Wild Family Fun

Tales of living, working and enjoying life in the outdoors


My Sunday Photo

The sun is shining and the skies are blue!

A walk to Penarth Pier with an ice cream in one hand is what Sunday’s are made for.

Lets hope this beautiful weather is here to stay.

Photalife

My Sunday Photo

Happy Mothers Day to all!

I think I’m the lucky one as I get to share my adventures with my outdoor – loving beautiful daughter.

She makes every experience just that little bit more special.

 

Photalife
December 19, 2015

StayCation: British Holidays

ParkDean Holidays have been running a lovely competition about the “Best Old Holiday Photo”.

This is aimed at encouraging people to share their childhood photographs of nostaligic holiday memories. The competition was created due to the number of people staying home and having holidays in Britain. It really got me thinking that, as a family, we’ve had the most wonderful holidays exploring different parts of Britain, and I think it’s fantastic that more people are choosing to stay home for their holidays.

More information, and also if you are keen to share your own family photographs, can be found at this link: http://www.parkdeanholidays.co.uk/take-me-back/

This post has given me lots of fun, thinking about past holidays which I had as a child. But, for me, the one that stands out the most was a family holiday to the Isle of White. It was a similar set-up to Butlins, where there were chalets and all of the entertainment was on site, which was great for a big family group.

When I say a family big holiday, this included mums, dads, cousins of all ages, aunties, uncles and, of course, the matriarcal Nan, and we all went together. I think that I was only about seven at the time and, looking back, it’s only certain pivotal events that I can vividly remember.

We travelled by train and all the children piled into one carriage. This left the adults to a small respite of momentary peace and quiet, free from all the excited, screaming children, (high on sweets and anticipation), all eager to get arrive at our destination.

My other fond memory is of having the biggest pool I’ve ever seen, with free access on the site. My Dad would take us down to the pool every day. He was a big kid, himself. He would throw all of us children across the pool, like skimming a stone, then have the whistle blown at him by the lifeguard telling him to behave.

However, it’s been really difficult to find any photographs from that holiday. Of course, we didn’t have digital cameras back then, with a back-up to our computer and everything saved quickly and with ease.

We definately didn’t have that ease back in the day. But one of  my cousins did manage to dig out the most lovely picture of that holiday. Sadly, it’s not showing all of us who were on holiday together, but I can vividly remember the afternoon that we were all instructed to have family photographs taken.

We were all posed within a nearby field, and ordered to “move places”, “look at the camera” and “smile” by the professional photographer on site. The children were so bored, and it was a real mission for the parents to get us smiling and looking happy! It felt like we were all there for ages, but this particular photo is so lovely, and so and important.

Sadly, my Nan has now passed away and so, seeing her here with her grandchildren all smiling and laughing, is just a perfect memory of a great holiday. The whole thing reminded me of what a wonderful woman she was.

She curled my sisters’ and my hair with old rags, one evening. Then she said she was going to the shop for milk. When we started to get worried that she was gone for hours, we eventually tracked her down to the amusement arcade, pumping coins into the machines. Taking no nonsense from one of my cousins, she chased him back to his room, were he spent the rest of the night in shame!

I never thought I’d see my Nan run, ever!

I know that it’s not in focus, or as crisp as a current digital image, but it’s so touching how such lovely memories can come from just one photograph.

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It’s been lovely composing this post and thinking back to our happy family holiday, compared to my own current familys’ holidays.

We, as a new family, have spent the most amazing times holidaying in this country by camping in some beautiful areas and discovering which holiday locations suit our own little family.

A quick confession is that our passports have recently expired. We’re in no rush to renew them, with so much of our own fantastic country to explore that we’ve never seen before.

I hope that this post inspires people to think about having a holiday in this country.

I know that you can all create those extra-special, “once-in-a-life-time” family memories that you’ll cherish forever.

 

A Surprise Surf Day.

