Well, that is week 1 of 30 Days Wild over, and what an incredible week it has been for us here in Northern Ireland. The weather has been truly glorious – the sun has shone, the sky bright blue and every morning when we have wakened we have flung open the patio doors and eaten our breakfast while listening to the birds sing and enjoying the fresh air – pure bliss!
With such great weather to make the most of we have spent every possible moment outdoors, mostly in the garden because let’s face it there’s always lots to see and do in one’s own back yard. Ball games, seeds to plant, insects to watch, homeworks to complete at the patio table and books to read while lying in a shady spot have become the afternoon activities and gems in our week. We have occasionally ventured further afield, but most of our random acts of wildness have been carried out in our own outdoor space which just serves to highlight that it isn’t essential to travel too far to experience some wild time and connect with the natural world.
DAY 1: Coffee in the garden after walking the kiddies to school through the park where we spied some Elderflower growing (made a mental note to go back and gather some to make a batch of Elderflower Fizz), dinner over at Shaw’s Bridge where we set up the camping stove and dined on pea soup and baguette which was followed by a wander through the luscious wild meadow growing there and some exploring that beautiful wild space just outside Belfast City Centre – a great start to a week of wild adventures!
DAY 2: For day 2 of 30 Days Wild, I sadly had to go to work, but this didn’t stop the boys and Dad getting outdoors and active. After getting up close and personal with some new friends at the school fayre, they took to the local park for a thrilling trail bike ride, then spent some time quietly following a squirrel through the woods as it went about its business. In the afternoon, they spent some chill-out time playing puzzles and games outdoors and that evening our birthday boy had some friends over for a pizza party and campout in the garden – what a jam-packed day of outdoor fun!
DAY 3: On the 3rd day of the 30-day challenge we spent the entire day celebrating our birthday boy. An early start after their campout meant we had loads of time for a relaxed breakfast in the garden, a game of Jurassic World and football before heading off for a birthday treat at the Jungle NI, where we had pre-booked a 1-hour session on the Mowgli Treetop Adventure obstacle course (you can read all about it in more detail here). WOW! What a lot of fun it was to spend the entire day outdoors, swinging through the trees like Tarzan, visiting the llamas and ponies who live at the Jungle NI, having a picnic lunch, Segwaying, Paintballing, birthday cake in a lakeside park – according to all the boys it was an ‘Epic’ day of adventure! Phew!
DAY 4: Back to work for me – I was determined to make sure that I still created time in my day for some wild time so I left a little early for work. I am lucky enough to work in a beautiful coastal town so a dander along the seafront spotting some beautiful flowers was a perfect way to kick-start the day. At lunchtime, I decided to take my sandwich outdoors in order to make the most of the sunshine – I am so glad I did because I ended up having a lovely chat with a random stranger! In the evening we once again dined outdoors and spent some time watching the bees at work in our massively overgrown garden – they seem to like it anyhow!
DAY 5: Today was so joy-filled! I spent some gorgeous time reading in the garden while the boys were at school which was just pure bliss following weeks of tying up my studies with the Open University – it was such a treat to luxuriate in a great book called The Wild Places by Robert MacFarlane. After school, we spent some time installing into the garden an insect hotel – a beautiful gift my nature-loving 10-year old had received for his birthday…we patiently await some guests coming to visit soon!
DAY 6: By some kind of miracle the sunshine is continuing here in Northern Ireland – we simply aren’t used to so many dry days in a row! Every spare second is spent outside – before school, after school, and once the kids are in bed it has been such a treat to step outside and sit with a glass of wine as the sun sets over the Belfast hills – it’s those simple, precious moments in life that prompted me to begin Every Treasure in the very beginning! My son had received another lovely birthday gift – a ‘Farmer’s Garden’ – so on this 6th day of 30 Days Wild we decorated the planter and sowed the seeds – he now eagerly awaits baby cucumbers, strawberries and lettuce growing!
DAY 7: Another glorious day, another day spent outdoors! We enjoyed biking to and from school through our lovely local park which is looking spectacularly luscious at the moment. The heat was getting to the boys today so they spent some lazy time on the lawn with their kitty-cat friends, lolling around and watching the wispy clouds far overhead. In the evening, I had the pleasure of going for a fantastic forage walk in Cregagh Glen with a local girl I met through Instagram (more about this next week!) which was an incredible experience.