Friday, 20 July 2012

(Mis)Adventures in the Lake District

Hubby and I like to call ourselves walkers. You see, that's what we used to do before Little Monster came. 5 months in and our longest walk is into town and back (3 miles, give or take). Around three times a year, we used to scoot off to the Lake District and tramp the hills, getting wet and cold before landing in a pub with a cheery fire, real ale and steak pie on the menu. Mmm. Heaven.

So, when it got to June and we hadn't been to the Lake District for 8 months, we could hardly turn down the offer of free accommodation for a week in the centre of Hawkshead...could we? To be honest, it was a good thing. Knowing how difficult it might be to take Little Monster away for a week, I could have put off our first week away pretty much indefinitely. To have a set date in the calendar forced the issue.

And the verdict? Well, it wasn't exactly the relaxing getaway that our Lakes trips used to be but it was definitely good to get away from these 4 walls, to surround myself with the fresh Lakeland air, to eat and drink holiday food and to pootle around the shops in Ambleside. And of course, to have hubby around for a week to give me cuddles and share the early mornings ;)

It's funny how you can start to see a place through different eyes. The Lakes just used to be about the peaks for us but this trip we did some really lovely short walks, some orienteering...we tried to see it through kids' eyes. I'm so glad we did. I think the best thing we did was put Little Monster into the sling, facing out, while we walked along the edge of Lake Windermere. His little legs were kicking, his little hands clutched my fingers and he grinned at the people who walked past us. It made me realise that his happiness matters so much more than being able to tramp the hills and sit in the pub. One smile and I'm mush.

Of course, if he hadn't been teething like a trooper...we actually might have had the odd smile for us. :)

Friday, 6 July 2012

Pretty painful parking

I'm no saint and god knows I probably have a million habits that annoy people. But one thing I don't do is park in the designated parking spaces just because I can't be bothered to walk an extra 10m to the supermarket. Now that I've become a parent I really do understand why parent and child spaces are there. Anyone who has ever had to partially reverse out to get the car seat in the back will know where I'm coming from.

A few days ago I needed to 'pop' to the supermarket to get a couple of bits. I say pop in inverted commas because it's really never that easy when you have a baby. You have to choose between lugging 20lbs of baby around the shop while the car seat bashes against your knees and you struggle with your free hand to hold shopping and retrieve your purse OR you lug said child to the trolley bay, hope that there is a suitable trolley, snap them into the trolley, pick up your two items of shopping and then reverse the process. It's pretty much painful whichever way you do it. And yes, there have been several times when I've thought 'I wonder if Little Monster would be ok in the car for just two minutes while I...'. But sensible me always wins, thankfully.

So anyway, I get to the supermarket which is well stocked with around 6 parent and child spaces (considering it's only a small shop I think that's pretty good) and, typically, all the spaces are taken. Now I know I need to be open-minded on this but I tend to get suspicious when the spaces are filled with soft tops and sports cars instead of people carriers and Chelsea tractors. Thwarted by the lack of spaces, I find somewhere where there's two adjacent spaces which gives me enough room to get the car seat out.

On this occasion, I chose the trolley-free option (noone's fault but mine, I know). So when I returned to the car to find that someone had parked seriously badly next to me, preventing a person let alone a car seat from getting into my car and causing me to further break my back lifting those 20lbs across the backseat? Well yeah, you can imagine.

It's just as well that most days I walk into town huh?