Summer fun all rolled into one
I’ve not been blogging for a while, maybe you’ve noticed? We’ve been on holiday, you know those sort of holidays when you have small children where the only thing holiday-ish is that your somewhere other than your house? Yes one of those holidays, it was nice to visit new places and see The Cyclist more, but the boys drove me nuts! Anyway more about our interesting week away another time. With the chaos of holiday packing and exhaustion of school holiday fun I didn’t get chance to blog about some of our adventures, so here they are, all rolled into one fabulously exciting world of two little pre-schoolers.
It’s great to go out exploring everyday but it does eventually get a bit too much. So there was one day when I thought we’ll stay at home and do some fun things. I have NEVER felt so stressed as this particular morning. Why oh why did I decide it was a good idea for them to paint their ladder chairs??? We bought them ladders chairs from IKEA a while back as they are a good height for them to sit at the dinner table. They are just plain unstained wood, so I bought two pots of paint for them to paint their chairs. All I can say is AAARRRGGGGHHHH!!! Thankfully I received a text from best friend, Mr B’s mum to say they were free that afternoon. So we took a trip to New Lount nature reserve. The reserve has car parking which is free and has no entry fee. It’s on the site of a former colliery and has lots of little tracks winding in and out of the woods. There is some evidence of the mining history with train tracks which is perfect for little people’s imagination, but guess what their imaginary stories were about?? Yep you got it, pirates! What would normally be a very peaceful, quiet site turned into Captain Hook’s battle scene, there were crocodiles everywhere, everyone was walking the plank and The Fireman was shouting for a bottle of rum (potentially embarrassing in front of unknown members of the public). In comparison to the mornings stress, this was bliss. It’s a great site to explore, if you visit with a pushchair and want to do a circular walk there will be steps involved.
To feed the obsession on piratical behaviour, we went to Pirate Day at Donington-le-Heath Manor House. This was a fantastic event and really well organised and it was FREE!! There were pirates, a cardboard pirate ship, pirate games, swordfighting lessons, pirate crafts, sea shanty singing and a find the treasure competition. The morning finished with the great pirate battle, I had no idea what to expect. We waited eagerly to find out it was a battle of wet sponges! It was so much fun, The Fireman was beside himself with laughter, The Farmer wasn’t so sure, he was concerned about all the sponges being left on the grass so busily collected them all and put them back into the bucket of water.
Even if there isn’t a specific event on I would recommend a visit to this place as you can explore the garden, play in the maze, look around the house in which there were games to play and also a cafe. Just behind the house there is a new woodland plantation, part of the National Forest. The woodland is nice to walk around, but be warned, there is a lot of dog poop around.
On a wet Monday we headed to an archaeological dig at the Spittal Park in Castle Donington, The Fireman was convinced he would find dinosaur bones. Again it was a free event, with tools!! Oh my boys love tools!! We had got soaked just before we started, good job the boys were in full waterproofs. Mr B was at the dig too, so The Fireman was happy. It was a really nice community event.
So tools, mud, mud, the occasional stick and more mud and the boys were very happy. They were content to play with a pile of dirt in a wheelbarrow, Mr B’s little sister seemed to enjoy eating handfuls of mud, I could just feel myself reaching for a drink of water as I imagined all the grit in my teeth, she was happy though :-). It took place over three days. By day three the holes were huge!
So there we have it, seven weeks of summer holiday fun, I am truly exhausted. There have been some extremely stressful times, times I have just wanted to cry, scream and laugh, but i’ve done it and having this blog is one way of proving to myself it was worth all the hard work. Now, back to the kitchen!!
You’ll also find info and be able to share you experiences of New Lount Nature Reserve on The Woodland Trust’s VisitWoods website.