So with the thought of making New Year's Eve a micro adventure night we checked the weather forecast. With storm Frank due to cause a few weather problems. We made a quick decision to head to the woods. Now planning on a micro adventure in December takes a bit of planning (well for the uninitiated like myself it does!), but dragging along the children also adds a new element. Andy suggested I pack my bag as if I was going by myself so I crammed my equipment into my rucksack...whilst mentally ticking off everything I might need....with bulging pockets and double thermals I was set. Children packed we headed out.
Next was chance to light the fire, as the children played around being bats in their hammocks and playing a game of pooh sticks in the pond....which seemed to involve lobbing giant dead branches into the water. I got the fire lit with ease just as the sun was beginning to set. I love the way the children are away from technology and taken back to basics. They played such lovely games and entertained themselves by playing schools and teaching each other more daring ways to swing upside down in the hammock.
With the sun completely setting before 4 o'clock, we came face to face with our first challenge....the children thought it was bedtime. Now as much as I did consider this option....the thought of two children being wide awake from 4 in the morning filled me with a rising dread. So with elongated tea prep over the fire and the promise of a night walk we were able to drag out bedtime. There is nothing like cooking over an open fire, everything seems to just taste better. With pasta consumed, the intrepid adventurers set out, with the children in charge of the night torches, and the youngest (who is 5) taking the lead we decided to walk around the woods. So after bellowing the words don't run, otherwise you will fall over, or watch your step a thousand times.....obviously it was me that almost took a tumble...as a tree just jumped out at me. We returned to camp with no broken ankles and the children finally fell asleep.
A few sips of the new hip flask soon had me facing the bivy myself. Now one thing about me in the woods is that I love being out, I love the feeling of peace and restful ness I feel when surrounded by the woods....however I hate being cold, and a night just under a tarp with a storm pressing in, had me a little concerned. So on went the thermals and the fleece pjs plus hat and gloves. I settled into the bivy....and I have to say I was quite comfortable. Somewhere during the night I woke up a bit warm so off came the hat gloves and fleece pjs...a miracle. The wind was absolutely howling which woke the children, but they soon settled and we all went back to sleep. When Erin woke up in the morning she said the wind during the night was like hundreds of people cheering her on for sleeping in her tent. I absolutely loved this. So the first family micro adventure went well. We all slept and packed down the camp ready to return home. A great adventure and a good start to my micro adventure journey. While stood in the shower...appreciating the wonders of running water, i did wonder how we would keep clean if we stayed without running water for a long period, and randomly how I would cut children's fingernails without nail clippers....strange thoughts.