Monday, 11 August 2008


The summer holidays are always a great time for us as a family. My work dries up in August, so I have a lot of time to spend with the family. We walk a lot, go climbing, swimming and sailing.... This year we are also going camping for a week which we are all looking forward to. That will be our only holiday away from home, as the budget doesn't allow anything more: we prefer to spend on hobbies (like sailing) through the year, rather than save everything for a trip abroad for a fortnight...

The result of that is we spend a lot of relaxed time in each others' company. Long walks are particularly good for this: we tend to walk in pairs and threes, but these are constantly in a state of flux, so that by the end of a day's walking, everyone has had a chance to talk with everyone else - and to be silent with them too.

We find this really allows the kids (and us) to slow down and reconnect with each other. Today we saw a herd of wild red deer on our walk, which made it particularly memorable. The little ones were engrossed in some imaginative game for most of the walk, so scarcely noticed we had made several hundred feet of height gain before reaching the lake that was the turning point. Sometimes it can be more of a struggle than that, but they have realised that they enjoy themselves much more if they enjoy themselves... smart kids!

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