It’s the last day of the school half term for my two, they’re back to school on Monday. So what better way to spend their last day of freedom for a while, why not go on a massive walk! It was supposed to be a relaxing day strolling round Frensham Little pond, but it turned into an epic adventure. The drive down was fine and very uneventful, until we reached the final part. As we were driving along the narrow country lane I saw a road sign saying “Ford”. Now this word was in a red triangle, you know the sort of triangle I mean. In the 25 years since I passed my test I have never come across this sign. There in front of the car was some flowing water. How deep this water was, I had no idea. Do I get out the car to check it first, or just drive through it and hope for the best? I didn’t have much time to think what to do, as there was another car waiting patiently for me to cross the “Ford” first! I went very hesitantly, and I’m glad to say we made it through without any problems. The reason I was being so apprehensive was because a friend of mine once drove through a ford, and her car started to float away down stream, with her still in it!! We found the car park, but it was quite small. It was a national trust car park, so we were in the right place. We later found out that it wasn’t the main car park, just a sub car park.
Once we had parked we gathered up our packed lunch and made our way up the rustic path hopefully towards the pond. Very soon we arrived, and the sight that met us was amazing. It was so tranquil and peaceful. You could hear birds singing, dogs barking and children playing. It was perfect. There was several bird hides that you could look through, and get a wonderful view out onto the lake. They also had pictures of birds that you would most likely see. We saw a heron, a couple of swans and some moorhens with 3 little babies!!
We wanted to find the perfect place to sit and have our picnic, so we started to follow the path. There are a couple of main paths that you could take, and then off each of those are lots of little paths. The vegetation varied as to where you were. Where the streams trickled through, it was like a wood with oak trees and bogs. Then you came out of that area and were into sand, and gorse bushes. This area look positively prehistoric, and we expected to see dinosaurs roaming in the distance. Then came a question from George, “If you were a dinosaur which one would you be?” How he gets through a day at school I will never know.
We finally found the perfect spot to sit and have our lunch, but before we sat down to enjoy our picnic we all had to use the ladies or gents. When you’ve got to go….. Round by some of the pond is a wonderful sandy patch. Emily called it “the middle class beach”. It was lovely. Just like being down at the beach, but you don’t have to pay for the car park, and no wind blowing away your umbrella. No horrible tasting sea water, and a lovely clean toilet very close.
The pond was very calm, and little kids and dogs were having a wonderful time splashing about in it. It seems that you can go in for quite a long way and it stays very shallow. There are no signs warning you of deep water either, so I guess it’s very child friendly. Once we’d had our picnic lunch George just couldn’t wait any longer, and stripped down to his pants (fortunately he was wearing some) and in he went.
Once he’d played enough in the water he then had to get out of his wet pants and back into his dry clothes. If you do visit her, make sure that you take a towel with you, you’ll need it. George had to drip dry, with the help of a few tissues that I had. He then hid behind a tree to change. The tree wasn’t quite big enough, and didn’t hid him completely, but he was very discrete and quick. Once he was dressed again we continued on our adventure. We climbed a rather high hill, which exhausted us all. We all had to rest at the top for a while before we continued. At least once you’ve climbed up a hill it’s easy going down.
When we’d explored enough, we went to the cafe to treat ourselves to an ice cream. Oh they were really lovely. George had a blackberry one, Emily had a rose water one and I had a caramel and walnut. They were all glorious!! As we were walking to the cafe, we saw a fire engine parked in the main car park with it’s lights flashing. We couldn’t see any smoke, so through they had just come to educate people about fire safety. We then saw a ladder leaning up against a tree, and a fireman helping a your lad down out of it. He’d clearly got stuck, but he wasn’t a young boy of about 5, no, he looked about 8 so should have known better. We’ve always had a rule in our house regarding climbing trees, “You get up there yourself, you get down yourself”. Some of you may think that’s a little harsh, but kids have got to learn!!
When we’d finished our ice creams we used the facilities again, and then decided that we would make our way back to the car. To say we went straight back to the car would be a very big fib. Now we have a family motto, “We’re not lost, we’re exploring”. Actually I can quite categorically say we were lost!! There’s no getting around it. We missed the path we should have taken, to be honest you could only see it from one direction. Emily was convinced we were going in the right direction, but George and I disagreed. After walking and walking and walking, Emily finally agreed that we’d taken the wrong route, and so back we went, and finally found the right path. Then to all our great joy there was our car!! We hugged it and told it that we hadn’t forgotten it. “What have we learnt today?” I asked the children. They looked at me, “Emily has a worse sense of direction that I do.” Next time we go we’ll remember where we parked. Hopefully!