It’s hard to believe that this time last week we were all desperately seeking shade, buying fans and slathering the children in sun cream. As I write, the sky is grey and sunny evenings in the garden seem a distant memory!
Having a dog that needs exercise but can’t cope in the warm leads to certain challenges! When I had the opportunity, I walked in the evenings instead, as close to dusk as possible so that the heat of the day had truly gone. In doing so, I saw the most beautiful sunset skies and caught glimpses of evening wildlife such as bats, flitting through the trees above Ellerhayes Bridge.
When I couldn’t slip out in the evenings (due to lack of childcare) I had to seek out shady walks during the day. We visited our favourite woodland haunts such as Danes Wood and Ashclyst Forest and enjoyed the coolness of the canopy and the breeze through the trees.
We also hit upon a great way of exercising the dog and keeping the children cool, and headed out to paddle in local rivers on a couple of occasions, even managing a bit of a swim in the Culm near Columbjohn. I’ve been really surprised by the children’s enthusiasm for wild and sea swimming, and plan a few longer trips to Dartmoor swimming spots in the school holidays.
The evenings were busy last week and in addition to our outdoor adventures, we were lucky enough to visit The Paulos Circus at Darts Farm. We had a wonderful time and watching the children loving every minute was a real highlight of my week!
I also headed to the cinema for a rare grown up outing. Our book group went to see My Cousin Rachel at Exeter Picturehouse, and enjoyed a drink in their lovely bar too. The film was fab, really gripping in its twist and turns (I haven’t read the book so had no idea of the plot) and the scenery and costumes were beautiful, and almost as engaging as the story. It was a great film for me as it held my attention (quite a feat since my post-child brain is all over the place) and was suspense-filled enough to keep this tired lady awake too!
I was lucky enough to be featured by Organised Jo – another Devon Blogger – ‘Meet the Working Mum’ series, and had lots of feedback on my strategies for keeping our family ‘on the road’. It led me to reflect on what my real top tip to mum survival is though, and I realised that no amount of meal planning, bag sorting or diarising can replace what we all need, and that’s people we can call on when the car breaks down, or we run out of milk and have a sleeping baby holding us hostage. So, I’ve decided to try and renew my efforts in being a better friend (and partner) and put more effort into maintaining and nurturing relationships, as without them, all else would go by the wayside.