Local Heart, Global Soul

October 8, 2014

The Activities Are Right On Target … Even If We Are Not.

Filed under: ENGLAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,South Coast,The New Forest — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Last summer on a holiday to England, Family Kiwidutch got their first taste of what it was like to stay at a large camping ground with all modern conveniences.

Ok… granted, if you were tent and needed a trip to the lavatory in the night it would mean a walk to the nearest amenity block but we had a camper that had it’s own toilet so I was saved any risk of stumbling around the camp-site in the dark.

Talking to a few friendly neighbours we also discovered that many of serious campers who make frequent use of camp grounds have their own port-a-loo lavatories for emergency night time use, so clearly I’m not alone in being reluctant to wander far in a sleepy state (even if I were more mobile).

The deep reservations I had about camping alongside so many other people turned out to me largely unfounded, noise was minimal later at night, many of our fellow campers also had younger kids who were going to be waking them up at the crack of dawn so any ideas of hard partying by parents into the wee hours was not really an option. Generally there was the odd burst of laughter from somewhere down the rows of family tents as adults from multiple families congregated around a bottle of wine (or box) and nibbles  and even that petered out as the clock edged towards midnight.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Considering that the long hours of daylight were keeping our kids up until ten at night, it was all relaxed and very friendly.

The relaxed atmosphere was also vastly aided by the sheer amount of activities available on site. T

hey were “extras’ in the price of the camp site so we didn’t let our kids go wild and choose every activity on the list, but they got to choose several each, and then we added one that we could do as a family.

The downside of the list of activities was that some activities were only on specific days, both our kids wanted to take a baking class but it was scheduled for later in the week  after our expected departure date so they had to settle for decorating some biscuits (cookies) instead.

The pool was available at specific times too, scheduled to fit in with things like aqua-aerobics for adults. Although our kids are getting older now they can still be kept happy for a while with a playground or a magic show or just making a few new friends and making up silly games. On one hand I sometimes get concerned that they aren’t very street-wise or old beyond their years, on the other I think that childhood is a fleeting time and if they want to stick to slightly more childish things for a little longer then why not? None of us should be forced to grow up too soon in this ultra fast paced world.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Both Kiwi Daughter and Little Mr made full use of as many of the pool slots as possible and both opted for a drawing /colouring in session and a tie-dying lesson too.

In both they were the only kids in the class so had the instructors full attention.

The instructors are university students earning some cash to get them through their next year of study, the young lady helping with the tie-dying lived locally in the New Forest and was really great with the kids.

Both kids still use their tie-dyed bags and are very proud of their handiwork.

We choose archery as the activity we wanted to do as a family, and whilst the participants were expected to walk to the archery site down a rough track some distance away, as an exception they arranged for the instructors to take a vehicle down there and to give me a lift because otherwise I won’t have been able to take part. Two groups take turns doing archery so I photograph the other group whilst we wait our turn. The kids were very much inspired by the instructor’s promise of twenty packets of sweets (beers for adults who preferred that) should anyone hit a perfect bullseye, but in spite of enthusiasm all four of us quickly demonstrated that the none of us had the William Tell gene and that the prize stood no chance of accompanying us home. None of the other people managed it either and apparently it had been some years since the prize has had to be paid out so we didn’t feel too disappointed.

Himself and the kids also had fun eavesdropping on a magic show intended for younger children: it was a classic cause of them feeling far too old to take part but secretly enjoying the jokes, magic and repartee, they took the pocket camera with them whilst I had a sleep back at the camper and judging by the detailed update I got later the show was good fun no matter how old the  audience was.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwi Daughter)

(photograph © Kiwi Daughter)

One parent gets a hard hat and a plate spinning on her head…

(photograph © Kiwi Daughter)

(photograph © Kiwi Daughter)

(photograph © Kiwi Daughter)

(photograph © Kiwi Daughter)

(photograph © Kiwi Daughter)

(photograph © Kiwi Daughter)

(photograph © Kiwi Daughter)

(photograph © Kiwi Daughter)

(photograph © Kiwi Daughter)

(photograph © Kiwi Daughter)

(photograph © Kiwi Daughter)

(photograph © Kiwi Daughter)

(photograph © Kiwi Daughter)

(photograph © Kiwi Daughter)

November 14, 2011

Flame Red not Just in the Brazier…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I’m still taking you on a retrospective tour of our short trip to Leerdam.

We’ve just had a fabulous meal at an Argentine restaurant and now we are back at camp.

The kids might be tired but sleeping when there are torchlight adventures to be had is apparently out of the question.

Adding to the excitment, there is a new tent going up through some trees,  in the next clearing, and three teenage girls are unpacking their gear.

They are on a four day biking tour together before they start the first year of their university studies and if they minded our curious brood watching their tent being assembed, they were at least too polite to say so.

Himself pulled the kids away after they had finished telling the girls where the toilets were, where the showers were etc and hopefully before the kids made complete nuisance of themselves.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Himself eventually diverted them with the spectacle of a fire started in our brazier… the kids loved it and got all dramatic about an open fire (agh, I’m actually quite shocked that they are such city kids!)

Our city apartment living is showing. Sooo different to how I grew up.

A small canal separates us from the farmers field next door and there is a small path along the edge of the field where the resident horse takes his daily ambles… (again, unexpected squeals of delight from our kids to see a horse, untethered so close by)

I had taken photos of said horse in daylight and the kid excitement levels escalated again when he wandered by as the sun set in the background.

For goodness sakes kids, it’s just a horse, haven’t you seen a horse close up before?  um …nooo is the actual answer, I mean these kids don’t even have a garden to play in, I remind myself  “should I really be so surprised?”.

I try to do the sunset justice with my camera and being a mere moral with mere machine, we both fail. Nature does it so much better than man can capture it. You’ll just have to image that it was even better than this.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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