Family Life

Summer 2020: a bucket list update

Back at the beginning of the Summer we were looking down the barrel of 6 more weeks at home after already spending 17 weeks on lockdown. I wasn’t sure how to make the Summer stand out for us and instead of our usual massive Summer bucket list, we kept it simple with 6 things to aim for in our final 6 weeks at home.

I’m pleased to say we managed all 6 and even managed to squeeze in a few more.

GO CAMPING

We fit in not one, but three weekends away camping this Summer. Made so much easier by the fact that we picked up a cheap second hand caravan back in July which we have been using to explore. And explore we have as we have been able to clock up some family adventures in the Derbyshire Dales, the North Wales coast and the Staffordshire hills.

More to come on this topic but I am pleased to say that it’s been brilliant. We’ve been able to enjoy some short family holidays together from the safety of our little home away from home.

ENJOY A DAY AT THE BEACH

This was a big one for us as we LOVE the beach. So, I was thrilled that one of our weekends away camping was to the North Wales coastline, so we managed a whole weekend playing in the sand.

The downside is that it was in 60mph winds, but we didn’t let that dampen our sense of adventure.

SPEND TIME WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS

Pre-Covid this would have been a given and hardly worth a mention. In the “new normal” though, it’s a luxury that we won’t take for granted again. As local restrictions have eased here in Wales, and we have been able to meet up again, we have enjoyed play dates with friends and time with our family again.

GO STRAWBERRY PICKING

I was thrilled that we managed to squeeze in some strawberry picking, and this is a good example of why I make silly lists like this. This particular day it was chucking it down and it would have been so easy to just stay home in front of the TV. However, I knew that thanks to an early summer, time was running out to go strawberry picking and so I managed to find one under cover near to where my parents live.

And I’m so glad I did. We have the best time exploring the poly tunnels in our wellies, getting muddy and covered in strawberry juice. The kids also cackled hysterically when I got to close to the edge just as I gust of wind flew through the tunnel, dumping a bucket of rainwater over my head.

It was just a morning but a morning that was filled with moments that summer is made of.

HAVE A DINOSAUR DAY

This was pretty high on Henry’s list as you can imagine but one I was worried about fulfilling. Thankfully though Park Hall Farm reopened with new dino attractions which means that I had one happy future palaeontologist!

We had a fabulous day meeting Dora the dinosaur as well as heading out on a dino trail.

USE OUR NATIONAL TRUST MEMBERSHIP

This has been our saving grace this summer. Yes, I work for the National Trust (when not on furlough) but I am a member too, and we’ve made good use of our membership this summer. We’ve visited Erddig, Attingham Park, Biddulph Gardens, Hardwick Hall and now the Shugborough Estate and Hawksmoor too.

It’s had some bad reviews, but I actually like the booking system (which I have to use just like everyone else). I find being able to book a slot and know that there won’t be masses of people there incredibly reassuring and I know that we will be using our membership throughout the winter too!

JUST KEEP SWIMMING

Finally, this wasn’t on our original list because I didn’t think it would be possible this summer, but we also went swimming!

The one thing that both kids have been asking to do all lockdown is go swimming which has obviously not been possible at all. However last week we went along to a press even at Waterworld in Stoke to look at their Covid secure set up and the kids were beyond excited.

We will be sharing a post about our visit soon but needless to say that it made their summer and was the cherry on the cake of what turned out to be a pretty brilliant summer.

For me this summer has proven that it’s not about the big events: overseas holidays and big festivals. What’s important is spending time together and finding adventure in every day. That’s something I hope take with me out of 2020 and beyond.

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