So how is everyone coping so far? We received the news two days a go that we will be in social distancing for another 3 weeks, that’s 3 more weeks of attempting home learning and battling to pick up the groceries from the supermarket.
I missed last weeks update as I didn’t really have anything to share with you all, it was pretty much the same as the previous week.
We’ve been making sure that we have been getting out for a daily exercise, we’re pretty lucky that we have the dog to walk as it gives me reason to get up and go out for a lovely long walk. We have a decent size country park about 10 minutes walk from our house, which has been our saviour for the past month. The boys have still been going out for their daily run, they need to keep up their stamina as they compete at quite a high level. Even though all of their races have been cancelled or postponed they need to keep with their training the best they can in order for them to compete at the same level when the races are back on.
With the lovely weather we have been having lately, the garden has been a blessing. The boys have been out there every day, playing football, badminton, table tennis and even a beep test.
Easter Egg Hunt
On Easter Sunday I set up a trail of clues for the boys to solve and follow to the next clue, along the way they found little eggs and sweets with the very last clue leading them to their Chocolate Easter egg. They worked together to solve the riddles, it was lovely to see all three of them enjoying themselves.
The Big Camp Out
As the Easter Holidays were cancelled due to social distancing and we wasn’t able to go to Wales as planned I asked the boys if they wanted to set up camp in the garden. We had a particular warm evening last week so we put up the tent and the boys camped out all night. I didn’t think they would last a few hours but they managed to stay outside all night long. They were well equipped with lots of bedding and a few snacks to see them through.
They was hoping the dog would join them but she decided that she would be much more comfortable in her bed in the dining room.
Cinemas may be closed but that doesn’t mean we can’t watch a movie at home
Light adjusted, blinds closed and popcorn ready the living room was all ready for Movie night. I had printed out a movie ticket, one that I had found online and gave them to the boys all they had to do was choose a movie that they all wanted to watch.
The boys drew their own design onto a brown paper bag that I used to fill up with popcorn.
I loved seeing their little faces light up with smiles as they handed over their tickets and took a seat in the living room. The chose to watch Moana. I shall be keeping the tickets for next time, wonder what film they decide to watch this time?
Time at the moment may be hard for us but we needn’t look at it as a negative, we just need to see that we have been given this time to appreciate each other a little more. I for one, love that when the children ask me if we can do something I don’t answer with ‘Maybe later’ or ‘I don’t have the time’ I am enjoying spending time with them doing things that I am always thinking of doing but never do because of work and lack of time. We’re going out for walks together, camping, baking, painting, making dens, playing games, dancing and talking alot more.
Next week we’re back to home learning and I am hoping that the youngest will adapt a little better than he did before the Easter break. If not, I won’t push him I will just do it along with him. I will show him that together we can do this.
We found a little haven within the suburbs of London, a new favourite place for the boys and I to visit. Lee Valley Regional Park is a 10,000-acre, 26 miles long park, much of it green spaces, running through the northeast of Greater London, Essex and Hertfordshire. It is made up of a diverse mix of countryside areas, urban green spaces, heritage sites, country parks, nature reserves and lakes and riverside trails, as well as leading sports centres and camping sites.
We have visited Lee valley before but I never knew it was as beautiful as it is. We fell in love with the pure nature of it, the river lea runs through the whole length of the Valley. Starting at Stratford, heading north through Enfield, Waltham Abbey and up towards Stanstead Abbotts. There is a heavy emphasis of wildlife and natural habitats. We loved cycling along the river watching out for otters and birds.
The park has beautiful scenery and is so peaceful.
Not only does the regional park have rivers, lakes, green spaces and 2012 sporting venues but it is also home to a few camp sites.
We booked into the Lee Valley Campsite based in Ponders End. We wasn’t sure what to expect as you couldn’t get more urban than Enfield. As we arrived we looked around and listened. It was hard to believe that this little campsite was on the edge of the A10, North Circular and within a short distance of the M25. It was quiet. It was beautiful. The site has a shower and wc block, outdoor play area, and lots of pitches for caravans and tents. Next door is a cinema and an athletics centre. We had booked to stay in one of the campsites wooden cabins.
