It’s more fun outdoors

Last week I took delivery of this:

"mini cooper cabriolet kite blue"

Almost instantly it began to rain.

Undeterred, we made it our mission to let the roof down, as often as possible, irrespective of temperature. The sole purpose of the day, for the whole family, was getting out in the Mini Cooper. Instead of whiling away half the day wondering what to do, we went out and found it.

When I say “it,” I actually mean nothing at all. We didn’t do stuff, we just went places. And we surprised ourselves with the results. We saw bluebells (really late this year!):

"bluebells"

I always love discovering the bluebells at Ringshall. I must have hundreds of photos of them but I never tire. I love the ethereal image of the trees rising as if from a sea of blue.

It’s more fun outdoors

The thing that dawned on me quite quickly was that the children may moan about “going for a walk,” but once they’re out, they somehow find fun, and then moan about having to go home. It can be the simplest of things, but on this walk the fascination was with how big a stick they could manage to carry, and what they could do with it to make us laugh.

"it's more fun outdoors"I was also given a tip – I can’t believe I didn’t think of it myself – to make the kids last longer on a walk. Sugar. Not a huge amount, but enough to punctuate the day, and revive appetite for the next phase. Granny is good at keeping our stocks replenished, so we took a couple of these along with us. (It’s not as big as it looks, it’s the camera angle, honest)!

"Lollipop: more fun outdoors"

"Ashridge estate"

It gave us fuel to explore the Ashridge estate, where we discovered that our daughter has a passion for climbing trees. You name it, she wants to scale it, and even as she trembles at the height, she pushes herself to go further. I was proud, watching her deal with fear, assess the risk, and make sensible judgements about how far she could go. She tells me she’d like to be a rock climber. Running through my head are the opening scenes of Cliffhanger…

"climbing trees"

Oh, that tree she’s in top right is a carving from a dead tree at Knebworth. They’re sirens, apparently. All their dead wood  is carved into something – bizarre how imaginations run wild outside. It’s more fun outdoors, isn’t it?

"sculptures at Knebworth"

We found that once they’re out, our kids find fun everywhere. So we’re joining in more often with Country Kids from Coombe Mill. We need an occasional distraction from grumbling about cold, or aching feet, but for the most part, they are happier than they are at home, fitter, healthier, and the whole family has more fun. We make much better memories outdoors. And if we hadn’t braved driving with the roof down, we’d never have made this one:

"cold in the cabriolet"

19 thoughts on “It’s more fun outdoors”

  1. So drooling over your Mini Cooper, I loved it when I had a convertible. An awesome post with superb photos, it’s great getting outdoors. Rather surreal reading this – I grew up in Berkhamsted and Little Gaddesden. Spooky 🙂

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  2. Looks like an amazing day out! I bet the kids were buzzing over the car – can you fit the trolley in the boot ? 😉

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  3. Lots of great outdoor fun. My wee man is certainly happier when he is out and about but a big young to be needed to be dragged just yet. We would have had lots of fun with those sticks too. Those sirens are pretty cool! It’s great when you get to make these kind of memories as a family. I like the philosophy of just “going” no plan!

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  4. What a fantastic play to explore and easily while a way a day with a picnic! The carvings are fantastic and I have to say our children wouldn’t be able to resist climbing those trees as well. I love your new car and the colour is great – the children looked a bit chilly in the back though! Thanks for coming over and sharing your great family day out with Country kids.

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  5. So…the reason the jet stream is so low this year is because of your mini??!! Great pictures and I’m so very envious of the car 😉 The sirens look very enchanting! We are all for a bit of sugar and the great outdoors – you can’t beat stunning scenery and a chocolate digestive. Lovely post x

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  6. Hello there! Glad I stumbled upon your blog!

    You guys sound like you had a lovely day outdoors! Love that new Mini Cooper!!

    Reply
  7. Love this post! Getting outdoors is definitely one of the best things to do with children. Great idea to give them a bit of sugar too, I usually find mine start to flag after a few hours.

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