A Week of Sporting Achievements for the Boy

I bring to you a very proud parent post..

The week started off pretty dire for my son. He had spent the weekend not feeling very well and ended up in bed, missing school on Monday due to throwing up the night before.

He was due to race in the Year 7 Essex Cross Country Championships on the Wednesday; something he been looking forward to doing for a long time. He had spent the last couple of months training hard for it and really wanted to enter. Racing and running has been something that he has got into through his Dad and older brother – both compete at competitive levels.

By Tuesday he was back in school and back at training. The training session was really just to test if his fitness was ok to compete in the race, he seemed to be ok and didn’t complain of feeling ill.

Wednesday came and his Dad picked him up from school at midday to take him off to the cross-country race. He was the only boy who had been entered into the race from his school so it was up to us, his parents, to get him to the event.

He was excited but nervous. He really wanted to do well in this race. Back in November he raced for his school in the borough championships and didn’t do as well as he as expected. In my eyes he done brilliantly, but to him he knew he could have raced a quicker time.

When you look forward to something for so long, the nerves take over, especially when you want to do well.

He lined up on the start line, the only child from his school, ready to move at the sound of the start gun.

Doesn’t he look small at that start line?

Growing up watching and supporting his elder brother competing in races for the borough and County just made him very determined to want to do the same. He had looked forward to following his footsteps and couldn’t wait until he was in Senior school so that he was able to do so.

He ran a superb race, crossing the finish line in 6th place  and securing a place to represent the County in the Inter-Counties Cross Country next month.

Safe to say I had a very happy boy. His persistence paid off and he never gave up. He had his sights on something and grabbed at it with all that he had to give.

On Friday he came home from school sporting a new badge on his blazer. He had called me on his way back and I was a little worried as i had missed his call and he wasn’t answering my returned calls. He came straight over to me saying

“Do you notice anything different?”

Of course I did. I noticed it straight away.

A new badge on his lapel. An Achievement Award Badge rewarded from Jack Petchey Foundation.

There was more. He reached into his bag and pulled out a framed certificate and a letter

He had been awarded Outstanding Achiever after being nominated by another child in his year group at school.

I cried.

Sending your child to a school where they had no friends from their junior school and always wondering if they have made friends or if they have fitted in, is a big worry. So, to read how he was nominated by another child for his running achievements in school but also because he is always engaged and focused in all school activities and school work. His peer also said that he is always willing to help others. This makes me well with such pride.

Just look at his little face in the picture above and see how proud of himself he is!

He has also been rewarded £250 to spend in his school, he needs to choose a department to spend it in. Which, he already knows. Without a doubt it is going to be the P.E department as he wants the school to supply children in athletics a vest to wear instead of wearing their PE shirt.

And if that wasn’t enough of his achievements for the week he topped it all off today by competing for a place in the boroughs team to compete in the London Giving Mini Marathon and securing a place.

My only wish for my boys is to have the very best life, to play hard but equally work as hard to achieve the imaginable. My boys are the greatest thing that ever happened to me, there is nothing more than seeing them smile and hear them laugh. I am super proud of all of them and the young men that they are becoming.

I am one very proud parent

 

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Beeleigh Falls- Essex Walks

Beeleigh falls is one of the best kept secrets of Essex. A series of platforms, falls and locks, where the river Chelmer and Blackwater meet.

It’s no Niagara but it is definitely a little bit of paradise in Essex.

Last weekend, the family and I went along to explore the area. Nanny lives very close and although we have heard of the place we have never actually been there.

The sun was shining and we wanted to take the boys out for a long walk, so we headed on over to The Blackwater Rail Trail. A route that takes you along the old disused Witham to Maldon Railway Track. After walking along through the trees for about 20 minutes, we noticed on the map that we was close to Beeleigh Falls. Having no idea what it was that we were heading towards but the boys wanted to explore, we decided to make a detour.

We followed the path through Elms Farm Park, alongside the lake, where we saw the cutest dogs cooling down from the heat of the sun swimming in the lake.

We soon saw a sign for Beeleigh Locks pointing over a very old bridge.

