Winter is going

“Has winter finished, Mamma?” George asked this morning. “Almost, sweetheart, almost,” I replied with a smile on my face and spring forming in my step.

I don’t mind winter at all. There’s something quite comforting about wrapping up and winding down. But spring is when it all begins again and for us that means much more time to spend outside.

We’re quite outdoorsy and the cold’s never bothered us anyway. But when it’s lighter you have more time to enjoy what is around you.

George takes Mamma for a ride around Cliveden.
George takes Mamma for a ride around Cliveden.

Today we visited *Cliveden, our favourite National Trust spot, set overlooking The Thames. Cliveden has vast views and acres of woods to explore, as well as a maze and several landscaped gardens. It also has The Storybook Play Den, a highlight for George and for us.

In here you will find Peter Pan and Captain Hook hanging out with other beautifully carved wooden characters from classic children’s stories. George especially loves the boat inspired by The Wind in the Willows and can often be found here, shooting the breeze with Mole and Ratty.

And then there’s the great big wooden train and tractor to climb aboard for further adventures down the line.

It’s a wonderful place to explore, with or without children, and now that spring has almost sprung, there’s plenty more light to take it all in.

It is safe to say that winter is most definitely on its way out.

*Other National Trust properties are available to visit.

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50 things to do before I am 43 and 3/4

I love the National Trust. There I said it. Yes, I realise that makes me old and extremely middle class but I don’t care because, as I said, I love the National Trust. I grew up in a small village in Berkshire and consider myself very lucky to have been able to explore vast woods and great open spaces. But, what I am disappointed about is that I appear to have only completed 34 of the 50 things you are meant to do before you are 11 and 3/4, according to the National Trust’s list. Well, these are the 34 I can actually remember doing and many of these were done well after the age of 11 and 3/4.

So, I have decided that, hand in hand with George, I will complete everything on that list before he is 11 and 3/4. Which means I will be I will 43 and 3/4. Practically a teenager. And I will get the t-shirt to say I’ve done it, even if I have to print said t-shirt myself. I have a few designs in mind already. But, where to start? Not with the t-shirt, the list. Focus, people. One of the activities on the list is rock climbing, which scares the hell out of me. But. *It’s in print now and I can’t back out.

Me walking on the Franz Josef Glacier in New Zealand aged 11 and 3/4. OK, 26 and 3/4!

This could be tricky and very embarrassing for George but l will give it my best shot because that’s part of what being a mum is about. Giving it your best shot. Wish me luck! Have a look at the National Trust’s list and let me know how many you’ve done. Perhaps you’d like to add your own.  *I’ve had this checked by a lawyer and I can back out if I want, so there.