A couple of weeks ago my sister rang and asked if I would look after her son Oscar over Easter weekend. Thankfully my nephew has reached the age where babysitting is no longer a harrowing chore that requires overalls, a gas mask and therapy – instead he is a walking, talking fountain of love and weird questions. And as his favourite (only) auntie it is my duty to do things with him that his selfish mother can’t because she has wasted all her money on boring stuff like food and school.
As a list and stationary lover I derive enormous pleasure from sitting down with a pen, pad and iPad to create an itinerary so I settled down in front of the fire immediately to come up with a master-plan. Naturally, with it being Easter, I would need chocolate and lots of it. But I also needed a venue and something extraordinary he would talk about so much upon returning home his mum would lose her mind.
Oscar is actually quite easily pleased – he thinks almost anything is amazing – but top of his list is birds. It’s an obsession that’s lost on me (I was a dinosaur girl) but thankfully the birds generally like to hang out in beautiful places so I don’t mind joining him on occasion. But I didn’t just want him to look at the birds. I wanted him to do something far more exciting. And boy did I find it. Falconry.
If I’m 100% honest I don’t really know what Falconry is. But the rather beautiful looking stately home Stapleford Park (which also just happens to have a spa…) offers it and I assume it’s got something to do with touching falcons because there’s a photo of a man holding one on the website.
That should secure my favourite auntie status for a few more months thank you very much slh.com.