I watched a documentary called Project Wild Thing last week. It was about getting children outside more and reconnecting with nature. It argued that children are spending too much time in front of screens and not enough time playing out in the wild, and looked at what could be done about this. A laudable aim for sure, although I agree with Tim Gill that the film didn’t pay enough attention to the impact of traffic on access to outdoor spaces (and the fact that most of those we could get to without a car are mostly full of dog poo anyway. Cardiff has some beautiful green spaces but for how much longer?).
Mostly though, that it didn’t pay nearly enough attention to two factors: nature can be a faff, and children (and I say this with all the love and respect in the world) can be a pain in the bum.
We went for a walk in Fforest Fawr, the woodlands behind Castell Coch, just outside of Cardiff. It was a freezing day but the rain mostly held off. Inspired by the film and by the idea of MiniRegz reconnecting with nature, I decided not to take the buggy. Mistake! We slowly bimbled. Mostly backwards or off the path. It was far too cold for slow bimbling. I headed back to the car, leaving her with Eleanor and Mostyn (who was unfailingly polite and charming and HEADING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION).
After pulling the buggy out of the boot, having a quick chat with a woman walking her dog, I headed back up the path. And then realised I must have looked a bit daft taking my empty buggy for a walk. Still, taking the empty buggy for a walk can seem preferable to trying to get Ari into the buggy. When we did manage to fold her in there she didn’t really stop whinging the whole way round, except for when she was eating a banana. Still, nice to get out eh?