by slipping on a pair of flip-flops. However, I had no wish to go swimming!

This supporting role fell to my husband, who packed his bathers but kept his t-shirt on, as the warmth of the water became even more questionable when we arrived at the slightly windy beachfront. He looked at me, visibly worried.

They carefully picked and scuttled their way across the pebbles and down to the water’s edge and, (yes – you guessed it), my fearless little mermaid ran as fast as she could back to the comfort of the waiting thick towel and a tight snuggle in my arms. My poor husband was left to pick his own way back over up the rocky pebbles, with very cold toes!

So, we wrapped up warm, played with shells and tide-washed sticks, had some lunch and enjoyed the sounds of the waves crashing onto the pebbles. All in all, a lovely, relaxing afternoon.

My memory was not the chill in the weather, not the damp towels, or trying to dry her feet off and get her quickly dressed when she was cold. I love how my daughter was so determined that she was going into that water!

She didn’t understand about the chill factor, or the wind, or the fact that we were only just into April. All she saw was the sun shining and realised that we were going to the beach. I loved that.

I love how children can seek out the fun element in things and always want to give things a go, in the pursuit of fun. We adults often forget that important point, along the way.

Maybe we should all try being Country Kids once in a while, and not worry quite so much about cold feet.

country kids beach

This post was linked with:

 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall



The Ultimate Country Kid!

Where to start with my post on outdoor fun, this week!

What an amazing week we had, as our family (along with the family “The Boy and Me”) were able to be country kids in every sense, after spending a week at the wonderful Coombe Mill. I really couldn’t wait to write this post, so that I could share our amazing stories and adventures.

Though there’s so much to tell and to share about our adventure at Coombe Mill, this post will focus upon my daughter, a true country kid!

Olivia and her new hat

ck.hat

Our favourite part of the day was the animal-feeding run, at 09.00. We would have a very quick, light breakfast, throw on our waterproofs and wellies, then head down to meet the farmer ready to start the day.

We’ve spent many day trips on different farms where the children get a small handful of feed to throw at the animals, and that would be the sum total of their farm experience.

Coombe Mill is very, very different.

The children take it in turns to drive the tractor, (and I really do mean drive the tractor), while the adults follow behind.

Olivia waiting for the Farmer to help her drive the tractor

chtractor

The first stop was at the family of pygmy goats, with the most cute baby pygmy goats we’ve ever seen. We stepped into the pen, and my daughter and her cousin were quickly given one of the babies to cuddle. They were so beautiful and, when they snuggled into her arms, she was in love!

The pygmy goats

ckgoats2

Next were the pigs. Again, children don’t stand by the side or away from the pen. They’re encouraged to get in with the pigs, throwing them their breakfast from the metal buckets. We worked out very quickly that pigs will eat anything and everything, so we were encouraged to save our food waste for the pigs to have, the next day.

The pigs waiting for their breakfast

ckpigs

Next, we went onward to the chicken, geese and hen enclosure. A huge variety of birds were freely running around, all trying to get at the feed. They scurried here and there, running quickly past us and were not at all bothered by the people invading their home. The best part was the addition of two baby wallabies who live in with the birds. Staying away from the crowd, the farmer made sure that the feed was thrown up to them. This was to ensure that they had their fare share, because the greedy birds would try to get it all away from them. Opening the small coops, the children collected the freshly-layed eggs, with 8 being the best find of the week.

One busy little farmer

ckchickens2

Up to the billy goats, next, who were ready for their food, clambering through the fence and butting the buckets to try and get it quicker.

Then we had to feed the deer.

The deer had a huge open area with fantastic woods at the top of their field. As we walked in, we were met with a small group of deer slowly prancing their way nervously towards us, trying to make sense of the strange, two-legged creatures who had invaded their space. In and arround them strutted the mighty stag, who (very strangely) was the most nervous of the bunch! These animals were magnificent, stunning and beautiful, and were my favourite of all. I really could’ve sat watching them all day.

The beautiful deer

ck.deers

Then, we moved on to feed yet more sheep, more goats, the two ponies, and Rolo the donkey. They were all looking for their breakfast, as they’ve worked out that the noise of the tractor coming towards them meant that food was definitely on it’s way.

ck.rolo

What a magical start to the day.

Absolute heaven for my daughter, whose confidence grew and grew with each passing day. By the 3rd day, she wasn’t looking around for me any more, and didn’t need anyone to prompt her what to do. She was just straight in there, and behaving just like a mini apprentice farmer.

Her favourite day was when Farmer Fiona was in charge. She followed Fiona around, happily engrossed in all the farm jobs and, as a parent who encourages outdoor adventures, it was amazing to watch.

I hope that the photographs help to illustrate, and add depth to, this post. My daughter was happy, engaged and confident. She didn’t worry about her clothes, if her hair was tidy, or that her hands were a bit mucky. All that mattered was the farm experience and the excitement of being involved.

ck

In one simple sentence, she was totally happy and satisfied at becoming the ultimate county kid.

