With dramatic weather warnings and deliveries not arriving because, ‘oh, but you’re in the North of Scotland’, it seems a good time to abandon ‘real life’ along with other parts of the country and Go Outside and Make the Most of It.
After waving the Big One off to school (not that she looks too miserable to be going), the boys and I were ready for our morning of fun in the snow.
1a. Sledding, Sledging, Sleigh-ing or Toboganning?
A bit of a side note (even this early in the post), there seems to be some debate as to what constitutes a sledge or a toboggan or even a sleigh but whatever you call it, there can’t be many things more fun for young or old than zooming down a hill on a thin piece of plastic. Or a beautiful wooden toboggan. According to a quick Google, a sled is a wooden thing up on rails, a toboggan something (usually plastic) that sits right on the ground and a sleigh is pulled by animals (as per Jingle Bells). Or if you grew up in Cornwall where it snows once in a lifetime and no-one makes such a heavy commitment as actually buying a sledge – or apparently even knows what one is – a plastic feed sack does just fine too. Anyway, I’m sticking with sledging, feels right. But I digress.
1b. Sledging in Logie House Garden
I did start with the disclaimer that there aren’t going to be many great revolutionary ideas here, so surely sledging has got to be the original and best and it turns out that we aren’t the only ones to think so. The steep bank that flattens out onto the big lawn in Logie House Garden is covered in tracks from enthusiastic sledgers.
It’s a great, safe spot with a good level starting off point and just the right amount of steep hill before the wide expanse of lawn to finish. The children find it hilarious that the larger amongst us zoom the fastest and have started piling up small people on a sledge to try and outdo the adults. Although they could do with a lesson in team work as each tries to lean in a different direction until someone tumbles off in a great snowy heap. And don’t worry, you don’t have to have children to give it a go. In fact it would cheer up our day no end to peek out of the office window and see a bunch of the more mature garden visitors racing down the slope. I hope we get some pictorial evidence.
In the meantime, I forgot to get one of the boys sledging (far too busy doing it), so here’s a gratuitous one of the 3 of them doing it the other day – don’t they look like they’re having fun?!
2. Snowball Fighting
The middle child, age 3, seems not to have fully grasped the concept of the good old-fashioned snowball fight; ‘mum, I can’t do it, please can you make me a snowball so I can throw it at you’ isn’t quite the spirit. Also, this attitude did not enable me to take any useable pictures so – nothing to see here. Snowball fighting does have reduced appeal after one or two have made their way down your neck (so much more fun to get one down an adult’s neck too) but the toddler was saved from that fate by one of the fantastic fleece neck warmers Jude sells in the Hellygog shop. I can rave about these things for hours as there are no long ends to get caught and garrotte yourself on and they are easy to put on/take off and wash and I buy them for all the children in my life (excuse the hard sell, I got carried away, I promise I’m not on commission!), which meant that – excellent – we could carry on for longer while more snowballs were aimed at me..
3. A Walk through this Winter Wonderland
Again, not a brand-new idea, but one of my absolute favourite things about a jaunt to Logie Steading is a walk along the river paths. It can be pretty icy at the moment, so you do have to watch your step in places but the wintery scene of the river is well worth at least a potter down to see. I don’t have a pic, but it’s worth having a look at the Findhorn Fishing Facebook page where Ewen posts shots of the river in all seasons. We love hunting for icicles on the banks and trees and a walk’s something you can do any day of the week, even in January when the Steading is open only Friday-Sunday.
4. Get Your Camera Out!
Whether you’re a proper photographer or a complete amateur like me it’s great fun to try and capture these moments. If you ever look back to winter pictures in July, or conversely, to leafy green ones at this time of year, it seems almost impossible to imagine the alternate version of the world you see. Some of our best images from around Logie were just excellent moments captured on a phone – lucky strikes. And if you want to develop your skills, the wonderful Gary Murison sometimes leads photography walks from the steading, along the river paths to help you get the best out of your camera and to really ‘see’ the shots.
5. A Steaming Marshmallow-Covered Mug of Hot Chocolate
Or a cup of tea, or a delicious cup of coffee at the Olive Tree Cafe. And perhaps a sweet treat to go alongside. After all, you have been working up an appetite with all that sledging, snowball-fighting, walking and photographing..
So there it is, five things to do in the snow. Not revelatory, but perhaps the original and best. Hope you enjoy it while it’s here.