The essential ingredients of a summer holiday – water, water, water, sand, mud, water, sunshine, food ,family, friends and more water...
There’s something about being able to get up straight into a costume, paddle up the river in a canoe, drift back down with the tide and then swim in soft brown river water, all before breakfast, that makes you feel relaxed and healthy, living only for the day, letting the stresses of real life fade.
We had a lovely week away at the river swimming every day. Friends were staying just upriver from us for the first few days, so the kids were able to taste a new sense of independence – setting off together in the canoes to go and visit, unaccompanied by any adults.
This house was far enough upriver to have only a very gentle tidal flow, so it was safe enough for the kids to play about in the water for hours in their life jackets. The grass sloped into a sandy/muddy beach slightly sheltered by reeds. Much play with mud and messing about with boats can turn a teenager back into a child in moments.
Of course the horses came too and had a water jump built for them as part of a cross country course.
Only at the river do you set off for a sleepover by boat.
Heading off upriver to their friends' house, with the full moon peeking enviously over the cliffs.
And now it’s back to reality – school, 44C hot summer weather, my mother's visit ending as she heads to Australia to see her other two grandchildren, work to kickstart for the year... time to work on extending the positive, relaxed vibe of our river holiday to cover everyday life. Anyone know how that's done?!