Thank you Coombe Mill.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Learning for Life

Those times I wonder “why”?

In this post, I’d like to share a fond memory with you.

The reason for this, is that I’m currently sitting on my sofa cwtched up under a blanket and, as I write this, I’m listening to the wind howling and the rain hitting my window outside. Safe and warm inside my home, I love these sounds. I feel relaxed, calm and it makes me think of one of my best memories of being in the outdoors.

It was our first big camping adventure as a family. We’d decided to be brave and travel to France for a camping holiday. We’d bought a big family tent and lots of extra things like stoves, etc, to make life a little bit more comfortable, and we thought we’d done really well.

The weather started (out sort) of OK. It wasn’t too bad, and we managed to enjoy some sunny days. We walked on the beach, swam in the sea, went hunting for cockles and did the typical holiday activities. Sadly, the weather didn’t stay that nice throughout the whole of our week, but it was the worst night with the most horrible and wet weather that gave me the greatest memory.

When I say “it rained”…… I mean it REALLY rained. It felt like a power hose was being jetted at our flimsy little covering all night long and, when you’re sitting in a tent of thin material, it felt 1000 times worse. What could we do?…. It was only 6.00pm and camping involves dealing with whatever the elements throw at you.

Thinking about it with hindsight, I don’t know why we didn’t just go to a restaurant and hang out but, if we’d done that, then I wouldn’t have this great memory.

The evening started with me having to make my husband some homemade waterproofs 9all our other kit was saturated!!) out of the ever present and handy black bags. With a few well placed holes, he looked amazing. He did, however, look even more amazing running around the tent making sure that pegs were well in, ropes were tied down and then began trying to cook us our dinner.

We managed to construct a little porch for him to cook under, as cooking in the main tent is a total no-no from a safety perspective. He chopped garlic, stirred sauce and kept an eye on the spaghetti while I kept my eyes on the porch roof, carefully poking it so that big puddles of water didn’t form.

My daughter, being quite young at the time, loved all the excitement, and sat snuggled in her sleeping bag laughing at mum and dad running around frantically trying to keep things dry and not letting the rain seep in!!

Throughout the campsite, all of the other families were doing the same thing. Children were sitting in cars, washing lines and clothes were being bagged up in a hurry, and everyone was just going 50 miles-an-hour to ensure that their kit, family and everything else could stay as dry as possible.

As darkness set in, we’d set up all our lights inside our little porch area and it looked pretty warm and welcoming. We had done our best to keep the ‘dining area’ dry, so we were able to set up our camp chairs and a little camp table to allow us to dine in style. Putting on some dry clothes instantly made us feel better and, with a couple of extra warm layers, we were able to sit in what soon became warm and cosy surroundings. Also, a couple of medicinal glasses of the local plonko vinyardo could only add to the “ambience” of the evening.

Our dinner was a steaming bowl of spaghetti Bolognese, which is my daughters’ absolute favourite. On the side, we enjoyed a fresh and beautiful French green bean salad, cheese from the local market and traditional French crusty baguette.

It was amazing, perhaps because we were so hungry, or maybe because the weather was so treacherous, but we tucked in and hardly came up for air. It really was the most delicious spaghetti Bolognese I have ever tasted, and after two helpings each, we mopped up the sauce with the left over bread.

For pudding, we’d bought some mini pastries from the market earlier that morning, and they were polished off just as quick as we’d eaten our main course.

As a family, we sat through the storm, we ate together enjoying our food, and were in awe of my husband cooking such an amazing dinner in those difficult circumstances. We didn’t have a television, computers or phones to distract us, and we sat and talked. We played games, told stories, and my daughters’ favourite turned out to be about the day we got married. “Tell me, tell me”, over and over again. It was such a perfect family experience.

I’m not sure that, (at the time), my husband or I fully understood how important and enjoyable that night was. Looking inwards on this post from the outside, people must think that the circumstances were a flippin’ nightmare, but I always think back to that night and smile. I’m grinning like a Cheshire cat as I write this post.

When people ask me why I’m so passionate about spending time outdoors, this memory helps me to explain a little about it.

Being in the outdoors, whatever activity or experience you engage in, gives you time to stop, relax and enjoy precious time without the material distractions that normally accompany everyday life. We couldn’t control the bad weather, so we had to adapt and overcome, and make the most of it. This led to a pretty amazing evening.

That’s what being in the outdoors does. It makes you stop, it makes you HAVE to give in. You have to lose a bit of mundane control in order to establish positive control in other areas.

You HAVE take time to focus on each other. With so many distractions in our normal day, isn’t this a nice thing to do for yourself and your family?

PicMonkey Collagemblog

mummy mishaps