Children of The Wild Woods

What an amazing week last week, the girls and I camped at a friends nearby farm, we were joined by my best friend and her three children,other friends and family came and went as the week went by, some by chance some planned. On the edge of the field is a woods, the children were drawn to it like a magnet. It was so lovely to walk under the shade of the trees, the sun light pouring through in the mornings. At some point rope swings had been put up the kids spent literally hours swinging and climbing. We made a rule that no child was to leave the woods without a log for the fire and even other children camping would wander by and pop a log on our pile with a quick smile and hello, word had got out, we needed wood, lots of it! Every night we made a camp fire, some nights we sang, some we chatted, but every night marshmallows were toasted and memories were made.

The wood was full of secrets, we found a clearing that at some point had been used as a living area, a shelter, a log cabin and a caravan were found, the kids scared them selves silly with stories of who lived there and if they still did.

After dark we listened to the birds calling to each other in the woods and tried to guess what they were, there were some very odd sounds one night. The moon was at its fullest that week and the woods took on a shine that was eerie and yet beautiful.

It was simple rough camping, no frills at all, but it was so special, the children thrived on the freedom and the woods made it extra special, the older ones made dens and the little ones scrambled about, we spent a lot of time enjoying the trees and watching the large group of children play, the gang seemed to get bigger by the day. The woods seem to relax the hildren and brought out the best in them all, a real team spirit, sharing the rope swings and hunting for objects for the dens. Children of all ages playing together.

At the end of the week we went to see The Rouge Theatre ” The Woodland Summer Ball” it was held in Theidy woods and it was magical! The creativity was amazing and I felt totally inspired. The children all danced on stage at the end in their costumes and head pieces they had made and it was the perfect end to a week of the wild woods.

I don’t think my children will ever forget last week, they embraced the freedom and the being at one with nature. It was simple and it didn’t cost much, and we left our clothes smelling of camp fires and leaves stuck in the tangles of our hair, but we left happy and grounded.

Woods are such special places and children need the old fashioned freedom of den building and being left to run a bit wild, it does them the world of good I am sure.

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Tired Fleur at the end of a long busy day

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Taken by the little one, I kinda like it. Me at The Woodland Summer Ball

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The woodland Summer Ball

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She runs without a care in the world

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The nights were filled with fire and laughter

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She fly’s through the air with a yell of joy

 

The Call of the WILD

I have not blogged for a while, the summer has been a hectic one; a whirlwind of holidays, family and friends visiting and the work that I like to pretend I don’t really do, but in the summer I really really do! When I work like a dog and play as hard and long as I can with my kids, I am shattered, but its worth it. Even when the work is tough and long I am still a full time Mum, I just cram even more into the days I am off and work well into the night, this is just how it is in my house.

This summer I have managed to try and stop for a while and make sure I appreciate the things that are going on around me and this blog is titled ‘The Call of the Wild.’

We spend a great deal of time on the beach, its where we live and where we play and mostly where we seem to eat nowadays as well!

A few things have happened this summer that have brought a reaction to our fellow beach goers and have brought me to write this post.

At the end of the spring i was on the shore line with the girls when a a change in the mood made me look up, suddenly the quite contented play of many was no more, the children of the beach were running, excited squeals filled the air, the adults were pointing, no longer their heads behind papers and snoozing in the sun. A seal had bobbed his little head up, the impact this normal move made was enormous. Children from all corners of the beach united, running running to get another look. My little one just happy to be part of the crowd had no idea why she was running, but she did, my older one enjoyed the chase, ” where is he, where is he… THERE!!!!!!!” I loved this frenzied five minutes of spot the seal, the way one sea creature had drawn us all together for a short space of time.

A few weeks later I was on the same beach again when I saw a RNLI lifeguard running to the far corner. My nosey hubby wandered over to take a look and came back to say a baby seal had been stranded. All afternoon, we took it in turns with the girls to go and check on “the baby” as did many others, we all felt slightly responsible for the little one and no one got to close, no one wanted to hurt or scare it. When the professionals finally arrived it was decided he had come ashore simply to shed his baby fur, but had just chosen a very populated beach to do so. We all fell in love with that baby seal that day and was sad to leave the beach and leave him to his shedding alone in the dark at night. Once again brought together by a simple thing.

The next week my friend went diving for spider crabs and after a mere ten minutes walked back onto the beach with a basket full to boil up for dinner that night. Being a vegetarian the thought horrified me, but amazed the gaggle of children he had hanging around his basket for the rest of the afternoon, the size of their pincers, the longness of their legs, the squeaks of the ‘imagine if one got you while you were swimming!’

At the weekend my Mum skills failed me, I had got the date wrong and had whisked my Bluebell girl to the beach for her weekly surf life saving lesson on the wrong day!!! this could have been one of the worse things I could have done, there she was all dressed in wetsuit, goggles and boots ready to brave the giant waves with her six year old swimming skills and no one was there. In a moment of trying to save the day, without having to brave the waves myself I took her to a sheltered cove to paddled in the not so giant waves and I could perch on the sand and enjoy watching her and catch up with my sister in law. Not one, but two pods of dolphins graced us with their presence that afternoon and came in very close and put on a great show, flipping and diving. The whole beach was standing, ipads waving and everybody smiling. The bluebell girl was quietly amazed at first, then went back to her fairy mermaid game of make believe, I asked her how she felt ” excited at first” she said ” then I was like; well they are just dolphins you know” .She has grown up with the sea and I guess she was right in some ways, but I and many others left with a huge spring in our steps that day.

I love the simple pleasure of the sea, the wild moments it brings us, the pleasure we all get from its life forms and the way it can bring a whole beach of people together and unite them for just a few moments in time.

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The bluebell girl looking up her shells and seaweeds

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Our Baby