With the summer holidays fast approaching, try out the National Trust’s 50 things to do before you are 11 3/4 in Cornwall

With the summer holidays fast approaching, CAROL BURNS find herself vaguely obsessed with the National Trust’s 50 things to do before you are 11-and-three-quarters

This wonderfully inspiring list has been around for a while, but with a seven-year-old counting the hours until school’s out - I am determined to get through the list this year (although let’s hope we have to wait awhile beforewe can complete no 15 - play in the snow).

'In today’s busy world and perhaps a touch of over-careful parenting, these simple pleasures are in danger of falling by the wayside.'

And I don’t see why the under-12s should be the only ones to have all the fun - I will be ticking off my own list (expect a rush on A&E by parents attempting their first tree climbing for 30 years).

The list is full of the kinds of things you and I probably did as children without thinking about it - building a den,climbing trees, rolling down a hill, jumping waves and handling creepy crawlies - but in today’s busy world andperhaps a touch of over-careful parenting, these simple pleasures are in danger of falling by the wayside - since there is no equivalent Wii game, although there is probably an app now.

There are activities for exploring and discovering the natural world, having adventures and becoming a ranger and a tracker. But it’s not only the pure pleasures this list will offer, but the chance to get out and explore Cornwall. Jumping a wave and hunting in rockpools is a daily occurrence in the holidays in this neck of the woods,but finding a really big hill to roll down (no 2) - we are still hunting for the perfect spot, having tested our skills on the gentle slopes at Heartlands in Pool when no-one was looking.

We spent a while at the weekend learning the art of stone skimming (no 3) at Gwithian beach which has an incredible number of flat rounded disc-like stones, perfect for practicing in the inlet there. And we do need the practice...

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I have to admit I did look down the list the first time I saw it and mentally tick off what I had done already - and visiting the National Trust’s glorious Lanhydrock gave us a few opportunities to add to our growing done’ list.

And talking of firsts’, I outed myself on Radio BBC Cornwall last month - twice - that I had yet to go to the Royal Cornwall Show. I can now say this year’s was so good, I went twice. I was lucky enough to be invited to one of the President’s Luncheons, when HRH The Princess Royal attended, and I was there on Saturday to enjoy all that the event has to offer.

It really would take three days to see everything, but we did out best, stopping awhile by the main ring to enjoy the shows, and the people watching to be had there. A favourite spot was the Food and Farming marquee which was never less than teeming with visitors. There was so much on offer and so many truly local producestands - well done to the organisers and here’s to next year!

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