Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Trip, Splash, Ssshhh...


On Sunday we set off to Watford to see grandparents (D’s parents). We had to go into and out of London again, as the trains around the west weren’t running. This is not a big deal now the kids are older and we don’t have to do all that faffing about with buggies and so on – but it was very hot.

The grandparents had made a sumptuous lunch of many dishes – so we all ate very well. After lunch we explored their garden a bit – finding an abandoned clutch of eggs in a nest and spotting several small frogs in the pond. Then we went up to the local adventure playground. Can’t imagine how such a place survives in this age of health and safety overload – but it does. The kids really enjoy the stuff there – so much more fun than the tame things in the play parks. I’m not someone who is blasé about accidents, but it seems significant to me that some of the play experiences I remember with most clarity were the scary ones. I think risky play is necessary – as is risk taking generally.

Unfortunately we were all a bit tired – some of us more than others – and tempers could have been better. This was probably a combination of the heat and the cumulative effects of Pride and a sleepover.

We got home in time for the kids to fall into bed at 10ish.


D got up and went off to work. The rest of us had a slow morning and were visited briefly by some grandmothers, while I was still wild haired and wearing pjs. We talked about our plans for the house changes. One of the grandmothers owns half this house, while we own the other half – thanks to a fantastic fit of generosity on my mum’s behalf. She decided that she’d sign her half over to me earlier this year. Before that we’d been renting from them both for twelve and half years and figured we’d never get on the property ladder here. As it looks like we’ll be in this house for ever (or at least the rest of the kids’ childhoods) it makes sense to get the rooms exactly how we want them. We’ve had the last thirteen years to mull it over so I don’t think we’re making a mistake!

D finished work at lunchtime and we set off to the swimming pool for a family swim. As it was a two mummies outing we were both able to get away to swim some lengths. I managed a rather laboured ten, and Dani rattled off sixteen in ten minutes. I am not at all sporty – hate running and am happy to give all ball games a miss – but I do like swimming. I am determined to find time for a grown up swimming session once our schedule of groups etc starts again. Taking the kids is great, but I don’t really get any exercise mucking about in the little pool. Once Leo is eight I guess we’ll be able to leave him alone in that pool and go and swim in the other one.

Pearl’s swimming club seems to be making her very enthusiastic about swimming at the moment – which is good. She did four lengths of the big pool with me – using a mixture of strokes. Her breaststroke is way tidier and smoother than mine. Leo had a great time in the little pool, swimming about under the water and paddling along on top.

After the pool we went to the library and the kids signed up for ‘The Big Wild Read’. They like these summer reading programmes – though they make me groan a bit. The library assistant actually asked, “Do they go to school?” which astonished me. I imagine she must have had an assertive home ed family sign up already! I have always wondered why they ask the school. I imagine they do a bit of adding up to find out which areas of town they’re failing to reach.

The kids have been buried in their books on and off since we left the library. Leo is reading ‘The Beast of Crow’s Foot Cottage’ and Pearlie is reading ‘Betrayal’.

Dani and I both got treat books for ourselves. She chose a book about Fermat’s Last Theorem, a book about the hidden maths of everyday life, and a crochet book. I got some Jackie Kay poetry and short stories. I read all the poems on the bus on the way home – lovely. I always think a book of short stories is like a new box of chocolates and have serious trouble not scoffing the lot in one go, but I'm trying to be disciplined.


'EF' said...

Yes, IKWYM about short stories! You couldn't have described the delicious anticipation better!

I seem to remember gamboling about on an outrageous adventure playground in Watford in the '70's...I wonder if it is the same one? I really miss adventure playgrounds..anything could happen on them and they came about before safety existed and when if your car couldn't fit all the kids in you'd just remove the passenger seat to make floorspace for them all to sit on. *sigh* thems were the days. Being half dazed from banging ones head and knees bleeding and filled with grit and the taste of a bit lip in ones mouth was all part and parcel of playing out. It's all a much more sedate affair nowadays. Apparently we are not supposed to be scuffed up..lol.

P.s: By the way, If you want to read the new (passworded) blog I have set up - you can find out how at homelyeducation.blogspot.com

Dani said...

"I seem to remember gamboling about on an outrageous adventure playground in Watford in the '70's...I wonder if it is the same one?"

I think it could be - it was certainly there (or an earlier version was) in the 80s when I was at the secondary school next door. I never went, though, because the kids were too scary and I wasn't a very adventurous person!

Wobblymoo said...

I still have a scar on my knee where I fell from the top of a large slide, you don't get slides that big anymore in parks ::sigh::