Monday, 14 September 2009

Coming over all Dorothy Wordsworth

Look! What's that glinting through the trees?

I'd like to point out right now that I had no intention of making Lynn jealous. But a long time ago I promised her a picture of the Lake District, assuring her that it would be grey and drizzly, since that was what the Lake District was always like.

Sorry, Lynn.

It is, of course, Grasmere lake, and this weekend it was gorgeous. There was even someone swimming in it. But let's not forget the real star of this outing.

The Delichon Delta. Or the Off-Roader, to give it its new name, after Eldest rejected the other suggestions - Delta, All Terrain Vehicle, Alice (the latter being Littlest's effort).

For a couple of months I have been receiving absolutely wonderful emails from The Woodland Trust telling me exciting things to do in the outdoors with my children. The only problem to date has been actually, you know, getting out into the outdoors.

But no more. This week we set forth with our printout of seeds and fruits to look for, and found all kinds of things - elder, alder, hawthorn, brambles, birch, beech, sycamore, oak - most of which I wouldn't have known the first thing about, let alone my children.

(It reminded me of a walk I took with my mum and one of her friends and her children, when I was a child. The friend had brought a wildflower book and she and my mum were snorting every time she opened it. "Look, children!" they were trilling, with difficulty, being doubled over with laughter. "A ***flower!" I realise now that they probably knew sod all about wildflowers themselves, and were as reliant on the New Book as I was on my Woodland Trust worksheet.)

Anyway, we did just as we were told.

Now it's up to them.


  1. That looks just fab. Whenever I visit my little brother in Cockermouth, it is certainly always raining!

  2. I'll have you know, Little Missy, that I have reveled in a sunny Lake District on occasion, WITH my Dorothy W. journal in hand. (I also visited Beatrix Potter's house. Is that, like, embarrassingly American-tourist-y? Sort of like when I took the Sound of Music tour in Salzburg?) Still, you're wounding me deeply, as it just so happens that I'm feeling a craving for a nice Lakeland hike followed by some caramel shortbread. Or maybe one of those Kendal mint cake thingies.

    I love Littlest's name choice for the purple conveyance, even if her sister doesn't. You can tell her I named my bicycle Charlotte. Oh, and I feel a deep kinship with your mother now. Bless all of us for attempting to give our children Meaningful Nature Experiences by the seats of our pants...

  3. My bicycles were called Ethel and Ethel II. Just so Littlest knows.

    And never mind making Lynj jealous (I seem to be following her round the comment boxes) how about making the rest of us jealous? I trust you were moved to poetry while you were there.

    At this point I should shamefacedly admit that though I amd a scientist and a gardener, I wouldn't recognise the trees either. Shhhhhh!

  4. This is what I love about blogs - nicking everyone else's good ideas.

    Have just spent a happy half hour rummaging through the Woodland Trust site, printing off all sorts, and planning our own long-overdue autumn ramble through Epping Forest this weekend.

    I too am a bicycle namer. Current one is called Gertrude and previous one was Sally.

  5. Now am feeling my bike should also have a as not to neglect her...must be something simple and lovely.


    PS-Preeeeety peeeeectures!

  6. Hmmm. I have never named anything. We did have an orange toyota which came with a name -- the pumpkin car -- and N just told me this summer how disappointed she was when she saw that it was just a car and not a cinderella coach. Anyway -- that lake looks cold -- it wasn't? And I have never known much about trees either. Although I guess I'd recognise an acorn. (Also, how pretty! Imagine being able to just go there . . .)

  7. I visited the Lake District once. (I live in the US) It was beautiful, but a tad too damp and cloudy for my taste. And we took a walk at sundown, and huge black leeches came out and crawled everywhere we stepped. But still charming in the daytime, and I'm so glad that your family discovered the Off Roader, so you can discover more of your beautiful country (which I want so badly to visit again some day)

  8. I can remember saying to my toddler...." Look a tractor !" then feeling such a fool.


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