Friday, 14 March 2014

How did Tom do? (Part three)

Posted by Rosie

Over the last couple of weeks I have been going through the National Trust's list of "50 things to do before you are 11¾" because Tom has now reached the great age of 12.  Here's the next set to see whether he can better his score so far of 19/25. Link to Part One here and Part Two here.

25. Make a grass trumpet - he has tried but not actually succeeded in getting a sound.  Luckily he has more success learning and playing the saxophone!

Feeding a bird at the zoo
26.  Feed a bird from your hand - I was going to say no here then I remembered we went to the zoo last year and fed what I think were cockatoos by hand (or they might have been cockatiels).

27. Watch the sun wake up - erm, only in so much as he has to get up at 6.45am to catch the school bus on time and this has, at times, meant seeing the sun rise!

28. Climb a huge hill - yes - this area of Normandy has it's fair share of big hills, not least the ones we walked up one Boxing Day.  I thought a nice 5kms walk would do us good after the excesses of the day before but I had not properly read the contours on the map and boy did that steep walk feel more than 5kms!

29. Get behind a waterfall - A NOPE here - I'm not even sure where there is a waterfall he could get behind. 

30. Hunt for fossils and bones - yes - he has never found many fossils but our house is adorned with a few skulls he and Ben have brought home over the years.

Gardening or bug hunting - who knows!
31. Hunt for bugs - yes, yes and yes again.  Bug hunting was a favourite occupation of the boys when they were little and even now grubby hands proffering some poor unsuspecting mini-beast are shoved under our noses from time to time. 

32. Find some frogspawn - another big yes here - we currently have frogspawn that is on the cusp of hatching in our pond and always had frogspawn in our little pond in the UK - I reckon these were the most pond-dipped tadpoles in Kent!

33. Catch a butterfly in a net - he has certainly been off with a net in pursuit of butterflies but I don't think he has ever caught one. One year friends were visiting and their son and Tom headed off with net in hand.  The only problem was they had not told anyone they were going and whilst we are fairly used to the boys disappearing for a while, my friend was not.  We searched all likely locations without luck and her stress levels were rising.  However about an hour later I met them coming up the path, smiling, rather grubby, net in hand and announcing that they had had great fun butterfly hunting.  Brilliant I said but please let us know you are going next time!

34. Track wild animals - we get plenty of tracks round here from foxes to deer, hare to wild boar.  He has spotted them but not sure he had followed them for any distance. I think that just counts as a yes!

35. Discover what's in a pond - yes - see above re tadpoles and just substitute the words "pond minibeasts" for tadpoles!

36. Call an owl - we have lots of owls round here but as far as I know he has never called one so that is a NOPE.

37. Check out the crazy creatures in a rock pool - oh yes - we have some great rock pools on some of the Normandy beaches and even now he thoroughly enjoys searching for crabs and little fish etc.

Squiggly aka An Elephant Hawk Moth
38. Bring up a butterfly - a moth actually, called squiggly who turned out to be An Elephant Hawk Moth!

So - that that gives a sub total of 12/14 and a running total total to date of 31/38.  I think Tom can be very proud of that don't you?

Linking up with Country Kids to celebrate childhood fun away from technology for a while.  Something that our life in rural France does make a bit easier to achieve.



  1. Wow, he's doing great with the list! We have that list too and my 3-year-old hasn't done much. Hopefully that will improve now that spring is finally here. #CountryKids.

    1. I never set out to complete the list and only read it a year ago - seems the type of life we lead here in France helps get things ticked off though!

  2. Tom is doing fantastically and I'm very impressed with the elephant hawk moth! Thanks for linking up and sharing his fun and achievements with Country Kids.

  3. Reckon he's doing great.

    I need to make a few notes of the list, as being on a farm N's already done quite a few at 3yo. But would be good to officially tick them off and do them.

    1. Having only discovered it a year ago I never set out on a mission to complete the list - we just live the sort of life that means we do these sorts of things!

  4. Fantastic and Wow at Squiggly! What a beautiful moth x

    1. Elephant Hawk Moths are one of my favourite moths so I was very proud that Tom successfully raised Squiggly to adulthood.

  5. i think young Tom has done brilliantly and should be very proud of his achievments and I am sure he will soon have completed those that he has not yet done. we have done some of the 50 things too and it is fun ticking them off the list isnt it? x

    1. Thank you - have fun getting through the list!


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