Today is day 3 of the BEDM challenge, and already I am going off-piste a little, because I want to tell you about a favourite pass-time of mine – fooling around with my children.
For all the stress and upset that my children sometimes cause me – having two boys, with less than a two year age gap, who are both very competitive and have similar interests was never going to be easy, I guess – I utterly adore them. Of course, some days I feel like I moan at them and nag at them constantly, and there have been days when we’ve all shed tears before 9am, but for all the difficulties we have, I dote on them completely.
Quite simply, my children, my husband, and in fact, all my family, make my world.
The best days we have are when the sun is shining (ok, that makes about three per year up here in Cumbria), Mr, the boys and I pack up a picnic and head for the hills. We didn’t get much walking done last summer, and we are definitely fair weather walkers, but hopefully this year we will scale some more of the finest peaks that the Lake District has to offer. It’s great to enjoy the natural playground that surrounds us and spend some time with the children, reminding ourselves of what it’s really all about – life is for living, after all.
Today, while Mr was unfortunately at work, the kids and I took my parents to Sizergh Castle for a play in their Wild Trail. What fun we had! It’s about a mile and a half long walk, step, leap and climb through the woods, where you’ll smell wild garlic, try to avoid stepping on the bluebells, and follow clues to guide you around the loop back to where you started. There are deer, woodpeckers, foxes and more in Chapel Wood, although we didn’t spot any (quite probably due to too much noise of our laughter as we wobbled along felled tree trunks and jumped between the stumps). The trail ends with a fabulous rope swing, which goes higher than you realise! But that definitely wasn’t me you heard squealing as the children ignored my assertions that I was going high enough!
There are also beautiful gardens at Sizergh, which provide a more sedate walk amongst flowerbeds, a well stocked kitchen garden and a stunning formal Dutch garden, but we didn’t have time to take in these delights today. After our exploration of the woods, where I loved listening to my dad reminiscing about how when he was little (he grew up very close to Sizergh) he played in woods just like this all day long, we headed to the picnic area and tearooms for a well earned brew and some extra treats to go with our ham sandwiches.
If you are in Cumbria, and fancy recapturing a bit of the fun that you enjoyed in your childhood, fooling around, and getting away from it all, with or without children, take a peek at Sizergh Castle and immerse yourself in the pure innocent fun of playing in the woods. It makes a very relaxing change from the constant ping of emails, phones ringing, and lure of that little bit of ironing, that turns into a marathon of laundry. All of that can wait. Enjoy life, family and yourself for a while instead. It’s amazing how good it makes you feel.