Having had a tricky few weeks with the lambs and a broody chicken to boot, we decided that we all needed a bit of a treat and some time to enjoy outdoorsy adventures (not smallholding related ones at least) a bit further afield. With a half term full of rain and cabin fever setting in……thank goodness for Primrose and her love of lists. You’ll see why in a mo, dear Reader!
Last year, Primrose, Poppy and I spent a whole summer gallivanting round all sorts of fabulous National Trust properties and places around London and the South East in order to tick off our 50 Things list. You may remember that our adventures were featured on NT London and South East’s blog. Ooh the things we got up to! A summer of den building, pond dipping, camping out under the stairs……..all thanks to this magical list! I was going to say that the list is endless but it is a very manageable 50 things – all very good fun and definitely a must for the summer holidays, come rain or shine! To celebrate the launch of the first #50Things weekend of this year’s season, we were very kindly invited to come along to one of our favourite NT places, The Vyne for an afternoon of bug hunting and cake. Who could resist such an invitation, I ask you dear Reader?
Braving the rain (ticking off no.6 Run around in the rain instantly) and dressed head to foot in waterproofs (I can’t tell you how delightful I looked, dear Reader) Primrose, Poppy, Jerry and I headed off for some explorer capers that would see us getting up, close and personal with beetles, discovering a ‘Hidden Realm’ and a ring said to have inspired Tolkien as well as searching for rats in a Tudor mansion. Sound brilliant? It REALLY was. Here’s a little taster of our day:
Perhaps the best bit was a fantastic bug hunt through the long grass organised by our very own ranger for the afternoon, Fraser, who showed us and lots of other boys and girls (and grown ups too) where to search for bugs, how to identify them and told us all about what they do and how they do it. No.31 Hunt for bugs – another one ticked off the list.
Having bounced in the rain on inflatable cows in the kitchen garden and visited the resident hens (much more posh than our feathered girls…..a Madame Poulet and Lady Featherington von Cluckson no less), we stopped for afternoon tea. Hot chocolates, cups of tea and enormous slices of homemade cakes all round as it was definitely time to warm up a bit after running about in all that rain – some very happy chocolatey and cakey faces followed!
Onwards to the Tudor mansion where we were in search of rats. That’s right, dear Reader, you read correctly, rats. Mummy and Daddy Rat had lost their babies in the house somewhere and it was our job to find them doing some of the #50Things as we explored the magnificent rooms and sweeping staircases.
We even had time for a spot of dressing up too…Tudor style of course!
Poppy and Primrose fell fast asleep on the drive home – a fab afternoon! We’ll be ticking off our #50Things all summer and no doubt will be sharing our capers with you again. The Vyne will be hosting a wonderful collection of activities and adventures from tracking wild animals, den building and pond dipping to our next big challenge THE BIG TREE CLIMB to help you tick off #50Things from now until September – check out their events page for more details. You can enjoy crossing off your #50Things ANYWHERE though so don’t forget to check where your nearest National Trust places are and collect your #50Things wall planner or booklet so you can join us and start your own adventures!
Primrose is raring to go for the next big challenge and has booked us in to do no.1 Climb a tree. She’s even opted me to do it with her. Typical. That would have been perfect for Jerry who loves to relive a bit of his youth. Don’t suppose I’ll be able to do that one in a kaftan. Can you imagine the wardrobe malfunction halfway up or down the tree? Perhaps now might be a good time to inform her that I am also absolutely petrified of heights….