August 2013 - School Holidays and Glamping...
Glamping with Featherdown Farms: Tracey, Steve and their adorable boys at Lipley Farm proved to be a real hit with our family; they very much welcomed us on to their farm and we enjoyed every minute.
The five pitches stand sheltered by Rushymoss Wood and face into the fire pit - which would prove very popular for marshmallow toasting - and the clay oven (for pizza night!) opposite. The girls raced in - E being carried - to explore the cupboard bed, the bunkbeds and the toilet - yes! in that order! - already bickering about where to sleep. We lit the wood burner outside, warmed through our soup and dined alfresco, all the time feeling relaxed and nurtured by the surrounding countryside. The girls quickly befriended the family next door - "she's my best friend ever!" - and ran amok through the grass, racing wheelbarrows, chasing chickens and swinging on swings. As dusk fell, the campfire was lit and marshmallows made for happy children (and adults too!). The sky darkened and the girls quietened, bed and gentle slumber calling to them: it was my turn to read and, for the first time in a long while, with candles burning bright, The Velveteen Rabbit as our companion, I felt real peace - the countryside does me wonders...
The next day... Day trips and tantrums turned themselves around and with the farmer's stew on the campfire, we walked up to the farm for our farm tour. Tracey and Steve are so obviously passionate about the farm and their livestock - Steve even knows each cow by it's freeze brand! - and it was great to see them enjoying the tour too. We met all the animals that afternoon and N got up close and personal with some of the herd when she went milking. The farmer's stew - which we had ordered at the time of booking and had come with meat from a local supplier, vegetables, wine and everything we would need to cook it slowly over the camp fire - was DELICIOUS! all be it a little over cooked as we had left the pot too low over the fire while away on the farm walk, but it was our first attempt at open fire cooking...
Another restful sleep and time to pack up - a day early as we needed to get back up the road to get the girls back into some resemblance of a routine for school starting just three days later. The girls had had a blast - and yet were quick to tell me that it wasn't proper camping as they hadn't slept in sleeping bags on the ground! - D had fought his fear of flying beasties and bugs and lost not so very admirably and me? I had refound my love of the great outdoors, found true peace for the first time in what seemed like ages and had a wonderful (accessible-ish) family holiday.
So a big thanks to Tracey, Steve and Featherdown Farms for our holiday - thank you for making us feel welcome, for sharing a snippet of farming life with my city girls (because you can take the girls out of the city, but you can't take the city out of the girls!), and for looking after Snappie overnight as she slept and recharged for the day ahead - we had a brilliant adventure and hope to be back!
marshmallows on an open fire
the infamous cupboard bed or hidey-hole
campfire farmer's stew - yummy!
off for a farm walk
which came first, the chicken or the egg?
oink, oink, oink!
cute little calves
I wonder what her name is?
milking with steve
E's new mode of transport - who needs Snappie!
relaxing after a hard day's play
Thank you also to In Control and East Renfrewshire Local Authority who made this holiday a possibility.
See the links to the other In Control Pilot posts:
In Control - taking the first steps
In Control - taking the first steps
In Control: at Featherdown Farm
In Control: the experience overall - the good, the bad and the ugly