A Shooting Star

Me & Mum

Me & Mum

A little while ago Mum and I had an amazing time together camping out in a gypsy wagon.  We wanted to spend some time together just to hang out and talk. We had such a lovely time that we decided to do a joint blog about it. IMG_00000803

Mum

A Shooting Star – it’s beautiful, it’s magical and it’s always a delight to see but ultimately it’s gone in a flash.

I’ve been watching my beautiful daughter grow over the last 11 years and all of a sudden it feels like that time went by in a flash.

Wanting to spend some time just the two of us we planned a girly get-away and snuck off together for a night camping out.

Me

A Mum and a daughter should be close, they should spend time together. They should have a good relationship. Sometimes going off for a night or two is a good way to draw even closer.

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Sausage Sandwich for dinner

Sausage Sandwich for dinner

Mum and I had a good chat around the fire. In the dark the embers glowed and gave off a warm firelight that shone on our faces and lit them up. When it was just the two of us I found it easy to talk, Mum totally understood me and even if she didn’t, she still seemed understanding. We toasted marshmallows and stared into the flames. It was chilled, just the two of us, we didn’t have to be anywhere, not even bed………  well, eventually we did.

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When we went in we took a steaming mug of hot chocolate and played cards. After two or so games we stuck our woolly hats on and snuggled down under the covers. IMG_00000818

All snuggled up

All snuggled up

Mum

At 2am I awoke needing a wee.

Gracie fast asleep at 2am

Gracie fast asleep at 2am

Trying hard not to wake Gracie I tip-toed out to pee in the bushes. That’s when I looked up at the night sky, it was mesmerising. It was amazingly clear, every star shone so brightly in the depths of the darkness.  And then I saw a shooting star, it was just spectacular.

Upon re-telling my “adventure” to Gracie in the morning she asked me, whilst giggling, if I’d made a wish upon a shooting star?

After having had such a wonderful evening together, of course I had……….

Me & Mum

That night we made memories, magical memories, special memories, memories that have etched themselves on our hearts and will stay there forever.

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Taking Clairie To London

Yesterday we took Clairie, a young girl from Germany who is doing a bit of work experience at the campsite/farm where we live, into London to see all the sights.  It is her first time in the UK, so we made sure that she saw all the things that are unique to our capital city. We explained to her about British history, from Queen Boadicea of the Iceni tribe to Guy Fawkes and from KIng Henry 8th’s many wives to the legend about the ravens at the Tower.

“Sorry, can’t smile”

The marching band

The marching band

Changing Of The Guard

Changing Of The Guard

First stop was Buckingham Palace to see the Changing Of The Guard.  This is a major tradition so Clairie had to see it.  The Busbies looked so smart in their uniform, it must be really hard to stay still and not smile all day while people are staring at you and snapping away with their cameras.

Wigeon ducks in the park

Wigeon ducks in the park

After Buckingham Palace we walked through St. James park.  Clairie and I took loads of photos of all the different breeds of birds, including wigeon ducks, black swans, mallards and even white pelicans.

Me, Evan and Irys with a member of the Household Cavalry.

Me, Evan and Irys with a member of the Household Cavalry.

We visited the Household Cavalry and had our picture taken with one of the horsemen.  Just like the Busbies, he couldn’t smile!!!

Big Ben

Big Ben

Clairie is taking photos

Clairie taking photos

We visited Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament too.  Clairie is really into photography, so she took lots of amazing shots.  Big Ben is stunning, I love all the gold leaf and the sheer height of it is incredible. The Houses of Parliament are also lovely, they’re rather posh and very beautiful.

We walked along the Embankment on river Thames. We saw the London Eye.

We walked along the Embankment on river Thames. We saw the London Eye.

Clairie and I had our pictures taken in one of London’s classic, red telephone boxes.

“Say cheese”

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My turn!!!

Next up is a little trip on the underground, it was a little busy so we had to stand. A London experience just isn’t complete without an underground journey.

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” Tower bridge and The Tower Of London, here we come!!!”

Such a cool photo of The Shard behind a bush. It looks like it's just exploded!!! BOOOM, BAAAM and BOOOOSH.

Such a cool photo of The Shard behind a bush. It looks like it’s just exploded!!! BOOOM, BAAAM and BOOOOSH!!!!!

The Shard is now the tallest building in London.

The Shard is now the tallest building in London.

The thing Clairie really wanted to see in London was Tower Bridge and as The Tower Of London is right next door we decided to visit both.  The Tower was really good, we saw Traitors Gate, but Tower Bridge was amazing. Just as we were getting ready to leave, a horn sounded and the bridge opened to let a wedding boat through. It was so cool, we hadn’t expected it to open at all!!!!

WOW!!!!

WOW!!!!

We saw the wall that the Romans built around London while they occupied it. They purpose of the wall was to protect the city from invaders. Eventually London outgrew it’s wall. Beside the ruins of it stood a statue of the emperor Tiberius.

My brother, Evan, is history mad. He enjoyed this part of the trip.

My brother, Evan, is history mad. He enjoyed this part of the trip.

Evan by the wall. I bet no enemies could get over that!!

