Sunday, June 04, 2006

A Grand Day Out

Today we walked the nature trail I'd been thinking about this week, as a family. It was M's day off, and it was a fantastic hot and sunny day. The trail goes along the bottom of a valley, beside its river. I was in some doubt as to whether it was a river or merely a stream, since it isn't a large one, probably smaller than one lane of a road, even at its mouth. But it says on the map it's a river, so river it is.

T has been very grumpy and clingy with his cold, at home, but he enjoyed the expedition. He thought it was funny when M had to keep lifting his pushchair to get up various steps. And his little legs and arms kept going with excitement as we pointed things out to him, especially with regard to dogs and ducks. Only half the trail was "suitable" for pushchairs but we managed well, it wasn't hard-going at all, just a few lifts. It was 3.3 km, which is just about 2 miles from our starting point to our goal, a lovely family pub with tables by the river and some play equipment beside the carpark. T got out of his pushchair to eat crisps and stand on the bench of the picnic table (frayed nerves at this point :)). He wasn't having any more of this sitting lark and after a while, he went coasting round the table and the wall.

He has a completely anti-hat attitude, which is a pain, he keeps throwing the things off.

S got stuck in the tunnel in the play area (not physically, just lost her nerve), so had to be rescued, but apart from that she had a great time. She loved running along and reading out to us what the signposts had to say. There were loads of these with pictures of plants or animals to look out for along the trail. We saw damsel flies and butterflies mostly. Apparently there were otters and kingfishers, but with our noise level any shy or rare creature has so much warning of our coming, they have plenty of time to abandon their fishing or lazing about plans. I think otters are more dusk animals anyway, although could be wrong.

M and I chatted, and that was nice as our conversations tend to revolve around "what did you do today?" and "what shall we have to eat?" day-to-day. We talked about M's childhood and sex (when S was out of earshot) and the future, without getting interrupted much as S was being our trail-blazer and looking at everything with pleasure. "You can have an adult conversation" (but not about football... Grrrr, I hate that advert for Picture debts. 'Yes, I have lots of debt, please loan me more so I'm only in debt to you!' ... So I wish that quote hadn't popped into my head... And who videos their partner making a phonecall?!)

Anyway, where was I?

Oh it was fun - and on the way home, I crossed a fallen tree over the river. I felt the need to balance my way across it to the other side and back. :) M claimed it was the conviviality of a pint and a half of lager & lime, but I'd wanted to do it on the way, just got put off by a couple approaching with their dog. It was just a fit of derring-do :D. M kept shouting discouraging things and laughing (in a bantering way, not unpleasant), but he got told off by S as she didn't want me to get distracted. I think I worried her, so felt a bit guilty, as she said she didn't want me to fall and seemed to take it rather more seriously than I expected.

Once back to the car, we went for fish'n'chips and drove home. It was a really good day-out.

All-in-all it was a four-mile walk! Not bad for S, and she only complained a couple of times on the walk back to the car, even though she was tired. So I was pleased about that.

This evening we went to mum's briefly and I discovered that M has also been making plans regarding our 7 year anniversary in July, and were remarkably similar to mine. :) A dirty weekend in Newquay, hopefully, with the kids at mum's. Just have to book somewhere to stay. I hope for the one we stayed at on a previous anniversary, but will have to see what's available.

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