Whats the best thing about being #outside ?
Dan (9) Nature,
Amy (12) Seeing the horses,
Jacques (14) Mowing the grass,
Elizabeth (17) Metal Detecting.
This is the question that i have just posed to my children. Ok, so these might not be exactly the responses i was expecting but hey, i'll just roll with it....
Nature, to be outside in #nature, surrounded by it, looking at it, feeling it, smelling it, is well known for its health benefits, mental and physical, the sheer enjoyment of being outside can boost your mood, help you sleep better. This week with the kids being on holiday i have removed gadgets and kicked them all outside. Im lucky because we have access to a large safe area of woodland and fields, they can get out and climb trees, climb rocks, make dens, do all the things i used to do as a child. They took a picnic and made a campfire, they role played army games with homemade guns and dogs as enemies. Kids love to be outside, well mine certainly do! Especially if they are encouraged to use their imagination and reminded to use their common sense. I sometimes think children can be wrapped in cotton wool far too much, scraped knees, dirty hands and the odd drink from the outside tap is just part of growing up. Dont play with fire, watch out for wild boar, all normal advice in our family. When i was a child we didnt have the luxury of mobile phones, but in the 21st Century, knowing they can call me if someone has a problem is all the re-assurance i need. People that don’t have the chance of living in such a wonderful safe place can still get their kids outside. The park, the local woodlands, grannys garden, give them the (supervised) freedom to explore and enjoy watching them. Then when they come in with glowing cheeks and sleep like tops you know its been a good day.
Seeing the Horses, ok so not everyone has #horses, (or shock horror even likes horses!!), but animals are such a great reason to get outside. We have a bit of a small holding here, ok so most of them are pets, alright, all of them are pets and, apart from the chickens, have very little use. But watching their antics is usually the best way to cheer yourself up. We have 4 dogs, far too many, especially when you find out they are all types of spaniel, but watching them run and play together or throwing a ball for them or just taking them for a walk is an amazing stress reliever. The goats are hilarious when they are playing round on an evening, chasing around the paddock with the donkey. Love, the miniature donkey even picked up a stick the other day waving it around, the goats were unimpressed by his threat and danced on the picnic table instead. Our horses, we also have 4 of those. How did that happen ?…. They spend most of their time grazing in our wildlands. We have some hectares of rough ground, rocks, gorse, brambles. The horses love it, and every morning and evening they are waiting for us to go and move the fence onto new grass. On the occasions we get to ride our lovely horses we are very lucky to have miles of tracks and lanes to enjoy. I grew up with animals, dogs, cats, horses, cattle, sheep, guinea pigs, rabbits, you name it we had it. I have noticed that if you sit and watch them interact with each other, you can find out all sorts of interesting things, like how the chickens will call each other over if they find an interesting patch of ground, how cows always have a best friend, how the dogs bow to each other when they want to play. Get #outside and see the horses, dogs, cats, (insert your favorite animal here) and enjoy them.
Mowing the grass. I love the smell of a freshly mown lawn, dont you?. Jacques has taken to mowing our small patch of lawn as one of his jobs. It’s handy for me as mowing the lawn is not my favorite job, especially with the heavy, temperamental mower that we have at the moment. Our #garden is quite new, we started it in Feb 2020 as a lockdown project and its just starting (as of 2021) to fill out a little. Im trying to reduce the amount of lawn we have to mow, but i do love #gardening. We are trying to build up a nice natural cottage garden feel , lots of colour and interest. I have a large vegetable garden that i’m learning to grow stuff in and a polytunnel. I dont think i quite have the green fingers that my mum has but i do enjoy pottering around especially when things finally start to pop up and appear. Sometimes its almost overnight that seeds suddenly make their entrance and i’m left wondering why i have just planted another tray of tomato seeds because i had assumed that these ones wern’t doing anything when in fact they were just waiting below the surface until i had planted a ton more before they pop up and go ha ! Thats another 500 tomato plants you are going to have to find homes for… Being in your garden, or in anyones garden (with permission), or even just caring for a plant that grows and blooms or gives you some food on your balcony is another great reason to be outdoors, enjoying the outside.
Metal detecting. Elizabeth has been #metaldetecting on and around our land for just over a year. She has a cabinet overflowing with finds, from medieval coins to shrapnel, from a tiny 18-19th Century bronze canon (it works!) to enormous panzer tank shell cases dug up in the horses field, my house is full of bits of rusty metal ! But she’s outside, she walks for miles exploring the countryside, she has learnt tons about history, local history, our properties history, she can tell what age a coin is from 50 paces and a bullet casing too. Some people are not into the normal outside activities, some people want to try different things, metal detecting has sparked a passion in an very shy intelligent child. Rock climbing, bouldering, caving, shooting (clay pigeon or hunting) , birdwatching, kayaking, photography, wild camping, there are a million and one ways to get outside and enoy this wonderful world we live in.
Whats the best thing about being #outside ?