Month: June 2016

30 Days Wild – Days 9-14

Making time for moments of wildness in the everyday…

Cloud watching in the park…

Rescuing a frog from our naughty cats…

Going for a 5k run in the rain and pausing to admire the wild flowers and learn about some local species of trees and wildlife…

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Watching heavy rain while wrapped in a blanket…

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And relax…is there anything nicer than a quiet cup of coffee in the garden after a long day at work?!

 

30 Days Wild – Day 8

My morning was spent pottering about in the garden – tidying up, hanging out laundry and generally just enjoying the benefit of the beautiful weather. Our beautiful cat, Luna, came to keep me company and I gave her a good groom as her heavy winter coat is shedding loads right now. She purred happily, adoring the attention and we left her fur on some branches for the birds to use for building their nests.

The sound of the bees busy at work was so lovely and kicking back and appreciating the blue sky and heat from the comfort of my own garden was a real treat.

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The afternoon was busy once the children returned from school. I walked to the shops with my youngest who enjoyed smelling plants along the way. We planted some flowers into an old vegetable rack I had lying in the garage, did some feet painting, kicked the football, did homework, played ping-pong, had dinner outside and basically just enjoyed some family fun outdoors. The kids loved running around in their bare feet, getting dirty, rolling in the grass and having lots of laughs. We could get used to this weather!

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Now, as the sun gets lower in the sky, the birds are still chatting to one another, it sounds like they are discussing their wild day too!

30 Days Wild – Day 7

The dark clouds moved in around lunchtime today; just on time for the school run! There were rumours of a thunderstorm but it never quite reached our area.

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After school I helped my youngest son with his nature-inspired homework while listening to thunder rumbling in the distance. The past few days have been so hot and sunny and such sudden changes in the weather are a reminder of the power of nature.

Thankfully, the late afternoon turned out to be warm and dry and with 3 restless boys beginning to irritate one another we decided to hop on the bikes and take a gentle cycle along the Comber Greenway.

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We ended up doing the 14-mile round trip with a few pauses to have a snack, enjoy the views across the rolling fields and to have a rest in a wild meadow for a few moments before continuing home for a late tea.

Once the boys were fed and watered I headed out for a 1-hour bootcamp session by the river and am now feeling exhausted but happy after my afternoon of outdoor activity!

 

 

30 Days Wild – Day 6

On returning home from work this evening I was greeted by my youngest son proudly showing off his drawing of a spider’s web he had done after school. He had found the web on a plant in our garden and wanted to sketch it!

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After being indoors all day it was a welcome treat to be handed a cup of coffee and told to go sit in the garden and relax for a while! I watched my husband and boys played football and the neighbour’s kitten even came to say hello. She likes playing in our patch of long grass and pretending to hunt my toes.

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After tea we did some bug hunting and watched a spider catch and eat its supper – the kids were intrigued by this.

Once the kids were all tucked up in bed, stories read and lights out it was still lovely and warm outside so I decided to repot a tomato plant that a friend had given me. I planted it in a sweet little colander I found in a charity shop and I’m quite pleased with the result. Fingers crossed that it bears fruit because my oldest son is tomato mad!

30 Days Wild – Days 3, 4 & 5

The glorious sunshine has continued over the weekend here in Northern Ireland so it’s been perfect weather for getting outside, enjoying some active travel and leisure time in the garden.

While the kids were at school on Friday I nipped to the shop on my bike but rather than take my usual journey I took the scenic route along the greenway near my home. It was lovely and peaceful and I enjoyed the exercise. The added bonus of taking the bike meant I could only buy what would fit in my panier so saved myself some money too!

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I had to work on Saturday and when I arrived home we had some of my middle son’s friends round for a birthday sleepover. Thankfully it was a beautiful evening and we were able to let them play football in the garden and then we helped them to build a camp fire and toast marshmallows. They were all proud of their new bush craft skills and were so tired and full up that getting them into their sleeping bags wasn’t too difficult!

Sunday saw another warm day and with lots of visitors in and out all day to wish the birthday boy a special day we were fortunate enough to be able to spend the entire day outdoors – we had a water fight which then turned into a jumping in muddy puddles fest, we watched the insects busy at work in the garden, our oldest son went canoeing with some friends, we walked the dog and took  a bike ride through the local park which is in full bloom.

I am truly exhausted now from all the activity and fresh air and am about to kick back and relax with a nice glass of wine – the patio doors are still open and I can hear the birds chirping merrily. Nature really is everywhere if we pause long enough to hear it.

 

30 Days Wild – Day 2

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The past few days have been gloriously hot and sunny here in Northern Ireland, making it very easy to get out and about. I am so grateful for some beautiful green spaces in and around Belfast that I can escape to for some peace and tranquility after leaving the kids to school.

With hubby away with work I had to endure the morning battles on my own and after saying our goodbyes at the school I was glad of some free time to go for a stroll through the wild meadows at Shaw’s Bridge.

I brought a flask of coffee with me and spent some time sitting under a tree admiring the luscious view over green fields while listening to the birds sing. Being a busy mum of three it is rare to get some time alone and an hour to rest and reflect surrounded by nature was the perfect way to recharge my batteries.

After school the homework was put on hold so that I could spend some time outside with my boys. I had an hour with the youngest before his brothers returned home so we gathered some materials and did some outdoor art which was really fun. He’s normally running about like a mad thing and practicing his ‘keepie-uppies’ so it was nice to see him slow down for a minute and explore the garden for things to use in his masterpiece.

When the others arrived home we cooled down with some ice-lollies before planting some wild seeds and re-potting a sunflower my oldest sun has grown from seed. It was great to get our hands dirty and to step back and allow them to get involved. We are hoping that our wild flowers will bloom with all this fab sunshine we are having and attract lots of insects and butterflies to come play in our garden!

 

30 Days Wild – Day 1

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So, after returning from 3 fantastic days camping and hiking in the Mourne Mountains and enjoying the glorious view from our tent (pictured above) today we returned to the school and work routine physically exhausted but with joyful hearts.

We had taken the camping trip to celebrate the birthday of our youngest son as well as our 12-year wedding anniversary and had a super time climbing and bouldering as well as enjoying quality family time around the camp fire, toasting marshmallows and watching the stars – precious times.

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Today (1 June) marks the beginning of the 30 Days Wild Challenge, a fun adventure for anyone who wants to get outdoors and reconnect with nature. Seeing as we were all so tired and I didn’t get home from work until late we decided to ease gently into the 30-day challenge with a game of barefoot football in the garden followed by supper al fresco.

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We might live in the city, but as we chatted about our day, we could hear birds singing, see insects buzzing about the garden and generally just enjoyed spending some time together outside. There is something about eating outdoors that makes food taste even more delicious and it also made us feel as though our wonderful camping trip was continuing.

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As I tidied up the bowls and spoons I listened as the kids continued to chatter and giggle and truly appreciated how fortunate I am to have such a lovely family to spend time with. Sometimes, it’s the simple little moments that make us smile the most. There was no pre-planning, no big agenda but still we all had fun together and everyone has gone to bed happy!