All words and photography © Nina Nixon
Or whiffling as the smallest calls it. I quite like whiffling - as a word and as a 'thing' to do...it's very therapeutic.
I love that the girls haven't just braced themselves against the whole change of life thing - going from coastal where everything is sea related and all that was around them had that association to upping sticks and moving to the depths of the countryside - they have jumped right in and embraced it like it always was and is their way of life. They must have good genes in them 'ahem!'.
They are starting to have the kind of childhood I have spent many a night dreaming about and one that mirrors much of my own. Tree climbing and scuffed knees, the odd finger wrapped in a plaster, red cheeks, mad hair, muddy fingernails and proud to show off - even boast about how they got - their latest scab! I was always a wild, out of doors kind of kid...still am really.
Ballet has been dropped in favour of skateboards.
And now we have whittling and everything - within reason - is whittled. We have a nice collection of 'the right kind of sticks' by the back door and all walks feature 'who can find the best stick' and 'who can carry the most'.
If you want to get started on whittling forget a penknife (for now) the best tool is a plain old potato peeler - we are nabbing all the ones we find and adding them to our collection every time we stumble across one in a second hand, jumble, boot fair, charity shop.
And if you need inspiration you can't go wrong with 'The Little Book of Whittling' it is a perfect start.
Happy whiffling...I mean whittling.