Evan by the wall. I bet no enemies could get over that!!

Irys and I posing as royal emperor's assistants.

Irys and I posing as royal emperor’s assistants.

The next stop was my favourite part of the trip: Somerset House’s Fountain Courtyard!! Mum was explaining to Clairie that in the Winter there is a huge ice rink in the yard and in all the other parts of the year there are big fountains you can run and play in. As it was a really hot day, I asked if I may go in the fountains, I’m so glad that the answer was yes. Me, Dad, Evan and Irys skipped and jumped in the beautiful, sunny fountains. It was much to the amusement of lots of people enjoying the pretty sights and grand house. Loads of folks with snazzy cameras took pics of us , but I didn’t care, I was having the time of my life!!

Fun, fun , fun

Fun, fun , fun

Barefoot, with our trousers rolled up, in London? Mad!!!

Barefoot, with our trousers rolled up, in London? Mad!!!

Irys, lovin' it!!

Irys, lovin’ it!!

Time to move on again, this time to Covent Garden, Clairie’s favourite spot. We walked along all the shops, watched some street acts (including an opera singer and a man who performed magic tricks), Clairie bought a coconut full of coconut water and we saw the living statues. We also visited the Tintin Shop and bought a mask.

Clairie, me, Irys and Evan.

Clairie, me, Irys and Evan.

The living statue

The living statue

Trafalgar Square next!!! We saw Nelson’s Column and the Canadian and Ugandan Embassies.

Such a brave and proud man. He died for his country and so he deserves his place looking down over London.

Such a brave and proud man. He died for his country and so he deserves his place looking down over London.

Back down The Mall, all of our legs are aching now and our feet are sore.

The Mall, SW1, The City Of Westminster, London, UK.

The Mall, The City Of Westminster, London, UK.

The Union Jack

The Union Jack

One last Selfie at Buckingham Palace

One last Selfie at Buckingham Palace

The train home was a bit of a squeeze. Oh well, you haven’t experienced London properly if you haven’t been shoved in a crowded train carriage fighting for personal space and gasping for air.

Why? When? What? Where? Is?

The other day I was reading a mystery book.  The young detective is trying her hardest to solve a complex and sophisticated case, but she can’t find any clues. She says that this case has many more questions than answers.  That set me thinking.

If you really think about it, that case is like our world.  We have tons of questions about everything, but not many answers.  There are general and personal questions, questions that philosophers, scientists, historians and naturalists have poured over for centuries and there are even questions a little kid might ask in the playground.

I think that every question has an answer, whether people know it or not.  For some questions, it’s a matter of belief, opinion or faith.

I wrote this poem about all the different types of questions people have.  It explores everyday ones and ones the whole world wonder about.

WHY? WHEN? WHAT? WHERE? IS?

Why does the sun shine so bright?
Why does day turn into night?
Why is dark so different than light?
Why do people have to fight?
Why is snow so white?
Why does the dog bite?
Why are my trousers really tight?
Why won’t my Mum let me out of her sight?
Why is the only thing I can fly a kite?
Why does an aeroplane take flight?
Why does age have a difference in height?

When are you classed as old?
When does warm turn to cold?
When does a kid not have to be told?
When does greed take its hold?
When comes the creeping mould?
When will the house be sold?
When is the right time to be bold?
When will the mystery unfold?
When will someone tell the truth that’s untold?

What is the story that’s real?
What is a fish to a seal?
What is a healthy meal?
What is a vegetable you have to peel?
What is a jellied eel?
What is jealousy? It makes people kill.
What are the consequences of a broken deal?
What is the sense that helps people feel?

Where do people stare?
Where is the lions lair?
Where is the stallion and the mare?
Where in your T shirt, is the big tear?
Where is the land where everyone is kind and does share?

Is there more than one god?
Is there a way to farm more sustainable cod?
Is it polite to say yes or just nod?
Is chocolate and bacon together okay? Or is it just odd?
Is four a quad?
Is Jack in our squad?
Is fishing the only sport where you use a rod?

All of these are questions, as you can see,
the answers may or may not be found easily,
but to have a think or a ponder,
over a cup of coffee or tea,
you may just develop a theory.

Blackbird Rescue

On Saturday Mum, Irys and I were sitting inside, when we heard shouting outside and saw Dad’s hand by the window, in it was a male blackbird.  I rushed outside, so did Irys. “Is it dead? Dad, is it OK?” I asked. Dad and Evan explained how they’d found the poor bird hanging upside down by a thread tangled round it’s claw. It had been hanging there on a bramble.

Blackbird Rescue

Blackbird Rescue

I went in and got a pair of scissors, gently I tried to cut the thread off. He squirmed and fidgeted, but Dad stroked and soothed him. By this time Mum had emerged and she began the delicate operation of freeing the bird from the string. Eventually it fell off and we picked up our little blackbird and put him in a small sheltered  building. As we put him down, we noticed that his leg fell from under him. I thought it might have been broken. He sat down and rested with his eyes closed. We got him a worm and a dish of water.

Bad day for blackbird

Bad day for blackbird

A Delicate Operation

A Delicate Operation

When we went out, we freed him and he hopped off. Hopefully he’ll soon be back to normal and singing his sweet song again.

