Swimming with Her Majesty's Ducks.
Around this time last year, Harry managed to persuade us all to take a dip in the freezing cold Shimna River. I hadn’t expected to enjoy it as much as I did. Inspired by that experience, when we decided to take another trip to London in July, I thought we’d all love a wee semi-wild swim in the Serpentine Lido in Hyde Park.
It turned out to be a bit chillier that we were expecting. Everyone had a go though and Harry even managed a bit of proper swimming. If you decide to go, (and I recommend you do!) I’d suggest you take goggles. (I forgot to pack them). And a wetsuit – all the regulars doing lengths had the sense to wear them, but to be fair, there’s no way we could have packed wetsuits in our carry-on luggage and so it wasn’t long before Harry and Chloe retreated to the slightly warmer paddling pool. With Ashley “supervising” - i.e. “getting out of the freezing cold water.”
Which left me with just the ducks for company. It was lovely!
After a quick swim up and down, Ashley and I nipped into the changing rooms and got dressed, then we all headed to the adjacent Diana Memorial Fountain. We’d had a wander round the fountain in October when there was no water in it, and unlike swimming in the Serpentine, the Little Trekkers were busting to get back and try it out properly with the water running. We didn’t bother getting the Little Trekkers dressed as, whilst it is possible to paddle your feet in the fountain and stay relatively dry, there is no hope that our two would have!
It is absolutely beautiful and great fun and I really would recommend a visit if you’re anywhere near it. We could easily have spent hours there, but we’d got tickets for School of Rock that afternoon (totally awesome show, btw) and we were already later than planned (I’ll tell you why in my next blog post), so Harry and Chloe got stuck straight in with a round of Pooh Leaves.
I’m not absolutely sure who won, but Chloe couldn’t resist a lap of honour anyway before I managed to lasso her and stuff her into dry clothes before going to learn how to rock out and “Stick it to the man” with Dewey Finn and the kids from Horace Green School. What a great day!
About the Author
About Me & Mine
Ashley (Dad/ 3rd child/ chief photographer). Me - Kerry (Mum/ the sensible one... sometimes). Harry (8) can't sit still and Chloe (nearly 6, thinks she can do everything Harry can and makes pretty good attempts too). We spend as much time as possible having "adventures" (which consist of anything which takes place outside and is accompanied by official “adventure sweeties”).
Favourite place in the world:
Ashley and me - The Ards Peninsula, Strangford Lough, The Mourne Mountains . Harry – Alan’s farm, anywhere with mud, sand, bugs or tractors or that requires a paddle or harness to get to. Chloe - Anywhere as long as it's outside and preferably with somewhere to toast marshmallows and drink “North Pole” hot chocolate
Favourite things to do outdoors:
Biking, climbing, canoeing, digging holes on the beach, making dens (or anything out of sticks), looking for squirrels, butterflies, crabs and Gruffalos. Chloe loves to collect stones, but we try to discourage that as we invariably end up carrying the most precious ones home. She managed to stash about 20 in her bag on a recent weekend away in Ballycastle and cunningly talked Uncle Pancake into carrying her bag to the car so we wouldn’t find out until it was too late. She currently has a fairly large cairn in her bedroom! Harry has a model dairy farm complete with stone walls built from beach pebbles in his bedroom. Neither has much room left for sleeping.