I've now got us into the habit that we have to get out and about into 'nature' several times a week, or I begin to feel contained and imprisoned. It's so easy to settle into domesticity and confine yourself to the house, but I always feel better for getting out and exploring the wonderful world we live in.
Several weekends ago we spent the Saturday doing the 'chilling out' in the house thing, and then had to go to a new classmate's birthday party. By the time we came out of the party, I felt like climbing the nearest tree myself; I felt really trapped by all the bricks and windows etc! We headed over to Victoria Park in Cardiff to find conkers and wander amongst the trees, where we discovered the most plentiful conker tree I've ever seen at the top of which sat a squirrel systematically stripping the conkers from their shells, nibbling the casings off, and then throwing the discarded conkers down. Luckily The Boy still had his helmet on as quite a few were bouncing off our heads!
En route home, I texted my brother (not the one who's buggered off to Australia, the eldest one) and arranged to go to Cefn Onn the following day. My sister-in-law works in the great outdoors professionally, and their daughter (Fiery Cousin) is a 'wild child' just like The Boy so it's good to get together and let the children be 'feral', just as they should be, while we catch up.
As soon as we arrived at Cefn Onn (one of Cardiff's best kept secrets), The Boy and Fiery Cousin were off! Trees were no obstacle to them, and scooters were soon abandoned in favour of walking up the hillside through the stream. And yes, they both had canvas shoes on. And yes, we let them.
We'd been to Cefn Onn in the Spring when the rhododendrons were in full bloom, and I was desperate to come back and see the colours on the leaves. We were a little early this time, but we did explore up further than the lake this time, where we came across the part-built Summerhouse for the original owner's son. The whole park was originally created as a recuperation location for his son who was suffering from tuberculosis, unfortunately he died before the Summerhouse could be finished, it stands forlorn at the top of the park.
It's a wonderous area to explore, play hide and seek, and stop for a snack! I love how my niece is working the camera, The Boy is sporting his fake smile.
I'm linking this up to Country Kids and Flashback Friday.
This post is also an entry for BritMums ‘Little Adventures Challenge’ in partnership with Barny, the bear-shaped snack providing a little discovery in every bite. Find out more about Barny here.