"Thank you for rescuing me, but I'm glad I'm free now"

“Thank you for rescuing me, but I’m glad I’m free now”

My Dad

This blog is for my Dad on his birthday.

I just wanted to tell him how special he is and that he’s the best Dad in the world.  I hope he enjoyed his birthday and all his treats around it.

Me & My Dad

Me & My Dad

My Dad is everything to me, he’s my inspiration, my advisor, my teacher, my leader, he’s everything a  Dad should be.

Dad helps me to understand the world we live in and encourages me to try and make a difference.   Some of our talks are a little heavy and hard for me to understand, but Dad tries to make it clear for me.  Dad helps me to be honest, make the right decisions and grow up.

He always does what’s best for his family and not himself.  He works hard to ensure that we’re all getting the life we need.

In our education we all have strong points and weaknesses.  Dad helps us with things we find hard and encourages our individuality.

Dad can be fun and funny though. He’s got a great sense of humour and is always joking and playing with us.  He’s a great supporter of adventure, so we all go off on adventures together.  We’ve been climbing mountains, living on a boat, living in a van and lots of other awesome things.  He challenges us to get out of our comfort zone.  It’s all part of growing up, apparently!!!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!!!!

 

Wild Garlic and Nettle Pesto

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Eating locally is very important, it’s a lot, lot, lot healthier.  When food travels for miles from different countries it has to be sprayed with preservatives, chemicals and all that kind of stuff.  It’s much better to eat food from your own country.  Do you know what’s even better than that?  Well, it’s to eat and use things that haven’t been farmed or cultivated. It’s called foraging.

You can do just this at Wowo campsite, which is where I live.  If you are going camping there then this is a must do.  If not, then you can still do it elsewhere. You can forage an abundance of wild food at Wowo, but two of the most nutritious and delicious plants are wild garlic and nettle.

Wowo Campsite

Wowo Campsite

These two amazing plants go together very well in a super, duper recipe.  The  recipe is pesto!  This pesto is nutritious because nettles and wild garlic are good for……..

Nettles: contain lots of iron and vitamin C.  Nettles are super foods, good for you in every way. Wild Garlic: helps lower blood pressure.

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Me harvesting nettles

Harvesting the wild garlic

Harvesting the wild garlic

To find these two plants you must go to two different places.  Wild garlic likes to grow near water, in the shade of the woods.  The perfect place to find these on Wowo campsite is Tipi Trail. Nettles; these grow in abundance in the hedgerows and around the edges of fields.  The ideal time to harvest these is in Spring. The wild garlic only appears in Spring and nettles are at their prime.  April is the BEST time, so the pesto is perfect to make over the Easter hols and over the rest of the month.

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So which bit do you eat? With the nettles, you eat the first few leaves, the middle ones are okay too, but as you start to near the bottom of the stalk, stop picking. Here is where the leaves get too tough.  You can cut the sprigs with scissors or if you’re really brave, with your hands.  If you choose to be a hero, remember to pinch it really hard, so it doesn’t sting you!

Eat the leaves of the wild garlic.

Close up of wild garlic leaves

Close up of wild garlic leaves

Before I give you this yummy, scrummy pesto recipe, I must warn you of the foragers’ foe.  It’s poisonous. It grows in the same place as wild garlic and looks similar.  It’s called ‘lords and ladies’. So, how do you tell the difference between lovely snack and the deadly danger?  Well, wild garlic are slim and light green, their edges are straight. Lords and ladies are wider, darker green and sometimes speckled with purple.  They also have curled edges.  My top tip is not to eat anything you’re not sure about.

Lords & Ladies BEWARE

Lords & Ladies
BEWARE

Now finally, the recipe we’ve all been waiting for, ladies and gentlemen, the sensational Wild Garlic and Nettle Pesto!!!! Please try it and let me know what you thought!!!

INGREDIENTS

Wild Garlic

Nettles

Cashew Nuts

Olive or Rapeseed Oil

Salt and Pepper

METHOD

1. Go and forage a bag of wild garlic and a colander of nettles.  You can’t be exact with the quantities, so just get roughly double the amount of garlic than of nettles.

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Making pesto is fun "Give Us A Kiss"

Making pesto is fun
“Give Us A Kiss”

2. Take them home and wash them well.  Then take the nettle leaves off of the stalks and put in a blender. Blend until mashed. Scoop out and put in a large bowl. Then do the wild garlic to the same consistency.  This may take a couple of loads. Put it in the bowl with the nettles.

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3. Whizz up a couple of handfuls of cashew nuts in the blender and add to the bowl.

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4. Mix up. Then put a bit at a time back into the blender until it’s all in the blender. Add salt and pepper and a generous glug of oil.

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5. Put in a bowl to eat straight away or store in a jar to keep for later. Top up the jar with olive oil.

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6. ENJOY IN LOTS OF DIFFERENT WAYS

Eat with delicious WOWO bread

Eat with delicious WOWO bread

Share with a friend

Share with a friend

Enjoy with your dinner

Enjoy with your dinner

Give it as a gift

Give it as a gift