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I recently decided to complete the 50 things to before you are 11 3/4 challenge set by the National Trust . I am well and truly beyond this age so I am doing it before I am 38. This gives me until May 2014 to complete. I made a start as described in my last post and I have recently added a few more;
No. 21 – Pick blackberries growing in the wild.
I have done this a few time recently as well as buying some from a local who grows and pickles various produce. I got a massive bag she had picked for 50p, an improvement on the £2-3 in the supermarkets. They also tasted like blackberries and not that generic watery taste you get from supermarket tomatoes, cucumber, raspberries and blackberries.
No. 24 – go for a walk barefoot
I am a member of the Isle of Wight Long Distance Walkers Association, and we recently went on one of our regular 3 day Beaches, Bars and Blisters walk. I am prone to blisters and have tried many things to no avail. However, half way through day 2 we did a few miles on the beach barefoot. On the third day I did the same from Bembridge to Ryde. The feeling of walking through the surf was amazing and even walking on the stoney beach and later on pavements was liberating. It was a hot sunny day so I didn’t feel silly walking through the town of Seaview but the stones were a little painful. I also found clambering over slippery rocks easier possibly because I could “feel” the surface better. I will definitely do this on future walks as I didn’t have a single blister and I loved feeling all the different textures at the bottom of my feet. When I got home I started reading more about it and came across this interesting article. I am not sure how much of it I believe but I certainly loved the feeling of direct foot on earth contact experienced without shoes.
No. 34 – Track a wild animal
This wasn’t strictly speaking tracking an animal but I watched it slither off for a while so I was technically ‘tracking’ it. On the final day of our 3 day walk I saw my first adder. I have read about them and seen pictures but this was the first time I saw one in real life. Unfortunately it was too quick for the camera so you will have to take my word for it.
I recently went kayaking for the second time so I have done no. 50 Canoe (kayak) down a river (sea) twice.
So that’s 7 out of 50 completed and I am looking forward to completing the rest. Although I am not sure how I go about raising a butterfly. Answers on a postcard please.
The National Trust are running a 50 things to do before you are 11 & 3/4 and, not to miss out, I decided to do the same. Granted I am way past the age of 11 & 3/4 but why should kids have all the fun! I will be 38 in May so that should give me enough time and also the possibility of snow so I can complete no. 15 Play in the snow
I am not sure about no. 46 try rock climbing (scared of heights) or no. 30 holding a scary beast (scared of creepy crawlies) but it depends on the definition of a scary beast!
I made a start in May when I went on a Fossil Hunting Walk (no. 26 hunt for fossils and bones) as part of the Isle of Wight Walking Festival. We went to Brook Chine and were given a short talk on fossils and dinosaurs on the Isle of Wight and were then left to explore. The photo below is of a fossilised Iguanadon footprint.
The second thing I ticked off my list was no. 50 canoe down a river. Strictly speaking it was a Kayak and a paddle board and it was in the sea but I figured the sentiment is the same. We did this as social thing at work where we were all let loose in Bembridge harbour with Kayaks, paddle boards and Segways. This also ticked my third activity no. 42, swimming in the sea which we also did. I also spent this morning swimming in the sea and will do so many times over the summer. One of the advantages of living 1 minute away from the beach. I have no pictures of me swimming in the sea because well I was swimming in the sea! However, I do have a photo of me on a paddle board. Well trying to get on one at least!
The last one for the time being is no. 41 Plant it, Grow it, Eat it which I am currently doing with tomatos.
Still a way to go but if this sun continues it won’t be long.
This is a brilliant idea from the National Trust and I hope it inspires lots of children (and grown ups) to get out there and explore, learn and enjoy. I remember the days when we did this all the time as kids and it is a shame that many don’t do this anymore. Some of the statistics in this article by the National Trust are shocking
The roaming radius for kids has declined by 90 per cent in one generation (thirty years)
I find this really sad but hopefully something that can be reversed. I was pleased to see lots of children out this morning, on their own, with bikes, balls and other beach games. I completely understand that parents want to protect their children but surely wrapping them in cotton wool reduces their “survival” skills and besides accidents can happen anywhere. Let them get dirty and a stung by stinging nettles. It’s healthy!