My daughter had an inset day recently, so my husband and I decided to take the day off work, enjoy the sunshine and go for our first surfing day of the year!

We headed off to Coney Beach in Porthcawl, which has a brilliant beach for surfing, and the added bonus of some great fish and chip shops for hungry tummies afterwards.

We struggled and wriggled into our wet suits, and we were soon ready to run and dive into the cooling sea. There were no usual moans and groans of it being too cold, as it was a refreshing relief from the heat of the day. We had a steady 3 foot swell and, with a little push from me, my daughter caught the best waves and stood up on ther board for the first time!

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She felt so happy and, yes, I was slightly envious but very proud of my little water baby.

After surfing for a few hours, we ditched the boards high up on the beach and spent the rest of the afternoon splashing around and playing in the shallows, duck-diving headlong into cool waves.

It was lovely for us all to be outside together, and we’d almost forgotten how great it was to enjoy a bit of sunshine. Of course, after we finished playing on the beach, we headed down to our favourite chip shop for a cone of freshly-cooked chips and a carton of curry for dipping.

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The perfect way to end a wonderful day!

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

My Sunday Photo

marshmallows

Enjoying toasted marshmallows at Caerphilly Mountain Ranch.

We discovered this new adventure park recently and loved the outdoor environment. There’s so much space to run, discover and explore, and there’s even a tumble hill for the children to roll down. It really was our type of place to visit for a great day out!

OneDad3Girls

365 Project Week 9

Wow week 9, so glad I’m keeping up!

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46: A morning of homework, ready for the start of school after half term. Space is this terms theme.

47: I feel like I’m living in mud lately. This was the view of my poor boots just after 20 minutes of walking in work on Monday.

48: A lovely day of introducing orienteering to a new group on Tuesday. Cosmeston Lakes in Penarth is very close to Cardiff and a great place to introduce groups to the outdoors.

49: I helped out at my daughters school today. They have introduced a Co Op healthy eating project. It only costs £3 for a bag of delicious fruit/vegetables or salad. A brilliant project to promote.

50: Baking, baking , baking! Welsh cakes and shortbread biscuits ready for the St Davids Day competition in school.

51: The winner entry {hopefully}.  At least we get a nice treat if we don’t win,

52: The new addition to my daughters bedroom.  A glitter ball! Every night is a disco night.

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Why I Love Living in Wales!

Last Sunday, we had a beautiful sunny day. It was a joy to be outside, with some warmth on your face and not have to have a minimum of four layers of clothing on!

We decided to visit a local beach very near to our home.

Aberavon beach is a thirty minute drive away, and is a lovely long beach which we often use in work. With the nice weather, it seemed that everyone else had the same idea! The beach was full of people out splashing in the shallows, or digging for shells and enjoying the sunshine. We had a lovely long walk, enjoying the sunshine, climbing rocks, finding new shells for my daughters collection and making funny shapes in the sand with sticks. As we got back to the car, the day was so nice that we realised it was too nice to go home.

Luckily, about ten minutes away from Aberavon beach, is Porthcawl. This also is an amazing beach, which, in season, is a favourite with surfers and beachcombers alike. This is one of my favourite places as we use Coney beach a lot and, in summer, it turns into a traditional seaside beach, with fair ground rides, donkeys on the beach, ice cream stands and, of course, plenty of places to buy fish and chips.

As the tide was well out, we made our way to the rock pools. One of my daughters’ favourite things to do at the beach, is rockpooling. We scrambled over the rocks, carefully hunted through the seaweed (looking for crabs) and my daughter found lots of caves to explore and climb through.

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I used the opportunity to practice some of my beach training, and we looked for different types of seaweed and animal life that live on the rocks. We photographed dog whelks, limpets, barnacles and anemones. I also showed my daughter how (and why) different seaweed can be found at different levels on the beach. It all depends on how much sea water they need to survive. We looked at toothed wrack, bladder wrack and green seaweed that looks a lot like lettuce! It’s a good way of introducing learning, within a fun and relaxed setting.

