As a child, Bank Holiday Mondays meant walks in the countryside and, fairly often, picnics in the car while we attempted to shelter from the incessant rain (our walks were never dependent on the weather). Now that I've got children of my own, we still often go out for a walk on a Bank Holiday, but only if the sun is shining.
This Monday was a beautiful day, with sunshine and blue skies. We started off with a pub lunch sat on the terrace of one of our favourite local pubs and then headed for Trent Park for an afternoon stroll. And that is where the fun started...
According to my children, North London parkland is inhabited by scary, child-eating bears which meant that they needed to be armed with giant sticks and ready to fend off any potential attacks.
The giant sticks were a slight hindrance to their ability to walk anywhere at any speed, and I felt in constant danger of having my eyes poked out as they waved them around, but it's good to encourage imagination, right? Eventually, we came to the edge of the woodland and persuaded them that 'bears' don't tend to wander round grassy meadows full of picnickers, and we were able to leave the sticks behind. It was then a leisurely wander with multiple pauses to climb trees, jump over streams, play in a ready-made den we discovered in the woods and, in the case of Jedi Boy, crawl up the hill on his hands and knees complaining he was 'too tired' to walk any further. After all, what's a day out without a little bit of dramatism!
I think sometimes in these technology-filled days we're all a little bit guilty of ignoring the simpler pleasures in life like just being outside and appreciating our surroundings. Just wandering through the park with the children, not needing to be anywhere at a specified time, was lovely... even if we never did find that bear.