Monday 28 April 2014

Blog Challenge: Great Adventure #42

Uch, I’m really struggling to find the time to blog these adventures at the moment. Fear not though, we are still heading out on our regular adventures, it’s just that I then let the photographs gather dust for a while before writing them up.

Last weekend we went for a walk at Etherow Park, we’ve been there lots of times on these adventures, but it’s always worth another visit. The area around the lake itself is slightly terrifying because I’m always sure this will be the walk where Ebony plummets into the lake and I am forced to dive in after her. I don’t even know how deep the lake is, and I can’t actually dive, so this fear plays on my mind. You hear of mothers lifting heavy vehicles off their trapped babies, but never dive-bombing into shallow lakes to save them.

This time we headed straight down into the education area, there are no terrifying drops or tempting lakes there so it felt like a better option. It was cold and drizzly, but not raining. We were dressed for cold weather, because Etherow is always ridiculously muddy even during droughts. The lovely people at Mountain Warehouse sent Ebony a waterproof jacket to wear on our adventures. It’s a magic jacket, and a pattern appears when it gets wet. Ebony chose the blue one which reveals a camper van pattern when wet. Ebony loves it, though once cried because the cars hadn’t appeared (could the lovely people at Mountain Warehouse not also have guaranteed rain?) I ended up having to pour her drink on her arm to stop her crying. Then of course she cried because she was thirsty.

They were also kind enough to offer me a coat too. I chose a waterproof jacket because I didn’t have one. That’s right, I have been on 41 whatever-the-weather great adventures without a waterproof jacket, and yes, mostly I got very wet. So I cannot explain how wonderful it is to finally have a waterproof coat, especially one with a hood because, let’s face it, umbrellas and toddlers do not go well together.

I was sort of hoping it would chuck it down so that we could get the most out of our new coats, while laughing at Laurie getting soaked in his sponge-like coat, but alas we were not in luck. We did, however, stumble across an amazing play area. One of the reasons I go to Etherow Park so much is that they don’t have a playground, so there’s no risk of Ebony sobbing the whole way through the ‘adventure’ because I dragged her away from the slide (anyone who was in the vicinity of Romiley Park on Thursday lunch will attest to the fact that she does not like to leave the slide). It was the end of Easter break, and I think they must have been holding holiday activities at the park, because there was an amazing set up in the education area.

A pile of pallets, large piping and hay had been set up, this was a ‘creepy crawly hotel’, and there were tree stumps scattered round a huge pile of bark. There were planks to climb on, and one to run across as it tipped from one direction to another. Ebony loved it, and spent ages climbing, exploring and running around. It’s lovely to see her excited about a makeshift play area like that, and gave me some inspiration for our new garden.

After a long time spent playing amongst the tree stumps, we eventually managed to persuade her to go for a walk. Ebony was really excited and kept pointing things out to us. We played pooh sticks on the bridge, but the water was flowing too fast so we improvised a few rounds of pooh flowers before calling it quits.

As we reached the river, I climbed into a tree, and Ebony immediately tried to follow me. It was quite steep, so in the end Laurie had to help her up, and we perched there for a while discussing the benefits of climbing trees. It was a really fun outing, definitely one of my favourite adventures yet.

Have you been on any great adventures this week?

You can buy a magic waterproof jacket like Ebony’s in the sale for £24.99 here. Ebony chose a blue one which is now out of stock, but there are other colours still available. The jacket I’m wearing is now in the sale so you can pick up to for just £39.99 here.

* We were sent the coats for free, but our hair, integrity and knickers are our own.

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