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We visited two brilliant beaches in one day. They are beautiful, clean beaches with lots of activities to fill out our day. My little beach combing daughter even managed to sneak in a cone of chips and a hot chocolate !!

I think that’s why I love living in Wales. We are very lucky, as we have everything needed for outdoor adventures. The mountains, the sea and endless forests.

But, I also think that we all have outdoor adventures near to us, we just have to take the time to seek them out. I would love to hear about the Great Outdoors near to you… !!!

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

 

Learning for Life

365 Project Week 5

It’s scary to think we are in February all ready. Its been a week full of mud and chicken pox…..

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25: On a Duke of Edinburgh walk and while waiting for my group I managed to capture this little Robin just sitting in the tree. He was great company at lunch time.

26: An evening trip with a playcentre and we travelled to a local beach for a fire and toasted marshmallows. This was the beautiful sunset we saw while we warmed by the fire.

27: I came home to a lovely husband who was busy making cakes. Caramel and pineapple upside down cake! Yummy.

28: My daughter came down with chicken pox this week. Thank goodness for my Mum who helped out and I had a sleepy child who didn’t miss the alarm clock going off in the morning.

29: Sour cherry sweets were much-needed after a very cold and wet paddling session in work. Sitting in a raft for the afternoon and being splashed with river water numerous times by teenagers wasn’t the greatest of days in sub-zero conditions.

30: With my daughter being ill we had Friday on the sofa and watched family films all together. I captured her and my husband holding hands while watching The Goonies. I love this shot.

31: Another Duke of Edinburgh walk and we went along the coastal path along Llantwit Major this week. However it must have been one of the most muddy walks I have ever been on. Lots of cleaning kit come Monday!

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

A New Year “To Do” List

I’m not very good with New Year resolutions, and never understand the whole “dieting, no drinking”, et al, that people try to start on this one day. However, I do like the idea of goals and challenges. It’s a good way of trying out new things and having some brilliant adventures. So, as an outdoor-loving family, we’ve come up with a list of goals that we’d like to achieve this year!

1: Explore Wales. I’m so lucky to live in Wales, as we have some of the most wonderful beaches and forests. We want to discover new places this year, and I also want to share areas I visit in work, by taking my family.

2: Learn outdoor crafts. I’m currently taking part in a willow weaving course and I’m loving every moment. I made a variety of Christmas decorations and a cute little basket. I’ve booked myself onto more courses to improve my skills. It’s great learning and developing new skills. However, my house is slowly filling up with my creations!

3: Grow and cook our own foods. When the weather gets a little better, we really want to take the time to grow and cook our own foods. My husband is an amazing chef, so we have the knowledge to create wonderful dishes. It also teaches my daughter where foods come from, and also encourages us as a family to eat healthily.

4: Take my daughter kayaking on rivers. Her kayaking is improving so well, now, that she is desperate to experience paddling on open moving water. We had a very brief experience, last year, and she was fine (though I was slightly nervous). My husband really wants to join us, so it’ll be a great excuse for a family adventure.

5: Improve my map reading skills. I’m starting to feel that I’m not pushing myself with my map and navigation skills. A colleague is trying to encourage me to go walking on my own, and get confidence in navigating for myself without safety blanket of having other people around. Strangely, I keep avoiding this one!

6: Camp more. We love camping so much, as a family and, as no major holidays have been planned this year, we’ll be doing more camping in new areas throughout Wales. We’re even buying a new tent, so it’ll have to be used more than a few times, this year!

There are a few other things that I want to do for myself. Like everyone, I suppose, I’d like to get a bit healthier. I’m not a big fan of diets to lose lots of weight, but would like to start a yoga class, or swim more. However, I do have a huge challenge that I’ll be aiming to achieve, this year.

Climbing Ben Nevis.

