Hello Blog. Hello World. Hello the United Kingdom. Hello new adventure. And Hello – something hopefully worth writing about -or at least something I can read that will remind me how things really were.
Also please excuse the fact that this blog is a bit of a mess, and all my old entries seem to have disappeared. I’m not panicking quite yet.
Last year we set a goal. You know. Those big lofty ones that seem like a good idea, but when it comes to implementing you usually throw them aside and think what the hell was I thinking (kind of like me thinking that traveling overland from Uganda to Mongolia was a good idea – and it was….its just this time, it isn’t just about me). We almost threw in the towel. Even the night before, as we were packing our bags and contemplating an early morning wake-up after a hellish week, the whole idea seemed rather foolish, and sleeping in seemed like a much better idea than driving the two hours to Chipping Campden and walking in the cold and wet.
But this week I realized how much what we talk about, and what we plan, and what we actually do impacts the kids. I didn’t even think they were paying any attention to my latest antics until my son came home this week with a gold star that said “my New Year’s Resolution – to do more walking”.
“What?” “Walking is your New Year’s Resolution?”
“Yes mommy – and when we did the long walk, I kept remembering my resolution and I kept going.” Proud mamma. Keep going he did for 20km over two days without so much as a complaint. This 5 year old can already keep his New Year’s resolutions -that’s more than most of us can say.
Yes -Max, and me, and Rob…and Freya (well not really – she was carried and did enough complaining for us all) did the first leg of the Cotswold Way from the historic market town of Chipping Camden to Stanway. No video games. No toys. Just snacks for bribery, and sheep – and muck….lots and lots of sheep and lots and lots of muck.
What is the Cotswold way? According the the National Trails Website The Cotswold Way offers just over 100 miles of magical walking, with long distance views from the Cotswold escarpment, and journeys through picturesque villages and past famous ancient sites.” Walking with an almost 4 year old is about as “slow-tourism” as you can get, and a great opportunity for us to get to know this amazing country while we are here for the next few years.
Mission: to hike the 102 miles of the Cotswold Way bit by bit and get to intimately know the gorgeous English countryside (and pubs) while we are in the UK.
Frozen fields of Trolls
So off we went – from Chipping Camden to Stanway. Up hills and down hills. Through muck and guck, and cold, grey fog (the weather forecast called for clear, cool skies). For almost 20km (at least according to my Fitbit but not the map) our kids grudged along while I thought “what kind of horrible mother am I? They should be in their PJs playing video games – what am I doing to them?”
And when we drove back to London, and I tucked them in bed and I expected whining about how they didn’t watch enough TV, or they spent too much time in the car, or why couldn’t they play more video games – they said – “Mummy – that was such a nice weekend. Lets go walking again.”