It’s half term and we’re only way half way through the week. I have an earache, sore throat and a throbbing headache that even a powerful cocktail of pain killers isn’t able to nudge. Plus breakfast really is too early for a gin and tonic.
My half term days have been starting at 6.30am – no lie in for me since Baxter arrived; it’s easier and quicker for me to walk him whilst dad is getting washed and dressed for work. I arrive back just in time to say goodbye to him (7.10) and take over the childcare from him.
Baxter is fine but turning his nose up at his breakfast with those sad, sad eyes, the girls are buzzing after a good night’s sleep giggling, talking in high voices and the calm I found on my dog walk is slowly, slowly dissolving.
Today we need to make a start on the homework; reading, spelling, Mathletics – the most annoying website in history that keeps crashing half way through a test – and we need to make bird feeders. TWO bird feeders as they need one each.
I am pretty close to swearing and it’s not 8am yet.
My head is starting to throb, there’s a massive pile of ironing that needs to be done at some point this week, I need to run the vacuum around the house and keep the girls amused. Oh and then there’s work that needs fitting in too, welcome to Mari’s World everyone.
What to do?
I packed kids and dog in the car and carted them off to Shorne Country Park my brilliant idea being to exhaust them all and have an easy afternoon.
Shorne Country Park is a few minutes drive from our house, it’s 300 acres spread out across ancient woodlands, fields and open spaces. There are a lot of different trails to follow, short ones, Trim ones, Horse riding ones and ones which allow your dog off the lead too, about 18 km in all and they interestingly include the Heritage Trail which passes a ruined medieval manor house and RAF air raid shelters from the WWII.
There’s the Explorer Trail, a route taking in wild flowers, fungi and wetland areas of the park. The 10 km circular Darnley Trail through Shorne Wood Country Park and out into the local area through Cobham Park and Ashenbank, skirting the edges of Ranscombe Farm and Jeskyns.
But what my girls like most is the path leading to the Fairie ring.
The paths are muddy right now, Baxter was a bit of a wuss to be honest and I almost had to pick him up at one point as he refused to go through the mud. *raises eyes*
The foliage is brown, the sky is grey, the air is cold but cheeks are flushed red in comparison.
Cardiac Hill stands in front of us so we go up
Hold on a sec, Alice wants to take a photo.
Back on upwards until we reach the top with views extending over north Kent and fallen trees to climb.
It’s not my best decision to date but I decide to let Baxter off his lead a bit … to practise his recall …
this ended up being an exercise of me shouting after him, trying to resemble a responsible dog owner to the busy park and in the end resulted in me running after him, the girls calling and running after me alarmed at what was happening and me pouncing on him whilst he happily sniffed lots of doggy bottoms, clipping on his lead with a ‘Never again’ being muttered through gritted teeth.
Syndol has devised a new formulation for headache and migraine. Taking Syndol means you don’t lose a day when headache or migraine strikes and you can get on with your life.
Oh Syndol if only I’d known this morning before I set off.
As I returned home with a small dog properly covered in mud but wagging his tail furiously at all the fun he’d had. My two small people also returned muddy. Muddy trousers, muddy boots, muddy coats BUT happy, healthy little faces and lots of photos on their Action Cams.
I now have to add, washing the floors, washing clothes and grooming the dog to my To Do list so was it such a good idea?
YES. Always yes.
Shorne Country Park
Park open daily from 9am to dusk or 9pm (whichever is earliest).
Visitors Centre open daily from 10.00am to 5 pm
Cafe open daily from 10 – 5 in summer and 11 – 4 in winter
Car Park fee £2 all day, Monday to Friday and £2.50 weekends and bank holidays.
• Visitors Centre
• Toilet Facilities
• Trim Trail
• Childrens Play Area
Brewers Road, Shorne, Kent, DA12 3HX
Signposted from the A2 at the Shorne/Cobham junction, just south of Gravesend