It has been a busy few days in the village and this has meant that not much has got done at home.
On Saturday afternoon our village hosted its annual gala. This was the first year in many that I have had no direct involvement with the event as in past years I have helped with the village schools tombola stall as my son was a pupil there (he’s now moved on to High School).
So this year was enjoyable as I was able to have a good look round and I truly appreciated what our village council had arranged. As the gala is a non commercial event all the stalls support local organizations and charities. I visited our village’s allotment society stall and bought 4 asparagus plants for £1 And 4 tomato plants for £2! Great bargains.
The village council had arranged a bouncy castle and a climbing wall for the children which were free to use and a great success, in the main arena there was an impressive display from a bird of prey expert.
Following that a re-enactment society set up camp on the field and recreated skirmishes from the English civil war, interesting and relevant as the local area featured prominently in the English Civil War.
The event lasted well into the evening with local bands playing on the main stage creating a mini music festival. It was a great event and one I hope continues for many more years to come.
Following the weekends events the Olympic Torch relay passed through the village. It was an added bonus for us as it actually passed by the end of our street. The amount of people who had actually come out for this once in a lifetime glimpse was amazing!
We met up with the other members of our family that also live in the village, even my nephew the youngest family member was there to join us.
After a long wait there it was burning bright, a brief glimpse and then it was gone.
Before I begin let me tell you that there is an area in Wales that makes my heart sing. It’s a place of endless golden beaches, majestic mountains, slate roofed stone cottages grown from the surrounding land, castles cloaked in legend and happy childhood memories.
This is the place that I spent my school holidays staying in my Grandparents caravan with its ancient popping gas lights and the sound of the waves lulling me to sleep. This is the place that I almost moved to with my family when I was 10 years old, a place of what might of been. This is the place we chose to take our Son for his first holiday as a baby and have returned many times since. This is a place that will stay with me all my life.
This is the place that we are travelling to tomorrow……….
I’ve always been keen to get the family as a whole involved in gardening, I have fond memories of gardening with my Grandma as a young child and I think that this is where my love of growing things developed. Following on from my post about garden activities for children here’s a list of my top ten plants for a child friendly garden.
1. Lamb’s Ears (Stachys byzantina) – This perennial with its fuzzy leaves is a favourite in any child’s garden. Children love to feel the soft silvery leaves.
2. Butterfly Bush (Buddleia) – Butterfly bushes make wonderful small trees in a child’s garden and most children are fascinated by the winged creatures attracted to the plants.
3. Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) - These cheery, yellow annuals are fun and easy to grow, see who can grow the tallest!
4. Snapdragons (Antirrhinum) - They can pick the flowers and make them talk. I remember doing this in my Grandma’s garden as a child.
5. Mint (Mentha) – Children enjoy the smell of different types of mint and rub the leaves between their fingers to release the scent.
6. Thyme (Thymus) – Use this plant between stepping stones. It is tough enough to handle the occasional mis-step.
7. Curry Plant (Helichrysum italicum) – The warm spicy aroma smells just like curry.
8. Carrots - Children like the fluffy tops and enjoy the surprise of finding veggies growing underground – watch out and you might catch a glimpse of Peter Rabbit!
9. Lavender (Lavandula) – The foliage of these plants is a lovely grey green, but the best part for kids is picking the scented flowering wands.
10. Grass – It smells great when freshly cut and cushions them when they fall over!
This bank holiday weekend saw us taking a short trip with the caravan to a little site not far from the West Yorkshire town of Hebden Bridge.
Hebden Bridge is a lovely place to spend a weekend, a hub of crafts and creativity it is full of independent shops and is situated on the Rochdale Canal and close to the Pennine Way.
Here are some highlights of our weekend.
Walking along the Rochdale Canal we passed some interesting communities living onboard canal boats and making the most of self sufficient living on the banks.
We passed many other families along the way who were also enjoying the canal.
And a trip on a canal boat took us to a lovely pub serving homemade food and real cider.
The next day we visited Hardcastle Crags, a beautiful wooded Pennine valley. After a quick call to the farmers market to buy handmade pasties and puddings for a picnic lunch we set off on our way. Donning our walking boots we explored rivers, rocks and waterfalls.
It was a great opportunity to see creatures in their natural enviroment.
Not only did we have a wonderful weekend it was also a chance to enjoy life’s simple pleasures.
Categories: Family, Simple Pleasures, Travel
Tags: caravanning, Caravans, family, Hardcastle Crags, Hebden Bridge, Rochdale canal, simple pleasures, travel, Yorkshire
Ok, so he may be a little heavy handed in the garden……
We have always tried to encourage our son to get out and help in the garden. Nowadays as he’s approaching his teens things are a little different but if the activities include either a bonfire if it’s cold or a BBQ if its warm he’s happy to join in.
Children love being outdoors so here are a few ideas to encourage them into the garden:
- Go on a hunt for flowers, berries, leaves or insects
- Plant seeds (inside or outside)
- Create vegetable, fruit and leaf prints
- Simple supervised tasks such as deadheading or watering plants
- Watch a butterfly or tadpole develop
- Place carrot tops in water & watch them sprout roots and leaves
If you have any other ideas I’d love to hear them! Hope the sun shines where you are this weekend and that you manage to get out and have a great time!