The bridge crossed over the Chelmer and Bridgewater Navigation. The views down the river were beautiful. It was so green and peaceful.

Walking alongside the Golf Course we soon came to the first lock

Walking along the river brought back memories of when I was a child and walking along the canals where we used to live in Yorkshire.

Our afternoon leisurely stroll was turning out to be a perfect day out.

Just past the first lock and we could soon hear the gushing noise coming from the falls/weir.

We was greeted by the such beauty. Who would have thought that this natural delight was hiding behind the busy roads of Maldon, roads that we use all the time.

The water glistened as the sun shone down onto it. Reflections of trees and wild shrubs looked back at us as the gentle breeze rustled in the trees. There was every shade of green on the spectrum. It was calm and peaceful.

A perfect end to a countryside walk.

We have definitely found a new favourite place to visit in the future.

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Wind in the Willows Trail at Hanningfield Reservoir-Days out in Essex

Wind in the Willows is a children’s classic novel about small animals who spend their summer days boating on quiet rivers, going on picnics with large hampers of food and being lost in the wild woods. It’s fun, adventurous and very British- A classic tale of river life and friendship.

The novels begin with Mole, a peace-loving little animal, who decides to leave his burrow after being bored with doing his spring cleaning. He ventures down to river bank and soon meets brave Ratty, grumpy Badger and an unruly Toad.

Children and adults love Wind in the Willows as it represents a quintessential British summer. We all want to stroll down by the river, picnic on the banks, sail down the river in a boat and set out on journeys full of fun and adventure.

At Hanningfield Reservoir you can follow in Mole’s footsteps, follow the trail and discover the characters from the Wind in the Willows.

The boys love a bit of excitement and anything that’s gets them out within nature. They love trekking through woods going on adventures.

With a map in one hand and a crayon in the other they were ready to go off and search for the wooden sculptures hidden within the woods of Hanningfield.

The maps and crayons are available at the visitors centre for £1.

As soon as we had left the car and headed on over to the visitors centre they were greeted by the beautiful wildlife garden, which is the home to Ratty’s boat and Toad’s caravan.

Inside Toad’s caravan

After a little stroll around the peaceful garden we headed on over to purchase our maps. We were given a crayon too as next to every wooden sculpture there is brass rubbing squares that you can create a rubbing from on the back of your map.

The boys used their map reading skills to follow the trail and lead us to the fun, life-size characters that were numbered on the map. Teaching them navigation skills and direction.

I love watching the boys working together as they are normally squabbling with each other.

They were so excited when they found the first one set within the trees. Once they found the character they could also read the description about each animal under the square that you used fort he rubbing. Not only were the children having fun but they were also learning facts about the animals as they went.

As we walked along we also made our way over to Lyster Hide, where we could look out over the reservoir and watch the birds fly over or swim on the water.

The first on the trail was Badger

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Second was The Weasels

Third was Mole

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Fourth was Ratty

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And last was speedy Toad

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There were also other sculptures to see that had mini beasts carved into them and picnic benches to sit down and eat your lunch at.

The whole adventure took us just over an hour, we didn’t rush around and spent time just enjoying each others company and the woods that surrounded us.

It was a lovely day out and would definitely recommend it. Parking is free but no cycling or dogs are allowed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Blowing the cobwebs off on the longest pier in the world

Southend is home to the longest pier in the world stretching out into the Thames estuary 1.34 miles, if you don’t fancy the walk along the pier then there is a train that travels up and down the pier transporting people to the ned and back. Since opening up in the early 19th century, the pier has had its fair share of bad luck, suffering from 4 fires, a boat crashing into it and been closed down a number of occasions due to safety.

Southend coast consists of large mudflats so the water is never very deep when the tide is in. Back in the 19th century boats were unable to stop at Southend when the tide was out as the mudflats went on for over a mile. Visitors then went on to the next seaside town along the coast. The Pier was built so that boats could reach Southend in low and high tide.

Lucky for us it is now a major tourist attraction for us all to enjoy.

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It’s half term and we decided to visit Southend for a walk along the seafront and a portion of chips. The sun was shining and it was a glorious winters day.

