Wester Hardmuir

Burning off a teeny, tiny bit of energy

16 August 2012

The day before (15th) the minxes had their first play-date of the entire summer holidays. They enjoyed it, I enjoyed catching up with S, but I didn’t understand why she was so apologetic about not meeting up in the preceding 7 weeks; I think it’s great that we’ve all been too busy having fun with our own families to meet up! I’m dreading the day next week when Maxi Minx is joined at school by Midi, and wish the summer holidays were longer.

They were as delicious as you can imagine with clotted cream and freshly baked scones

As well as promising to have play dates, at the beginning of the summer holidays I’d also promised the girls that we’d go strawberry-picking. Last year we spent a lot of June at Wester Hardmuir fruit farm, near Nairn, picking the most juicy, aromatic strawberries I’ve ever tasted. This year, the season didn’t really seem to get going until very recently. When I looked back in my blog to see when we were picking ‘stobs’ (Mini’s word for strawberries), I realised that this past year I’m no longer an L-plated stay-at-home-mum. Last year I wouldn’t have dared go to Wester Hardmuir with just 2 adults amongst 5 boisterous kids, but this year I thought nothing of it. Maybe because I had a plan: set off after breakfast, give the minxes a big, treat snack, let the little blighters tire themselves out at the playground and on the trampolines, then, when they were on their last legs, let them go and pick fruit, before driving home for lunch. Easy! Sorted! (And it worked – only Mini nibbled a few ‘stobbies’, and all 3 snored in the car on the way home for lunch. Mission accomplished!)

Spot the Ball

In fact we had 3 adults for 5 children, as the minxes’ friends Nana came too, so it was easy. Midi Minx flexed her ‘caring big sister’ muscles as she babied Mini on the slide in the Wester Hardmuir playground. Mini wanted to follow Midi everywhere but was too frightened to go down the big, steep, black pipe by herself. So Midi sat at the top, persuaded her little sister to sit in front of her, then hugged her tight as they slid down together. It was so touching! They really adore each other. I’m dreading Midi going to school, but splitting up that partnership is going to be a bit traumatic for them, too.

More Holiday Ideas

All 3 kids have runny noses.  We went to a fruit farm.  I know there’s a joke in there using the phrase ‘Pick Your Own’, but I’m too tired to find it.  Luckily.

Maxi: "Look! I think Midi's left a single unripe strawberry on that bush!"

Thurs 30th June, the day before Maxi and Midi stopped nursery, and it was a blisteringly gorgeous day.  So my friend suggested we go fruit-picking day at the local(ish) PYO farm, at Wester Hardmuir.  This year the place has been so popular that they ran out of fruit last week!  Luckily more ripened in time for us.  We had such a lovely afternoon that we’ll definitely be back.

My friend has a little minx of her own who Maxi and Midi both adore.  We agreed that all 4 girls would eat fewer berries off the bushes if they had lunch first, so we ate our picnic lunch in the big empty field beside the spacious carpark.  The girls had fun on the 2 big ground-level trampolines, the sandpit, climbing frame and big tube slide.  Then we were shown to the miles and miles of strawberries…

Midi Minx happily stripped the strawberry bushes free of green and over-ripe fruit, leaving the good stuff for everyone else; Maxi Minx was too busy looking for the biggest strawberries, regardless of colour or ripeness; Mini was too hyper and over-excited, so I kept her safely up in her sling, where she kicked my legs in her sulk.  We were lucky – when the Heavens opened in a sudden torrential downburst, we were safely under the warm polytunnel.

We picked some raspberries, too, and bought some ready-picked gooseberries.  Although we’re growing some of our own veg, we’ll definitely be back later for beans and peas.  Yes, they’re more expensive than in the supermarket, but (a) they’re fresher, (b) it keeps the kids entertained for a whole afternoon, (c) children will always eat anything that they’ve picked themselves (yes, their noses too…), (d) it’s edyoocayshunnel, and (e) it’s fun!