What we have been up to and what's to come.
Updated: Jun 27, 2021
After a much needed break from blogging, North East Family Adventures is back, refreshed and invigorated!
I have got loads planned, including sharing loads more great ideas for days out and things to do, as well as reviewing some of our favourite attractions from across the North East and beyond.
Craig and the boys will also be getting more involved, so expect to see some new content from them.
So what's been going on?
During my time away, I decided to work on a few projects that had been neglected for a while.
My first stop was to sort our garden out. We are huge supporters of encouraging wildlife into the garden and creating an ecosystem that welcomes pollinators.
I rescued some old raised planters from Facebook marketplace, give them a coat of paint and planted some veggies. At the minute we are growing Potatoes, Radish and Beetroot in the planters but we also planted over 10 different herbs, runner beans, courgette, tomato, Lettuce, Spring onions, chilli and some Nasturtiums (edible flowers and leaves) In addition to the veggies we also planted a raspberry tree, Strawberries and loads of native flowers and plants that bees and butterflies love. The hardest part has been chasing the dogs away from the strawberries. We already have a wildflower pot but we have saved the seeds from The Wildlife Trust to plant on one of the days for 30 days wild. I am thinking in small individual pots to put a blast of wild throughout the garden. My long term plan is to have a sort of wildflower meadow somewhere, currently 97% of the UKs wildflower meadow has been lost to excessive farming and climate change.
We have also put some bug houses on the wall and planted some new hanging baskets too.
I am not one that likes to go out and buy new items just for the hell of it and have always believed that something should be fixed first before you give up on it. Our outdoor table and chairs have seen better days so next on my list is to spruce them up with a coat of paint which will bring them back to life. I also repurposed an old dog guard from the car and have placed that on the wall for the runner beans to climb up. We added some fairy lights and the garden looks fab so far. We are also going to make some rain catchers, a few more bug houses, and a few more bird feeders for our regular visitors. Just from changing what was planted in the garden to natives we have seen an increase in visitors to the garden from 5 different types of bee, wasps, moth, crane fly, ladybirds and we have over 6 different regular birds that visit. I am going to pop out a little dish with some marbles in it and put some water in it for the Bees but I want to fix this to the wall, so I am on the lookout for something I can use for this.
As always the boys have been busy learning about the things they are interested in, we don't follow a strict curriculum although we do Maths, English and Science.
Adam has been attending college twice a week doing his GCSEs and a Btec and really enjoys it, I think it has given him a bit more independence and confidence which has been great to see. Next step for Adam soon is his final year in GCSEs.
Right now we are learning about water as part of Geography and Science.
This includes the water cycle, condensation, rain, extreme weather and so on. We have been having some great fun making rain clouds in a jar and various other related science experiments.
We are also learning about the Anglo Saxons, which we will be visiting some related museums soon to tie in with this topic.
The boys chosen topics this month are Butterflies, African Animals and Sustainability. This has been lots of fun and very informative. You learn so much when you are teaching your own children. In English we have been studying Charlotte's Web, which is coming to an end so I think we will watch the movie and compare it to the book. Whilst studying the book we have looked into spiders and how amazing they are. Our next book is going to be The Railway Children, which is perfect as we are going to be learning about the railways in History. I think we will have some pretty awesome field trips relating to the railways too.
What else has been happening with the boys?
The best thing that has happened is clubs are starting up again. Adam has joined Police Cadets. Luckily they hold the club close to our house, so far he is really enjoying it and looking forward to starting his Duke Of Edinburgh Awards.
Toby and Elliot are looking forward to getting back into their regular clubs such as Scouts, Swimming & Karate. Toby is also going to be starting RAF cadets, once it starts back up again, with Adam.
Elliot has been looking after 10 caterpillars this year, last year we purchased some from Insect Lore and watched the whole process from tiny caterpillar to cocoon to butterfly and then we released them in a local nature reserve. This year we decided to double up and go for 10, we are not sure if we will release them in the nature reserve or in the garden. They should be transforming soon as they have been in the cocoon for over a week now.
Adam turned 15! I have a 15 year old, how the heck did that happen so fast? He wanted a low key birthday so he opened his gifts and then had to go to college and we had his favourite Chinese takeaway when he got home. So he went out for a few hours on the Saturday with his girlfriend. We usually ask the boys to choose a day out for their birthdays so we will probably do this later in the year, when everything is open properly. I do know that Elliot wants to re-visit Chester Zoo.
Craig and I
We finally made the leap and bought a camper van. Just before Covid reared its ugly head we had plans to travel now and then. We ended up not buying a camper because there was no point. However we finally bought one, so we have made some plans for the Summer to staycation in the UK, I think right now our tourism industry needs all the help it can get. Someone once told me, what's the point in holidaying in the UK, there's nothing here. I totally disagree. There is so many fantastic places to go and I'm not just talking the big attractions, we have some fantastic wild places to explore too. For Summer we so far have planned trips to Yorkshire, Cornwall, Wales, Scotland and London. I already have a huge list of things to tick off the list for each of these places. So if anyone tries to tell you the UK is boring and there's nothing here they are telling big fat fibs. We don't follow the term times for the country, and to be honest we still do work throughout the summer.
A staycation doesn't have to involve going anywhere either, you can have loads of summer fun at home. From bake off, scavenger hunts, playing in your outside space, bike rides, local park visits and museums.
What's been going on with me?
I have been having a bit of a social media break, in all honesty it gets a bit too much when I am online 24/7. I get wound up easily and find myself stressing about stuff that really does not matter. I take regular weekends off from social media and it does me the world of good.
I didn't blog for over a month, I didn't even pick up my blog book or diary in that time and I definitely didn't worry about it. In my time off I have been practising some self relaxation techniques including meditation and yoga. I have been enjoying my time outdoors and just sitting listening to the birds, reading and going for lovely walks along the beach. The rain really helps me to relax and have found myself just sitting looking out of the window watching the rain.
I have been pretty productive in my month off and hope to continue this productiveness. I currently have three books in the pipeline and want to move forward with this.
I have been planning the posts for the blog which I am excited about, lots of reviews coming up and plenty of days out ideas for you all.
The rest of this month, I am planning an epic adventure for June and 30 days wild.
I want to decorate the living room because it is actually driving me nuts.
Travel plans, like I said above
I have some fab posts coming up on the blog which I am excited about.
I am really looking forward to seeing how the fruit and veg grows, last year we had so many tomato plants it was ridiculous. This year I have gone with 3 different types and only have one of each plant.
Check out these other posts
The best forest walks in the North East
21 things we love about Beamish Museum