There’s a reason why things become a classic. And a reason why mud makes such a frequent appearance in our favourite children’s books. From the squelch-squerch of the mud in We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, to just about everybody in Secret Water, it seems that getting stuck in the mud, or covered in mud, or just having fun playing with mud is a childhood rite of passage. And yet it doesn’t really get that muddy around us very often. A little bit muddy yes, but we mostly get puddles, not that thick oozy mud that your feet sink into, that sends you sliding around like a baby giraffe on ice, that clings to your boot in great clumps making each footstep heavier than the last.
But this weekend we found exactly that kind of mud.
H had a hockey match in Shropshire and rather than loose him for the day we decided to go and watch (cue lots of “Run Daddy Run!” from the smallest spectators – I’m thinking of getting them pompoms) and then go on and do a little exploring of our own afterwards. And with a 3-2 victory secured we headed out to the hills to go for a walk and settled on climbing up to Wedlock Edge.
It’s a little rocky ridge running down the middle of the valley with quite a steep drop off either side (though sadly the view is mostly behind the trees in the section we walked) and from the car park we headed straight up the hill. And as we climbed the path got a little squishy, then our feet started to sink in a little bit more, and then more, and then as we continued towards the top of the hill is just got more and more wonderfully squelchy.
It was that sort of mud where you can feel the ground trying to hold onto your boot as you lift your foot, and where you choose your next step very very carefully. H and I were going warily with the littlest two in the slings but Kitty set too and plodded through with great determination as the mud climbed up the side of her boots.
It was skiddy and giggly and just really fun, balancing Kitty between us and trying to make sure that none of us fell over or lost a boot in the process. All I can say is that after I’d taken these pictures we went through some even deeper and squishier mud and as Kitty’s boots sit in our hallway the only colourful bit visible is the pink bows.
As we came back down the hill Kitty was getting pretty tired and declared “I don’t want to come here ever again!!”, but by the time we’d got to the bottom and found the car and the stash of chocolate buttons she’d revised that to not until the summer, and when we tucked her into bed and asked her for her favourite part of the day there was just one answer:
I couldn’t agree more!