How beautiful and mystical is the cabin? We felt like we had walked into a Lord of the Rings/ Harry Potter film set.
The cabin came equipped with a fridge, electric, a couple of chairs, table, beds, kettle and even some tea and coffee to refresh you after your journey. There is also wifi throughout the campsite.
The shower and toilet blocks need a code to get in so only holiday makers can enter, it gives you that little piece of mind that if your children go off to the toilet and they will be safe inside from random passers by. The wood cabins are ideal for a family of 4, there is double bunk red and a small camp bed. They are situated under trees at the back of the campsite and just behind the trees is a golf course.
As soon as had arrived the boys were off exploring the site, playing in the park and running around on the grass, exploring the edge of the golf course (looking for pokemon) and just generally enjoying the little freedom that they get when on holiday. They loved going off to the tap to collect water and didn’t even grumble when asked to take the rubbish over to the bins. One thing that was missing was a little BBQ. As we travelled by bicycle, we had limited space to carry one. It would have been nice to sit on the veranda cooking up a few veggie burgers and some vegetable kebabs in the early evening, watching the children run around. The site is clean and the staff are very helpful.
The River Lea was about 10 minute walk away. We decided to take a walk and look around.
After an early evening walk we took to our camp beds and chatted away, enjoying each others company.
The next morning we was up and ready for a fun day by the river. With our back packs on, full of food and water we was ready to go off and explore the area. The boys were looking forward to cycling along the river.
The river bank is wide enough for two bicycles to be alongside each other but when others passed by we had to go into single file. I told the younger boys to cycle as close as they can to the bushes so that they was not near the river.
There were plenty of places along the river that you can sit down and enjoy the peace and nature around you. We found a cute little park near Enfield Lock where we sat down and had a snack.
We made our way through a country park towards Waltham Abbey. What a beautiful town. Here we explored the Abbey Gardens and the White Water Centre
We had been out for a good few hours and was beginning to get a little tired so we headed back towards the campsite along the River Lea Navigation. But not before stopping for a little cool down by the river eating an ice cream
We had booked for two nights. So another night under the stars in our little cabin. The boys were full of excitement and had so much fun sleeping in the cabin. It was hard to get them to sleep as they were full of energy, even after there long cycle ride that day.
The boys were up early ready for another day by the river. First though, they wanted to try out the athletics track. For just £3 children under 16 can enjoy the indoor and outdoor track all day long. My eldest was in his element. The boys love to run and being so close to this activity was amazing. They spent about an hour and a half running around the track and getting agood training session in before they were ready to get back onto their bikes and explore the regional park again.
This time we went a little further than the day before, heading past the white water centre, pass Cheshunt and onto the Lee Valley Farms. Even though it was a very active day it was ever so relaxing. With so much peaceful water around it was hard not to feel relaxed.
We cycled, we looked, we listened, we rested, we enjoyed the surroundings and each others company.
We found a perfect place to sit and rest, whilst the children played. Just near to Cheshunt station is a little park called Pindar. A place where children can explore the natural play area. The boys enjoyed climbing the natural wooden areas and playing football in the wide open space. There is even a dog agility course nearby so our four little legged family members don’t miss out on the fun.
We had so much fun. I thought that it would be hard to cycle through the park alongside the river with the boys but it was perfect. I made sure that I run through the dangers of the river first and dropped some cycling rules too. The boys listened and behaved well.
We managed to cycle about 30 miles over a couple of days. We laughed, we rested, we enjoyed.
We even managed to find two geocaches and we would have found more if I had a back up charger for the phone. There are tons of geo caches hidden along the river and surrounding areas, mostly at the locks.
We have definitely found our little favourite place in London. We have even gone back for a day out after we came back. This time we went in the car and drove to Broxbourne to take to the water this time. We hired out a motor boat for the hour and steered our way along the river, the sun was shining , it was perfect.
Without a doubt we would absolutley recomend a visit to the River Lee Regional Park but also beyond any doubt a stay in the camp site. We have made some magical memories as a family.