A car packed full of kids armed with gadgets, is enough to test anyone’s limits. There is nothing wrong with technology, but it’s nice to get a little muddy some times. Great to explore. The chance to swap iPhones for a good old fashioned pair of wells is priceless. Why not head out for the New Forest this May Day?
The May Day celebrations are a global phenomenon. Some are trying to make May 4th “Star Wars Day“. May the fourth be with you indeed.
Luke Skywalker knew it. As the Death Star closed in, Luke ditched the technology. His trust in ‘the Force’; his spirit and feelings created a shot which boomed and resonated across the galaxy.
A good shot has always been important in the Forest too. The “Nova Foresta” was the original fast food joint. The New Forest was William the Conqueror’s royal hunting ground. His son Rufus was killed by a poor shot in the Forest while hunting deer. The royal venison helped protect the royal greenwood too, and along with the ponies helped sculpt a most beautiful area.
The deer bucks know to cast their antlers in the spring, in order to grow a new, bigger set. Like the trees, their age is marked by the size of their antlers. They may not know it as May Day but deer give birth in May or June. Just like the ponies, they grasp that spring is the best time to give their younglings a good start in life. The starvation months are over. It’s time to party. The spring gait of the fallow deer is known as a “pronk”, every bit the equal of our Morris dance.
Swap blue screens for bluebells
The bluebells know it. Painting the forest floor with their vibrant hue. As a parent I would rather see this natural blue glow bounce off my kids’ faces than anything artificial. Much more pleasing than the artificial glow cast by iPads or DSs. I would rather swap their scrunched up faces, twisted in concentration, with good old fashioned smiling ones. Would rather see their legs moving quickly, running, walking or cycling; rather than their fingers tapping. Give their iFingers a day off! Even one day of rest from frantically swiping screens playing computer games or Snapchatting has got to be good. If you are anything like me, you could probably do with ditching you gadgets too.
You don’t need to spend much money swapping ‘selfies’ for sunshine in in the Forest. There is always plenty to do in the New Forest, and especially so this time of year. You could splash out and treat you and your loved ones to a swanky hotel, but you don’t need to. You could go cuckoo, enjoy a country fair or even help break a world record at Beaulieu this weekend. Or you could just bundle up the kids in the car, catch a train or bus or heaven forbid, saddle up and get on your bicycles and head out onto the forest.
It’s free. It’s beautiful and I guarantee just like the deer’s cast antlers; your kids will return home magnificently refreshed and renewed. So don the ‘National Dress of the New Forest’; a pair of wellington boots and get out there. May the Forest be with You!