The children had a little play on the sand, where they collected up all of the seaweed that had come in with the tide and rested up against the sea wall. They ran around really enjoying themself. They had their wellies on but didn’t spend much time on the muddy sand or playing in the little play area that was there, they much prefered to play with the seaweed and explore along the stone wall.

It was a lovely calm day, even though the sun was shining it was still very chilly, especially when the sun went behind a cloud. It was perfect weather for a walk along the pier. We had Nan with us so decided against walking the full length and catching the train instead.

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The train went quite slow, a little bumpy in places but was a very pleasant journey. The children loved looking out over the mudflats and trying to spot the stones and any little fish that were flapping around in the low puddles. Joseph was quite sure he saw a seal laying in the mud but I’m not convinced! lol

The train journey wasn’t long before we was at the end of the pier. It was very cold. We had a walk around and looked out around us taking in the views.

The children had lots of fun running along the end of the pier, It was too cold for Nan so she went and warmed up in the cafe, whilst we walked around and took in the views.

Another thing that The Southend Pier has become famous for is Jimmy & Jamies cafe, which I think is only open in the summer. We had a sneaky peek through the windows, It looks so much smaller than it does on the television. Not sure how they fit the camera crew in there!

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Before heading back to the train for the journey back we had a little pose in front of the building. Small eh!

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After blowing the cobwebs away on our chilly walk along the pier we found a little friendly cafe along the front where we had chips and a drink before heading back to the car to go back home.

A visit the seaside shouldn’t just be for those warm days, licking away on an ice cream and paddling in the water but it’s perfect on those chilly winter days for a fresh walk along the front and warm up with a hot chocolate and steaming chips.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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Promenade Fun

Promenade park is situated in Maldon, Essex alongside the River Blackwater and is the perfect place to visit as there is something to do for everyone of all ages….

-The Splash Park
-Sand Pits
-Model Boating Lake
-Children’s Playgrounds
-Picnic Areas
-Play Galleon and Forts with an Aerial Runway
-Crabbing
-BMX and Skate Park
-Boat Trips

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The park is a favourite of my boys and we always spend a day there when visiting Nanny. There is so much to do that they never tire of keeping them self entertained.
The youngest boys love the sand pit area which is at the end of the ornamental lake and right next to refreshment kiosk. The Pit also has water play equipment in it, the children love to pump the water up and watch it travel down the cut out logs and onto the sand, the children enjoy digging out channels in the sand so that the water travels further away.

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We ordered a couple of coffees and some raspberry slushes for the children and sat down at a table which was next to the sand pit and watched the children play in the sand. They quickly made friends and working together they planned out a way of getting the water from the pump to a hole that they dug out.
Oliver loved jumping from the sand into the water trying to see how big of a splash he could make.

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After about an hour and half of sand play we made our way over to the Galleon play area for a little adventure play before heading on ver to the splash Park.

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The children could play in here for hours without getting bored, Oliver loved going down the bumpy slide and Joseph like climbing all over the wooden boat.
Wherever there are children and a football my eldest will seek them out, he is always disappearing and I will always find him on the grass running around with other children, I love how confident he is with joining in with other children’s play.

When we first arrived at the park we booked onto a session in the water Splash area, the sessions cost £2 each and last for about half hour. Once your booked on your given a coloured wristband depending on what session and a receipt.
After a short play in the play area it was time to head on over to the Splash park in time for our session to start. It was a lovely hot day and after a long play it was much needed to cool the boys down.

Oliver spent the whole time running around the splash area following the yellow markings on the floor and running through the puddles.

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He even plucked up the courage to sit underneath a water fall

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The eldest two went from one water play to another, trying to get as wet as possible

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It was hard not getting wet surrounded by so many water fountains turning on and off and shooting water out of the ground.

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I love to watch my boys enjoy themselves, after our time was up we made our way back to the car for a little picnic. The car was parked at the edge of a field so we put up a little tent and the boys sat inside and ate their food.

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We spent the rest of the day having running races, playing frisbee and kicking a football about whilst relaxing next to the car and eating. It was perfect summers day.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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