Friday, 20 April 2018

National Citizen Service (NCS)


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I first heard about the National Citizen Service (NCS) when I was working in a local secondary school and have always thought of it as something that I would love my children to do. My daughter is now in year 9 so still 2 years away from being able to take part but I will be encouraging her to sign up for it as soon as she is eligible!


So what is the NCS and what makes me want my children to take part? Here is what the people at NCS says about it:

NCS is a government backed programme established in 2011 to help build a more cohesive, mobile and engaged society. By bringing together young people from different backgrounds for a unique shared experience, NCS helps them to become better individuals, and in turn better citizens.

NCS is open to 16 and 17 year-olds across England and Northern Ireland. The two to four week programme, which takes place in school holidays, includes outdoor team-building exercises, a residential for participants to learn ‘life skills’, a community-based social action project and an end of programme celebration event. 
At a time of huge political uncertainty, where division is more evident than togetherness, NCS is a powerful tool to ensure the next generation see more in their similarities than differences.
I feel my daughter would benefit from taking part in the challenging activities on offer on the NCS programme. She has tried some of them before but its good to face your fears and get out of your comfort zone. I know that I feel better for conquering my fear of heights when doing high ropes or abseiling:


I know that in Guides and on PGL holidays I loved the waterspouts elements. We have had a taster day as a family and my daughter loved this part of a school residential. My son has never been as keen on water based activities but he is a strong swimmer so by the time he is old enough to participate I hope he would enjoy them more! Some other children haven't had the chance to enjoy the fun that being on the water can be:

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Reasons to be Cheerful: Proud Mum, YouTube and Guinea Pigs

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart

Welcome to another Reasons to be Cheerful linky as its Thursday! I enjoy reading and sharing your posts and I hope you enjoy each others. Just link up and then go and visit. Here are my reasons to be cheerful this week:

1) Proud Mum

My daughter has got her first job! Its tough at 14 to get a weekend job so she has done well. I can still remember earning a princely £1.47 as a supermarket cashier at her age.

2) YouTube Channel

Thanks to all my YouTube videos of fell running I went through the 100 mark for subscribers as well as continuing to have a large number of views:


3) Caption Competition

When I checked back on my shots of my son on a friend's trampoline there was this caption worthy moment that put a smile on my face:

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Overhauling the front garden

I have to admit that my front garden has been a bit of an embarrassment, although not the worst in the street! The lawn is uneven and claggy, the edges were escaping over the path and it was just not a pleasant view as you arrive the house... I started working on it in March by putting in some cheap plants a buddleia and a rose:


I then dug out a new border along the fence and removed the lawn from where it had escaped across the footpath:



But the snow and then rain got in the way and I got on with jobs inside the house instead... So today I spent the entire morning out the front to make a difference to this:

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

#CountryKids A walk on the Lancaster Canal and River Kent

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

On a cool and wet day over the holidays I persuaded my son to take a walk along the Lancaster Canal Trail which follows the old Lancaster Canal:


For much of the route to Sedgwick from Kendal there are only relics of the old canal alongside the path:


However most of the bridges are still in place which looks a bit odd in an otherwise ordinary field:


At some of the bridges the remnants of the canal are a lot more obvious:

Monday, 16 April 2018

#CountryKids FRA Junior Championships Blacko


Country Kids

On Sunday my son and I travelled for just over an hour to Blacko in Lancashire for the 2nd of the Fell Running Associations Junior Championships. (First event was at Todd Cragg in Ambleside). We arrived in plenty of time as we knew parking was going to be an issue (it did result in total gridlock in the village!). This also gave us time to walk the course and check out the obstacles and let me decide on filming points.

We actually got lost walking the route as we were so early they hadn't flagged it out (the landowner wanted it all done at the last minute). However we did manage to discover the bog of doom and how many stiles they would have to climb (4 in total but 2 would be repeated):


Looking at my strava recording I can see where we went wrong but it wasn't easy to see on the ground:


The first two races were taking a slightly different route which had no mud but an awful lot of hill. I positioned myself on the hillside with both cameras and enjoyed the sunshine whilst waiting for the under 9 runners to get to me. Bear in mind some of these are only 6 years old:

Friday, 13 April 2018

#CountryKids Go Ape Junior Sherwood Pines

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

One of the group activities on our Single With Kids break was a trip to Go Ape at Sherwood Pines. On previous Go Ape trips my son had refused to have a go but this time he was encouraged to do it as lots of the other children were taking part. He has inherited my fear of heights but he gained in confidence as he kept on going around. You can see the difference in him in my video:




I will have to save up to do it all again if we lead the break next year! I wonder if he will ever be brave enough to do the adult course like his big sister has done...

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Reasons to be Cheerful: Family Memories, Photos and Film #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart

We have been so busy this week that I have just realised that its Thursday so linky day! The lack of blog posts is due to working on my YouTube channel. I also had to go to Manchester to collect my final studio portrait... I hope you will join in and share (I have a feeling I need to visit a few of you still from last week...). Here are my reasons to be cheerful this week:

1) Videoing with my daughter:

I recruited my daughter to help me film the latest fell race at Elterwater. She used 2 of my cameras and her phone to record the action in the bog whilst I was on the hill:


Not only did she do a great job but she also assisted an injured runner in the under 13 race. Here is one of our videos:


2) Family memories

After tea with my aunt and uncle we were treated to seeing some slides from the 1970s of baby me and my brother as we grew up. I was a real chubster:


Thursday, 5 April 2018

Reasons to be Cheerful: Easter fun #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart

Thank you to Michelle for hosting in March its now over to me for the month of April! I do hope folks will continue to join in by linking and commenting. I will visit you all and share your posts. Here are my reasons to be cheerful this Easter holidays:

1) Single parent holiday

My son and I were co-ordinating a holiday for 42 people at the YHA in Sherwood Forest.  We love doing these as we get to meet new people and stay in new places. I may have been born in Nottingham but its not a part of the world I know well so it was good to return:


2) Farm fun

I have already blogged about the fun we had at White Post Farm. How could sights like this fail to raise your spirits:


3) Fun and Games

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

#CountryKids at White Post Farm, Nottinghamshire

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


As part of our weekend away with Single With Kids we had a day trip to White Post Farm. Now I wasn't sure that my 11 year old son would be too old for a farm trip but it turned out there was plenty to keep him entertained. I booked our tickets the day before online to save money and then our group all headed over to the farm. It was a pretty damp and cold day but that didn't dampen the children's enthusiasm as we looked at the birds of prey near the entrance:


My son spotted the crazy golf and we easily found one other family who wanted to play. As it was all included in the entrance its so much easier! Some of the holes were tricky to say the least but I was glad to be the overall victor... 

The children then piled into the vehicles to try them out. All the way around the farm there were plenty of friendly animals wanting to say hello (and be fed!):