Sunday, October 30, 2005

Happy Campers

This week was half term holidays, on Wednesday I took the boys camping in the New Forest with 3 other mums and their kids (total 8 kids). Thursday we went for a walk in a pretty part of the forest, where we oooohed and aaaaahed at the prettiness of Autumn and the fabulous mushrooms. We came across a Posse of Pigs, very cute and not at all big and scary like Australian wild pigs (the two Aussie mums didn't know this and were alarmed, warning everyone to keep away!) The pigs are allowed into the forest in Autumn to eat the acorns so the horses don't eat too many and get sore tummies, we also saw deer. The kids LOVED it all. They spent alot of time back at camp being by far the loudest most active kids around and rode their bikes like maniacs. We BBQ'd for breakfast lunch and dinner and ate our fair share of meat... All this activity did not wear them out.
Friday we donned our "wet shoes" and started a walk that took us through marsh, up a big hill of dying Heather, along Moors through a pine forest, down the ridge to a Ford, where the kids semi-stripped and got sprayed by the cars driving through the water, they also petted the baby donkey, wipped the horses to stop them eating our picnic lunch, swung from the swing and had a thoroughly good time. We dryed them off - well tried to, crossed the the road and viola! A Sand Pit - a massive sand dune in the middle of nowhere. So, wet clothes and sand go really nicely together - they rolled all the way down this huge dune, played and rolled and played some more. Christie (our dog) also had ALOT of fun running down the big hill, tumbling, bouncing, playing and rolling and playing. Then all tired, we were about half way...we followed the ridge past red with white spot mushrooms, pink, brown, bright yellow, orange, purple, black brown and beige mushrooms buy the shed load - I have never seen SO many mushrooms and toadstools as I did this weekend. Then we went down from the ridge and back to the river and found a Faerie Dell !!!! I had also NEVER seen a real faerie dell, there were all these teeny tiny little houses everywhere, with little knick nacks, those faeires had gone to a real effort and there were LOADS of them!! it was amazing. O claims he saw a real faerie, but I'm not so sure since they are really really shy. Anyway, the kids decided that this gorgeous little part of the river was the place to get out of control with the splishing and splashing and they just jumped right on in, fully clothed. Luckily this is the warmest end of October I've ever known... a few of us nearly lost our boots in the bog too! All VERY exciting, especially with pants down trying to do a wee...So then we walked back along the edge of the lane to our camp "Red Shoot". These children had just walked a staggering 10 miles!!! Thats like 16km!!!!!! So I have awarded O The Little Trooper Award (attached). I was so so impressed by how well he did, he was out the front with Christie and I the whole time - being the little trooper! Well, you would've thought they'd sit down for a rest, but nup, straight onto the bikes and doing massive skids towards our camp. In fact, in the morning they were skidding on the wet grass, and I was in the kombi, tidying up when BAAANG. I though "what the *%£! was that, must have been hit by a rolling car". Nope, it was my Samuel skidding out of control - brakes not working - straight into the van!?! Being the big strong brave boy that he is, he was OK, thank goodness.
So today, we pottered and packed up camp. Then I took the boys to a Reptiles and Raptors park. We saw the Reptile show and can I just say that I am A LITTLE BIT glad that S lost the Boa Constrictor that we bought a couple of weeks ago...those things get frikken massive! He loved the reptile park tho and thought he wanted a Bird Eating Tarantula instead of a sneaky escape artist snake - no chance. We have decided that Chameleons are less likely to escape and are pretty cool too...
So we rolled into our street singing "you are my sunshine" at the top of our lungs, with a heaving, muddy, wet, smelling of wood smoke van full of camping stuff and J was out partying with his friends - thanks Peff! ;) Its prolly a good thing he was out, because I went on a cleaning rampage and its all washed and packed for our next adventure!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Crunching and Lunching

We've been back at school now for 5 weeks! Its flown - O has started reception class and is finishing at 12pm. This means that I only get to work 1.5hours per day- not complaining! It is busy being a lovely crunching Autumn right now and because I finish early it means O & I have special lunches everyday - often with his little friends over. Recently we met for a picnic in Kew Gardens. The children were collecting conkers, throwing leaves and taking rude photos of each other...

Conkers are the big brown shiny chestnuts that children collect. A month ago I witnessed the rape of a Horse Chestnut tree in the park that had conkers that were not yet dropping and the impatient children had sticks and were beating the poor tree to knock the conkers down. The tree was left with torn branches and no leaves, let alone conkers! Now the conkers have all fallen and the children are happily playing with them - this is where they drill a hole, thread string through and then hit each others conkers and the last conker in one peice is the winner.

See the pics of O & his girlfriends enjoying the Autumn!