It came out during a conversation with my boss a few months ago and, rather than rolling around laughing on the floor, he said “You’ll be fine doing that”. So, it stuck in my head for a few days, and then I mentioned it to my husband. He said, “Brilliant, when do you want to do it? Let’s start planning”.

That’s how it started. So, later on, during the summer this year, I’ll be climbing Ben Nevis with a good friend of mine and, of course, my wonderful adventure-loving daughter, who said I’m not allowed to do the walk without her.

That’s our little New Year “to do” list of adventurous, fun-filled challenges and goals for the coming year.

I’m going to try to complete my list, and the other really great thing is that I get to share all my adventures on here!

365 Project Week 3

Week three of the 365 project. A very busy weekend with snow, indoor surfing and of course my daughters birthday celebrations….

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11: A Sunday bike ride, our first epic mountain bike as my daughter called it! A very cold day but it was really worth it, we had a great day biking.

12: A quick selfie waiting for my daughters kayak club to start. Normally I hate selfies {and photographs of me} but I love this one of me and my beautiful daughter.

13: I took part in a willow weaving course on Tuesday.  It was fantastic, and I learnt how to make baskets. It was so relaxing and I didn’t want it to end.

14: Snow day!! This was taken in Brecon just in front of Storey Arms. A brilliant day of sledging, snowball fights and hot chicken soup to warm our hands.

15: Thursday I was training to be able to teach indoor surfing at Cardiff’s White Water Centre. A full day where I had to learn how to spin, move left and right without hitting anyone, kneeling, perform tricks and the hardest one was having to stand up on a paddle board. I did it for about a minute and got very excited and fell not very gracefully to the floor.

16: It’s my daughter’s birthday weekend and she started her celebrations with a sleepover with some friends. A long night for Mum and Dad but lots of fun with cocktails {non-alcoholic of course!} and laughter and giggles long into the night.

17: A quick peek at the birthday cake. A wonderful friend makes the most amazing cakes, last year was the Tardis and this year my daughter will be having this scary but brilliant shark cake! I can’t wait for her to see it.

 

 

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

My Sunday Photo

barryisland

This is of my daughter and her cousins enjoying the last few days of the lovely long summer, and making fun wherever they go. This was a lovely afternoon at Barry Island beach, rolling around in the sand, jumping over waves, playing games and enjoying a picnic on the beach.

OneDad3Girls

Surf’s Up!

As we’ve had such a wonderfully long summer this year, we decided to celebrate by fitting in one last surfing day, last week, at a local beach.

My daughter has done a lot of body boarding, and she was desperate to give surfing a go. Off we went to Coney Beach in Porthcawl, which is a lovely, wave-cut, sandy beach, and is a great place for surfing. All along the classic seafront walk, there are stalls selling fish and chips, and there’s a fairground offering traditional rides.

We weren’t the only ones who had the idea to surf that day, as the weather and wave conditions we perfect. When we arrived, my husband counted about 50-plus surfers already in the sea, making the most of the glorious waves.

After some quick instruction on the sand, my daughter was off and racing towards the sea. The waves were huge and, as we made our way into the surf, I watched her closely, shouting helpful encouragement and giving her board a push to get her going.

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The conditions were brilliant, which made it easy for learning and catching waves. She had lots of falling into the water off the board, but each time she went under the waves, she soon bounced up again, laughed and ran back into the surf for another go. I always admire her tenacious spirit, and lack of fear when trying new and exciting things.

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We spent hours in the water, and even when it started getting chilly, my daughter begged to stay in for “one more go”. It was only when we mentioned the prospect of a few rides in the fairground, and a bag of chips, that she agreed to call it a day.

We wandered through the fairground going from ride to ride. We finished the day by sitting on the beach eating a cone of crispy, fresh, hot chips.

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It was great to just put it together at the last minute, as it turned out to be an amazing day, and we’d loved every minute of it.

It’s just a guess, but I know what might be on my daughters Christmas list, this year!

 

 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Learning for Life