Rushmere Country Park

Rushmere Country Park (not Rushmore as my hubby insists on calling it, if someone could kindly remind me why I married him that would be awesome) is not to far from Leighton Buzzard around the Herts, Beds, Bucks borders.

I was put onto it by one the girls in the Choir, in her words “there is more to do then Wendover Woods and the parking is cheaper”! How could we not check it out?

On a sunny, May half-term weekend, it was glorious. Busy, naturally, but still loads of room to spread out in the picnic field, to roam around the woods and find the fairy doors or just play in one of the play parks. I was expecting it to be heaving so complete win on that front.

We weren’t to sure which of the paths would be buggy friendly so popped into the visitors centre and the staff where so helpful pointing out which routes would be best with a buggy. The route was still hilly and bumpy in places, it is after all a wooded area, but it ensured we steered clear of the big huge steep hill.

So what is there to do at Rushmere:

  • The fairy doors, these are dotted along the main walkway away from the carpark and visitors centres. Great fun for running into the trees to find and knock on to try and wake up the fairies
Fairy door
  • The giant chair, and it is huge, I had to tiptoe to get the missy moo onto it – she thought it was great fun. We did see someone put their dog on it but knowing Duds he would have broken a leg jumping of so that photo opportunity was not risked!
Giant's chair
  • The sculpture trail round the Oakwoods, spot the giant carved beetles, spiders and other creep crawlies, as well as see some beautiful wildlife.
  • The picnic park – a perfect place to play some games, have a picnic or maybe a cheeky icecream
  • The play park for the older kids has a huge slide down the hill, Missy Moo had a proper toddler tantrum when I said no to that one. Instead she had to make do with the smaller slide and play park next to the cafe much more suited to an adventurous toddler!

For a day out with the kids and the dog it ticked all the boxes, lots to keep a toddler occupied, accessible for the buggy when she got tired and pond for the doggy to get himself wet in.

In terms of days out it is also a cheap day if you bring along a picnic, parking is £3 all day (cash on the way out or card at the visitors centre before you leave) and that is all you need to spend unless you fancy splashing out on some treats. You can get lunch at the cafe if you fancy going all out for the day but definitely not necessary and the majority of people were picnic lovers.

Recommendations for your visit

  1. Take a picnic blanket, there are picnic benches in the picnic field but nothing in the shade
  2. Pay for you parking at the visitors centre and save your change for somewhere that only accepts cash (hubby decided not to our 50p didn’t work in the machine cue a small traffic jam behind us and slight domestic about his decision not to pay at the visitors centre – I gave him one job!)
  3. On a dry day, trainers not sandals it is very dusty and sandy. On a wet day or following a wet period I can see wellies being the preferred option.

Going Green for Lent

For lent this year I thought instead of giving up chocolate or alcohol – the standard “things you try and give up to loose weight but fail miserably at” stuff – I though why not plastic!

Much easier said then done I soon discovered……..

With only 11 days left of 40 this is what I have learnt.

  1. Giving up plastic is impossible, as depressing at that sounds and whilst I am sure there are a few people on this planet of millions that can do it, for us normal people it is not an easy thing to just do.
  2. A million people doing something imperfectly is better then one person doing it perfectly. If we all tried to reduce our plastic it would make a huge difference and some can do more than others.
  3. What we buy is key, simple choices can make a huge difference. I was doing my online shop and needed more tinned tomatoes, I usually get the cheapest (my supermarkets own) but realised as I was clicking it into my shopping basket that the pack of four came wrapped up in plastic. So I went for the next least expense which came in a cardboard box. Simples.
  4. Consumers have a huge say in what is sold because if it didn’t buy it the stores would stop stocking it. So if we all made simple changes and picked products that were packaged in a better way the stores would soon change how they packaged things.
  5. Staying at home means you can do more, I would not have had time if I was still working to do a lot of what I have done. Making bread, washing nappies these things take time and when you are running around working, picking up babies/toddlers, and trying to keep a relationship in check I have to say reducing your plastic waste becomes the least of your concerns!

So what changes have I made over the past 29 days:

  • Reusbale nappies, we started using these in February rather than 29 days ago but they are still relatively new to our little world. We got a trial pack from the council with two different types in so we could give them a go before spending out money on them. All councils should do this!
  • Re-usable wipes, we’ve been using these for hands and faces since we started weaning but never made the jump to bums. Having now done it I’m not sure why we didn’t do it sooner but that will probably be because I was worried about the mess and the cleaning. It really isn’t that bad.
  • Cleaning products, how much plastic do these use! I’m constantly chucking them away and they are often not recyclable. I have come across a UK company that provides concentrated refills through the post, and they also repurpose the pouches they come in. Winning on this one
  • Monthly girly stuff (also know as sanitary products). Now this was a big one for me, not really sure why now that I have done it. I have friends who use the cup very happily but I never liked the idea of it. Then comes along re-usable pads, easy especially with the washing I just add them to the nappies and wipes. As an added plus they are super comfortable.

A few small changes but it is amazing the impact it has had on our waste bin, instead of being completely full every other week it is now only half full every other week. That’s massive to see the difference there. So whilst I didn’t manage to give up plastic for lent and I am pleased with the changes our household has been able to make so far. Now I need ideas for more changes to make!

The Journey Begins

Thanks for taking the time to find my blog!  After running my own business while trying to start a family and then during my “maternity leave” I came to conclusion that I just didn’t like what I was doing anymore.  I hated taking my little girl to nursery, coming home and trying to focus on something that just no longer held my interest.

I was very lucky when my husband said why don’t you just stop?  I was lucky that financially we could do that and that he would support me in it.

So at the beginning of February my time with my then 13 month old daughter started and what an experience the past couple of months have been.

After various conversations with other mums, whether they are at home like me or working in the city and juggling life in a whole different way, I came to one conclusion………

I am way over qualified to be “just a mum” and I also so amazing under-qualified to be solely a mum!!

I have a professional qualification, I am used to managing teams on large jobs, managing staff appraisals, supporting adults with their careers…… I have no idea how to entertain a toddler.  I don’t have an early years education like the wonderful staff at the nursery she now no longer goes to.   As I write this the missy moo has just chucked her breakfast cereal on the floor for the dog to eat, so I rest my case (should probably not be typing while she is eating – also a factor).

I spend my days trying to work out how to entertain her and on sunny days it is easy we go to the zoo or the park epic mumming for the day done.  On wet days, aaarrgghhh, you wake up, you look outside the window ad you think “it’s going to be one of those days”.

I certainly don’t have the answers but I wanted a place where I could share the bits that I find work for me in the hopes they will help someone else.  Being on a bit of an eco kick at the moment I also wanted to share what I’ve tried, as well as share our story into parenthood – it’s one at lot of people can relate to (1 in 8 people to be precise).

So if you do find this blog I hope you enjoy the inane metal wonderings of this over-qualified, under-qualified mumma x

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton