One of the perks of being a teacher towards the end of the school year is getting to take part in a variety of class trips. After visiting a dairy farm a few weeks ago then having a day out in Canterbury with a different class last week, on Friday I was counting heads on and off the coach again with another class trip to the Villa Marguerite Yourcenar, on the Mont Noir near Bailleul. It's a protected area with beautiful views, teeming with wildlife, where writers in need of inspiration can go on retreat for some peace and quiet and (hopefully) literary creation.
As well as meeting some of the authors and taking part in a poetry workshop, we got a guided tour of the woodland walks with a nature guide. There are some beautiful trees, including a 200 year old giant sequoia.
We spotted foxgloves and examined tree roots, went insect hunting (the kids were delighted to discover grasshoppers and stripy red and black stink bugs) and looked out for signs of animals (mainly rabbit poo !).
We had a picnic in a meadow of wild flowers and the kids had fun running around and playing hide and seek. It was all pretty perfect, ... except that it made my hayfever kick in big time. It hasn't been too bad this year so far so I haven't bothered stocking up with antihistamines, but luckily I did have a secret ally in my pocket which eased the symptoms.
I first reviewed Haymax all the way back in 2010 (head over here to see my original review) and I instantly loved the concept. It's a little pot of balm that you rub round your nose (and I also put some above and below my eyes) to act as a barrier to allergens such as pollen or dust. It's totally drug free and is also organic - it's made from beeswax and sunflower oil with no added nasties - so everyone can use it, including children of any age, pregnant women or breastfeeding mums, which is great news as antihistamines are usually off limits for them.
The great thing about Haymax is that you can put a tub in your child's pocket and let him/her get on with it. There's no problem if they use too much, unlike medicated treatments and tablets. I also appreciated this aspect on our class trip because one girl had itchy red eyes and a streaming nose and I had no qualms about passing her the Haymax, which I wouldn't have been allowed to do if I had had other prescription or even over-the-counter remedies.
Haymax sent me through a fab Summer Survival kit which included some pots of the new Haymax Kids (the regular Haymax is also fine for kids to use - it's just been given a new superhero-themed look to make it more appealing to kids), along with Bioskin Junior Bath Milk, a 98% natural product with extracts of lavender, chamomile and calendula to help protect and soothe eczema-prone skin, and incognito, a 100% natural mosquito and insect repellent.
If you're a hayfever sufferer and you like the idea of going drug free this summer, or if you're a parent of a child with allergies, it's definitely worth keeping a tub in your pocket or handbag just in case. Unlike antihistamines which can take a few days to kick in, Haymax has an almost instant effect so it's reassuring to know that a sudden onset of hayfever with all the misery of itchy eyes, sore throat and constantly running nose won't be spoiling any trips to the park, summer barbecues or walks in the countryside this year. As well as the new Haymax Kids, it's available in lavender, frankincense, aloe vera or pure.
star rating : 4.5/5
RRP : £6.99
for more information : http://haymax.biz/
Disclosure : I received a Summer Survival Kit in order to write an honest review.