Category Archives: Outdoor Fun

Keeping fit in the family

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Exercise.

Like diet, it should be a four-letter word.

Tell anyone they need to get some exercise and images of sweating for hours at the gym sends shivers down their spine.

Or at least it does for me.

Which is why, with the weather improving and the nights getting lighter, I like to think of fun ways to get fitter and healthier. I prefer exercise where we don’t even realise we’re doing it.

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Livening up a family picnic

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Apparently it’s Springtime. The right time to think about getting outdoors a bit more as a family.

Perhaps you’ve already been out to the seaside, or visiting local attractions. We’ve been waiting until the weather is a bit more… trustworthy. Or at least as trustworthy as it gets in Scotland.

Picnics are always a great way to get everyone outside in the sunshine, doing something that’s fun, but doesn’t cost the earth. We’re lucky to have a handful of parks on our doorstep, as well as some beautiful woodland and even an old ruined palace on the shores of a loch.

The only trouble is, a picnic can take a lot of organising, and after a while it’s easy for little ones to get bored.

So I’ve had to learn a few ways of keeping the boys entertained when we’re dining al fresco. Here’s my top tips for making family picnics more fun.

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Win £200 of Sainsbury’s Vouchers with Active Kids

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If your kids are sports crazy, you’re pretty much sorted when it comes to keeping them active.

In our town the majority of the local lads are either part of the junior football squad, or else they’re constantly kicking a ball around the local park or the school playground.

But what do you do when your boys aren’t at all interested in football – in fact, they’re not particularly sporty at all?

This is my quandary. When being active isn’t something which naturally occurs for your children in the school playground, or as part of a sports team, you’ve got to create opportunities for them to stay fit and healthy. Especially in this day and age when, left to their own devices, children like mine would happily sit staring all day at a computer screen.

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Walking back to happiness

A long time ago, in a country not so far away

We’re lucky in Scotland to live within a short distance of some breathtaking walks and scenery.

From the Pentlands in Edinburgh, to the Ochils in Stirlingshire, there’s many a hill that’s just as stunning as the ones Julie Andrews used to run through, warbling about the Sound of Music!

Back when Mr G and I were a young, carefree couple (oh so many years ago) we often went munro-bagging.

Granted he was more into it than I was. But I joined him on a few weekend jaunts up hills I could barely pronounce – like Buachaille Etive Mor and Beinn a Bhuird.

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Competition: Go Ape on a tip top treetop adventure

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When I say my boys are like a couple of monkeys, there are many ways I draw that similarity.

Their cheeky attitudes, their love of bananas…

And the way they enjoy swinging through the trees.

They’ll often ignore the play equipment in favour of hanging from the branches of the silver birches at the back of our local park.

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Our Summer So Far

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How are your Summer holidays going?

Ours? Well, I’m pleased and surprised to say that we’ve done four weeks already – without any major sibling fall-outs, with my sanity still intact and with a fair amount still remaining in our bank account.

The good weather has meant we’ve got outside as often as possible to enjoy some fun in the sunshine.

In fact, looking through our snaps from the past month is like going through an ABC of outdoor pursuits…

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Carrying the crown for Gala Day

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Our town’s gala day rolled around again this weekend.

It’s a fabulous local tradition, where children from the four local primary schools have their names drawn from a hat to play roles from Gala Queen to lady in waiting, from Queen’s champion to junior guard.

We experienced the thrill of being part of it a couple of years ago, when Brodie was picked to be a junior guard.

So when Blake’s name came up as crown bearer this year, I was thrilled that both my boys would have their day in the spotlight.

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Our family holiday in Egypt

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Egypt.

Not your typical choice for a family holiday, I’ll admit.

But when my brother-in-law booked an Easter break in Sharm El Sheikh, we took a look at whether we could afford to join him and the rest of the family – and decided to go for it.

Mr G has been to Sharm a couple of times, pre-children, for scubadiving holidays. The Red Sea is apparently the best location in the world for diving, with a rich underwater population and plenty of shipwrecks to explore.

He always wanted to go back, taking us with him. But we assumed we’d have to wait until the boys were a bit older.

We were wrong.

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Our road trip to Cornwall – travelling with kids

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Up until last Summer, we’d never been brave enough to take a car journey longer than three hours with the kids.

People say that children will sleep on long road trips. But not my two. Once they stopped taking daytime naps as toddlers, nothing could get them to close their eyes before bedtime.

So the idea of endless hours on the road had the potential for whining, shouting, pleading, tears and tantrums.

And that’s just from me!

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Team Honk Relay: Scotland The Brave

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Well, it’s done – and what an exciting few days it’s been.

After much fretting that Scotland might not raise the required £500, the Team Honk Relay has ended with more than £1780 on our fundraising page.

To contribute to a total of over £26,000 from the 10-week challenge, passing a baton from Lands End to John O’Groats.

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