I promised myself and Tiny Tin Bird that we would go for a walk in the woods today (Sunday). We’ve had a boring and frustrating couple of days of being just stuck inside, I’ve been under the weather and they’ve sensed weakness in me and been horrendous. Today, today we would leave the house!
Then it rained. Ugh. Rain! “But it’s ok mummy, we can go with our wellies and our coats and my umbrella!”
Well of course we can! Silly mummy, it’s just a bit of rain.
As it happened we didn’t need his umbrella, which is a good thing because as well as being a device for keeping the rain off of him, it is also a device that causes him to walk very, very, very slowly and stop at random intervals right in front of me. I carried his folded umbrella, along with mine, and we made much better progress. Our hair was damp and rain speckled but we didn’t melt. Only a bit of rain.
I really don’t like the days where we are stuck inside and are unhappy about it. Unharmonious is probably the politest way of putting it … full of shouting and being cross and children doing ridiculous things and me being unable to cope and just wanting to hide in the bathroom (except the lock doesn’t work so there’s no point). I went to bed feeling sad and failing because the last exchange TTB and I had had was me being cross with him for waking his sister up just after I’d settled her to sleep (and then had to spend an hour getting her back to sleep).
I can’t tell you how grateful and relieved I was today to get out of the house and into the fresh air – slightly rainy days are so invigorating – and to fully absorb myself in the constant stream of chatter and questions that come from my boy.
TTB is a good walker, and I very much enjoy his company when we walk. While he is so very like his father in his interest for all things engineering, scientific, electrical, mechanical and all that kind of
slightly boring wonderful stuff, it brings me joy to see how much he loves the outdoors and nature: just like me. He is curious about the names of plants and animals and birds and always asks me. I don’t know all of them by a very long shot but I know enough to answer most of his questions and he likes it when we look things up on my phone if we don’t know. That reminds me, I should really get a pocket guide to British Wildlife that we can take out with us. Today we saw muscari (grape hyacinths) and tulips that he hadn’t seen before, and he was delighted to spot celandines too. There are lots of celandines in the park and he’s taken a while to get the pronunciation right but now he’s spot on.
There were some trees that made him feel sad today; one large tree had fallen to the ground and snapped in the middle, and the other one had lost a very large branch, leaving a dramatic spike of shattered timber. He stopped and was clearly thinking about it and then told me that he didn’t like looking at them, and that they made him feel sad. Oh. We discussed how it might have happened, possibly in a storm, and that if there were strong winds then the tallest trees may struggle to stay upright. He was worried that the trees might be hurting. Happily there were a lot of new saplings growing in the woods and he liked seeing how small they were and how their new leaves seemed to float in the air.
New growth is appearing throughout the woods and the carpet of wild garlic is thick and lush, not quite flowering yet but it’s already pungent. Before long the green will erupt with little while flowers and the air will be distinctly garlicky! The new leaves dangling tentatively from the tips of the branches dance and flutter in the breeze, soft and delicate up close and are a bright smattering of fresh green from afar.
I encourage TTB to look all around him, right down on the ground to look at the tiny details, into the distance to see the landscape, and right up high to see the tops of these tall trees. Standing close to the tree trunk and looking all the way up, bending your neck right back to see all the way to the top. As he was regarding the tops of the trees he said to me, “This one is a cloud catcher, mummy.” Well! Sometimes he says things that are so considered and beautiful. He often surprises me and I really love having this front row seat to the way he sees the world. Now please don’t disillusion me and tell me he already heard that phrase on Show Me, Show Me or something like that!
Tiny Tin Girl likes to lean out of the sling and touch the tree trunks as well.
I’m rather pleased with this photo (above). I only took my point and shoot camera with me and it does do a very nice job for a small camera.
I have a photo on my fridge of TTB stood in front of this wall from 2013, when he was about the age that TTG is now. Only I don’t think I’d trust her to stand there and not climb over! She’s a monkey.
Washing our boots in the little stream that flows down the hill is one of our little rituals when we leave the woods. Just because it’s fun really!
I liked this sentiment on one of the benches.
I wanted to include these photos of the rock fall under the castle. It’s hard to capture. That big rocky bit under the castle has always been dizzyingly massive and incomprehensible to look at and shortly after Christmas and after the huge amount of rainfall we had, a lot of the rockface fell down. I hadn’t realised how much. I’m sure I have photos of what it looked like before, but I can’t find them right now.
The perspective isn’t easy to see in the photos so I made a little video of it. TTB is chattering about squirrels being able to climb up the rock face (probably wouldn’t be able to) in case you were wondering. Let’s hope this embeds here …
Ah that was easy. Hope it plays for you!