It would be fair to say that, as a family, we are something of a mixed bag. We comprise the bold, the well-balanced, the dumpy, the wobbly, the gung-ho, the cautious, exercisers and those who tend to the horizontal. And there’s only five of us.
Add that to the fact that Boy Three is six and Boy One is 16 and we face something of a challenge to find an activity to keep everyone properly entertained at the same time. Apart from eating, we’re all pretty good at that.
This half term, we thought we’d try something new – ghyll scrambling. Handily available, not very far from Supergran, in Cumbria. Sam from Eden Valley Adventures looked after us admirably.
Here’s what I learned:
Trying not to drown takes your mind of murdering your siblings. At last a way that it is possible to play nicely together – something we can do without anyone rolling their eyes, whining or punching anyone. Suggestions for other activities most welcome, please.
When in doubt double it. Less is not actually more, that’s a myth. A while ago I discovered that two sports bras do the job better than one, I’ve always known that you can’t go wrong with a double gin and, now, the same applies to wetsuits. When in doubt – and it’s actually October so there’s no doubt it’s necessary – put on a second one and you will be warm.
Two wetsuits may well be the new Spanx. Probably more flattening and smoothing, and no less difficult to get in and out of. The human jelly bean effect is the same with both.
Flumes schmumes. I’ve never been wild about flumes. Queuing in a swimming cossie to post yourself down a plastic tube then emerging into a vat of chlorine and children’s wee has never seemed like a particularly good use of my time. Now, sliding down a slippery rock on a wave of icy mountain water into a clear green beck pool is an entirely different experience.
There’s a continuum of paddling. The Panther is unaccountably keen on padding in our local streams and burns. I’ve never seen the point – cold, slimy and not actually that thrilling as far as I can see. But I understand now that there’s a continuum of getting your tootsies wet that starts with puddle jumping and ends with that insane leaping from cliffs into the sea. It still doesn’t make me any more likely to want to wade in the burn at the bottom of the garden, though.
It may be time for a new career. Half way down, Boy Two said: “Mum, I wish you had a job like this.” Oh, yes. Well, actually, so do I. And I’m delighted that he thinks that I might possibly be able to do a job like this – being as inconceivably ancient as I am.
We’ll be back for more adventures. The Boys are a bit keener on walking on the wild side now and can see that fun doesn’t have to have a neon sign above it and a gift shop at the end. This is great news… via ferrata anyone?