My last day with the kids was lovely and warm. We had wanted to go fossil hunting, but we were woefully unprepared for that (I didn’t research enough beforehand) and the organised tours were suspended because the main guy had hurt himself and wasn’t up to clambering about over rocks to show eager children where they could find fossils.
Instead, we just kinda headed for the north Kent coast and winged it. Read more
So, you’ll all no doubt be aware that the woods are my absolute favourite place in the world. I grew up a few minutes walk from there and spent all my free time exploring as soon as I was allowed to go on my own.
So when I go back to see the kids, we have to go there. It’s the law.
And besides, what better for kids than to get outside, go for a long walk, explore, learn some history, learn about trees and animals that live there, hear some stories from my own childhood and generally, well, just be kids, something that is increasingly hard these days.
I love that I can share just a little bit of what I find special and I love that they find it special too.
I do like to catch up with my siblings when I’m back – not only cos I kinda miss them (yeah, ok, a little tiny bit – don’t tell them, eh?) but I really like seeing their almost football team sized troup of children.
Ella and Henry love seeing their cousins too. They don’t see each other that often as they don’t live close so it’s a treat when they do get together. Read more
One of the things that I do miss about England (apart from my kids, of course) are my friends.
When I was growing up as a teen, I had a relatively small number of very good friends that I always used to hang out with. I don’t actually remember how my circle of friends happened exactly, as we went to different schools and colleges, but all I know is by the time I was about 17, I had some really good solid mates.
So one of the things I try to do when I go back to England is catch up. It doesn’t happen every time, but more often than not, I have some time with whoever is around
I mentioned walking. We’ve done a lot of it so far this week.
Way more than I would normally do.
The kids and I love to do trips out – regular readers will know that we’ve been all over Kent – castles, houses, parks, gardens – we’ve pretty much exhausted it all. Wracking my brains for new ideas, I came up with a cunning plan.
Chiselhurst Caves Read more
Children are like dogs.
They need walking every day to ensure they have burnt off excess energy and are ready for some quiet time.
They also make good pets, but lets not tell social services, Henry is just getting used to his cage…
Anyway, walking is something I dont do enough of, but here, the thousands of footpaths that criss cross the countryside pretty much demand to be explored.
So, after 12 months, I’m back in England seeing my children. For reasons I wont go into here, I was unable to get back here in February or Easter as originally planned, so I had to wait until the long English summer school holidays until I could get back here.
I was flying Singapore airlines via, well, Singapore. 5 hours from Perth to Singapore, then 13 hours to London.
Its a long day. Read more
So, we went off to the woods to see about building a den.
I spent my childhood building dens and camps and shelters in these woods, so I was quick to lead them off to build something amazing. As luck would have it, only a short way into the woods there was a den already started, with a good top piece and a lot of wood collected already, it just needed fixing up and extending. Read more
I’m stringing you all out here with my England stories! Mostly cos I haven’t done anything of any significance since I got back apart from work and buy paint for the bedroom walls. Aforementioned paint is still safely in its tins – sickness has meant that Chez Charlie has been keeping a low profile for a couple of weeks – a lot of that low profile spent in bed, making painting doubly hard. Ah well.
Now, where were we.
It was another beauty of an English summer day, so we decided to go for a little walk rather than go on another long drive. My parents live in a beautiful village, so I thought we should explore some roads we didn’t know and look at the old houses and take in some clean air. Read more
The weather was unusually kind to us, so we had plenty of time to lark about – we went swimming where Henry actually learned to swim properly (rather than just flailing) – Ella is a fully fledged dolphin already and there’s no stopping her, but it was really nice to see the boy graduate into the swimming camp rather than the sinking camp.
Anyways, with all this fine weather, we spent a lot of time in the woods walking, exploring, making dens and camps and having fun. Read more