Fortified by sausage sandwiches, three intrepid explorers, bobble-hat and welly booted, set forth up the hill. We’d been
dropped off abandoned into the wilderness by John on his way to hockey, with a plan to fuel up and head out on a long walk. Hill walking has always been one of my great loves, and I know that if I’m ever going to be able to take the children to do some serious exploring of all of my favourite bits of the UK, we need to build up the mileage gently. We planned a walk that I’ve been wanting to try since we first moved here, we promised them sandwiches and “em-rats” (chocolate buttons doled out two at a time at key points or when morale seems low), that it was downhill all the way (nearly true), and that it would be good practice for climbing Kanchenjunga (the one that looks remarkably like the Old Man of Coniston – Arthur Ransome fans will know why) and off we set.
That the three miles took just shy of two hours is no surprise, particularly given the need to hoick Pip out of the squelchiest of squashy mud at regular intervals, but what was lovely to see was how much they supported each other and looked out for each other all along the path. With the Christmas hibernation and just daily life in the winter, it’s all so easy to find that we’ve spent too much time indoors and they’ve spent more time in close quarters than is really a good idea for any of them, and I’ll admit that when there are weeks where they’re really pushing each other’s buttons, it’s just so lovely to be reminded that it isn’t really them; it’s more of a situational overlay, and nothing that big skies, pink cheeks and a handful of chocolate buttons can’t blow away.
With the end of the school holidays, and the start of a bit of time and space for all three of them, they’ve started playing together more and more when they are home. The current game seems to involve Pip being a puppy – admittedly an upgrade for the girls on their previous version, a remote control car of John’s, although the remote control car never woke me up in the morning by licking my cheek so I’m in two minds as to whether all this make believe is entirely a good thing; maybe if he’d just stop licking me!!
Up at the top of the hill all of our views had disappeared behind low grey cloud that sucked the light out of the end of the afternoon, and when we headed down into the trees and lost sight of any other people it felt as if we were truly out in the wilderness and when we made it back into the land of traffic and street lights, our backpacks and muddier then muddy boots felt very oddly out of place.
At last four tired pairs of feet finally made it back home, abandoning great clods of the hills all the way down the hall, and we tucked around the table for hot squash and biscuits; three little rosy tired faces curling up around their mugs, and I thought back to last January and how our afternoon would have felt so out of reach as to be laughable and yet here we are; two little sisters and their brother too, in January.
There’s been a little bit of a switch up to Siblings this year and now the linky is just going to be over with Lucy at Dear Beautiful, so do go and see what her little three have been up to and link up and I’ll see you there!