Sunday, 23 September 2018

Accident and Emergency Take Two

Gorgeous came home from school this week cradling his wrist and telling us it was causing him a lot of pain.  Two weeks into his first year of high school, one of the Year 11 boys kicked a ball into his hand with full force.  He tells me it’s not the first incident, one of his friends was hit with a ball by the Year 11’s and knocked clean out.

I didn’t fancy taking him to the Accident and Emergency on a busy Friday night, so gave him pain relief and sent him to bed. Instead, we went after Fajr (dawn) prayers when we found it empty and were seen without any delay and back home by eight in the morning.  It turned out he had fractured his wrist in two places.

After his older brothers fractured ankle earlier this year, where he got stomped on during a game of football, I don’t fancy having to go back to A&E again, nor to the ongoing fracture clinic appointments.

I might have a word with the school about overly boisterous football players. 

Summer Break in Bournemouth 2018: New Forest Heritage Centre and Museum

On the way back from our three days in Bournemouth and the surrounding areas, we stopped in the New Forest.  By this point we had left later than planned due to car trouble, we were tired, the kids were car-sick and everyone was hungry.

We ended up stopping at the New Forest Heritage Centre Museum, which has an accompanying visitor centre.  We found disabled toilets to make ablution and prayed in the car park.  The kids stretched their legs and got some air.  We asked the nice ladies in the centre about somewhere to eat.

I wanted to take a very quick look in the Heritage Centre Museum, but the older kids wanted to stay outside, so the Babies and I took a quick tour.

The Museum documents the life and history of the New Forest area including the people, crafts and nature.

There were lots of interactive activities for the little ones, and crafts and art for me to look at, including old maps and a tapestry documenting the history of the New Forest to the present day.

One room was dedicated to art work by local artists, including a mixed media picture of a horse I thought was very beautiful.

Running Wild by Jillain Fry:

The visitor centre and museum were a nice distraction and place to stop and get out bearings.  The accompanying shop had some nice things and I managed to leave with a pretty silver sycamore bracelet that hubby bought me.

Summer Break in Bournemouth 2018: New Forest Wildlife Park

We have passed by The New Forest in the past on our trips to Dorset and I was intrigued by it, so when one of our group suggested we stop there on the way back to London from Bournemouth, I was up for it.  I didn’t have much time to research what we could do, and most activities seemed mainly suited to hikers and cyclists, which my group is decidedly not.

In the end, we settled on the New Forest Wildlife Park, which is a collection of local animal species housed in the forest itself.  The Wildlife Park requires you to follow a path through the forest that leads you from one enclosure to another.

We saw wolves, deer, boar (Peppa’s dad apparently…), lynx, wildcat and a beautiful stag. We did manage to go around in circles a few times and missed seeing the Bison. 

The number of animals isn’t enormous, but the setting of the New Forest is beautiful and there were a number of well-designed and interesting play spaces for younger and older kids that we spent quite a bit of time in.

There was also a butterfly house which housed a few other small mammals like otters and field mice.  There were quite a few butterflies hidden in the foliage, although I didn’t manage to get a picture of the most beautiful one, which had big cobalt wings.

Overall, not the most exotic or the largest collection of animals we have seen, but made up for by the beautiful location in the forest and the play spaces.

Friday, 21 September 2018

Summer Break in Bournemouth 2018: The Beautiful Walk to Durdle Door

If there was one place I have the fondest memories of from our last trip to Dorset it would be Durdle Door and if there was one place that was my favourite this time round, it was Durdle Door.

The last time, we parked at Lulworth Cove visitor centre and because it was a long walk uphill and the weather was temperamental, we left my mum, mother-in-law and our then three children in the car and went off to take a quick look.  I lasted about 20 steps and then had to be dragged the rest of the way by my husband.  We sat at the top gazing out over the sea with my head on his shoulder, but with me secretly worrying about the lecture we were going to get when we got back, for leaving everyone for so long.

This time, I suggested we park at the top at a closer car park and save our legs.  Funnily enough, it was still almost a 20 minute walk down hill and then down a long set of stone steps onto the beach.

But what a wonderful walk it was.  We were blessed with a sunny day and fresh breeze and there is something about happy families on holiday that makes for a lovely environment.  A few people saw me taking pictures and offered to take one of me with the kids.  The views from the top were so very beautiful.

You need to be a little solid on your feet because the walk is long and the path is not always flat.  But the long walk and the careful descent down the stairs is well worth it.  At the bottom is a cove-like beach with green water and the stones that form Durdle Door nearby.

The kids forgot they were cool teenagers and descended into joyful kids.  Little Lady was tasked by her grandfather to do a photo shoot of pics to take home to Pakistan with him, he was insistent that there should be English people in the background…

The boys skimmed rocks and the babies looked for pretty stones.  Hubby decided to photo-bomb me and I just enjoyed the green water and the blue skies and my family around me.

I was dreading the walk back to the car park as it was uphill, and it took us so long to get down.  In the end it took as 30 minutes and we stopped once to give my dad-in-law a rest, but it was do-able.

If you are ever in the area, I heartily recommend making a stop in this magical place and enjoying the walk down, maybe the walk back up less so :)