Friday, 8 September 2017

Old Down Country Park

 On Monday 28th August, we celebrated seven years of marriage. It was a Bank Holiday, so John was home from work. We packed a picnic, swung by the shops to buy a fresh baguette and some chocolate croissants, and drove to Old Down Country Park. I love that it is only fifteen minutes away from our home. We have so many wonderful places on our doorstep. I have been twice before, but today we managed to explore more of the grounds than I have on previous trips. (Both of my previous trips were with Jude as a newborn, and our capacity to spend hours away from home was much more limited.)

In the time between leaving our house and arriving, the sun had come out, and we realised we had not packed any suncream. So John dropped us off and went to find a local shop to buy some. While he was away, the children played on the trampolines and explored the vegetable patch. Jude discovered the ripe raspberries so we picked a few and popped them in our mouths. We found squash too heavy for us to lift, and courgettes almost ready to pick. I dreamed of having enough garden one day to grow all of this produce ourselves.
We had our picnic in a clearing that had views out to the Severn Estuary, which was beautiful. Jude roamed around between the trees, climbing up and down little mounds and enjoying the freedom the outdoors brings. Ruby and I practised handstands and cartwheels - a theme almost every day this Summer.
 There is a beautiful wildflower meadow that leads to a lake. Ruby did cartwheels through the meadow while John walked ahead with Jude in the sling to try and get him to sleep. We sat by the lake and watched the dragonflies and butterflies dance across the water. It was so peaceful and beautiful there. The views across the Severn Estuary were stunning. We ended the day with Ruby taking all her clothes off so that she could play with some other children in the three giant paddling pools that were filled to the brim and overflowing with water. She had so much fun, jumping in and out of each of the pools, immersing her face and throwing her wet hair back over her head, water spraying everywhere. This is what childhood is about. Enjoying the simple things, carefree and happy. Being outdoors as much as possible. I don't know quite how I am going to fill our days when the rain is relentless and the sunlight even more fleeting than it is now. 

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